home
RSS
Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age
January 10th, 2012
04:18 PM ET

Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

America’s Protestant pastors overwhelmingly reject the theory of evolution and are evenly split on whether the earth is 6,000 years old, according to a survey released Monday by the Southern Baptist Convention.

When asked if “God used evolution to create people," 73% of pastors disagreed - 64% said they strongly disagreed - compared to 12% who said they agree.

Asked whether the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, 46% agreed, compared to 43% who disagreed.

A movement called Young Earth creationism promotes the 6,000-year-old figure, arguing that it is rooted in the Bible. Scientists say the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

The Southern Baptist Convention survey, which queried 1,000 American Protestant pastors, also found that 74% believe the biblical Adam and Eve were literal people.

“Recently discussions have pointed to doubts about a literal Adam and Eve, the age of the earth and other origin issues," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a report on LifeWay’s site. “But Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly Creationists and believe in a literal Adam and Eve.”

The phone survey was conducted in May 2011, sampling ministers from randomly selected Protestant churches. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent, LifeWay said.

A 2010 Gallup poll found that 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form, versus 54% who said humans developed over millions of years.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Science

« Previous entry
soundoff (6,504 Responses)
  1. Blind CS

    Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.
    Job 38:4

    Can you direct the movement of the stars-binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion?
    Job 38:31

    Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar and spread its wings toward the south?
    Job 39:26

    February 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.
      Job 38:4
      Well, if you mean 6,000 years ago, personally I was in Sumeria, where we were already living in a fairly advanced civilization. There were also pretty complex societies in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Mexico, China, and India as well as loads of people across the entire earth (except some Pacific Islands). We all thought it was pretty silly and self-absorbed for you to be doing all that "creating" when we had already been around for several hundred thousand years, but hey, whatever makes you feel validated....

      Can you direct the movement of the stars-binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion?
      Job 38:31
      Well, yes. All I have to do is move around a bit, because you see those stars only appear clustered from the perspective of Earth. They are actually nowhere near each other. Strange how a god who's perspective is not limited to earth would believe in constellations that are only apparent to a person confined to one tiny planet. It sounds like the person who wrote that verse may have been an ignorant human impersonating a god, as opposed to an omniscient god himself.

      Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar and spread its wings toward the south?
      Job 39:26
      Oh no, that would be a combination of aerodynamics and an deeply evolved instinct to migrate.

      Thanks for showing some interest in me, though. Have a nice day.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • cbinal

      False – you were in Sumeria 6000 years ago? So, you believe in reincarnation and evolution huh?

      February 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Uh no. That was creative license – I wasn't really alive 6,000 years ago. You got me.

      And also no, I don't believe in evolution – I accept evolution. It is not a matter of belief any more than accepting that the earth orbits the sun is a belief.

      February 11, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • cbinal

      @False – Just as Darwin was using creative license? He never actually saw any transistions, just noted the similarities and came to the conclusion that one came from the other. I accept what witnesses to Jesus Christ wrote down, therefore that is truth to me which formulates my belief in a creator. You accept what men have written down based off of what they say they have observed in a short term experience and then formulating their long term beliefs, which you then accept "their" beliefs. Therefore, your acceptance is on their belief not on facts that they have even seen long term.

      February 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Your belief is based on what barely literate people wrote down hundreds of years ago, and my belief is based upon careful logic derived from limited observations. I'm okay with that.

      February 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Eric G

      @False: Easy now. They are trying to get you to swing at a pitch in the dirt.

      The difference is that Evolution theory can be tested with repeatable results. The Creation hypothesis cannot be tested.

      Besides, genetic mapping ends the argument.

      February 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      @Eric G: You are absolutely right. And I should clarify that my acceptance of evolution is not a "belief" for that very reason.

      February 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @cbinal,
      " I accept what witnesses to Jesus Christ wrote down, therefore that is truth to me which formulates my belief in a creator. "

      I didn't think that any, supposed, witnesses to Jesus actually wrote anything. I thought it was all second hand hearsay. Unless, of course, you count Paul's "vision" of Jesus, post resurrection/ascension.

      February 14, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  2. Jesus>>Darwin

    Prove that God does not exist.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • LinCA

      Why? There simply isn't a single reason to believe he/she/it exists. He/she it is equally likely to exist as the Tooth Fairy.

      Even a belief in Santa Claus is more reasonable than belief in any god.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      The burden of proof is on the one making the extraordinary claim, not the one to which the claim is made. And "nothing" is by definition the null hypothesis (in other words, the initial state of the argument is that there is no god, the alternative hypothesis would be that there is. The reason for this is below).

      Because (for the twelve millionth time) a negative cannot be proven. You can't prove something doesn't exist (as the faithful know so well, it can always be hidden just around the next corner, then the one after that, and the one after that). You can only demonstrate that something does exist. That is why the null hypothesis is what must be tested (because "nothing" can be falsified). So the burden of proof is clearly on you – I'm open to seeing it any time.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Mike

      Actually, the burden of proof falls on those who have the most to lose. If the Muslims are correct, then everyone loses out on 70 virgins (but I think it's 76 now because they had to keep raising the number to get suicide bombers). If Christ was not the Son of God and Christianity is incorrect, then no one loses anything. But if Christianity is correct, the consequences of rejecting Christ are eternal...who has the most to lose?

      February 9, 2012 at 4:42 am |
    • WASP

      @mike: ok so your going with the whole i'm scared of burning in hell routine........ok. here is the thing, though which sect of christianity is correct? baptist, holyniess, methodest, catholic, mormon, jewish? which one will guide you to heaven? another thing which preist,rabbi preacher is guiding you the correct direction? may be everyone being mad at eddie long is worng, may be he has it correct........lmfao see the problem with your idea of better safe then sorry. it still doesn't work. now pull in all the other faiths who has it right mike?

      February 9, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • WASP

      @J.D.: that question has been asked so many times, it's funny. ok prove god doesn't exist
      step one) take bible throw it in the trash
      step two) wipe out all knowledge of said diety
      step three) not required because god is dead.

      now to explain: all religion is based on reiglious text, if the religious text like what the missionarys did or atleast attempted to do to mayan beliefs......wipe them out of existence. if the same had happen to all knowledge of said "god" then there wouldn't be christians. your whole faith is based on pieces of paper voted on to be assembled into a book by men......ever wonder why there is no equality for women in the bible? that may be due to the fact women were traded property at the time the bible was put together. so why put property into a religious text? so many events in history could have wiped out all evidence of those religious texts, through war trade and natural disasters and just time it's self. so to answer your challenge directly there is no god. you are born, you struggle, you procreate, you die. oh yeah if there is a god, then where does the soul of the animal you eat go? does thou shall not kill apply to them? it does just say "thou shall not kill" and........well you have to kill the animal to eat it. lol

      February 9, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  3. False Dichotomy

    Science & Religion are like kids taking a test. The science kid has studied and listened and learned to find the answers. The religion kid looked out the window every day and then just bullsh'ts all the answers. – Matthew (not the biblical one)

    February 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  4. Richard Harris

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzJVNQ16Exw&w=640&h=390]

    February 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I think whoever made this video should be embarrassed and it's a shame they think they can call themselves "Peaceful Christian"....

      February 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Ida

      Fun to watch Ricardo's worldview crumble to pieces. Good job Peaceful Christian.

      February 11, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  5. Darwin>Jesus

    @Everybody-
    There is no God or the Supernatural. Drop your inherited Memes. Drop this ancient baggage and lets explore the galaxy together.

    February 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • momoya

      Yes, Please!! It's too bad there's such a social stigma on atheism, though. If I had any idea how my "friends" and "family" would completely change personalities after finding out I was atheist, I would have just lied and continued lying. I was stupid enough to think that they would appreciate my honesty. Ha!

      February 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • cbinal

      Psalm 14:1 The Fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Harry Potter, Ch. 3;p.142: "Probably you're going to be eaten by a giant marshmallow or something,"

      Cbinal, see how that doesn't prove anything? Just because it's written in a book doesn't make it real.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  6. The Dawkin's Delusion

    No.

    February 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Alex Trebec

      I'm sorry, we cannot accept your answer. Stand-alone posts must include the question along with the answer (and preferably the name of the poster to whom you are replying).

      Thanks for playing.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  7. Pope Benedict

    The bible and koran might be believable if they had something about fossils, sedimentary layers, plate techtonics, carbon 12, etc. Instead of just saying that Adam and Eve were the first people, couldn't God put the reason why he sprinkled fossils on the tops of mountains, or why he put 40 layers of forests under the ground, or why he reversed the Earth's magnetic field 25 times? What kind of a God plays tricks to make us believe in evolution and then hires a bunch of puppet pastors to tell us it's not true?

    February 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • momoya

      Agreed, but christians don't like people pointing it out; we should do it much more and at least get them thinking about it.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • cbinal

      The Bible does tell you those things, you just refuse to believe it. Everything you just said can be explained by a world-wide flood. Fossils have to be made in a catastrophic event, burying forests has to be a catastrophic event, etc. Want proof go study what happened at Mt. Saint Helens. All explained by the flood and natural disasters there after. As far as your second question, God doesn't trick you with Evolution. Evolution is a Demonic deception. Have you ever seen the movie Creation, about Charles Darwin? That man was haunted by Demons.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • LOL

      "The Bible does tell you those things, you just refuse to believe it. Everything you just said can be explained by a world-wide flood. Fossils have to be made in a catastrophic event, burying forests has to be a catastrophic event, etc. Want proof go study what happened at Mt. Saint Helens. All explained by the flood and natural disasters there after. As far as your second question, God doesn't trick you with Evolution. Evolution is a Demonic deception. "

      Oh yeah, your god screwed up in making man so he had to kill them all off. Yeah, that's some god to believe in, you would have thought it would have seen that one coming...oh that's right it's a man made concept and their imagination got twisted. LMAO!

      February 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • cbinal

      LOL – man (Adam and Eve) was made perfect with a free will. For you to have a free will means you have a choice to do right or wrong, otherwise God would have just had a bunch of robots. I feel sorry for you.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • LOL

      "For you to have a free will means you have a choice to do right or wrong, otherwise God would have just had a bunch of robots. I feel sorry for you."

      The immoral doctrine of original sin, where children are punished for the sins of their parents is hardly the scheme of a moral god. Adam and Eve were punished with death, pain, suffering and caused the evil of all mankind... yet they themselves 'sinned' before they knew the difference between Good and Evil. God must be immoral, if it punishes innocent people for sins they do not understand and could not resist.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • cbinal

      LOL – I see you know a little about the Bible – forced to go to church when you were younger and didn't like it? They knew one rule and they broke it. Break one rule with God you are guilty of breaking the law. So, is a plan of redemption a for mankind punishment? It seems in your eyes it would be.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • LOL

      "man (Adam and Eve) was made perfect with a free will"

      Not only does the existence of God logically, philosophically and theologically deny the possibility of free will, but the Bible also says that there is no free will! Examining the writings of St Paul, the Biblical books of Ephesians, Romans, 2 Timothy, 2 Thessalonians and Revelations, we see that God's plan overrides our free will; those that do good do the specific good that God predestined them to do, and all others are ruled by Satan because God sends "powerful delusions" to them. The Christian Bible frequently states that God creates our future and decides our fates, no matter what our own will is. It constantly denies that we have free will.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • LOL

      "forced to go to church when you were younger and didn't like it? They knew one rule and they broke it. Break one rule with God you are guilty of breaking the law."

      Not only do god's plans override free will, but, God also punishes those who it has predetermined to be punished. There is no grand moral plan to god's will. It makes no sense to say that this is the behavior of a good god. The New Testament makes more sense if its schemes are the plan of an evil god, rather than a good one.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • WASP

      @cbinal: ok world wide flood? where did all that water go? if the planet flooded, then it should still be flooded correct seeing there wouldn't be any where for that sher volume of water to go. hmmm next problem seeing most of the old world had no clue about the new world then it truly couldn't have been a "world wide flood" so that causes a logical problem which would mean only a localized flood happened. next question if it was a localized flooding then obviously god is not all powerful, so if he's not all powerful then the book he possessed people to write for him,then vote on what would be in that book for him, would be a lie.

      February 9, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • cbinal

      @Wasp – really? Where did all that water go? Really? I think most third graders could answer that question. Where does the water go in a local flood? does it get scattered to all of the place that didn't get flooded? Come on. If I have to explain that then you are not going to get anything else. I'll give you one of the MANY places it went just to humor you because I'm sure you are probably one of those people that cries Global Warming – Polar Icecaps.

      February 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Bizarre

      cbinal,

      If all the icecaps in the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 200 feet. This would be quite bad for all of the lower-lying places on Earth, but 200' - come on...

      You are gonna be doing ok in Alabama:
      ALABAMA
      Birmingham Birmingham 644
      Mobile Bates Field 218
      Montgomery Dannelly Fld

      http://www.wisegeek.com/what-would-happen-if-the-polar-ice-caps-melted.htm

      February 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Come On Now

      cbinal,

      If all the icecaps in the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 200 feet. This would be very bad for all of the lower-lying places on Earth, but 200' - come on...

      You would be doing ok even in most of Alabama:
      ALABAMA
      Birmingham Birmingham 644
      Mobile Bates Field 218
      Montgomery Dannelly Fld 221

      http://www.wisegeek.com/what-would-happen-if-the-polar-ice-caps-melted.htm

      p.s. I am not a Global Warming naysayer...

      February 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Come On Now

      p.p.s. – I have NO idea what happened to cause that double post... and with my salutation printed as screen name?!

      February 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • cbinal

      @LOL studied predestination too? Church, Bible school, college? Just curious. I typed a much longer response before but something didn't go through. So, I'll narrow it down. I, unlike alot of Christians, don't believe everyone has a free will. Adam, Eve, Lucifer and the other Angels had a perfect free will. Choose right or wrong, with God or without. From that point on everyone was separated from God by sin. So he made a way to get you back in to fellowship with him. You see it one directional as him sending people to hell whereas he is trying to save them from hell, your view of righteousness and holiness is skewed. A righteous and holy God cannot permit sin in his presence. As far as predestination, it is better called foreknowledge, God knows what your choice will be. He knows all.

      February 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • cbinal

      @ComeonNow I'm gonna give you a really too. Really? I said one way being the polar icecaps, one out of hundreds. Do you understand displacement, evaporation, underground springs, not to mention that your belief would be that everything was exaclty as it is now. What if the ocean floors weren't as deep half the rivers in the world. Come on Come On Now, hehehe, the grand canyon probably used to be flat land – bet it could hold alot of water now. It was a huge disaster super valcanoes erupted all kinds of stuff. Please.

      February 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      " I'm gonna give you a really too. Really? I said one way being the polar icecaps, one out of hundreds. Do you understand displacement, evaporation, underground springs, not to mention that your belief would be that everything was exaclty as it is now. What if the ocean floors weren't as deep half the rivers in the world. Come on Come On Now, hehehe, the grand canyon probably used to be flat land – bet it could hold alot of water now. It was a huge disaster super valcanoes erupted all kinds of stuff. Please."

      There is so much epically wrong with there, its hard to know where to begin.

      The grand canyon hasn't moved appreciably in the last six thousand years. Your time scale is off by several orders of magnitude.

      Underground springs? Really? What mechanism is going to get the water out of those springs and then put it back in again?

      I'm sorry, but your thought process is amazingly uniformed and short-sighted.

      February 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • cbinal

      Facepalm – you are right if you believe the Grand Canyon took millions of years to form. But, what about days? I know you think I'm nuts, but, that's because you were told by geologists that it had to take millions of years. Check out the back side of Mt. St. Helens - hours.

      February 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Come On Now

      cbinal,

      Do you think that all of the world's geologists are possessed by demons too? Do you think that they have a pact among themselves to deceive each other, and you, and all of us?

      February 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Question

      Did you not read and understand 1 Timothy 6:20-21?

      February 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • LinCA

      @cbinal

      You said, "Everything you just said can be explained by a world-wide flood."

      For this flood to cover every piece of land in 40 days, it would have to reach the tallest peak in the world in that time. This peak is currently about 8848 meters above sea level. It would have to rain everywhere on earth at a rate of 221 meters per day, or some 6 inches per minute.

      Six inches. Every minute. Every day. For forty days.

      It would take some 4 quintillion (4E+18 or 4,000,000,000,000,000,000) cubic meters of water, or roughly one sextillion (1E+21 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) US gallons.

      February 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • cbinal

      @Question I understand it, mine is not vain babbling or so-called science that is describing what you believe. I'm telling you the truth

      February 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • cbinal

      @LinCA your numbers are way off, as with everything you guys are way too extreme. Besides it also says the waters sprang up from the deep. Have you ever heard of the Canopy Theory?

      February 9, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • LinCA

      @cbinal

      You said, "LinCA your numbers are way off, as with everything you guys are way too extreme."
      What number is off? What do you mean with "too extreme"? Wasn't the flood world wide? Didn't it cover every piece of land? Was the tallest peak in the world much lower then? Was the radius of the Earth much smaller?

      You said, "Besides it also says the waters sprang up from the deep."
      OK. So, in that case the water level has to rise by 6 inches every minute from the combined rain fall and spring waters.

      But that brings up another problem. If a significant portion of the flood waters came from underground, what happened to the surface of the Earth? It would have to sink by approximately the same.

      You said, "Have you ever heard of the Canopy Theory?"
      Yes. But to call it a theory is an insult to science. It is, at best, a hypothesis. There is no evidence in support. Even most creationists don't believe that nonsense.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • cbinal

      @Come No I think they are totally sincere with their beliefs they are just wrong. When you weren't there when something began, you don't know the truth. So, you have to formulate a theory. To prove that theory you either find actual evidence or fudge a few things. Then the next person comes along and says no use in redoing all of his research, let's use his numbers, in the process their own theories and fudged numbers get added and so on.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • cbinal

      @LinCA Do you listen to the nonsense you a saying? Sink by the same amount? CA may be all mud but most of AL is rock and all kinds of fresh water caves that fill up and overflow and flood, and rivers overflow their banks and the land doesn't sink at all. Been nice talking to you.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • LinCA

      @cbinal

      You said, "CA may be all mud but most of AL is rock and all kinds of fresh water caves that fill up and overflow and flood, and rivers overflow their banks and the land doesn't sink at all."

