Remember that trip to the Creation Museum during the big paleontology conference this summer? Linda Vaccariello has a lengthy, and pretty good, article about it in the current issue of Cincinnati Magazine. Here’s a nugget I liked:

Looking over the exhibits in the Dinosaur Den, we learn that the flood killed all the dinosaurs except for the ones on Noah’s ark. “But their days were numbered,” the signage explains ominously. What happened? Here, the museum makes a rare admission of uncertainty. But it does present a tantalizing possibility: “Dragons could have been dinosaurs,” the sign says.

That’s right. Evolution is only a theory. But God’s Truth is supported by . . . dragons.

Snarky!

There are a lot of interesting tidbits to mull over. For example:

But at the Creation Museum, the answer is more basic still, and it’s found at the end of a dark, graffiti-scarred alley that leads to a world where the Bible’s word has been abandoned. There’s a video of a teen worrying over a pregnancy test; another of boys looking at on-line porn; a third of parents listening to a “liberal” sermon while their son, sitting in the pew next to them, fiddles with a cell phone. And at the center of it all is the destructive force that has brought all these woes to modern life, symbolized in the form of a huge wrecking ball slamming into the side of a church. A label on the ball says “millions of years.”

This, [pakeontologist] Arnie Miller has told me, was the real sticking point for him the first time he visited the museum; this is the “depth of the message” that he wants his colleagues to understand. “The idea that if you accept the view of evolution, you’re undermining the church,” he says. “That’s the one part of the museum that truly offends me: that we are evil.”

That’s not the point at all, says Terry Mortenson, a researcher and speaker at the Creation Museum, when I talk with him after the paleontologists’ visit. “The evolutionists who say that are not being very observant,” he insists. According to Mortenson, the push to accept evolution and the “old earth” notion that it depends on was first promulgated in the late 19th century by those with an anti-church worldview. The museum explains this history in a display that precedes the wrecking ball–an exhibit that includes an exploration of the evangelical movement in the U.S. and the Scopes trial. That century-old fight “was a worldview conflict,” he says, not a battle between science and the church. So…the wrecking ball? “Once the church accepted the ‘millions of years’ idea, it destroyed the authority of the Bible,” he explains. “It’s not an issue of people against people; it’s about ideas.” And the idea of evolution, Mortenson says, is “philosophy masquerading as science.”

Got that? It’s not the scientists themselves that are evil, just the Bible-discrediting ideas they advocate. I’m sure Miller feels deeply chastened.

And just in case you missed the point the first time:

Otherwise, when scientists have come, they’ve done so on their own, as individuals. Mortenson knows that some have taken the museum’s message personally. “Some have said to me, “You’re demonizing science,’” he relates.”

Not so, says Mortenson. If you’re really paying attention, it is sin that’s getting the blame: “[It's] human rebellion against the Creator that has produced all the evil.” Those who say otherwise, he adds, “are driven by an anti-Biblical agenda.”

And it’s not really cigarettes that get the blame for causing cancer and emphysema, it is the toxic chemicals in the smoke. That’s totally different.

Of course, the article discusses the science / religion aspect of things, and inevitably includes tidbits like this:

“It’s so beautiful,” says Patricia Princehouse, a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, looking across the lovely hillside gardens. “It’s insidious, really. It seems criminal to lead kids into a situation where they have to choose between science and God.” Princehouse, a Dayton native and Harvard PhD, helped found the lobbying group Ohio Citizens for Science and she’s involved in efforts to make sure that evolution continues to be taught in schools. Like a number of the conference attendees that I’ve talked to, she offers me her own faith perspective. “In the Catholic tradition,” she says, “you know God through His word and His works. This [Young Earth creationism] discounts His works.”

Criminal? Strong word. Richard Dawkins referred to that sort of religious indoctrination as mental child abuse, and was greeted with a storm of indignant condemnation for his trouble.

I would add that the indoctrination of small children into some rather unsavory beliefs plays a big role in the Catholic tradition no less than for the fundamentalists. Not to mention the other intellectual delights of that tradition, like the infallibility of its leader and the eternal damnation of anyone who questions its authority. I do not think the Catholics really have much basis for lecturing the fundamentalists about sound theology.

The article also found an atheist to interview:

Just when I’m beginning to think that paleontology is like a foxhole (i.e. according to the battlefield canard, there are no atheists there), I catch up with Jason Rosenhouse. Actually, Rosenhouse isn’t a paleontologist; he’s a math prof at James Madison University in Virginia. But he’s a vocal opponent of the teaching of creationism and intelligent design and is a contributor to an evolution blog called “The Panda’s Thumb.” He’s also an atheist.

A couple of years ago, when he was first learning all that he could about creationists and creationism, he sat in on a speech given by Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis. Afterward, he cornered Ham in a hallway and, “I was telling him why everything he was saying was wrong,” Rosenhouse explains. “He said I was very arrogant. And I said, ‘No, arrogant is standing in front of an audience and pretending you know anything about science.’”

But, Rosenhouse admits, he was arrogant back then. These days, he has a more wry attitude toward the object of his, well, objections. This is his fourth visit to the Creation Museum, he announces pleasantly–a frequency that suggests that, in his own way, Rosenhouse is fascinated.

In his own way, Rosenhouse is fascinated by it. If you can manage the suspension of disbelief and really immerse yourself in the YEC view of the world, you can begin to understand why so many find it so appealing. This stands in stark contrast to the theistic evolutionist view of the world, which I do not understand at all.

I have moderated my tone over the years, at least when I am actually attending creationist conferences. I used to be a bit brash, which is emotionally very satisfying but probably not the best way of conducting oneself in this setting. On the other hand, I definitely don’t regret lecturing Ken Ham on the nature of arrogance!

The article concludes with some more of my wit and wisdom:

Miller hopes the visit will help others understand, as he says, “the power of the message, how well it’s being presented, and how many people are responding.” He’d like to motivate his colleagues to get involved when issues such as intelligent design come up in secondary schools. “And,” he says, “I’d like them to think about how to convey our message in a way that’s not condescending, not overbearing, not alienating.”

It’s an approach that Rosenhouse seems to have embraced. Waiting for the bus at the end of the visit, I mention to Rosenhouse and the National Council for Science Education’s Eugenie Scott that I saw him in one exhibit room patiently discussing something–fruit fly evolution?–with a couple of older teens. It looked to me like the teens were itching for a debate. Rosenhouse explains that an Associated Press reporter had been interviewing him about the museum’s “misleading claims,” the teens overheard the conversation, and came over to question him. They weren’t being confrontational, he says. “It was all very polite.”

“Did you make any headway?” asks Scott as our bus wheezes to a stop.

“Not a dent,” he says.

In the interests of heading off the inevitable comments about framing and accommodationism, let me reiterate the view I described in this post. Different modes of discourse are appropriate in different venues. There is a place for calm, civil discussion, and there is a place for angry polemics. Both have a role to play in advocating for evolution, and more generally for a more secular society. Endless hand-wringing over scaring away moderates is silly and uncalled for. But that doesn’t mean screaming and yelling are always and everywhere the wisest things to do.

Comments

  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    November 11, 2009

    Different modes of discourse are appropriate in different venues. There is a place for calm, civil discussion, and there is a place for angry polemics. Both have a role to play in advocating for evolution, and more generally for a more secular society.

    Aha! A relativist! Obviously you believe that all approaches are equally valid. [/snark]

    Congrats on getting a fairly prominent spot in the Cinci mag article!

  2. #2 Ann Klein
    November 11, 2009

    There is no mention of dragons or dinosaurs in the Bible. That these Creationists include them in their displays and talk about them drowning in the flood is heresy. The idea that they have to come up with some excuse for things in the real world that don’t match the Bible should tell them that their “science” has flaws. It would make more “sense” to say that the fossils are incorrectly identified as dinosaurs and are “really” some kind of hippo or elephant. Of course, sense, has nothing to do with it.

  3. #3 386sx
    November 11, 2009

    … a third of parents listening to a “liberal” sermon while their son, sitting in the pew next to them, fiddles with a cell phone.

    Yes people, please give the utmost respect and reverence when in the presence of sanctimonious self-professed god channelers. Please do not fiddle with the cell phones when they are sermonizing.

  4. #4 HP
    November 11, 2009

    There is no mention of dragons or dinosaurs in the Bible.

    Um, Anne. Here’s a quick search of the Blue Letter Bible KJV concordance. Long story short, there are nineteen mentions of dragons in the Bible, in both old and new testaments. This makes dragons better attested than the resurrection of the dead. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ham insists on dinosaurs on the ark just to support biblical mentions of dragons.

    I realize that the Bible isn’t as well-written or entertaining as some other Bronze Age texts, like the Illiad or the Ramayana or Chuang-Tzu (all recommended reading), but it’s not as rough going as the Epic of Gilgamesh, so it’s got that going for it. I’ve always maintained that atheists know the Bible better than the average Christian, but you’ve let me down.

  5. #5 llewelly
    November 11, 2009

    “Did you make any headway?” asks Scott as our bus wheezes to a stop.

    “Not a dent,” he [Jason Rosenhouse] says.

    Jason, you can’t know, in so little time, what effect you had. Where will those people be in 5 years, or in 10 years? How many will be creationists? That’s what you need to know to judge the effect of your words, and you don’t know that.

  6. #6 Created Warrior
    November 11, 2009

    Actually I love AIG and the museum. I donated alot of money to see that museum built. I know I will be rewarded for that in heaven. I know that I helped put a dent in Satan’s plans and a thrin in his side to slow him down. That makes me smile knowing that children do have a choice between good and evil and that the truth is making a comeback.

    Since kids are brainwashed with evil at school, (teaching of socialism, evolution, sex, gayism, etc.) we as church members and parents can counter that negative culture at home by monitorijng what the kids are being taught at school and explaining why evolution is wrong , anti-Church, and why it’s in the textbooks and why the Binle is right and the ultimate book tjey should refer to in any situation, especially a school situation.

    believe it or not, we are makimg headway. If you don;t believe it, try teaching evolution in a Mississippi high school class. The students will pass the test on evolution just fine., Theur answers will follow the lesson in the book to a “T”. It’s their hearts that are doubting what’s the book says. Many students just put down the correct answer according to the book to satisfy the teacher. it doesn’t mean they actually believe evoltuion ever happened.

    Even when I was in college (10 years ago) our physical science survey professor got laughed at by three out of four students in the class when he tried to force us to accept evolution. Our faith and ou learning through the last 18 – 20 years at church countered his anti-faith message. Luckily he dropped the subject and moved on when he realized he was outnumbered three to one.

    This is the stuff dreams are made of an why if so dearly and financially support AIG and the creationism movement whenever I can. I know that the future of civilization depends on people who know the truth or our existance and the purpose behind our universe that God spoke into existance some 6000 years ago.

    I will continue to be a thorn in the side of evolutionary teaching until the day I die and I will do everything in my power to make sure that children know to reject this evil teaching with scripture when presented in the classroom.

    The war is far from over my friend. It has only begun.

  7. #7 Crazyharp81602
    November 12, 2009

    Only an absent-minded person like you, Created Warrior, will go ga ga over this kind of crap.

  8. #8 tresmal
    November 12, 2009

    “gayism”?

  9. #9 Owlmirror
    November 12, 2009

    “thrin”?

    “Binle”?

    “tjey”?

    “Theur”?

  10. #10 Hugh
    November 12, 2009

    “I would add that the indoctrination of small children into some rather unsavory beliefs plays a big role in the Catholic tradition no less than for the fundamentalists. Not to mention the other intellectual delights of that tradition, like the infallibility of its leader and the eternal damnation of anyone who questions its authority. I do not think the Catholics really have much basis for lecturing the fundamentalists about sound theology.”

    This is the sort of bull that iritates me the most. When you can’t even get the basics right, when all the information is a mere handful of mouseclicks away and yet insist on blathering on, positively delighting in your ignorance; indeed wearing it like a badge of honour a la Dawkins.

    Oh and by the by, what has evolution got to do with a secular society?

    Meh; you’re no better than the YEC fundies.

  11. #11 Damian
    November 12, 2009

    I notice, Hugh, that you declined to actually state where in fact Jason was wrong in that portion of text. Now, that may well be because you are so enraged that anyone would dare to compare Catholicism with Fundamentalism, though that cannot be the case, as many a learned individual believes that to be true. There is a certain irony is chastising others for not understanding something that you then decline to correct.

    It almost makes one suspicious of your motivations.

  12. #12 FastLane
    November 12, 2009

    Methinks ‘Hugh’ is really Bill Donohue. The faux outrage, the lack of any real substance.

    …or maybe he’s just your typical clueless catholic.

  13. #13 Tacroy
    November 12, 2009

    To be fair, the Pope isn’t infallible all the time. He just gets a special power that he can turn on and say “okay guys I’m infallible now”. It hasn’t actually been used for quite a while, and honestly probably never will be – just imagine the repercussions if he gets something wrong in God mode!

    Of course, this nitpicky argument is equivalent to saying “Jesus actually wore sandals, you’re no better than the YEC fundies!” You shouldn’t expect people to know the ridiculous minutiae of your crazy fantasy for every offhand remark. It’s bad enough that the Pope can be infallible at all.

  14. #14 Hugh
    November 12, 2009

    @ Damian:

    I would have thought it fairly obvious that I found the entire paragraph ‘wrong’ by the simple fact that I quoted it all.
    If he, and indeed you, are interested in understanding the Catholic Church’s views on education, science, faith, doctrine, papal infallibility, heaven and hell, philosophy, extraterrestrial life or anything else then, as I said in my original post, the answers are a mere handful of mouseclicks away. I suspect neither you nor he are that interested but yet see no problem in making judgement calls anyway. Such is the nature of ‘New Atheism’ it appears.

    “Now, that may well be because you are so enraged that anyone would dare to compare Catholicism with Fundamentalism, though that cannot be the case, as many a learned individual believes that to be true.”
    I would respectfully suggest you look up “argumentum ad verecundiam”

    “There is a certain irony is chastising others for not understanding something that you then decline to correct.”

    What irony? It would only be ironic if I failed to understand something that I was criticising others for not understanding.

    “It almost makes one suspicious of your motivations.” You do like your logical fallacies it seems.

  15. #15 Hugh
    November 12, 2009

    @ Fastlane

    Methinks Fastlane doesn’t know the difference between iritation and outrage.

    “…or maybe he’s just your typical clueless catholic.” I would hazard that I am more clued up than you’d ever hope to be.

  16. #16 Damian
    November 12, 2009

    If he, and indeed you, are interested in understanding the Catholic Church’s views on education, science, faith, doctrine, papal infallibility, heaven and hell, philosophy, extraterrestrial life or anything else then, as I said in my original post, the answers are a mere handful of mouseclicks away. I suspect neither you nor he are that interested but yet see no problem in making judgement calls anyway. Such is the nature of ‘New Atheism’ it appears.

    I understand many of the Catholic Church’s views on those issues, thank you very much. I was simply asking you to spell out exactly where Jason was wrong, which you manifestly refuse to do.

    By the way, I am not a “new atheist”, and even if I were, you have given me no reason to believe that it is necessarily a bad thing, your own seemingly irrational distaste for them, notwithstanding.

    I would argue that the official position (of the Catholic Church) is largely redundant if the reality of Catholicism — i.e. the way in which individuals, and particularly large numbers of them, practice their faith — is not in concord with that official position, or if the official position has not taken in to account how it will be implemented in real world, or even if not enough is done to correct serious error (examples are too numerous and horrifying to mention).

    It won’t do to simply hide behind some magical “official position” as a defense, in an attempt to wash your hands of those people/groups and their deeds. No other organization would get away with pointing to its official position as an absolute defense, so why should the Catholic Church?

    For example, it may not be the official position that evolution is in conflict with Catholicism — though even the official position is hardly ideal — but a sizable number of Catholics are either full blown creationists, or at the very least, don’t accept evolution as it has been described by science (42% don’t accept the scientific account of human evolution, according to Pew, for example). Also, the experience of many people attending Catholic schools can most politely be described as, horrifying. They were indeed told that they would burn in hell if they didn’t accept Catholic teachings.

    I would respectfully suggest you look up “argumentum ad verecundiam”

    And I would respectfully suggest that you attempt to understand what an “argument from authority” actually is before accusing others of committing that fallacy. There is no fallacy involved in arguing that many people who do understand Catholicism believe that its claims are no less justifiable, and that its mark on the world is almost certainly even more destructive, than that of the Fundamentalists.

  17. #17 One Brow
    November 12, 2009

    Damian,

    If you really understood Catholic dogma on these issues, you wouldn’t need to have the mistakes pointed out. I have not been a Catholic for 20 years, and I was irked by the blatant falsity in Dr. Rosenhouse’s remarks. I expect more from him.

    As for whether the Catholic Church should do more to make its doctrines better understood, that really doesn’t have much to do with the correctness of original remarks, from what I can see.

  18. #18 MartyM
    November 12, 2009

    What I don’t get is why so many people will gladly go to high school or college to get education in business, economics, social science, psychology, history, math, etc., but want to get biology (and some physics and astronomy) education from their church. Since when has any church been accredited for biology education or any other academic field for that matter? While some religious based universities such as Notre Dame have accredited biology programs by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as other organizations, many more (or most other) religious universities such as Liberty University, do not have biology programs, or have accreditation by a Christian organization like International Christian Accrediting Association. If some knows of a biology program from a religious University that has and accreditation by a non religious organization, please post it. But, nonetheless, I don’t equate education from a University with education from a church. More people attend church on Sunday than go through biology programs at a university. I guess those people don’t know the difference.

  19. #19 Tacroy
    November 12, 2009

    Where, exactly, is the “blatant falsity in Dr. Rosenhouse’s remarks”? I’ve looked at that paragraph claim by claim, and I see nothing that is blatantly false.

    … the indoctrination of small children into some rather unsavory beliefs plays a big role in the Catholic tradition …

    Ritual cannibalism (see the miracle of transubstantiation) is quite unsavory. If it wasn’t Jesus, we’d be disgusted at the behavior of those weird religious people.

    Not to mention the other intellectual delights of that tradition, like the infallibility of its leader …

    The Pope is not always infallible, but he can choose to be so. In the context of “intellectual delights”, it doesn’t really matter if he’s always infallible or not – all that matters is that the tradition states that one man can be infallible.

    and the eternal damnation of anyone who questions its authority.

    Honestly, I’m not even sure what makes you damned nowadays – but Martin Luther was definitely excommunicated because of his questioning of Church authority, among other things.

    I do not think the Catholics really have much basis for lecturing the fundamentalists about sound theology.”

    This is obviously an opinion, and so can’t be a “blatant falsity”.

  20. #20 naturalist
    November 12, 2009

    Created Warrior,

    You are so obviously dangerously deluded and perhaps even mentally ill it would be fruitless to even begin to criticize the enormity of your insane comments about evolution.

  21. #21 Michael the little boot
    November 12, 2009

    Created Warrior,

    Did you ever think it’s possible the reason these kids are laughing at professors is due to the indoctrination they’ve suffered at the hands of their idiot parents, rather than the failure of evolution as a theory? Probably not, and I’m not here to insult you (it’s already been done by others way better than I could manage, anyway). But, from the perspective of a person who was told throughout his childhood that evolution was ridiculous: I just hadn’t been exposed to the evidence. I’d been brainwashed into laughing at people as they patiently tried to explain the theory. If those kids you mentioned stopped laughing for half a second and listened, you’d probably be scared by how fast they’d flip sides.

  22. #22 Created Warrior
    November 12, 2009

    Oh, sorry I didn’t clarify. For those of you who accused me of being Catholic, you are wrong. I am Southern Baptist and proud of both the Southern and the Baptist.

  23. #23 Created warrior
    November 12, 2009

    Flip sides eh. I think the Bible mentions something about that. Somewhere it mentions that leaving one’s faith is worse than not having the faith at all .

    In short, betray your maker, and you are screwed!

  24. #24 Silver Fox
    November 12, 2009

    Sitting here looking at a bunch of midgets trying to decipher what the Pope and infallibility means is really low grade entertainment. What the Church says is that the Pope speaks infallibly when he issues a dogmatic statement on FAITH OR MORALS, to the UNIVERSAL Church from the CHAIR (EX CATHEDRA). Now that is a rare occurrence. In fact, I think the last time that happened was early in the 20th. Century when he declared that the Virgin Mary was ASSUMED into heaven BODY AND SOUL. Now that may sound counterintuitive, it may sound fanciful, it may sound who knows what. But, I don’t think anyone is going to undertake the job of trying to PROVE that it didn’t happen. You say you don’t believe it – fine, you say that no rational person would believe it – fine. Now, all you have to do is PROVE it didn’t happen and the whole idea of Papal infallibility is discredited. GOOD LUCK.

    You want to talk about irony? How about this; fundamentalists and atheists as strange bedfellows. You see they are the only two groups that talk about the literal interpretation of the Bible as if it were something real. That’s because most Christians and certainly almost all Catholics do not believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible. The Catholic Church teaches that the Bible is neither HISTORY NOR SCIENCE. So where is the literal interpretation of the Bible? Well, it’s in the minds of the fundamentalists who believe in the literal interpretation and the minds of the atheists who believe that all religious people believe it. Sorry fellows, it just ain’t so. The Old Testament is a conglomeration of various literary genres, including redacted Babylonian folklore and Assyrian myths. The New Testament is written in the form of Greco-Roman biographies.

    So, as St. Paul is reputed to have said: you guys need to come out of the darkness and into the light. I’ve had enough laughs for one night.

  25. #25 AL
    November 13, 2009

    Sitting here looking at a bunch of midgets trying to decipher what the Pope and infallibility means is really low grade entertainment.

    Thank you for the explanation that was already provided above by Tacroy. I guess pretending it wasn’t previously explained is helpful when you want to call people midgets and/or be needlessly redundant.

    Well, it’s in the minds of the fundamentalists who believe in the literal interpretation and the minds of the atheists who are aware of the fundamentalists as well as the non-literalists, but are not speaking of the latter group when criticizing the fundamentalists. Any suggestion that they do is a strawman.

    Fixed.

  26. #26 SLC
    November 13, 2009

    Re Created Warrior

    Gee, does Mr. Warrior mean atheist scientists like devout Catholic Ken Miller. Or is Mr. Warrior one of those Southern Baptists who considers the Catholic Church the whore of Babylon?

    By the way, it’s nice to have a moron like Mr. Warrior to laugh at. Makes up for the departure of Mr. Jon S who hasn’t been heard from in several years.

  27. #27 Hugh
    November 13, 2009

    @ Damian;

    “I understand many of the Catholic Church’s views on those issues, thank you very much.”

    I remain to be convinced by such an assertion. So far the evidence has been lacking.

    “By the way, I am not a “new atheist”, and even if I were, you have given me no reason to believe that it is necessarily a bad thing, your own seemingly irrational distaste for them, notwithstanding.”

    My quarrel is with the often sloppy, uninformed, beligerant, needlessly confrontational, self gratifying willful ignorance of ‘New Atheism’. It’s a matter of hate the sin not the sinner. I bear no animus to any individual.

    “I would argue that the official position (of the Catholic Church) is largely redundant if the reality of Catholicism — i.e. the way in which individuals, and particularly large numbers of them, practice their faith”

    Firstly it is simply ludicrous to apportion blame to the heirarchy of the Church for the ignorance or wrongdoing of some of its members unless it was directly complicit. Secondly you’ll have to show that ‘particularly large numbers’ are evolution deniers “(42% don’t accept the scientific account of human evolution, according to Pew, for example)”
    Well I don’t know where you got that figure but this quote from PEW’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey 2008 ‘At least seven-in-ten members of evangelical Protestant churches, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the evolutionary account as the best explanation for the development of human life, while large majorities of Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and the unaffiliated agree that evolution best explains the development of life on earth.’ paints a different picture. The actual figures were 58% agree 35% disagree and 7% don’t know. The problems with the understanding and acceptance of evolution are more to do with the education system and those who insist that accepting evolutionary theory must mean accepting an atheistic position.

    “Also, the experience of many people attending Catholic schools can most politely be described as, horrifying.”
    What all Catholic schools; a majority; a significant minority; how many people?

    “They were indeed told that they would burn in hell if they didn’t accept Catholic teachings.”

    If that happened, which I very much doubt, then they were lied to.

    “And I would respectfully suggest that you attempt to understand what an “argument from authority” actually is before accusing others of committing that fallacy.”

    I’m sorry but “…as many a learned individual believes that to be true.” is a perfect example of that logical fallacy

    “There is no fallacy involved in arguing that many people who do understand Catholicism believe that its claims are no less justifiable, and that its mark on the world is almost certainly even more destructive, than that of the Fundamentalists.”

    Which of course was not your original position but regardless you have merely served to compound your error by using another fallacious argument ‘argumentum ad populum’. You have to demonstrate that your position is valid; it is not sufficient to appeal to ‘many people’ even if they are ‘learned’. I could quite easily use the same argument.

  28. #28 naturalist
    November 13, 2009

    Created Warrior I apologize for insulting you.

  29. #29 MartyM
    November 14, 2009

    I used to be a Southern Baptist (a reluctant one), and I can confirm that the “Baptist bubble” is real. I left because not only pushing creationism, but because of the other logical fallacies I started recognizing more often, and the constant declaration that if I didn’t think and feel like I’m told to when I’m told to, then there is something wrong with me. A notion I flatly reject.

    @ Sliver Fox
    I don’t understand the notion that Jesus (and for some Mary) physically ascended into heaven. I always thought Heaven is spiritual place. I mean if one digs up an old buried Pope, would his body not be there? And if it’s a physical place, then the begging question is “Where is it?”. The onus to prove it is on you, the one claiming that “truth”, not on those who don’t accept it.

  30. #30 kevin
    November 14, 2009

    Created Dupe,

    I was raised Southern Baptist too. If you think they aren’t indoctrinating children and behaving as poorly as the Catholic Church, then I really suggest you study the history of your faith. Heck, the SBC rejected slavery less than 15 years ago.

    You can believe whatever you want. What you may not do is push that belief on anyone who does not voluntarily walk through the doors of your church (and anyone under the age of 18 does not voluntarily walk through those doors).

  31. #31 Silver Fox
    November 15, 2009

    Marty:

    “I don’t understand the notion that Jesus (and for some Mary) physically ascended into heaven.”

    It’s good that you don’t understand that because if you did you would be wrong. Jesus ascended into heaven; Mary was assumed into heaven. As the second person of the trinity, Jesus rose by his own power. Mary had no such power and so was assumed into heaven, not by her own power but by the power of God.

    “if one digs up an old buried Pope, would his body not be there?”

    I would hope so. I don’t think the Church has ever said that any old popes have risen to heaven or been assumed bodily into heaven.

    “the onus to prove it is on you, the one claiming that “truth”

    I accept heaven by virtue of my FAITH in the teachings of the Church. So, I’m not looking to prove anything and I’m not out looking for “truth”. Now, if you can’t accept it, that’s fine by me.

  32. #32 Silver Fox
    November 15, 2009

    “At least seven-in-ten members of evangelical Protestant churches, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the evolutionary account as the best explanation for the development of human life”

    You mean that 30% of these fundamentalist groups accept evolution? That’s amazing; I would have thought that none of them would accept it.

  33. #33 Michael the little boot
    November 15, 2009

    Wow, Created Warrior. Why do you people WANT to believe in someone who considers it a betrayal to follow the evidence? Why do you WANT to believe in a person who will “screw” you (you know, in the bad way) if you simply accept as true what it looks like happened? And why do you happily defend this tyrant? I’m just glad for the high probability no one like this God you describe actually exists.

    And you reason like a twelve year old. Apologies if you actually are that age.

  34. #34 oldfuzz
    November 15, 2009

    In the beginning, creationists cited the Bible as being literally true; i.e., the earth was created in seven twenty four hour days in 4,004 B.C. I was told repeatedly by many early creationists that the old fossils, especially the dinosaurs were created by God as fossils, that there were never any alive. Now they lived and children played with them. Is this an interpretation of the Biblical account?

    The Bible tells us the earth is flat; therefore, any creationist who says otherwise has interpreted the written word. The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were the first humans, but Cain and Abel married women from the land of Nod. Where did they come from? Were they human or did these two boys marry outside the species?

    If creationists are going to profess the Bible as literally true they must do so without variation which also means they must go to Genesis in Hebrew, its original language, where they will read, “When God began to create heaven and earth…” which leaves open the question as to whether there was something before.

    Then, of course, the YEC’s (young earth) might want to resolve their disagreement on the timing of this with the OEC’s (old earth) who accept the scientific view of the big bang occurring 13.7 billion years ago.

    Rather than argue with creationists, I prefer to encourage them to tidy up their own disagreements as to creation.

    Besides, if you believe in an almighty god, which would you believe: that god created every life form from scratch, atom by atom, or used existing forms as the basis for more advanced forms. The true fundamentalist creationist might insist that god created everything from scratch which means he would create everything particle by particle. The creationist belief is a belief based on a story. It’s a good story if you don’t take it as fact.

  35. #35 Owlmirror
    November 16, 2009

    Silver Fox:

    I’m not out looking for “truth”.

    Honesty noted.

  36. #36 sam
    November 16, 2009

    Hi guys,
    Let’s go back to the scientific methods.

    Can you SCIENTIFICALLY PROVE that there is no creator or God?

    As my understanding, if someone want to prove its absence,
    he or she should know absolutely everything in the universe.
    Can you?

    If you can, you were in the universe from the beginning of this universe and you should be able to see (or understand) everything in the universe from end to end.
    Then you should know the final destiny of the universe because you should prove it will not show up later.

    As I know then you are God because you live forever and know everything and you can control every destiny (because you should ensure that there will not be the Creator even in the future).

    So, the initial hypothesis is wrong now.

    Therefore, Removing God or Creator from science is not science any more because they BELIEVE NONEXISTENCE OF GOD WITHOUT ANY PROOF.

    Please be aware. It’s not the battle between science and religion. Darwinism is mere a belief, too.

  37. #37 James Sweet
    November 16, 2009

    As I know then you are God because you live forever and know everything and you can control every destiny (because you should ensure that there will not be the Creator even in the future).

    False, of course… though I admit that if one were to compare my grasp of logic with sam’s, I might seem god-like by comparison. But that’s not saying much, now is it?

  38. #38 James Sweet
    November 16, 2009

    You know, one of the most annoying things about people like sam is that they think we haven’t heard this worthless shit before. It’s so insulting… You really think we haven’t heard that tired fallacious line of argumentation? Really? Wow.

    sam, please google for “Russell’s teapot” just for starters. Trust me, every idiotic point you make in your comment has been addressed time and time again.

  39. #39 tresmal
    November 16, 2009

    Sam said:”Can you SCIENTIFICALLY PROVE that there is no creator or God?”

    No. Science is neutral on the existence of deities. There is, however, absolutely no evidence for one.

    “Darwinism is mere a belief, too.”

    No. Evolution is a theory that is almost universally accepted by scientists because, unlike the existence of God, it is backed up by mountains of evidence.

    I know he’s just a driveby and I’m wasting my time but sometimes…

  40. #40 Richard Eis
    November 17, 2009

    The creation museum doesn’t even try to do science. It is a lie to protect a belief.

    The entire creation movement was started because they didn’t “like” what science had realised. That is all there is to it.

    Can you SCIENTIFICALLY PROVE that there is no creator or God?

    But Sammy dear, we don’t need to disprove the existence of “a god or creator”. We only need to show that “your” god is made up nonsense, along with heaven and souls and all that rubbish.

    You would be wise to remember that.

  41. #41 Jon S
    November 18, 2009

    SLC, nice to see you haven’t forgotten me. Created Warrior actually made some good points. I also donate money to the museum, as well as other Creationist organizations, and I’m happy to see Creationism coming on strong, despite the indoctrination of Evolution in schools and all the evolutionary hate books by Dawkins and his ilk.

    MartyM: “What I don’t get is why so many people will gladly go to high school or college to get education in business, economics, social science, psychology, history, math, etc., but want to get biology (and some physics and astronomy) education from their church.”

    It’s not that we want to get a biology education from the church; it’s that we want the church to be equipped and have answers to questions evolutionists raise, and to defend scripture. If the church can’t answer evolutionary questions, then, naturally, students will get their answers from evolutionists- who are more than happy to indoctrinate the students, and that’s when they end up leaving the church.

    kevin: “I was raised Southern Baptist too. If you think they aren’t indoctrinating children and behaving as poorly as the Catholic Church, then I really suggest you study the history of your faith… You can believe whatever you want. What you may not do is push that belief on anyone who does not voluntarily walk through the doors of your church (and anyone under the age of 18 does not voluntarily walk through those doors).

    But Kevin, this is what atheists do every day. They disguise their philosophy as science and push their beliefs on whoever walks into the classroom. If you don’t like the church countering this, then perhaps the schools shouldn’t push evolutionary indoctrination in the first place.

    oldfuzz: “In the beginning, creationists cited the Bible as being literally true; i.e., the earth was created in seven twenty four hour days… The Bible tells us the earth is flat… The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were the first humans, but Cain and Abel married women from the land of Nod. Where did they come from?… Then, of course, the YEC’s (young earth) might want to resolve their disagreement on the timing of this with the OEC’s (old earth) who accept the scientific view of the big bang occurring 13.7 billion years ago… The true fundamentalist creationist might insist that god created everything from scratch which means he would create everything particle by particle. The creationist belief is a belief based on a story. It’s a good story if you don’t take it as fact.”

    Actually the Bible tells us that God made the heavens and the earth in six days (Exodus 20:11), and from its context, they would be ordinary days, not long ages. The Bible does not tell us that the earth is flat; that’s a myth atheists like to promote, but the church never held this view, and there were few who did. In fact it can be argued the Bible teaches the earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22). Adam and Eve were indeed the first humans, and Cain and Abel would have married their sisters since there was no one else to marry. I’d be very happy if YEC could come to agreement with OEC, however, in reality, there will always be conflict. The key is providing sound answers to show that the Bible is the reliable and accurate Word of God. Now I don’t know if God created everything particle by particle, but I do believe he created the heavens and the earth in six ordinary days, so how he created it is open to speculation. Creationist beliefs are based on true, historical events, and not ‘just a story’.

  42. #42 Richard Eis
    November 19, 2009

    But Kevin, this is what atheists do every day. They disguise their philosophy as science and push their beliefs on whoever walks into the classroom. If you don’t like the church countering this, then perhaps the schools shouldn’t push evolutionary indoctrination in the first place.

    Pointing out the patterns in nature is not indoctrination. I’m also a little confused why we shouldn’t teach biology…in biology. Perhaps we should just have hour long prayer sessions to our god of choice instead? and believe me its a choice.

  43. #43 Jon S
    November 19, 2009

    Richard,
    True, pointing out patterns in nature is not indoctrination. So if that’s the case, then you should be in agreement with teaching patterns in nature that support a young earth (or universe), rather than an old earth, right? You see, evolution isn’t really about observing patterns in nature at all, it’s about one world view against another. And I never said we shouldn’t teach biology in biology. I’m saying that if one is offended with those who disguise philosophy as science, then perhaps we should leave evolution out of the classroom all together because evolution is more about religious beliefs, politics and philosophy than about science. Actually, I’m not opposed to teaching evolution in the classroom as long as we can point out all the flaws as well. It’s just unfortunate that militant evolutionists don’t want students informed of those flaws.

  44. #44 Richard Eis
    November 20, 2009

    So if that’s the case, then you should be in agreement with teaching patterns in nature that support a young earth (or universe), rather than an old earth, right?

    No, because thats not what the universe looks like. We have trees older than 6000 years. In fact trees, rocks, ice layers, sediment layers, multiple radiometrics…all say old earth. The light in the sky says old too.

    The only thing that says young is a book from one minor sect of one religion. And ONLY because somebody went and counted a load of begets.

    because evolution is more about religious beliefs, politics and philosophy than about science.

    No, its about DNA, animal growth and change over time. Your body is made from exactly the same stuff as all the other animals, we even get the same diseases sometimes. That should tell you something about our connection to the animal kingdom.

    The creationists started politicising this issue. Now you complain that its too politically charged? How amusing.

    It’s just unfortunate that militant evolutionists don’t want students informed of those flaws.

    Evolution has been worked on for over 150 years. The major issues from creationists have been answered. We also know a great deal more about this scientific theory. Especially with our new knowledge about DNA and genomes. I think if it did have “major flaws” they would have been noticed, worked on, and the people involved would have won awards for overturning that bit of science. That is how science works. Or perhaps you think Einstein knocking Newton was a bad thing for science?

    I suspect it is more likely that you do not understand particular parts of evolutionary theory and therefore some bits probably seem contradictory and nonsensical on the surface. If you have questions or want to know why we say a certain thing happened you are free to ask. You will have to tell me what flaws for instance as i’m not actually aware of any that would undermine such an obvious and prevelant pattern in nature.

    Every part of evolution has reasoning and evidence behind it…and we are always happy to talk about why we know what we know.

  45. #45 Jon S
    November 20, 2009

    Richard: “We have trees older than 6000 years.”

    Trees older than 6,000 years aren’t a problem for creationists. I believe the earth is well under 10,000 years old, so trees confirmed to be over that age could pose a challenge.

    Richard: “…rocks, ice layers, sediment layers, multiple radiometrics…all say old earth. The light in the sky says old too.”

    Sorry Richard, but rocks, ice, sediment and light do not speak, therefore they don’t say the earth is old. People speak and say the earth is old. This is what I’m talking about; it’s a matter of interpretation, not evidence. The evidence doesn’t have a voice. The evidence must be interpreted by fallible human beings. Creationist scientists reject the old earth interpretations of rocks, ice, sediment and light, and have provided interpretations consistent with a young earth. (see the RATE: Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth).

    Richard: “The only thing that says young is a book from one minor sect of one religion.”

    Not true. Christianity isn’t a minor sect of one religion, and neither is Islam. Both teach creation. Islam teaches that Allah created the world anywhere from 4-8 days, and that man was created from the dust, and woman from man. The Creationist account can’t be marginalized as you suppose.

    Richard: “No, its about DNA, animal growth and change over time. Your body is made from exactly the same stuff as all the other animals, we even get the same diseases sometimes. That should tell you something about our connection to the animal kingdom.”

    You’ve said nothing that contradicts Creationism. We believe in DNA, animal growth and change over time, and we believe our bodies are made from exactly the same stuff as all the other animals.

    Richard: “The creationists started politicising this issue. Now you complain that its too politically charged? How amusing.”

    What’s amusing is you accusing Creationists of starting the politicizing. I, for one, don’t know who started the politics, but science has never been free of politics, and never will be.

    Richard: “The major issues from creationists have been answered.”

    Oh, really? We know for a fact that life only arises from life, and that life doesn’t arise spontaneously (as the Creationist Louis Pasteur proved), or do you deny that? Can you tell us how the first life form arose spontaneously? What about the left handed chiralty problem of amino acids? Are you aware of the problems the Big Bang theory has, and can you explain how they’ve been resolved?

    All the major Creationist organizations (AIG, CMI, ICR) have evidence for a young earth based on the scientific method. Can you refute them all to the satisfaction of the Creationist community?

    Richard: “I think if it did have “major flaws” they would have been noticed, worked on, and the people involved would have won awards for overturning that bit of science. That is how science works.”

    Scientists have noticed flaws, and they’ve been pointing them out for years, but they don’t win awards because secular journals won’t accept anything a Creationist writes because of politics and bias. The film Expelled did a fine job of exposing this.

    Richard: “I suspect it is more likely that you do not understand particular parts of evolutionary theory and therefore some bits probably seem contradictory and nonsensical on the surface.”

    I’m quite familiar with evolutionary theory, and I’ve been following and commenting on this and other evolution websites for several years now. Every time I look critically at the evidence for evolution I find there’s a lot of interpretation involved, and it boils down to a worldview rather than evidence or science.

    Richard: “You will have to tell me what flaws for instance as i’m not actually aware of any that would undermine such an obvious and prevelant pattern in nature.”

    We know radiometric and carbon dating are not accurate because things of known age cannot be accurately dated. How then can we be certain of ages which no one has observed? How can we be certain that one life form evolved into another if it was never observed? How can you be sure dinosaurs evolved into birds when the evidence is spotty at best, and even evolutionists such as Alan Feduccia dispute it?

    “Every part of evolution has reasoning and evidence behind it…and we are always happy to talk about why we know what we know.”

    Richard, it’s one thing for you to have an answer for everything, but it’s also another thing to convince everyone that you’re right and they’re wrong. And I’m not saying that you don’t have all the answers, but even if you do, I can assure you that you’re going to have to work hard to convince those who are skeptical of your claims. I’m familiar with most of the evolutionist talking points, and they’ve been refuted by creationists, but I’m sure that evidence probably won’t convince you otherwise because you have a certain worldview in which you already believe in an old universe. Any evidence to contradict that will be rejected by you based on your interpretation of the data. Likewise, Creationists reject the evolutionary talking points based on an interpretation supported by our worldview.

  46. #46 Richard Eis
    November 23, 2009

    Jon – Trees older than 6,000 years aren’t a problem for creationists. I believe the earth is well under 10,000 years old, so trees confirmed to be over that age could pose a challenge.-

    Tree rings show growth for each year which gives it a time print that it will share with trees in the same area. Petrified wood can also be examined the same way. By matching up the timeprint on the petrified wood with old trees still growing there will be some overlap of the timeprint (when both trees were still alive) but the petrified wood will contain a bit of the timeprint even further back. You can use this technique multiple times to go back beyond 10,000 years.

    Ron-it’s a matter of interpretation, not evidence-

    When the existence of light coming from galaxies more than 10,000 light-years away became apparent, it was decided that this meant to creationists that light had to have had different properties at the beginning (or light got “put there”) or some such nonsense. Thats not science. Interpretation is not “bending reality around your pet theory”.

    Ron – Not true. Christianity isn’t a minor sect of one religion, and neither is Islam. Both teach creation.-

    Pretty much all religions teach creationism. Thats kind of the point of god, to create the world. I should also point out that islam and christianity share a history. Also to find similarities is no surprise. Religion is religion is religion. Only the details change. I should also point out that young-earthism in England is considered by most christians to be on par with flat-earthism. Your particular christian beliefs are quite marginal. Christians all seem to believe different details, while of course still all being “true” christians. Not like those OTHER people calling themselves christians.

    -Ron-Scientists have noticed flaws, and they’ve been pointing them out for years, but they don’t win awards because secular journals won’t accept anything a Creationist writes because of politics and bias. The film Expelled did a fine job of exposing this.-

    Conspiracy theories? Oh dear. And expelled was the movie full of marching nazis I believe. Yes it must be terrible not doing science at a science establishment and being punished for it by SHOCK not getting tenure (To pick out one example i remember) Also wasn’t there that small point of the underhanded way they portrayed the scientists (after getting interviews under false pretenses of course). That and it got panned as a truly terrible “documentary” anyway.