      Ah, Alabama. That explains it.

      You are clearly clueless about the volume of water that we must be talking about. But please enlighten us, by what mechanism did all this water well up? What took it's place, if if wasn't the rocks and soil from above it?

      FYI, even the extraction of relatively small volumes (by comparison to the volume required for a world wide flood) of fossil fuels causes the soil above it to sink.

      By the way, you still owe me an explanation about where my calculations were incorrect.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • cbinal

      @LinCA Nice, yep Alabama that explains my ignorance. Yep Alabama and the city where Werner Von Braun built the rockets that sent men to the moon. Where I design pc boards that have gone in to space and alot that protect our troops, yeah that Alabama. I guess I have to bow to your superior knowledge and your land of fruits and nuts. How much did it rain in Katrina? 3/4 of the earth is water. The land was possibly 1 continent in noahs day, so how much exposed land was there? How deep was the oceans then? Arrogance thinks it knows all. I'm saying you don't know. Science knows nothing of origins.

      February 9, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Come On Now

      cbinal – "mine is not vain babbling"

      Yes it is. It is unsubstantiated babble... to the max.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • *facepalm*

      "The land was possibly 1 continent in noahs day"

      You may be able to write some code, but you obviously haven't the slightest clue about geology or plate tectonics. Why anyone bothers to engage in intellectual debate with someone so enormously misinformed is beyond me.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • cbinal

      @facepalm and Comeonnow I am not a geologist or any other kind of scientist, but I have studied and watched shows on the subjects and know enough to come to the conclusion that they don't know either. They have theories based on some short term scientific data, you call it long term I call it short term. And there are alot of different theories. Mine is another based on my belief in a Biblical account of creation. My point being what I believe is based on my beliefs in what I have studied on both sides of the issue. What you believe is based on your beliefs in what you have read and studied, in which I don't think you gave any time to studying the other side, you just write it off as nonsense. So, when you say mine is vain babbling, of course to you it is – to me it's truth because I believe the only one that was there that gave record to it. So my faith is in God who was there and who created it. Your faith is in a bunch of men who sit around trying to prove their theories and make a name for themselves. No one can really say 100 percent sure this happened, unless they were there. God says in Job Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?

      February 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • cbinal

      @facepalm By the way, I missed something in one of your earlier posts. You said the Grand Canyon hasn't moved appreciably in six thousand years. Where did you get that number? Just curious, because of course that is about the same time of Noahs flood in which I believe it was actually formed.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • WASP

      @cbinal: ok if a third grader can answer where all the water that flooded the world went, then you should be able to answer me. where did a flood covering the whole of this planet go? now seeing that even if the icecaps do melt, that much water wouldn't be enough to flood the whole planet.......so how could there have been more water on earth then than there is now?

      February 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  8. Chad

    Monkeyology
    ==
    -The "Room" is where the monkeys live.
    -"Monkeyology" is the study of monkeys in the Room, there exists nothing outside the room.
    – Monkeyologists live in the room with the monkeys and study them, attempting to understand the nature of the Room, and the monkeys that live within it.

    =====
    One day the Monkeyologists were startled to find a copy of War and Peace perfectly typed out, 523 pages neatly stacked on a table next to the typewriter that they had placed there earlier in the month, planning on writing their opus “On Monkeys in the Room”.

    The Monkeyologists attempted to determine which monkey had typed the manuscript. They conducted interviews, observed the monkeys for weeks on end for any sign that might indicate which monkey was responsible.

    Ultimately as they could find no candidate author, they accepted the theory that indeed, the monkeys had achieved the feat merely by randomly banging on the typewriter. When one monkeyologist challenged this by attempting to explain the outrageous odds associated with such a feat, it was quickly pointed out to him that it wasn’t impossible for it to have occurred, and after all the manuscript was right there as a testament to the fact that indeed it HAD happened.

    Sound familiar?

    February 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • momoya

      No.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      No not really. Except in the sense that I've heard crazy talk before.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      We should talk, Chad. I've gotten a handle on something. I never thought it was possible. It's God's Brother, Chad. What do you know about him?

      February 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • No Nad Chad

      You are one crazy delusional boy!

      February 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: ok your story fits more with religion then with science. religious folks found a book sitting on a table and proclaimed that "it was god" that wrote the book. atheists,science professionals, any common sence bound person has tried to explain to you folks that it was written by humans......so thank you for giving us atheists a nice story to explain the idiocracy that is religious belief. truthfully in that story i would have asked one of my fellow scienctists which of them had left it there. that point seems obvious to me, i guess not so much to you.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by Chad is a common form of the Argument from Ignorance fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      February 8, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • TooFunny

      "Post by Chad is a common form of the Argument from Ignorance fallacy."

      Yet they even state on the site you provided "Researchers disagree about how to define the very term “fallacy.” "

      LMAO!

      February 8, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by TooFunny is an instance of the Tu Quoque fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      February 8, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Chad's argument is not entirely an argument from ignorance. He has an explicit and detailed explanatory model he spelled out on the previous page.

      Here it is: God created every species using a "Solar flare combined with something, combined with something.. all at the precise time/sequence."

      Look for it in publication soon. It's going to overturn all of modern science.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Chad

      Dr. K.. ;-)

      Here's the entire post FYI.. providing part of the info is an atheistic specialty

      @"Dr". K : "What is the nature of the supernatural force (composition, location, metabolism, etc)?"
      =>I dont know Gods composition/metabolism. His location is primarily somewhere outside our space and time, but able to step in at will.. so it is probably not inaccurate to say "He is everywhere".

      @"Dr". K : "In your supernatural model, what causes mutations"
      =>Every mutation that occurs today has a cause of some type, right? Be it environment or whatever, even a failure to copy has a cause of some kind. The cause under my supernatural model is the same as the cause under the random chance model.

      @"Dr". K : "How does God orchestrate these mutations"
      =>Every event has a cause, the reality is that when the universe was created, a chain of events was set in motion. When/which stars would form etc.. all of that was determined by the physical characteristics of the big bang.
      Since God ordained the Big Bang, He ordained all these events.
      As such, He could line up specific events at specific points in the history of the universe. That's how he gets all of the mutations necessary to span the gap between fish and amphibian to line up precisely.

      You have to remember, God exists outside our space and time and as such has already seen that which is yet to come for you and I.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: You said, "You have to remember, God exists outside our space and time and as such has already seen that which is yet to come for you and I."

      Whenever I remember this, I'm subsequently troubled by the assertion that this doesn't have any impact on the existence of free will.

      Although, clearly, we can't have free will if your infallible god has already seen that which is yet to come for you and I...right?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @Fallacy Spotting 101 "Post by Chad is a common form of the Argument from Ignorance fallacy."

      =>actually, you are way off on that assertion
      Argument from Ignorance: It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false

      The argument from ignorance is the claim that the monkeyologists are making, namely that the manuscript had to be done by the monkeys, after all there it was.

      Another example of an argument from ignorance is someone arguing that all of our current life forms arose from that first simple life form by a series of random mutations. It cant be demonstrated that it actually occurred, but since it is the only option on the table (when God is removed from the equation as a possibility), then it must be true.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      This is a weak analogy fallacy.
      The universe/Earth is not like a room.
      No one has, to my knowledge, ever claimed that a book had a non-human author, or that no human authored it. (And, no, the Bible was still written by humans, even if there was a god dictating it.)

      February 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      There is plenty of evidence to support the Theory of Evolution.

      From fossils like, Archiopteryx, Ambulocetus, and Tiktaalik
      to biochemistry like, Cytocrome-C
      to genetics like, Human Chromosome2, and Endogenus Retrovius (ERVs)
      to biogeography like, marsupials in Americas, etc.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus "There is plenty of evidence to support the Theory of Evolution."

      =>Well, the devils in the definition, merely saying "evolution" doesn't really say anything about God or no God.
      Definition of Evolution: any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations.

      Instead, lets differentiate between two proposals:
      1) Explaining the complexity of life forms on earth definition #1: life on earth progressed from the first living organism to the complexity that we now have by entirely random mutations with out any supernatural involvement whatsoever.

      2) Explaining the complexity of life forms on earth definition #2: life on earth progressed from the first living organism to the complexity that we now have by mutations, the timing of which was orchestrated by God.

      In both #1 and #2 mutations have the same causality (environment – solar flare, etc, what ever causes mutations), the difference with #2 is that God orchestrated the timing of those events. #2 is not saying that things "poof" into existence.

      said another way: every event has a cause, when the universe was created, a chain of events was set in motion. When/which stars would form etc.. all of that was determined by the physical characteristics of the big bang. When God created the Big Bang, He did so in such a way that the timing of the events causing the mutations would create the jumps we see in the fossil record.

      bearing that in mind, there is nothing in this list that is capable of differentiating between choice #1 and choice #2 (although, I would argue that your inability to produce any fish-amphibians or animal-humans or reptile-bird provides the evidence for #2)

      February 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • cbinal

      Chad if you are a Christian, then why are you trying to explain what God did using their own theories. There is nothing in the Bible that supports their theory or anything you are saying. I'm even more tired of people who call themselves Christians trying to co-mingle evolution with God. Your thought process can be debunked by one statement – If God is all powerful and can cause a big bang why can't he just speak things into existence? Which is what the Bible says. Quit trying to make excuses for us just to prove to them how smart you are, we don't need it. Everything in the fossil records can be explained by one event, it's called the Flood. Uh Oh does that mean humans and dinosaurs lived together, it sure does.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Ida

      Chad-That was brilliant! :)

      February 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @cbinal Chad if you are a Christian, then why are you trying to explain what God did using their own theories. There is nothing in the Bible that supports their theory or anything you are saying"

      =>born again Christian, Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior.
      My two cents: You have to be careful with definitions. Just saying "evolution" doesn't say anything at all. Breeding big dogs into little dogs falls under the definition of evolution.

      So when Christians say "evolution is nonsense", we open ourselves wide open to "you're an idiot, look, here's an example of evolution, see this bird got a bigger beak".

      What we really mean to say is that "to posit that organisms have gotten from that first life form to the current plethora of life forms by a series of random mutations is nonsense"

      We know God created fish first, then birds/land animals/humans.
      That is precisely what the fossil record shows, and precisely the transition points that lack all evidence of transitional forms.

      I do not think that the first dog just poofed into existence, dogs came from wolves.

      "he LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" – Genesis 2

      February 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      "... merely saying 'evolution' doesn't really say anything about God or no God."
      You are correct, it does not. Science does not offer any information about god(s).

      Your #1 is almost correct. It's not "by entirely random mutations," but random mutations and natural selection, as a main mechanism of change, which is not random.

      If I'm reading this correctly, the main difference between #1 and #2 is, "the timing of which was orchestrated by God." So, exactly how do you determine if the timing was "orchastracted" by God or a random event? I would speculate that there is no detectable difference between a random mutation and a God orchastrated mutation. If that is the case, then you have a situation where #1 explains exactly as much as #2, but without the addition complexity of God. I think parsimony applies in this case. In other words, why factor in God's orchastration if it makes no difference to the outcome. We don't factor the 2001 World Series stats into the Theory of Relativity, because it has no bearing on the outcome.

      "...I would argue that your inability to produce any fish-amphibians or animal-humans or reptile-bird provides the evidence for #2"
      Tiktaalik is a transitional example of the fish to amphibian evolution. (http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/)
      Archeopteryx is a transitional example of the reptile to bird evolution. (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/qualifying_01)
      H. Eretus, H. Habilus, Australopithicus are examples of transitional species to humans. (http://humanorigins.si.edu/)

      February 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Ida

      Chad-Kudos in debunking the theory!
      Excellente! :)

      February 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @cbinal,
      "Everything in the fossil records can be explained by one event, it's called the Flood. "
      Incorrect. A world wide flood does not explain the distribution of fossils in the geological strata. Primarily, the evidence of primitive organisms deepest in the strata, which correlates to the furthest back in time, followed by gradual progress of both complexity/evolution and strata, or time, until the most recent era.

      "Uh Oh does that mean humans and dinosaurs lived together, it sure does."
      There is no evidence that humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • cbinal

      Chad – just trying to give you some advice, you are headed down a slippery slope – you won't get these guys to believe intellectually. As far as your points go – I believe dogs probably came from wolves too, but, that's variations in breeding, usually because of deformities not because something mutated in to something better as Darwinist would have you believe. All of those animals have the same Chromosomes and can be bred "after their own kind" as the Bible would say. And yes, God made man from the dust of the Earth after he spoke the Universe into existence. Now does that mean he made Adam from monkeys that mutated or did he make him a baby and have to rise him? No, he was made a full grown man. My point being, God is not restricted by time, he doesn't need time to make anything, he says it -it's done. By the way, he made man on the 6th literal 24 hour day. Take it for what it says – the evening and the morning – 1 day.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Question

      Why did Cbinal decide to interject itself all of a sudden? Cbinal could be an atheist or deist? the mystery gets deeper as to who is Cbinal?!?!

      February 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • cbinal

      @Nominus – you believe in time and strata that I don't. The time period of the flood was 10 months to a year before Noah came out of the Ark. I believe all of the strata that contain fossils were laid down in layers at that time. You can see that in the Grand Canyon with trees growing through the strata and petrified. You can see the same thing in Mt. St. Helens, and entire forrest buried by water and mud some of it even replanted a mile away – in hours. To make fossils you need water, sediment, and pressure in a short amount of time, not a long time. A long time – just decays. And don't talk about layers like they are in some kind of timetable order. There has been plenty of dinosaur bones found in layers that they were not suppose to be in. Heck just a few weeks ago a mammoth skeleton was found in Texas on a guys farm next to a stream – the ground next to the stream was only about 12 feet deep.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • cbinal

      @Question – LOL – I am the all-knowing one. For example, your name is not really Question.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Oh My

      cbinal = clueless boob in alabama?

      Mammoths are not dinosaurs. They are 'prehistoric', meaning they lived before written history, but they lived around 65 MILLION years AFTER the dinosaurs became extinct.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Question

      @Cbinal-That 'all knowing one' comment gave it all away, so you are definitely not a Christian so you must either be an atheist or ...... ;)

      February 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @cbinal,
      "you believe in time and strata that I don't."
      I think that the testing done by scientists shows fairly conclusively that the Earth has been around for 4+ billion years. This is based on things like multiple types of radiometric dating (Ar-Ar, U-Pb, U-U, etc.) , magnetic banding on the ocean floor, the entire field of geology, and plate tectonics all converging on similar ages. Which also happens to agree with the time frames necessary for the fossils that are found and the biochemical clocks in our genes.

      "To make fossils you need water, sediment, and pressure in a short amount of time, not a long time."
      There are different types of fossilization such as, permineralization, molds/casts, and trace. In permineralization, the organism needs to be covered at some point before it decays, but then it needs to be there long enough for the 'spaces' to be 'filled' with minerals precipitated out of the water. I suppose the rate of fossilization would depend on the mineral content of the water, but basically the organism needs to be buried quickly, the fossilization, however, can take a long time.

      The, so-called polystrate fossils (e.g. trees crossing strata), were in fact buried in place, most likely by some catastrophic event, but a local event. How do they know it's not global? Because, such an event would be identifiable in the geologic record. Large scale events such as meteorite impacts and volcanic eruptions are identifiable in the strata. Do you think a year-long flood wouldn't be identifiable, with all the dead plants and animals in the exact same time frame, clearly marked, throughout the world?

      "And don't talk about layers like they are in some kind of timetable order."
      They were laid down in a very definite order, but the difficulty is that there are more geologic processes happening than just sedimentation. There are tectonic plates bumping, stretching, and grinding each other, there are volcano eruptions, uplift events, subsiding (sp?), subduction(?), floods, earthquakes, etc. that all impact the ground.

      An interesting link between evolution to fossils to geology is Tiktaalik, that I mentioned before. The scientists were wanting to find fossil evidence of a transition between fish and amphibian, so they figured out, based on Evolutionary Theory, that such an organism should have existed in the Devonian period. But the Devonian period was ~375M years ago, so where would you find rocks, and hopefully fossils, from that time? Well, based on Geology, they determined that northern Canada, Ellesmere Island, would be a likely spot. After, I think, a few years and multiple expeditions, they found it, "Tiktaalik rosaea." Now, that's science!

      Hope that helps

      February 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Ah, Chad! You copied a different post – I guess providing the WRONG info is the creationist specialty:

      (please everyone refer to the last page if you want to see the whole thing. You should – it's a hoot. Chad, in academic writing we refer one to the original source instead of insisting on copying and pasting the entire passage)

      Chad was asked to provide specific answers to 5 questions regarding exactly how creation works, ideally as specific as the information provided by the natural sciences (in other words, if it is a superior explanation, it should be at least as detailed as molecular genetics, biological taxonomy, organic chemistry, evolutionary biology, etc):
      And here is the summary of his responses (please do look back and see for yourself):
      1. Don't know.
      2. A guess.
      3. See 2 (a guess)
      4. I don't understand, but see 2 (a guess)
      5. No answer, but the lack of evidence is my evidence (and why don't you see the logic in that?).

      Strangely, given his Genesis quote above, he never referred to nostrils, earth, or godly breathing as part of the "orchestration."

      February 8, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      And more strangely still, Chad's cheerleader "Ida" just happens to post only when he is online...

      February 8, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And notice that Ida can't answer a simple question:

      "HotAirAce
      Ida, if Chad is so smart, why hasn't he definitively proven the existence of any god?

      February 5, 2012 at 12:12 am"

      February 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      ...and Chad, looking back at your above post (the one where you tried to chastise me for not posting all the info) – those weren't even my questions, you little faker!

      Between that, your "Ida" alias, and your quote-mining, I am driven again to ask aloud "If you are in possession of God's perfect truth, why do you constantly have to lie in support of it?"

      February 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @cbinal "Chad – just trying to give you some advice, you are headed down a slippery slope"

      =>Hi cbinal, respectfully, I disagree.. Here's why: science is the study of how God did it. God created the natural world, and everything that He created will be in harmony with Him.

      "what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. " Romans 1

      "The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. You created the north and the south; " Psalm 89

      The danger is in the way atheists misuse science, with the bias that they bring to it.

      Had I never read Goulds paper on Punctuated Equilibrium, I never would have been aware of the savage treatment he handed out to the "scientists" that completely turned a blind eye to the utter failure of the fossil record to match darwins hypothesis of phyletic gradualism. Unbelievable, for 100 years these supposed "priests of the search for truth" willfully turned a blind eye to facts right in front of them in their desperate search for a way to exclude God from creation.

      And, now, with allopatric speciation, the situation only gets worse for them. At least phyletic gradualism had one thing going for it, mutations do occur.. Allopatric speciation introduces a whole other set of problems regarding the probabilities of smaller populations and vastly shorter time spans.

      Not to worry my friend, the truth will out :-)

      February 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Chad

      Nonimus “If I'm reading this correctly, the main difference between #1 and #2 is, "the timing of which was orchestrated by God." So, exactly how do you determine if the timing was "orchestrated" by God or a random event? I would speculate that there is no detectable difference between a random mutation and a God orchestrated mutation.”

      =>actually it’s straightforward to tell. When the event(or series of events) being proposed to have happened has such a fantastically unlikely probability as to make it mathematically impossible to have occurred, then you start to look elsewhere for a reason.

      The problem the monkeyologists have , is that they never considered that something outside their observable environment could have had a hand in producing the manuscript.

      Right?

      The problem turns out to be the definition of Monkeyology and the bias that the monkeyologists have. Monkeyology is defined as a study of the monkeys in the Room, it by definition excludes events occurring outside their system.

      One sees it all the time in the world of engineering. You look at some system that is malfunctioning for some reason, but it really shouldn’t be failing in the way that it is failing. It’s almost like you are looking at a failure that is impossible to have occurred. That’s precisely when you discover that the problem wasn’t with the system you were looking at, rather it was the interaction of one system with another that in theory you should have been isolated from.

      Science is the study of the natural world. Ask a scientist why natural laws exist, the answer? Always the same, “it doesn’t matter, they do”. What caused the big bang? Answer: nothing caused it, it just spontaneously occurred for no reason. How did life originate? It just spontaneously occurred. Why do they answer in that way? Because they are only concerned with studying that which happens inside the Room. Everything else is excluded by definition.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Chad

      Tiktaalik is a fish

      Archeopteryx is a transitional example of the reptile to bird evolution.
      =>whether birds "evolved" from dinosaurs (of which Archeopteryx is a member), is something that not even atheist evolutionists can bring themselves to claim :-)

      H. Eretus, H. Habilus, Australopithicus are examples of transitional species to humans. (http://humanorigins.si.edu/)
      =>obviously, none of that is demonstrating the transition of apes->humans

      February 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      @Chad,
      ...half-truths, distortions, and a few outright lies. I read the previous pages. You're an insufferable troll who spouts the same meaningless crap over and over.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      As I said earlier, your ficti.tious scenario is a invalid analogy, because the a room is not a valid representation of the world or the universe.

      "such a fantastically unlikely probability as to make it mathematically impossible"
      => First, please show the statistics that determine Evolution to be "fantastically unlikely." In order to determine probability, one must first define the domain, i.e. the complete range of possibilities, which is currently undetermined. Second, theists often ask for "proof" of evolution, even though science doesn't deal in "proof," but evidence. Now you talk of mathematical impossibilities. So, please show me/us the formal mathematical proof, that demonstrates the impossibility of an event happening, that also has a statistically non-zero probability. In other words, the very concept of "probability" implies that it is not "impossible," mathematically or otherwise.

      "The problem the monkeyologists have , is that they never considered that something outside their observable environment could have had a hand in producing the manuscript."
      => Again, it's your ficti.tious scenario... and assuming this is a reasonably normal room and not some universe-encompassing room in which not everything is observable, you stated explicitly, "there exists nothing outside the room."

      "The problem turns out to be the definition of Monkeyology..."
      => Again, it's your ficti.tious definition.

      "Science is the study of the natural world."
      => Agreed, in general.

      "Ask a scientist why..."
      => I think you misunderstand the response. It's not, "it doesn't matter" or "it just spontaneously occurred." The proper answer is simply, "I don't know." What you might be hearing is something like, "We don't know, but this is what we are looking at...". Everything beyond the "but" is potentially hypothesis or speculation.

      "Because they are only concerned with studying that which happens inside the [natural world]. Everything else is excluded by definition."
      => The reason that science does not speak to the supernatural is primarily because there is no known way to investigate it objectively. There is no way to measure, detect, analyse, or test the supernatural. The only intellectually honest way to approach it is to admit "we don't know." There are some things however, that we do know objectively, such as electricity, that lead to things we can honestly say are not caused by the supernatural, such as lightening. That's it, if science can't investigate it objectively, then how do you expect it to include the supernatural in science?

      "Tiktaalik is a fish"
      => Thanks for your opinion. How did you determine that?

      "whether birds 'evolved' from dinosaurs (of which Archeopteryx is a member), is something that not even atheist evolutionists can bring themselves to claim"
      => So, theist evolutionists(?) can? Not all scientists are Atheists. If there is new evidence leading in another direction, great, follow the evidence. Does it lead to God? How can it? (see above discussion on objectivity and science)

      "obviously, none of that is demonstrating the transition of apes->humans"
      => Obviously, it is not obvious to the scientists, hence the Smithsonian Insti.tute's web site.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus “your ficti.tious scenario is an invalid analogy, because the a room is not a valid representation of the world or the universe”
      @Chad “the relationship of monkeyologists to the Room, is identical in nature to the relationship of scientist to universe. They are both solely occupied with events that occur within the defined environment, and exclude from examination all that occurs outside the environment.

      ===================
      @Nonimus “First, please show the statistics that determine Evolution to be "fantastically unlikely."
      @Chad “You want the possibility of every genetic mutation calculated for a population to demonstrate that what is being proposed is impossible? Do you need the same level of detail to accept that it is impossible for a can of orange paint to spontaneously separate into1/2 yellow and1/2 red?
      All one needs to do is look at what is being proposed with allopatric speciation/punctuated equilibrium. Are you going to argue that is it more likely that more (necessarily interdependent) genetic mutation occurs with a smaller population in a smaller time period?

      ===================
      @Nonimus “even though science doesn't deal in "proof," but evidence.”
      @Chad: “well, not always right? ;-) see Gould savaging the preconceptions of the scientific community for blindly accepting phyletic gradualism as fact despite a mountain of contradicting fossil evidence.”
      Science states as fact the best (biased) guess they have at any point in time. A broken guess stays n place until a better one comes along to supplant it.

      ===================
      @Nonimus “The proper answer is simply, "I don't know."
      @Chad “ I’m happy to get athiests to the point where they have to say they don’t have any idea how the universe came into existence, how life was first created, and why the laws of the universe exist.

      ===================
      @Nonimus “The reason that science does not speak to the supernatural is primarily because there is no known way to investigate it objectively. There is no way to measure, detect, analyze, or test the supernatural.”
      @Chad “There are no “tools” per se by which you can analyze the existence of a supernatural entity, just like there are no tools by which you could analyze the existence of any human (the human could always refuse to participate in the test).
      Of course, that doesn’t mean that the entity doesn’t exist right? You have inadvertently acknowledged a major hole in your world view right? One can’t deny the existence of something just because one doesn’t have the tools to detect. Right?

      You have articulated exactly the built in bias of the majority of the scientific community against the existence of the God of Abraham.

      February 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,

      Chad: "the relationship of monkeyologists to the Room, is identical in nature to the relationship of scientist to universe."
      Me: 1) A room does not have the environment necessary to produce the organisms that inhabit it and therefore there is, by necessity, a reason to look outside. 2) A typed manuscript has never, to my knowledge, shown up in the universe on its own, as seems to have happened in your scenario. (BTW, if I were investigating this book's appearance, I would suspect that one of your "Monkeyologists" is lying about not writing it.)
      Chad: "They are both solely occupied with events that occur within the defined environment, and exclude from examination all that occurs outside the environment."
      Me: 1) You stated in your scenario that there was nothing outside the room, so why should they look there? 2) What exactly has occurred outside the universe, that is being ignored? If you have something specific, please present it.

      You have created a contrived ficti.tious scenario and claim that it somehow relates to scientists studying evolution and their findings. It's like saying, "two detectives in a interrogation room question a dog found on the scene of a mugging and decide that, because the dog can't speak, it must be Tuesday." Look how dumb those detectives are!

      Chad: "Do you need the same level of detail to accept that it is impossible for a can of orange paint to spontaneously separate into1/2 yellow and1/2 red? "
      Me: Paint doesn't reproduce.
      Chad: "All one needs to do is look at what is being proposed with allopatric speciation/punctuated equilibrium."
      Me: You are claiming that evolution is "fantastically unlikely", please give some evidence for that as.sessment.

      Chad: “well, not always right? see Gould sava.ging the preconceptions of the scientific community for blindly accepting phyletic gradualism as fact despite a mountain of contradicting fossil evidence.”
      Science states as fact the best (biased) guess they have at any point in time. A broken guess stays n place until a better one comes along to supplant it."
      Me: Are you saying that they were arguing over mathematical or logical proofs? Seems to me like they were debating the validity and meaning of the evidence, as scientists should.

      Chad: “I’m happy to get atheists to the point where they have to say they don’t have any idea how the universe came into existence, how life was first created, and why the laws of the universe exist."
      Me: As I said in my posting, what you may have difficulty with is the response of, "we don't know, but..." There is a difference between "we don't know" and "we don't have any idea." However, scientists are usually the first to state "we don't know," in some form.

      Chad: “There are no 'tools' per se by which you can analyze the existence of a supernatural enti.ty, just like there are no tools by which you could analyze the existence of any human (the human could always refuse to participate in the test).
      Of course, that doesn't mean that the enti.ty doesn't exist right? You have inadvertently acknowledged a major hole in your world view right? One can’t deny the existence of something just because one doesn't have the tools to detect. Right?"
      Me: Perhaps I wasn't clear, I'm saying there is no known reason to suspect that one exists at all. By the phrase, "no way to measure, detect,..." I'm saying that there is no indication of anything to investigate. You are as.suming there is a supernatural enti.ty and the lack of tools is no reason to deny its existence, but there is no reason to as.sume it exists in the first place. While the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; absence of evidence is definitely not evidence of existence.

      Chad: "You have articulated exactly the built in bias of the majority of the scientific community against the existence of the God of Abraham."
      Me: I disagree. Science and the scientific method is the best way known to man of finding accurate explanations of how the universe works.

      February 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • cbinal

      1 Timothy 6:20 and 21 says O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called; which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

      February 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Question

      Cbinal-Are are able or not able to understand 1 Timothy 6:20-21?

      February 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • cbinal

      @question if you didn't see the other post, yes I understan 1Tim that's why I put it down. The vain babblings are your so-called science. I'm just giving you truth.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus “A room does not have the environment necessary to produce the organisms that inhabit it and therefore there is, by necessity, a reason to look outside”
      @Chad “The earth doesn’t have the ability (by itself) to produce the organisms that inhabit it either, that doesn’t stop you from not looking outside "

      ==============
      @Nonimus “A typed manuscript has never, to my knowledge, shown up in the universe on its own, as seems to have happened in your scenario.
      @Chad “The first life form was much more complex than that typed manuscript, yet you are completely ready to believe it just materialized”

      ==============
      @Nonimus “What exactly has occurred outside the universe, that is being ignored? If you have something specific, please present it.
      @Chad “for starters, the origin of the universe itself, the origin of life, the fact that the universe obeys laws”

      ==============
      @Nonimus “First, please show the statistics that determine Evolution to be "fantastically unlikely."
      @Chad “You want the possibility of every genetic mutation calculated for a population to demonstrate that what is being proposed is impossible? Do you need the same level of detail to accept that it is impossible for a can of orange paint to spontaneously separate into1/2 yellow and1/2 red?
      @Nonimus “Me: Paint doesn't reproduce.”
      @Chad “lol, never said it did, what I demonstrated was impossibility doesn’t require that one count all of the combinations of molecules (or in the evolution case, genes)”

      ==============
      @Nonimus “Seems to me like they(Gould ) were debating the validity and meaning of the evidence, as scientists should.
      @Chad “you should read the paper, an excerpt:
      "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils ….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." – Stephen J. Gould –

      ==============
      @Nonimus “The reason that science does not speak to the supernatural is primarily because there is no known way to investigate it objectively. There is no way to measure, detect, analyze, or test the supernatural.”
      @Chad “There are no “tools” per se by which you can analyze the existence of a supernatural entity, just like there are no tools by which you could analyze the existence of any human (the human could always refuse to participate in the test).
      @Nonimus “Perhaps I wasn't clear, I'm saying there is no known reason to suspect that one exists at all. By the phrase, "no way to measure, detect,..." I'm saying that there is no indication of anything to investigate.
      @Chad “origin of the universe, origin of life, laws of nature.. you know, the things you said you didn’t know how to explain.

      ==============
      Chad: "You have articulated exactly the built in bias of the majority of the scientific community against the existence of the God of Abraham."
      @Nonimus “I disagree. Science and the scientific method is the best way known to man of finding accurate explanations of how the universe works.
      @Chad: “agreed, you again have revealed the bias you probably don’t even know you have. God exists outside our time and space, remember?”

      February 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      If god exists outside our time and space, then how could he have any affect upon it? To have any affect on the physical world, he or his power would have to enter the physical world in some way, and then it would be detectable.

      A god that is beyond detection by physical means is one that would be powerless to have any physical affect. It's a self-defeating assertion, and clearly a fabricated one. For if God exists outside of our time and space, how the heck would you know about him?

      The "outside our time and space" pleading is just another desperate rationalization to try to get off the hook for the fact that the "god" explanations don't hold up to even the simplest observations on the world around us.

      February 9, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "If god exists outside our time and space, then how could he have any affect upon it? To have any affect on the physical world, he or his power would have to enter the physical world in some way, and then it would be detectable."
      @Chad: "God is able to step in and out of our time space, the times that He has stepped in are detectible (for example: origin of the universe, origin of life on this planet, the existence of natural laws, the entire history of the Jewish people, the birth/life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirits impact on Christians today, which one might argue isnt physically detectible, but nonetheless is certainly detectible by the individual))

      ===========
      @False Dichotomy "A god that is beyond detection by physical means is one that would be powerless to have any physical affect. It's a self-defeating assertion, and clearly a fabricated one. For if God exists outside of our time and space, how the heck would you know about him?"
      @Chad "see above, God has and is detectible, most importantly though, we must remember that God is a "person" (for lack of a better word to describe Him), and as such the "detection tools" are different than the detection tools one would use for example to measure physical properties such as gravity"

      The "outside our time and space" pleading is just another desperate rationalization to try to get off the hook for the fact that the "god" explanations don't hold up to even the simplest observations on the world around us.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Chad

      Missed the last one...

      @False Dichotomy "The "outside our time and space" pleading is just another desperate rationalization to try to get off the hook for the fact that the "god" explanations don't hold up to even the simplest observations on the world around us."
      @Chad "no.. remember, God is not a physical property, so an attempt to disprove Him by saying, "well, we cant measure Him, or conduct a scientific experiment to detect Him" is pretty much nonsense, right? How would you conduct a scientific experiment to detect me?

      February 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,

      @Chad “The earth doesn’t have the ability (by itself) to produce the organisms that inhabit it either, that doesn't stop you from not looking outside "

      Me: I never claimed that the Earth (by itself) produced life, only that your ficti.tious "universe" that, by definition, consists of one room with nothing outside of it, is not sufficient. Also, the Earth is not by itself and there are plenty of reasonable indicators to point to investigating outside the Earth, such as the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars.

      ==============
      @Chad “The first life form was much more complex than that typed manuscript, yet you are completely ready to believe it just materialized”

      Me: No, I'm not. I thought *your* claim was that it "just materialized", at God's command. I suspect that some variation of an RNA-world, metabolism-first, or other natural process/event generated the first life from non-life, but I admit that the evidence does not fully support that yet, nor is any one claiming that that is actually what happened. We don't know exactly, but the evidence... I digress.

      ==============
      @Chad “for starters, the origin of the universe itself, the origin of life, the fact that the universe obeys laws”

      Me: 1) Why do you think those events occurred outside the universe? 2) Evolution is only about development of life after life began.

      ==============
      @Chad “lol, never said it did, what I demonstrated was impossibility doesn't require that one count all of the combinations of molecules (or in the evolution case, genes)”

      Me: What? Who asked you to count all molecules or genes? You claimed evolution was "fantastically unlikely" (and yet mathematically impossible, at the same time). I'm just asking you to back it up and explain how you determined such a probability.
      i.e. Please show the evidence, or cite a reliable source with the evidence, that backs up your claim.

      ==============
      @Chad “you should read the paper, an excerpt:
      "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils ….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." – Stephen J. Gould –

      Me: "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups. " – Stephan J. Gould
      ( http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_fact-and-theory.html )

      ==============
      @Chad “origin of the universe, origin of life, laws of nature.. you know, the things you said you didn’t know how to explain.