    Ron – Oh, really? We know for a fact that life only arises from life…blah blah, blah.- In that entire paragraph, not one item refers to evolution or the age of the earth. Also the fact that we can’t answer every question does not mean you get to slam your deity du jour into any available gap. I could just as easily put in the flying spaghetti monster as you putting in Jesus.

    -Ron-Can you refute them all to the satisfaction of the Creationist community?-

    I have seen AiG and others “refuting” evidence. It is laughable at best. Richard Lenski’s putdown and people getting fussy over Richard Dawkins’ evolution code come to mind.
    (you have been keeping up with the literature so i assume you know about Lenski’s research and his dealings with AiG.)

    -Ron -We know radiometric and carbon dating are not accurate because things of known age cannot be accurately dated.-

    Slightly innacurate perhaps. But still WAAAAAYYY over 10,000 years. Thus your point is what?

    -Ron-How can we be certain that one life form evolved into another if it was never observed? -

    How can a detective know that a crime was committed if no-one saw the killing happen?

    I actually don’t care about old or young earth. I have no stake in it. I merely want to know the truth as its useful and interesting.

    You however have a religion to believe, which is probably a large part of your life. I’m guessing that you have a very large stake in keeping the young-earth idea alive. What would you have to change if you had to accept the old earth? What would you have to give up?

  47. #47 Godot
    November 23, 2009

    Created Warrior,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/education/14students.html?_r=1

    In 2007, a study compared U.S. states’ math and science education rankings to those of other countries as a whole. Mississippi was the lowest state in both subjects, on par with Bulgaria in terms of mathematics and Romania in terms of science.

    You must be so proud.

  48. #48 Richard Eis
    November 24, 2009

    Flip sides eh. I think the Bible mentions something about that. Somewhere it mentions that leaving one’s faith is worse than not having the faith at all
    In short, betray your maker, and you are screwed!

    And thus religion reveals itself. Try to leave and you are threatened with eternal torture. If that isn’t psychological abuse, I don’t know what is. Reminds me of men who threaten to terrorise their battered wives if they try to leave.

  49. #49 SLC
    November 25, 2009

    Re Jon S

    Well, Mr. Jon S is back to favor us with more baloney. Interestingly enough, Mr. Jon S has a comrade in arms calling himself Adiel O. Cochardo over at the Intersection blog. Link follows. Maybe Mr. Jon S ought to go over to Chris Mooneys’ blog and clutter up his comments’ section there with his nonsense. After all, birds of a feather should flock together.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2009/11/20/ray-comforts-anti-darwinian-travesty/

  50. #50 Breathing Meat
    November 25, 2009

    “A lot” is two words, not one. “Alot” isn’t a word. You wouldn’t say “Alittle” would you? Poor spelling signals to readers that the person writing is stupid.

  51. #51 Richard Eis
    November 26, 2009

    or its a spelling mistake.

    If that is your only complaint with his text, you have a great deal to learn.

  52. #52 Jon S
    November 28, 2009

    Richard: “Tree rings show growth for each year which gives it a time print that it will share with trees in the same area. Petrified wood can also be examined the same way. By matching up the timeprint on the petrified wood with old trees still growing there will be some overlap of the timeprint (when both trees were still alive) but the petrified wood will contain a bit of the timeprint even further back. You can use this technique multiple times to go back beyond 10,000 years.”

    John Woodmorappe factors in the existence of migrating ring disturbing events, and is working on developing his hypothesis further. While this is a challenge, a reliable model can be worked out through scientific principles.

    Richard: “When the existence of light coming from galaxies more than 10,000 light-years away became apparent, it was decided that this meant to creationists that light had to have had different properties at the beginning (or light got “put there”) or some such nonsense. Thats not science. Interpretation is not “bending reality around your pet theory”.

    Light having different properties was considered by some, but current Creationist models reject that, and instead allow billions of years to pass within 24 hours. Dr. Russell Humphreys is working on a Creationist model that addresses all the legitimate concerns. Of course the Big bang has problems of its own and relies on many untested and unprovable assumptions, such as the universe having no edge and no center. The fact that the CMB temperature is uniform everywhere is a problem for the big bang since there wasn’t enough time for the exchange of radiation to allow the temperature to reach equilibrium. The horizon problem also has not been decisively solved. As for ‘bending reality around your pet theory’, evolutionists do this as well, but I’m sure you’re ok with that. We can find many quotes from those who admit as much, such as Stephen Hawking and George Ellis: ‘…we are not able to make cosmological models without some mixture of ideology’. To think that secular science is free from ideology, philosophy, or religion is nonsense. Richard Lewontin also has a nice quote regarding a prior commitment to materialism: “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

    Richard: “I should also point out that young-earthism in England is considered by most christians to be on par with flat-earthism. Your particular christian beliefs are quite marginal. Christians all seem to believe different details, while of course still all being “true” christians.

    You keep trying to marginalize Creationist beliefs, but it won’t prevent the impact it’s having around the world. Once people understand that God’s word can be trusted in all areas of our lives, then that impact will multiply, which is happening. Of course not all Christians adhere to YEC, but I’d maintain that they’ve taken scripture out of context in order to make the Bible ‘fit’ with science. I used to be in that camp, but I feel that Creationist organizations have sufficiently addressed my concerns. Evolution cannot be forced into the Bible without compromising scripture.

    Richard: “Conspiracy theories? Oh dear. And expelled was the movie full of marching nazis I believe. Yes it must be terrible not doing science at a science establishment and being punished for it by SHOCK not getting tenure.”

    You may call it a conspiracy theory if you wish, but the facts remain that any Creationist science will be excluded on the grounds that it’s not secular. There are many examples that can be cited; Expelled presents only a few examples. Guillermo Gonzalez’ involvement in ID had a significant impact on the decision for him to be denied tenure. He wasn’t doing enough secular science, and his involvement in ID wasn’t bringing in enough money, which is the only real strike I can see against him. This clearly demonstrates that secular science has no place for YEC, OEC or ID. There’s no conspiracy theory; it’s reality. This is yet another attempt to marginalize anyone who doesn’t agree with what you believe, as if your beliefs were the ultimate source of truth.

    Richard: “In that entire paragraph, not one item refers to evolution or the age of the earth.”

    As for evolution, what do we observe, as opposed to what is predicted? We observe dogs giving birth to dogs, birds giving birth to birds, whales giving birth to whales, monkeys giving birth to monkeys, flies giving birth to flies, bacteria producing more bacteria, etc. We never observe reptiles turning into mammals, dinosaurs into birds, mammals into whales, apes into humans, etc. When we observe change, it’s a loss of information and never new genetic information that can give rise to new organisms, which is exactly what is needed if evolution were true. Pigs don’t fly because pigs don’t have the genetic material for feathers, or any other features necessary for flight. We never observe a genetic mutation that would account for the kind of change we’d expect if evolution were true.

    Richard: “I have seen AiG and others “refuting” evidence. It is laughable at best… Lenski’s research and his dealings with AiG.”

    I don’t know what’s laughable about it. Jerry Coyne says you can get the complex traits of citrate utilization evolving in ecoli by a combination of unlikely events. AIG maintains that Lenski’s research doesn’t show that it did, and actually supports the concept that complex traits cannot arise by random mutations. The bacteria are likely losing information, which wouldn’t lead to the kind of gain that would cause the bacteria to become a new organism.

    Richard: “Slightly innacurate perhaps. But still WAAAAAYYY over 10,000 years. Thus your point is what?”

    I stated my point: radiometric and carbon dating are not accurate. They’re based on unprovable assumptions. Since no one was there to observe events thousands or millions of years ago, scientists can only assume that their results are accurate.

    Richard: “How can a detective know that a crime was committed if no-one saw the killing happen?”

    This supports my case. The detective may be able to convince a jury that a crime happened and that the defendant is guilty, however there are many cases where it’s impossible to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if the jurors are certain, it’s still possible the defendant is innocent. There are many instances of innocent people being convicted of crimes, but this would be impossible if forensic research were flawless and without bias. So what does that tell us about a crime scene that supposedly happened thousands, millions, or billions of years ago? If uncertainty exists in our judicial system, how much more uncertainty exists when there were no witnesses, and the evidence has all but disappeared?

    Richard: “I actually don’t care about old or young earth. I have no stake in it. I merely want to know the truth as its useful and interesting.”

    I think we all have a stake in it. If God is real, and if he really created the universe as the Bible claims, then that’s vital to where we spend eternity. If you really want to know the truth, I’d suggest doing research on whether or not the Bible’s claims are true.

    Richard: “You however have a religion to believe, which is probably a large part of your life. I’m guessing that you have a very large stake in keeping the young-earth idea alive. What would you have to change if you had to accept the old earth? What would you have to give up?”

    It’s that’s true that Christ is what my life is about; however I’m interested in the truth, and not some fairy tail or myth, so if I’m wrong, I’d like to know with certainty. On the contrary, I’m quite certain that God has indeed revealed himself to us in his Word, and he’s told us the history of who we are and where we came from. There is much evidence to support the Bible’s claims, and I find them credible. As I’ve already stated, I used to believe in an old earth, but I’m now convinced that God did create the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them in six ordinary days (Exodus 20:11) less than 10,000 years ago. You’d have to convince me that God didn’t really mean for us to believe what he said that he did in order for me to change my mind. Did God really say that he formed man from the dust of the ground? Did God really judge the earth with a worldwide flood? Did Jesus really rise from the dead and conquer sin and death?

  53. #53 Jon S
    November 28, 2009

    SLC, thanks for the info. Adiel seems to be doing a nice job of his own.

  54. #54 Richard Eis
    November 29, 2009

    Well, thats quite a list. Let us begin.

    1) I look forward to reading Woodmorapp’s work later.
    2) Richard Lewontin is clearly a moron. Anyone with a lick of sense would realise that science and technology have made leaps and bounds forward. And at no point have we needed angels, demons or fairies to do these things. I have seen people trying to “research” paranormal things and the end result has never produced anything useful. Usually just a bit of statistical noise and the placebo effect.

    3)

    As for ‘bending reality around your pet theory’, evolutionists do this as well, but I’m sure you’re ok with that. We can find many quotes from those who admit as much, such as Stephen Hawking and George Ellis:

    Neither of whom are biologists. Also, my point was about the age of the universe. Not the components of the big bang.

    4)

    Once people understand that God’s word can be trusted in all areas of our lives, then that impact will multiply, which is happening. Of course not all Christians adhere to YEC, but I’d maintain that they’ve taken scripture out of context in order to make the Bible ‘fit’ with science.

    Christianity is hemorrhaging badly. Especially in Europe. I should also point out that ID lost and lost badly in the recent dover trial. Where it was pointed out that ID really, really wasn’t science.
    If by “gods word” you mean the bible, then i’m sorry but stories about magic apples and talking snakes do not make me want to trust your source. You are however quite right. The bible is incompatible with science.

  55. #55 Richard Eis
    November 29, 2009

    5

    There’s no conspiracy theory; it’s reality. This is yet another attempt to marginalize anyone who doesn’t agree with what you believe, as if your beliefs were the ultimate source of truth.

    Not doing science in a science job should get you penalised. As I am a programmer, if i suddenly decide i’d rather be a graphic artist my bosses are going to be less than pleased. I could be the most wonderful graphic artist in the world…but I am still not doing my job. It would not be a conspiracy if they tell me to take a hike.

    6

    AIG maintains that Lenski’s research doesn’t show that it did, and actually supports the concept that complex traits cannot arise by random mutations.

    No they squealed about how he wouldn’t let them see his original papers on the subject. He pointed out that he has the frozen bacteria at multiple stages of the experiment and that its not something you would want to just hand out. Therefore they can squeal all they want. He has “living proof” if you will. His experiments showed MULTIPLE, SEPARATE DNA changes which allowed organisms over time to take in a new source of food. Hardly likely to be degeneration.

    7

    As for evolution, what do we observe…

    For whale evolution (they are still mammals but i know what you meant) we have the fossils for the intermediate creatures. They speak for themselves (metaphorically of course ;)

    An animal which WE call a dog, will give birth to a slightly different version of itself. The question then is if this continued with each birth resulting in small changes when would the resulting puppy, stop being a “dog”?
    The answer is “When we say so”. You see kinds and species are pigeon holes for putting animals in. Nothing more. A completely made up way of categorising animals based on numerous factors because humans like to label things. We have half dino half bird fossils. Pointing out that they are “technically” birds because the bird features outnumber the dino features rather misses the point.

    New “information” can be created. That is obvious if you know anything about the properties of DNA. It should also be fairly obvious that if there were only “information” staying the same or being lost then we would all be mutated out of existence by now. Even under the 6000 years that you believe. I also can’t help noticing that this would imply that neanderthals should be better than us. Not to mention the other humanoid fossils we found. Same with other animals. A pattern of devolution would be fairly obvious through the recent fossil record don’t you think?

    8)

    I stated my point: radiometric and carbon dating are not accurate. They’re based on unprovable assumptions.

    Such as the measurable and known rate of radiometric decay in different materials? I don’t need to “be there” to see that something has happened. Or are you saying that Jesus didn’t exist because no-one alive today has seen him? Your obsession with “seeing is believing” can just as easily be turned against you. We have multiple lines of evidence from multiple sources for why we think the earth is old. Your original source of evidence for the age of the earth is that someone counted the begats in your holy book. There is no such thing as certainty…but there is strong evidence and weak evidence, and following weak evidence becuase it fits your philosophy is not usually a good idea.

  56. #56 Richard Eis
    November 29, 2009

    You’d have to convince me that God didn’t really mean for us to believe what he said that he did in order for me to change my mind. Did God really say that he formed man from the dust of the ground? Did God really judge the earth with a worldwide flood? Did Jesus really rise from the dead and conquer sin and death?

    No. No…and um…not really.
    A translation of a story, passed down by word of mouth about magic apples and talking snakes and a god who is all powerful and all knowing…except when the plot demands otherwise SAID that god formed man out of dust.

    The idea that the world was flooded completely is laughable. I mean how did the koala get to Australia without starving. What did tigers eat after they got off the boat? Do flowers survive under water? You think you can repopulate the entire 4 corners of the earth again in about 4000 years with the diversity we have in nature from one small boat of animals?
    Its completely ludicrous! Just think for a second what state the earth would be in and how long it would take to recover. It makes me want to use more exclamation marks just thinking about it.

    As for Jesus, if your story about creation and the flood is wrong then there is actually no need for Jesus to save anyone (from himself i should point out).
    Although the only logical conclusion from taking the bible literally should be that Adam and Eve were set up. Any right thinking christian who believes what is TRULY written in the bible shouldn’t be praising, but blaming god for what he’s done.

  57. #57 SLC
    November 29, 2009

    Richard Eis

    Mr. Eis is obviously unfamiliar with Mr. Jon Ss’ notions. Allow me to list a few of them which he has favored this blog with over the years.

    1. The Big Bang didn’t happen.

    2. Dark matter doesn’t exist.

    3. Dark Energy doesn’t exist.

    4. Tyrannosaurs were vegetarians before the fall.

    5. The human spine is absolutely perfect and any attempt to design some better is doomed to failure. This based on the testimony of an Australian chiropractor.

    6. There are powerful gravitational fields in the vicinity of the earth that dilate time such that 13.6 billions years in the rest of the universe only looks like 6000 years on the earth.

    7. There is not the slightest possibility of life anywhere else in the universe except on the earth.

    This should give Mr. Eis some idea of the type of mentality he is dealing with relative to numbnuts Jon S.

  58. #58 Richard Eis
    November 30, 2009

    Mr. Eis is obviously unfamiliar with Mr. Jon Ss’ notions. Allow me to list a few of them which he has favored this blog with over the years.

    Don’t worry i am quite well aware (generally of creationist oddities). He is merely practice on a long dead thread. I’m assuming the blog owner doesn’t mind.

    This is my first time seeing the wonder that is Jon S. He’s not bad actually. The name John Woodmorappe is new to me. And lets face it, new creationist arguments are rarer than a very rare thing. I notice the “you can’t explain the big bang so evolution is false” meme is quite popular at the moment among creos.

    Mind you the last creo i was talking to told me that birds couldn’t have grown wing nubs and then wings (a most novel “no new information” argument) so the evolution of dinos into birds was clearly false.

    Frightening…isn’t it ;)

  59. #59 SLC
    November 30, 2009

    Re Richard Eis

    Attached is a link to a web site which contains links to several articles discrediting Mr. Woodmorappe who is nothing but another liar for Joshua of Nazareth.

    http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/henke_on_woody.htm

  60. #60 Richard Eis
    November 30, 2009

    That was interesting. It seems that “you can’t tell me if its 32 or 34 million years so it must be less than 10,000″ is to his mind, a good argument.

    I had a quick look through the Noah’s ark book review. That was entertaining.

  61. #61 Jon S
    December 3, 2009

    Richard,

    Richard Lewontin is clearly a moron. Anyone with a lick of sense would realise that science and technology have made leaps and bounds forward. And at no point have we needed angels, demons or fairies to do these things. I have seen people trying to “research” paranormal things and the end result has never produced anything useful…

    Yeah, I get it. He’s a moron because A) you disagree with him, or B) he let the cat out of the bag. Typical atheist response; however it’s refreshing when atheists are so honest as he. As for the paranormal, I find it interesting that, according to a Harris Interactive Poll http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=982 those who attend religious services weekly or monthly are less likely to believe in ghosts, UFOs and the Theory of Evolution than those who attend religious services at least once a year or less.

    Christianity is hemorrhaging badly. Especially in Europe. I should also point out that ID lost and lost badly in the recent dover trial. Where it was pointed out that ID really, really wasn’t science. If by “gods word” you mean the bible, then i’m sorry but stories about magic apples and talking snakes do not make me want to trust your source. You are however quite right. The bible is incompatible with science.

    I’m aware that Christianity isn’t doing so well in Europe, and that’s very sad indeed, but it’s doing very well in other parts of the world, especially where Christianity is persecuted. And yes, ID lost at the Dover trial, but I don’t consider myself an adherent of ID. In the Dover trial they proclaimed that ID an Creationism were the same thing, which is false. Those who consider themselves Creationists tend to be opposed to ID, and those who are in the ID camp often do not adhere to Creationism, and many in fact believe in evolution. The judge had a real misunderstanding of the basic differences between ID and YEC. These camps may align themselves to oppose a secular understanding of evolution, but they are certainly not the same thing. Further, I agree with some of the judges decision based on the evidence provided, however I think he demonstrated a very poor understanding of the issue. The overall case was poorly handled by the defense and went in a direction I didn’t support. I think they would have been more successful presenting evidence that the earth is young, based on scientific data, and leaving religion out of it.

    Not doing science in a science job should get you penalised… It would not be a conspiracy if they tell me to take a hike.

    The conspiracy wasn’t that they told Gonzalez to take a hike and deny him tenure; the conspiracy was those who tried to deny him tenure based on his belief in ID. I think the university made a valid case against him simply because his involvement in ID was not fruitful for the university.

    He (Lenski) pointed out that he has the frozen bacteria at multiple stages of the experiment and that its not something you would want to just hand out… He has “living proof” if you will. His experiments showed MULTIPLE, SEPARATE DNA changes which allowed organisms over time to take in a new source of food. Hardly likely to be degeneration.

    Yes, degeneration. Not the type of change needed to change the bacteria into a more evolved or complex organism with new traits. Taking in a new source of food is consistent with Creationist beliefs. This can be seen in Genesis 1:29-30 when God pronounced the first diet to be vegetarian (as SLC has so graciously pointed out). After the curse both man and animals had a new source of food. This is not an example of evolution, unless you simply mean ‘change in an organism’, but then if that were the definition then that would make even me an evolutionist. The real question is the degree of change.

    For whale evolution (they are still mammals but i know what you meant) we have the fossils for the intermediate creatures. They speak for themselves (metaphorically of course ;)

    You mean we have ‘alleged’ fossils that are highly disputable.

    “An animal which WE call a dog, will give birth to a slightly different version of itself. The question then is if this continued with each birth resulting in small changes when would the resulting puppy, stop being a “dog”? The answer is “When we say so”.

    True, but dogs do not give birth to dogs with feathers, gills, scales, baleen, fingers, etc. Nor would we ever expect them to, which is the point. Evolutionists would predict new features to the dog’s offspring, not simply ‘change’ in its genetic code. Larger or smaller features is what we observe, but this is not the kind of change evolution would require to change a one-celled organism into a man.

    We have half dino half bird fossils. Pointing out that they are “technically” birds because the bird features outnumber the dino features rather misses the point.

    Which fossils are you referring to? I’d say any ‘half-dino-half-bird’ is highly debatable. There are many researchers who disagree with the kind of links you’re talking about, whether it’s Caudipteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, or Archaeopteryx. But even Archaeopteryx is generally recognized to be a true bird, and birds already existed when the ‘alleged’ missing links began changing into birds. Arguing for a half-dino-half-bird is a myth based on faith that dinosaurs changed into birds, and isn’t real science.

    New “information” can be created. That is obvious if you know anything about the properties of DNA. It should also be fairly obvious that if there were only “information” staying the same or being lost then we would all be mutated out of existence by now. Even under the 6000 years that you believe. I also can’t help noticing that this would imply that neanderthals should be better than us. Not to mention the other humanoid fossils we found. Same with other animals. A pattern of devolution would be fairly obvious through the recent fossil record don’t you think?

    Ah, yes, I like where you’re going with this, and I agree. The first and earliest humans were superior to us, and our genes are becoming more and more mutated and corrupt as we pass along our genes. I doubt you believe what’s recorded in the Bible, but there are many humans recorded that were ‘super human’. According to scripture Adam lived to be 930 years old, Enosh lived to be 905, Seth lived to 912, Kenen 910, Mahalalel 895, Methuselah 969, and Noah lived 950 years, etc. There were giants, such as Goliath, who was over nine feet tall. And despite not having access to electricity or modern tools, ancient people built impressive buildings, monuments, temples and cities, and they did great astronomical calculations. Ancient men was capable of great feats; for example, Ehud struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad (I doubt there’s a man alive who could have done that). I do believe there were Neandertals and other early humans that were superior to us in many ways. I also agree that ‘new information’ can be created, but of course that would require a creator. If it’s true that humans lived many hundreds of years, but now rarely reach 100, I’d say it’s quite accurate that we’re mutating out of existence, to some degree, which is exactly what we’d expect if man has only been around for about 6,000 years, and this is what we observe, but none of this would be predicted by evolution, which would actually predict us evolving into super humans and X-men, and there is no observational evidence of this.

    Such as the measurable and known rate of radiometric decay in different materials? I don’t need to “be there” to see that something has happened. Or are you saying that Jesus didn’t exist because no-one alive today has seen him? Your obsession with “seeing is believing” can just as easily be turned against you. We have multiple lines of evidence from multiple sources for why we think the earth is old. Your original source of evidence for the age of the earth is that someone counted the begats in your holy book. There is no such thing as certainty…but there is strong evidence and weak evidence, and following weak evidence becuase it fits your philosophy is not usually a good idea.

    There’s probably more evidence that Jesus existed than there is for anyone else who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago, and it’s hardly disputable. In fact I’d bet the existence of Jesus is probably questioned less than that of evolution by a wide margin. But again I question the multiple sources for why you think the earth is old. It’s impossible to confirm the ages you argue for; scientists can only interpret the evidence and accept it by faith. So then, why is it that when scientists proclaim the date of a fossil, a rock, a mountain, an ocean, or whatever, why does the date often get changed in the future? If scientists are accurate in the first place, then shouldn’t the dates and information stay the same? But if the dates change (as is often the case), then isn’t this testimony that the dates weren’t reliable in the first place? I can pull out an old science textbook and find outdated information that was accepted as fact at one point. But that shouldn’t be the case if your multiple sources were so reliable. And lastly, there is only no such thing as certainty if you don’t believe in God. But if God does exist, then there can be certainty, and he is the ultimate source of truth.

    A translation of a story, passed down by word of mouth about magic apples and talking snakes and a god who is all powerful and all knowing…except when the plot demands otherwise SAID that god formed man out of dust.

    Why not believe in talking snakes? Do you believe in talking birds? If you believe in evolution, then surely you believe animals can talk, for you must believe that man evolved the ability to speak. So why wouldn’t other animals be able to speak? If God is all powerful, then surely it’s not outrageous to think that he could have created talking animals. I’m not saying that he did, but it’s not unthinkable either. God did bring the animals to Adam in Genesis 2:18-21, but no suitable helper was found. We don’t know if any of those animals that God brought to Adam could speak or not. In Numbers 22:21-33 it says that God opened the mouth of a donkey so that it could speak to Balaam. So if you accept the premise that God exists and is indeed all powerful, then it’s entirely possible that he could have created animals to speak originally, and it’s possible for him to do a miracle and open the mouth of an animal to speak just as he did with Balaam.

    The idea that the world was flooded completely is laughable. I mean how did the koala get to Australia without starving. What did tigers eat after they got off the boat? Do flowers survive under water? You think you can repopulate the entire 4 corners of the earth again in about 4000 years with the diversity we have in nature from one small boat of animals? Its completely ludicrous! Just think for a second what state the earth would be in and how long it would take to recover. It makes me want to use more exclamation marks just thinking about it.

    Again, it’s only laughable if you don’t believe in God. But if God exists, and he recorded the history of man in the Bible, then a world-wide flood becomes very believable. But if you find it so ludicrous, tell me, what evidence would you expect to find if there was a world-wide flood? Billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth, including all the highest mountains, and this is exactly what we find. What’s really laughable is that scientists believe in a global flood on Mars!!! Isn’t that ludicrous?!? According to Roger Philips, “The total release of gases from Tharsis magma may have produced the equivalent of a global layer of water nearly 400 feet deep.” Mars has no liquid water at the moment that we know of, yet scientists speculate there was a Noachian flood, but reject the notion of a global flood on earth in which approximately 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by ocean. Very silly indeed!!! It makes me want to use more exclamation marks too. As for your specific questions, koalas may have had a another diet other than eucalypt leaves (such as acacia, leptospermum and melaleuca) when they came off the ark, and over time their diet adapted. Tigers probably ate the rabbits, chickens, or whatever small animals came off the ark, and maybe they supplemented their diet with grass and berries for a short time. Flowers may not survive underwater, but some of their seeds were bound to survive. And yes, you can repopulate the 4 corners of the earth in less than 4,000 years with diversity. Population studies have shown that an average population growth rate of 1/2% would generate the present world population in only 4,000 years.

    As for Jesus, if your story about creation and the flood is wrong then there is actually no need for Jesus to save anyone (from himself i should point out). Although the only logical conclusion from taking the bible literally should be that Adam and Eve were set up. Any right thinking christian who believes what is TRULY written in the bible shouldn’t be praising, but blaming god for what he’s done.

    You are quite right. In fact Paul took it a step further when he wrote to the Corinthians: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins (1 Corinthians 15:12-17). And to some degree I also agree that Adam and Eve were set up. God had a plan right from the beginning, and that story continues to unfold until Christ comes again. But you suppose that God is a monster and is sinister when actually he’s working everything out for the good of those who love him. Therefore I love and praise him because I know that this earth is just a temporary home, and that a better, permanent home in paradise will be waiting for me when I die. Pain, death and suffering are temporary, and for those who endure and persevere, we will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12). But even if you blame God and accuse him of being a tyrannical monster, you would do well to worship him too, for what good would it do you to despise him? Will that save you? I’d argue that it’s more reasonable to live and suffer for Christ now than to curse him for your sufferings. Job knew this, and despite the calamity that came upon him he remained faithful to God. Perseverance through troubles, trials and suffering is very difficult, but God promises great rewards and treasure in heaven for those who trust his plan and endure.

  62. #62 Jon S
    December 4, 2009

    SLC,

    Mr. Eis is obviously unfamiliar with Mr. Jon Ss’ notions. Allow me to list a few of them which he has favored this blog with over the years.
    1. The Big Bang didn’t happen.
    2. Dark matter doesn’t exist.
    3. Dark Energy doesn’t exist.
    4. Tyrannosaurs were vegetarians before the fall.
    5. The human spine is absolutely perfect and any attempt to design some better is doomed to failure. This based on the testimony of an Australian chiropractor.
    6. There are powerful gravitational fields in the vicinity of the earth that dilate time such that 13.6 billions years in the rest of the universe only looks like 6000 years on the earth.
    7. There is not the slightest possibility of life anywhere else in the universe except on the earth.

    You have mischaracterized much of what I’ve said.

    1) Firstly, I admit I don’t believe in the Big Bang. And, as I’ve pointed out in the past, neither do the secular scientists who’ve signed the Open Letter to the Scientific Community.

    2) & 3) I never said dark matter and dark energy don’t exist. My exact words were: “I don’t know if dark matter exists.” I have argued against it, and I don’t find the arguments for it compelling, but I didn’t outright deny it.

    4) And yes, it’s true that I believe man and animals were vegetarian before the fall as indicated by scripture (Genesis 1:29-30).

    5) I never claimed that the human spine was absolutely perfect. I have claimed that it was well designed, and I even cited examples, such as Physical therapist Robin McKenzie, who said “The lumbar spin is, instead, a most efficient means for supporting weight and providing for movement in erect, bipedal posture.” And Darwinist professor of osteopathy David Shuman said “… no question that the human back, given proper care and rightly understood, is an astonishingly effective mechanism… the human back is the hallmark of our true nobility and a major factor in the…supremacy of… man” You, however, have claimed your bridge engineers could design a better human spine, and that was back in 2007, and I’m still waiting for you to show me the results and not just talk.

    6) Sure, this is just as valid as coming up with dark matter and dark energy to explain the effects that couldn’t otherwise be explained.

    7) I’ll stand by that. Alien life outside of earth is purely an evolutionary concept invented by man and is in many ways a replacement for religion.

    And lastly, there’s no need for name calling.

  63. #63 Richard Eis
    December 4, 2009

    1) Then let me explain why I think he’s a moron. Lewontin stated “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life”

    Thing is. Science works. It has done wonders for our way of life, our health and our knowledge of the world. Why do i need psi powers when I can just pick up the telephone?
    For a scientist not to acknowledge this is patently absurd. Was it an extravagant promise made to go to the moon?

    2) There are mutiple reasons why the religious would be against the paranormal. Two off the top of my head are
    a) Religion is not exactly in favour of witchcraft and other such silly ideas.
    b) People leave religion some what and look for the next religion du jour. That was spirituality and being one with nature a few years back…
    The what, says little without the why when it comes to statistics.

    3) ID is religion masquerading as science. To say otherwise is to ignore it’s history, it’s motivations and it’s main proponents. I’m sure given time, it will continue to evolve away from “your” specific christian beliefs. But it will remain religion dressed in a labcoat.

    4) –Not the type of change needed to change the bacteria into a more evolved or complex organism with new traits.–

    Except for the new trait of eating a completely new food source? Just because it also happenened in the bible doesn’t stop it being compatibile with evolution. But lets talk about degrees of change for a moment:

    Firstly dogs have 5 fingers, they are just very short and we just call it a paw rather than a hand or foot.

    Animals of the same species can be massively different in size and shape (look at dog breeds) animals can also be a multi set of colours in the same species. Frogs start off with tails and then grow legs. Some squirrels have flaps of skin for gliding. Beak lengths can change dramatically in shape and size. The number of bones of the human hand change in number between individuals.

    If I wanted to make a rat that could fly, I could do it, it is well within the limits of change within a species that we have witnessed. Its just an extension of the finger bones, webbing between the fingers extended and a change to the brain to take advantage of being able to jump further and take less damage if falling. Then just keep breeding in that direction.

    Would it still be a rat? At what point (its a rat with wings!!!!) does it stop being a rat?

    5) –You mean we have ‘alleged’ fossils that are highly disputable. –

    Shouting “I dispute that” then telling everyone that there is dispute does not, i’m afraid make a good argument.

    Unless those fossils turn out to be cheap plaster casts i’m afraid you will have to show a little more evidence of forgery. They have also been reviewed by multiple sources. The literature is easily available. We have half whale, half land mammal creatures. Sorry, but thats it. Make of it what you will. Bone structure changes really aren’t that big a deal given time.

    6) –Arguing for a half-dino-half-bird is a myth based on faith that dinosaurs changed into birds, and isn’t real science.–

    It wouldn’t be surprising to find some half dino-half bird species after birds appeared in the fossil record as animal populations don’t die out immediately. There will always be a lot of overlap. But the transitional fossils creationist argument is too much for me to bother with at the moment on the blog due to being quite complex. Quite simply though, overlap doesn’t invalidate evolution.

    7) I believe the tallest man in the world at about 8 feet is seriously crippled as his bones can’t take his weight. “Bigger is better” is a childlike notion that does not conform to the real world. Also, I believe Samson was weakened when he had a trim. This is not serious journalism here.

    8)
    –but none of this would be predicted by evolution, which would actually predict us evolving into super humans and X-men, and there is no observational evidence of this.–

    I’m afraid evolution is more likely to lead us to something like in the film “idiocracy”. Evolution has no long term direction. There is simply “what breeds successfully carries on and what does not…doesn’t”. To think otherwise either means you are joking, or reaaallly don’t know evolution.

    9)
    –here’s probably more evidence that Jesus existed than there is for anyone else who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago–

    Egyptian and greek leaders beat him hands down in the evidence department, but that wasn’t really my point. The evidence for an old earth is far in excess in quality and number than evidence for Jesus yet you would choose one and not the other. In fact you go out of your way to condemn one, while letting the other pass without so much as a check. Why is that do you think?

    Dates will get small corrections over time as new evidence comes in. We zero in closer and closer. At no point does the data start swinging wildly around to less than 10,000 years. Also a 1% change in a timeline is not much. We are dealing with a 4.5 billion year earth in science. A million years here or there means nothing in this context.

    A god still offers no certainty because you yourself can never know god truly. It doesn’t matter how fantastic or perfect a god is if he is being examined by an imperfect creature. My problem has never been with god, but with those who say that they speak for him…and so, so many say that they speak for him.

    10)
    -Why not believe in talking snakes?-

    Lack of speaking parts in the snake’s mouth. Lack of intellect to know about apples, especially magic ones. Lack of knowledge of human language and structure in the average snake. A reason for the snake to do it in the first place? If god spoke through the snake…well, that would make sense. But wouldn’t do his image any favours. Ah, but you have admitted you think it was a set up too.

    11)
    I’m sure the earth could be flooded. The question is “was it flooded about 4000 years ago by your god, and only a small boatful of animals and humans survived to repopulate the entire earth?”

    What grass and berries would the animals eat? The stuff that has been rotting for over 40 days?

    Do you know how much meat carnivores eat? Do you know how many animals would actually mate just because they are the only two left. Animals below a population of 50 usually means extinction shortly. We would have lost most species within the year.
    It also doesn’t explain why you only get koalas around australia.

    Some seeds would survive, but you drowned entire rain forests. You killed every land mammal except for one tenth of the creatures needed to maintain a population close to extinction. You dumped hundreds of animals out of their natural habitat onto a mountain and expected them to survive, to repopulate the entire earth, even onto distant landmasses.
    Also this was only 4000 years ago. We had other civilisations then, why were they blissfully unaware of this flood? How did they survive it?

    -I know that this earth is just a temporary home, and that a better, permanent home in paradise will be waiting for me when I die.-

    A happy slave is still slave. A powerful master does not a good master make.

    I am deeply confused about what is so great about heaven. To get there you have to lose everything that makes you human…and all its attendent pleasures.
    Eternity would bore me. I doubt living forever would be as much fun as it first appears.

  64. #64 SLC
    December 4, 2009

    Re Richard Eis

    As Mr. Eis can see from Mr. Jon Ss’ response to my comment, Mr. Jon S has now moved the goal posts and engaged in an exercise known as the Racehorse Haynes defense. Since it’s a waste of time discussing anything with a nutcase like him, I will confine myself to commenting on his invoking of intense gravitational fields in the vicinity of the earth sufficient to dilate time by a factor of several hundred thousand. Of course, the only source for such fields is near the event horizon of a black hole and there is not a jot or a tittle of evidence for a black hole anywhere near the solar system, fortunately for us (c.f. the fairly recent book by astronomer Phil Plait, “Death From the Skies”). However, in addition to dilating time, such gravitational fields would also blue shift light coming from even nearby stars. Oddly enough, no such blue shift is observed.

  65. #65 Richard Eis
    December 4, 2009

    I didn’t realise that had a name. I fail to see how that technique would work on a blog for very long, where everything is recorded.
    Now Jon appears to be on the defensive somewhat. He can run off with the goal posts if he wishes. Let us see if he runs in circles or not.

  66. #66 SLC
    December 4, 2009

    Re Richard Eis

    Just in case Mr. Eis has never heard of Richard “Racehorse” Haynes (most people haven’t), he is a legendary criminal defense lawyer from Texas who has a rather unique style of defense in murder cases. It goes something along the following lines.

    1. My client was out of the country when the murder took place.

    2. My client was in the country but was in another town 1000 miles away when the murder took place.

    3. My client was in town but was 10 miles away when the murder took place.

    4. My client was in the vicinity of the crime scene when the murder took place but he didn’t pull the trigger.

    5. My client accidentally shot the victim but it was inadvertent.

    6. My client shot the victim in self defense.

    7. My client shot the victim who was a scumbag who deserved killing.

  67. #67 Jon S
    December 5, 2009

    1) Richard, I think Lewontin was very fair and accurate in his article and expressed a clear understanding of religion and ‘science’. Did you even read the article ‘Billions and Billions of Demons’? He provided a well thought out opinion and cited examples from E.O. Wilson, Lewis Thomas and Richard Dawkins to support the very claims you deny. If you think he’s a moron, then firstly, I think you’re taking him out of context, and secondly you don’t really understand what he was saying. He makes it clear that there’s a difference between science, scientific claims, and religion. But I’m beginning to think you don’t understand the difference, and this is a fault of science education in America. For example, which of the following uses the scientific method, and which is religious: A) examining a volcanic rock and determining that it’s age is 87.3 million years based on the results of radiometric dating B) examining this same rock and concluding from eye witness accounts that the rock was a result of a volcanic eruption occurring 47 years ago C) determining from years of research that a certain drug effectively kills cancer cells? I would argue that B and C are scientific, while A is based on a commitment to materialism and a rejection of religion, while adhering to a replacement for religion, which would in itself be a religion. In other words evolution is not science in the same sense that medicine is, and you’re failing to understand that distinction. With medicine, we’re using the scientific method to find cures that work in the present. Evolution, in contrast, is based on unprovable assumptions about the past, and in that sense it is nonsense, not science. Therefore I think Lewontin was very accurate in what he said, and your accusation demonstrates your own bias, which is itself an obstacle to the scientific method. Going to the moon, like medicine, is operations science, which is based on the scientific method, while evolution is not based on the scientific method because no one can observe the past. One can only observe the past indirectly, such as fossil evidence, but then interpret the results in light of unprovable assumptions. Lewontin also had a nice quote from Carl Sagan: “how little it takes to tamper with our beliefs, how readily we are led, how easy it is to fool the public when people are lonely and starved for something to believe in.” I think this explains why so many atheists believe in evolution; they’re starved for something to believe in, and since it’s a substitute for God, they find it appealing to their intellects.

    2) I agree that people leave religion somewhat and look for the next religion du jour, which is my point about why so many atheists find evolution so appealing.

    3) Evolution is religion masquerading as science. To say otherwise is to ignore it’s history, it’s motivations and it’s main proponents. It will remain religion dressed in a labcoat.

    4) Again, a loss of information can account for the ability of an organism to obtain a new food source. For example, the new lines have lost the ability to catabolize ribose, while other lines lost the ability to repair DNA. A loss of information, however, is exactly the opposite of what is needed if evolution were true. Evolution needs to demonstrate that new information has been added to the genetic code so that it moves toward a more advanced organism if we’re to accept that all life is related. To show that an organism is less fit to survive in the wild than its ancestors is hardly the type of evolution that’s in dispute. If the new bacteria were to compete with their wild-type counterparts in a natural setting, they would go extinct.

    Also, dogs don’t have 5 fingers. They have 5 digits; it would be inaccurate to define them as fingers when compared to a human hand. There are enormous differences. How a frog develops does not demonstrate any evolutionary link to an unrelated organism, such as a monkey. That link must be assumed in order for you to make that claim. Yes, some squirrels have flaps of skin used for gliding, but they haven’t evolved feathers and cannot fly in the sense that birds can. The skin was already there while feathers are not. Even if they had feathers, they still don’t have the necessary anatomy to fly. Grafting feathers to a squirrel would probably lead to a quick extinction. Birds have wings designed for flight, while squirrels have legs designed to run and climb. Yes, beak length in birds can change, but that doesn’t demonstrate that dinosaur scales evolved into feathers. The number of bones in a human hand changing doesn’t demonstrate our relationship to apes. And if a rat developed gills, I’d suggest that would be a good point to no longer call a rat a rat. I hope you’re beginning to see that change in an organism isn’t the same thing as the Theory of Evolution.

    5) Ok, so what fossils are you referring to that we can discuss? Andrewsarchus, Basilosaurus, Ambulocetus, for whale evolution, or Caudipteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, or Archaeopteryx for bird evolution? Creationists dispute the conclusion that they’re transitionary forms, and we can discuss them as you wish. For example, according to the World of Whales exhibit at the Aukland Museum in New Zealand, Andrewsarchus is claimed to be an ancestor of whales, yet all we know about Andrewsarchus is from a skull (the lower jaw wasn’t even found) and pieces of bone. Wikipedia uses terms such as ‘open to debate’, ‘assumed’, ‘regarded’, and ‘highly speculative’. These terms hardly make a case for anyone to conclude a relationship to whales, except that evolutionists need transitional forms to fill the missing links (in other words faith in evolution). And just as “I dispute that” doesn’t make a good argument, then neither does the claim “We have half dino half bird fossils.” or “We have half whale, half land mammal creatures.” You actually have to demonstrate that they are what you claim and cannot be anything else, and those claims can be disputed based on what we know about living whales, wolves, deer, or any other animal you’d like to bring into the picture. We can also dispute those claims based on anatomy and a lack of important fossils. There’s so much we can never know because we can’t observe the extinct specimens in their natural environment. Scientists make educated guesses based upon their prior belief that the species are related, and aren’t even questioning if there’s any relation in the first place. Many of the evolutionary connections you claim, you expect others to accept by faith, without discernment, skepticism, or presenting any concrete evidence. There is no clear progression from a land mammal to whale, just assertions. Where is the evidence you find so highly convincing? All the progressions I’ve seen are highly laughable at best, and I find it amusing how anyone finds them believable. You claim that bone structure changes aren’t really a big deal given time, but can you prove that, or is that just an assertion? Has anyone ever demonstrated that bone structure changes over time aren’t a big deal given enough time, or is that just based on faith that evolution occurred in the first place? What we actually observe in the real world is that bone structure changes are a big deal, and there’s a limit to what kind of change an organism can go through. For example, when we observe dogs, they have a range of size that their skulls can grow. Once they reach that limit, they don’t cross an evolutionary barrier, otherwise evolution would be proven. For example, if one claims that a wolf-like creature was an ancestor of whales, then why is it that we can’t breed dogs with skulls 12 feet across, and why can’t we find them in the wild? Why can’t we breed them to grow to the length of a bus? If evolution were true, we should be able to cross the barriers you assume they would have had to cross in the past and ignore what we observe in every day life. You’re making assertions with no proof, yet expect me to adhere to your belief system and abandon mine.