      Me: 1) Again, Evolution doesn't cover those topics. 2) Just because we cannot explain something does not make it supernatural. Isn't that the definition of the God-of-the-gaps concept?
      3) That being said, however, we do not know everything, that is correct, but why should we look to an area that has no evidence of its own existence whatsoever? There is no evidence of anything supernatural whatsoever, so where do you suggest we start such an investigation? Why would we suspect that there are any answers there, if in fact there were any there there?
      Perhaps, we should go back to the classics? Isn't that how the ancient Romans and/or Greeks explained lightening?

      ==============
      @Chad: “agreed, you again have revealed the bias you probably don’t even know you have. God exists outside our time and space, remember?”

      Me: I don't see how I am showing bias, other than a bias for rational evidence-based thinking. Believe what you want, but I wish you wouldn't claim that your God did something without the evidence to back it up.

      ===
      Me:
      Chad, this debate is all fine and good, but ultimately even if you show with evidence and logic that Evolution is entirely and completely wrong, that still doesn't give the Creationist or ID concepts one iota of evidence, so there is still no reason to think that it is true. Again, lack of evidence for evolution does not mean that God did it or even exists for that matter.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      @Chad : "God is able to step in and out of our time space." .... "most importantly though, we must remember that God is a "person" (for lack of a better word to describe Him), and as such the "detection tools" are different than the detection tools one would use for example to measure physical properties such as gravity" ... "no.. remember, God is not a physical property"

      You don't know that.

      You couldn't possibly know any of this. You're just making sh't up. You may be repeating sh't that other people made up, but none of this is based on anything at all except that you say so. Unless you are supernatural yourself and exist beyond time and space, there's no way you could know any of this....you're just bullshi'ting your way through.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus “What exactly has occurred outside the universe, that is being ignored?

      @Chad “for starters, the origin of the universe itself, the origin of life, the fact that the universe obeys laws”

      @Nonimus “: Why do you think those events occurred outside the universe?

      @Chad “The universe is expanding in all directions and cooling. Going backwards there was a point in time when the universe had infinite heat and density. Prior to this singularity there was nothing. Not “something”, nothing. Matter and time were created at that point of rapid expansion. By definition whatever caused this expansion could not have itself had a prior cause (the infinite regression problem).

      The fact that the universe obeys laws and that science by definition relies on that which it can not explain: "Science starts from the existence of those laws, can NOT EVER disprove God". – Leonard Mlodinow Co-author along with Stephen Hawkings of A Briefer History of Time.

      @Nonimus “ “Isn't that the definition of the God-of-the-gaps concept”

      @Chad: “no, it isn’t ascribing to supernatural things that we just don’t understand yet, it’s ascribing to an entity out side our time/space causal events that by definition must have occurred outside our time/space.

      ==============
      @Chad “Evolution is fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible.

      @Nonimus “First, please show the statistics that determine Evolution to be "fantastically unlikely." In order to determine probability, one must first define the domain, i.e. the complete range of possibilities, which is currently undetermined”

      @Chad ““You want the possibility of every genetic mutation calculated for a population to demonstrate that what is being proposed is impossible?”

      @Nonimus: What? Who asked you to count all molecules or genes?

      @Chad “er.. you did… see above “complete range of possibilities”

      ==============
      @Nonimus “science deals with evidence.”

      @Chad: “Gould savaged the scientific community for failing to deal with the evidence.”

      @Nonimus “Gould savaged creationists for stating his work acknowledged there were no transitional fossils

      @Chad: “what does that have to do with my original refutation of your claim that science deals with evidence??”

      February 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nominus "evolution is real"
      @Chad "Well, the devils in the definition, merely saying "evolution" doesn't really say anything about God or no God.
      Definition of Evolution: any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations.

      Which of these two are you claiming is correct?
      1) Explaining the complexity of life forms on earth definition #1: life on earth progressed from the first living organism to the complexity that we now have by entirely random mutations with out any supernatural involvement whatsoever.

      2) Explaining the complexity of life forms on earth definition #2: life on earth progressed from the first living organism to the complexity that we now have by mutations, the timing of which was orchestrated by God.

      February 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,

      I'll answer your latter post first.
      "Explaining the complexity of life forms on earth definition #[3}: life on earth progressed from the first living organism to the complexity that we now have by [ ] random mutations [and natural selection, primarily,] without any [need for] supernatural involvement whatsoever."

      February 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,

      @Nonimus “What exactly has occurred outside the universe, that is being ignored?

      @Chad “for starters, the origin of the universe itself, the origin of life, the fact that the universe obeys laws”

      @Nonimus “: Why do you think those events occurred outside the universe?

      @Chad “The universe is expanding in all directions and cooling. Going backwards there was a point in time when the universe had infinite heat and density. Prior to this singularity there was nothing. Not “something”, nothing. Matter and time were created at that point of rapid expansion. By definition whatever caused this expansion could not have itself had a prior cause (the infinite regression problem).

      The fact that the universe obeys laws and that science by definition relies on that which it can not explain: "Science starts from the existence of those laws, can NOT EVER disprove God". – Leonard Mlodinow Co-author along with Stephen Hawkings of A Briefer History of Time.

      @Nonimus “ “Isn't that the definition of the God-of-the-gaps concept”

      @Chad: “no, it isn’t ascribing to supernatural things that we just don’t understand yet, it’s ascribing to an enti.ty out side our time/space causal events that by definition must have occurred outside our time/space.
      --

      @Nonimus: You said, "Prior to this singularity there was nothing." Why do you say that? There are two barriers, that I'm aware of, to that knowledge. 1) The background radiation (CMBR) creates a "wall of light" beyond which we cannot see (http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/bb_tests_cmb.html). 2) A singularity, by some definitions, would, I think, eliminate any usable information of any space-time prior to its own formation, therefore, we do not know what came before. It may have been "nothing," it may have been "something," or it may have been "something else entirely". In addition, however, I think, a singularity in the beginning of the universe may not be a totally accurate description of the current science.

      I agree that, science, almost certainly, "... can NOT EVER disprove God."
      I would aslo say that science is not trying to disprove God, or the supernatural. However, if science can provide a natural explanation for phenomena, then why bring God into the discussion, or into the science class, at all?

      You said you weren't "ascribing to supernatural" things that are unknown, but were "ascribing to an enti.ty out side our time/space causal events that by definition must have occurred outside our time/space." Positing, for the sake of argument, that these causal events are, in fact, necessary as you claim, why do you ascribe them to "an enti.ty out side our time/space," if not for Enti.ty-of-the-gaps reasons?

      ==============
      @Chad “Evolution is fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible.

      @Nonimus “First, please show the statistics that determine Evolution to be "fantastically unlikely." In order to determine probability, one must first define the domain, i.e. the complete range of possibilities, which is currently undetermined”

      @Chad ““You want the possibility of every genetic mutation calculated for a population to demonstrate that what is being proposed is impossible?”

      @Nonimus: What? Who asked you to count all molecules or genes?

      @Chad “er.. you did… see above “complete range of possibilities”
      --

      @Nonimus: Define the domain, possible values, outcomes, parameters for discussion, etc. If I use a coin-toss statistic, the domain of outcomes per toss is 2, "heads" or "tails". Statistically, there is a 50% probability of getting a "heads." Likewise, in cards the domain is 52 for all permutations, or less when looking for a subset of poker hands. Statistically, there is something like a 0.000154% probability of getting dealt a "Royal Flush" in 5-card stud.

      Although, to your point, if there is a known domain of probabilities for evolution of a protein, say, for example, a hemoglobin molecular clock has 1 mutation per 100k years (numbers totally made up for sake of argument, BTW), then an argument that rabbits and humans have a common ancestor < 50k years ago could be determined to be "fantastically unlikely" if the genetic differences in the hemoglobin are say 25 mutations (again, completely made-up numbers,) though not completely impossible given the nature of molecular clocks is statistical anyway.

      However, as I suspect there is no known complete domain nor a complete set of probabilities for a given evolution, let alone all possible evolutions, specifically because one aspect of evolution is random, the mutations, and the selection process is highly complex, depending on a large number of factors, many of which may not be known.

      Which is why I asked you this question in the first place. If you had some source that I was unaware of that did have such information that would allow you to make such a claim, I would like to see it.

      In addition, you seem a bit put off by the idea of producing the "possibility of every mutation calculated for a population" and yet, you made the claim. Why did you make the claim if you didn't have some evidence, be it a detailed per mutation calculation, a more generic statistical method, or some reliable source to back up your claim?

      And finally, you said, "When the event(or series of events)[, i.e. evolution,] being proposed to have happened has such a fantastically unlikely probability as to make it mathematically impossible to have occurred, then you start to look elsewhere for a reason. " (February 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm)

      So, yet again and hopefully the last time, a two part question, 1) what evidence do you have that evolution is "fantastically unlikely" and 2) how exactly can something be both "unlikely" (i.e. not impossible) and "mathematically impossible" at the same time.

      ==============
      @Nonimus “science deals with evidence.”

      @Chad: “Gould sava.ged the scientific community for failing to deal with the evidence.”

      @Nonimus “Gould sava.ged creationists for stating his work acknowledged there were no transitional fossils

      @Chad: “what does that have to do with my original refutation of your claim that science deals with evidence??”
      ---

      You said, "Gould sava.ged creationists for stating his work acknowledged there were no transitional fossils"

      **Un-freaking-believable!**

      Gould sava.ged creationists for misrepresenting his statements, "whether through design or stupidity," just as you are doing right now, with that very statement. Wow, as Gould may have implied, the shear bravado or base stupidity is utterly amazing.

      Please, read the following carefully:

      "Transitional forms... are abundant..." – Stephan J. Gould
      ( http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_fact-and-theory.html )

      p.s. Gould and his colleagues were "dealing with" evidence exactly as they should have, with debate, investigation, and research. Neither Gould nor his colleagues were claiming that the Theory of Evolution was not true nor that the fossil evidence did not support evolution. Their debate was on the mechanisms and timing of evolution not whether it happened.

      February 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      I may have misread your Gould paraphrasing to mean that you were still maintaining that Gould was indeed saying there were no transitional fossils.
      If that was not you intent, my apologies.

      February 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus: “You said, "Prior to this singularity there was nothing." Why do you say that?

      @Chad “It’s true our ability to understand what was “before” is 0, however as all of the matter in our universe and time itself did not exist, then was created at that instant, then whatever was before is by definition outside our time and space, right?

      ==============
      @Nonimus: “You said you weren't "ascribing to supernatural" things that are unknown, but were "ascribing to an enti.ty out side our time/space causal events that by definition must have occurred outside our time/space." Positing, for the sake of argument, that these causal events are, in fact, necessary as you claim, why do you ascribe them to "an enti.ty out side our time/space," if not for Enti.ty-of-the-gaps reasons?

      @Chad “hmm, why do I ascribe to an entity outside our time/space causal events that by definition must have been caused/occurred outside our time/space.. perhaps because they would then be properly ascribed?

      ==============
      @Chad “Evolution is fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible.

      @Nonimus: Define the domain, possible values, outcomes, parameters for discussion, etc.

      @Chad: “phyletic gradualism (gradual mutation and natural selection), has been put to death by the fossil record (see punctuated equilibrium – stasis).
      Now, PE claims several remarkable things:
      – smaller groups of animals (which will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations)
      – in a shorter period of time (which again will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations)
      – accomplish much larger changes in organisms. Large enough to explain the observed “species appearing fully formed in the fossil record”, and escaping fossilization.
      – AND, organisms do this in the vast majority of cases.. In other words gradual mutation as described by Darwin, essentially never happens.
      I would say that satisfying those requirements every time, completely and totally satisfies the “fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible” condition :-)

      ==============
      @Nonimus “science deals with evidence.”

      @Chad: “Gould savaged the scientific community for failing to deal with the evidence.”

      @Nonimus “Gould savaged creationists for stating that his work acknowledged there were no transitional fossils. He never said there were no transitional fossils”

      @Chad: “what does that have to do with my original refutation of your claim that science deals with evidence??”

      February 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad

      @Nonimus: “You said, "Prior to this singularity there was nothing." Why do you say that?

      @Chad “It’s true our ability to understand what was “before” is 0, however as all of the matter in our universe and time itself did not exist, then was created at that instant, then whatever was before is by definition outside our time and space, right?
      -–

      @Nonimus: Same question, why do you assume all matter and time did not exist prior to the singularity?

      ==============
      @Nonimus: “You said you weren't "ascribing to supernatural" things that are unknown, but were "ascribing to an enti.ty out side our time/space causal events that by definition must have occurred outside our time/space." Positing, for the sake of argument, that these causal events are, in fact, necessary as you claim, why do you ascribe them to "an enti.ty out side our time/space," if not for Enti.ty-of-the-gaps reasons?

      @Chad “hmm, why do I ascribe to an enti.ty outside our time/space causal events that by definition must have been caused/occurred outside our time/space.. perhaps because they would then be properly ascribed?
      -–

      @Nonimus: Why do you assume there is an "eti.ty" that is the cause?

      ==============
      @Chad “Evolution is fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible.

      @Nonimus: Define the domain, possible values, outcomes, parameters for discussion, etc.

      @Chad: “phyletic gradualism (gradual mutation and natural selection), has been put to death by the fossil record (see punctuated equilibrium – stasis).
      Now, PE claims several remarkable things:
      – smaller groups of animals (which will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations)
      – in a shorter period of time (which again will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations)
      – accomplish much larger changes in organisms. Large enough to explain the observed “species appearing fully formed in the fossil record”, and escaping fossilization.
      – AND, organisms do this in the vast majority of cases.. In other words gradual mutation as described by Darwin, essentially never happens.
      I would say that satisfying those requirements every time, completely and totally satisfies the “fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible” condition :-)
      -–

      @Nonimus: There is debate, I think, on whether Darwin intended a constant rate of evolution, i.e. phlytic gradualism, or not. Regardless, however, you seem to be claiming that if there is debate on whether evolution is constant or happens in fits and starts, then evolution is "unlikely/impossible". Arguments on the mechanism and/or rate of evolution does not displace the fact that evolution happens.
      So if I go from LA to NY, and it is unknown whether I took a non-stop flight or drove, pulling over now and then, then there cannot have been a trip. Is that correct?

      ==============
      @Nonimus “science deals with evidence.”

      @Chad: “Gould sava.ged the scientific community for failing to deal with the evidence.”

      @Nonimus “Gould sava.ged creationists for stating that his work acknowledged there were no transitional fossils. He never said there were no transitional fossils”

      @Chad: “what does that have to do with my original refutation of your claim that science deals with evidence??”
      -–

      @Nonimus: First, I thought your quote was intended to imply that there were no trasitional forms, i.e. no evidence. My quote was intended to refute that. Second, Gould was debating the evidence of a specific mechanism, PE, with colleagues not claiming that science doesn't "deal with evidence" at all.

      Frankly though, if you are not trying to say that there are no transitional fossils, then I'm not sure how your quote is supposed to "refute" that science deals with evidence. If there are fossils, transitional or not, that is evidence and science "deals" with those fossils, ergo science deals with evidence. Am I missing something?

      February 12, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Why am I letting myself get involved in this again? Oh well.

      Chad, you are (again and again) twisting words and interpretations to try to fit them to your preconceived conclusion. Furthermore, one of your tactics is to slip in additional information as if it is part of the original source.

      Let's break down how you (misuse) information:

      Chad: Now, PE claims several remarkable things: (BIASED WORDING, but I'll let it slide)

      – smaller groups of animals (TRUE) ... (which will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations) (FALSE – you're adding that part. In actuality, genetic bottlenecks and "founder effects" often lead to restricted breeding pools that result in greater likelihoods for the expression of recessive traits, and a greater likelihood that a single mutation might spread through that limited population).

      – in a shorter period of time (TRUE) ... (which again will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations) (FALSE – again you added that part, and it is not a necessary consequence, nor even consistent with PE. Rates of mutation are not constant – that's the whole basis of PE – so it is entirely possible – if not probable – that lots of mutations can occur in a short period of time or that very few might occur in quite a long period. By saying fewer mutations are a necessary consequence of shorter periods of time, you are as.suming the rate must be constant ... and espousing the same gradualism that you are so desperate to abolish. Snap, Chad, oh snap.)

      – accomplish much larger changes in organisms (TRUE). Large enough to explain the observed “species appearing fully formed in the fossil record”, and escaping fossilization. (NON-SEQUITUR, the magnitude of changes have nothing to do with the chances of fossilization.)

      – AND, organisms do this in the vast majority of cases (PROBABLY TRUE).. In other words gradual mutation as described by Darwin, essentially never happens (FALSE – you have again exaggerated a probabilistic statement into an absolute statement – "never happens." Gradual change within a population can and does happen, and you will never hear Eldridge and Gould say gradual change "never" happens nor that the number of transitional fossils is "none" as you so often say. But rapid changes due to population isolation and environmental change do indeed appear to account for more speciation events.

      Again, you are good at manipulating an argument in an Eddie Haskell sort of way, but also you are often subtly dishonest in an Eddie Haskell sort of way. When you throw around the hyperbole that Eldridge and Gould "sava.ged" scientists and that PE renders Darwinian evolution impossible you are simply misrepresenting that article. The Gould quote clearly shows that you misrepresent the entire idea, as does this one from Eldridge himself:

      "It turns out that the rock record shows that species are very stable—often for millions of years. They don't show a lot of evolutionary change. But his (Darwin's) theory's not false. It's just that most evolutionary change occurs in relatively rapid bursts—5 or 50,000 years—rather than millions of years, where they're typically stable.
      So his theory's not false—it's just a special form that he wrote that theory. He insisted that it must be slow, steady, gradual change—progressive through time. And when he saw that this wasn't the case, he blamed the fossil record. He said: The fossil record is faulty.
      It turns out the fossil record was great, and it shows what happens over millions of years—and very often species remain stable for millions of years. And when evolution then happens, it happens over 50,000 years; 100,000 years. That's rapid geologically—it's not rapid ... too rapid for evolution to occur, though. And natural selection can move and change the adaptations of species in these sudden spurts."
      http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/darwin/curator/transcript_eldredge.php

      February 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus: Same question, why do you assume all matter and time did not exist prior to the singularity?
      @Chad “the Big Bang is the prevailing theory on the origin of the universe. The further in the past one goes, the smaller the universe is, until at some finite time in the past all the mass of the Universe was concentrated into a single point, a "primeval atom" where and when the fabric of time and space came into existence. Wikipedia, Hawkings, Krauss, et al..

      ==============
      @Nonimus: “You said you weren't "ascribing to supernatural" things that are unknown, but were "ascribing to an enti.ty out side our time/space causal events that by definition must have occurred outside our time/space." Positing, for the sake of argument, that these causal events are, in fact, necessary as you claim, why do you ascribe them to "an entity out side our time/space," if not for Entity-of-the-gaps reasons?

      @Chad “hmm, why do I ascribe to an entity outside our time/space causal events that by definition must have been caused/occurred outside our time/space.. perhaps because they would then be properly ascribed?

      @Nonimus: Why do you assume there is an "entity" that is the cause?

      @Chad: “I’m happy getting atheists to the point where they acknowledge that something outside of our time/space is necessary. You don’t have to believe that “It” is the God of Abraham, and this is precisely where atheists just say “we don’t know, and we don’t care”. I say that is an irrational belief.

      ==============
      @Chad “Evolution is fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible.

      @Nonimus: Define the domain, possible values, outcomes, parameters for discussion, etc.

      @Chad: “phyletic gradualism (gradual mutation and natural selection), has been put to death by the fossil record (see punctuated equilibrium – stasis). Now, PE claims several remarkable things:
      – smaller groups of animals (which will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations)
      – in a shorter period of time (which again will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations)
      – accomplish much larger changes in organisms. Large enough to explain the observed “species appearing fully formed in the fossil record”, and escaping fossilization.
      – AND, organisms do this in the vast majority of cases.. In other words gradual mutation as described by Darwin, essentially never happens.
      I would say that satisfying those requirements every time, completely and totally satisfies the “fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible” condition

      @Nonimus: There is debate, I think, on whether Darwin intended a constant rate of evolution, i.e. phlytic gradualism,

      @Chad “well, the only person you would be debating with would be yourself.
      “Darwin theorized that the evolutionary process must occur gradually, not in saltations, since saltations are not presently observed, and extreme deviations from the usual phenotypic variation would be more likely to be selected against”

      @Nonimus: “Regardless, however, you seem to be claiming that if there is debate on whether evolution is constant or happens in fits and starts, then evolution is "unlikely/impossible".

      @Chad “I admire your attempt to derail the topic under discussion :-)
      Punctuated Equilibrium as the mechanism for a “natural” (i.e. without supernatural intervention) “evolution” of fish, land animals, birds and humans is unlikely/impossible. That is what I have stated, nothing less, nothing more.

      ==============
      @Nonimus “science deals with evidence.”

      @Chad: “Gould savaged the scientific community for failing to deal with the evidence.”

      @Nonimus “Gould savaged creationists for stating that his work acknowledged there were no transitional fossils. He never said there were no transitional fossils”

      @Chad: “what does that have to do with my original refutation of your claim that science deals with evidence??”

      @Nonimus: Gould was debating the evidence of a specific mechanism, PE, with colleagues not claiming that science doesn't "deal with evidence" at all.

      @Chad: another fine attempt to derail the topic, however 100% incorrect, Gould was not merely advocating his position of allopatric speciation, he was excoriating scientists for the previous 100 years of willfully ignoring the reality of the fossil record. Good luck trying to prove otherwise :-)

      “The picture of phyletic gradualism is poorly documented indeed, and most analysis purporting to illustrate it directly from the fossil record are interpretations based on a preconceived idea. “ – Gould/Eldridge

      “the expectations of theory color perception to such a degree that new notions seldom arise from facts collected under the influence of old pictures of the world.” – Gould/Eldridge

      “Paleontology’s view of speciation has been dominated by the picture of “phyletic gradualism.” It holds that new species arise from the slow and steady transformation of entire populations. Under its influence, we seek unbroken fossil series linking two forms by insensible gradation as the only complete mirror of Darwinian processes; we ascribe all breaks to imperfections in the record. “ Gould/Eldridge

      “This is, in fact, the situation in most cases of postulated gradualism: the “gradualism” is represented by dashed lines connecting known samples. This procedure provides an excellent example of the role of preconceived pictures in “objectively documented" cases. One of the early “classics" of phyletic gradualism” – Gould/Eldridge

      “At this point, there is some justification for concluding that the picture of phyletic gradualism is poorly documented indeed, and that most analyses purporting to illustrate it directly from the fossil record are interpretations based on a preconceived idea” Gould/Eldridge

      February 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad

      @Nonimus: Same question, why do you assume all matter and time did not exist prior to the singularity?
      @Chad “the Big Bang is the prevailing theory on the origin of the universe. The further in the past one goes, the smaller the universe is, until at some finite time in the past all the mass of the Universe was concentrated into a single point, a "primeval atom" where and when the fabric of time and space came into existence. Wikipedia, Hawkings, Krauss, et al..

      --

      Nonimus: As I said, you can't tell what happend prior to the Big Bang. Or perhaps,"All ideas concerning the very early universe (cosmogony) are speculative." (Wikipedia) So again, "What exactly has occurred outside the universe, that is being ignored?" (earlier post)

      p.s. are you claiming that Hawkings(sic) and Krauss coauthored something with Wikipedia?

      ==============
      @Nonimus: “You said you weren't "ascribing to supernatural" things that are unknown, but were "ascribing to an enti.ty out side our time/space causal events that by definition must have occurred outside our time/space." Positing, for the sake of argument, that these causal events are, in fact, necessary as you claim, why do you ascribe them to "an enti.ty out side our time/space," if not for Enti.ty-of-the-gaps reasons?

      @Chad “hmm, why do I ascribe to an enti.ty outside our time/space causal events that by definition must have been caused/occurred outside our time/space.. perhaps because they would then be properly ascribed?

      @Nonimus: Why do you assume there is an "enti.ty" that is the cause?

      @Chad: “I’m happy getting atheists to the point where they acknowledge that something outside of our time/space is necessary. You don’t have to believe that “It” is the God of Abraham, and this is precisely where atheists just say “we don’t know, and we don’t care”. I say that is an irrational belief.
      --

      @Nonimus: "Positing, for the sake of argument..." :)
      Anyway, so your answer is that you don't have a rational reason to assume it is an "enti.ty"
      And, this being related to the section above, you don't have any rational reason to assume that this "enti.ty" is outside the universe.

      ==============
      @Chad “Evolution is fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible.

      @Nonimus: Define the domain, possible values, outcomes, parameters for discussion, etc.

      @Chad: “phyletic gradualism (gradual mutation and natural selection), has been put to death by the fossil record (see punctuated equilibrium – stasis). Now, PE claims several remarkable things:
      – smaller groups of animals (which will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations)
      – in a shorter period of time (which again will have a correspondingly lower value of mutations)
      – accomplish much larger changes in organisms. Large enough to explain the observed “species appearing fully formed in the fossil record”, and escaping fossilization.
      – AND, organisms do this in the vast majority of cases.. In other words gradual mutation as described by Darwin, essentially never happens.
      I would say that satisfying those requirements every time, completely and totally satisfies the “fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible” condition

      @Nonimus: There is debate, I think, on whether Darwin intended a constant rate of evolution, i.e. phlytic gradualism,

      @Chad “well, the only person you would be debating with would be yourself.
      “Darwin theorized that the evolutionary process must occur gradually, not in saltations, since saltations are not presently observed, and extreme deviations from the usual phenotypic variation would be more likely to be selected against”

      @Nonimus: “Regardless, however, you seem to be claiming that if there is debate on whether evolution is constant or happens in fits and starts, then evolution is "unlikely/impossible".

      @Chad “I admire your attempt to derail the topic under discussion
      Punctuated Equilibrium as the mechanism for a “natural” (i.e. without supernatural intervention) “evolution” of fish, land animals, birds and humans is unlikely/impossible. That is what I have stated, nothing less, nothing more.

      --

      Nonimus:
      "It is often incorrectly assumed that [Darwin] insisted that the rate of change must be constant, or nearly so, but even the first edition of On the Origin of Species states that 'Species of different genera and classes have not changed at the same rate, or in the same degree. In the oldest tertiary beds a few living shells may still be found in the midst of a multi.tude of extinct forms... The Silurian Lingula differs but little from the living species of this genus'." (Wikipedia, so it's not authoritative)

      What attempt to derail? You stated, I think, that evolution was "unlikely" and I asked for your evidence for thinking that. Actually, I'm trying to herd this mess of tangetial BS, into something coherent.
      So you are saying that PE "as A mechanism"(emphasis added) may be "unlikely." You are free to think that, personally I like a variable rate idea anyway, but how does that make evolution as a whole "fantastically unlikely" and "mathematically impossible"?

      It is precisely because we do not have the mechanisms of evolution determined exactly, that I don't think you, or anyone, can determine that evolution is likely or unlikely. (BTW, just in case this is part of the confusion, phrases such as "likely" and "unlikely" imply a probability and probabilities are usually determined by statistics based on test results or theory.)

      Are you saying that the mechanism, by remaining unknown, points to God?

      ==============
      @Nonimus “science deals with evidence.”

      @Chad: “Gould sava.ged the scientific community for failing to deal with the evidence.”

      @Nonimus “Gould sava.ged creationists for stating that his work acknowledged there were no transitional fossils. He never said there were no transitional fossils”

      @Chad: “what does that have to do with my original refutation of your claim that science deals with evidence??”

      @Nonimus: Gould was debating the evidence of a specific mechanism, PE, with colleagues not claiming that science doesn't "deal with evidence" at all.

      @Chad: another fine attempt to derail the topic, however 100% incorrect, Gould was not merely advocating his position of allopatric speciation, he was excoriating scientists for the previous 100 years of willfully ignoring the reality of the fossil record. Good luck trying to prove otherwise

      “The picture of phyletic gradualism is poorly docu.mented indeed, and most analysis purporting to illustrate it directly from the fossil record are interpretations based on a preconceived idea. “ – Gould/Eldridge

      “the expectations of theory color perception to such a degree that new notions seldom arise from facts collected under the influence of old pictures of the world.” – Gould/Eldridge

      “Paleontology’s view of speciation has been dominated by the picture of “phyletic gradualism.” It holds that new species arise from the slow and steady transformation of entire populations. Under its influence, we seek unbroken fossil series linking two forms by insensible gradation as the only complete mirror of Darwinian processes; we ascribe all breaks to imperfections in the record. “ Gould/Eldridge

      “This is, in fact, the situation in most cases of postulated gradualism: the “gradualism” is represented by dashed lines connecting known samples. This procedure provides an excellent example of the role of preconceived pictures in “objectively docu.mented" cases. One of the early “classics" of phyletic gradualism” – Gould/Eldridge

      “At this point, there is some justification for concluding that the picture of phyletic gradualism is poorly docu.mented indeed, and that most analyses purporting to illustrate it directly from the fossil record are interpretations based on a preconceived idea” Gould/Eldridge
      --

      @Nonimus: Arrgghh!!!
      If Gould believed, as I quoted before, that there were transitional forms in the fossil record and that, regardless of his view on the mechanisms, evolution did happen, based on that same fossil record, then how can you argue that he thought scientists were "willfully ignoring the reality of the fossil record" for 100 years. Not to mention that Gould is but one scientist and his views don't determine whether or not "science deals with evidence".

      hmmm... Are you trying to say that scientists don't understand the evidence 100% of the time? Now that I would agree with, but "deals with evidence" does not imply that scientists get the correct answer every time.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nominus "What exactly has occurred outside the universe, that is being ignored?"
      @Chad "again:
      1) The origin of the universe
      2) fact that the universe obeys laws
      3) the origins of life on this earth
      4) the manner in which fish, birds, land animals and humans were created"

      btw:
      1) since there is no way to know what was before the big bang(which as shown created all matter and time), so therefor it is irrelevant is not an answer, it's a dodge.
      2) the universe obeys laws because the laws exist, is not an answer, it's dodge
      3) we dont know how life originated is not an answer, it's dodge. We know enough to know how fantastically unlikely it was for a cell to just come into being by a random combination of matter
      4) The fossil record is incomplete isnt an answer, it's a dodge.

      ================
      @Chad: “I’m happy getting atheists to the point where they acknowledge that something outside of our time/space is necessary. You don’t have to believe that “It” is the God of Abraham, and this is precisely where atheists just say “we don’t know, and we don’t care”. I say that is an irrational belief.

      @Nominus: "so your answer is that you don't have a rational reason to assume it is an "entity"

      @Chad: "the only rational belief is that this external force is the God of Abraham, see birth/life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ."

      ================
      @Chad “Evolution is fantastically unlikely/ mathematically impossible.

      @Nominus: "It is precisely because we do not have the mechanisms of evolution determined exactly, that I don't think you, or anyone, can determine that evolution is likely or unlikely

      @Chad: "that's a dodge, the problem with determining how fish, birds, land animals and humans were created is one of the fossil record, the evidence.
      You are trying to make a case that until it can be proven to have occured by purely random natural process, no other explanation will be accepted.
      That is basically the defintion of bias, right?

      The facts are, we have a mountain of evidence that points to "unexplanable by natural causes" gaps in the fossil record that correspond exactly to the creation account (fish, birds, land animals and humans)

      @Nominus: "Are you saying that the mechanism, by remaining unknown, points to God?"

      @Chad: "it's a matter of understanding of the system. If one doesnt understand a system then ascribing all the unknowns to supernatural is going to be way to broad.
      If you have a relatively good understanding of the system and that understanding is pointing to an external force, then it's time to investigate.

      No, we dont know everything
      Yes, it would demonstrate bias to say "well, until we DO know how it was done by entirely random process w/out supernatural intervention, we wont consider supernatural intervention.

      In between the two is rationality, that rationality clearly points to an external entity, atheists just dont like acknowledging it.

      ================
      @Nonimus: "If Gould believed, as I quoted before, that there were transitional forms in the fossil record and that, regardless of his view on the mechanisms, evolution did happen, based on that same fossil record, then how can you argue that he thought scientists were "willfully ignoring the reality of the fossil record" for 100 years. Not to mention that Gould is but one scientist and his views don't determine whether or not "science deals with evidence".

      @Chad "read the paper on punctuated equilibrium and understand the difference between phyletic gradualism and allopatric speciation.
      Gould sharply criticized proponents of phyletic gradualism for willfully ignoring the fossil record, that's just a plain fact. It will become very apparent that is true if you just read the paper.

      February 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Nonimus, good luck on getting through to Chad on Punctuated Equilibrium. He will run you around in circles with it for as long as you are willing to go. (remember in Spinal Tap where the interviewer patiently tries to talk about making speakers louder rather than just adding an 11 to the dial, and no matter what is says, the guitarist just says "but...ours go to 11." It's kind of like that – "but...ours go to 11" "but...Gould said...").

      Chad's a bit obsessed with PE, though he is confused about it's actual meaning. He thinks that since he just recently found out about it, that no one else knew about it either. That's why he begs you to read it – he's convinced that nobody's read it but him, and that he has uncovered some secret Achilles' heel in evolutionary theory that no one has ever noticed.

      February 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,

      How can admitting that we don't know, be a dodge? It is the only honest way to answer such questions as the origin of the universe and origin of the first life. There are hypotheses and scientific speculation on both of these, but they are not confirmed and need more research and evidence.

      The manner of development of organisms, fish, birds, land animals, and humans is well established as evolution, mainly through natural selection, which the fossil record supports, as does biochemistry, biogeography, and genetics.

      The question of the "laws of the universe", whether they "exist," and what they might be, is an existential philosophical question. We humans wrote down our understanding of how the universe works and labeled the formulaic descriptions, "laws", and the textual descriptions, "theories." This does not necessarily mean that there exists some'thing' in the universe called a law that every particle and all energy "obeys." If you have evidence that "laws" are some external thing then present it, because I'm not aware of it.

      No one is claiming that a functioning cell simply can into existence purely by random combination of available atoms. One hypothesis is that self-replicating RNA first appeared and then gained a lipid covering and later gain more organelles. Another hypothesis is called the metabolism first concept, but I honestly don't know much about it.
      In other words, the idea that all the pieces of "matter" had to come together at exactly the right time and in exactly the right way is a red-herring. For example, certain clays naturally form useful molecules, lipids naturally form enclosures or envelopes on their own, certain amino acids, I think, are found in meteorites. The "first life", that may not even have been what we think of as a cell, may well have just been an encounter between self-replicating RNA and a loose packet of molecules surrounded by a lipid envelope. But that is just speculation.

      I don't recall ever saying anything even remotely like, "well, until we DO know how it was done by entirely random process w/out supernatural intervention, we wont consider supernatural intervention."

      You said that I am "... trying to make a case that until it can be proven to have occured by purely random natural process, no other explanation will be accepted."
      No, I am not. I saying that the case for evolution, mainly be natural selection, has already been made and is accepted by almost every scientist in the field, including the late Stephen J. Gould.

      I disagree that "a good understanding of the system" points to an "external force," but, obviouly we can go round and round about what is a "good understanding."
      As I've said before, absence of evidence is not evidence of existence, i.e. P -> Q does not imply ~P -> R. Just because we don't know something, yet, does not mean the God did it. The essence of a false dichotomy fallacy is the idea that there are two and only two mutually exclusive possibilities, but that is not the case here, or at least that has not been shown to be the case.
      And, if you cannot define your "good understanding" of "the system" and how exactly it points to an "external force," then don't expect others to agree with you.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Dr. K,
      Thanks.. that sounds about right. Although in this case it's like, "since your speakers only go to 10, they obviously don't work at all."