    6) Yes, I’m familiar with the evolutionary concept of overlap. Nonetheless, evolutionists themselves have been critical of some of the so called ‘transitional fossils’, such as Alan Feduccia. Some of the secular criticism does focus on the overlap. You see, evolution is so elastic that any criticism of it can be countered with unprovable assertions as you’ve just done. How does one prove, from an evolutionary point of view, that Protarchaeopteryx is not an earlier ancestor of Archaeopteryx? If Archaeopteryx, which is considered to be a true bird, lived 150-145 mya, and Protarchaeopteryx lived 124.6 mya, yet is considered to be a theropod dinosaur and more primitive, this should be counter evidence to the transitionary claims you adhere to, yet evolutionists wave the magic wand of overlap to explain away any criticism.

    7)

    I believe the tallest man in the world at about 8 feet is seriously crippled as his bones can’t take his weight. “Bigger is better” is a childlike notion that does not conform to the real world.

    Yet you believe bone structure changes really aren’t that big a deal given time?!? Don’t you see your own contradiction? I agree that ‘bigger is better’ is a childlike notion, yet you must believe that in order to make evolution work. Aren’t you trying to convince me that a land mammal such as a wolf or deer-like creature evolved the huge skulls and frame of a whale? Then you go on to say that bigger is better is a childlike notion because humans with genetic mutations are seriously crippled? Don’t you think if one of your ‘alleged’ whale ancestors became bigger they’d also be crippled, thus nullifying your very concept of them evolving into whales? But no, you wave your childlike notions aside so that you can cling to your evolutionary beliefs.

    8)

    I’m afraid evolution is more likely to lead us to something like in the film “idiocracy”. Evolution has no long term direction. There is simply “what breeds successfully carries on and what does not…doesn’t”. To think otherwise either means you are joking, or reaaallly don’t know evolution.

    I know what evolution demands, I know what evolution predicts, and I know what observation and reality demonstrates. To deny what we observe shows that you’ve accepted all the premises of evolution without critical thought. Evolution claims no direction, however, if you observe a line from the first organism that came from non-living matter right on up to man, one must conclude that you are joking if you claim there is no direction. An evolutionist must resort to ‘apparent direction’ that is only an ‘illusion’, while maintaining that there is no direction. Therefore I think it’s safe to conclude, that if evolution were real, we should expect man or some other organism to continue advancing and become more superior and dominant than man currently is. To say otherwise defies the logic of what we observe today if evolution were real. If evolution really has no long term direction, then it defies common sense that we would be here having this debate because our ancestors should still be swimming aimlessly in the ocean.

    9)

    The evidence for an old earth is far in excess in quality and number than evidence for Jesus yet you would choose one and not the other. In fact you go out of your way to condemn one, while letting the other pass without so much as a check. Why is that do you think? Dates will get small corrections over time as new evidence comes in. We zero in closer and closer. At no point does the data start swinging wildly around to less than 10,000 years. Also a 1% change in a timeline is not much. We are dealing with a 4.5 billion year earth in science. A million years here or there means nothing in this context. A god still offers no certainty because you yourself can never know god truly. It doesn’t matter how fantastic or perfect a god is if he is being examined by an imperfect creature. My problem has never been with god, but with those who say that they speak for him…and so, so many say that they speak for him.

    In your opinion, perhaps, but nothing more. According to Christianity, Jesus has a personal relationship with every believer. I would count every believer as evidence for the existence of Jesus. Whether or not there’s more evidence for an old earth or the existence and deity of Jesus is purely subjective, depending upon what you choose to submit or accept as evidence. You also choose one form of evidence over another, so why would you be critical of me for choosing one and not the other, or condemn one and not the other?

    I understand your point on dates on an evolutionary scale, but my point remains that no one will ever get the dates accurate; they’ll always be accepted as accurate until a more accurate date comes along, thus demonstrating that the previous dates shouldn’t have been relied upon as authoritative in the first place. When one proclaims a certain date for a fossil or rock, the one thing we can be certain of is that the date is not accurate, for there could be new data exposing the previous date as invalid. So how do you really know you’re getting closer and closer to the correct date, and not further and further away? Isn’t that an assumption? How can you know if you’re getting closer to the correct date if you don’t even ‘know’ what the correct date is in the first place? Whether you’re off by 1% or 99%, how would you know?

    Once again, if you accept the God of the Bible, then you can have certainty. The Bible claims that we can know God and that believers have a relationship with him (Galations 4:7-9, 1 John 4:7-9). And I maintain, if that’s true, then we can have certainty. Only unbelievers do not know God, which is why you have no certainty. And I don’t claim to speak for God, for I’m not a prophet. I do, however, have God’s word, and this is where he speaks to man. So if you want to know God, it would do you well to read his word and search scripture. If someone does claim to speak for God, them demand that they produce the prophecies and miracles as a sign.

    10)

    Lack of speaking parts in the snake’s mouth. Lack of intellect to know about apples, especially magic ones. Lack of knowledge of human language and structure in the average snake. A reason for the snake to do it in the first place? If god spoke through the snake…well, that would make sense. But wouldn’t do his image any favours. Ah, but you have admitted you think it was a set up too.

    Were you there to inspect the mouths of all snakes and animals at the beginning? If not, then you’re making an assumption based on what you know about the present day. Since no one else was there except Adam, Eve, and God, then they would be the ones qualified to present an accurate testimony of what happened, and Christians accept that the Bible is God’s word. This means that we believe Moses recorded what God told him or inspired him to write. Jesus accepted scripture as authoritative and as the Word of God (Matthew 4:4, Mark 14:7, Luke 4:8, John 12:14), which is why we believe it.

    11) Yes, the earth was flooded approximately 4,000 years ago by God, the maker of the heavens and earth, and it’s true that only the animals and humans on board the ark survived to repopulate the entire earth. I’m sure the animals would have eaten whatever was available to them when they came off the ark. They were on the ark for over 10 months, so it’s quite reasonable that some of the animals mated and could be used for food. John Woodmorappe’s Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study provides answers to many of your questions. Carnivores eat a lot, depending on the scenario we consider. God would certainly know how many animals would mate if they were the only two left, and considering that he brought the animals to Noah, it would make sense that he’d bring the ones that would repopulate the earth, otherwise they’d go extinct, and I’m sure some animals did eventually go extinct, which could be why we don’t see any dinosaurs today. We don’t know how many species survived or went extinct within the first year of getting off the ark. There could be any number of reasons why koalas are only found in Australia; just because you can’t imagine one doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Maybe you just need to think a little harder. And yes, here were other civilizations back then, however they were destroyed in the flood (Genesis 7:21-23).

    A happy slave is still slave. A powerful master does not a good master make. I am deeply confused about what is so great about heaven. To get there you have to lose everything that makes you human…and all its attendent pleasures. Eternity would bore me. I doubt living forever would be as much fun as it first appears.

    That sounds like something Satan would say. But no, we are not slaves. According to scripture we are no longer slaves, but are a son and an heir (Galations 4:6-8). Heaven is great because that’s the place where God dwells. And yes, you have to lose everything to get there, but not everything that makes you human, for we were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). You might be afraid that we’ll lose all our pleasures, but God promises us great blessings and rewards for those who trust in him. Eternity would not bore you because it will be an eternal party and celebration. I can’t imagine being bored in a place where there’s no pain or suffering, where there will be eternal peace and joy. But really, why would you desire the alternative? If there really is a hell, do you really think you’ll be happy there? If Satan really is a liar, deceiver and evil, what hope will you have being in his presence, and the presence of his legions of demons? Do you think Satan would make hell as comfortable for you as possible? Being separated from God forever really isn’t a very pleasant thought for me. I don’t think any of us can really comprehend eternal life in heaven with all the blessings we’ll receive, but that’s the direction I choose to go, and I take comfort in knowing where I’ll go when I die. I hope that you too would come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

  68. #68 Richard Eis
    December 6, 2009

    1,2 and 3)
    I decided Lewontin was an idiot based on the quote you gave me. If you took it out of context then that is your fault i’m afraid…not mine. I am british. My science education was good.
    I am sure your definition of science would surprise all those “scientists” who actually study evolution. Since it is the backbone of biology. In fact I find it surprising that all those other scientists haven’t noticed this apparent “fake” science and called it out. I wonder why that is? Probably for the same reason that forensics (which also peers into the past) is also a science.

    Some people don’t need to “believe” in things. Some people merely realise that evolution is an elegant, well fitting and useful theory.

    4) -If the new bacteria were to compete with their wild-type counterparts in a natural setting, they would go extinct. -
    Except they wouldn’t, since they are able to use a new food source. If anthing they are going to out compete the original bacteria. DNA can add to itself. Its one of it’s properties. There is research due that i am waiting for on this very thing, DNA growth and mutation.

    5)-I hope you’re beginning to see that change in an organism isn’t the same thing as the Theory of Evolution.-
    I was merely pointing out that a great deal of change within species is possible. Certainly more than enough to make “only microchanges happen” a laughable idea. And if large changes can happen, there is no reason why we can’t go from dino to bird over successive generations.
    Mammals already have gill slits. They form during embryo development. They have however lost all function and quickly disappear as the embryo grows. There are quite a few leftover bits from our ancestors in our DNA.

    5) -You claim that bone structure changes aren’t really a big deal given time, but can you prove that, or is that just an assertion?-

    As mentioned, the bones in the human hand. Numbers and sizes change JUST between individuals.

    -then why is it that we can’t breed dogs with skulls 12 feet across, and why can’t we find them in the wild? Why can’t we breed them to grow to the length of a bus?-

    We haven’t tried. They don’t exist in the wild because thats not the evolutionary line they took. The largest dog so far apparently had a neck 38 inches in diameter. Who knows how big you could get them with a bit more breeding.

    7) -Don’t you think if one of your ‘alleged’ whale ancestors became bigger they’d also be crippled-

    Whales live in the sea. Thats really all I need to say. Well, that and *facepalm*

    8) Evolution has generally meant more complex creatures ove time. Thats about it. And thats only really happened because
    a) Creatures started simple so there was only really one way to go.
    b) More complex creatures can take advantage of higher niches. Im afraid we are as likely to get dumber, as smarter. I could just as easily draw a line from the first bacteria…to a bacteria today…so? There are a lot more bacteria than humans. Success at breeding is all that matters. That intelligence tht you think is so important and special is a byproduct. Nothing more.

  69. #69 Richard Eis
    December 6, 2009

    9) -I would count every believer as evidence for the existence of Jesus.-

    The believers of Vishnu say otherwise.

    -So how do you really know you’re getting closer and closer to the correct date, and not further and further away? Isn’t that an assumption?-

    Because the dates don’t swing about. Because we date in multiple ways. I expect science to continually correct itself. That is why it has been so successful. This is also why proof and certainty are mathematical concepts. Not scientific ones. Also an innaccurate use of pi in calculations has never bothered mathematicians. It merely needs to be “good enough”.

    10) Really, really believing something does not make it more true. You still have magic snakes and apples. Something only found in your average myth and fantasy tales.

    11) -And yes, here were other civilizations back then, however they were destroyed in the flood -

    No they weren’t. Sorry, but they weren’t, we have been diging around old cities for ages. It would have been obvious if all these ancient cities suddenly got flooded. It would be obvious.
    Actually, re the koalas, I don’t need to come up with a reason for why koalas are only found in australia after a flood. I know its because there was no flood. YOU have to come up with a reason involving the flood because the whole floody thing is your idea.

    Another thing, what happened to all the knowledge? Noah wasn’t anyone special. When everyone drowned we would have lost loads of knowledge. I doubt Noah knew about ironworking or pottery.

    -Eternity would not bore you because it will be an eternal party and celebration. I can’t imagine being bored in a place where there’s no pain or suffering, where there will be eternal peace and joy.-

    Boredom is caused by doing the same thing all the time. It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest food ever…you wouldn’t want to eat it all day, everyday….for eternity.

    The things that make us feel pain are the same things that make us feel pleasure. That is why there is pain in the world. Because there is pleasure. They are not seperable.

    I don’t expect to go to hell. I expect simply to stop one day. I will then be recycled. As has been done for millenia. I am made of exactly the same things as other animals.

    -Being separated from God forever really isn’t a very pleasant thought for me.-

    As someone who has never known God, I can assure you it isn’t the least bit unpleasant. It is hard to miss something you never had though. I have been told however that going from christian to atheist is a bitter pill worth swallowing. You get your Sunday mornings back for one thing ;)

  70. #70 Chris Chambers
    December 8, 2009

    Re: Jon S and talking snakes
    “Why not believe in talking snakes? Do you believe in talking birds? If you believe in evolution, then surely you believe animals can talk, for you must believe that man evolved the ability to speak. So why wouldn’t other animals be able to speak?”
    Other animals (i.e., non-humans) can’t speak not only because of anatomical constraints but also because of genetic differences which underlie the neuronal circuitry controlling speech and language. The journal Nature recently published an elegant study on this: Nature 462: 213-217, 2009 (abstract available here: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v462/n7270/full/nature08549.html). This paper shows how small mutations in a particular gene can lead to a profound “gain for information” that results in a new characteristic (language).

  71. #71 Jon S
    December 9, 2009

    Richard,

    I decided Lewontin was an idiot based on the quote you gave me. If you took it out of context then that is your fault i’m afraid…not mine. I am british. My science education was good. I am sure your definition of science would surprise all those “scientists” who actually study evolution. Since it is the backbone of biology. In fact I find it surprising that all those other scientists haven’t noticed this apparent “fake” science and called it out. I wonder why that is? Probably for the same reason that forensics (which also peers into the past) is also a science. Some people don’t need to “believe” in things. Some people merely realise that evolution is an elegant, well fitting and useful theory.

    Resorting to name calling just because you don’t agree with someone, and then failing to understand the issue is typical of atheists and other evolution believers, but it removes any rational discussion and replaces it with emotion. I’m not denying that you had a good science education, but I am saying it was lacking, obviously. Do you agree with the scientific method? Do you know that Francis Bacon, a Creationist, is considered the one primarily responsible for its formulation? The scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating and acquiring new knowledge, and is based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence. It consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, formulating and testing hypothesis. However, observing the past is not possible, therefore it’s necessary to understand the distinction between observational or operational science, and origins science. Just because you were never informed of the differences during your education doesn’t mean that there are no differences or limitations. And whether or not any particular scientist would be ‘surprised’ to know that there’s a difference between studying the past v.s the present is open to debate, however I’m aware of scientists who do understand the difference, such as Dr. Sid Cole, Physical Chemistry, who writes “It is sometimes frustrating to realize that our theories of the origin of life cannot be tested by scientific methodology. We just cannot carry out the experiments necessary. We have to look outside of science for a basis on which to build our belief.” Everyone, you see, has some kind of belief system, and yours can easily be identified as evolutionism. You describe evolution as elegant, but that’s merely a self-serving term to make you feel good and comforted. Evolution is really based on extinction, competition, and survival of the fittest. What’s elegant about one animal ripping another animal to shreds and then devouring it? I think you find it to be a fitting and useful theory because it’s a replacement religion, thus making it a religion itself.

    Except they wouldn’t, since they are able to use a new food source. If anthing they are going to out compete the original bacteria. DNA can add to itself. Its one of it’s properties. There is research due that i am waiting for on this very thing, DNA growth and mutation.

    I’m sure an experiment could settle the argument. Regardless, you must have faith that changes to the DNA via growth or mutation will ever produce new features by random chance. It’s one thing for useful changes to arise, such as a new food source, but it’s a wholly different story to produce new features in an organism that were never present in the previous population.

    I was merely pointing out that a great deal of change within species is possible. Certainly more than enough to make “only microchanges happen” a laughable idea. And if large changes can happen, there is no reason why we can’t go from dino to bird over successive generations. Mammals already have gill slits. They form during embryo development. They have however lost all function and quickly disappear as the embryo grows. There are quite a few leftover bits from our ancestors in our DNA.

    And I’m merely pointing out that Creationists have always acknowledged that change within a species is possible; there’s observational evidence for that, such as dog breeding. I’m disputing that large changes can happen. You’re making claims and assertions that they’ve happened in the past, but you can’t point to anything in the present to justify that assertion, except faith alone that transitionary fossils are truly transitional fossils. And no, mammals do not have gill slits. What you call gill slits in an embryo may be called a ‘gill slit’, but they are not true gills and have nothing to do with gills. You’ve been duped by Haekel’s fraudulent drawings, and you’ve fallen for the old vestigial organ trick. Mammals do not pass through a fish stage during their development, and just because you can’t think of a function doesn’t mean there is no function. There are many examples of organs that were once thought to be vestigial that now have functions, such as the appendix, thymus gland, coccyx, pineal gland, and tonsils. After researching these organs we’ve been able to identify their functions, and with more research we may be able to identify functions in other organs thought to be vestigial. Even so, Creationists do believe our bodies will deteriorate over time, and that certain organs may lose function over time. However we deny that any such loss of function demonstrates an evolutionary link.

    As mentioned, the bones in the human hand. Numbers and sizes change JUST between individuals.

    The number and size of bones in the human hand has nothing to do with evolution. Humans already have bones in their hands, so increasing the number or size of bones over time is not the type of change needed to demonstrate evolution anymore than breeding dogs demonstrates evolution. Evolutionists think that any change at all demonstrates that a single celled organism could evolve into a man with these tiny changes, but the types of changes necessary are profoundly different to cross the barriers inherent in the genes of an organism.

    We haven’t tried. They don’t exist in the wild because thats not the evolutionary line they took. The largest dog so far apparently had a neck 38 inches in diameter. Who knows how big you could get them with a bit more breeding.

    Do you really think we can breed bigger dogs the size of a bus or a blue whale just by doing a little more breeding? Are you serious??? And you think the only reason we don’t have dogs that size is because no one has tried? Do you not realize that breeding has been going on for thousands of years, and we can’t accomplish what you claim? Humans have tried, but have failed because there’s a limit to the size a certain kind of animal can grow. If there was any possibility of producing giant dogs it would have been done by now by some scientist just to prove that it could be done in the name of evolution. But, as you said previously ‘bigger is better’ is a childlike notion that doesn’t conform to the real world. If a dog could be bred that big it would be seriously crippled as its bones can’t take the weight. And putting a dog in the ocean or on an island won’t put it on the path to becoming a whale, or even whale-like. They won’t develop fins, baleen, blubber, flukes etc.

    Evolution has generally meant more complex creatures ove time. Thats about it.

    I’m glad you’re admitting that the notion of evolution not being directional isn’t true.

    Because the dates don’t swing about. Because we date in multiple ways. I expect science to continually correct itself. That is why it has been so successful. This is also why proof and certainty are mathematical concepts. Not scientific ones. Also an innaccurate use of pi in calculations has never bothered mathematicians. It merely needs to be “good enough”.

    Weather the dates swing about depends on the techniques used. Some do swing, but those dates can be discarded if they don’t give the desired date. For example, a National Geographic article (How old is it) told us the oldest rock found on earth is 4.03 billion years, yet some rocks have been dated to be more than 10 billion years old. Therefore, since we ‘know’ rocks can’t be that old, it can be discarded and explained away. Still, you haven’t said anything to disprove my assertion that these multiple techniques are inaccurate and cannot be relied upon. If they were accurate and could be relied upon, then the dates would not change. We should expect them to be established fact. Science has been so successful because it relies upon scientific method, not because it is self correcting. This is merely a self-serving definition of science to allow you to feel good about being wrong. Dates can be manufactured to give the desired date. If this counts as good science, then I’m afraid that’s not good enough. There are many examples that can be cited. I pulled out an old dinosaur encyclopedia from 1985 which lists the Cretaeous period from 135-64 million years ago. However a current web search indicates it’s now between 145.5 – 5 million years ago. 10 million years suddenly disappeared, extinct! I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I went to the library and pulled out a textbook from 50 years ago. What age would you predict the cretaceous period to indicate 25 years from now?

    Really, really believing something does not make it more true. You still have magic snakes and apples. Something only found in your average myth and fantasy tales.

    And you really, really believe evolution is true. You really, really believe dogs can be bred to the size of a bus. You really, really believe dinosaurs grew wings. Sounds like fairy tails to me.

    No they weren’t. Sorry, but they weren’t, we have been diging around old cities for ages. It would have been obvious if all these ancient cities suddenly got flooded. It would be obvious.

    How do you know which cities were pre-flood v.s. post flood? As far as I know we haven’t found any pre-flood cities to investigate.

    Actually, re the koalas, I don’t need to come up with a reason for why koalas are only found in australia after a flood. I know its because there was no flood. YOU have to come up with a reason involving the flood because the whole floody thing is your idea.

    How about the obvious answer… they migrated to Australia. Either they didn’t migrate anywhere else, or they died out because they couldn’t adapt to other locations. The ones that made it to Australia survived.

    Another thing, what happened to all the knowledge? Noah wasn’t anyone special. When everyone drowned we would have lost loads of knowledge. I doubt Noah knew about ironworking or pottery.

    The knowledge survived in his family. Of course Noah knew about iron working. According to Genesis 4:22 there were humans forging all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron before the flood.

    Boredom is caused by doing the same thing all the time. It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest food ever…you wouldn’t want to eat it all day, everyday….for eternity.

    And you’re telling me that you wouldn’t be bored in hell for an eternity? The Bible paints a pretty gloomy picture of hell (2 Peter 2:4, Luke 16:23, Matthew 18:9).

    The things that make us feel pain are the same things that make us feel pleasure. That is why there is pain in the world. Because there is pleasure. They are not seperable.

    From a secular perspective perhaps, but not from a Biblical perspective. The Bible describes heaven as paradise (Luke 23:43), where nothing is destroyed (Luke 12:33). It’s an eternal dwelling place (2 Corinthians 5:1) where there will be peace (Isaiah 11:7-9, Isaiah 65:25). We will have spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-55) that are imperishable.

    I don’t expect to go to hell. I expect simply to stop one day. I will then be recycled. As has been done for millenia. I am made of exactly the same things as other animals.

    I hope you come around to your senses.

  72. #72 Modusoperandi
    December 9, 2009

    “You’ve been duped by Haekel’s fraudulent drawings, and you’ve fallen for the old vestigial organ trick. Mammals do not pass through a fish stage during their development…”
    Um. Gill slits:

    The skin folds in mammals, birds, and reptiles are sometimes called “gill slits”, but the true gill slits in embryonic fish develop into gills, whereas the “gill slits” in other vertebrates develop into the throat area and the bones in the ear. “Gill slits” exist in all vertebrates at some time in their embryo stage. When the vertebrate reaches a certain point in its life the skin folds fuse together and the bones form the trachea and ear bones. Except in fish where they form the gills themselves.

    “…and just because you can’t think of a function doesn’t mean there is no function. There are many examples of organs that were once thought to be vestigial that now have functions, such as the appendix, thymus gland, coccyx, pineal gland, and tonsils.”
    And you’re apparently using the gradeschool definition of “vestigial”. Vestigial doesn’t mean only “no function”, it’s“no or little function or not the original function”. You’re tail isn’t a tail, but it’s still a mount for muscles. You

    “Do you really think we can breed bigger dogs the size of a bus or a blue whale just by doing a little more breeding? Are you serious??? And you think the only reason we don’t have dogs that size is because no one has tried? Do you not realize that breeding has been going on for thousands of years, and we can’t accomplish what you claim?”
    Two problems:
    1) Gravity – land animals face a limit when gravity overcomes size (and where the energy required to get food and not be food becomes greater than that which can be taken in). A big elephant isn’t big compared to a not-all-that-big whale. Water-bound creatures don’t face the gravitational limit.
    2) Time scale – whales’ land-based ancestors-to-whales took millions of years. Animal husbandry started, haphazardly, thousands of years ago.

    “They won’t develop fins, baleen, blubber, flukes etc.”
    That’s odd, because the evidence shows that fish fins evolved to be arms/legs/feet/hands.
    “Therefore, since we ‘know’ rocks can’t be that old, it can be discarded and explained away.”
    Explaining the outliers is half the fun of science.
    “Still, you haven’t said anything to disprove my assertion that these multiple techniques are inaccurate and cannot be relied upon.”
    …multiple convergent techniques. Taking one compass bearing is so-so. Two from different positions is better. Three, better still. Do enough of them and you both get a reliable “fix” and, inevitably, some outliers.
    “If they were accurate and could be relied upon, then the dates would not change.”
    +/- a million years on a billion is pretty good accuracy. It’s not “right” but it’s close enough. No outlier shows a 6-10,000 year old universe.
    “There are many examples that can be cited. I pulled out an old dinosaur encyclopedia from 1985 which lists the Cretaeous period from 135-64 million years ago. However a current web search indicates it’s now between 145.5 – 5 million years ago. 10 million years suddenly disappeared, extinct!”
    Are you on “the drugs”? Seriously. People have been arguing about when one time period starts and ends for-friggin-ever, for reasons both logical and, um, not. It gets worse once you take into account that different countries have, historically, used their own systems. Time didn’t “disappear”. One epoch shrank and another grew. (And it’s not just for that. I remember being terribly confused when reading a radio repair manual circuit diagram that had a “thyristor”, which turned out to be the mostly-British term for an SCR or, for a time example, even Wikipedia has the start of WWII as “generally held to be September 1, 1939″)
    “Sounds like fairy tails to me.”
    I’ve read through the previous comments on this page and, excuse my French, but that’s because you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Start at In the Beginning: A Scientist Shows Why the Creationists Are Wrong. It’s old (and some of it, no doubt, is out of date. That’s not a bug, it’s a feature), but the Creationist arguments, to be honest, haven’t changed. They’re no less wrong than they used to be. There’s simply a lot more evidence of how wrong they are, now.
    “How about the obvious answer… they migrated to Australia. Either they didn’t migrate anywhere else, or they died out because they couldn’t adapt to other locations. The ones that made it to Australia survived.”
    And that’s why we’ve found no evidence of koalas (or penguins) anywhere near Turkey?
    “I hope you come around to your senses.”
    We (and I speak for everybody) hope you come to yours. If God is and God does then this is how He did, no matter what the authors credited as Moses thought.

  73. #73 Richard Eis
    December 10, 2009

    1) Calling a man an idiot for saying something i find idiotic, and EXPLAINING why I think that is idiotic is perfectly allowed. Your concern for his sensibilities has been noted. He is a big boy, i’m sure he will survive, and will have faced far worse criticism from the people in his field.

    2) Let me simply for you. You say that evolution isn’t science, scientists say otherwise.

    The movement of a cat as it pounces on its prey is elegant. Elegant doesn’t mean nice, cuddly or necessarily efficient actually.

    Evolution is not a religion under any definition of the word. You might need to believe that everyone believes really and are just pretending. Believe me you are mistaken.

    -Regardless, you must have faith that changes to the DNA via growth or mutation will ever produce new features by random chance.-

    You mean like the feature to handle a new source of food? Hmm, why does this sound familar? Could it be we already discussed this here perhaps?

    3) So, large changes can happen, but it doesn’t make new species? even if their bones change in size and number, their colours change, their hair changes, bits move around, new habits, everything. Nope, everything can change, but none of that is apprently enough to change species into something else. Such is this mysterious and powerful container called “species”.
    I have not been “deceived” about gill slits. Animal embryo growth is well documented. Haekel was about 100 years ago. It might shock you to learn that things have moved on a little since then. In fact the similarities in embryo growth between species is a point in favour of evolution.

    4) -Do you really think we can breed bigger dogs the size of a bus or a blue whale just by doing a little more breeding? -

    Yes, dogs are mammals. We have other mammals that size (elephants) with similar body structure (bones, lungs heart etc…) large dogs already exist without trying. Whats the problem? Ok, there might be issues that we don’t know about down the line, but poo pooing it without trying simply because YOU can’t believe it is silly. We have evidence that it can be done in mammals, we know its never really been pushed artifically, whats the problem?

  74. #74 sikiş izle
    December 10, 2009

    When I began to blog almost 5 years ago, I wanted to share stories of my graduate school experience with other women scientists in the hopes that we could form a virtual support network for each other. Back then it took me weeks to find even one other woman doing the same thing with a blog.

  75. #75 Richard Eis
    December 10, 2009

    5) -And putting a dog in the ocean or on an island won’t put it on the path to becoming a whale-

    Tell that to the sea otter, which is actually a type of weasel. It has webbed feet but uses thick fur rather than blubber and never needs to leave the water for land.

    Hey if a weasel can do it…

    6) -I’m glad you’re admitting that the notion of evolution not being directional isn’t true.-

    Lets clear this up before it gets silly, when i say directed, i mean directed by something with a long term goal.

    When i say that complexity arises, thats just evolution filling up niches, like a stream filling up a series of small lakes as it goes down a mountain.
    Obviously eventually a direction is going to appear. If i wander blindly in a forest, and happen to go east, i wouldn’t decide that this was my preordained direction. I also might end up wandering back west eventually.

    5) -yet some rocks have been dated to be more than 10 billion years old-

    Link to article please. I doubt its as simple as you say. Oh and 10 billion is still not 10,000.

    Also, correction is a massively important of science. It is not about being inaccurate in the first place, sometimes we just find new evidence for something.

    -What age would you predict the cretaceous period to indicate 25 years from now?-

    I would expect it to have moved by about 2-3 million years if at all. Barely anything. Science changes and improves as new evidence comes in. Get used to it. And be suspicious of anything which NEVER gets changed even a little. It probably isn’t science.

    6) -You really, really believe dinosaurs grew wings. Sounds like fairy tails to me. -

    If you look under the list of dinosaria, you will find that birds are included. So yes dinosaurs did in fact grow wings.

    7) -How do you know which cities were pre-flood v.s. post flood? As far as I know we haven’t found any pre-flood cities to investigate.-

    From wikipedia:
    By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, and identifiable by their pottery and personal items…

    If you want more pre-flood cities, let me know.

    8)-Either they didn’t migrate anywhere else, or they died out because they couldn’t adapt to other locations. The ones that made it to Australia survived.-

    And did anybody bother to check whether that type of animal migration is even possible, or was the answer pulled out of someones ass? I could say they grew temporary wings and landed on the one island that can support their diet, I would have as much evidence for it as for your idea.

  76. #76 Richard Eis
    December 10, 2009

    9) -there were humans forging all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron before the flood.

    Yes, but was he and his family? it’s pretty specialized and thats only two small examples of possible knowledge lost.

    10) -And you’re telling me that you wouldn’t be bored in hell for an eternity? The Bible paints a pretty gloomy picture of hell (2 Peter 2:4, Luke 16:23, Matthew 18:9).-

    Bored in heaven, bored in hell. Something to look forward to eh? You cannot scare a man with a place that he doesn’t think exists.

    So, how is neuroscience and psychology doing in it’s search for the human soul. It must exist, surely? All that research into the brain and how it thinks and still no soul. Just matter, behaving under the rules of physics. Surely not?

    No soul, no heaven. No matter how much you want your gray matter to be special.

    and this is the odd thing, why aren’t the creationists attacking neurobiology yet? Surely that undermines heaven far more than a few fossils?

    What about that recent study that showed that a god had the same beliefs as the believer. And if the believer changed their mind, their god’s views changed too. Funny that dontcha think?

    http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2009/11/creating_god_in_ones_own_image.php

    Oh and read this please. It will help you understand my meaning behind science being allowed to be wrong.

    http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.htm

  77. #77 Jon S
    December 10, 2009

    Modusoperandi,

    The skin folds in mammals, birds, and reptiles are sometimes called “gill slits”, but the true gill slits in embryonic fish develop into gills, whereas the “gill slits” in other vertebrates develop into the throat area and the bones in the ear. “Gill slits” exist in all vertebrates at some time in their embryo stage. When the vertebrate reaches a certain point in its life the skin folds fuse together and the bones form the trachea and ear bones. Except in fish where they form the gills themselves.

    It’s interesting that the little blurb you quoted makes a distinction between true gill slits in fish and the skin folds in mammals called ‘gill slits’. I know you’re making the connection that because all vertebrates have ‘gill slits’ or skin folds at ‘some time’ in their embryonic stage, that this somehow proves we’re all related. Um, I don’t think you realize how profoundly different the blueprints in the DNA are between different kinds of animals. The genetic code in the DNA tells the folds to form gills in fish, while a completely different set of instructions tells the folds in mammals to form the trachea and ear bones. As far as I know fish do not have the genetic coding for a trachea, and neither do mammals have the genetic coding for gills. You’re making a huge assumption based on modern mythology. You too have fallen for Haekel’s ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. However the human embryo never passes through a fish stage, or any other evolutionary stage. The human embryo progresses toward a fully functional human right from the start. We can just as easily interpret embryonic development to demonstrate that God chose similar blue prints because that was the most efficient design, and yet when the animals develop, they become very unique in their form and structure.

    And you’re apparently using the gradeschool definition of “vestigial”. Vestigial doesn’t mean only “no function”, it’s “no or little function or not the original function”.

    Hmmm, could it be that the definition you quoted has been manufactured and is self-serving so as to continue the evolutionary propaganda? Regardless of how you wish to define a vestigial organ, the important issue is whether or not the organ lost all or most of its original function through evolution. For example, the appendix is not a vestigial organ. Firstly it’s it is a very vital organ. But by applying your self-serving definition, it is a vestigial organ because you could claim little function, or, assuming evolution, that it has lost its original function. In other words it’s a judgmental term. But if we don’t assume evolution, the definition of a vestigial organ loses much of its meaning. In fact Douglas Futuyma has stated that vestigial structures make no sense without evolution. Now this isn’t to say that modern humans haven’t lost function when compared to the first humans; in fact I would suggest that our bodies are losing function rather than gaining new functions, which is the opposite of what evolution would predict. If humans were created by God and did not evolve, then an organ like the appendix cannot be considered vestigial, because it’s function in humans has nothing to do with how it’s used in other animals. The appendix has many useful immunological functions.

    Two problems: 1) Gravity – land animals face a limit when gravity overcomes size (and where the energy required to get food and not be food becomes greater than that which can be taken in). A big elephant isn’t big compared to a not-all-that-big whale. Water-bound creatures don’t face the gravitational limit. 2) Time scale – whales’ land-based ancestors-to-whales took millions of years. Animal husbandry started, haphazardly, thousands of years ago.

    Are you aware that dinosaurs have existed in the past, and that some of them were larger than the blue whale, such as Seismosaurus? Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus were much, much bigger than elephants. Therefore, if land animals face a gravitational limit, then perhaps you think that all those dinosaur fossils are a hoax? Somehow, if you believe in evolution, then you must believe a small animal, such as the first one that sprouted legs and walked onto land surpassed the gravitational limit and became these giant dinosaurs. So then, it shouldn’t be hard for breeders to breed dogs the size of a blue whale, if evolution were true. Or at least breed them bigger than what they are now. It would be interesting to see a study to show whether or not the largest dogs have become bigger over the last 100 years or so. I think the tallest living dog is only 42.2 inches. You’d think that after thousands of years of breeding we could get something a little bigger, if evolution were true.

    That’s odd, because the evidence shows that fish fins evolved to be arms/legs/feet/hands.

    No, the evidence shows that fins have always been fins, arms have always been arms, and legs always legs.

    Explaining the outliers is half the fun of science.

    I’m glad you think science is fun, as well it should be. But speculation remains speculation, not fact.

    …multiple convergent techniques. Taking one compass bearing is so-so. Two from different positions is better. Three, better still. Do enough of them and you both get a reliable “fix” and, inevitably, some outliers.

    Your claim to reliability is based on faith and is impossible to prove. For example, are you suggesting they just haven’t done enough compass bearings on the Cretaceous period yet? I’d think that by now they would have found a reliable fix by now.

    +/- a million years on a billion is pretty good accuracy. It’s not “right” but it’s close enough. No outlier shows a 6-10,000 year old universe.

    If the earth is under 10,000 years old, then I’d say the accuracy is not good enough.

    Are you on “the drugs”? Seriously. People have been arguing about when one time period starts and ends for-friggin-ever, for reasons both logical and, um, not. It gets worse once you take into account that different countries have, historically, used their own systems. Time didn’t “disappear”. One epoch shrank and another grew.

    You’re making my point for me. How can you claim that the dating techniques are accurate if scientists keep arguing over which dates are correct, and that the dates change depending on the country? I’m trying to demonstrate that no one will ever be able to reliably date anything as long as there is no way to verify the accuracy, such as an eye witness account. No scientist can observe a rock being formed millions or billions of years ago, nor was anyone alive to confirm when the Cretaceous period began or ended. Fossils don’t come with dates stamped on them. The scientific method falls apart without observation. All we can do is run experiments and then ‘interpret’ the data based on certain unprovable assumptions about the past. And if those assumptions are incorrect, then the interpretation will also be incorrect. Why is this so hard for evolutionists to grasp?

    I’ve read through the previous comments on this page and, excuse my French, but that’s because you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Start at In the Beginning: A Scientist Shows Why the Creationists Are Wrong. It’s old (and some of it, no doubt, is out of date. That’s not a bug, it’s a feature), but the Creationist arguments, to be honest, haven’t changed. They’re no less wrong than they used to be. There’s simply a lot more evidence of how wrong they are, now.

    Shouting that Creationists don’t know what we’re talking about is a poor argument. You base your beliefs on your own worldview in which you’re already convinced that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. This is a belief and commitment to naturalism. The evidence conforms to your belief. As I’ve demonstrated, dating techniques are inaccurate and can never be validated. Your claim that they’re in the ballpark is bogus. You cannot validate that outside of your belief system. All you can do is get like-minded scientists to agree with you. Unfortunately for you, there are enough scientists who do not share your worldview, and instead accept that God created the heavens and the earth in six literal day less than 10,000 years ago. These scientists have demonstrated that the dates you place your faith in are wrong, and they have done plenty of research to demonstrate that scientific data supports a young earth. You’ve rejected their data based on your own worldview. You can dig up a dinosaur bone and date it all you want, but in the end you will never be able to prove that the bone is 75 million years old and not 4,000 years old. The soft tissue, blood vessels, bone matrix and connective tissues turning up in dinosaurs thought to be 65 million years old are turning up all the time now that scientists are searching for them. This only makes sense if the dinosaur bones are only a few thousand years old. This evidence demonstrates that your dates are wrong.

  78. #78 Richard Eis
    December 11, 2009

    The genetic code in the DNA tells the folds to form gills in fish, while a completely different set of instructions tells the folds in mammals to form the trachea and ear bones.

    Which is telling don’t you think that embryologically we share similarities with fish. Am I really to believe that your god thinks its efficient to start mammals and fish off in the same way, using the same gill cells to grow completely different organs? Is that really an example of “special and individual creation”? or is it an absolutely telling sign of evolution?

    Vestigial organ has a specific meaning. Modus is correct, complaints of propaganda are unwarranted. The appendix is vestigial in our bodies, not in other animals. Since in other animals it is used to help digest grass, something which humans have never done, I can hardly see it being an example of devolution. That is unless you think humans used to be like giant magical cows in the good old days of Methuselah.

    So large dogs aren’t possible, except they are because dinosaurs, except evolution hasn’t produced one so it must be unpossible, so evolution isn’t true? Let me know when you decide whether big dogs are really possible or not please. I’m confused.

    If the earth is under 10,000 years old, then I’d say the accuracy is not good enough.

    Evidence please. It needs to be stronger than the evidence we do have, multi-part, with all lines converging on an acceptable range. Let me know when you have it.

    This is a belief and commitment to naturalism.

    Belief? That the world is real and measurable? What heresy…

    As I’ve demonstrated, dating techniques are inaccurate and can never be validated.

    Then you will have absolutely no difficulty telling me the exact number of pi then. Give me that and I will give the exact time down to the milliontyeth-googleplextyeth second of when the cretaceous period started. Because lets face it, nothing less would be acceptable to you.
    I have already told you that you don’t need to compare dating methods to ancient times. We are well aware of decay rates from other methods.

    The soft tissue, blood vessels, bone matrix and connective tissues turning up in dinosaurs thought to be 65 million years old are turning up all the time now that scientists are searching for them. This only makes sense if the dinosaur bones are only a few thousand years old. This evidence demonstrates that your dates are wrong.

    Or it demonstrates that we learned something new about fossilization. Since before that the oldest soft-tissue proteins ever found came from a 300,000 year old mammoth, it hardly helps your claim of 4000 years anyway.

    Absolutely nothing…at all…points to 6000 years…not even your own claims once you examine them. But feel free to keep trying.

  79. #79 Modusoperandi
    December 11, 2009

    Pah! My comment went in to moderation.

  80. #80 sikiş izle
    December 11, 2009

    This is, again, one of my biggest problems with those who refuse vaccines. They frame the issue as solely “my child, my choice.” Which is fine, until you put that child in with the rest of society via school, or daycare, or even trips to McDonald’s.

  81. #81 Jon S
    December 11, 2009

    Richard,

    Let me simply for you. You say that evolution isn’t science, scientists say otherwise.

    No, only some scientists say otherwise. For if they admitted that evolution isn’t science, then they wouldn’t be allowed to teach it in public schools due to the misapplied separation of church and state clause. They would also have you believe they’re just ‘following the evidence’ wherever it leads.

    Evolution is not a religion under any definition of the word. You might need to believe that everyone believes really and are just pretending. Believe me you are mistaken.

    You’re wrong. Webster’s Dictionary defines religion as a “Cause, principle or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.” Evolution fits this definition; it’s a religious philosophy based on faith. In fact there are many scientists, doctors and professors who admit that evolution is a religion and not science. Here’s a quote from Michael Ruse, professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph, Canada: “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint—and Mr [sic] Gish is but one of many to make it—the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.” I’m sure you think he’s an idiot since you disagree with him, huh? Here’s a quote from Dr. Loren Eiseley: “After having chided the theologian on his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what after long effort, could not he proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past.” And how about Sir Julian Huxley: “A religion is essentially an attitude to the world as a whole. Thus evolution, for example, may prove as powerful a principle to coordinate men’s beliefs and hopes as God was in the past. Such ideas underlie the various forms of Rationalism, the Ethical movement and scientific Humanism.” In other words, evolution is a religion under the ordinary definition of the term. I also know chemists and biologists personally who agree that evolution is a religion. You may continue to live in denial, but the truth is getting out.