      February 13, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • dats right

      This has got to be the longest thread of total and complete BS I have ever stumbled upon. LMAO!

      February 13, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Or, whether they go to 10 or 11, they're useless because there's a gap between every number! What about 5.5!? What about 5.67234?! The only possible way to get from 5 to 6 is through magic...

      February 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Dr K,
      Isn't that "reductio ad Zeno"?

      February 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Chad

      Nonimus “How can admitting that we don't know, be a dodge?”

      @Chad “because this is how your line goes:

      Atheist “there is no need for an external entity to our universe”

      Creationist “well, what about the origin of the universe, the fact that the universe obeys laws and the origins of life on this earth”

      Atheist “what about them?”

      Creationist “well, how do you explain them?”

      Atheist “We don’t know”

      Creationist “Well, if you don’t have an answer, by what basis are you discarding a force external to our universe?”

      Atheist: “Well, just because we don’t know doesn’t mean that an external entity exists. Just wait long enough, and if we don’t know then, we’ll just wait longer”

      Creationist “well, what about events which by definition are never going to be explainable without an external entity?”

      Atheist:”Like what?”

      Creationist “origin of the universe, the fact that the universe obeys laws”

      Atheist: “well, we just don’t know those yet”

      Creationist “The issue isn’t merely that you don’t know them now, it’s that you cant by definition. All of the matter in the universe, and time itself was created at the big bang, the entirety of the universe. So, but definition, something else was involved.

      Atheist: “No.. it could have just popped out of nothing”

      Creationist “entire universe, popped out of nothing??”

      Atheist:”Sure, you don’t know that it didn’t happen”

      Creationist “and the odds of this occurring?”

      Atheist:”Pretty good given that it happened, we’re here aren’t we?”

      Creationist “well, saying that is circular reasoning, it ignores the possibilities of other vastly more likely causes than the one that you are claiming”

      Atheist:”well, as long as you can’t specify the exact probabilities, then you can’t know for sure that it’s unlikely”

      Creationist “ah.. ok.. sure.. that seems reasonable. So what about the fact that science by definition can never show why the laws governing the universe exist”

      Atheist:”what are you talking about, we know all kinds of laws about the universe”

      Creationist “no.. you misunderstand, the question is more foundational. It’s not the nature of the laws, it’s the fact that the universe obeys laws to begin with. Why is that the case?”

      Atheist:”well that’s a dumb question, the only thing that is important is what the laws are, not why they exist. Why they exist is irrelevant”

      Creationist “so, basically you just keep doing what Gould eviscerated “scientists” for doing, serially blame gaps in the data to support your theories on incompleteness in either knowledge or the data set itself.”

      Atheist:”absolutely!, like I said, if we can’t show at this moment how God is not required, we just wait longer and ignore anything that points to the necessity of an external force. Dotted lines are a hugely powerful tool. As well, you certainly don’t understand the power of “time”.. You see by invoking “time” one can posit anything at all! Self-replicating RNA poofing out of a random collection of molecules, absolutely!! You just need lots of time! Don’t you get it? Atheistic cosmology is basically a Tony Robbins seminar.. if you can believe it, you can be it, believing it makes it so”

      Creationist “I admire your faith”

      February 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: let's see faith.....definition:a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
      2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
      3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
      definition of scienctific method:The scientific method is the process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate (that is, reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary) representation of the world.
      Recognizing that personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena, we aim through the use of standard procedures and criteria to minimize those influences when developing a theory. As a famous scientist once said, "Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view." In summary, the scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of bias or prejudice in the experimenter when testing an hypothesis or a theory.
      I. The scientific method has four steps
      1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
      2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
      3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quanti.tatively the results of new observations.
      4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments

      now which of these requires faith and which one can be tested by outside individuals per definition?

      February 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      "Isn't that "reductio ad Zeno"?"

      Yes, also known as "paradox of the gaps."

      February 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Wasp I. The scientific method has four steps
      1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
      2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
      3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quanti.tatively the results of new observations.
      4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments

      @Chad "The part that requires the faith on the part of atheists "scientists" is a belief that there are non supernatural explanations for items, none of which have been established by scientific method. Indeed in the first 2, using the scientific method to determine an answer is impossible by definition.
      1. what was impetus for the origin of the universe
      2. why does the universe obey laws
      3. how did life originate on earth

      February 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,
      [>>> My comments are in these brackets '[>>> ]'.]

      Nonimus “How can admitting that we don't know, be a dodge?”

      @Chad “because this is how your line goes:

      [>>> I actually appreciate the dialog format you used, as it clarifies how you are viewing things, but I object to you putting words in my mouth, i.e. "this is how your line goes". Enough said.]

      Atheist “there is no need for an external enti.ty to our universe”

      [>>> We have found no definitive need, so far.]

      Creationist “well, what about the origin of the universe, the fact that the universe obeys laws and the origins of life on this earth”

      Atheist “what about them?”

      [>>> I must point out here that in this thread we have been discussing evolution, not the origin of everything. ]

      Creationist “well, how do you explain them?”

      Atheist “We don’t know”

      Creationist “Well, if you don’t have an answer, by what basis are you discarding a force external to our universe?”

      Atheist: “Well, just because we don’t know doesn’t mean that an external enti.ty exists. Just wait long enough, and if we don’t know then, we’ll just wait longer”

      [>>> I would say, that science isn't discarding an external force, but there is no evidence of an external force, to include. We cannot examine or otherwise investigate something that has no basis of/for investigation.

      The reason that science "looks for natural causes to explain the universe" is not because of an arbitrary decision, it is because the supernatural is by definition beyond nature and therefore beyond investigation by science. If God did in fact create Adam, then what natural evidence of that event could we see or find? Missing dirt?]

      Creationist “well, what about events which by definition are never going to be explainable without an external enti.ty?”

      Atheist:”Like what?”

      Creationist “origin of the universe, the fact that the universe obeys laws”

      Atheist: “well, we just don’t know those yet”

      Creationist “The issue isn’t merely that you don’t know them now, it’s that you cant by definition. All of the matter in the universe, and time itself was created at the big bang, the entirety of the universe. So, but definition, something else was involved.

      Atheist: “No.. it could have just popped out of nothing”

      [>>> Personally, I think I would have said, we don't know. But I suppose popping out of nothing is possible.]

      Creationist “entire universe, popped out of nothing??”

      Atheist:”Sure, you don’t know that it didn’t happen”

      Creationist “and the odds of this occurring?”

      Atheist:”Pretty good given that it happened, we’re here aren’t we?”

      [>>> If that was said, then you are correct that it is circular. I think I would have said that again we don't know.]

      Creationist “well, saying that is circular reasoning, it ignores the possibilities of other vastly more likely causes than the one that you are claiming”

      Atheist:”well, as long as you can’t specify the exact probabilities, then you can’t know for sure that it’s unlikely”

      [>>> Again, if this was said, I would disagree. I did say something similar, but in reference to evolution, which is a case where we do have a lot of information.]

      Creationist “ah.. ok.. sure.. that seems reasonable. So what about the fact that science by definition can never show why the laws governing the universe exist”

      Atheist:”what are you talking about, we know all kinds of laws about the universe”

      [>>> again, I would disagree, first, with the use of "laws" as something "governing the universe," which might imply they are something external, and second, that science by definition can never show why the universe *appears* to follow certain rules.

      This may seem like splitting hairs, but I don't think we know enough to how these "laws" came about, and perhaps why. However, I think there are hypotheses about it, such as when Hawking's says, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing..." Now, I don't know enough about what he is speaking of to agree or disagree, but it may be possible for us to know about the creation of the universe.]

      Creationist “no.. you misunderstand, the question is more foundational. It’s not the nature of the laws, it’s the fact that the universe obeys laws to begin with. Why is that the case?”

      Atheist:”well that’s a dumb question, the only thing that is important is what the laws are, not why they exist. Why they exist is irrelevant”

      [>>> Again, I would disagree. I don't think it is irrelevant to science in general, especially how they came to exist, or more specifically, how/why the universe *appears* to follow rules. Again, the existence of "laws" might imply an external set of laws somewhere, which is not known to be the case.

      However, if the discussion was about evolution, then yes I would have said it was irrelevant, because evolution is based on life on Earth after life began.]

      Creationist “so, basically you just keep doing what Gould eviscerated “scientists” for doing, serially blame gaps in the data to support your theories on incompleteness in either knowledge or the data set itself.”

      Atheist:”absolutely!, like I said, if we can’t show at this moment how God is not required, we just wait longer and ignore anything that points to the necessity of an external force. Dotted lines are a hugely powerful tool. As well, you certainly don’t understand the power of “time”.. You see by invoking “time” one can posit anything at all! Self-replicating RNA poofing out of a random collection of molecules, absolutely!! You just need lots of time! Don’t you get it? Atheistic cosmology is basically a Tony Robbins seminar.. if you can believe it, you can be it, believing it makes it so”

      [>>> I don't know of anything that points to a "necessity of an external force" and this may be our fundamental disagreement. Absence of an answer, or evidence, does not indicate the "necessity of an external force." Now, if there is evidence of a supernatural force, then absolutely, include that in the investigation. Although, honestly, I'm not sure what such evidence would be.

      I don't know how one would "invoke time," but with time a lot can happen, not just "anything," it still has be based on evidence and logic. The reason for that, is statistics and probability, or what some, I think, informally call the law of truly large numbers, which basically says that even things of extremely low probablity can happen given enough time; not the impossible mind you, just the improbable.

      I don't think I ever said RNA would "poof" into existence.
      Here's a couple of articles on RNA world:
      "How Did Life Begin? RNA That Replicates Itself Indefinitely Developed For First Time" (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090109173205.htm)
      "RNA world easier to make" (http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090513/full/news.2009.471.html)%5D

      Creationist “I admire your faith”

      [>>> Honestly, I think the biggest disagrement is what exactly "not knowing" implies. To a scientist it doesn't really imply anything, other than an area that needs further investigation, more research.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that to you, at least on big questions, "not knowing" implies that an external force was involved. ]

      February 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Chad

      1. Atheist “science isn't discarding an external force, but there is no evidence of an external force

      2. Creationist “well, what about the origin of the universe, the fact that the universe obeys laws, the origins of life on this earth, the fact that the largest “gaps” in the fossil record correspond exactly with the organisms identified in the bible as being created by God, namely fish, birds, land animals and humans ”

      3. Atheist “We don’t know how to explain those things. The supernatural is by definition beyond nature and therefore beyond investigation by science. As utterly improbable as it is, our only alternative at this point is to say that all of those things just popped out of nothing via random combination of molecules”

      4. Creationist “Well, if you don’t have an answer to begin with, and your only explanation is to embrace the utterly improbable time and time again, by what basis are you discarding the possibility of a force external to our universe?”

      5. Atheist: “Please go to step #1

      Wonderfully self-reinforcing little algorithm you have there mr atheist. :-)

      February 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @nominus "Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that to you, at least on big questions, "not knowing" implies that an external force was involved. To a scientist it doesn't really imply anything, other than an area that needs further investigation, more research."

      =>well not to put to fine a point on it, but you are wrong..
      Nothing wrong with not knowing if in fact that's the situation.
      if however, the situation is not "not knowing" but willfully ignoring the data, then what you have is precisely what Gould eviscerated his colleagues for: a willful suspension of critical inquiry to maintain a preconceived notion.

      February 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Ida

      Chad,That was fantastic! :)

      February 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      First, I never said, "As utterly improbable as it is, our only alternative at this point is to say that all of those things just popped out of nothing via random combination of molecules," or anything similar. That would be anti-scientific.

      Second, YOUR little algorithm is only "self-reinforcing" because the Creationist asks the same question twice, hence the same answer... twice, i.e. there is no evidence.

      Third, you are claiming science is "willfully ignoring the data." What data exactly is science ignoring?
      You mention the Origin of the Universe, but that is a question, not data. e.g. "What is the origin of the universe?"
      You mention the "fact" that the universe obeys laws. As far as we know, sure. What's the data being ignored? Why does it "obey laws"? Again, that is a question, not data.
      You mention the origin of life on Earth, again that is a question, not data. e.g. "How did life on Earth begin?"
      You mention the "fact that the largest 'gaps' in the fossil record correspond exactly with the organisms identified in the bible as being created by God, namely fish, birds, land animals and humans"
      I have seen no data on the correlation between "gaps" in the fossil record and the Genesis description. If you have such data, or better yet a scientific paper, please present it. I am aware, however, that the order in Genesis does not match the progression found in the geologic strata.

      For example, Genesis has plants (fruit and seed), then the sun, then fish and birds, then land animals, then man.
      The geologic record has microbes first, then fish, then land plants, then insects and seeds, then amphibians (first possible "land" animals), then reptiles, then mammals, then birds, then flowering plants, then man.

      So, Genesis has plants before the sun, birds before land animals, and my favorite, fruit (which generally requires a flower) way before flowering plants.

      So again, what "data" is being ignored?

      February 15, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Ida

      Chad, Nominus got you there. :-(

      February 15, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Nonimus

      Oops, my bad.
      The following is incorrect.
      "Second, YOUR little algorithm is only "self-reinforcing" because the Creationist asks the same question twice, hence the same answer... twice, i.e. there is no evidence."

      Please, ignore it.

      The issue is the statement that science's, "... only explanation is to embrace the utterly improbable time and time again...". If science doesn't have an answer, it doesn't embrace the "utterly improbable", it simply doesn't have an answer. Many scientists will speculate at that point about possible answers, but that is speculation, not a scientific answer.

      February 15, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Ida

      Chad- Your posts as usual are always excellent! Pay no attention to the faker Ida above on the prowl.

      "Evolution seems to close the heart to some of the plainest spiritual truths while it opens the mind to the wildest guesses advanced in the name of science"- W Bryan

      February 15, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus “First, I never said, "As utterly improbable as it is, our only alternative at this point is to say that all of those things just popped out of nothing via random combination of molecules," or anything similar. That would be anti-scientific.
      @ Nominus “Personally, I think I would have said, we don't know. But I suppose popping out of nothing is possible”

      ================
      @ Nominus “Third, you are claiming science is "willfully ignoring the data." What data exactly is science ignoring?
      You mention the Origin of the Universe, but that is a question, not data. e.g. "What is the origin of the universe?"
      @Chad: “the data is the universe, the question is how did it get here? Your answer is “we cant explain it naturally, and that’s the only explanation we’re prepared to investigate”.”

      ================
      @Nominus “You mention the "fact" that the universe obeys laws. As far as we know, sure. What's the data being ignored? Why does it "obey laws"?
      @Chad: “the data is the laws themselves, the question is why does the universe obey them? Your answer is “we cant explain it naturally, and that’s the only explanation we’re prepared to investigate”.”

      ================
      @Nominus “You mention the origin of life on Earth, again that is a question, not data. e.g. "How did life on Earth begin?"
      @Chad: “the data is the fact that life exists, the question is how did this life originate? Your answer is “we cant explain it naturally, and that’s the only explanation we’re prepared to investigate”.”

      ================
      @Nominus “You mention the "fact that the largest 'gaps' in the fossil record correspond exactly with the organisms identified in the bible as being created by God, namely fish, birds, land animals and humans"
      @Chad: “well then, lets see some forms between fish and whatever came before it, birds and whatever came before it, land animals and whatever came before it, and humans and whatever came before it” dotted lines…

      February 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      @Chad: you sort of lose credibility when you aren't clear on the definition of the word data, or the fact that it is plural. The data is not the universe, the data ARE measurements and observations on the universe. Which of these data are appropriate is driven by theory.

      Makes me wonder if maybe you aren't entirely expert on other aspects of science either. hmmm....

      February 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      "the data is the fact that life exists, the question is how did this life originate"

      That makes no sense whatsoever. Data are observations we take in order to evaluate potential answers to a question. Thus in your scheme of things in order to answer "how did life originate?" we would collect data on whether or not life exists. How does "life exists" answer "how did life originate?"

      I think you have no command of the appropriate vocabulary.

      February 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      Do you see the difference between, "our only alternative at this point is to say that all of those things just popped out of nothing via random combination of molecules," and "we don't know. But I suppose popping out of nothing is possible." One is saying that we are forced to, as "our only alternative", while the other is saying, it might be possible, nothing more.
      If you don't see, or can't acknowledge, a difference in those statements, then you must really have a problem with actual science.

      "the data is the universe, the question is how did it get here?"
      As I said, it is a question. A question which scientists are investigating everyday. How are they ignoring data, if they are investigating?

      "the data is the fact that life exists, the question is how did this life originate?"
      See above.

      If you think we should be investigating these questions for a supernatural explaination, then how do you think we should do that? How exactly does one look for, identify, test, and verify, a supernatural explanation? I'd really like to know.

      As for transitional forms, I already presented some:

      "...fossils like, Archiopteryx, Ambulocetus, and Tiktaalik"

      {February 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm}

      "Tiktaalik is a transitional example of the fish to amphibian evolution. (http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/)
      Archeopteryx is a transitional example of the reptile to bird evolution. (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/qualifying_01)
      H. Eretus, H. Habilus, Australopithicus are examples of transitional species to humans. (http://humanorigins.si.edu/)"

      {February 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm}

      February 16, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Chad

      I updated the atheist answer algorithm based on your input:

      1. Atheist “science isn't discarding an external force, there is just is no evidence of an external force”

      2. Creationist “well, what about the origin of the universe, the fact that the universe obeys laws, the origins of life on this earth, the fact that the largest “gaps” in the fossil record correspond exactly with the organisms identified in the bible as being created by God, namely fish, birds, land animals and humans ”

      3. Atheist “We don’t know how to explain those things. The supernatural is by definition beyond nature and therefore beyond investigation by science. As utterly improbable as it is, our only answer at this point is to say it’s possible that all of those things just popped out of nothing via random combination of molecules”

      4. Creationist “Well, if you don’t have an answer for these fundamental events to begin with, and your only explanation is to posit the possibility of the utterly improbable time and time again, by what basis are you discarding the possibility of a force external to our universe?”