    You mean like the feature to handle a new source of food? Hmm, why does this sound familar? Could it be we already discussed this here perhaps?

    Yes, we’ve discussed this previously, and I pointed out that no new features were found in the bacteria. Yes, there is the ability to handle a new food source, but there is no new feature, organ, and no new information added to the genome. The features that allow the bacteria to handle a new food source were already present in the genome from the beginning. In fact genetic information may have been lost in order to use the new food source, but this would not demonstrate that a new feature has been developed by the organism.

    I have not been “deceived” about gill slits. Animal embryo growth is well documented. Haekel was about 100 years ago. It might shock you to learn that things have moved on a little since then. In fact the similarities in embryo growth between species is a point in favour of evolution.

    I would maintain that similarities in embryo growth is consistent with a Creationist belief and has nothing to do with evolution as you suppose.

    Yes, dogs are mammals. We have other mammals that size (elephants) with similar body structure (bones, lungs heart etc…) large dogs already exist without trying. Whats the problem? Ok, there might be issues that we don’t know about down the line, but poo pooing it without trying simply because YOU can’t believe it is silly. We have evidence that it can be done in mammals, we know its never really been pushed artifically, whats the problem?

    We do have elephants and other mammals, but you haven’t demonstrated that they evolved. You’re assuming that based on your religious philosophy. And as I’ve pointed out previously, dogs are still dogs, and after thousands of years of breeding we don’t have dogs with venom, feathers or baleen, nor do we have dogs the size of elephants. And it has nothing to do with not trying. If you can breed the worlds biggest dog, you can find fame and fortune, so there’s an incentive to breed bigger dogs. I know evolution is supposed to be slow, but come on now, let’s see something other than wishful thinking. What evidence are you referring to? I think you’re confusing faith with science.

    Tell that to the sea otter, which is actually a type of weasel. It has webbed feet but uses thick fur rather than blubber and never needs to leave the water for land.

    I never said a dog couldn’t adapt to an amphibious way of life. There are other animals we can point to that have adapted to an aquatic life, such as the marine iguana, but these animals have not ‘evolved’ into another kind of animal. As you pointed out the sea otter has thick fur and not blubber. But notice that fur thickness is already a feature or trait in the mustelidae family, so it’s not surprising that sea otters could adapt to life at sea. In other words the sea otter already had the genetic blueprint for fur. They didn’t evolve something they didn’t already have. And I don’t find it surprising that any mammal could develop webbed feet. That trait can be found in humans, but it doesn’t mean we’re evolving into a new type of life form. Whales and fish, however, have certain traits that dogs, deer and humans do not possess in their genetic coding. In order to demonstrate evolution, you must be able to show that an organism can develop traits never found in the normal population.

    Lets clear this up before it gets silly, when i say directed, i mean directed by something with a long term goal. When i say that complexity arises, thats just evolution filling up niches, like a stream filling up a series of small lakes as it goes down a mountain. Obviously eventually a direction is going to appear. If i wander blindly in a forest, and happen to go east, i wouldn’t decide that this was my preordained direction. I also might end up wandering back west eventually.

    Just don’t wander off a cliff…

    Link to article please. I doubt its as simple as you say. Oh and 10 billion is still not 10,000.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i1/dating_game.asp Here’s the link I was referring to. The point I’m trying to make is that we can’t rely on dating methods regardless of the dates obtained. You’re saying that the dates are off only by a small percentage point, but you’re assuming that they’re accurate at all. The rocks dated to be 3 billion years old could just as easily be only 3,000 years old, but you would never know because you’re convinced that the dating methods are authentic. Obviously there’s no evidence that could convince you otherwise.

    Also, correction is a massively important of science. It is not about being inaccurate in the first place, sometimes we just find new evidence for something.

    I know, I’ve heard this lecture before. Science is not about truth, it’s about being consistently successful at explaining the results of experiments. It’s more concerned with consensus than truth. Luckily for us, the Bible reveals truth, something science cannot do. I guess that makes the Bible more reliable than science, huh? Science originally was a way of discovering truth. But not anymore. Atheists love to shout that one of the strengths of science is that it’s not about being accurate, but about consensus. Hmmm.

    I would expect it to have moved by about 2-3 million years if at all. Barely anything. Science changes and improves as new evidence comes in. Get used to it. And be suspicious of anything which NEVER gets changed even a little. It probably isn’t science.

    Again, it’s fortunate for us that the Bible isn’t a science textbook. Science always changes, but God’s word never changes.

    If you look under the list of dinosaria, you will find that birds are included. So yes dinosaurs did in fact grow wings.

    This is a manufactured, self-serving list by people who believe dinosaurs evolved into birds. If you look under old lists you’ll find that birds are not included. So no, dinosaurs did not grow wings.

    From wikipedia:By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, and identifiable by their pottery and personal items…

    Okay, so what connection are you trying to make? Just because something was dated at 5500 BC doesn’t mean we should accept that date as accurate. Remember, science isn’t about being accurate. Creationists, however, have been revising ancient dates, such as Egyptian history, because secular history is way off (Unwrapping the Pharaohs: How Egyptian Archaeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline, by John Ashton & David Brown). I don’t think the date of 5500 BC would be agreed upon by Creationists.

    If you want more pre-flood cities, let me know.

    Yes, but you’re going to have to demonstrate that they are indeed pre-flood cities and not just ‘alleged’ pre-flood cities.

  82. #82 Modusoperandi
    December 12, 2009

    “They would also have you believe they’re just ‘following the evidence’ wherever it leads.”
    That’s what science does. It’s main problem is that it keeps coming to conclusions that are, well, uncomfortable.
    “Here’s a quote from Michael Ruse, professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph, Canada:”
    Now try it, and I can’t stress this enough, in the context of what he meant:

    “If people want to make a religion of evolution, that is their business, we should recognize when people are going beyond the strict science, moving into moral and social claims, thinking of their theory as an all-embracing world picture. All too often, there is a slide from science to something more.” ~ Michael Ruse fm talkorigins.org

    Using it out of context, as you (and the Creationist site you, most probably, got it from) is dishonest. Since this is the first time I’ve seen you use it, I’ll assume that you used it in good faith (they didn’t). If you do that again, I’ll call you a liar. Because that’s what you’ll be.
    “Yes, we’ve discussed this previously, and I pointed out that no new features were found in the bacteria. Yes, there is the ability to handle a new food source, but there is no new feature…”
    Being able to eat what it couldn’t before is a feature.
    “…organ…”
    If you’re expecting evolution to work in the kinds of leaps that spontaneously (or nearly so) come up with entirely new organs, you aren’t arguing against the ToE. You’re arguing against something else. Intelligent Design, probably.
    “…and no new information added to the genome.”
    Do you mean besides the new stuff that lead to it being able to eat something that it couldn’t before?
    “In fact genetic information may have been lost in order to use the new food source…”
    By analogy, you’re saying that, in order to learn how to drive, you have to forget how to walk?
    “I would maintain that similarities in embryo growth is consistent with a Creationist belief and has nothing to do with evolution as you suppose.”
    That’s because everything fits Creationism, no matter what that “everything” happens to be. Oddly, this is commonly an accusation made against the ToE.
    “We do have elephants and other mammals, but you haven’t demonstrated that they evolved. You’re assuming that based on your religious philosophy. And as I’ve pointed out previously, dogs are still dogs, and after thousands of years of breeding we don’t have dogs with venom, feathers or baleen, nor do we have dogs the size of elephants. And it has nothing to do with not trying. If you can breed the worlds biggest dog, you can find fame and fortune, so there’s an incentive to breed bigger dogs. I know evolution is supposed to be slow, but come on now, let’s see something other than wishful thinking. What evidence are you referring to? I think you’re confusing faith with science.”
    Adorable! Because nobody has bred giant, feathered dogs in thousands of years, whales’ ancestors couldn’t have evolved into whales in millions of years. Animal husbandy is breeding for a purpose. Nobody up to this point has found the concept of venomous canines to be a useful purpose, and I doubt very much that they have the time, knowledge or breeding population large enough to do it. We have a hard enough time planning for next year, much less next eon.
    “Whales and fish, however, have certain traits that dogs, deer and humans do not possess in their genetic coding.”
    It was in my earlier post that went into moderation (anybody have any idea how to free it from its tortured prison?), but fish have genes that code for smelling in water and whales have the genes that code for smelling in air and a bunch of fish/smell-in-water genes. Neither gives the whale any particular advantage. Fitting ToE, that’s why the water ones are all broken and the air ones are well on their way there. Note that you, too, have the smell-in-water genes. Yours are also broken.
    “http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i1/dating_game.asp Here’s the link I was referring to.”
    And, in accordance with ISO standard 6061 on internet protocol, I counter your AIG link with a bunch from talkorigins.org.
    “Obviously there’s no evidence that could convince you otherwise.”
    At worst that’s a tu quoque.
    “Luckily for us, the Bible reveals truth…”
    {citation needed}
    “…something science cannot do.”
    Oh, I don’t know. Science’s “a close enough model, for now, pending new data” has worked pretty well so far. It’s not great at the “absolutist 100% sure”, but it’s quite capable at filtering out “what is not”.
    “Atheists love to shout that one of the strengths of science is that it’s not about being accurate, but about consensus.”
    Really? All consensus means is that it hasn’t been falsified yet. As more people analyze more data in more depth and add to the consensus, it strengthens the theory.
    “Again, it’s fortunate for us that the Bible isn’t a science textbook.”
    Thank God.
    “Science always changes, but God’s word never changes.”
    Which means that was wrong (out of ignorance, not stupidity or malevolence, generally) still is wrong. Ussher’s chronology is no less wrong now than it used to be. The only thing that changed was we have a lot more data than he did.
    “This is a manufactured, self-serving list by people who believe dinosaurs evolved into birds.”
    Except that they didn’t used to believe that. At best, it was a hypothesis. The fossils, for lack of a better term, converted them.
    “If you look under old lists you’ll find that birds are not included. So no, dinosaurs did not grow wings.”
    By that logic, relativity doesn’t exist because nobody before Einstein mentioned it.
    “Remember, science isn’t about being accurate.”
    The hell it isn’t. Science is about being as accurate as you can be. “A close enough model for now” isn’t “let’s round off all the numbers”, it’s “this is the best explanation we have”.

  83. #83 Modusoperandi
    December 12, 2009

    Crap! I just had another comment go in to moderation.

    Anybody know how to get them out? Is there a secret handshake?

  84. #84 Jon S
    December 12, 2009

    Richard,

    And did anybody bother to check whether that type of animal migration is even possible, or was the answer pulled out of someones ass? I could say they grew temporary wings and landed on the one island that can support their diet, I would have as much evidence for it as for your idea.

    Dude, you can make the same allegations against evolutionists. They invent just so stories to explain everything from the flagellum to dinosaur/ bird evolution. Your explanation is typical evolutionist mumbo jumbo. For example, to explain how the flagellum evolved, one must invent a clever story, such as how it might have evolved from the TTSS (a priori reasoning). But Creationists could just as easily counter that by claiming the TTSS might be the result of the flagellum losing information. So your criticism can be applied both directions. The Krebs cycle is another example; researchers have produced two important studies describing how a real, complex, biochemical system MIGHT have evolved. It’s impossible to prove that they did evolve in that manner since we cannot observe the process that is assumed to have taken place in the past. And neither can we prove that a certain type of animal migration is possible today when we don’t know all the conditions in the past without making multiple unprovable assumptions.

    Yes, but was he and his family? it’s pretty specialized and thats only two small examples of possible knowledge lost.

    It’s impossible to say conclusively that Noah and his sons actually knew how to forge iron and bronze, but we can be confident that they at least new that could be done, for it’s certainly likely they were using tools made of iron to build the ark. Since they knew it could be done, it wouldn’t have taken long for them or their descendants to figure out the process.

    Bored in heaven, bored in hell. Something to look forward to eh? You cannot scare a man with a place that he doesn’t think exists.

    Honestly, I don’t mean to scare anyone into believing in God. I do, however, hope that you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss death and a possible afterlife so cavalierly. I’d think something as inevitable as death would be taken more seriously. If the God in scripture is real, heaven seems like the absolute best place to be.

    So, how is neuroscience and psychology doing in it’s search for the human soul. It must exist, surely? All that research into the brain and how it thinks and still no soul. Just matter, behaving under the rules of physics. Surely not?

    Yes, the soul does exist, but you’re mistaken to think that we can find it as though it’s a material object. The soul is spirit and is not made of flesh and blood. When the body dies, the soul will continue.

    and this is the odd thing, why aren’t the creationists attacking neurobiology yet? Surely that undermines heaven far more than a few fossils?

    I don’t follow your logic. Why would Creationists attack neurobiology? As long as real science is being done, then all is good. It only becomes a problem when you insert evolutionary assumptions into it.

    What about that recent study that showed that a god had the same beliefs as the believer. And if the believer changed their mind, their god’s views changed too. Funny that dontcha think?

    I don’t have any problems with the study, and I’m not surprised by the results. In fact I had always concluded that many people believe what they want to believe and, thus, they make god conform to their own personal philosophies. I think this study has confirmed what I already believe. In fact this is a criticism I have with false religions, including atheism. I think many people try to find religions they’re comfortable with- a religion that tells them what their itching ears want to hear. Unless God is speaking directly to a man, then we are left with having to try and rationalize what God’s will truly is, and many times we wander away from the truth and have God conform to our views, which is the wrong direction to go, because that means we’re trying to be god rather than humbling ourselves before God. I know the study claims that the subjects were almost entirely American Christians, but the term Christian can have different meanings. If one truly wants to know God’s will, then we need to search scripture. That’s the best strategy to avoid falling into the trap of having God conform his will to us. And even if we don’t like what scripture teaches, we need to humbly accept it because God is indeed sovereign, even if we don’t necessarily understand his will.

    Oh and read this please. It will help you understand my meaning behind science being allowed to be wrong. http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.htm .

    I read the article, but it only explained what I already know. Atheists tend to believe that there is no right or wrong, or truth or false or absolutes, and that’s okay with science. However there’s a reason why science is not about discovering truth anymore, and that’s because it doesn’t know what the truth is, not that truth doesn’t exist. For example, if we were omniscient and knew the exact age of a particular dinosaur fossil (more specifically, when the animal died), then we could document that in a journal and go on. But since we’re not omniscient, and since we don’t know the exact age, then we must do experiments and tests and hope the dates are correct. But we’ll never know if what we publish is accurate, inaccurate, or how far off we are. Future tests and experiments could change what was previously agreed upon to be a consensus, and you’d never know if you were any closer to the actual date. We can only hope we’re close to the true age, but you can’t claim that the actual date the animal died doesn’t exist. In order for there to be no truth, then we’d have to conclude that the fossils are imaginary. But if we’re certain that the organism existed and died, then there has to be a true date to the fossil, even though we don’t know what it is. Scientists can only speculate that their interpretation of the data is correct. You may claim this is what makes science great, but you should at least understand that what you find great about science is also its limitation. And since science has limitations, to which you and I both agree, then we should take comfort knowing that the Bible is the Word of God and can be relied upon for truth.

    Am I really to believe that your god thinks its efficient to start mammals and fish off in the same way, using the same gill cells to grow completely different organs? Is that really an example of “special and individual creation”? or is it an absolutely telling sign of evolution?

    Sort of, yes. If he thought it was more efficient to do it another way, then he would have done so. However he didn’t use the same gill cells to grow completely different organs. You’re using your evolutionary assumptions again. As I’ve stated previously, the folds in the human embryo have nothing to do with gills. Humans didn’t evolve from other organisms, so the folds have a completely different set of genetic instructions which tells them to become the trachea, ear bones, etc.. You, however, see similarities, and since you believe in evolution a priori, you accept this as evidence that they evolved. Whereas I believe God created man separately from animals, and see the similarities as God creating a basic blueprint. It’s kind of similar to building different types of homes. You could build a modest cabin, and across the street build a fabulous palace. No one would think that one evolved into the other just because we could find some similarities to them (they both have a roof and door) and the way you built them (from the ground up) and the tools used (hammers, nails, screws). You seem to be assuming that if God really did create animals in their various kinds that you would expect them to all develop without any similarities at all, but this type of thinking only demonstrates your bias and is an argument from personal incredulity.

    Vestigial organ has a specific meaning. Modus is correct, complaints of propaganda are unwarranted. The appendix is vestigial in our bodies, not in other animals. Since in other animals it is used to help digest grass, something which humans have never done, I can hardly see it being an example of devolution. That is unless you think humans used to be like giant magical cows in the good old days of Methuselah.

    My complaints of propaganda are warranted. As I’ve demonstrated, the term vestigial has little meaning without an a priori belief in evolution. The appendix is not vestigial. It has many useful and important roles in immunology, especially in fetal development:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v3/i1/appendix.asp

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v26/i3/vestigial.asp

    So large dogs aren’t possible, except they are because dinosaurs, except evolution hasn’t produced one so it must be unpossible, so evolution isn’t true? Let me know when you decide whether big dogs are really possible or not please. I’m confused.

    Okay, I’ll spell it out. You claim it is possible for dogs to evolve to the size of a blue whale, and that they could be bred to that size. However you claim that no one has tried breeding them to that size, and that they just haven’t taken that evolutionary line. I pointed out that breeding has been going on for thousands of years and we can’t get dogs much bigger than we could 1,000 years ago. I claim there’s a barrier to the size an organism can grow (no one has observed anything to the contrary), and that it cannot go beyond certain boundaries. You rightly claim that ‘bigger is better’ is a child-like notion that doesn’t conform to the real world. You claim that the bones would be crippled under the weight, and I agreed. Modusoperandi claims that if dogs became water bound they wouldn’t face a gravitational limit, and that limit could be crossed with millions of years of evolution. Modusoperandi claims that thousands of years of breeding is not enough time to expect any kind of noticeable change. I countered that if evolution were true, we should at least see some evolutionary results, other than various breeds of dogs, including larger and larger dogs over time. I also pointed out how your claims are contradicted by dinosaurs, which somehow (if evolution were true) overcame the gravitational barrier and avoided the crippling of their bones as well as other biological problems associated with giganticism. I pointed out that if evolution were true, then we shouldn’t see the apparent barriers that we observe in nature and that you even acknowledge. However, if evolution were not true, then that would explain why we don’t see giant dogs in the wild and why we can’t breed them to the size of Clifford or a blue whale. That would also explain why gianticism is a problem, and it would explain why more and more diseases are popping up in humans rather than us evolving into superior beings. In other words what we observe in real life explains why evolution is false. Conversely, what we observe doesn’t make sense if evolution were true. In order for evolution to be true, you must overcome the child-like notion that ‘bigger is better’ and place your faith in the hope that something we have never observed can happen, despite the absurdity of it. Again, if evolution were true, then ‘bigger is better’ wouldn’t be a child-like notion- it would be reality. In other words, I’ve been trying to point out all your contradictions. The reason you’re so confused is because you accept contradictory ideas about evolution.

    Evidence please. It needs to be stronger than the evidence we do have, multi-part, with all lines converging on an acceptable range. Let me know when you have it.

    I’ve already provided fossil evidence: soft tissue, blood vessels, bone matrix and connective tissues turning up in dinosaurs thought to be 65 million years old are turning up all the time now that scientists are searching for them. This only makes sense if the dinosaur bones are only a few thousand years old. Some other evidence is Helium in rocks, lunar recession, short-period comets, radiohalos in coalified wood, carbon 14. I’ve presented much of this evidence in previous articles, but evolutionists have ways around the data, so we can go back and forth on this. Here are a few articles you can check out. The last one summarizes a number of evidences.

    http://creation.com/the-moons-recession-and-age

    http://creation.com/kuiper-belt-objects-solution-to-short-period-comets

    http://www.icr.org/article/radiohalos-significant-exciting-research-results/

    http://www.icr.org/article/evidence-for-young-world/

    Then you will have absolutely no difficulty telling me the exact number of pi then. Give me that and I will give the exact time down to the milliontyeth-googleplextyeth second of when the cretaceous period started. Because lets face it, nothing less would be acceptable to you. I have already told you that you don’t need to compare dating methods to ancient times. We are well aware of decay rates from other methods.

    You continue to be confused. Even if you could tell me exactly when the Cretaceous period started and ended, I’d still say you were wrong because you’d never be able to authenticate it. All you could do is get others to agree or disagree with you. What would be acceptable to me is if you’d admit that your dating techniques are unreliable and can’t be counted on, regardless of how far off or how close you think you are. You claim we’re well aware of decay rates from other methods, but there are many assumptions you have to make. What if your assumptions are wrong? What if the decay rate has changed? Scientists don’t know all the conditions. They cannot test whether the original rocks already contained daughter isotopes alongside their parent radioisotopes. Scientists cannot always know if a sample is contaminated or not. There’s also evidence that nuclear decay rates in the past have not always been constant, and that has been demonstrated by various granites that have yielded a uranium-lead age of 1.5 billion years, but only 6,000 years worth of helium leaked out.

    Or it demonstrates that we learned something new about fossilization. Since before that the oldest soft-tissue proteins ever found came from a 300,000 year old mammoth, it hardly helps your claim of 4000 years anyway.

    This is why I keep saying that evolutionists and Creationists have different worldviews and assumptions. When you start with your worldview, you’ll come up with a satisfying answer (we learned something new- dinosaur blood can survive millions of years!). I’d also expect for you to come up with satisfying answers to other evidences that I’ve provided.

  85. #85 Richard Eis
    December 14, 2009

    No, only some scientists say otherwise.

    If by some you mean most. And if by most you mean at least 95% (and i’m hedging my bets here)

    “Cause, principle or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.” – Sorry, but if evolution was found wanting it would be dropped or changed (it has changed significantly in fact). It is not held with ardor or faith. Is my belief that tables exist also a religion?

    “A religion is essentially an attitude to the world as a whole”
    Evolution is the study of nature. Not a worldview. I don’t pray to evolution. Neither do i use it to decide what cellphone to buy.

    -Yes, there is the ability to handle a new food source, but there is no new feature-
    From wikipedia “Wild type E. coli cannot transport citrate across the cell membrane to the cell interior when oxygen is present.” I would say that changes to the membrane of the bacteria was a feature. It took multiple mutations of the DNA to reach this so not really present already. Thats like saying that a fin turning into a hand wouldn’t be evolution because the fin already exists.

  86. #86 Richard Eis
    December 14, 2009

    I would maintain that similarities in embryo growth is consistent with a Creationist belief

    Well, yes, EVERYTHING is consistent with a creator, since technically a creator can do whatever he wants. A world created from nothing last Thursday is technically consistent with a creator. The question then if the creator can do what he wants, why he decided to make animals that look like they follow evolutionary lines at the DNA and embryological levels. An odd choice don’t you think?

    I said that breeding a very large dog was technically possible as other large mammals exist (evidence that mammals can grow to a large size). You said it wasn’t possible because someone hadn’t done it. I still don’t see why you think its impossible. Of course it would still be a dog, a big dog.
    “I never said a dog couldn’t adapt to an amphibious way of life.” – as long as it doesn’t grow too big? eh?

    Whales and fish, however, have certain traits that dogs, deer and humans do not possess in their genetic coding. In order to demonstrate evolution, you must be able to show that an organism can develop traits never found in the normal population.

    So what bit is unique to a whale and not found in other mammals? It can’t be size, or bone structure as that can be changed within a species as mentioned before. Not skin and webbing, because that, as you say is trifling.

    “Just don’t wander off a cliff…” You wish ;)

    - “Luckily for us, the Bible reveals truth, something science cannot do.” –
    So does the Koran. It is the “Ultimate Truth” apparently. So does the Bhagavad Gita, the Talmud, the Tao-te-ching…and lets not forget the “Eternal Truth” of the Veda.
    So, remind me, how do we tell your truth from everyone elses? Truth it seems, is pretty popular in religion. Its a shame the truth seems to change depending on which religion you choose.
    Science is not by consensus. Where you got that notion, i have no idea. Evolution is useful therefore it is used.

    -but God’s word never changes.-
    Oh, really… Thats quite a statement given that numerous versions have been found of certain segments (number of the beast 666 or 616?) then theres the matter of which books were left out of the cannon. Then theres the other matter of the poor translations that have existed. The King James version apparently being quite bad for this.

    -This is a manufactured, self-serving list by people who believe dinosaurs evolved into birds. If you look under old lists you’ll find that birds are not included. So no, dinosaurs did not grow wings.-

    Blame archeopterix (among other species) for that, it being half bird, half dino. Birds also share quite a few dino features. Sorry, but they have been classed as dinos since at least the 70s and it was suspected long, long before that. Birds are Dinosauria, just as humans are mammals.

  87. #87 Richard Eis
    December 14, 2009

    Yes, but you’re going to have to demonstrate that they are indeed pre-flood cities and not just ‘alleged’ pre-flood cities.

    We have egyptian writings that have dates on them, we know all their dynasties right through where your flood should be. We have writings before and after that date even though the stuff should have been lost in the flood. Not to mention all the artefacts. This isn’t a matter of guessing or carbon dating… Egypt survived your imaginary flood.

    And they didn’t mention it once. Funny that.

  88. #88 Modusoperandi
    December 19, 2009

    My comment appeared…one of them, anyway. Hurrah!

  89. #89 Richard Eis
    December 21, 2009

    I fear Modus that you have too many links in your posts. 3 is the usual limit. Thats the usual reason for a post getting stuck.

  90. #90 Modusoperandi
    December 21, 2009

    But I do so love citing things.

  91. #91 Richard Eis
    December 23, 2009

    Well,

    Its been 9 days without a response from Jon. I therefore claim victory.

    What have we learned?

    That a young earth is not socially, mathematically, historically, factually, chemically, physically, biologically, radiometrically, oceanographically, archeologically or geologically sound.

    It is nonsense plain and simple. Easily refuted by any and all sciences, common sense and basic maths.

  92. #92 tresmal
    December 23, 2009

    What have we learned?

    That a young earth is not socially, mathematically, historically, factually, chemically, physically, biologically, radiometrically, oceanographically, archeologically or geologically sound.

    But other than that …

  93. #93 SLC
    December 24, 2009

    Re Richard Eis

    Mr.Eis left out the fact that a young earth is not cosmologically sound either.

  94. #94 Richard Eis
    December 27, 2009

    It isn’t linguistically sound either, since if all people came from one small boat, all languages would be related more than they are.
    I’m sure it can also be shown not to be genetically sound either given the rates of change within species and the effect of inbreeding in one small family.

    I would also LOVE to know the effect on local fish populations of a mass flood. Not to mention the effect of dumping about twice the ocean contents of non-sea water into the oceans.

    ahhh, but we all know that questions like this spoil the fantasy. Just as you don’t ask why cinderella wasn’t left hobbling after wearing glass slippers.

  95. #95 Jon S
    January 5, 2010

    Richard Eis:

    Well, Its been 9 days without a response from Jon. I therefore claim victory.

    On December 28 I responded to your posts from December 14, however it went to moderation and hasn’t been posted yet. Hopefully it’ll get through. So while you claim victory, I maintain that you’re fooling yourself.

    What have we learned? That a young earth is not socially, mathematically, historically, factually, chemically, physically, biologically, radiometrically, oceanographically, archeologically or geologically sound.

    This is nonsense, plain and simple. I have provided plenty of evidence for a young earth, and there is much more evidence that can be presented if you choose to study it. You simply choose to ignore and discard it. You’ve demonstrated the typical nonsensical response from evolutionists: demand evidence for a young earth, then when it’s presented, deny it based on your worldview and beliefs, then claim victory and mock Creationists, proclaiming they don’t have any evidence to support a young universe, even though evidence was in fact presented. I think it’s dishonest for evolutionists to make the claims you’re making since there is sound evidence to the contrary. It’s like a child covering his ears shouting “La, La, La, I can’t hear you!”.

    We have egyptian writings that have dates on them, we know all their dynasties right through where your flood should be. We have writings before and after that date even though the stuff should have been lost in the flood. Not to mention all the artefacts. This isn’t a matter of guessing or carbon dating… Egypt survived your imaginary flood. And they didn’t mention it once. Funny that.

    You really should read Unwrapping the Pharaohs by John Ashton and David Down before you continue making these false claims. I addressed this in my post that went to moderation. One of Noah’s grandsons, Mizraim, was the father of the Egyptians. The Hebrew name for Egypt is Mizraim. Egypt wasn’t around before the flood. The secular chronology is wrong. Creationist organizations have thoroughly refuted your claims. The Egyptian writers purposely stretched their dates and histories. The earliest names on the kings list were deified as gods and were recorded as living many thousands of years, which, I assume, you would reject. There are also different versions of the kings lists with the kings numbered differently. There are overlapping reigns listed as if they didn’t overlap. These long genealogies also have problems associated with recorded astronomical events, so we know the dynasties were not recorded correctly. The biblical chronology is superior to the other writings we have. In addition, there are mentions of Noah’s flood found in Egyptian writing. For example, Hieronymus the Egyptian, who wrote The Phoenician Antiquities, mentions Noah’s ark, the flood, and people living long lives.

    It isn’t linguistically sound either, since if all people came from one small boat, all languages would be related more than they are.

    Read Genesis 11:1-9 regarding the tower of Babel for an explanation as to how it is linguistically sound.

    I would also LOVE to know the effect on local fish populations of a mass flood. Not to mention the effect of dumping about twice the ocean contents of non-sea water into the oceans.

    The effect would be devastating for many marine animals, which is why there were marine animals that went extinct during and after the flood.

    I’m sure it can also be shown not to be genetically sound either given the rates of change within species and the effect of inbreeding in one small family.

    Creationists have shown that the biblical chronology is genetically sound, while the secular calculation is not genetically sound. With a conservative growth rate doubling every 150 years we’d have a world population of almost 8.6 billion in 4,800 years. If we start with Noah and his family around 2500 BC and double the population every 150 years, we’d have plenty of time to reach our current population of 6.5 billion. However if modern man has been here for 50,000 years, then there would be 332 doublings, which would mean there would be an unimaginable number of humans living today. However the biblical numbers match up perfectly.

  96. #96 Jon S
    January 5, 2010

    Modusoperandi: sorry for taking so long to reply, I just noticed your post that had gone through moderation.

    Now try it, and I can’t stress this enough, in the context of what he meant: “If people want to make a religion of evolution, that is their business, we should recognize when people are going beyond the strict science, moving into moral and social claims, thinking of their theory as an all-embracing world picture. All too often, there is a slide from science to something more.” ~ Michael Ruse. Using it out of context, as you (and the Creationist site you, most probably, got it from) is dishonest. Since this is the first time I’ve seen you use it, I’ll assume that you used it in good faith (they didn’t). If you do that again, I’ll call you a liar. Because that’s what you’ll be.

    I used in in context, and you’re using it out of context, and if you do it again I’ll call you a liar, because that’s what you’ll be. I read Michael Ruse’s entire article before I posted his quote because I figured someone would object. His quote was posted accurately and in context, regardless of your objections. Evolution is a religion, and I used a his own words as evidence. Evidence for evolution being a religion abounds, and if you disagree, then you need to take a closer look (you can start by reading his articles). Michael Ruse clearly maintains in the article that evolution always has been, is today, and always will be a religion. Talkorigins tries making the case that Ruse objects to evolution being promoted as more than mere science, and that anyone who does promulgate evolution as an ideology and a secular religion should be careful to distinguish between science and philosophical viewpoints based on science. But this is not true. In Ruse’s article “Perceptions In Science: Is Evolution a Secular Religion” he says, “I am not saying that this area is all bad or that it should be stamped out. I am all in favor of saving the rainforests. I am saying that this popular evolutionism–often an alternative to religion–exists.” So talkorigins is wrong and dishonest, and you should scold them as you have me. Evolution is what it is: a religion. Talkorigins, I think, was trying to make the point that there are some aspects of ‘evolution’ that are scientific, and I agree that Michael Ruse would agree, and I do too; for example, one can observe changes in fruitflies over time. Good science would take those observations and make certain empirical and professional conclusions. But if those conclusions are based on ones faith and worldview (belief that all organisms are related) and contain value statements with exhortations to moral or social action, and cannot be verified or falsified, then evolution becomes a religion. Michael Ruse, in his article “Perceptions In Science: Is Evolution a Secular Religion” actually makes the point that evolution has two aspects to it: religion and science. This is the point I’ve been trying to make, and he is an evolutionists who does a very nice job making the point for me. I’m not saying that there is no science involved in evolution or that it’s strictly a religion; I am saying that evolution is a religion, and Ruse backs that up in his articles. I also maintain that while you can find religion in Creationism, you can also find science there too, so anyone who says that Creationism doesn’t involve real science clearly doesn’t understand what they’re talking about and are merely denying that based on their own religious values.

    Being able to eat what it couldn’t before is a feature.

    The point I was trying to make is that the new ability for ecoli to eat what it couldn’t before does not explain how new organisms arise. For example, losing the ability to catabolize ribose, or losing the ability to repair DNA, while you could call those new ‘features’, it does not explain how those features arose in the first place, nor does it explain how bacteria could evolve into a fish or a man. You seem to be more concerned with semantics than with actually understanding what evolution is and what it isn’t.

    If you’re expecting evolution to work in the kinds of leaps that spontaneously (or nearly so) come up with entirely new organs, you aren’t arguing against the ToE. You’re arguing against something else. Intelligent Design, probably.

    You’re not making sense. I don’t believe in ToE, so I don’t expect evolution to come up with entirely new organs. However you, as an evolutionist, obviously do expect entirely new organs to evolve. This would be an example of evolutionary predictions that have failed. No one has ever observed new organs evolving in an organism, however this is precisely what Creationists would expect.

    By analogy, you’re saying that, in order to learn how to drive, you have to forget how to walk?

    No, I’m saying if you have a car, and take the tires off, you now have a car without tires. Taking the tires off may be a ‘new feature’, and could possibly have some benefits (for example, if it doesn’t have tires, then you can’t drive it on the road, and therefore cannot get into a car accident and die), however the car isn’t any close to becoming a boat or an airplane.

    That’s because everything fits Creationism, no matter what that “everything” happens to be. Oddly, this is commonly an accusation made against the ToE.

    Exactly my point; the same criticism applies to evolution: everything fits evolution, no matter how badly the evidence against it appears.

    Because nobody has bred giant, feathered dogs in thousands of years, whales’ ancestors couldn’t have evolved into whales in millions of years. Animal husbandy is breeding for a purpose. Nobody up to this point has found the concept of venomous canines to be a useful purpose, and I doubt very much that they have the time, knowledge or breeding population large enough to do it.

    Yes, you’re partially correct. You’re maintaining that whale’s ancestors could have evolved into whales in millions of years, despite the fact that in thousands of years we haven’t observed dogs being bread to be anything other than dogs, nor can we breed dogs to evolve organs they don’t have the genes for. If whales’ ancestors were able to evolve the necessary organs to become whales, then certainly we should be able to observe some new organs evolving over thousands of years of dog breeding, or millions of generations of fruitflies and bacteria. Lastly, as I have pointed out previously, there is a purpose for breeding, for example, a venomous canine: great riches, fame and fortune. Obviously that incentive has failed evolution.

    fish have genes that code for smelling in water and whales have the genes that code for smelling in air and a bunch of fish/smell-in-water genes. Neither gives the whale any particular advantage. Fitting ToE, that’s why the water ones are all broken and the air ones are well on their way there. Note that you, too, have the smell-in-water genes. Yours are also broken.

    More evolutionary assumptions: you maintain that whales have fish/smell-in-water genes. However, from a Creationist perspective, whales do not have fish/smell-in-water genes. By faith you believe fish are ancestors of whales, and that since the whale has these genes and fish have these genes, then they must have been inherited from the fish. But as a Creationist I would maintain that whales have smell-in-water genes and not fish/smell-in-water genes. Neither the whale nor humans have broken genes. You’re assuming, based on your faith, that they’re broken. Of course we don’t breathe water, so we don’t smell water, but I’d maintain that the genes are serving their intended purpose that God created, even though scientists might not necessarily understand the purpose yet. There’s a lot of information missing that’s needed to confirm the evolutionary conclusions you adhere to.

    “Luckily for us, the Bible reveals truth…”
    {citation needed}

    John 14:6, John 18:37

    Oh, I don’t know. Science’s “a close enough model, for now, pending new data” has worked pretty well so far. It’s not great at the “absolutist 100% sure”, but it’s quite capable at filtering out “what is not”.

    Not when bias, beliefs and faith get in the way.

    Really? All consensus means is that it hasn’t been falsified yet. As more people analyze more data in more depth and add to the consensus, it strengthens the theory.

    Really? But what happens when some scientists maintain that it has been falsified and another group maintains that it hasn’t been falsified? That would mean that those holding the consensus could be wrong, but their theory is being strengthened and reinforced by the consensus. Just because the theory is strengthened doesn’t mean that it is the correct theory.

    Which means that was wrong (out of ignorance, not stupidity or malevolence, generally) still is wrong. Ussher’s chronology is no less wrong now than it used to be. The only thing that changed was we have a lot more data than he did.

    Ussher’s chronology is largely correct, and has been backed up by many others, such as Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton.

    By that logic, relativity doesn’t exist because nobody before Einstein mentioned it.

    Funny how you criticize my logic and not Richard’s. I was merely using his logic to make a point. My point is that no one used to believe birds evolved into dinosaurs. It wasn’t until the evolutionary propaganda machine went to work that people started believing that. According to Richard’s logic birds have become dinosaurs since there are books that includes birds with dinosaurs, as if we’re supposed to believe without question anything that’s written in a book.

    The hell it isn’t. Science is about being as accurate as you can be. “A close enough model for now” isn’t “let’s round off all the numbers”, it’s “this is the best explanation we have”.

    Oh, I’m so confused. It’s funny because if I say that science is about being accurate, truth, or consensus, then I’ll be scolded and lectured otherwise, but if I say science is not about being accurate, truth or consensus, then I’m scolded by the other half. I do wish we would have some consistency on this blog ;-)

  97. #97 Richard Eis
    January 8, 2010

    So while you claim victory, I maintain that you’re fooling yourself.

    Actually I was hoping my taunts would bring you back. Why end the fun?

    This is nonsense, plain and simple. I have provided plenty of evidence for a young earth

    I can provide more and better evidence against your position (that ties together) than you can for your position which has

    to make some quite spectacular jumps of logic…not to mention its use of miracles. Our methods use nothing unnatural.

    Yours is the wekaer position by at least one order of magnitude.

    The earliest names on the kings list were deified as gods and were recorded as living many thousands of years,

    which, I assume, you would reject.

    Yes I would. However YOU shouldn’t. In fact I think its incredibly funny that you accuse the egyptians of exactly what the

    bible does then say “The biblical chronology is superior to the other writings we have.” Perhaps you can explain how

    egyptians managed to screw up so royally according to you, yet your bible is no doubt flawless in its history, even though

    it makes similar claims (such as long living humans). If I cannot believe the egyptians…why should I believe you saying

    the same thing?

    Read Genesis 11:1-9 regarding the tower of Babel for an explanation as to how it is linguistically

    sound.

    For every hole in the logic, there is God ready with a miracle. How convenient. The question is why people would wander off

    perfectly good land because suddenly they couldn’t speak to their neighbours… or why they couldn’t re-learn the language.

    Sorry, but you don’t uproot your entire family because the neighbours are speaking gibberish. Nice story. Not logically

    sound. Not when you actually think about it.

    Creationists have shown that the biblical chronology is genetically sound, while the secular calculation is not

    genetically sound.

    Secular calculations probably take into account that populations are generally stable when they reach equilibrium with

    their environment. Something we have only recently been able to push beyond at a great and generally unacknowledged

    expense. Unless you think the population of animals should also be doubling at the same rate. Such simplistic calculations

    on complex systems shows just how poor a creationist’s understanding of the real world is.

  98. #98 Richard Eis
    January 8, 2010

    The point I was trying to make is that the new ability for ecoli to eat what it couldn’t before does not explain how new organisms arise.

    So the organism is different, but not different enough? Exactly how many changes must occur exactly before the two animals no longer look or act or feed in any similar way?
    Why is extrapolation so hard for you people? if you saw pictures of yourself as a child then a picture of yourself today, would you declare that these were two different organisms? Why not? Do you remember the inbetween stages? do you have evidence for it? Do you need it? Why not? Why is that acceptable, but not this?

    however the car isn’t any close to becoming a boat

    Why must it turn into a boat? It could be turning into a collection of scrap metal. Also cats don’t turn into dogs. A mammalian creature may split into dogs and cats but you seem to think that evolution works sideways. It doesn’t it works like the branching of a bush or tree.

    Exactly my point; the same criticism applies to evolution: everything fits evolution, no matter how badly the evidence against it appears.

    Except rabbits in the pre-cambrian strata.

    If whales’ ancestors were able to evolve the necessary organs to become whales

    Like what? A heart? Lungs? And I doubt there is money in venemous canines.

    You’re assuming, based on your faith, that they’re broken

    Well, they are the same genes, in the same place, but with minor changes so they don’t do anything. Let me know when your creationism comes up with a reason for them, and why the mammals all share them. Its supposed to be a science so of course you guys are working around the clock to solve these mysteries.

    as if we’re supposed to believe without question anything that’s written in a book.

    My irony meter just went nuclear at that quote. I am so keeping it.

    We have evidence for acknowledging the connection between birds and reptiles. Before this birds were just waiting to be fit into the evolutionary tree. We knew they didn’t pop out of nowhere. It was only a matter of time before this small section of the evo-tree was joined to the larger parts we had already worked out.

    I want to ask Jon, how does your concept of god poofing animals into existence fit into the whole mammal thing? I mean are humans still mammals to you? Connected to the earth in their life/death cycles just like all the other mamals? Sharing the same bone structure as all the other mammals…

  99. #99 Modusoperandi
    January 11, 2010

    Pah! Another reply goes to moderation (then again when I took out the single clickable link). “Everything in moderation,” I generally say, “except this!”

  100. #100 Richard Eis
    January 12, 2010

    Moderation in moderation sohuld be your new catchphrase clearly ;)

    I hope i’m not spoiling your fun by answering Jon’s stuff in your place.

  101. #101 Modusoperandi
    January 12, 2010

    Go right ahead, although you should prepare yourself, frankly, for my insightful and, frankly, awesome comments to eventually appear before yours, humbling your rambling and, frankly, worthless commentary with its brilliance*.

    *On a side note, I have a remarkably distorted image of my own intelligence and abilites. It’s quite nice. I highly recommend to anybody that hasn’t already tried it that they do the same.

  102. #102 Richard Eis
    January 14, 2010

    Funny, the realisation of my brilliance isn’t the least bit distorted. Each to their own I suppose.

    Also you should see my sense of humility…its awesome.

  103. #103 Dış Cephe
    January 14, 2010

    I agree Richard.Thanks.

  104. #104 Jon S
    January 17, 2010

    Actually I was hoping my taunts would bring you back. Why end the fun?

    Yeah, I have fun too, but sometime it seems pointless. It’s nearly impossible to educate people who have no intention of listening or understanding. I think I educate myself pretty good on what evolutionists believe, but they seem to be clueless about what Creationists really believe, and willingly cling to ignorance.

    I can provide more and better evidence against your position (that ties together) than you can for your position which has to make some quite spectacular jumps of logic…not to mention its use of miracles. Our methods use nothing unnatural. Yours is the wekaer position by at least one order of magnitude.

    Go for it! I’m more than willing to see you bring it on. However, you might want to make sure it hasn’t already been discussed in other threads, like most of the stuff we’ve already discussed. I actually contend that it’s evolutionists who must make spectacular jumps in logic (as I’ve already pointed out in this post). Your logic concerning dogs evolving to the size of a blue whale conflicts with what we actually observe. You must, by faith, believe it can happen naturally to avoid believing in miracles. I would call your belief in evolution the weaker position simply based on observational evidence.

    In fact I think its incredibly funny that you accuse the egyptians of exactly what the bible does then say “The biblical chronology is superior to the other writings we have.” Perhaps you can explain how egyptians managed to screw up so royally according to you, yet your bible is no doubt flawless in its history, even though it makes similar claims (such as long living humans). If I cannot believe the egyptians…why should I believe you saying the same thing?

    I was hoping you’d bring this up. Yes, the Bible does record humans living many hundreds of years, and there’s no reason not to believe it. However it wasn’t until after the flood that man’s lifespan dramatically decreased. Creationist websites and the book, Unwrapping the Pharaohs answer all your questions, explaining how the early people in Egypt would have deified anyone who lived hundreds of years, such as Mizraim, Noah’s grandson. If there were people still alive today who were born in 1710, people would likely be amazed and might even worship them as gods. So it’s not surprising that early Egyptians worshiped anyone who had a long lifespan, such as Mizraim, and made him their king and god. Therefore it wouldn’t be surprising for future kings, who didn’t have long lifespans, to deify themselves or be deified by creating false histories and claiming for themselves lifespans of thousands or tens of thousands of years. In other words, the Bible is correct when it describes the long life spans of man, but when man stopped having long lifespans, the ancient Egyptian kings took advantage of what was true, and exploited that for their benefit by having themselves deified. So while I do believe man lived hundreds of years according to the Bible, I don’t believe that the ancient Egyptian kings lived thousands or tens of thousands of years because God told us that he shortened man’s years (Genesis 6:3). Of course you find this incredibly funny, but at least there’s a rational explanation if you’re willing to examine the evidence instead of simply dismissing the existence of God. And though you claim that the Egyptians screwed up their history, I argue that they didn’t screw it up at all; they intentionally changed their history, much like any modern dictator would resort to revisionist history in order to attain more power, authority and respect. It’s only screwed up to us because it makes a mess for anyone trying to figure out what really happened, which is why the Bible is so valuable and why the Creationist version is superior. God is truthful and honest and provided us an accurate history, while man, relying on selfish ends, would not. So I’m not saying you should believe what I say, but what God says.

    For every hole in the logic, there is God ready with a miracle. How convenient. The question is why people would wander off perfectly good land because suddenly they couldn’t speak to their neighbours… or why they couldn’t re-learn the language. Sorry, but you don’t uproot your entire family because the neighbours are speaking gibberish. Nice story. Not logically sound. Not when you actually think about it.

    There’s no hole in the logic… the hole is in your skepticism. And it’s certainly convenient that you don’t have any problem with how convenient evolution is, yet you mock miracles as being convenient, as if that demonstrates the non-existence of God. If miracles didn’t happen, then I wouldn’t believe in God either… in fact everyone would be an atheist. However if God is real, all powerful, and all-knowing, then true miracles can and do happen. If the Tower of Babel didn’t occur, then we’d all be speaking the same language today, and we wouldn’t have all the different people groups. It actually makes more sense from a biblical perspective than an atheist perspective. The first humans largely would have stayed together in a single civilization because they’d have little reason to spread over all the earth. They’d make cities and a name for themselves and wouldn’t be compelled or motivated to start a new civilization. However God wanted man to fill the earth, and since man was disobedient, he confused the languages. This would ensure that the people wouldn’t understand one another. People would naturally associate and gravitate toward those they could understand, which is why they wandered off… to associate with their own ‘kind’. Even people groups today tend to segregate themselves, so why would you question it happening with the very first civilization when it’s completely natural and logical? And of course, since everyone spoke the same language before God confused their language, they wouldn’t have the knowledge that you have and simply stay next to their neighbors with the knowledge that they could study and learn the 50 or so different languages their neighbors spoke. That doesn’t make any sense logically if you actually think about it. It would make more sense to wander off with those you could understand and start building your own towns, cities, and civilizations.

    Secular calculations probably take into account that populations are generally stable when they reach equilibrium with their environment. Something we have only recently been able to push beyond at a great and generally unacknowledged expense. Unless you think the population of animals should also be doubling at the same rate. Such simplistic calculations on complex systems shows just how poor a creationist’s understanding of the real world is.

    Your questions demonstrate your ignorance of the issue. If you understand secular population models, then give me some facts. Paul Ehrlich and his book The Population Bomb was a massive secular failure. You’ve also completely failed to take into consideration technology and advancements, not only now, but in the past. Man is and always has been able to manipulate his environment, so even when we reach equilibrium, man doesn’t have to die out like an overpopulated herd of deer. Can you provide a specific example of an ancient civilization that died out because they reached their equilibrium with their environment? I think you’re just spewing gobbledeegook. Man, unlike animals, cares for the elderly, sick, disabled, and the lazy. This just demonstrates how poor a evolutionist’s understanding of the world is. The Creationist calculations were intentionally conservative, despite your accusations. Simply waving your hand and dismissing it shows that you’re not really interested in finding out if what you believe is actually true or not.

    So the organism is different, but not different enough? Exactly how many changes must occur exactly before the two animals no longer look or act or feed in any similar way? Why is extrapolation so hard for you people? if you saw pictures of yourself as a child then a picture of yourself today, would you declare that these were two different organisms? Why not? Do you remember the inbetween stages? do you have evidence for it? Do you need it? Why not? Why is that acceptable, but not this?

    You still fail to see what I’ve explained numerous times. Listen carefully. Creationists do believe in change and speciation. In otherwords we acknowledge that a group organisms will change over time, and sometimes dramatically. But fruitflies, for example, will still be fruitflies over millions of generations, even though one population may look and behave differently than another population. None of the fruitfiles will evolve into another organism, such as a bird, frog, fish, snake, or a wholly original organism. They will never ever evolve scales, feathers, or any other feature that’s not programed into their DNA. Fruitflies evolving into a different kind of fruitfly is not evolution in the same sense as an ape-like animal such as ‘Lucy’ evolving into a man. Extrapolating is fine when you have all the facts available to you, but if you don’t have all the facts, then extrapolation is a miserable failure. For example, if you believe that a motorcycle can evolve into a mansion, then we can extrapolate what it would take for that event to occur and claim that this is proof that a motorcycle can evolve into a mansion (can you see the absurdity and the circular reasoning?). You haven’t really demonstrated anything. But if we know that motorcycles don’t evolve at all, then extrapolation is meaningless. As for your picture analogy, it falls apart quite easily when you compare this to evolution. Assuming that you were alive to observe yourself when you were a child, it would be silly for you to declare that a picture of you as a child was a different organism than a picture of you as an adult; I’m assuming you remember what you looked like then and now, or that you remember the picture being taken. However, what if your parents showed you a baby picture of yourself when you were only five hours old. Would you believe them? What if they cut the photo out of a magazine and said it was you, how would you know (a similar scenario occurred in the movie The Blind Side)? You’d have to assume that your parents were telling the truth when they claimed it was you… but how would you know they were telling the truth or if they were just plain wrong? Would you rely on your own eyes to extrapolate and come to an accurate conclusion? If they were lying or were simply wrong, but you believed them, then extrapolating between the photo of you then and now becomes suddenly meaningless. It only has meaning if it was truly you in the first place. What if your parents confused you with your brother or sister, or with your twin brother or sister or another person totally? Wouldn’t you be wrong to claim that they were the same person if indeed they were different people, even if you believed it? Now, let’s go back 2 million years and see the photograph you took of your favorite ape-like ancestor and compare it to yourself now. Are you assuming ancestry? Yes, that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re assuming you’re related, thus, you believe that you can extrapolate between then and now. But what if we’re not related to any ape-like organism as Creationists contend? What if man was created by God fully human? Then extrapolation between apes and man is meaningless. So extrapolation is not hard to understand. It’s actually evolutionists who fail to understand extrapolation and the underlying assumptions. They fail to understand that no one was there to witness the supposed evolutionary changes that must have occurred if evolution were true. They just expect everyone to accept their premise, and mock those who don’t. If evolutionists are wrong, how would you know it when they’ve provided enough evidence and information that you believed them, despite the misinformation? You would never know it because you simply trust them. And if they extrapolate, but are wrong in their extrapolation, how would they even know it when they believe it themselves?

    Why must it turn into a boat? It could be turning into a collection of scrap metal. Also cats don’t turn into dogs. A mammalian creature may split into dogs and cats but you seem to think that evolution works sideways. It doesn’t it works like the branching of a bush or tree.

    I wasn’t saying that a car must turn into a boat, an airplane, or a scrap of metal, although any of those examples would suffice, and I’m not sure why you came to that conclusion anyway. I’m saying that if someone were to claim that a car (ecoli) could evolve into a boat (bird), it would be wrong to make such a conclusion based on the fact that the wheels (the ability to catabolize ribose) were removed (lost). I’m trying to use absurdity to demonstrate a point, but you’re obviously not following. You see, we all know cars don’t evolve into boats, nor do cars evolve into anything. So if I can demonstrate that removing the tires from a car doesn’t turn it into a boat (though it could be turning into a scrap heap), hopefully you’ll see that ecoli losing the ability to catabolize ribose or losing the ability to repair DNA doesn’t make it any closer to a bird or any other wholly unique organism. It’s actually less fit (a scrap heap), even though it’s possible to find a few benefits. A car without wheels cannot crash into a tree, thus killing the occupants. You could conclude that this is a beneficial mutation just as you conclude that the ability of ecoli to lose the ability to catabolize ribose or lose the ability to repair DNA may be a benefit because it can now utilize a new food source. Either way, both the car and the ecoli have lost information, and neither is any closer to the type of change necessary to support the belief that a single celled organism could evolve into man. This example doesn’t demonstrate that ecoli could evolve into a bird or any other organism, just as it doesn’t demonstrate that a car could evolve into a boat by losing its tires. Ecoli remains ecoli with less genetic information, just as the car remains a car without wheels. In order for the car to become a boat, it must somehow gain features that are not present; it must become watertight, otherwise it will sink. Likewise, if ecoli were assumed to evolve into another organism, such as a bird, it would need feathers, for example. Now extrapolating evolutionary assumptions, how does LOSING the ability to catabolize ribose demonstrate that it could GAIN the genetic information for feathers or that a dinosaur could grow feathers? How does subtracting equal an addition? This is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but extrapolated that he could make it up in volume… it doesn’t work. Lastly, I’m a Creationists, so I know very well cats don’t turn into dogs ;-)

    Except rabbits in the pre-cambrian strata.

    Of course any strata that does contain rabbits would not be considered pre-cambrian, thus you have a self-sustaining, manufactured argument.

    Like what? A heart? Lungs? And I doubt there is money in venemous canines.

    No, dude, pay attention; baleen, blubber, fins, blow holes and flukes. I previously gave those examples. You’re crazy if you don’t think someone would make a fortune if he owned a venomous canine. They’d be on all the talk shows, radio programs, magazines, documentaries, etc. And if he could breed them, many people would want one for the novelty of owning such a rare organism. Zoos and museums would certainly want one, etc. Just because you can’t imagine a particular scenario doesn’t mean it’s not true or plausible.

    Well, they are the same genes, in the same place, but with minor changes so they don’t do anything. Let me know when your creationism comes up with a reason for them, and why the mammals all share them. Its supposed to be a science so of course you guys are working around the clock to solve these mysteries.

    I already answered this question. Please pay attention. You seem to think that God must adhere to your specifications regarding life. However if God chose to use similar designs when he created, he’s certainly entitled to that, being that he’s God and all. This doesn’t mean that all organisms are related anymore than it means a bridge and a building are related simply because an engineer used similar designs, structures, or material.

    as if we’re supposed to believe without question anything that’s written in a book. My irony meter just went nuclear at that quote. I am so keeping it.

    The irony was intentional. As you see, you believe everything written in a science textbook, even though that textbook might be outdated and wrong, but you reject what’s written in the Bible, even though it was authored by God, who doesn’t change. You expect others to believe what you’ve read in science books and to reject the Bible. And if someone demonstrates the absurdity of your beliefs, you find it ironic that they could be just as certain as you.

    I want to ask Jon, how does your concept of god poofing animals into existence fit into the whole mammal thing? I mean are humans still mammals to you? Connected to the earth in their life/death cycles just like all the other mamals? Sharing the same bone structure as all the other mammals…

    God poofing animals into existence is much more reasonable than animals poofing into existence spontaneously and accidentally. Sure, humans can be classified as animals, however just because any one organism can be classified as a mammal doesn’t demonstrate that all mammals are related. That’s simply an evolutionary assumption that I’m calling into question.

  105. #105 Richard Eis
    January 18, 2010

    Your logic concerning dogs evolving to the size of a blue whale conflicts with what we actually observe.

    Oh, I wouldn’t say that big, not without staying in the water to offset the weight. The size of an elephant for land. Mammals that big are observed. The similar body plan should allow dogs to match the size of elephants. This is however speculation as you say. It was only brought up to point out that dogs are many different sizes and shapes. All from the same original species. But no matter how much they change, they are still dogs because we say so.

    …God is truthful and honest and provided us an accurate history, while man, relying on selfish ends, would not. So I’m not saying you should believe what I say, but what God says.

    It is certainly an interesting hypothesis. It is rather unfortunate then that the bible was written by humans. Not God. Thus you end up in the same position as those lovable egyptian rogues.

    If the Tower of Babel didn’t occur, then we’d all be speaking the same language today, and we wouldn’t have all the different people groups.

    No we wouldn’t. You just have to look at how English has changed since Shakespeares time (less than 500 years)to have some idea of what could happen to languages when people are geographically separated for even just thousands of years.
    Even if neighbours got together because they still shared a language, the neighbours were all close together. Why the sudden urge to run off to start a new town in the middle of nowhere? Thats dangerous and difficult.

  106. #106 Richard Eis
    January 18, 2010

    Can you provide a specific example of an ancient civilization that died out because they reached their equilibrium with their environment?

    Being in equilibrium with the environment means that you don’t have a population higher than the land can provide. If you do, those extra die off, returning you to equilibrium. The people of easter island learnt (too late) what happens if you advance beyond the land’s ability to cope with your advancement.

    The Creationist calculations were intentionally conservative, despite your accusations.

    Being conservative wasn’t the problem. The underlying method was flawed and overly simplistic. Populations ebb and flow. A model that doesn’t account for this and just increases over time is going to be overly simplistic and pretty much useless.

    We have found multiple skeletons of hominid creatures all with similar features in part to ourselves, but with many slight and some quite big differences. We can even put these in order of date and see how these creatures changed over time right up to modern man.

    Otherwise we have all these creatures, right up to fire and tool using hominids. Then magically, humans suddenly got plopped down right in the middle of these creatures. And it just so happens that they look, act and share DNA with these other hominids. But apparently no, completely separate and special. No connection whatsoever.

    You’re crazy if you don’t think someone would make a fortune if he owned a venomous canine.

    Nah, scientists already bred cute, glow in the dark puppies. No market.

    Either way, both the car and the ecoli have lost information, and neither is any closer to the type of change necessary to support the belief that a single celled organism could evolve into man.

    Using cars as an analogy for animals isn’t really working. It just doesn’t work as a metaphor. You are still hammering the “change means less information” but its trivially easy for DNA to add to itself. DNA can add, delete and change itself. This is why we have so much “junk” DNA in our cells.

    God poofing animals into existence is much more reasonable than animals poofing into existence spontaneously and accidentally.

    Except animals didn’t poof into existence. We are not made of anything that isn’t already swirling around in the universe. DNA is just 2 strings of sugars wrapped around each other. Chemical reactions happen all over the place. Its not the least bit surprising that a stable set of chemical reactions created some interesting patterns in nature.

    but you reject what’s written in the Bible, even though it was authored by God, who doesn’t change.

    No it wasn’t… why on earth would you think that?

  107. #107 Jon S
    January 18, 2010

    Richard, my jaw just dropped to the ground after reading your posts. I’m not sure how to counter someone who needs glasses but refuses to wear them because he thinks his vision is just fine. As soon as I pick my jaw up from the ground I’ll respond. And it’s frightening to think that anyone agrees with a word of what you just wrote… I’m losing a lot of respect for humanity right now… groan…

  108. #108 Modusoperandi
    January 19, 2010

    Jon S, we experience much the same sensation when reading your posts.

  109. #109 Richard Eis
    January 19, 2010

    Was it shock at learning I don’t think the bible is an autobiography? Or the horror at my denouncement of the human race as just a lot of uppity carbon grown using a selection of sugars? I can’t wait.

    I believe I missed out responding to your flippant dismissal on pre-cambrian rabbits. What it basically boils down to is the fact that you don’t get rabbit fossils in the same layer of rock as dinosaurs. A rather strange thing to not see from a flood perspective…but something which makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective.

  110. #110 Jon S
    January 25, 2010

    Richard,
    You ask a lot of questions as if Creationists have no answers. But as you can see there are plenty of answers. I’ll respond once more, but it’s clear you’re not interested in understanding how the world can be seen and understood without resorting to evolution.

    “Your logic concerning dogs evolving to the size of a blue whale conflicts with what we actually observe.”

    Oh, I wouldn’t say that big, not without staying in the water to offset the weight. The size of an elephant for land. Mammals that big are observed. The similar body plan should allow dogs to match the size of elephants. This is however speculation as you say. It was only brought up to point out that dogs are many different sizes and shapes. All from the same original species. But no matter how much they change, they are still dogs because we say so.

    Can you see the inconsistency in your own words? You admit a dog couldn’t evolve to the size of a Blue Whale if it was confined to land, but suggest that it could evolve to the size of an elephant because we observe that elephants exist. Of course this is a circular argument, assuming evolution is true in order to prove it could happen. But as I pointed out previously, we can also observe fossils, such as Seismosaurus, Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus, all of which were land animals and bigger than an elephant. Of course, if evolution were true, something had to evolve into those dinosaurs, starting with a single celled organism; therefore, if something evolved into them in the past, then we shouldn’t have any problem observing organisms, such as a dog, evolving into an amazing animal like a dinosaur, or the size of one. If you really believe in evolution, you shouldn’t be so skeptical of a gigantic dog, like Clifford. And of course dogs come in many sizes and shapes, but they’re still dogs, regardless of what you’d like to classify them as.

    It is rather unfortunate then that the bible was written by humans. Not God. Thus you end up in the same position as those lovable egyptian rogues.

    The Bible was written by man, but inspired by God (Acts 1:15-17, Acts 28:24-26, Ephesians 3:4-6, 2 Peter 1:21). Therefore we’re fortunate to have God’s word available so that we may know the truth. Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    You just have to look at how English has changed since Shakespeares time (less than 500 years)to have some idea of what could happen to languages when people are geographically separated for even just thousands of years. Even if neighbours got together because they still shared a language, the neighbours were all close together. Why the sudden urge to run off to start a new town in the middle of nowhere? Thats dangerous and difficult.

    Yes, the English language has changed over time, but it doesn’t turn into Japanese, Chinese, or Greek. There’s no reason for all the different languages if man evolved together in Africa (or wherever). The sudden urge to run off and start a new town comes from the confusion at Babel. You seem to think that everyone back then would be as rational and calm as you and would think through the situation rather than react. Sorry, but life doesn’t always happen that way. It may have been dangerous and difficult, but that has never stopped man before (why would man sail around the earth… that would be dangerous and difficult- no kidding).

    Being in equilibrium with the environment means that you don’t have a population higher than the land can provide. If you do, those extra die off, returning you to equilibrium. The people of easter island learnt (too late) what happens if you advance beyond the land’s ability to cope with your advancement.

    I was aware of what you meant by equilibrium, which is what I’m arguing against. The people of Easter Island, according to Rollin, had a considerable population in 1786 with good soil and abundant provisions sufficient for the consumption of the inhabitants. It seems that the slave trade, civil war, and epidemics were the major causes of the people dying off, not the ecosystem being out of equilibrium. Again, with humans (as opposed to animals), technology and advancements can overcome population problems… just look at NY city.

    Being conservative wasn’t the problem. The underlying method was flawed and overly simplistic. Populations ebb and flow. A model that doesn’t account for this and just increases over time is going to be overly simplistic and pretty much useless.

    Of course populations ebb and flow, which is why a conservative model was used. A liberal model would ignore the ebb and flow and be useless.

    We have found multiple skeletons of hominid creatures all with similar features in part to ourselves, but with many slight and some quite big differences. We can even put these in order of date and see how these creatures changed over time right up to modern man.

    It’s not as simple as you’re making it out to be. There is no seamless progression, and many must be forced into the model. Dr. Martin Lubenow goes into detail in his book Bones of Contention. I just did a quick search on ICR and AIG websites and found many articles documenting how incoherent the progression is.

    Otherwise we have all these creatures, right up to fire and tool using hominids. Then magically, humans suddenly got plopped down right in the middle of these creatures. And it just so happens that they look, act and share DNA with these other hominids. But apparently no, completely separate and special. No connection whatsoever.

    This is a misguided depiction of history and is not what Creationists believe. Adam and Eve were using fire and tools right from the beginning, and there were no other humans before them. Man was created at the same time as all the other land animals.

    Nah, scientists already bred cute, glow in the dark puppies. No market.

    Actually, this is very interesting. I did a search on glow in the dark puppies, and it says glow in the dark animals, such as pigs, mice and puppies have been all the rage in recent years, so it looks like there is indeed a market. It also says that scientists “created” them. Genes had to be planted in them. Wow, who would have thought that they would have to be created by intelligent beings rather than evolve by chance??? Hmmm… Thanks for providing more evidence against evolution.

    Using cars as an analogy for animals isn’t really working. It just doesn’t work as a metaphor. You are still hammering the “change means less information” but its trivially easy for DNA to add to itself. DNA can add, delete and change itself. This is why we have so much “junk” DNA in our cells.

    Oh, dear. Obviously you still don’t get the point with the car analogy. It was meant to demonstrate that losing genetic information is not the same thing as gaining genetic information. In other words, losing genetic information won’t cause a single celled organism to evolve into a t-rex or a human. Junk DNA isn’t really junk anymore. It has very useful intended functions and was very poorly named by evolutionists. The notion of junk DNA has actually inhibited science, which is usually what evolutionists claim Creationists do… how ironic. Creationists have long argued that non-coding DNA is not junk. The ENCODE Pilot Project showed that junk DNA was transcribed into RNA, was functional, and includes regulatory regions.

    Except animals didn’t poof into existence. We are not made of anything that isn’t already swirling around in the universe. DNA is just 2 strings of sugars wrapped around each other. Chemical reactions happen all over the place. Its not the least bit surprising that a stable set of chemical reactions created some interesting patterns in nature.

    Sure they poofed into existence (in an evolutionary timescale, according to Gould). Evolutionists have always tried to downplay how complicated a cell or DNA is, but it’s actually much, much more complicated than what you’re making out to be, which is why scientists haven’t been able to create life yet.

    No it wasn’t… why on earth would you think that?

    Because of the miracles and fulfilled prophecies.

    I believe I missed out responding to your flippant dismissal on pre-cambrian rabbits. What it basically boils down to is the fact that you don’t get rabbit fossils in the same layer of rock as dinosaurs. A rather strange thing to not see from a flood perspective…but something which makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective.

    This has already been addressed by Creationists. In addition to how the fossil record is interpreted, different ecological zones would also explain why they’re not found together in the fossil record together.

    As you can see, we don’t need to resort to evolution to understand the universe around us and who we are. The Bible certainly provides all the answers we need. I’d encourage you to read God’s word to see for yourself the gift of life he’s offered in his son, Jesus Christ.

  111. #111 Richard Eis
    January 26, 2010

    If you really believe in evolution, you shouldn’t be so skeptical of a gigantic dog, like Clifford.

    My skepticism comes from my knowledge of physical limits. The earth and atmosphere were different back then. Also dinosaurs are not mammals. Evolutionary pathways have closed. To expect a repeat performance under wildly different circumstances is a fools thought. Elephant sized likely. Whale size on land? unlikely. Also I should only need “microevolution” to do this.So im not sure her i’m being inconstistent.

    Expectation of possible dog evolution, when it has already been observed (given the number of breeds) and when there are other mammals of that size is hardly a leap of logic.

    The bible was written by man, who SAID that it was inspired by god.
    1)The bible was inspired by God.
    How do we know?
    2) Because the bible says so!!!
    Why should we trust the bible?
    3) Because the bible was inspred by god.
    4) Rinse, repeat as required.
    Now THATS circular reasoning.

    Yes, the English language has changed over time, but it doesn’t turn into Japanese, Chinese, or Greek.

    Again, you are forgetting your evolution bush shape. When the people of africa went their separate ways, language was still in its infancy. Since then english and chinese have “both” evolved apart. It is impossible under evolutionary principles now for english to become chinese without undoing thousands of years of language drift in two different directions.

  112. #112 Richard Eis
    January 26, 2010

    You seem to think that everyone back then would be as rational and calm as you and would think through the situation rather than react.

    The neighbours are speaking funny, quick lets run off and start a seperate village completely from scratch somewhere else? Regardless of the inherent problems of doing so. Nah, I can’t see it myself. It is however your opinion. You have Babel, I will stick to my language drift.

    Again, with humans (as opposed to animals), technology and advancements can overcome population problems… just look at NY city.

    Using finite resources to go beyond the carrying capacity of your environment is a temporary solution, with a painful ending. That, however is a topic in itself.
    I checked and your population growth calcuation mentioned is simple and based on human doubling. Populations DO NOT WORK LIKE THAT. It doesn’t matter how conservative you are in your numbers if your model does not reflect how animal populations work.

    I just did a quick search on ICR and AIG websites and found many articles documenting how incoherent the progression is.

    However there IS progression. No it won’t be smooth, fossil hunting is laborious and difficult and fossils are rare.

    Adam and Eve were using fire and tools right from the beginning, and there were no other humans before them.

    Then what are the neanderthals? They certainly weren’t the men of 6000 years ago.

    Thanks for providing more evidence against evolution.

    The fact that we can interfere in a natural process does not invalidate that process. After all, we need to understand THAT process and THOSE genes in order to do what we did.
    Ok, maybe there is a market for glow-puppies, but the feeding costs alone for a giant dog would be prohibitive. Not to mention vet bills…phew…

    The ENCODE Pilot Project showed that junk DNA was transcribed into RNA, was functional, and includes regulatory regions.

    Some was functional. I think you will find that what junk DNA actually creates a lot of the time is junk RNA. OR RNA that quickly degrades. Yay, junk squared.

    As long as DNA can add, change and delete parts of itself it has everything it needs to evolve. All of which it can do. I should also point out that a man is “made” of molecules. So technically you are going from molecule to molecules. That fact it ends up man shaped is quite incidental.

    which is why scientists haven’t been able to create life yet.

    Yet, being the important word. Lots of things are complicated, that doesn’t make them any less natural.

    The Bible certainly provides all the answers we need.

    As I have lived successfully and have never bothered with the bible, I would say the bible is quite unnecessary. Most people in the world in fact do quite well without it. It certainly wouldn’t have given us glow-puppies ;) After all, the bible teaches life is magical, not something we should be able to bend to our wills.

    If we create life, you will have to realise that life is not “special. Its just chemicals, doing what chemicals do.

  113. #113 Jon S
    January 30, 2010

    Richard,

    My skepticism comes from my knowledge of physical limits. The earth and atmosphere were different back then. Also dinosaurs are not mammals. Evolutionary pathways have closed. To expect a repeat performance under wildly different circumstances is a fools thought. Elephant sized likely. Whale size on land? unlikely. Also I should only need “microevolution” to do this.So im not sure her i’m being inconstistent.

    Yes, physical limits is EXACTLY why I don’t believe in evolution (aside from believing in God), and that’s what I’ve been trying to explain. There are physical limits that can’t be bridged in the real world, but would be required by evolution. Of course you then believe the earth and atmosphere were different, which is a convenient excuse to explain why organisms were able to bridge the gap in the past, however you’re really making up a just-so story that can’t be backed up by observation… more evolutionary circular reasoning. However, if one can naturally breed a dog to the size of an average elephant, then I’ll concede you victory. However I predict that day will never come.

    Expectation of possible dog evolution, when it has already been observed (given the number of breeds) and when there are other mammals of that size is hardly a leap of logic.

    As I’ve pointed out, breeding or speciation is not the same thing as evolution. They’re two totally separate concepts. After thousands of years of dog breeding, dogs are still dogs and haven’t gained any new genetic material (although they’ve lost a good bit). They haven’t sprouted wings or scales. Speciation is what we observe, not evolution (evolutionists, as you’re demonstrating, typically conflate the two concepts). Speciation is variation within kind, such as the color, shape or size of a feather. Evolution is when an organism that doesn’t have feathers has descendants that do have feathers.

    The bible was written by man, who SAID that it was inspired by god.
    1)The bible was inspired by God.
    How do we know?
    2) Because the bible says so!!!
    Why should we trust the bible?
    3) Because the bible was inspred by god.
    4) Rinse, repeat as required.
    Now THATS circular reasoning.

    No, not so. If that was the case, then I certainly wouldn’t believe in God either. There are many reasons to believe the Bible was inspired by God, and not man saying that it’s inspired by God. The prophets made legitimate prophesies and did miracles to back up their assertions. Parting the Red Sea wasn’t some parlor trick, and Jesus fulfilling Old Testament prophesies wasn’t an accident. In fact Jesus himself accepted scripture as the Word of God.

    Again, you are forgetting your evolution bush shape. When the people of africa went their separate ways, language was still in its infancy. Since then english and chinese have “both” evolved apart. It is impossible under evolutionary principles now for english to become chinese without undoing thousands of years of language drift in two different directions.

    But why would they go their separate ways? As you lectured me, wouldn’t they be safer by staying together? Running off would be dangerous and difficult. Regardless, your evolution bush is assumed in order to maintain your naturalistic explanation.

    I checked and your population growth calcuation mentioned is simple and based on human doubling. Populations DO NOT WORK LIKE THAT. It doesn’t matter how conservative you are in your numbers if your model does not reflect how animal populations work.

    As I’ve pointed out, you can’t compare animal populations to human populations. It just doesn’t work the same. Animals don’t care for the disabled and elderly like we do, and they don’t go to war. The Creationist model DOES work, and your denying it doesn’t alter reality.

    However there IS progression. No it won’t be smooth, fossil hunting is laborious and difficult and fossils are rare.

    But this apparent progression is incoherent and shouldn’t be relied upon unless you insist on believing in evolution, despite the contradictions. You’re just making excuses to avoid the obvious. If we really evolved, then there should be a solid, air-tight, historical progression.

    Then what are the neanderthals? They certainly weren’t the men of 6000 years ago.

    Neandertals were ancestors of Adam and Eve. Any Creationist website makes that very clear and provides plenty of evidence.

    The fact that we can interfere in a natural process does not invalidate that process. After all, we need to understand THAT process and THOSE genes in order to do what we did. Ok, maybe there is a market for glow-puppies, but the feeding costs alone for a giant dog would be prohibitive. Not to mention vet bills…phew…

    Good grief! Just because you don’t understand how someone could afford the costs for a gigantic dog doesn’t mean one couldn’t afford it. If Sea World can provide the veterinary care for killer whales, sharks, and all kinds of marine life, certainly the owner of a gigantic dog would have the funds to pay for veterinary care by selling tickets to shows, selling books, movie rights, interviews, etc. They could open a Canine World and charge admission.

    Some was functional. I think you will find that what junk DNA actually creates a lot of the time is junk RNA. OR RNA that quickly degrades. Yay, junk squared.

    Well it’s a start that you’re willing to admit it’s functional. You should check out more Creationist material on junk DNA. They’re far ahead of the game because we know God didn’t create junk, while that’s expected if you’re an evolutionist. Evolutionists have dropped the ball because of their assumptions, much like they did on vestigial organs. There’s a very good reason why the junk DNA is there, and scientists are starting to figure that out; just because evolutionists haven’t figured it out yet doesn’t mean that there are no other functions. This is another example of evolution inhibiting science.

    As long as DNA can add, change and delete parts of itself it has everything it needs to evolve. All of which it can do. I should also point out that a man is “made” of molecules. So technically you are going from molecule to molecules. That fact it ends up man shaped is quite incidental.

    No, DNA doesn’t have what it needs to evolve. DNA is a blueprint for life, and contains specific instructions and the information necessary to do exactly what it’s supposed to do. If a mutation (or any other process) interferes, then the organism could lose important functions or die. Sometimes the organisms will survive, but will be less fit than others of its kind. But the DNA never figures out the genetic code for something complex like a wing, blood, or lung, when that organism never possessed those organs in the first place.

    “which is why scientists haven’t been able to create life yet.”

    Yet, being the important word. Lots of things are complicated, that doesn’t make them any less natural.

    Yes, I chose the word ‘yet’ intentionally. I do believe man will be able to create life one day. The Bible makes it clear that man can most certainly accomplish almost anything (Genesis 11:1-6). But what will this really prove? It will demonstrate that life cannot arise spontaneously, accidentally, or by chance. It will demonstrate that life can only be created by intelligence and on purpose.

    As I have lived successfully and have never bothered with the bible, I would say the bible is quite unnecessary. Most people in the world in fact do quite well without it. It certainly wouldn’t have given us glow-puppies ;) After all, the bible teaches life is magical, not something we should be able to bend to our wills.

    I’m not trying to use scare tactics, but most of those who have died and gone to hell didn’t think the Bible was necessary either; they were able to do quite well without it too (at least to a point). But no, the Bible doesn’t teach that life is magical. God opposes magic, for that requires demonic activity. The Bible teaches that life was intentional, and that man was created in God’s image.

    If we create life, you will have to realise that life is not “special. Its just chemicals, doing what chemicals do.

    Again, if we create life, you will have to realize that it didn’t happen by accident. It was specially created, and all chance was removed. The chemicals did exactly what they were intended to do.

    Jon

  114. #114 386sx
    January 31, 2010

    Richard Eis says this…

    “Now THATS circular reasoning.”

    And then Jon S says this…

    “No, not so. If that was the case, then I certainly wouldn’t believe in God either. There are many reasons to believe the Bible was inspired by God, and not man saying that it’s inspired by God. The prophets made legitimate prophesies and did miracles to back up their assertions. Parting the Red Sea wasn’t some parlor trick, and Jesus fulfilling Old Testament prophesies wasn’t an accident. In fact Jesus himself accepted scripture as the Word of God.”

    You have to wonder… why can’t Jon S think for himself? Instead of other people telling him what’s blatantly wrong with what he says? Oh well.

  115. #115 386sx
    January 31, 2010

    The key is providing sound answers to show that the Bible is the reliable and accurate Word of God.

    Jon S, if the Bible has all the answers anybody could ever need, then why is it that you are always uncritically repeating phrases from apologetic sources that are outside of the Bible? I mean, obviously you are getting a lot of your “answers” from low brow fundie apologetics books. (Don’t bother answering because that’s a hypothetical and I ain’t gonna waste time reading the answer anyway.) Cheers.

  116. #116 386sx
    January 31, 2010

    because that’s a hypothetical

    I meant to say “because that’s a rhetorical”. (Sorry.) Cheerio.

  117. #117 Jon S
    January 31, 2010

    386,
    I know you won’t be reading this, but I’ll respond nonetheless. Seriously, I don’t understand your logic. You say I can’t think for myself because I have pointed out the truth? A truth that other Christians know and have written about? Are you trying to say that because we know and believe prophesies have been fulfilled by Jesus, we’re not allowed to share that with others because it’s not an original thought? Are we not allowed to share what we believe if one of your fellow skeptic wants to know why we believe what we believe?

    I could ask the same questions of you: why can’t you think for yourself? Why do you keep spousing the same weak arguments that I’ve heard from every other atheist? Do you think you’re the first person to bring these allegations against me or any other Bible believing Christian? If evolution has all the answers anybody could ever need, then why is it that you are uncritically repeating phrases from secular sources? Obviously you are getting a lot of your answers from low brow atheist apologetic books. I doubt you have one original thought to lend to this conversation that I haven’t heard before (or responded to before).

    Anyway, I’m not even sure what sources you think I should be restricted to citing. I could quote scripture all day long if that would make you happy. On the other hand, if someone is skeptical of what the Bible says, then I’m not ashamed to quote independent sources that support and validate the Bible’s claims. I don’t think that’s any different than what an atheist would do if someone were skeptical of your bible, The Origin of Species. If I denied what is written there, you would probably cite some other low brow apologetic source to uphold your beliefs. Can you explain how your tactics are more reputable than mine? What makes your sources so infallible?

  118. #118 Modusoperandi
    January 31, 2010

    Jon S “I don’t think that’s any different than what an atheist would do if someone were skeptical of your bible, The Origin of Species.”
    Adorable! Besides excerpts (and the always popular anti-evolutionist Darwin-quotemines), I’ve never even read it. Considering what he had to work with, Darwin was pretty close. That doesn’t make him “our” Moses.
    Our true history is in our genes, even the bits you probably insist aren’t there (like our ancestral Fishness or the additional “information” that gene duplication can provide (four colour vision, for one). Genetics and comparative genomics form a more accurate book than Origin, which isn’t surprising as Darwin didn’t have genetics to lean on on any level other than the abstract (some of his work comes of as practically Lamarckian, if memory serves, which, lacking genetics, again, shouldn’t be a surprise). Cladistics (even if we didn’t have the fossil record at all) support a more accurate (and far longer) family tree than the “begets” of the Tanakh ever were.
    It’s not the fault of the real world that its history doesn’t fit into Genesis, just as it’s not the fault of hydrodynamic sorting or geology that they fail to fit The Deluge. It’s not the Earth’s fault that it isn’t 6,000 years old. It’s not a fictional Adam’s fault that you can’t stop masturbating, and it’s not his equally fictional [identical] twin sister’s fault that it’s his fault that you get warm in your tender areas when you think about boobies.

  119. #119 Richard Eis
    February 1, 2010

    As I’ve pointed out, breeding or speciation is not the same thing as evolution. They’re two totally separate concepts.

    No they aren’t, they are the same thing on different scales. You even give them the same name micro-evolution and macro-evolution. You forget that to grow a feather instead of a hair, all you need to do is change the DNA of the animal. Feathers are made from exactly the same materials as hair. They are actually just hairs that grow in a different way.
    Going from hair to feathers is as much micro-evolution as changing a dog species through breeding.

    The prophets made legitimate prophesies and did miracles to back up their assertions. Parting the Red Sea wasn’t some parlor trick, and Jesus fulfilling Old Testament prophesies wasn’t an accident. In fact Jesus himself accepted scripture as the Word of God.

    All of which comes from the bible. You are still using the bible to validate the bible. Scripture validates Christ. Christ validates scripture.
    Rinse. Repeat.

    But why would they go their separate ways? As you lectured me, wouldn’t they be safer by staying together?

    I was refering then to a one off magical event (babel). Obviously EVENTUALLY people are going to wander off and explore and spread out. But they do that naturally over many generations, not because the neighbours suddenly got godded one afternoon.

  120. #120 Richard Eis
    February 1, 2010

    The Creationist model DOES work, and your denying it doesn’t alter reality.

    But your model doesn’t take into account war and looking after the elderly either. Its just a simple doubling calculation. Your model is “not even wrong”.

    Neanderthals were ancestors of Adam and Eve. Any Creationist website makes that very clear and provides plenty of evidence.

    If they lived at the same time as other europeans, they didn’t have any of the knowledge of the other humans. After all 4000 years ago they were scratching out a living as hunter gathers with stone tools, while everyone else was harvesting and metal working around them. Rather an odd situation don’t you think? What with them being descendents of homosapiens and all.

    They could open a Canine World and charge admission.

    I don’t have time to start breeding giant dogs. Can we please now drop this subject. It isn’t even relevant beyond microevolution.

    This is another example of evolution inhibiting science.

    Except it is the evolutionists looking at the DNA and working bits out. The creationists are just sitting in their armchairs shouting “well look harder then”. at everyone. They aren’t actually helping.

    DNA is a blueprint for life

    No, its not. That is a terrible metaphor for DNA in fact. DNA is a collection of replicating sugars. Nothing more. Imbuing it with “information”, “design” or “instructions” is to completely misunderstand what DNA is and does.

    I’m not trying to use scare tactics, but most of those who have died and gone to hell didn’t think the Bible was necessary either

    Remind me again why you would worship a creature that condemns people who havent read one particular book to burn for all eternity?

    God opposes magic, for that requires demonic activity.

    Conjuring things from nowhere is magic, whether it is done by God, or man. God, it seems, opposes magic HE doesn’t approve of. Just as chanting for rain and praying for rain are the same thing…and therefore will have pretty much the same lack of effect.

    If we create life, we will probably do so by doing the equivalent of putting some chemicals in a jar and waiting. That then would show that life forms without intelligent agency.

  121. #121 SLC
    February 1, 2010

    Re Richard Eis & Modusoperandi

    I must admire the patience of Mr. Eis and Mr. Modusoperandi in responding to the idiocy of this blogs resident putz, Mr. Jon S. Eventually, NASA and the ESA are planning to send a probe to Jupiters’ moon Europa which will have the capability of lowering a TV camera through a vent into the ocean underneath the several mile thick ice cap. If it should happen that the camera shows sharks swimming around in that ocean, I would be willing to bet that Mr. Jon S, who denies the existence of life elsewhere in the Universe, would say that who should people believe, him or their lying eyes.

  122. #122 Richard Eis
    February 2, 2010

    Its fun. He will crack or run away eventually. The last 3 did.

  123. #123 Jon S
    February 4, 2010

    Richard,

    “breeding or speciation is not the same thing as evolution. They’re two totally separate concepts.”

    No they aren’t, they are the same thing on different scales. You even give them the same name micro-evolution and macro-evolution. You forget that to grow a feather instead of a hair, all you need to do is change the DNA of the animal. Feathers are made from exactly the same materials as hair. They are actually just hairs that grow in a different way. Going from hair to feathers is as much micro-evolution as changing a dog species through breeding.