      5. Atheist: “Please go to step #1

      ====================
      @Nominus: “If you think we should be investigating these questions for a supernatural explanation, then how do you think we should do that? How exactly does one look for, identify, test, and verify, a supernatural explanation? I'd really like to know.”
      @Chad “We have events with no explanation, and you have an entty claiming responsibility, so yes you should investigate.

      The problem comes in with your only “acceptable type of investigation”, namely: “I do this and that happens. I do it again, and that happens again.”, that approach simply is not going to work when the cause of the event is a person (for lack of a better term). How do you go about “testing” for the existence of a person?
      So, investigate the claim of responsibility. Is the God of Abraham real? Is Jesus Christ real? Is what the bible says true? (and no, just saying “no, no, no” isn’t an answer. You have to have data backing your "no", just as the bible has data backing its claims up.

      February 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      Ah, now we finally get to the real issue: “We have events with no explanation, and you have an entty claiming responsibility, so yes you should investigate."

      Actually, we have a book claiming that there is an enti.ty claiming responsibility. If we actually had "an enti.ty" claiming responsibility, then the existence of that enti.ty would not be in question.

      "...[the scientific] approach simply is not going to work when the cause of the event is a person..."
      I don't know why a scientific approach wouldn't work, if the enti.ty is willing to cooperate, and in some cases that isn't even necessary, e.g. observation.
      This is evidence of the 'begging' part of your 'begging the question' fallacy. You are assuming that a 'person', or enti.ty, is the cause of the event, when that is not in evidence. In essence, your questions are in actuality something like, 'Who created the Universe?' and 'Who made the universe obey the laws?' Thus 'begging' the acceptance of the premise that someone or something is responsible, which is not in evidence. The implied additional argument is, 'well then how else do you explain it?'

      If I'm understanding correctly your argument boils down to, "If you can't explain it, then God must have done it," which is not logical in that there may be any number of other explanations, i.e. it's is not an either/or situation, i.e. a False Dichotomy fallacy.

      Secondarily, you still haven't even suggested a way to investigate this hypothetical enti.ty. So, how are we to investigate?

      "How do you go about 'testing' for the existence of a person?"
      I'm not entirely certain what you are asking here. A person's existence is easy to verify, you ask them, or photograph them, or call them, or touch them, etc.
      Or are you asking a philosophical question of how do we know anyone exists, which is obviously more difficult and I'm not sure there is an absolute answer. Personally, I start with Descartes', "I think therefore I am." From there it is a matter of diminishing confidence in existence, based primarily on inductive evidence of prior experience, from "the universe is real and I can learn about it" to "this person loves me because they claim to and act in such a way that is consistent with what I think love is."
      Regardless, however, of which question you are asking, the result is pretty much the same, you want someone to investigate that which you have no way of investigating.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Nonimus

      p.s. Your statement #2 has no evidence to back it up. As to statement #4 (and the missing #0), provide the evidence and it will be investigated. And no, the existence of the universe is not evidence of God, it is evidence that the universe exists, that's it.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus “we have a book claiming that there is an entity claiming responsibility. If we actually had "an entity" claiming responsibility, then the existence of that entity would not be in question.

      @Chad “You're in luck! we have an entity (the God of Abraham), who has created the universe, created life on earth, created the Jewish nation, delivered the messiah, and along the way ensured that all of that was recorded in the bible. All of which can be verified historically and scientifically.

      =====================
      @Nominus “I don't know why a scientific approach wouldn't work, if the entity is willing to cooperate, and in some cases that isn't even necessary, e.g. observation.

      @Chad: “well of course, you can observe that life exists, that the universe exists, that the universe obeys laws.
      What you really want is for God to perform on demand.. "God, if you are real, move this house" kind of thing.

      The bible is very clear that at the same time God is manifesting tremendous miracles, He also is not going to jump through hoops. What He does promise is that if you seek after Him, He will allow Himself to be found.”

      =====================
      @Nominus "This is evidence of the 'begging' part of your 'begging the question' fallacy."
      @Chad "no.. an example of begging the question would be "well, we're here arent we, so that proves the universe materialized out of nothing, that life on earth materialized out of random molecules".. that's a good example..

      =====================
      @Nominus "You are assuming that a 'person', or enti.ty, is the cause of the event, when that is not in evidence.
      @Chad "you keep repeating that fallacy. By definition how the universe was created, why the universe obeys laws, and how life was created are OUTSIDE the ability of science to determine.
      you do realize that..right?
      yet, you keep repeating that there is no evidence of a force outside of our universe?
      patent nonsense..
      =====================
      @Nominus "If I'm understanding correctly your argument boils down to, "If you can't explain it, then God must have done it," which is not logical in that there may be any number of other explanations, i.e. it's is not an either/or situation, i.e. a False Dichotomy fallacy."
      @Chad "sigh.. this is where I wonder if you guys are just completely blinded, or intentionally intellectually dishonest..
      again: By definition how the universe was created, why the universe obeys laws, and how life was created are OUTSIDE the ability of science to determine. What OTHER approach makes more sense than to look for a force outside our universe??

      ====================
      @Nominus "Secondarily, you still haven't even suggested a way to investigate this hypothetical enti.ty. So, how are we to investigate?"
      @Chad "well, of course I did.. Are you being purposefully obtuse?
      Cut and pasted from above
      "So, investigate the claim of responsibility. Is the God of Abraham real? Is Jesus Christ real? Is what the bible says true? (and no, just saying “no, no, no” isn’t an answer. You have to have data backing your "no", just as the bible has data backing its claims up."

      rest is more of the same nonsensical stuff.. see "the atheist algorithm"

      February 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Ida

      @Chad-As always, brilliant!!

      February 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @chad,
      You said, “You're in luck! we have an enti.ty (the God of Abraham), who has created the universe, ... All of which can be verified historically and scientifically."

      Wonderful, please tell/show/explain how the God of Abraham can be verified historically and scientifically.

      You said, "By definition how the universe was created, why the universe obeys laws, and how life was created are OUTSIDE the ability of science to determine.
      you do realize that..right?
      yet, you keep repeating that there is no evidence of a force outside of our universe?
      patent nonsense.."

      To repeat, "By definition how the universe was created..." So, you know how the universe was created? Great, tell us and provide the evidence. Same for the laws and origin of life.
      You are assuming that the Big Bang was started supernaturally and that life was started supernaturally, when there is no evidence of that happening or of the supernatural existing. Again, lack of a scientific answer, does not make the God concept true.

      You said, "again: By definition how the universe was created, why the universe obeys laws, and how life was created are OUTSIDE the ability of science to determine. What OTHER approach makes more sense than to look for a force outside our universe??"

      How about loop gravity, M-branes, multiverse, etc.? None of these are more than hypotheses, but they have as much, or more, evidence for them as the Genesis concept.
      Abiogenesis? How about the RNA world, metabolism first, etc., which i've already mentioned. These too are just hypotheses, but they have as much, or more, evidence than Genesis.

      Small selection of scientific research on the origin of the universe: WMAP, Chandra, GALAX (http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/), or the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) (http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/lhc/WhyLHC-en.html)

      Small selection of scientific research for the origins of life, Abiogenesis: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2bDetailsoforigin.shtml,
      "Origin of Life On Earth: Scientists Unlock Mystery Of Molecular Machine" (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090219105324.htm),
      "What Came First in the Origin of Life? New Study Contradicts the 'Metabolism First' Hypothesis"
      (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100108101433.htm)

      February 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus “Wonderful, please tell/show/explain how the God of Abraham can be verified historically and scientifically.”
      @Chad:
      1. Is there a scientific need for God, yes, there are events that must have been triggered by a force outside our time/space.
      2. Does God claim responsibility: yes
      3. has God provided any evidence to backup that claim: yes (bible, person of Jesus Christ)
      Start with the Bible and the birth/life/death of Jesus Christ. Are they real?

      ====================
      @Nominus “You are assuming that the Big Bang was started supernaturally and that life was started supernaturally, when there is no evidence of that happening or of the supernatural existing. Again, lack of a scientific answer, does not make the God concept true.
      @Chad “Science tells us that the Big Bang was triggered by something out side our universe, that there is something outside our universe that must explain why the universe obeys laws, and that expecting that life could just spontaneously generate is phenomenally unlikely (notwithstanding your absurd rejection of any claim of unlikelyness if one cant enumerate all possible states)

      "So, investigate the claim of responsibility. Is the God of Abraham real? Is Jesus Christ real? Is what the bible says true?

      ====================
      @Nominus “how the universe was created?”
      @Chad “And God said, Let there be light” Genesis 1

      ====================
      @Nominus “How about loop gravity, M-branes, multiverse, etc.? one of these are more than hypotheses, but they have as much, or more, evidence for them as the Genesis concept.
      @Chad “you are in error stating that the any of those has as much support as the big bang.”
      The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. – wikipedia

      ====================
      @Nominus “Abiogenesis? How about the RNA world, metabolism first, etc., which i've already mentioned. These too are just hypotheses, but they have as much, or more, evidence than Genesis.”
      @Chad “if you want to believe that life spontaneously generated, go right ahead. Just understand that’s like saying a million monkeys can bang out war and peace given enough time.

      It’s called the willful suspension of disbelief.

      "The absolute origin of the universe, of all matter and energy, even of physical space and time themselves, in the Big Bang singularity contradicts the perennial naturalistic assumption that the universe has always existed. One after another, models designed to avert the initial cosmological singularity–the Steady State model, the Oscillating model, Vacuum Fluctuation models–have come and gone. Current quantum gravity models, such as the Hartle-Hawking model and the Vilenkin model, must appeal to the physically unintelligible and metaphysically dubious device of "imaginary time" to avoid the universe's beginning. The contingency implied by an absolute beginning ex nihilo points to a transcendent cause of the universe beyond space and time. Philosophical objections to a cause of the universe fail to carry conviction" william craig

      "Craigs a hack!"
      no.. Craig is 50-0 in debates with atheists, including whupping Lawrence Krauss.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Ida

      Thanks Chad, that was a great post!

      February 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,

      You said, "1. Is there a scientific need for God, yes, there are events that must have been triggered by a force outside our time/space."

      Incorrect. a) You have two statements there which do not necessarily follow, i.e. a non-sequitor. Even, if there is a need for an external force, why must it be God? {'what else would it be?' is not an answer.} b) You have not provided evidence of a "force outside our time/space", nor any evidence of how it might have "triggered" such events. This generally requires positive evidence.
      ====================

      You said, "2. Does God claim responsibility: yes"

      Incorrect. a) You, not God, are claiming that God claimed responsibility in the Bible, you don't know who wrote it, whether they actually knew about what they wrote, nor whether they were being honest about what they knew. b) You have no evidence that God exists and without existence how can He claim anything.
      ====================

      You said, "3. has God provided any evidence to backup that claim: yes (bible, person of Jesus Christ)
      Start with the Bible and the birth/life/death of Jesus Christ. Are they real?"

      Incorrect. a) There is no evidence that God provided the Bible or Jesus, if He existed. b) Even if a) were true, there is no evidence that God is being honest. c) Even if a) and b) are true, there is no evidence that your, or anyone else's, interpretation of Genesis, and the Bible, is the correct interpretation.
      ====================

      You said, "Science tells us that the Big Bang was triggered by something out side our universe..."

      Incorrect. Science does not say how the Big Bang came about or what came before it. period.
      ====================

      You said, "... there is something outside our universe that must explain why the universe obeys laws..."

      That is an assertion which has no evidential basis.
      ====================

      You said, "...that expecting that life could just spontaneously generate is phenomenally unlikely (notwithstanding your absurd rejection of any claim of unlikelyness if one cant enumerate all possible states)"

      You have yet to provide any basis for your "phenomenally unlikely" estimate, let alone an actual statistical analysis.
      ====================

      You said, "So, investigate the claim of responsibility. Is the God of Abraham real? Is Jesus Christ real? Is what the bible says true?"

      As I've stated before, you have yet to provide any method or mechanism that would establish, scientifically, whether the God of Abraham is real. The only evidence you have presented are the premises of this conclusion.
      ====================

      You said, "'And God said, Let there be light' Genesis 1"

      Please, explain how that caused light, or anything, let alone the universe to come into existence.
      ====================

      You said, "you are in error stating that the any of those has as much support as the big bang.'
      The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe.' – wikipedia"

      I did not say that. What I said was, "None of these are more than hypotheses, but they have as much, or more, evidence for them as the Genesis concept." (February 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm) The Genesis concept is the Biblical version and the Big Bang is what science currently can say. And note that your quote says, "the early development of the Universe."
      ====================

      You said, "if you want to believe that life spontaneously generated, go right ahead. Just understand that’s like saying a million monkeys can bang out war and peace given enough time."

      First, I did not say spontaneous generation, which conotes an ancient and obsolete concept of *ongoing* spontaneous generation to account for the appearence of orgainisms coming from nowhere before germ theory and cell theory were formulated. Second, your monkey analogy is, yet again, an invalid one, since you have no idea what the probabilities are of either one happening.
      ====================

      Craig said, "The contingency implied by an absolute beginning ex nihilo points to a transcendent cause of the universe beyond space and time."

      I have not read much of Craig, but I would say that, a) as a philosopher, his use of "implied" and "points to" are a far cry from a logical proof, b) he seems to be assuming an "absolute beginning ex nihilo," which I don't think is actually in evidence, and c) even if all that were true, it still does not provide any evidence of a God of Abraham, only that "something" happened "somewhere" outside of what we consider our "universe".

      My understanding of logic is that in order to prove something you either need a valid positive proof or a proof of contradiction in the negative. In the case of God, that would mean a logical proof that He exists or a proof that His non-existence would necessarily lead to a logical contradiction. I don't think Craig has done that.
      ====================

      And finally, I would like to highlight a problem with your argumentation. The problem is misrepresentation of what is being said. In my previous posting I said the following,

      “How about loop gravity, M-branes, multiverse, etc.? None of these are more than hypotheses, but they have as much, or more, evidence for them as the Genesis concept."

      You, in turn, represented that I was

      "...stating that ... any of those has as much support as the big bang.”

      I had referenced the 'Genesis concept', which I think most people would understand to be the idea portrayed in the Biblical book Genesis, not the scientific Big Bang theory. Consequently, I was not claiming, in any way, that those *hypotheses* were in way as evidenced as the Big Bang *theory*.

      This is a more obvious example of a pattern of misrepresentation, that I have seen in your posts. For example:

      "First, I never said, 'As utterly improbable as it is, our only alternative at this point is to say that all of those things just popped out of nothing via random combination of molecules,' or anything similar. That would be anti-scientific."
      (February 15, 2012 at 10:30 am)

      "I don't recall ever saying anything even remotely like, 'well, until we DO know how it was done by entirely random process w/out supernatural intervention, we wont consider supernatural intervention.'"
      (February 13, 2012 at 11:46 am)

      "You said that I am '... trying to make a case that until it can be proven to have occured by purely random natural process, no other explanation will be accepted.'
      No, I am not. I saying that the case for evolution, mainly be natural selection, has already been made and is accepted by almost every scientist in the field, including the late Stephen J. Gould."
      (February 13, 2012 at 11:46 am)

      The polite name for this is a straw-man fallacy.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus “if there is a need for an external force, why must it be God?”
      @Chad: “You are free to believe that external force is Zeus if you like, I’m happy to get atheists to the point where they acknowledge the necessity of an external force.

      ============
      @Nonimus “You have not provided evidence of a "force outside our time/space", nor any evidence of how it might have "triggered" such events.”
      @Chad “If the trigger by definition must have been initiated from outside our time/space, then by definition that force exists outside our time/space. How could the BB have been triggered by a source within our time/space when all of time/space was created at that point?

      ============
      @Nonimus “You, not God, are claiming that God claimed responsibility in the Bible, you don't know who wrote it, whether they actually knew about what they wrote, nor whether they were being honest about what they knew.
      @Chad “The bible is unique in many aspects, not the least of which is prophecy, as you haven’t read it, it’s obviously a far too involved topic to go into here starting from ground zero.
      Another example, if you find it entirely reasonable that illiterate goat herders just happened to get the order of creation right, then nothing I’m going to say here is going to dent that irrationality.
      http://www.reasons.org/articles/fulfilled-prophecy-evidence-for-the-reliability-of-the-bible

      ============
      @Nonimus “You have no evidence that God exists and without existence how can He claim anything.”
      @Chad “origin of the universe, origin of life on earth, fact that universe obeys physical laws, birth/lfe/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ. All detailed in the bible.

      ============
      @Nonimus “There is no evidence that God provided the Bible or Jesus, if He existed. b) Even if a) were true, there is no evidence that God is being honest. c) Even if a) and b) are true, there is no evidence that your, or anyone else's, interpretation of Genesis, and the Bible, is the correct interpretation.
      @Chad “There has never been a single historical detail in the bible found to be inaccurate (which is astonishing as there are 100’s of thousands of such details.
      God doesn’t lie.
      I don’t debate with people on whether of not Jesus is a real historical figure, it’s like debating with someone that the earth is flat.. seeen.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

      ====================
      @Nonimus “Science does not say how the Big Bang came about or what came before it. period.
      @Chad “not true at all, science definitively says it could not have been triggered from within our time/space.. so that leaves only outside our time/space.

      ====================
      @Nonimus “the as sertion that “there is something outside our universe that must explain why the universe obeys laws..." has no evidential basis.
      @Chad “science definitively says it cannot by definition EVER explain why the universe obeys laws so that leaves only explanations outside our time/space.