    Actually they are two totally separate concepts. I’ll explain again. First, micro and macro evolution are not reliable descriptions because microevolution is not really evolution at all. You’ve been using those terms, not me. Evolution is what it is. Evolution is the concept that all living organisms are related by a common ancestor, and that first common ancestor came from non-living material. Evolution is what allegedly happens between a single celled organism and man. Trying to explain how an organism without the genetic makeup for legs, blood, bone, wings, feather, etc. developed the genetic coding for such is not the same process as an organism that has the genetic makeup already present and gives birth to offspring with those traits. The genetic makeup is already there. Dogs can give birth to dogs with different color or styles of fur because they have the variation already programmed into their genes to begin with. That doesn’t explain how it got there in the first place. You’re forgetting that feathers are not the same thing as scales, even if they are composed of the same material. If you can’t see the difference, then lets go back even further. Did the first single celled organism have the genetic makeup for feathers and hair? I think not. Surely you don’t believe all the genetic makeup found in man was present in the first living organism, right? Didn’t that material need to ‘evolve’ into the genome? How did that happen when the material wasn’t there? The process necessary for a single celled organism to evolve into a man is a different process than simply sorting out the existing genetic material in a population of animals. Mutations are necessary for evolution, but unnecessary for speciation because existing traits are simply passed to the offspring. A great variety of dogs can be bread in a short period of time, but the dogs are still dogs. They haven’t evolved into something else. Furthermore, rearranging the genetic material found in scales to get feathers is not as simple as you’re trying to make it. Try taking the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and rearrange the words and letters just in one topic to see if it helps your understanding of a particular subject, or if it becomes complete nonsense. Keep doing this every ten seconds over the next ten years and tell me if you’ve found anything useful. Randomly rearranging the genetic material in scales will not produce feathers in some lucky dino-bird. You must have faith that something so absurd can occur. Yet you so willingly accept it without question. Here’s a good article from ICR on dog breeding, variation, and evolution: http://www.icr.org/article/5168/

    All of which comes from the bible. You are still using the bible to validate the bible. Scripture validates Christ. Christ validates scripture. Rinse. Repeat.

    You seem to forget that the Bible is a collection of different sources, written by different people over hundreds of years. There are also other historical texts that backup what’s written in the Bible (Josephus, other religious texts). Archaeological evidence has supported the Bibles claims as well (Jericho, the Hittites, Hazor). If that’s not good enough for you, I’m not sure what will help other than if God were to grab you and start shaking you. And of course things like that do happen (Acts 9:1-10). Even modern day people acknowledge miracles that have turned them from atheism to Christianity. I’ve read from many people who have reported witnessing all kinds of miracles (mostly from missionaries in persecuted countries). I guess you’ll just have to wait for your turn for the light to come on.

    But your model doesn’t take into account war and looking after the elderly either. Its just a simple doubling calculation. Your model is “not even wrong”.

    I suggest you go to AIG’s website and provide them with feedback so that they can acknowledge and correct their errors. Actually, they do take disease, famine, and natural disasters into consideration. The world population currently doubles about every 40 years, so their using 150 years is legit. If you still disagree, please provide evidence.

    If they lived at the same time as other europeans, they didn’t have any of the knowledge of the other humans. After all 4000 years ago they were scratching out a living as hunter gathers with stone tools, while everyone else was harvesting and metal working around them. Rather an odd situation don’t you think? What with them being descendents of homosapiens and all.

    I do wish you would do some research of your own. None of what you say is confirmed by the evidence. There’s plenty of evidence to show neandertals interacted with other humans. In fact there are four known sites in which neandertals were buried with modern humans. Rather odd, don’t you think, that they were buried with modern humans if they didn’t know they existed and all.

    I don’t have time to start breeding giant dogs. Can we please now drop this subject. It isn’t even relevant beyond microevolution.

    Sure, since you’ve conceded my point. But you’re throwing a fortune down the drain ;-)

    Except it is the evolutionists looking at the DNA and working bits out. The creationists are just sitting in their armchairs shouting “well look harder then”. at everyone. They aren’t actually helping.

    Strawman argument.

    “DNA is a blueprint for life”

    No, its not. That is a terrible metaphor for DNA in fact. DNA is a collection of replicating sugars. Nothing more. Imbuing it with “information”, “design” or “instructions” is to completely misunderstand what DNA is and does.

    It’s only a terrible metaphor for those who refuse to see the complexity of DNA and choose to think it’s just a gob of goo that just happens. Science has come a long way since Pasteur demonstrated life doesn’t arise spontaneously. The metaphor is brilliant for those who wish to marvel at the amazing design God created.

    Remind me again why you would worship a creature that condemns people who havent read one particular book to burn for all eternity?

    God doesn’t condemn anyone to hell for not reading a book. He sends those to hell who hate and reject him (Psalm 81:15, Proverbs 8:35-36). However those who put their hope, faith and trust in Jesus Christ will receive the gift of life (Romans 6:23).

    Conjuring things from nowhere is magic, whether it is done by God, or man. God, it seems, opposes magic HE doesn’t approve of. Just as chanting for rain and praying for rain are the same thing…and therefore will have pretty much the same lack of effect.

    No, there’s a big difference between magic, authority, and power. Conjuring things from nowhere requires supernatural interference. Man cannot conjure things by his own will. God, however, is all powerful and doesn’t have to summon another sources for his power. True magic comes from demonic sources, whom themselves have supernatural power. God has true authority, and all of nature is subject to him. It’s not magic. Rocks can cry out (Luke 19:39-41), mountains can be moved (Matthew 21:21), seas will be silenced (Mark 4:38-40), and the dead raised by his command (John 11:40-44). If you can imagine what human beings can accomplish by their authority to those subject to them, just imagine what God can accomplish with all of nature subject to him.

    If we create life, we will probably do so by doing the equivalent of putting some chemicals in a jar and waiting. That then would show that life forms without intelligent agency.

    Miller-Urey already attempted that and failed.

    Richard, I admit I’m growing weary, but I’ll continue our conversation for the moment. If it looks like were not getting anywhere I’ll stop and let you add another feather to your cap. For now I hope I’m clearing up many of the misconceptions atheists have. I’ve repeated myself many times, but I do hope the light is starting to come on.

  124. #124 Jon S
    February 4, 2010

    SLC, I’m saddened that you don’t admire me for my patience with Richard and Modus in responding to their ignorance.

    Anyway, if we do find sharks swimming on Europa, I’ll concede that I’m a putz and you’re supreme and god-like. But if we find no evidence of life, I’d like you to turn your life over to Christ- deal?

    Jon

  125. #125 Richard Eis
    February 5, 2010

    Try taking the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and rearrange the words and letters just in one topic to see if it helps your understanding of a particular subject, or if it becomes complete nonsense.

    If the britannica was only made of the letters A, B, C and D. If the changes were in a trillion copies, each changing about once per hour. Also if you weren’t looking for sense (there is little sense in DNA) then your metaphor might have worked.

    As I have said before, man is made from chemicals.
    He is a collection of molecules.
    When DNA changes, it can create new proteins. Change the DNA, change the protein that is created. Change other parts of the DNA and you change how those proteins form and fold into their final shape. That is all that is needed to create feathers from scales…even if those scales are not the same protein originally.
    This is not simple. It takes a huge amount of time and innumerable failures.

    witnessing all kinds of miracles (mostly from missionaries in persecuted countries)

    It is not a miracle when all but one person is mutiliated and killed a in a disaster. I’m sure that person sees it as divine intervention as he stands in the midst of all the bodies that weren’t so lucky. I am not so fortunate to have such happy ignorance.

    There are about 2 billion christians in the world. That means 1 in a million chances happen 2000 times a day for a christian somewhere. Even Lourdes has the occasional miracle due to its sheer number of visitors.

    You don’t specify HOW archeology proves the claims in the bible (Jericho?) I am not sure how it could “prove” the divinity of christ. You will have to be more specific. I’m sure the bible is quite accurate in it’s place names and social context. I question it’s authority as a holy text connected to God.

  126. #126 Richard Eis
    February 5, 2010

    I suggest you go to AIG’s website and provide them with feedback so that they can acknowledge and correct their errors.

    I’m sure that would delight them no end. Unfortunately I have had run-ins with AIG before. Their commenting policy is… less than friendly to “corrections”. All I found was the doubling every 150 years which tried to show that a population could go from 2 to 9 billion in 6000 years. I don’t think it was supposed to be actually accurate, more a proof of concept. The fact that they use 150 years to double, but we are currently doubling at 40 years shows that it would make a poor model if it was use that way.

    Rather odd, don’t you think, that they were buried with modern humans if they didn’t know they existed and all.

    You misunderstood my point i’m afraid. Neanderthals certainly interacted with humans. I was merely pointing out that if you squish human history down to 6000 years you suddenly have to explain why humans were getting on with metal-work and farming while neanderthals (even though they were from the same human line) were never that advanced. This is the problem with a young earth. You have to squish in a lot of history and archeological findings.

    t’s only a terrible metaphor for those who refuse to see the complexity of DNA and choose to think it’s just a gob of goo that just happens.

    Actually calling DNA a blueprint greatly cheapens what DNA can do. It is a metaphor that in my opinion causes more harm to understanding than insight.

    Miller-Urey already attempted that and failed.

    I said the “equivelent”. I.e. NOT building one like you would build a robot. I am well aware of the primordial soup experiments and their limits.

    However those who put their hope, faith and trust in Jesus Christ will receive the gift of life (Romans 6:23).

    The point being you still need to have heard of Jesus to get saved. Oh my, those poor lost tribes in the Amazon.

    Conjuring things from nowhere requires supernatural interference. Man cannot conjure things by his own will.

    Tell that to every mystic of every age and their devoted followers. Its a wonder how you just happened to find the one true god with all these pretenders.

    Must be a miracle. 1999 more to go today.

  127. #127 Jon S
    February 7, 2010

    Richard,

    If the britannica was only made of the letters A, B, C and D. If the changes were in a trillion copies, each changing about once per hour. Also if you weren’t looking for sense (there is little sense in DNA) then your metaphor might have worked.

    The point I’m trying to make is that there is a great deal of information stored in DNA, regardless of how you wish to simplify it in order to maintain your belief system. Most people would be amazed at the complexity of life, but you just shrug it away with a yawn. The amount of DNA that could fit on the head of a pin contains enough information to stack books from the earth to the moon 500 times.

    As I have said before, man is made from chemicals. He is a collection of molecules. When DNA changes, it can create new proteins. Change the DNA, change the protein that is created. Change other parts of the DNA and you change how those proteins form and fold into their final shape. That is all that is needed to create feathers from scales…even if those scales are not the same protein originally. This is not simple. It takes a huge amount of time and innumerable failures.

    I’m quite aware of what man is made of. The issue is that genes are regulated and work to avoid mutations so that each copy is exact. When these mechanisms fail, more often than not it’s bad for the organism. The mutation may be neutral, beneficial, harmful, or deadly. To rely on thousands of generations of mutations in order to arrive with the final masterpiece (a wing, for example) is ludicrous. As you point out it would take innumerable failures, as if the genome were trying to reach some kind of predetermined goal. Try enough combinations and eventually it will get the right combination, almost as if trying to unlock a safe. Unfortunately, if evolution were strictly random, as you must believe, then it doesn’t make sense for these mutations to take place until it finds something that works better than its ancestors. It seems more believable that the transitionary forms would be at a severe disadvantage for millions of years until they finally found the right combination for wings. In other words, if becoming a bird was an advantage, and this process takes millions of years, and the transitionary form is a disadvantage, then evolution has major problems. Scales on dinosaurs would be more beneficial than mutant feathers which would most likely be harmful until they could be used for flight, warmth or swimming. Trying to suppose a usefulness for the transitionary form is just story telling based on your belief system.

    It is not a miracle when all but one person is mutiliated and killed a in a disaster. I’m sure that person sees it as divine intervention as he stands in the midst of all the bodies that weren’t so lucky. I am not so fortunate to have such happy ignorance.

    The word miracle has different connotations. A true miracle is when God intervenes in the natural order of things. If God were to rescue that individual by suspending the laws of nature, then that would indeed be a miracle. In your example, however, you’re trying to suppose there’s a naturalistic explanation as to why that individual survived. And although that may be true, that would not be a true miracle, although someone may call it a miracle. The real unfortunate thing for you is that you don’t understand that God works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 28:28). So while we are aware of countless tragedies (Haiti, tsunamis, wars, famine), Christians know that God will work through them and bring many people to salvation that otherwise wouldn’t have had that opportunity. Most Christians understand that this world is not about us and our happiness here and now, but that life is about Christ and preparing for his eternal Kingdom. Our rewards and true happiness are in the life to come.

    There are about 2 billion christians in the world. That means 1 in a million chances happen 2000 times a day for a christian somewhere. Even Lourdes has the occasional miracle due to its sheer number of visitors.

    Again you’re assuming there is no all-powerful God in order to explain ‘miracles’, and aren’t even considering that God exists and truly intervenes in our lives.

    You don’t specify HOW archeology proves the claims in the bible (Jericho?) I am not sure how it could “prove” the divinity of christ. You will have to be more specific. I’m sure the bible is quite accurate in it’s place names and social context. I question it’s authority as a holy text connected to God.

    I’m not saying that archaeology ‘proves’ the claims of the Bible. However many people have dismissed the Bible’s claims based on archaeological evidence, and after time more information comes forth that supports the Bible’s claims. This gives credibility to the accuracy and reliability of the Biblical text. If we can rely on the historical accuracy of the text, that also gives credibility to the author’s claims concerning miracles, and the death and resurrection of Christ. If we can demonstrate that Israel escaped from Egypt and crossed through the parting of the Red Sea, while pharaoh and his army perished, that would provide evidence for the existence of God. If we can demonstrate that Jericho’s walls fell, this lends credibility to the Bible’s claims. Likewise, if we can demonstrate that the fossil record is the result of a worldwide flood, that is also evidence for the existence of God. And while we have all this evidence, the evidence is not proof because the evidence itself must be interpreted. As you demonstrate, the evidence can be interpreted in a uniformitarian and naturalistic way so as to avoid believing in the existence of God. So what I’m saying is that the evidence you’re asking for is there, it’s just that you’re not really interested in acknowledging it. Did the Jesus’ disciples really witness Jesus walking on water and calming the sea? Did they really see and talk to Jesus after he was put to death and raised from the dead? Archaeology lends credibility to the disciples claims. In addition, many others besides the disciples witnessed Jesus’ miracles, and none of his miracles were ever disputed at the time they were reported (at least that I know of). I don’t see how you can dispute all the crowds that came to Jesus begging for mercy and miracles. If the claims for miracles never happened, surely someone would have been able to stand up and deny them. Jesus really was the superstar of his day.

    I’m sure that would delight them no end. Unfortunately I have had run-ins with AIG before. Their commenting policy is… less than friendly to “corrections”.

    Perhaps you should ask them to explain why they refuse to make corrections. Could it be that they think you are wrong?

    All I found was the doubling every 150 years which tried to show that a population could go from 2 to 9 billion in 6000 years. I don’t think it was supposed to be actually accurate, more a proof of concept. The fact that they use 150 years to double, but we are currently doubling at 40 years shows that it would make a poor model if it was use that way.

    Your statement doesn’t make any sense. On the other hand, taking a conservative model makes a lot of sense. If we use the doubling every 40 years, that actually hurts evolutionists even more and helps Creationists. What model are you using to come up with our current population based on evolutionary assumptions?

    You misunderstood my point i’m afraid. Neanderthals certainly interacted with humans. I was merely pointing out that if you squish human history down to 6000 years you suddenly have to explain why humans were getting on with metal-work and farming while neanderthals (even though they were from the same human line) were never that advanced. This is the problem with a young earth. You have to squish in a lot of history and archeological findings.

    I understand your point, but you made factually incorrect claims that you are now correcting. But to your point, it’s actually very easy to explain and is no problem at all for a young earth as you suspect. Let me explain; if we accept the claim that men dispersed during Babel, do you understand that not every individual would take with them all the knowledge that that society had? Those who were farmers may not have the knowledge that a blacksmith would. And the blacksmith may not understand how to build a ship or navigate by sea, and a seaman may not have the knowledge of the arts, and those in the arts may not have the knowledge of mathematics, etc, etc. It’s entirely conceivable that neandertals didn’t have a background in those areas of expertise. Your descendants would be much the same if they were to go their own way. Some of your ancestors would be skilled in certain areas, and others may be unskilled, depending on various factors. That wouldn’t mean that those descendants who were less skilled were less evolved than you or your other descendants. To this day we have humans living in caves, farming, and hunting and gathering. Does that mean they’re less evolved than you or I, or could there be other factors keeping them in the ‘stone age’? Hopefully you can see that you just haven’t thought very thoroughly through your assumptions. It really shouldn’t be surprising to understand that humans 6,000 years ago were very diverse, where some were more advanced than others.

    Actually calling DNA a blueprint greatly cheapens what DNA can do. It is a metaphor that in my opinion causes more harm to understanding than insight.

    No, calling DNA a blueprint greatly heightens the understanding of what it’s meant to do. Refusing to understand this causes more harm to understanding, which you continue to demonstrate with your simplistic understanding of life. This metaphor gives much more dignity to the complexity of life. Creationists aren’t going to step calling DNA and the genome a blueprint just to accomodate evolutionists, just as I’d never expect you or any other evolutionists to accept this metaphor. http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i4/database.asp

    I said the “equivelent”. I.e. NOT building one like you would build a robot. I am well aware of the primordial soup experiments and their limits.

    I still don’t get your point. Miller-Urey did exactly what you proposed and failed (put chemicals in a jar and wait). So you think doing the equivalent will accomplish what? In reality scientists are modifying life in order to come of with new forms of life, using premade components, much like building a robot. See the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, which was built by synthesizing small blocks of DNA. According to Hamilton Smith, “you can’t drop a genome into a test tube and expect it to come to life.”

    The point being you still need to have heard of Jesus to get saved. Oh my, those poor lost tribes in the Amazon.

    I think a lot of people make that assumption, but that’s not what scripture teaches. I’m sure some of those from lost tribes in the Amazon will be saved, but not on the same measure as you or I. The Bible makes it clear that certain people will be judged differently or more ‘strictly’ than others (James 3:1). God has also made it clear that man can know God from his creation (Romans 1:20) so that man is without excuse. We also know that men went to heaven before Jesus was even born (Moses, Elijah, Elisha), so it’s not true that someone would have to have heard of Jesus to be saved. What it boils down to is faith. The main thing to understand is that God is in control, and his judgment will be just.

    Tell that to every mystic of every age and their devoted followers. Its a wonder how you just happened to find the one true god with all these pretenders.

    I’m not saying that those who perform ‘magic’ do or do not understand the source of their magic. I’m not ashamed to tell them that their magic is demonic in nature. And yes, it is a wonder that God would choose someone like me, an awful sinner, to receive the gift of life. That’s why I’m not ashamed to stand before man and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation he has offered us.

  128. #128 Robert
    February 7, 2010

    Jon S.
    Wow! I have plowed through this blog from the beginning although I am sure I nodded off during parts of it. You certainly have a lot of energy. You seem to be an intelligent individual, at least you have read a lot and can quote a lot of sources. And if you were living a 100 or 200 years ago, you might be considered learned.

    However, you do not seem to understand science.

    First, lets separate philosophy from science. The philosophy of science is that there is a real world out there, beyond our own self awareness and that it is understandable. Science is the process of trying to understand that real world out there. So basically, you have materialism, or whatever they call a belief in a real world nowadays. Now, it may be that all of this materialism is a bunch of bunk, or maybe only part of the story, but science has demonstrated, over the last century that it has a lot going for it.

    Science, or the formal method for understanding the real world, is best described by the scientific method. It goes roughly:

    1) make a bunch of observations
    2) make a hypothesis to explain those observations
    3) prove the hypothesis – explain the known observations, make new observations that fit the hypothesis, predict new observations and observe them

    Making the hypothesis is tricky. Going from the specifics to the general, induction, takes a certain amount of genius and must always be viewed with a level of skepticism. Science looks for the simplest explanation for the greatest number of observations. Newton’s law of gravity is the classic (sic) example of this, it describes the movements of planets, stars and golf balls in one simple equation.

    Proving the hypothesis usually takes the form of: If the hypothesis is true, I would expect to see this or various logical equivalents: A => B, not B => not A, A => not C, C => A etc.

    The reason I am giving this grade 8 science class is that back in post 67 you ask:

    For example, which of the following uses the scientific method, and which is religious:
    A) examining a volcanic rock and determining that it’s age is 87.3 million years based on the results of radiometric dating B) examining this same rock and concluding from eye witness accounts that the rock was a result of a volcanic eruption occurring 47 years ago C) determining from years of research that a certain drug effectively kills cancer cells?

    None or all of these could be called science. The science would be the processes by which these things were determined. For example in C) the scientists might have taken a drug from a sea moss, transferred its DNA into a easily produced bacteria, tested the drug on mice, done pretrial tests on chimpanzees and then double blind tests on humans. All of this work fits under the framework of evolution. All life shares the same basic structure, from mosses to humans. Mice are mammals and similar to humans, so a drug that works on them may work on humans, chimpanzees are humans closest existing relative and so a drug that works on chimpanzees will likely work on humans and will likely be safe for humans. Do creationists view chimpanzees ‘closer’ to humans than orangutans, gorillas or mice? How would a creationist scientist test new medical drugs?

    So let’s apply the scientific method to the Theory of Evolution. First, there are lots of observations: Animals share many characteristics, animals all over the word seem uniquely adapted to their environment, many animals that are geographically separated are distinct (no mammals in Australia). Plants and animals produce many more offspring than can survive and all offspring are slightly different from their parents. Some differences provide advantages to the offspring.

    Now form an hypothesis: Small changes that provide advantages to the new generation will, over many generations lead to new species. All living species today are descended from a common ancestor.

    Now prove the hypothesis: This is where the if A then B comes in. If all species today are descended from a common ancestor then: there should be many, many extinct species, older fossils should be simpler than newer fossils, modern skeletons should not be found in ancient fossil beds, genetic clocks should reflect the physical separation of species. More similar species should have more similar DNA etc.

    Now, to date, the tests of evolution have been so overwhelming, it has been elevated to a theory. It is such a simple couple of statements that explain such a vast and disparate set of observations that most scientific minded people view it as incontestable, which is probably why non-scientific people might view it as dogma. If someone today asserts that the sun goes around the earth and that the stars are just points of light revolving in the firmament we do tend to think of them as stupid (is there a polite way to say that someone is not smart?). So in a sense, the heliocentric view of the solar system is scientific dogma, it has so overwhelmingly been verified, that questioning it seems stupid.

    Now, as a YEC, you have a more deadly foe than ToE. The evidence for the age of the planet and of the universe is overwhelming. Since you are talking about the real world, lets state the theory of YEC.

    Observation: the bible says that the universe (heavens and the earth) were created in 6 days about 10,000 years ago.

    Hypothesis: The universe was created in 6 days no more than 10,000.

    Proof of hypothesis: If the universe is no more than 10,000 years old, no object in the night sky should be more than 10,000 light years distant. Or, using the rules of logic, you can reverse this and say that if an object in the night sky is more than 10,000 light years away, then the universe was created more than 10,000 years ago.

    Now, modern astronomy certainly records objects that are a lot more than 10,000 light years away. Galaxies have been observed over 13 billion light years away. But is there a way to explain this within the YEC theory similar to the way evolutionists explain marine fossils on the tops of mountains with tectonics. Well, the calculations of the distances could be wrong, but we are talking about a difference of 1,000,000 times. And if they are a million times closer, objects that look like stars are no bigger than a planet, and yet apparently fusing hydrogen just like our sun. And worse still, we are talking about all of the stars in our galaxy plus all of the other galaxies crammed into a volume 1/1,000th the accepted size of our own galaxy.

    Now the above argument is pretty damning for YEC, because it deals with things people can actually see, and people usually take what they see as the gospel truth. Actually it looks insurmountable to me, and as a scientist, I would have to throw out the hypothesis – as most scientist do.

    Can you explain this apparent contradiction? I suspect you can point me to some answersingenesis answer, which is fine, but can you actually express the argument yourself?

  129. #129 Robert
    February 7, 2010

    Sorry, I have an error in my calculations above. I should have used 20,000 light years as the diameter of the YEC universe, since we can see in two opposite directions. Now using 100,000 light years for the accepted size of our galaxy, the YEC unverse is 8/1000 or about 1/100th the accepted size of our galaxy. So all of the stars we see and all of the galaxies seen through the Hubble telescope and by extrapolation all of the galaxies that Hubble could see (estimated at 170 billion, but of course it would take long time to look at each one) are squished into this volume.

  130. #130 Richard Eis
    February 8, 2010

    The amount of DNA that could fit on the head of a pin contains enough information to stack books from the earth to the moon 500 times.

    Large sections of which are either not used, or are used as “spacing” between the stuff that actually does the work. I’m sure there is just as much “information” (in its mathematical meaning which is what you’re implying) in a grain of sand. It’s sub-atomic structure may be even more complex than DNA. My point still stands. There is nothing magical about DNA. It is a set of 4 chemicals strung together in different ways. The patterns may be complex, but they are not complicated… or special… or magical…

    As you point out it would take innumerable failures, as if the genome were trying to reach some kind of predetermined goal. Try enough combinations and eventually it will get the right combination, almost as if trying to unlock a safe.

    Sooo, that would explain all those dead creatures then. It doesn’t however mean that there is a predetermined goal at all. Where you got that idea is beyond me. You should be well enough up on evolutionary theory to know that isn’t how it works.

    An arm covered in scales is heavy, it also costs more energy to create thick scales than thin. If they arne’t needed due to environment changes then

    Unfortunately, if evolution were strictly random, as you must believe, then it doesn’t make sense for these mutations to take place until it finds something that works better than its ancestors.

    Evolution isn’t random. It also doesn’t have to be “better”. It can just be “different”. There are plenty of animals that didn’t grow wings. Some got bigger, some smaller. What works, stays and breeds. What doesn’t, doesn’t. You are falling for the “lottery” fallacy (If you win the lottery you must be special).

    Our rewards and true happiness are in the life to come.

    You will excuse me if I don’t stand around dawdling for a possible “future” happiness, when I can have a perfectly happy life now.

    Again you’re assuming there is no all-powerful God in order to explain ‘miracles’, and aren’t even considering that God exists and truly intervenes in our lives.

    Since we can’t tell “God’s hand” from a chance piece of good fortune (as you said)…how can you ever know?
    I asked about these daily “miracles” once that christians speak of. I had the guy tell me he prayed to Jesus that he would get a parking spot near the entrance to the supermarket, which he got. That was his latest miracle…showing conclusively that God was affecting his daily life. I wanted to weep for humanity at that point. I really did.

  131. #131 Richard Eis
    February 8, 2010

    If we can demonstrate that Israel escaped from Egypt and crossed through the parting of the Red Sea, while pharaoh and his army perished, that would provide evidence for the existence of God. If we can demonstrate that Jericho’s walls fell, this lends credibility to the Bible’s claims. Likewise, if we can demonstrate that the fossil record is the result of a worldwide flood, that is also evidence for the existence of God.

    And can you?

    Archaeology lends credibility to the disciples claims.

    How? Specifically?

    Your statement doesn’t make any sense. On the other hand, taking a conservative model makes a lot of sense.

    My point is that their “150 years” is not a model. It is a mathematical proof of concept that you COULD go from 2 to 9 billion within 6000 years. It is a rough estimate. Being “conservative” with your starting figures does NOT change the fact that the calculation doesn’t reflect the actual ebb and flow of human populations over time. I never disputed that you could go from 2 to 9 billion within 6000 years. I refute that it ACTUALLY happened that way.

    It really shouldn’t be surprising to understand that humans 6,000 years ago were very diverse, where some were more advanced than others.

    Indeed, but these people were all living in the same area around Europe at the same time (according to YEC). It isn’t just a bit of diversity either. We are talking a completely different culture and way of life, completely untouched by all those other settlers. Also, completely different technological levels with no sign of interaction or swapping of technologies. No little copper knife among all those stone tools.
    You also didn’t have a problem with this when we discussed the wiping out of all but one small family of humans (who wouldn’t probably have known metal working or pottery either) during your flood. You can’t have it both ways.

    Blueprint = bad metaphor. It is not about “dignifying” life. It’s about understanding it. A poor metaphor does not help, it gives the impression of intention and design that just isn’t there. DNA does not work like a blueprint. If it did, the DNA would look like the creature it was extruding for one thing.
    I avoid “blueprint” for the same reasons I avoid the word “design” when talking about Evolution. It causes confusion if you aren’t very, very careful.

    I still don’t get your point. Miller-Urey did exactly what you proposed and failed (put chemicals in a jar and wait). So you think doing the equivalent will accomplish what?

    I meant that the first creation of DNA from scratch won’t be done by paintstakingly putting something together by hand. It will be done by using natural processes to “help” the DNA form into a replicating organism. I won’t be happy with anything else.

    The main thing to understand is that God is in control, and his judgment will be just.

    So, basically…prayin ain’t no good. And this is justice from the guy who boils people for eternity for the “greater good”. Oh goody
    You’re really not selling your God here you know.

    That’s why I’m not ashamed to stand before man and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation he has offered us.

    A salvation, which it appears, you may or may not get depending on rules which you neither know nor would understand and which are applied differently to different people.
    And you think WE atheists are miserable, pessimistic and doomed to be nothing. I’d have slit my wrists a long time ago if i’d believed in christianity.

  132. #132 Modusoperandi
    February 11, 2010

    Apologies for the lateness (and length) of my reply. I was on vacation. Vacation is the only time I can be naked and not get odd looks from my coworkers. Instead I get odd looks from the other people in the grocery store. Then, I get arrested. Ah, good times…

    SLC “I must admire the patience of Mr. Eis and Mr. Modusoperandi…”
    It’s not patience. I just enjoy posting replies to YECs while I’m clad in only a bow tie. It’s a fetish of mine. Don’t judge me.

    Richard Eis “Its fun.”
    Yes, I enjoy having comments get stuck in moderation hell. It’s a fetish of mine. Don’t judge me.

    “There are also other historical texts that backup what’s written in the Bible (Josephus, other religious texts).”
    “Even Lourdes has the occasional miracle due to its sheer number of visitors.”
    Pah! That’s Catholic! Everybody knows that they’re out-of-it. (Southern) Baptists are where it’s at. And possibly Pentecostals.

    Jon S “There are also other historical texts that backup what’s written in the Bible (Josephus, other religious texts).”
    Search for “josephus” on Infidels.org.

    “Archaeological evidence has supported the Bibles claims as well (Jericho, the Hittites, Hazor).”
    A wrecked walled village called Jericho is hardly the same as it being destroyed when people walked around it a bunch of times and blew a horn. Nor do Hittites show that Joshua got the sun to hold still so that his zealots could finish their butchering.

    “Even modern day people acknowledge miracles that have turned them from atheism to Christianity.”
    Sure, and to and from other religions as well. Christianity doesn’t have a lock on such things. Of course, people converting to, say, Hinduism are wrong. Obviously. Luckily it hardly ever happens outside India.

    “The world population currently doubles about every 40 years, so their using 150 years is legit. If you still disagree, please provide evidence.”
    Go to Wikipedia. Type “world population” in the search box. Look at the graph.

    “Science has come a long way since Pasteur demonstrated life doesn’t arise spontaneously.”
    That was fly larvae in rotting meat and mice in hay.

    “…and the dead raised by his command (John 11:40-44).”
    On a related note, remember earlier when you said that other historical texts back up the bible? How come no one noticed that the dead got up and wandered Jerusalem when Jesus died? I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of stuff that I’d write down.

    “SLC, I’m saddened that you don’t admire me for my patience with Richard and Modus in responding to their ignorance.”
    Woop. I’ve been called “ignorant” by a YEC. I don’t know whether to be amused or chastened. I’ll go with amused. It’s like getting called a bad driver by someone who just ran me over. In my living room.

    “To rely on thousands of generations of mutations in order to arrive with the final masterpiece (a wing, for example) is ludicrous.”
    One: Not a “final masterpiece”. A “work in progress”.
    Two: The “thousands of generations” is only problematic if you think the universe is much younger than it is.

    “As you point out it would take innumerable failures…”
    There are more failures than successes. We only see the winners. Even me. I’m a winner! Go me! Woo!

    “Scales on dinosaurs would be more beneficial than mutant feathers which would most likely be harmful until they could be used for flight, warmth or swimming.”
    Two words: “feathered dinosaurs” (flightless, generally).

    “Our rewards and true happiness are in the life to come.”
    Ah, now I see why it took so long for slavery to lose its luster.

    “If we can demonstrate that Israel escaped from Egypt and crossed through the parting of the Red Sea, while pharaoh and his army perished, that would provide evidence for the existence of God.”
    I do hate to argue your side for you, but that’s probably not the best example.

    “Likewise, if we can demonstrate that the fossil record is the result of a worldwide flood, that is also evidence for the existence of God.”
    Except that you can’t. Hydrodynamic sorting doesn’t work like that. Nor are flowering plants any better at outrunning a literal, worldwide flood than non-flowering ones.
    “So what I’m saying is that the evidence you’re asking for is there, it’s just that you’re not really interested in acknowledging it.”
    You do know that there are “other Jesus’” around, as we speak? Other “miracle workers”? Other people “raised from the dead”?
    “Jesus really was the superstar of his day.”
    Hence the paucity of info about Him?
    “Let me explain; if we accept the claim that men dispersed during Babel, do you understand that not every individual would take with them all the knowledge that that society had?”
    And, in Neanderthal’s case, I assume they only took their non-Homo sapiens sapiens genome with them…
    “Miller-Urey did exactly what you proposed and failed (put chemicals in a jar and wait).”
    You’re misunderstanding the purpose of the experiments. They (and their successors) weren’t attempting to make life in a jar. They were trying to see if the (at the time) posited envirionmental conditions could give rise to some of the precursors, some of the “building blocks”, of life.
    “God has also made it clear that man can know God from his creation (Romans 1:20) so that man is without excuse.”
    Which is why, without the “correct” prophet, they always come to the wrong answer. Polytheism or animism, generally.

  133. #133 Richard Eis
    February 11, 2010

    Which is why, without the “correct” prophet, they always come to the wrong answer.

    Ah, but it doesn’t matter because miraculously every person in the world knows that their religion (plus religous subset and church) is the correct one. Of course all those other religions are just deluding themselves.

    Now THAT’S a miracle that truly amazes me.

  134. #134 Jon S
    February 12, 2010

    Robert,

    I admire you for wading through the entire post, but obviously you haven’t been paying close attention. You still have a lot of misunderstandings, and it’s not even clear that you read the entire post from the questions you ask.

    However, you do not seem to understand science.

    Hmmm… if I don’t understand science I must blame the evolutionist professors who have taught me science. I’ve been indoctrinated by evolutionists throughout grade school, high school and college. I’ve taken college level biology, astronomy and anthropology, and I’ve debated at length for a number of years on this website, so although I’m not a scientist (nor do I pretend to be one), I think I have a decent understanding of what science is and what it isn’t.

    Science, or the formal method for understanding the real world, is best described by the scientific method. It goes roughly:
    1) make a bunch of observations
    2) make a hypothesis to explain those observations
    3) prove the hypothesis – explain the known observations, make new observations that fit the hypothesis, predict new observations and observe them

    “For example, which of the following uses the scientific method, and which is religious: A) examining a volcanic rock and determining that it’s age is 87.3 million years based on the results of radiometric dating B) examining this same rock and concluding from eye witness accounts that the rock was a result of a volcanic eruption occurring 47 years ago C) determining from years of research that a certain drug effectively kills cancer cells?”

    None or all of these could be called science. The science would be the processes by which these things were determined.

    My examples were meant to be basic illustrations to make a point; forgive me for not going into enough detail to satisfy you (as if my posts weren’t long enough). If you wish to critique my examples at length, you certainly have that right, but you should do well to critique my opponents who seem to have a bigger issue of understanding what science is and what it isn’t. We can also go into greater detail and explain how each of your three steps fails in an evolutionary paradigm, starting with step 1. The bottom line is that no one can observe the past; one can only observe the effects of the past. Furthermore, I’ve been lectured to by Richard and others that proof is not a scientific concept. If science could prove a hypothesis, there would be no need to change, correct, and update science textbooks from year to year. So you are wrong about point 3. Evolutionists can certainly stretch their observations to fit the hypothesis, which this is exactly what they do, but this doesn’t prove that they’re right.

    All life shares the same basic structure, from mosses to humans. Mice are mammals and similar to humans, so a drug that works on them may work on humans, chimpanzees are humans closest existing relative and so a drug that works on chimpanzees will likely work on humans and will likely be safe for humans. Do creationists view chimpanzees ‘closer’ to humans than orangutans, gorillas or mice? How would a creationist scientist test new medical drugs?

    Life sharing the same basic structure is not a problem for Creationists, as you assume. Creationists test medical drugs on whichever animal is most suitable. Pigs are another animal similar to humans, and there is much scientific testing done on them as well because they’re closer to humans in some aspects than chimps, gorillas or orangutans. In fact, I find it fascinating that evolutionists don’t see the contradictions you’ve brought up. We do testing on mice, chimps, pigs, and other animals so that we have an idea how humans will react and be affected. But if chimps are our closest living relative, wouldn’t it make sense, evolutionwise, to only use chimps for testing? It makes little sense to do testing on mice, rats rabbits and pigs when they’re much further down the evolutionary line, yet we do so anyway. From a Creationist perspective it makes much more sense; God created all life with great variation, and some of the organisms he created are more similar than others in a variety of ways. God created life with the same basic structures so that we could interact and coexist. It’s really not that hard to understand (at least if you really wanted to understand). It would make little sense had God created all life forms dramatically different (and if God had done so, I’m sure evolutionists would find a way around that argument too).

    So let’s apply the scientific method to the Theory of Evolution. First, there are lots of observations: Animals share many characteristics, animals all over the word seem uniquely adapted to their environment, many animals that are geographically separated are distinct (no mammals in Australia). Plants and animals produce many more offspring than can survive and all offspring are slightly different from their parents. Some differences provide advantages to the offspring.

    All these observations also conform to the Creationist worldview, which better fits the data. What you’re not understanding is that there are other ways to explain what we observe other than evolution. Animals share characteristics, not because they’re related, but because they have a common designer (God), who designed them to fit into the world he created. Animals adapt to their environment, not because evolution did it, but because God created them with great genetic variation. In fact, some animals, if moved from the environment they’re uniquely adapted to, could adapt to their new environment, not because of evolution, but because of the variation that already exists in their genes. Animals geographically separated are distinct, not because evolution did it, but because they’re no longer in contact with the entire population, so they’ll lose some of the genetic traits not in their current population. Yes, plants and animals produce many offspring that are slightly different than their parents, not because they’re evolving, but because of the variation already present in their genome. Some new traits may provide an advantage, but this has nothing to do with evolution. You seem to be under the impression that evolution must be true because you define any change passed on to the offspring as an example of evolution. Of course offspring are slightly different than their parents, and those differences may or may not provide an advantage, but that has nothing to do with evolution, unless you’re trying to say the slight difference is the genetic code for a new trait (such as a feather) absent from the parents genome. Parents usually give birth to offspring that have traits the parents possessed in their genes. We don’t observe them passing along genetic information for gills if they’re not a fish. Finally, there are mammals in Australia, such as rabbits (although they’re not native).

    Now form an hypothesis: Small changes that provide advantages to the new generation will, over many generations lead to new species. All living species today are descended from a common ancestor.

    Or we could form this hypothesis: Small changes that provide advantages to the new generation will, over many generations lead to a new species (wolf, fox, coyote, dingo). All living species today reproduce according to their kind (dogs, elephants, whales, birds, snakes), but will produce great variation within that kind, and were descended from the original kind. Now, if you’re paying attention, there’s a big difference between your hypothesis and mine. For one, your hypothesis has two unrelated statements. Your first statement is true and can be observed. Your second statement is a belief that cannot be observed or proven. My statements are both true and both can be observed.

    Now prove the hypothesis: This is where the if A then B comes in. If all species today are descended from a common ancestor then: there should be many, many extinct species, older fossils should be simpler than newer fossils, modern skeletons should not be found in ancient fossil beds, genetic clocks should reflect the physical separation of species. More similar species should have more similar DNA etc.

    Again, you cannot prove a hypothesis. The best you can do is demonstrate that it’s the best explanation we have based on the data presented so far and is subject to change when further data is presented.

    Now try the Creationist hypothesis: If all species today are descended from their original kind then: there should be many extinct species related to their kind. The effects of a global flood would destroy all land creatures and many sea creatures, rapidly burying them in layers of sediment to be fossilized across vast areas, even on the highest mountains. Sediment would be transported long distances, and there would be rapid or no erosion between strata, which would be laid down in rapid succession. We would see organisms distinct from other organisms with large gaps separating each kind, but continuity within each kind. We would expect a low rate of human genetic diversity since the flood. Human DNA should suggest that all humans descended from a recent demographic event. Genetic clocks would not reflect a physical separation of species, but would actually contradict and provide inconsistencies to the geologic record.

    If science is to go with the best testable explanation for the physical evidence, I would say the Creationist theory clearly trumps evolution.

    Now, to date, the tests of evolution have been so overwhelming, it has been elevated to a theory. It is such a simple couple of statements that explain such a vast and disparate set of observations that most scientific minded people view it as incontestable, which is probably why non-scientific people might view it as dogma.

    As I have pointed out from the beginning, tests of evolution are underwhelming and false. Evolution shouldn’t even be referred to as a theory. At best it’s an unsubstantiated hypothesis or conjecture. I’ve shown your simple statements to be unobservable at best. Now I do admit that evolution has an overwhelming number of supporters, but the evidence itself does not support evolution. It is by faith you accept the interpretations of the evidence to support your hypothesis. Most scientific minded people don’t believe in God and don’t see any other alternative to evolution, which is why they find it uncontestable. I doubt that you or they have ever really examined the contrary evidence to evolution, it’s inconsistencies, nor have you examined the overwhelming evidence in favor of a young earth.

    If someone today asserts that the sun goes around the earth and that the stars are just points of light revolving in the firmament we do tend to think of them as stupid.

    No one is claiming that the sun goes around the earth or that the earth is flat. It’s a typical ploy of evolutionists to build a straw man to knock over, but you can’t compare believing in a young earth to believing the sun goes around the earth. One is observable in the present, while the other is about what happened in the past.

    Now, as a YEC, you have a more deadly foe than ToE. The evidence for the age of the planet and of the universe is overwhelming. Since you are talking about the real world, lets state the theory of YEC.

    Richard, please do some research before making these claims. Any Creationist website will provide overwhelming evidence for a young earth. I’ve gone over such evidence at length on this post and many previous posts. I’d rather not keep rehashing the same arguments, but if you have anything specific, look up the previous posts and we can discuss them in further detail.

    Observation: the bible says that the universe (heavens and the earth) were created in 6 days about 10,000 years ago.

    Hypothesis: The universe was created in 6 days no more than 10,000.

    Proof of hypothesis: If the universe is no more than 10,000 years old, no object in the night sky should be more than 10,000 light years distant. Or, using the rules of logic, you can reverse this and say that if an object in the night sky is more than 10,000 light years away, then the universe was created more than 10,000 years ago. Now, modern astronomy certainly records objects that are a lot more than 10,000 light years away. Galaxies have been observed over 13 billion light years away. But is there a way to explain this within the YEC theory similar to the way evolutionists explain marine fossils on the tops of mountains with tectonics. Well, the calculations of the distances could be wrong, but we are talking about a difference of 1,000,000 times. And if they are a million times closer, objects that look like stars are no bigger than a planet, and yet apparently fusing hydrogen just like our sun. And worse still, we are talking about all of the stars in our galaxy plus all of the other galaxies crammed into a volume 1/1,000th the accepted size of our own galaxy.

    Richard, a light-year is not the measure of time, but distance. A light-year measures the distance light travels in one year. Creationist scientists, such as Dr. John Hartnett and Dr. Russell Humphreys, have explained the light-travel-time problem using gravitational time dilation, which would allow billions of years to take place in one ordinary day on earth. This is an area Creationist scientists continue to study. But what you don’t seem to realize (even though I’ve pointed it out numerous times), is that you evolutionists have problems of your own associated with the Big Bang model, and you haven’t addressed any of them. There’s no good reason to believe in the Big Bang because it’s not good science, according to all the secular scientists that signed the Open Letter to the Scientific Community.

    Now the above argument is pretty damning for YEC, because it deals with things people can actually see, and people usually take what they see as the gospel truth. Actually it looks insurmountable to me, and as a scientist, I would have to throw out the hypothesis – as most scientist do.

    As you can see your questions have all been answered, and there’s nothing that’s damning for a YEC. You try to sound intelligent, but your arguments leave me with another impression.

    Can you explain this apparent contradiction? I suspect you can point me to some answersingenesis answer, which is fine, but can you actually express the argument yourself?

    Yes, I can express the arguments myself, and I already have. Are you able to do your own research, or do you need me to spoon feed you? Why don’t you begin to research answers to your own questions and try to understand them instead of dismissing them with little or no thought?

  135. #135 Modusoperandi
    February 12, 2010

    Jon S “But if chimps are our closest living relative, wouldn’t it make sense, evolutionwise, to only use chimps for testing? It makes little sense to do testing on mice, rats rabbits and pigs when they’re much further down the evolutionary line, yet we do so anyway.”
    Mice aren’t ideal, but they’re generally close enough. They’re cheap, easily available en-masse and few protestors give a damn when you end up killing one (or a hundred) of them. Chimpanzees have none of these advantages (it probably doesn’t help that they’re human enough to elicite empathy in all but the hardest heart. Habitual poo-flinging aside, there is something behind those eyes).

    “We don’t observe them passing along genetic information for gills if they’re not a fish.”
    Perhaps that’s not the best example…

    “It’s a typical ploy of evolutionists to build a straw man to knock over, but you can’t compare believing in a young earth to believing the sun goes around the earth.”
    Yes. The latter is only wrong. The former goes well beyond that.

    “One is observable in the present, while the other is about what happened in the past.”
    Ah ha! So you admit that you can’t know the past, when the sun may or may not have gone around the Earth! Faith! Faith!

    “Creationist scientists, such as Dr. John Hartnett and Dr. Russell Humphreys, have explained the light-travel-time problem using gravitational time dilation, which would allow billions of years to take place in one ordinary day on earth.”
    Google “Dealing with Creationism in Astronomy”. It’s a site that should help illuminate their misconceptions (I’d link to it but, well, you know, moderation hell). The left bar of that website, as we speak, has “A changing speed of light?”

  136. #136 Richard Eis
    February 16, 2010

    If science is to go with the best testable explanation for the physical evidence, I would say the Creationist theory clearly trumps evolution.

    Except it fails on one very large point straight away. Your theory cannot be tested. How do you tell evolution (micro or otherwise) from god’s hand? You can’t, because God can do anything to anything. It is the ultimate science query dissolver. God did it. Scientists turn out the lights on your way out. You can’t even guess at which god did it, or how. Or why. Creationism in all its forms is anathema to science and inquiry. It can be no other way.

    We would see organisms distinct from other organisms with large gaps separating each kind, but continuity within each kind.

    Why would there be large gaps separating each kind under a young earth hypothesis? The layout of creatures within the sediment layers do not support a global flood.

    On your statement that a theory can be superseded by a better one, I would ask whether you would really be willing to let go of your own pet theory (and therefore your entire existence as a christian) if it turned out to be wrong… Given that, as you said, turning over old theories is a common thing in science i’m afraid by your own admission you should not get too attached to your church. History is not on your side.

    And to forstall your next comment, no we are not attached to “darwinism”. We are however attached to the search for “What “Why” and “How”. Something your holy book has no answers for other than “Godidit”.

    I’m afraid you have mixed up myself and Robert about the age of the universe quotes. I was quite surprised to be told I hadn’t a clue about “real” science. However I should point out to both of you that this is an evolution website and that evolution and “the big bang” are two completely different things and almost completely irrelevent to each other.

  137. #137 SLC
    February 16, 2010

    Re Richard Eis

    Once again, I have to commend Mr. Eis’ patience in responding to the moronic comments of Mr. JonS. Of interest to the discussion, I am attaching a link to an essay by the late biologist and science fiction writer, Issac Asimov, on the issue of degree of wrongness. The gist of Prof. Asimovs’ article is that not all theories are equally wrong.

    http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.htm

  138. #138 eric
    February 16, 2010

    Creationist scientists, such as Dr. John Hartnett and Dr. Russell Humphreys, have explained the light-travel-time problem using gravitational time dilation, which would allow billions of years to take place in one ordinary day on earth.

    For ‘earth day passes = billion outside years pass’ time dilation, the gravity on the earth’s surface would have to be 7×10^9 m/s2.* Sigh. GR theorizes that large gravitational fields cause time dilation; if you’re going to ignore the large gravitational field part, why pretend to use it at all?

    (*A note on sensitivity: the g for any time dilation over about ‘earth year passes = earth year + 0.1 second passes’ is basically unlivable. GR predicts that time dilation will be relatively small even for higher mass/Radius bodies like the sun.)

  139. #139 Neal
    February 16, 2010

    Evolutionists may think young earth creationists are ignorant, crazy, or whatever, but imagine how foolish evolutionists ought to look when science eventually admits that purely naturalistic processes are incapable of producing life? Their theory is as credible as thinking that fly’s spontaneously generate from garbage. Whether one is young earth or old earth creationist, at least they know that life needed a creator. The greatest folly is thinking it happened without intelligent intervention. There is more evidence against evolution than for it, but scientists are not being straight with the facts.

  140. #140 SLC
    February 16, 2010

    Re Neal

    Mr. Neal repeats the same crap that all creationists do relative to the origin of life. The origin of life is not, repeat not, part of the theory of evolution. It is an entirely separate and distinct theory, provided that the origin of life is defined as the appearance of the first replicators. The theory of evolution describes what happens after the appearance of the first replicators. Or to put it another way, the origin of life is a problem in chemistry, the evolution of life is a problem in biology. Just to complete the story, the origin of the universe is a problem in physics and has nothing to do with the other two theories. Try to keep up.

  141. #141 Modusoperandi
    February 16, 2010

    SLC “The gist of Prof. Asimovs’ article is that not all theories are equally wrong.”
    Prof Asimov? *Pbbt!* If it was Rev Asimov, you might have something. Maybe “Doc”, if it was a doctorate of something useful, like divinity.

  142. #142 Richard Eis
    February 17, 2010

    but imagine how foolish evolutionists ought to look when science eventually admits that purely naturalistic processes are incapable of producing life?

    Mr Neal has clearly never heard of the “baby”. It’s the motion of the ocean that causes them to appear.. :)

    On a more serious note, I find it amusing that although life is completely natural, made from natural chemicals and using natural energy conversions in ALL of its processes it must, MUST, MUST I SAY, have a supernatural cause.
    Nobody praises God whenever a fire starts, or clouds form in the sky. Well, not any more anyway.

    Staggering complexity is a constant feature of the natural world, chaos contains patterns, thats what it does. It is not a sign of God, it is a sign that lots of things are happening at once…

  143. #143 Neal
    February 17, 2010

    You can try to side step the problems with evolution by separating chemical evolution from biological evolution but they are interrelated and are not completely separate as you argue. Perhaps you did not notice that both scientific terms include the word “evolution”.

    Regarding complexity your view in incomplete. DNA is more than a complex pattern. There is a big difference between a crystal and Mount Rushmore. A crystal is an example of a complex repeating pattern. Mount Rushmore is more than a naturally repeating pattern. DNA does not assemble like a crystal. DNA is digital code that conveys information and the origin of digital code always comes from intelligence.

  144. #144 eric
    February 17, 2010

    …and the origin of digital code always comes from intelligence.

    Well, or pulsars. Or beaver alarm calls. Or some monkey calls. Or…

  145. #145 Richard Eis
    February 18, 2010

    You can try to side step the problems with evolution by separating chemical evolution from biological evolution but they are interrelated and are not completely separate as you argue.

    True enough although they would use completely different systems to evolve, but they do not depend on each other. In other words, if we never work out abiogenesis that does not in any way invalidate species evolution. Something which quite a few creationists need to learn.
    Since most of them tell us that if we can’t prove the “big bang” then evolution CAN’T be true you can understand our annoyance whenever such an obviuously stupid claim is brought to the fore.

    DNA is digital code that conveys information and the origin of digital code always comes from intelligence.

    No it doesn’t… it comes from there being only 4 discrete sugars that make up the DNA. That is what makes it “digital”.

    Lets also not forget that DNA is NOT unique. There is also RNA which can transmit genetic information and catalyse proteins. In other words, we know the “special” properties of DNA are not unique to either its structure, nor its components (RNA has a different structure and uses 2 other different chemicals)

    You have also failed to explain why I should posit a supernatural start for a blatently natural process. That is merely a more sophisticated version of God making thunder and lightning or dragging the sun across the sky or making the spring start up after winter.
    All natural processes which we have long since removed from the hands of the local god-figure. This is merely one more.

  146. #146 Jon S
    February 21, 2010

    Richard,

    Large sections of which are either not used, or are used as “spacing” between the stuff that actually does the work. I’m sure there is just as much “information” (in its mathematical meaning which is what you’re implying) in a grain of sand. It’s sub-atomic structure may be even more complex than DNA. My point still stands. There is nothing magical about DNA. It is a set of 4 chemicals strung together in different ways. The patterns may be complex, but they are not complicated… or special… or magical…

    And my point still stands: there is a great amount of information contained in DNA, and the information is so complex that it couldn’t have arisen accidentally. Life did not arise spontaneously, nor could the information contained in DNA become more and more complex in succeeding generations, giving rise to more complex organisms. A grain of sand cannot replicate itself, nor does it have the ability to produce or decode messages. At least we both agree that no magic is involved.

    Sooo, that would explain all those dead creatures then. It doesn’t however mean that there is a predetermined goal at all. Where you got that idea is beyond me. You should be well enough up on evolutionary theory to know that isn’t how it works.

    Oh, I understand well enough how evolutionary theory works. I’m trying to point out the obvious failures of evolutionary theory. I’m hoping to encourage you to open your eyes and see what you’re overlooking. Of course evolutionists deny there’s any predetermined goal, but if you observe any assumed evolutionary descent, you have to come to the conclusion that there is a goal, if you’re honest. Richard Dawkins monkey on a typewriter trick couldn’t work unless there was a goal. I feel like I’m wasting my time explaining all this because I know that if you simply assume evolution can happen, then you probably don’t have any problem coming up with scenarios and just so stories to explain away all the problems. I’d like to get you to question if evolution were even possible in the first place. Then it would be easier for you to see that slight changes in DNA could not produce complex traits, or completely transform an entire organism from the inside out. You must have great faith to believe this. The bottom line is that you can’t expect completely random changes to produce something complex (through natural selection), but that’s exactly what evolutionists must expect. The problem is we don’t observe it.

    An arm covered in scales is heavy, it also costs more energy to create thick scales than thin. If they arne’t needed due to environment changes then

    Then what? I don’t get your argument. We don’t have scales on our arms because A) we never had scales. B) God didn’t make us with scales. C) Skin offers advantages of its own. D) If God chose to make man with scales, whether thick or thin, he would have equipped us with bodies capable of supporting the scales. E) If our bodies were equipped to support scales, then we would adapt to environmental changes (not evolve). F) It wouldn’t make sense for God to create us with scales if we couldn’t adapt to different environments. G) Any animals that are equipped with scales will also adapt to their environment (but not evolve), or risk going extinct.

    Evolution isn’t random. It also doesn’t have to be “better”. It can just be “different”. There are plenty of animals that didn’t grow wings. Some got bigger, some smaller. What works, stays and breeds. What doesn’t, doesn’t. You are falling for the “lottery” fallacy (If you win the lottery you must be special).

    Actually, evolution is both random and non-random. Natural selection acting on random mutations can supposedly produce vast changes over millions of years. Unfortunately we don’t observe this in the real world. We only observe flies giving birth to flies, dogs to dogs, elephants to elephants, etc. We never observe monkeys turning into men, frogs into mammals, scales into feathers, fins into legs, etc. We never observe the very large changes because it’s hidden behind millions of years. So evolution must be assumed.

    You will excuse me if I don’t stand around dawdling for a possible “future” happiness, when I can have a perfectly happy life now.

    That’s your choice. As for me I’d rather store up treasure in heaven than here on earth where nothing lasts (even happiness). What we have here and now is temporary, while heaven is eternal (Matthew 6:19-20, Mark 8:35-37).

    Since we can’t tell “God’s hand” from a chance piece of good fortune (as you said)…how can you ever know?

    We can know the difference between ‘chance’ and the hand of God because God doesn’t leave miracles to chance. The miracles described in the Bible were given as signs so as to avoid any confusion (2 Kings 20:8-11, John 11:32-45, the plagues in Exodus). Miracles still happen today, although I’m not sure how I could authenticate them for you. I’m aware of many accounts, including Pastor Dave Hess, who wrote the book Hope Beyond Reason. I know of many healings, including those who were born lame, and I know of testimonies of angels being seen and intervening. What I can’t do is prove any of these testimonies to you. You can simply deny them as a typical atheist would, or you can begin to look around to see if there is any truth to miracles.

    “If we can demonstrate that Israel escaped from Egypt and crossed through the parting of the Red Sea, while pharaoh and his army perished, that would provide evidence for the existence of God. If we can demonstrate that Jericho’s walls fell, this lends credibility to the Bible’s claims. Likewise, if we can demonstrate that the fossil record is the result of a worldwide flood, that is also evidence for the existence of God.”

    And can you?

    The book Unwrapping the Pharaohs does a fine job demonstrating such a case. There’s archaeological evidence supporting Asiatic slaves in Egypt during the reign of Sesostris III. Neferhotep I may have been the Pharaoh Moses confronted with the plagues. Evidence of the exodus is presented by Dr. Rosalie David in her book The Pyramid Builders of Ancient Egypt, “It is evident that the completion of the king’s pyramid was not the reason why Kahun’s inhabitants eventually deserted the town, abandoning their tools and other possessions in the shops and houses.” “The quantity, range, and type of articles of everyday use which were left behind in the houses may suggest that the departure was sudden and unpremeditated.” The Ipuwer Papyrus at the Leiden Museum provides evidence of the plagues and exodus. We know the Hyksos occupied Egypt without a battle, which would make sense if the Egyptian army was at the bottom of the Red Sea. The Biblical account would also explain why Neferhotep’s brother succeeded him instead of his son (because of the plague). All this doesn’t prove the Bible’s claims, obviously, but does demonstrate the reliability of scripture, and supports the miracles written. I’ve seen underwater videos lending credibility to chariots at the bottom of the Red Sea. I’ve also seen videos documenting the collapse of the wall of Jericho. We also see plenty of evidence of a worldwide flood in which vast layers of sediment was laid down very rapidly. There is evidence to the Bible’s claims, even though you wish to disregard any evidence presented.

    My point is that their “150 years” is not a model. It is a mathematical proof of concept that you COULD go from 2 to 9 billion within 6000 years. It is a rough estimate. Being “conservative” with your starting figures does NOT change the fact that the calculation doesn’t reflect the actual ebb and flow of human populations over time. I never disputed that you could go from 2 to 9 billion within 6000 years. I refute that it ACTUALLY happened that way.

    Your statements and arguments led me to believe you were disputing this claim. However I’m glad you’re conceding my point that it could have happened.

    Indeed, but these people were all living in the same area around Europe at the same time (according to YEC). It isn’t just a bit of diversity either. We are talking a completely different culture and way of life, completely untouched by all those other settlers. Also, completely different technological levels with no sign of interaction or swapping of technologies. No little copper knife among all those stone tools. You also didn’t have a problem with this when we discussed the wiping out of all but one small family of humans (who wouldn’t probably have known metal working or pottery either) during your flood. You can’t have it both ways.

    We still have examples of vastly different cultures living side by side all over the world today. We also know there are still some uncontacted tribes in South America who may or may not have any copper or iron. It’s not surprising to find an even greater contrast shortly after the flood. We do in fact have evidence of interaction between ancient cultures, including interbreeding. Still, it’s not unreasonable that we find little or no evidence of swapping technology. I’m not sure why you think one people group leaving Babel could not have a greater level of technology than another. One group may be skilled at architecture, while another group may be virtually uneducated. You could find such a contrast in one apartment building just down the street today. To say you can’t have it both ways is at odds with reality. Different groups of ancient people would be spreading out, and some would be more or less advanced then others, depending on various factors such as education and motivation. If we can find evidence of tribal cultures living in the stone age today, why would it be surprising to find them 6,000 years ago in the same geographic region as more advanced people groups?

    Blueprint = bad metaphor. It is not about “dignifying” life. It’s about understanding it. A poor metaphor does not help, it gives the impression of intention and design that just isn’t there. DNA does not work like a blueprint. If it did, the DNA would look like the creature it was extruding for one thing.
    I avoid “blueprint” for the same reasons I avoid the word “design” when talking about Evolution. It causes confusion if you aren’t very, very careful.

    Blueprint= good metaphor and helps reinforce the fact that design is there. DNA offers instructions that tell each cell what to do, and the cells decode the instructions to do exactly what is needed.

    I meant that the first creation of DNA from scratch won’t be done by paintstakingly putting something together by hand. It will be done by using natural processes to “help” the DNA form into a replicating organism. I won’t be happy with anything else.

    Neither will I. You might have better luck waiting for lightning to strike roadkill and bring it back to life.

    So, basically…prayin ain’t no good. And this is justice from the guy who boils people for eternity for the “greater good”. Oh goody You’re really not selling your God here you know.

    Praying does a lot of good, depending on who or what you’re praying to. I’m sorry if there are some unpleasant aspects regarding God’s justice, but isn’t it better to understand who God is rather than making up your own version of god that makes you feel more comfortable? I could paint a cuddly picture of a tame god, but that would not be the one true God. God is good, but he is not tame. God is just, and for those who put their faith in Christ Jesus, they will inherit eternal life, where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 2:3-4). Scripture provides both good news and bad news, depending on where you put your faith.

    A salvation, which it appears, you may or may not get depending on rules which you neither know nor would understand and which are applied differently to different people. And you think WE atheists are miserable, pessimistic and doomed to be nothing. I’d have slit my wrists a long time ago if i’d believed in christianity.

    But you can know and understand the rules, which is precisely why God gave us his word. He wants us to know and understand him. He wants us to know how we can have eternal life and fellowship with him. He wants us to be liberated from sin and death. He wants us to know the joy of salvation. He wants us to know of the infinite love he has for his people. But he will also hold us accountable for our sin. The good news is that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:16-17).

    If science is to go with the best testable explanation for the physical evidence, I would say the Creationist theory clearly trumps evolution.
    Except it fails on one very large point straight away. Your theory cannot be tested. How do you tell evolution (micro or otherwise) from god’s hand? You can’t, because God can do anything to anything. It is the ultimate science query dissolver. God did it. Scientists turn out the lights on your way out. You can’t even guess at which god did it, or how. Or why. Creationism in all its forms is anathema to science and inquiry. It can be no other way.

    A young earth model (6,000 years) can be tested just as easily as an old earth model (13 billion years) can. If you claim a young earth model cannot be tested, then you’re admitting that an old earth model cannot be tested. We can tell evolution from God’s hand by observing life and understanding his word. We can observe natural selection or speciation, but we can’t observe evolution (an ape turning into a man). Of course atheists claim ‘evolution did it’, so why do you have a problem with one who says ‘God did it’? God can do anything, and apparently so can evolution.

    Why would there be large gaps separating each kind under a young earth hypothesis? The layout of creatures within the sediment layers do not support a global flood.

    Because animals do not evolve under a young earth hypothesis. Actually, the layout of creatures within the sediment layers does support a global flood. It’s exactly what we’d expect to find if there was a global flood.

    On your statement that a theory can be superseded by a better one, I would ask whether you would really be willing to let go of your own pet theory (and therefore your entire existence as a christian) if it turned out to be wrong… Given that, as you said, turning over old theories is a common thing in science i’m afraid by your own admission you should not get too attached to your church. History is not on your side. And to forstall your next comment, no we are not attached to “darwinism”.

    Of course I would abandon my religion if it were false. If one could prove that Jesus was not who he claimed to be, then I would drop Christianity. So now I ask you, if we could demonstrate that the earth is young, or if evolution doesn’t happen, would you abandon atheism and put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior?

    We are however attached to the search for “What “Why” and “How”. Something your holy book has no answers for other than “Godidit”.

    Christian scientists have always searched for the ‘what, why and how’, starting with Francis Bacon. The Bible certainly isn’t a science textbook (which is a good thing since science textbooks are always changing), but it can be relied upon for truth.

    I’m afraid you have mixed up myself and Robert about the age of the universe quotes. I was quite surprised to be told I hadn’t a clue about “real” science. However I should point out to both of you that this is an evolution website and that evolution and “the big bang” are two completely different things and almost completely irrelevent to each other.

    Richard, you are correct, and I do apologize for mixing up your name with Robert’s. I was writing specifically to Robert. And I also thank you for pointing out that this is an evolution website (as if we didn’t know that), but that has never stopped anyone from talking about the big bang on this website before. Evolutionists typically say the big bang is completely separate and irrelevant to evolution, but Creationists have never held that view, and are quite happy to bring up the connections. Without the origin of the universe, we can’t have an origin of life model, and if we don’t have an origin of life, we can’t have evolution. Trying to ignore the problems associated with the big bang or the origin of life does little to help the cause of evolution. All three involve millions and billions of years, while the Creation model uses a 6,000 – 10,000 year model. Therefore, whatever happened in that timeframe that contradicts the Bible is fair game. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  147. #147 Modusoperandi
    February 22, 2010

    Okay. I’m done with attempted to comment seriously on this site.
    I posted a reply to Jon S with a link mangled to not appear to be a link, as well as an actual link to another page on this very site…and it still went in to moderation. Limiting citations is hard enough. Eliminating them is too much. It’s too hard to argue the facts, when I can’t link to them.

  148. #148 Richard Eis
    February 22, 2010

    And my point still stands: there is a great amount of information contained in DNA, and the information is so complex that it couldn’t have arisen accidentally.

    Complexity is a sign of chaos, not order or design. You know full well the effect of natural selection and mutation over time. Also remember that the first DNA strand would have been many orders of magnitude less complex than the current stuff.

    Then it would be easier for you to see that slight changes in DNA could not produce complex traits, or completely transform an entire organism from the inside out. You must have great faith to believe this. The bottom line is that you can’t expect completely random changes to produce something complex (through natural selection), but that’s exactly what evolutionists must expect. The problem is we don’t observe it.

    Natural selection has been well modelled, time and again. Do a search for it in google. Since a creature grows from its DNA, you need only change one piece of DNA to completely change how the creature grows. You just have to have that DNA activated early enough in the growth of the creature.

    You keep telling us what is impossible after we have done it. We have used natural selection to create circuits more efficiently, we have used it to solve robot movement problems. Random mutation and natural selection is a powerful modelling technique in and of itself. I would suggest you google robots and evolution.

    We never observe the very large changes because it’s hidden behind millions of years. So evolution must be assumed.

    Except of course for all those oddly shaped yet strangely human skulls we keep finding…

  149. #149 Richard Eis
    February 22, 2010

    But you can know and understand the rules, which is precisely why God gave us his word. He wants us to know and understand him

    It is unfortunate that there are mutliple translations and interpretations of this. And they ar all over the place. Some don’t bother with original sin, some think its the whole point of the bible. Jesus is a phrophet to some, a way of living to others, the son of God, God in human form… etc…

    I will say this. Christians do not understand God. Also, the bible makes it no clearer. Its almost as if each person has their own god in their heads who perfectly agrees with what they believe.

    A young earth model (6,000 years) can be tested just as easily as an old earth model (13 billion years) can.

    A young earth made to look old cannot be distinguished from an old earth. The only difference would be a lack of detritus from the turning of a young earth into an old earth over billions of years. We see that detritus and posit an old earth.

    Actually, the layout of creatures within the sediment layers does support a global flood. It’s exactly what we’d expect to find if there was a global flood.

    I’m sorry, but surely if there was a flood, the animals would be randomly distributed through the (quickly put down) sediments… which is not what we see at all. You will have to explain what you would expect.

    So now I ask you, if we could demonstrate that the earth is young, or if evolution doesn’t happen, would you abandon atheism and put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior?

    No, if i chose a religion it wouldn’t be christianity. It is a convoluted mess of a religion that means whatever you want it to mean. I would probably continue to search for the underlying mechanisms of the world. I am not interested in looking for anything to worship.

    Christian scientists have always searched for the ‘what, why and how’, starting with Francis Bacon.

    And what happened to that science over time as more was discovered? As the search for truth continued, did it move nearer or further away from the christian “truth”. And what does that imply?

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

    Alls fair I suppose. But as this is an evolution site, our astrophysics is probably going to be lacking. Not that the formation of planets and stars over time isn’t interesting.

  150. #150 Jon S
    February 25, 2010

    Modusoperandi

    Search for “josephus” on Infidels.org.

    I read the article “Historicity of Jesus” by Scott Oser, but it doesn’t take away from anything I said. Is there something in particular you have a problem with? I take it you’re arguing Josephus never mentioned Jesus?

    A wrecked walled village called Jericho is hardly the same as it being destroyed when people walked around it a bunch of times and blew a horn.

    How can one prove any event occurred, or any person existed over 500 years ago? Obviously one can’t conclusively prove any such claims. Skeptics can certainly find arguments to contradict anything they disagree with. However the Bible has made claims that can be substantiated by the evidence, whether or not you choose to believe them.

    Christianity doesn’t have a lock on such things. Of course, people converting to, say, Hinduism are wrong. Obviously. Luckily it hardly ever happens outside India.

    It’s true that people convert to various religions, and some people convert from Christianity to other religions, but that fact doesn’t negate any genuine miracle, nor does it negate Christianity, or any of the Bible’s claims. Someone claiming to have been converted from Christianity to Hinduism can do so in spite of the existence of God and the falseness of any other religion. The reality and existence of God doesn’t depend upon which religion man chooses or rejects.

    “The world population currently doubles about every 40 years, so their using 150 years is legit. If you still disagree, please provide evidence.”
    Go to Wikipedia. Type “world population” in the search box. Look at the graph.

    I saw the graph, but you haven’t refuted my claim. If you look at the ‘Contents’ box to the left of the graph, click on ‘Years for population to double’, and you can see from 1960 to 1999 it took 39 years for the population to double. Thank you for substantiating my claim. You have offered no evidence that Noah could not have repopulated the earth to it’s current population since the flood nearly 4,000 years ago. I found another article at overpopulation .org that also substantiates the population rate I cited.

    “Science has come a long way since Pasteur demonstrated life doesn’t arise spontaneously.”
    That was fly larvae in rotting meat and mice in hay.

    So what’s your point? Are you trying to deny that life doesn’t arise spontaneously? Do you have any evidence, aside from faith?

    remember earlier when you said that other historical texts back up the bible? How come no one noticed that the dead got up and wandered Jerusalem when Jesus died? I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of stuff that I’d write down.

    I’m sure many noticed that the dead rose. You’re assuming no one else wrote it down, which is an argument from silence. How do you know we just haven’t found the text yet, or that any such text was destroyed? Your faith leads you to conclude that the Bible is false because you demand it to be false.

    “SLC, I’m saddened that you don’t admire me for my patience with Richard and Modus in responding to their ignorance.”
    Woop. I’ve been called “ignorant” by a YEC. I don’t know whether to be amused or chastened. I’ll go with amused.

    As I am amused every time SLC, you, or anyone else mocks Creationists :-)

    “To rely on thousands of generations of mutations in order to arrive with the final masterpiece (a wing, for example) is ludicrous.”
    One: Not a “final masterpiece”. A “work in progress”.
    Two: The “thousands of generations” is only problematic if you think the universe is much younger than it is.

    One: Yes, a final masterpiece that will only go downhill over time and will never be improved upon. Claiming this to be a work in progress is merely an evolutionary assumption not substantiated by the evidence.

    Two: You’re partially correct. Even if the universe were 1 million, 10 million, or 100 million years old, it’s still a problem because we have never observed any organism becoming more complex. We know this doesn’t happen in the real world and one must believe by faith that it is true in order to wash away any problems.

    There are more failures than successes. We only see the winners.

    Again you’re assuming evolution happened in order to prove that it happens (we see only animals that evolved, therefore evolution must be true!). Problem is it hasn’t been observed.

    Two words: “feathered dinosaurs” (flightless, generally).

    No. Feathered birds, not feathered dinosaurs. Do you have an example you’re thinking of? Archaeopteryx was a bird with fully formed flying feathers and a wishbone. In fact true birds existed prior to Archaeopteryx.

    “Likewise, if we can demonstrate that the fossil record is the result of a worldwide flood, that is also evidence for the existence of God.”
    Except that you can’t. Hydrodynamic sorting doesn’t work like that. Nor are flowering plants any better at outrunning a literal, worldwide flood than non-flowering ones.

    There are plenty of Creationist sources claiming that it can. The fact is that the geologic layers showing rapid or no erosion between strata and laid down in rapid succession are exactly what one would would expect of a world-wide flood.

    You do know that there are “other Jesus’” around, as we speak? Other “miracle workers”? Other people “raised from the dead”?

    Yes. The problem with ‘other Jesus’ is that they’re false. Revelation describes what will happen when Christ comes again. It also describes and warns against false teachers, false prophets and the antichrist (2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 2:18, 1 John 4:1-6, Revelation 19:20).

    “Jesus really was the superstar of his day.”
    Hence the paucity of info about Him?

    Paucity of info? There’s as much evidence for his existence as any ancient figure, such as Julius Caesar (or do you deny his existence too?).

    “if we accept the claim that men dispersed during Babel, do you understand that not every individual would take with them all the knowledge that that society had?”
    And, in Neanderthal’s case, I assume they only took their non-Homo sapiens sapiens genome with them…

    I assume they’d have taken whatever genome they took with them.

    “Miller-Urey did exactly what you proposed and failed (put chemicals in a jar and wait).”
    You’re misunderstanding the purpose of the experiments. They (and their successors) weren’t attempting to make life in a jar. They were trying to see if the (at the time) posited envirionmental conditions could give rise to some of the precursors, some of the “building blocks”, of life.

    I never said they were attempting to make life in a jar. That was Richard in post 120, and I corrected him in post 123. The fact is that the experiment was unsuccessful in creating the ‘building blocks’ of life because only left-handed amino acids make up proteins in living things; the experiment provided a mixture, which is the wrong type.

    “God has also made it clear that man can know God from his creation (Romans 1:20) so that man is without excuse.”
    Which is why, without the “correct” prophet, they always come to the wrong answer. Polytheism or animism, generally.

    God can speak to man in many ways without the need of a prophet.

    Mice aren’t ideal, but they’re generally close enough. They’re cheap, easily available en-masse and few protestors give a damn when you end up killing one (or a hundred) of them. Chimpanzees have none of these advantages (it probably doesn’t help that they’re human enough to elicite empathy in all but the hardest heart. Habitual poo-flinging aside, there is something behind those eyes).

    The point is that any similarities we share with apes and chimps does not mean we’re related to them any more than we’re related to crows, dolphins, pigs or mice. Of course evolutionists think all life is related, but then they’re ignoring all the contradictions and counter-evidence that has already been discussed.

    “We don’t observe them passing along genetic information for gills if they’re not a fish.”
    Perhaps that’s not the best example…

    Actually, it’s a very good example. Writing a book about how we’re a fish doesn’t prove that we’re a fish anymore than writing a comic book about X-men proves we can evolve super powers. Actually, I do hope to read the book to further understand your belief system.

    “It’s a typical ploy of evolutionists to build a straw man to knock over, but you can’t compare believing in a young earth to believing the sun goes around the earth.”
    Yes. The latter is only wrong. The former goes well beyond that.

    In your humble opinion…

    “One is observable in the present, while the other is about what happened in the past.”
    Ah ha! So you admit that you can’t know the past, when the sun may or may not have gone around the Earth! Faith! Faith!

    I’ve always openly admitted that you can’t know the past… unless you have a reliable eye witness who was there to observe the past and accurately reveals that information. The question is will you admit you can’t know the past?

    “Creationist scientists, such as Dr. John Hartnett and Dr. Russell Humphreys, have explained the light-travel-time problem using gravitational time dilation, which would allow billions of years to take place in one ordinary day on earth.”
    Google “Dealing with Creationism in Astronomy”. It’s a site that should help illuminate their misconceptions (I’d link to it but, well, you know, moderation hell). The left bar of that website, as we speak, has “A changing speed of light?”

    If Creationist scientists acknowledge any misconceptions they’ll make that clear, and they’ll offer better models as they obtain more information. That’s how science works.

  151. #151 Modusoperandi
    February 26, 2010

    Jon S “I saw the graph, but you haven’t refuted my claim.”
    Yes. Yes I have.

    “If you look at the ‘Contents’ box to the left of the graph, click on ‘Years for population to double’, and you can see from 1960 to 1999 it took 39 years for the population to double.”
    That you only took two points on the graph, ignoring the remainder in no way invalidates the remainder. (See how it suddenly bumps up around the 1940s? The Green Revolution). By your train wreck of reasoning, since the number on transistors on a chip doubles every eighteen months, in 1910 the fastest computer chip contained 7.31 million transistors.

    “You have offered no evidence that Noah could not have repopulated the earth to it’s current population since the flood nearly 4,000 years ago.”
    Odd. I didn’t know that I was supposed to refute an argument based on mulitpicity of imagination. What does (Noah / (genetics X comparative genomics)) + (Flood/(fossil record X hydrodynamic sorting)) equal, anyway?

    “I’m sure many noticed that the dead rose. You’re assuming no one else wrote it down, which is an argument from silence.”
    No. It’s an argument from “Holy fuck, the dead are getting up and wandering around! Take note, people! This shit is serious!” I can understand if the average Jersusalemian or Romander missed out on Jesus’ ministry, or wrote it off as just another kook in an area replete with kookery, but the dead getting up and wandering around after an earthquake and a blackened sun is the kind of stuff people notice. Even the stoners.

    “Your faith leads you to conclude that the Bible is false because you demand it to be false.”
    No, your faith demands that you defend absurdities because, without them, you’d have to face the two uncomfortable facts of a godless universe:
    1. You will die.
    2. Shit happens, sometimes.

    “As I am amused every time SLC, you, or anyone else mocks Creationists :-)”
    I know! They’re like airline food. What’s up with airline food, anyway?

    “Yes, a final masterpiece that will only go downhill over time and will never be improved upon.”
    Oh, I dunno. A bird’s wing kicks bug’s wing’s ass. Flying squirrels are pretty cool, as well. Who knows what the future holds? I hear that the electric eel is going AC next.

    “Claiming this to be a work in progress is merely an evolutionary assumption not substantiated by the evidence.”
    Looking at the past and claiming that this is the apogee is hubris. I’m sure that Ted Dinosaur commented to his wife over dinocoffee, “You know, hon, it doesn’t get better than this.” Then his wife saw a mammal scuttle under the table and screamed.

    “Even if the universe were 1 million, 10 million, or 100 million years old, it’s still a problem because we have never observed any organism becoming more complex.”
    If you’re talking lesser changes, like gene duplication (witch does “add information”, and mutation then acts on both groups seperately, leading to, say our multicolour vision having an extra colour over other, related groups) or small populations of lizards under severe environmental pressures getting different digestive tracts (google “side:boingboing.net lizards rapidly”), then, yes. Yes we can.
    If you’re talking land mammals to cetaceans, that’s not going to happen in the blink of civilization. Expecting it to is expecting a different, cartoonish, version of the Theory of Evolution, then being disappointed that it doesn’t exist.

    “We know this doesn’t happen in the real world and one must believe by faith that it is true in order to wash away any problems.”
    Uh. Fossil record. Unless God’s popping in every once in a while to complex some stuff up. He’s a real prankster.

    “No. Feathered birds, not feathered dinosaurs.”
    I know, right?!

    “There are plenty of Creationist sources claiming that it can.”
    They can claim it all they want. The fact is that hydrodynamic sorting does not work like that. Nor, again, can some plants outrun other plants like that.

    “The problem with ‘other Jesus’ is that they’re false.”
    Really? Babu…something-or-other (Baba? Something like that) is attested to have done “miraculous works” and to have risen from the dead. The problem is that, where I think that there all mostly probably fake (whether well intentioned or scams), you accept one while not accepting all the others who do similar things.

    “Paucity of info? There’s as much evidence for his existence as any ancient figure, such as Julius Caesar (or do you deny his existence too?).”
    I don’t not accept that someone, or an amalgam, called Jesus existed. That’s not the issue. Few are fighting to push science out of science and sex-ed class out of sex-ed class on a Caesar’s say so.

    “I assume they’d have taken whatever genome they took with them.”
    *Sigh*. Homo sapiens neanderthalensis (or Homo neanderthalensis, depending on who you’re asking) is not Homo sapiens sapiens.

    “The fact is that the experiment was unsuccessful in creating the ‘building blocks’ of life because only left-handed amino acids make up proteins in living things; the experiment provided a mixture, which is the wrong type.”
    No. It’s some of the wrong type. Chirality is an issue, and the few knowledgeable papers I’ve found on it go right over my head. As I’ve said before, I’m not a scientist. I just read books.

    “God can speak to man in many ways without the need of a prophet.”
    Which, again, is why, without certain Special Revelations (but excluding most other Special Revelations) everybody gets the wrong answer. God mumbles, apparently. And His accent is impenetrable.

    “The point is that any similarities we share with apes and chimps does not mean we’re related to them any more than we’re related to crows, dolphins, pigs or mice.”
    And it just happens to appear as though Common Descent was true. The pattern of ERVs, for example, just happen to appear as though Common Descent was true.

    “Writing a book about how we’re a fish doesn’t prove that we’re a fish anymore than writing a comic book about X-men proves we can evolve super powers.”
    Again, *sigh*. Our genome contains scraps of our evolutionary history. That includes fish. If the genome was a hard drive, it could add blocks and modify blocks, but it would be terrible at deleting obsolete ones.

    “In your humble opinion…”
    No. In reality’s opinion. I’m a dumbass. Reality has no such issues.

    “I’ve always openly admitted that you can’t know the past… unless you have a reliable eye witness who was there to observe the past and accurately reveals that information.”
    Who? God? Who told Moses about it, and got him to write the Torah? C’mon, at least try to be a member of reality.

    “The question is will you admit you can’t know the past?”
    Know absolutely? No. That’s your gig. Know reasonably? Yes. I’ll take a little wrong over all wrong any day. I’ll take chocolate ice cream over strawberry, as well, if you’re offering.

    “If Creationist scientists acknowledge any misconceptions they’ll make that clear…”
    Heh. Good one.

    “…and they’ll offer better models as they obtain more information.”
    Heh. Good one. The arguments now haven’t changed much since Scopes. I see that the Vapour Canopy is still around. Apparently Adam didn’t mind living on the surface of Venus.

    “That’s how science works.”
    Facts lead to conclusions, not the other way around. Creation Science has it backwards.

  152. #152 Richard Eis
    February 26, 2010

    One: Yes, a final masterpiece that will only go downhill over time and will never be improved upon. Claiming this to be a work in progress is merely an evolutionary assumption not substantiated by the evidence.

    YOU say it will go downhill, no-one else does. Since the DNA can change in generally any way downhill is merely one direction. This is superficially obvious. I don’t see why you have trouble with this simple concept. We have already discussed the Lenski experiments. That wasn’t downhill, from the view of DNA nor for the product of the DNA.

    Since genes get mutated over time, there is no such thing as a “finished” product. It can only be a work in progress. Just as our appendix was.

    We have the bones of our ancestors, clearly different to us in structural ways, and we have new adaptions still appearing in the population today. Small but structurally and behaviourally significant.

    Two: You’re partially correct. Even if the universe were 1 million, 10 million, or 100 million years old, it’s still a problem because we have never observed any organism becoming more complex. We know this doesn’t happen in the real world and one must believe by faith that it is true in order to wash away any problems.

    Snake legs. From what I remember, the legs are blocked from growing by extra DNA, rather than there being a loss of leg information. That is more complex at the DNA level. It’s also illogical from a design point of view.

  153. #153 eric
    February 26, 2010

    Even if the universe were 1 million, 10 million, or 100 million years old, it’s still a problem because we have never observed any organism becoming more complex.

    At one point I was one cell. Now I’m over a billion. And I’m not alone in this – practically every single multi-celled organism on earth refutes your argument.

    Seriously man, before typing something on the intertubes you should really test it out in your head. Entertain the thought that the proposition you’re going to type might be wrong, and try and figure out what arguments other people might bring up to refute it. It may save you from saying really stupid stuff in the future.

  154. #154 Richard Eis
    March 1, 2010

    Even if the universe were 1 million, 10 million, or 100 million years old, it’s still a problem because we have never observed any organism becoming more complex.

    Jon needs to be more careful about whether he’s discussing the DNA or the creature the DNA extrudes. Since the DNA is not a blueprint of the final creature it is possible for more complex DNA to create a simpler creature and vice versa.

  155. #155 SLC
    March 1, 2010

    Re Richard Eis

    Relative to the common descent part of the theory of evolution, there’s a nice discussion over at Ed Braytons’ blog relative to the evidence provided by the presence of ERVs’ in the genomes’ of various species. Links are attached.

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/02/more_ignorant_blather_from_ell.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/03/vox_day_once_more_into_the_bre.php

  156. #156 Richard Eis
    March 2, 2010

    Ah yes, Vox Day. One of the reasons I no longer read Ed’s website. You really do feel more stupid after reading his comments.
    That wasn’t so much of a discussion as a mass pile on after Ed’s evisceration of his opponent. Still I had forgotten about the ERVs. Thanks for reminding me.

    I wonder what Jon has to say about them…

  157. #157 Jon S
    March 4, 2010

    Complexity is a sign of chaos, not order or design.

    When we talk about the complexity of life, we’re not comparing it to snowflakes. The complexity of life involves millions of different systems working together, doing precisely what they must in order to maintain and reproduce itself. Even a single celled organism must regulate itself, feed, and reproduce. We’re not talking about chaos, we’re talking about order and design. Your statement is self contradictory because there is order in the most simplest organisms, not chaos. If the organism couldn’t count on its own functions to work, it would surely go extinct. We don’t want chaotic behavior at work in our bodies; that would be a severe disadvantage. We want systems that are well regulated, which is exactly what we have… unfortunately, over time they tend to wear out.

    You know full well the effect of natural selection and mutation over time. Also remember that the first DNA strand would have been many orders of magnitude less complex than the current stuff.

    Yes, I do know the effects of natural selection and mutation over time. Organisms, however, do not become more complex over time. They actually become less complex as they lose genetic information. We never, ever observe the types of changes necessary for an ape to become a man, or a dinosaur to become a bird. We just don’t observe that in the real world, regardless of how elegant you make your assertions. You know full well the effect natural selection and mutations have over time is completely unsubstantiated when it comes to the types of complex changes evolution demands. Even assuming your evolutionary beliefs, keep in mind that the first DNA strand likely would need a host organism to maintain itself, for it likely wouldn’t have all the necessary components to sustain itself (of course there wouldn’t have been a host organism at the time of the first alleged DNA strand).

    Natural selection has been well modelled, time and again. Do a search for it in google. Since a creature grows from its DNA, you need only change one piece of DNA to completely change how the creature grows. You just have to have that DNA activated early enough in the growth of the creature.

    Evolution and natural selection are two entirely different things. You seem to keep forgetting that Creationists believe in natural selection, but not evolution. There’s a huge difference, and I’ve been trying hopelessly to explain it, but to no avail. Do a search for it on any Creationists website. Changing one piece of DNA surely can completely change how a creature grows, but that change is not going to progressively lead to new features (such as feathers) that were not found in the previous population (unless that ‘feature’ is a loss of information, which isn’t really a new ‘feature’).

    You keep telling us what is impossible after we have done it. We have used natural selection to create circuits more efficiently, we have used it to solve robot movement problems. Random mutation and natural selection is a powerful modelling technique in and of itself. I would suggest you google robots and evolution.

    Richard, you’re actually hurting your case and supporting the cause for Creation. Firstly you cite things which are observable, such as circuits and robots. Secondly, these things are intentionally designed by intelligent designers for a specific purpose. Nothing was left to chance. The results were planned. Then you turn around and apply that to evolution, which has not been observed (allegedly we observe the effects of evolution, which is not the same thing, and is exactly what’s in dispute), and assume that if intelligent beings can improve upon things they have created, this somehow proves that life can spontaneously appear and improve upon itself forever. What you don’t seem to understand is that these are two totally different, unrelated concepts. It’s true that natural selection can improve upon organisms in certain ways, but it can only improve upon the genetic information that’s already present, and cannot progress beyond certain boundaries. Yes, mutations can and do affect organisms and lead to new species, but we never observe mutations accounting for entirely new features or systems in today’s world; you must assume such changes occurred in the past, and have faith that it will happen again at some point in the future.

    Except of course for all those oddly shaped yet strangely human skulls we keep finding…

    As we’ve discussed already, they can be explained quite well in a Creationist worldview.

    It is unfortunate that there are mutliple translations and interpretations of this. And they ar all over the place. Some don’t bother with original sin, some think its the whole point of the bible. Jesus is a phrophet to some, a way of living to others, the son of God, God in human form… etc…

    What’s unfortunate is that we’re all sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). But the good news is that the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23). If you want to know who God really is I suggest you find a Bible as close to the original text as possible. Obviously all translations will fall short to some degree; if you can understand the original writing, all the better.

    I will say this. Christians do not understand God.

    True, no one understands God fully, but we will when we get to heaven. As Christians, we strive to know God and understand him as much as we are able, knowing we will never truly be as close as Adam and Eve were at the beginning of creation. Someday we will know him fully, and rejoice in his glory.

    A young earth made to look old cannot be distinguished from an old earth. The only difference would be a lack of detritus from the turning of a young earth into an old earth over billions of years. We see that detritus and posit an old earth.

    You could just as easily say that an old earth that appears young cannot be distinguished from a young earth. I’m not sure if you can see how senseless your argument is. So what does an old earth look like? Supposedly it has detritus, while a young earth does not? I’m afraid not; Creationists maintain detritus can and does belong on a young earth (look it up on any Creationist website). What then, does a young earth look like? If you are a finite human being, how could you possibly know what the earth would look like if it were billions of years old, or only thousands of years old? My point is that you have no idea what a young or old earth should look like. You assume the earth is billions of years old, yet have nothing to compare it to; therefore this is what you expect an old earth to look like, which means it can’t be young. However, the earth is very old. In fact it’s ancient… over 6,000 years old. That is a very old earth, and what we see is exactly what we’d expect for a young earth. Whether or not the earth looks young or old depends entirely on your worldview, perspective, and beliefs.

    I’m sorry, but surely if there was a flood, the animals would be randomly distributed through the (quickly put down) sediments… which is not what we see at all. You will have to explain what you would expect.

    You would expect to find animals randomly distributed in their own environment, which is what we do find.

    if i chose a religion it wouldn’t be christianity. It is a convoluted mess of a religion that means whatever you want it to mean. I would probably continue to search for the underlying mechanisms of the world. I am not interested in looking for anything to worship.

    Firstly, you seem to be fine with worshiping your own intellect, science, and your ability to reason. Secondly, Christianity isn’t about you or me. Christianity is all about Christ. It’s not about whether or not you’re looking for anything to worship. It’s that Jesus deserves worship because he is worthy of our worship. He subjected himself to the very humans he created, and humbled himself to death on the cross so that we may be able to spend eternity with him in paradise. That’s the kind of God I chose to worship.

    And what happened to that science over time as more was discovered? As the search for truth continued, did it move nearer or further away from the christian “truth”. And what does that imply?

    Science became filled with human corruption, politics, pride and power. It implies that man is corrupt, fallible, powerful, prideful, and can make costly mistakes.

    YOU say it will go downhill, no-one else does. Since the DNA can change in generally any way downhill is merely one direction. This is superficially obvious. I don’t see why you have trouble with this simple concept. We have already discussed the Lenski experiments. That wasn’t downhill, from the view of DNA nor for the product of the DNA.

    All the Creationists I know also say it goes downhill, not just me. YOU evolutionists claim it goes uphill, but fail to produce evidence (yes, even the Lenski experiments). I have trouble with your concept for the many reasons I’ve already presented. If you have roadkill, zapping it with lighting or electricity won’t bring it back to life. If you observe animal breeding, we breed away certain traits, but never accumulate new traits not found in the parent population (at least the kind of evolutionary traits we’re discussing). I don’t see why you have trouble with this simple concept. If you build a sandcastle, does it ever become more complex on its own, or do the waves, wind and rain knock it over? Genetics is much more complex than your understanding allows. The information in a strand of DNA must be coded correctly, or the organism risks dying. The more mistakes in the genome, the less likely it is to survive and pass along its traits to its offspring. More mistakes is not what an organism wants, but must be welcomed by evolutionists in order to maintain their belief system.

    Since genes get mutated over time, there is no such thing as a “finished” product.

    Creationists don’t have a problem with that statement. Of course I know you’re assuming one product will evolve into a more complex product, while Creationists don’t make that assumption for logical reasons.

    We have the bones of our ancestors, clearly different to us in structural ways, and we have new adaptions still appearing in the population today. Small but structurally and behaviourally significant.

    Yes, we have bones of our ancestors, but we’re not becoming more advanced; we’re actually falling apart compared to our ancestors, which is what Creationists predict, not evolutionists.

    Snake legs. From what I remember, the legs are blocked from growing by extra DNA, rather than there being a loss of leg information. That is more complex at the DNA level. It’s also illogical from a design point of view.

    I couldn’t locate anything to support your assertion, however this sounds like further evolutionary assumptions. The loss of legs is actually the opposite of what evolution requires.

  158. #158 Jon S
    March 4, 2010

    eric,

    At one point I was one cell. Now I’m over a billion. And I’m not alone in this – practically every single multi-celled organism on earth refutes your argument.

    Seriously man, before typing something on the intertubes you should really test it out in your head. Entertain the thought that the proposition you’re going to type might be wrong, and try and figure out what arguments other people might bring up to refute it. It may save you from saying really stupid stuff in the future.

    Dude, you haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re talking about, and you certainly haven’t been paying attention. I was talking about evolution. You can’t seriously tell me that you think you evolved from your mother’s egg and your father’s sperm? That’s not what evolution is. Yes, we can observe a human developing over time, but that is not what I was talking about. Seriously, dude, you should entertain the thought that the proposition you’re going to type might be wrong, and try and figure out what arguments other people might bring up to refute it. It may save you from saying really stupid stuff in the future.

    So let me spell it out for you, hopefully in a way you can comprehend. No one has ever observed an ape-like creature evolving into a man, or a dinosaur evolving into a bird. These are the types of observations and complex changes no one has ever observed in an organism. An organism without feather must evolve feathers. If you have evolved feathers since you were born, let me know.

  159. #159 Damian
    March 5, 2010

    Jon S:

    So, are you against the death penalty, almost all criminal justice, and almost all science, even though the latter two things have been shown to work quite well?

    If you’re not, you can’t possibly expect people to accept that you are being serious that we need to “see” someone evolve from an ape-like creature in to a human to infer it with a great degree of certainty.

    And as for your assertion that evolution does not produce new information (or increase it, just so that you have no wiggle room), more than 3000 papers on pubmed alone suggest that you are wrong. So, I’m going to give you the opportunity to define “information” and “complexity”. I want very specific and scientific definitions from you, but you should know that as soon as you provide them, I’m going to show you that evolution does in fact produce new information, and can increase complexity.

    You don’t have to accept it, of course, and I understand why you won’t.

    Also, how does creationism explain ERV’s, which are retroviral insertions that attack randomly (and there are many types of retroviruses and roughly 3 million attachment sites), and thousands of the same retroviral types are found in exactly the same places in both humans and chimpanzee’s? The odds that it happened independently of each other mean that only one conclusion can be drawn, unless you believe that God decided to purposely attach things to us, not only to make it look as though we share common ancestry with the great apes, but to kill us, as well, because that’s what viruses generally do.

    Amazingly, God also made it look exactly as though we are related to all of the primates in exactly the way that evolution predicts, by arranging it so that the retroviral insertions in all of the primates are distributed relative to how far apart we share a common ancestor with each primate! So we share the most insertions with Chimpanzee’s, and so on and so on.

  160. #160 Richard Eis
    March 5, 2010

    If the organism couldn’t count on its own functions to work, it would surely go extinct.

    Indeed? So tell me, what did happen to the trilobites?

    There is nothing precise about biological functions. Our bodies spend as much time fixing things up as doing actual useful work. The constant wobblyness is why constant regulation IS necessary, because they are so imprecise. Biology IS chaotic and wobbly. You had to invent the “fall” just so you could avoid this issue while still claiming the perfection of God.

    Richard, you’re actually hurting your case and supporting the cause for Creation. Firstly you cite things which are observable, such as circuits and robots. Secondly, these things are intentionally designed by intelligent designers for a specific purpose. Nothing was left to chance. The results were planned.

    I think you need to spend some time exploring simulated evolution. It is clearly an area that you have not spent any time reviewing.

    Changing one piece of DNA surely can completely change how a creature grows, but that change is not going to progressively lead to new features (such as feathers) that were not found in the previous population

    I believe I have already mentioned how feathers are a more complex structure based on the hair. So micro changes in DNA over generations (which you allow) could make a feather where a hair once grew. This of course then pisses over your strange idea that DNA has “boundaries” (which magically prevent macro evolution) which you seem to want to insert into genetics for no obvious reason.

    My intellect and my body are all I have. I have no intention of wasting them.

    Christianity is all about Christ. It’s not about whether or not you’re looking for anything to worship. It’s that Jesus deserves worship because he is worthy of our worship. He subjected himself to the very humans he created, and humbled himself to death on the cross so that we may be able to spend eternity with him in paradise. That’s the kind of God I chose to worship.

    There were two other people punished that day with Jesus in the same way… but although they went through the same thing, with no resurrection to look forward to afterwards, they weren’t important. Little bit part players who in their humanity suffered more than Jesus.

    I wonder though… would you still be so ready to worship Jesus if he wasn’t offering heaven?

    Science became filled with human corruption, politics, pride and power. It implies that man is corrupt, fallible, powerful, prideful, and can make costly mistakes

    Bitchy…but nothing to do with my point.

    You would expect to find animals randomly distributed in their own environment, which is what we do find

    ?? I meant the vertical layout of creatures within the strata. Not the horizontal locations.

    The loss of legs is actually the opposite of what evolution requires.

    Not if loss of your legs makes you more likely to breed. Evolution may generally lead to more complex creatures but that is merely a general effect, not a holy commandment.

    Also, a DNA change is only a mistake if it fails. Snakes, it seems, do very well out of the horrible mistake of losing their legs.

  161. #161 eric
    March 5, 2010

    So let me spell it out for you, hopefully in a way you can comprehend. No one has ever observed an ape-like creature evolving into a man,

    We observe evolution the same way we observe continental drift. We see a small change in our human lifetime(s). We think about what that would mean if it went on for millions of years. Children vary from their parents, and not all of them have the same number of kids; that is all that is required to create new species over millions of years.

    You aren’t seriously demanding a chimpanzee turn into a human, or give birth to one in two or three generations, were you? You do realize that that’s not what evolution predicts will happen, right? If someone told you that’s what evolution means, they lied to you. Stop listening to them.

  162. #162 SLC
    March 5, 2010

    Re eric

    I notice that Mr. putz JonS hasn’t bothered to provide a creationist explanation for the occurrence of ERVs in the human genome as I cited in comment #155. Here’s another one. Perhaps Mr. putz JonS should also provide a creationist explanation as to why humans and the great apes, almost alone amongst all the mammals have a disabled gene for synthesizing vitamin C and thus must obtain it from their food.

  163. #163 Richard Eis
    March 6, 2010

    JonS should also provide a creationist explanation as to why humans and the great apes, almost alone amongst all the mammals have a disabled gene for synthesizing vitamin C and thus must obtain it from their food.

    Godidit. He works in mysterious ways. Silly boy, no-one can know the mind of God. Except those people who wrote the bible… and of course all the people who interpret the bible and tell us exactly what God doesn’t like. Shellfish apparently…well there you go.

    I want to know what JonS thinks of climate change. I’m betting he thinks it’s not real. Anyone want to bet against me?

  164. #164 SLC
    March 6, 2010

    Re Richard Eis

    Putz Jon S probably is also an HIV/AIDS denier.

  165. #165 Modusoperandi
    March 7, 2010

    SLC, I doubt it. AIDS denialism seems more a lefty woo, like anti-vax, than a religious one. Theirs seems to be that it’s real, but “it’s a punishment for sin”.

  166. #166 Modusoperandi
    March 7, 2010

    Wups.

  167. #167 Richard Eis
    March 8, 2010

    AIDS denialism is too obscure, only complete retards deny that anymore. I merely want to know how Jon’s religion impacts his view of man’s effect on nature.

  168. #168 SLC
    March 8, 2010

    Re Richard Eis @ #167

    Unfortunately, not all HIV/AIDS deniers are retards. Whatever else one might say about Prof. Peter Duesberg, once a fine scientist who was a candidate for the Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on retroviruses in the 1960s, retarded he ain’t. Duesberg is an example of a scientist who just can’t admit he was wrong, much like Linus Pauling on vitamin C, Brian Josephson on ESP, PK, and cold fusion, J. Allen Hynek on alien abductions, and William Shockley on racially based intelligence differences.

  169. #169 Jon S
    March 13, 2010

    Modusoperandi,

    That you only took two points on the graph, ignoring the remainder in no way invalidates the remainder.

    The point still remains that we could arrive at the current population starting with Noah’s family coming off the ark. Of course population rates will change over time. There was no census taken (at least none that exists today) 100 or 200 years following their exiting the ark, so we don’t know the population growth or mortality rate at those times, but we can be fairly sure there weren’t any major wars until after Babel since mankind had not yet spread over the face of the earth. You have refuted nothing by resorting to ignorance, and have not invalidated the claims that our current population could have resulted from Noah’s family.

    I can understand if the average Jersusalemian or Romander missed out on Jesus’ ministry, or wrote it off as just another kook in an area replete with kookery, but the dead getting up and wandering around after an earthquake and a blackened sun is the kind of stuff people notice.

    I agree that this is the kind of stuff people notice, and I’m sure they did, as I already mentioned. To refute that, you first make an argument from silence, then an argument from ignorance, then an argument from incredulity. If the dead rose, as claimed by the Bible, then I’m sure people would have noticed and talked about it, and this could be partly why Christianity took off following the death and resurrection of Christ.

    No, your faith demands that you defend absurdities because, without them, you’d have to face the two uncomfortable facts of a godless universe:
    1. You will die.
    2. Shit happens, sometimes.

    Because you believe in a godless universe, you must demand that the Bible’s claims are false. I’m not sure what you’re denying. If we live in a godless universe, then it stands to reason that the claims made in the Bible are false. It also stands to reason that if we live in a universe created by the God of the Bible, and you believe by faith that we live in a godless universe, then any supernatural claims will seem absurd to you, despite the fact that they’re true. If, however, you are correct in your faith, then it is true that I will die, and that bad things will happen. If the Bible’s claims are true however, then you will have to stand before and answer to a holy God.

    Oh, I dunno. A bird’s wing kicks bug’s wing’s ass. Flying squirrels are pretty cool, as well. Who knows what the future holds? I hear that the electric eel is going AC next.

    Your claim that a bird’s wing is superior to a bug’s wing is not a reasonable claim and is based merely on an opinion of what you consider to be superior according to your limited knowledge. Considering that bugs are much more numerous than birds, I’d argue that the bug’s wings are perfectly designed for their survival. Flying squirrels really don’t need to turn into birds either since they’re quite successful in their own right, and even if they were introduced into an environment in which turning into a bird were beneficial or offer an advantage over stasis, I would suggest that such an evolutionary change would be an impossible hurdle.

    Looking at the past and claiming that this is the apogee is hubris. I’m sure that Ted Dinosaur commented to his wife over dinocoffee, “You know, hon, it doesn’t get better than this.” Then his wife saw a mammal scuttle under the table and screamed.

    Story telling doesn’t substantiate evolutionary assumptions.

    If you’re talking lesser changes, like gene duplication (witch does “add information”, and mutation then acts on both groups seperately, leading to, say our multicolour vision having an extra colour over other, related groups) or small populations of lizards under severe environmental pressures getting different digestive tracts (google “side:boingboing.net lizards rapidly”), then, yes. Yes we can.
    If you’re talking land mammals to cetaceans, that’s not going to happen in the blink of civilization. Expecting it to is expecting a different, cartoonish, version of the Theory of Evolution, then being disappointed that it doesn’t exist.

    I’m glad you’re beginning to make a distinction between ‘lesser changes’ and ‘greater changes’. I’ve already addressed gene duplication ‘adding information’ to the genome, and mutations. However, since you still claim that we do observe organisms becoming more complex, I maintain that you really don’t understand what evolution is or what it isn’t. What we observe is change, not added complexity. The change you’re citing can be explained by the information already present in the genome, and is not an example of evolution. Evolutionists are constantly citing examples such as the Italian Wall Lizard as examples of evolution, but when examined, it’s not evolution at all. In fact the article explicitly says “What could be debated, however, is how these changes are interpreted—whether or not they had a genetic basis and not a “plastic response to the environment,” and “All of this might be evolution. The logical next step would be to confirm the genetic basis for these changes.” So you see there’s no reason to accept these changes as evolution unless you’re an evolutionist trying to maintain your belief system. A Creationist simply accepts the change as what’s already present and programmed into the DNA to begin with. This type of change is NOT the type of change that would be examples of evolution or of organisms becoming more complex. This type of change is NOT the same type of change the would turn a dinosaur into a bird. In the case of the Italian lizard, they have not evolved any new features not present in previous populations. The lizards already have muscles, and now the muscles have developed between the large and small intestine. Notice that the article says “They evolved an expanded gut to allow them to process these leaves.” In other words the gut was already there, and now the gut has been expanded. It’s not as if the lizard didn’t have a gut, or any genetic information for a gut, and then all of a sudden it’s offspring magically evolved a gut. Hopefully you can begin to see there’s a difference between evolution, natural selection, and speciation. This is simply an example of speciation and natural selection, not evolution.

    Uh. Fossil record. Unless God’s popping in every once in a while to complex some stuff up. He’s a real prankster.

    No, the real prankster is man and his interpretations. Just because you don’t understand how evolutionary assumptions have shaped and molded your understanding of the fossil record doesn’t mean it’s a problem for Creationists. It can be argued that no one really knows the true fossil distribution. Some fossil distributions which appear vertical on paper are truly horizontal and are cut and pasted into a not-so-neat evolutionary tree.

    They can claim it all they want. The fact is that hydrodynamic sorting does not work like that.

    Likewise, evolutionists can make all the claims they want. Hydrodynamic sorting is only one minor mechanism of many that formed the fossil record. Evolutionists still have issues pertaining to all the gaps in the fossil record, living fossils, out-of-order fossils, etc.

    Really? Babu…something-or-other (Baba? Something like that) is attested to have done “miraculous works” and to have risen from the dead. The problem is that, where I think that there all mostly probably fake (whether well intentioned or scams), you accept one while not accepting all the others who do similar things.

    I’m not familiar with this fellow, nor am I inclined to do much research. If you’d like to debate whether or not Baba or Babu is a false prophet, we can certainly do that, but I think we’re both in agreement that he’s a false prophet. The problem isn’t that I don’t examine every claim that was ever made, for that’s not a very realistic expectation. The real problem is that you dismiss ALL supernatural beings or events as impossible, and don’t leave room for the possibility that one of them may be authentic. And considering that Jesus has become such a central figure in all of religion, it stands to reason that we can examine his claims and the claims made in the Bible more closely and see what kind of impact he’s made.

    Few are fighting to push science out of science and sex-ed class out of sex-ed class on a Caesar’s say so.

    No one is fighting to push science out of science class. That’s been a successful strawman argument and mantra used by evolutionists for years which assumes that your version of science is the only acceptable version that may be taught, as if science, truth and reason were determined by dictate and proclamation rather than by intellectual debate and reason. I could just as easily claim that it’s the evolutionary establishment who’s trying to keep science out of science class and replace it with pseudo science so that impressionable students will be brainwashed into evolutionary thinking (as you have exhibited).

    Homo sapiens neanderthalensis (or Homo neanderthalensis, depending on who you’re asking) is not Homo sapiens sapiens.

    Actually, neandertal is placed in the same species as modern man, but then placed into the sub-species homo spaiens neanderthalensis. Nontheless, neandertals were just as human as you or I, and if we were to ever revive or clone one, we would be wise to assign them the status of man and not an animal like we did with aborigines or the pygmy, Ota benga.

    Chirality is an issue, and the few knowledgeable papers I’ve found on it go right over my head. As I’ve said before, I’m not a scientist. I just read books.

    I’m glad you recognize chirality is an issue, and I’m glad I’m not the only non-scientist posting comments on this site :-)

    Which, again, is why, without certain Special Revelations (but excluding most other Special Revelations) everybody gets the wrong answer. God mumbles, apparently. And His accent is impenetrable.

    It’s true we need special revelation in order to know the truth. But if you’re trying to say no one can understand that revelation, I’d argue that God provides us with enough information so that we’re without excuse. It’s true that we have different interpretations of God’s word, and sometimes we get the answers wrong because man is fallible and makes mistakes. But this is the very reason why we need a savior. If we were without sin and had a perfect understanding, Jesus never would have needed to die on the cross.

    And it just happens to appear as though Common Descent was true. The pattern of ERVs, for example, just happen to appear as though Common Descent was true.

    Again, your claim that the pattern of ERVs make it appear as though Common Descent were true is just an evolutionary assumption. According to AIG’s website “While the belief that all ERVs are remnants of germline infection seems logical, there are also facts against the endogenization theory, such as xenotropic ERVs and essentiality of some ERVs in host physiology… While intact ERVs with positional polymorphism are likely germline copies of exogenous viruses, ERVs with fixed locations and conserved beneficial genes may have been incorporated into the host genome at the time of creation. Exogenous retroviruses may have been created to help the ERVs and to transfer useful genes between hosts.” Again, the facts can be interpreted in different ways, depending upon your starting assumptions.

    Again, *sigh*. Our genome contains scraps of our evolutionary history. That includes fish. If the genome was a hard drive, it could add blocks and modify blocks, but it would be terrible at deleting obsolete ones.

    As I’ve already pointed out numerous times (sigh), your claim that our genome contains scraps of our evolutionary history is simply a claim unsubstantiated from the facts and is based purely on evolutionary assumptions. There is nothing in our genome that demands that we evolved from fish, or prohibits any other explanation.

    Who? God? Who told Moses about it, and got him to write the Torah? C’mon, at least try to be a member of reality.

    Your ad hominem attacks don’t make a case for you.

    Know absolutely? No. That’s your gig. Know reasonably? Yes. I’ll take a little wrong over all wrong any day. I’ll take chocolate ice cream over strawberry, as well, if you’re offering.

    And how can you know for sure that you’re only a little wrong and not completely wrong? What seems reasonable to you may in fact be completely wrong. History can provide many examples where the majority bought into false beliefs once considered to be true, and modern science is not immune from this as can be seen regarding the global warming hysteria that was supposedly settled science according to those adhering to it.

    Facts lead to conclusions, not the other way around. Creation Science has it backwards.

    So the mantra continues… but facts must be interpreted based on prior beliefs. Your admission speaks badly for evolution. Since evolutionists start with a belief in evolution, their interpretations must conform to that belief system. In other words, if an evolutionist were to date a fossil, the fossil is dated in light of their evolutionary assumptions. If they receive data inconsistent with what they believe, they dismiss it based on contamination, for example, and will keep trying until they get the expected date they want. If facts simply led to conclusions without any prior assumptions, then evolutionists would have no basis for dismissing dates they find to be ‘unacceptable’.

  170. #170 Jon S
    March 13, 2010

    Damian,

    So, are you against the death penalty, almost all criminal justice, and almost all science, even though the latter two things have been shown to work quite well?

    Where do you get the idea that I’m against the death penalty, criminal justice, or science? I’m for the death penalty, criminal justice, and science. Why are you against the death penalty, criminal justice and science?

    If you’re not, you can’t possibly expect people to accept that you are being serious that we need to “see” someone evolve from an ape-like creature in to a human to infer it with a great degree of certainty.

    I do expect people to take me seriously. On what basis should we take you seriously?

    And as for your assertion that evolution does not produce new information (or increase it, just so that you have no wiggle room), more than 3000 papers on pubmed alone suggest that you are wrong. So, I’m going to give you the opportunity to define “information” and “complexity”. I want very specific and scientific definitions from you, but you should know that as soon as you provide them, I’m going to show you that evolution does in fact produce new information, and can increase complexity.

    I’ve already have provided very specific definitions and examples. I doubt they’re ‘scientific’ by your standards, because the definitions are by nature ‘unscientific’ according to the ‘scientific’ establishment. So what papers on pubmed are you referring to? When Creationists claim evolution doesn’t provide new genetic information, or that we never observe increased or complex information evolving, we do acknowledge point mutations, insertions, inversions, deletions, frame shift mutations and gene transfer, but deny that any of these account for the origin of new genetic information or complex functions. Yes, there is new ‘information’ present, but it’s not the kind of information needed to support the belief of evolution. The type of genetic information we never observe is the key point. We never observe an organism passing on genetic information that will lead to new ‘novel functions’, ‘traits’ or ‘appendages’ not present in the previous population. In other words, if you believe that dinosaurs evolved into birds, then you must believe that at some point a dinosaur without feathers must have evolved feathers. This is the type of change or increase in complex information we’re talking about that has not been observed. Whales have baleen, but the supposed ancestors of whales did not, so this would be another example. The first ‘living organisms’ did not have a heart, lungs, blood, fur, feathers, hair, eyes, stomach, an immune system, bones, tentacles, fins, etc. What we have never observed is an organism evolving these functions from a population of organisms that never possessed those traits. A new genetic code would need to be written for an organism to evolve skin, a tail, leaves, or bipedality. Typically when an evolutionist provides examples to ‘prove’ that it does happen, they inevitably provide examples of an organism losing genetic information, and claim that the loss of information provided for a new trait or function and therefore proves evolution, which is what Richard claimed in Post 46 regarding Lenski’s bacteria, which I responded to subsequently. However this new ‘trait’ or ‘function’ remains a loss of information, and doesn’t explain how this helps organisms evolve into new or different organisms. In other words when an organism loses the ability to catabolize ribose or lose the ability to repair DNA, this doesn’t demonstrate that the organism could have gained the ability to catabolize ribose or the ability to repair DNA in the first place, which is the type of change needed in order to provide evidence in favor of evolution. In order for a new organism (such as a whale) to evolve with wholly novel features not present in the previous population (such as a deer-like mammal), you somehow have to show that it can actually happen in the real world, and not just claim that it can happen because you happen to believe by faith that certain fossils are related. Can you provide an example of a population of organisms that have never had eyes, but gave rise to organisms with eyes? This is the type of example needed to prove that eyes ever evolved in the first place. To prove that an immune system evolved, you’d have to demonstrate how an entire population of organisms without blood evolved into a new population with blood. In my last post I explained to Modusoperandi how the Italian Wall Lizard is not such an example.

    Also, how does creationism explain ERV’s, which are retroviral insertions that attack randomly (and there are many types of retroviruses and roughly 3 million attachment sites), and thousands of the same retroviral types are found in exactly the same places in both humans and chimpanzee’s? The odds that it happened independently of each other mean that only one conclusion can be drawn, unless you believe that God decided to purposely attach things to us, not only to make it look as though we share common ancestry with the great apes, but to kill us, as well, because that’s what viruses generally do.

    I addressed this in Post 169.

    Amazingly, God also made it look exactly as though we are related to all of the primates in exactly the way that evolution predicts, by arranging it so that the retroviral insertions in all of the primates are distributed relative to how far apart we share a common ancestor with each primate! So we share the most insertions with Chimpanzee’s, and so on and so on.

    These are evolutionary assumptions which are not shared by Creationists, and can be interpreted differently by those who are not evolution believers. It only makes sense from an evolutionary perspective if you buy into evolution in the first place.

  171. #171 Modusoperandi
    March 13, 2010

    Jon S “You have refuted nothing by resorting to ignorance, and have not invalidated the claims that our current population could have resulted from Noah’s family.”
    Pah! Comparative genetics between people alone shows that.

    “To refute that, you first make an argument from silence, then an argument from ignorance, then an argument from incredulity.”
    The fact remains that one anonymous writer, as Matthew, wrote it down. That’s one guy. One. For an earthquake, blackened sun and the friggin’ dead getting up and wandering around. One guy!

    “Because you believe in a godless universe, you must demand that the Bible’s claims are false.”
    Thank you for telling me what I think. Also, no. I compare the tale to reality. Tale fails.

    “If, however, you are correct in your faith, then it is true that I will die, and that bad things will happen.”
    No. You’ll just be dead. It happens. Get used to it.

    “If the Bible’s claims are true however, then you will have to stand before and answer to a holy God.”
    Really? This is the same “holy” God that puts people in eternal torment for the simple “crime” of disbelief? Do words mean anything to you?

    “Your claim that a bird’s wing is superior to a bug’s wing is not a reasonable claim and is based merely on an opinion of what you consider to be superior according to your limited knowledge.”
    That was a tongue-in-cheek counter to your absurd “…a final masterpiece that will only go downhill over time and will never be improved upon” claim. “Fit enough” consistently comes up with pretty good ways to compete. Dolphins aren’t fish, but they’re pretty good at the watersports.

    “Considering that bugs are much more numerous than birds, I’d argue that the bug’s wings are perfectly designed for their survival.”
    No. If they were “perfectly designed for their survival”, they’d never get eaten.

    “Flying squirrels really don’t need to turn into birds either since they’re quite successful in their own right…”
    I wouldn’t phrase it like that. “Fit enough” fits better.

    “…and even if they were introduced into an environment in which turning into a bird were beneficial or offer an advantage over stasis, I would suggest that such an evolutionary change would be an impossible hurdle.”
    Agreed. Not because of your logical trainwreck, but because mammals and birds are on different evolutionary branches.

    “Story telling doesn’t substantiate evolutionary assumptions.”
    And declaration isn’t fact. Still, the facts are on my side, not yours. You’re not fighting evolution, you’re fighting virtually every scientific discipline.

    “I’m glad you’re beginning to make a distinction between ‘lesser changes’ and ‘greater changes’.”
    You’re the “evolution says mammals turn into birds” guy. I’m “things slowly, over many generations, becoming different than the earlier versions”.

    “I’ve already addressed gene duplication ‘adding information’ to the genome, and mutations.”
    Sure. Badly. Your multi-colour vision is due to gene duplication. Your ancestors couldn’t see certain colours. You can. Your eye has “more”. That’s “adding information”.

    “However, since you still claim that we do observe organisms becoming more complex, I maintain that you really don’t understand what evolution is or what it isn’t.”
    When something’s children’s children’s children can do something the great-great-grandparents couldn’t do, like Lenski’s E. coli, that, in part, is what evolution is. Mutation and natural selection. It’s really quite simple. Too bad that the Bible didn’t mention it, really. It would’ve saved us a lot of time.

    “This type of change is NOT the same type of change the would turn a dinosaur into a bird.”
    Look at a T-Rex skeleton. Look at a bird skeleton. Look at the flecks of scraps of genetic material they managed to get from that dinobone a while ago and compare that to a chicken’s.

    “The lizards already have muscles, and now the muscles have developed between the large and small intestine. Notice that the article says “They evolved an expanded gut to allow them to process these leaves.” In other words the gut was already there, and now the gut has been expanded. It’s not as if the lizard didn’t have a gut, or any genetic information for a gut, and then all of a sudden it’s offspring magically evolved a gut.”
    Did I ever say that genetics just magiks up entirely new parts? God, I hope not. “Descent with modification”. It’s not arm->arm->arm->wing. It’s a series of minor changes.

    “Hopefully you can begin to see there’s a difference between evolution, natural selection, and speciation. This is simply an example of speciation and natural selection, not evolution.”
    Are you intentionally dense, or is it because of some kind of accident?

    “Just because you don’t understand how evolutionary assumptions have shaped and molded your understanding of the fossil record doesn’t mean it’s a problem for Creationists.”
    Nothing is. If the fossil distribution was random (as a genuine worldwide flood would do), it fits Creationism. If it’s roughly in order of nests clades (as we’d expect if the Flood was false), it still fits Creationism (insert “God did it that way” or “You don’t know that things worked the same back then!” here). Nothing can falsify it. It matches every possible possibility. The Creationists taunt that “nothing can falsify evolution” is crass projectionism.
    Creationism lost. It’s not the real world’s fault that it’s own history doesn’t match Genesis.

    “It can be argued that no one really knows the true fossil distribution.”
    What we’ve got is pretty consistent. “It can be argued” that the Earth is flat, too. That doesn’t make it correct.

    “Hydrodynamic sorting is only one minor mechanism of many that formed the fossil record.”
    It’s not minor. It’s the major mechanism. When things that aren’t water get mixed in water, hydrodynamic sorting is the exact thing that does the hydrodynamic sorting. Hence the name. Obvious, really.

    “Evolutionists still have issues pertaining to all the gaps in the fossil record…”
    And every new find fits. Nothing is making Creationism any less wrong than it already is (and it is)

    “…living fossils…”
    A population that fits its niche will probably survive. The only reason “we” didn’t know about coelacanth earlier is because they’re greasy and taste like shit.

    “…out-of-order fossils, etc.”
    So, the fossil record, roughly in order, is explained by The Flood and the few outliers also support it? Meanwhile, no level of knowledge is good enough to ever support evolution. Hmm.

    “If you’d like to debate whether or not Baba or Babu is a false prophet, we can certainly do that, but I think we’re both in agreement that he’s a false prophet.”
    Yes. Yes he is. While someone else coming back from the dead, healing people, walking on water, etc, doesn’t prove Jesus wasn’t what He thought He was, it is a pretty good indicator that it’s no more likely He was than the Babu-somethingsomething thinks he is. If magic isn’t magic, then magic isn’t magic, you know?

    “The real problem is that you dismiss ALL supernatural beings or events as impossible, and don’t leave room for the possibility that one of them may be authentic.”
    Bullisht. I simply state that they don’t hold up.

    “And considering that Jesus has become such a central figure in all of religion…”
    And yet you completely ignore Joseph Smith, who is also a central figure. And Muhammad, whose another central figure. And the central figures of the religions of billions of other people. Also “all of religion”? Really?

    “…it stands to reason that we can examine his claims and the claims made in the Bible more closely and see what kind of impact he’s made.”
    I get that you “feel” it’s real. I’ve felt what I can only assume to be something similar myself. That transcendant something really is remarkable. It’s evidence for Jesus only in the sense that it’s evidence for everything else, as well.

    “That’s been a successful strawman argument and mantra used by evolutionists for years which assumes that your version of science is the only acceptable version that may be taught, as if science, truth and reason were determined by dictate and proclamation rather than by intellectual debate and reason.”
    You’re a YEC. I can’t stress that enough. You’re following a radically obsolete model of, well, everything and expecting other people to jump right in. That’s not going to happen. Not because of Total Depravity or Satan or sin or rebelling against God or secular humanism or atheism or… It’s obsolete for a reason. It’s wrong. Current models are “close enough, pending more data”. Creationism, meanwhile, is wrong. Not close. Wrong.

    “I could just as easily claim that it’s the evolutionary establishment who’s trying to keep science out of science class and replace it with pseudo science so that impressionable students will be brainwashed into evolutionary thinking (as you have exhibited).”
    You could. You’d be wrong (as you have exhibited).

    “Actually, neandertal is placed in the same species as modern man, but then placed into the sub-species homo spaiens neanderthalensis.”
    That’s pretty much what I said. They weren’t Adam’s kids, though. If they were, like Adam, they’d be fictional, which would make it much harder to dig up their bones.

    “But if you’re trying to say no one can understand that [Special] revelation, I’d argue that God provides us with enough information so that we’re without excuse.”
    That’s not what I’m saying. That’s not what I said at all.

    “But this is the very reason why we need a savior.”
    Again, obsolete model. No Eden, no Adam, no Fall. Man (and life in general) is messy because it’s built on its ancestors. It’s a glorious cobbling-together of long lines of “fit enoughs”.

    “If we were without sin and had a perfect understanding, Jesus never would have needed to die on the cross.”
    So, does that make God a sinner or does He have imperfect understanding or what? I mean, the biblical tale has Him making Man. A perfect God making a perfect universe with perfect people (in His own image, no less), imperfectly, is a what God, exactly?

    “Again, your claim that the pattern of ERVs make it appear as though Common Descent were true is just an evolutionary assumption.”
    Oh, tosh! It “fits”. It’s a “pattern”. All the “patterns” “fit” the theory.

    “According to AIG’s website…”
    Yes, I know it’s the Genetic Fallacy, but everything AIG posts is wrong because it’s AIG. Go here and talk to people who know what the fuck they’re talking about, instead.

    “…your claim that our genome contains scraps of our evolutionary history is simply a claim unsubstantiated from the facts and is based purely on evolutionary assumptions.”
    For the last time, it’s not “my claim”, it’s your genes. They’re right there. In your genes.

    “Your ad hominem attacks don’t make a case for you.”
    And your willful disregard for the fact doesn’t make your case for you.
    My point, none the less, stands. Who is posited to have written the Torah? And who told him what to write? Ken Hamm says “You weren’t there, but I’ve got a book from a guy who was”.

    “And how can you know for sure that you’re only a little wrong and not completely wrong?”
    The models get better at explaining more. That makes it unlikely that “I” am completely wrong.

    “What seems reasonable to you may in fact be completely wrong.”
    Look in the mirror and say that. Louder!

    “History can provide many examples where the majority bought into false beliefs once considered to be true…”
    Again, look in the mirror, and say that.

    “….modern science is not immune from this…”
    Obviously. It’s people. What you’re saying, though, is not that some scientists are wrong about some things, but that they all are about everything. Not only that, but they’re all wrong about wildly different things that just happen to “fit” with the also-wrongness of other scientist in other disciplines.

    “…as can be seen regarding the global warming hysteria that was supposedly settled science according to those adhering to it.”
    O_O

    The Climate Model is incomplete (it’s a “model”, after all). Also, Global Warming is real. Get used to the idea now, before you fuck it all up for your grandchildren. Seriously. Evolution denialism is annoying, but Global Warming denialism is genuinely dangerous.

    “So the mantra continues… but facts must be interpreted based on prior beliefs.”
    Beliefs, ideally, are changed by facts. To this you are immune. Pity.

    “Your admission speaks badly for evolution.”
    My admission that facts lead to conclusions “speaks badly for evolution”. I know that I’m not supposed to use this word anymore, but, are you retarded?

    “Since evolutionists start with a belief in evolution, their interpretations must conform to that belief system.”
    And the first, pre-evolutionists were what, exactly? And Lyell was what, exactly? Etc.

    “If they receive data inconsistent with what they believe, they dismiss it based on contamination, for example, and will keep trying until they get the expected date they want.”
    Ideally, they try to figure out why it didn’t match the hypothesis (like the living snails that show up as “really, really” old. Turned out that the little buggers were absorbing particles of the very rocks they were sliding on, if memory serves). If everything turns out to be right, but the data doesn’t match the theory, it’s the theory that’s changed (or abandoned), not the data.
    It’s “your” side that “keeps trying until they get the expected date they want”. And the pile of misdated stuff just keeps getting bigger! All dating methods, all organizing methods, indeed, all methodology must be wrong for Creationism to be right. All of it. Again, you’re not just fighting Darwin. You’re fighting reality itself.

  172. #172 Richard Eis
    March 15, 2010

    Haha, Modus is the rock, I am the hard place. Poor Jon.

    In fact I feel quite unnecessary now.

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