      ====================
      @Nonimus "Please, explain how God caused light, or anything, let alone the universe to come into existence.”
      @Chad “I have no idea, ask Him”

      ====================
      @Chad “The Big Bang is the term scientists use to capture the early rapid expansion of all of the created matter and time itself. The bible refers to that same exact event in Genesis 1:1 “And God said, let there be light”
      (that’s why atheists HATE the notion of the big bang, because it corresponds exactly with the Genesis account.

      Every year this is more evidence that the universe had a beginning:
      After 10 years of intense research and observing distant supernova, two independent scientific teams (the Supernova Cosmology Project and the High Z Supernova Search Team Project) came to the same conclusion that the rate at which the universe is expanding is accelerating (getting bigger at a faster and ever faster rate). This idea was totally unexpected and is typically called the Accelerating Universe.

      The response to this new science based discovery caused a great stir. Consider the following response from a scientist, who expresses his feelings after learning of the discovery.

      Why is the accelerating universe so important?

      First of all, some people used to think the universe would begin, then die, then start again. These people thought the universe went through a process as follows.
      The universe begins with a Big Bang (begin the cycle).
      The universe gets bigger for a time until it stops expanding.
      Then the universe collapses until it is crushed together (end the cycle).
      The process begins again with a new Big Bang (called the oscillating universe theory).
      This series of events would happen over and over forever and ever. If that were true, the universe would not require a beginning.

      However, the accelerating universe has destroyed this idea. We know the universe will keep expanding forever and ever. This means the universe will never get crushed together and then be able to start again.

      It is safe to conclude that the universe has existed only one time (as opposed to many times).
      It is safe to conclude that the universe had a single beginning (as opposed to many beginnings).
      It is safe to conclude that the universe is dying and will become a place of darkness, extreme cold, and loneliness.
      The one and only universe that we know exists had a beginning and it will have an ending. It appears that our universe has been created one time
      ====================
      @Nonimus "And finally, I would like to highlight a problem with your argumentation. The problem is misrepresentation of what is being said. In my previous posting I said the following, “How about loop gravity, M-branes, multiverse, etc.? None of these are more than hypotheses, but they have as much, or more, evidence for them as the Genesis concept."You, in turn, represented that I was"...stating that ... any of those has as much support as the big bang.”
      @Chad
      A. Big Bang is Genesis, see above. Most people realize that atheists continue to attempt to discredit creation from nothing (Big Bang), but all of those attempts have failed and will continue to do so.
      B. In any of the other LOL “misrepresentations”, I was always careful to use the term “atheist” not “Nonimus” since they were my paraphrases of your stances. If you felt they were a little to accurate, tough :-)
      C. Strawman LOL.. :-) people can read and decide for themselves whether or not my paraphrases are bang on or not.

      February 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,

      Our knowledge of the universe doesn't go all the way back to a Big Bang singularity itself and statements of what happened at that time, or before, are speculation. There are different views on what happens with time in a singularity, even Hawking has been quoted with different views, but he does mention the idea that because of the breakdown of the laws of physics in a singularity, which would be non-deterministic, there would be no usable information after one expands, so whether or not there was time before a singularity, which we wouldn't know, for practicality reasons, it is dealt with 'as if' time started at the BB. However, he also says that the nature of the universe is finite but not bounded. In other worlds, using his analogy of time as a globe, you can only go so far south before at some point you are going north again (http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-beginning-of-time.html).

      I won't say I understand all of this, but I would say that it doesn't seem like an outside "trigger" is all that necessary and in the case of some speculations, e.g. "Nothing is Unstable" chapter ti.tle in Lawrence Krauss' book "A Universe from Nothing", it's not the case at all. Admittedly, Hawking's and other ideas are just conjecture at this point, but there does seem to be other possibilities than God.

      As for the Bible being validated by its own prophecy fulfillment, I would think that most people would understand that without certain external or third party verification, claiming the prophecy and it's fulfillment in the same book lacks authority. Prophecies can be va.gue to begin with and easily fulfilled by normal events, unverified events can be tailored to a pre-existing prophecy, prophecies can be invented post-hoc, or va.gue prophecies and events can be 'interpreted' to create an illusion of fulfillment. Just look at Nostradamus or Edgar Casey. Also, the reasons.org website is obviously biased, since they basically state so on their website, i.e. they believe the Bible is "100% without error," which implies discounting evidence to the contrary.

      As for your evidence, again, just stating the "origin of the universe, origin of..." is not evidence. You must show evidence that your God created the universe. The sophistry of the 'everything must have a cause', is not evidence. As stated above, there are possibilities that the universe is self-created, that the universe was created externally, but not by god(s), and that we are all figments of nobody's imagination and therefore don't really exist.

      There are plenty of historical inaccuracies in the Bible: Genesis 1 is wrong both in method and sequence, the sun stopping for a day in Joahua 10:13 would have been noted by other astronomers of the time, Jesus was born both during the census in 6-7CE and before 3BCE in the reign of King Herod, Jesus' (adopted? step?) grandfather was both Jacob and Eli, etc., etc., etc.

      Comparing Gen 1:3 with the Big Bang model (btw, I was wrong, in earlier posts, to say it was a theory, apparently it's a model not a theory or hypothesis) is simply ridiculus. Besides the obvious problems the Earth/heavens/water coming both before, 1:1-2, and after, 1:8, light, the entire chapter is in conflict with how the universe developed and how life progressed on the earth according to what we understand from the fossil, genetic, and biogeographic evidence.

      Also, I don't know why any Atheist would hate the Big Bang theory. Where'd you get that idea? They may not like Creationists trying to equate it with Genesis, which as shown above is quite silly.

      And finally, you said,
      "B. In any of the other LOL 'misrepresentations', I was always careful to use the term 'atheist' not “Nonimus” since they were my paraphrases of your stances. If you felt they were a little to accurate, tough
      C. Strawman LOL.. people can read and decide for themselves whether or not my paraphrases are bang on or not."

      So, either you were arguing against some composite stereotyped "atheist" or you were paraphrasing me incorrectly? In either case, you were not debating what I actually said, which is pretty close to the definition of a straw-man argument. Just like you are ignoring the evidence for evolution, you seem to be ignore the arguments made to support it as well.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus “Our knowledge of the universe doesn't go all the way back to a Big Bang singularity itself and statements of what happened at that time, or before, are speculation”
      @Chad: “From a purely naturalistic point of view that is correct. When your entire field of options consists only of that which exists naturally, then what happened prior our natural world came into existence isn’t a question that makes sense”

      =================================
      @Nonimus “However, he also says that the nature of the universe is finite but not bounded. In other worlds, using his analogy of time as a globe, you can only go so far south before at some point you are going north again (http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-beginning-of-time.html).”
      @Chad “we are in agreement, our finite, expanding in all directions and cooling universe leads one to the inescapable
      conclusion that the universe had a beginning”

      =================================
      @Nonimus I would say that it doesn't seem like an outside "trigger" is all that necessary and in the case of some speculations, e.g. "Nothing is Unstable" chapter ti.tle in Lawrence Krauss' book "A Universe from Nothing", it's not the case at all.
      @Chad “you should know better by now, repeating that indefinitely is always going to get you the same rebuke. Kraus isn’t positing a universe created from the nothing that was before the BB and he SAYS SO HIMSELF. “Vacuum space” is a completely different “nothing” than the nothing that was before the BB”.

      =================================
      @Nonimus As for the Bible being validated by its own prophecy fulfillment, I would think that most people would understand that without certain external or third party verification, claiming the prophecy and it's fulfillment in the same book lacks authority.
      @Chad “Isaiah fortels Cyrus will release the Israelites from Babylonian captivity 150 years before.(Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah). The Babylonian captivity and release is obviously a historical fact.

      Rest of it is just a re-hash right? Already refuted… Bible inaccurate? No, entirely accurate we have been through this at length. Genesis 1 is the Big Bang, there was nothing, then nothing exploded, it fits perfectly (which of course is why atheists hate the thought of the BB so much. Obviously nothing cant explode (remember, vacuum space ain’t nothing), there is no naturalistic explanation by definition.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,

      I would say that the reason we don't investigate things 'outside' our universe is not because it is not natural, it's because we can't detect it and have no way to verify anything about it. Although, with the Genesis model there is enough contradictory evidence to conclude that it is incorrect, excepting, of course, supernatural intervention in which the universe was 'created' to look as though it occurred 'naturally,' but that would imply a rather deceptive god(s).

      The Big Bang model may an example of a non-detectable 'natural' event, in that the physical laws that we are familiar with break down in a singularity, but it is not considered a supernatural event. However, it is postulated that such a singularity existed even though we cannot detect it, or things prior to it, as yet. Multiverses, branes, and the nothing which Krauss talks about are such ideas as well. And, Krauss is not talking about the vacuum of space, which he specifically states, in that debate you mentioned a few posts back, when Craig made the same claim, I think, as you.

      As for Hawking's ideas, which I may be unclear on, it seems to me that he is saying, with his globe analogy, that, although the universe has a beginning, there is no boundary to the universe which means there is nothing outside of the universe, i.e. no 'side' of which there can be an other 'side'. If you could travel back in time, south in his analogy, you would eventually cross the beginning of the universe, the south pole, and continue forward in time, or north. You can only go so far back in time before you will find yourself going forward again. I'm not saying this is true, but it does provide an exception to the false dichotomy of 'the universe is either eternal or has a beginning which requires an external cause' (paraphrased, of course.)

      Would not a prophecy require a foretelling of events well before those events happened? I'm not a biblical scholar, but it seems to me that without the original texts from 150 years before the defeat of Babylon, or verifiable evidence of what was actually written then, which no one has, you cannot claim a prophecy fulfilled, because you don't know what the actual prophecy was. In addition, it is my understanding that Cyrus is not mentioned, by name, until Isaiah 44, which I think, most scholars say was written in the time of the end of Babylonian captivity. In other words, the parts that mention Cyrus were written in Cyrus' lifetime and around the time of the events 'foretold', not 150 years prior - hardly a prophecy. In addition, how do you explain the historical inaccuracies that I pointed out in my last posting? Or, are you just going to ignore them?

      Finally, I don't know what you mean by rehash, unless you count your denial of scientific evidence as a refutation, which I don't. As I said before, the Bible does not say there was nothing then it exploded. It says:
      "1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
      3 And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. "

      How does that match up with the singularity then the rapid expansion of the BB model? You might argue that 1:1 is the Big Bang, but then light wouldn't have come until after the Earth and water. You might argue that 1:3 was the Big Bang, but then the Earth and "heavens" would have existed before the Big Bang. Well, I don't how you'd explain it.

      Also, how does the 7 days of creation match up with billions of years of evolution? If you are denying the amount of time itself then you are denying a large amount of evidence from multiple disciplines of science, like geology, physics, chemistry, astrophysics, nuclear physics, etc., even before you get to the evidence for evolution.

      February 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Nonimus

      p.s. I missed this part:
      "Obviously nothing cant explode (remember, vacuum space ain’t nothing), there is no naturalistic explanation by definition."
      Apparently, Hawking doesn't agree:
      "'Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,' [Hawking] writes. 'Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.'"
      (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/02/stephen-hawking-big-bang-creator)
      Now, whether the law of gravity, by itself without space, is something or nothing, you can debate with Hawking.

      February 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Nonimus “I would say that the reason we don't investigate things 'outside' our universe is not because it is not natural, it's because we can't detect it and have no way to verify anything about it.”
      @Chad “you don’t investigate supernatural cause it isn’t natural, as I said before :-)“

      ======================
      @Nonimus “ Although, with the Genesis model there is enough contradictory evidence to conclude that it is incorrect, excepting, of course, supernatural intervention in which the universe was 'created' to look as though it occurred 'naturally,' “
      @Chad “You’re arguing against a young earth interpretation of Genesis that I don’t subscribe to. Been thru this of course ad-nauseum.. word interpreted as “day” can also be interpreted as “age”, how can there be a literal 24 hours when the sun isn’t created until after the first day, etc.. etc.. this is a well worn path. Fish-birds/land animals-humans. The Genesis account of creation corresponds exactly with the fossil record.

      ======================
      @Nonimus “The Big Bang model may an example of a non-detectable 'natural' event, in that the physical laws that we are familiar with break down in a singularity, but it is not considered a supernatural event. However, it is postulated that such a singularity existed even though we cannot detect it, or things prior to it, as yet.”
      @Chad “It cant be natural if all of the natural universe was created at that point”

      ======================
      @Nonimus “ Multiverses, branes, and the nothing which Krauss talks about are such ideas as well. And, Krauss is not talking about the vacuum of space, which he specifically states, in that debate you mentioned a few posts back, when Craig made the same claim, I think, as you.”
      @Chad “sigh.. again… multi-verse creation via quantum fluctuation DOES NOT posit a universe from the same nothing that existed prior to the big bang. Creation of universe from an existing space time using QF only pushes the problem of infinite regression to the front. Where did it all start?”

      ======================
      @Nonimus “As for Hawking's ideas, which I may be unclear on, it seems to me that he is saying, with his globe analogy, that, although the universe has a beginning, there is no boundary to the universe which means there is nothing outside of the universe, i.e. no 'side' of which there can be another 'side'. If you could travel back in time, south in his analogy, you would eventually cross the beginning of the universe, the south pole, and continue forward in time, or north. You can only go so far back in time before you will find yourself going forward again. I'm not saying this is true, but it does provide an exception to the false dichotomy of 'the universe is either eternal or has a beginning which requires an external cause' (paraphrased, of course.)”
      @Chad “All of which is true, and none of which speaks in any way to the origin of the universe ex-nihlio. That speaks only to the characteristics of the existing universe, not it’s origin. Again, universe is expanding in all directions and cooling, going back in time yields infinite mass/heat at which point all laws of physics breakdown

      ======================
      @Nonimus “Would not a prophecy require a foretelling of events well before those events happened? I'm not a biblical scholar, but it seems to me that without the original texts from 150 years before the defeat of Babylon, or verifiable evidence of what was actually written then, which no one has, you cannot claim a prophecy fulfilled”
      @Chad “You wont find even any liberal OT scholar that would buy the argument that authorship can only be ascribed to the earliest extant manuscripts. The bible has more direct manuscript support for uncorrupted transmission than any ancient writing.. that’s a fact.”

      ======================
      @Nonimus “ In addition, it is my understanding that Cyrus is not mentioned, by name, until Isaiah 44, which I think, most scholars say was written in the time of the end of Babylonian captivity. In other words, the parts that mention Cyrus were written in Cyrus' lifetime and around the time of the events 'foretold', not 150 years prior – hardly a prophecy
      @Chad “Isaiah prophesy ~700 BC, Cyrus release 538BC.

      ======================
      @Nonimus “There are plenty of historical inaccuracies in the Bible: Genesis 1 is wrong both in method and sequence,”
      @Chad “? How so? Fish-birds/land animals-humans”
      ======================
      @Nonimus “the sun stopping for a day in Joahua 10:13 would have been noted by other astronomers of the time
      @Chad “?? There are many ancient references to such a phenomena, see http://www.grmi.org/Richard_Riss/evidences/7longday.html. Now I wouldn’t use those as proof that it happened, but your objection was that no one else recorded something of that type.
      ======================
      @Nonimus “Jesus was born both during the census in 6-7CE and before 3BCE in the reign of King Herod,
      @Chad “Chapter/verse please”
      ======================
      @Nonimus “Jesus' (adopted? step?) grandfather was both Jacob and Eli, etc., etc., etc.
      @Chad “assume you are referring to the different genealogies in Luke(blood line) and Matthew (legal lineage), who have different/complementary aims in presenting the two lineages. You may identify with that, as you yourself have 2 different lineages..”

      ======================
      @Nonimus “As I said before, the Bible does not say there was nothing then it exploded. It says:
      "1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
      3 And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. "
      @Chad “I would say that the verse is remarkably self-explanatory, if God created the universe, what was there before that creation? Answer.. nothing.”

      ======================
      @Nonimus"Hawking doesn't agree [that nothing cant explode]:
      "'Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,' [Hawking] writes. 'Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.'"
      (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/02/stephen-hawking-big-bang-creator)
      Now, whether the law of gravity, by itself without space, is something or nothing, you can debate with Hawking.
      @Chad “Do some reading, please.. … gravity, space, time, laws, those are all functions of the universe we live in. Prior to that, there was NOTHING. QF presumes the existence of space, it does not posit creation from the nothing that existed prior to the big bang. If you want to believe in a multi-verse, then you just face the infinite regression problem. That is precisely why the big bang is the prevailing viewpoint. QF does NOT create a universe ex nihilio.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,
      You are correct that order of Genesis vs evolution is a well worn path, why do you continue to be so obstenately wrong. As I said previously:

      "...Genesis has plants (fruit and seed), then the sun, then fish and birds, then land animals, then man.

      The geologic record has ... fish, then land plants, then insects and seeds, ... then mammals, then birds, then flowering plants, then man.

      So, Genesis has plants before the sun, birds before land animals, and my favorite, fruit (which generally requires a flower) way before flowering plants."
      (February 15, 2012 at 10:30 am)

      More on the other items later...

      March 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,
      "Many scholars see a contradiction in that Luke places the birth of Jesus during the Census of Quirinius [(Luke 2:1-7)], which took place in 6 AD, although [Matthew] states the conception took place during the reign of King Herod — about 10 years earlier [(Matthew 2:1)]." -Wiki [Ch & vs added]

      March 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      “It cant be natural if all of the natural universe was created at that point”

      My point was, and has been, that it is possible that the universe was not created at the Big Bang, just that everything before that would be virtually undetectable due to the conditions within the singularity, but still the universe.

      In addition, I have also raised the idea that what is 'natural' and what is 'this universe' may not be entirely the same thing, e.g. in the multiverse and/or M-brane concepts, other universes may be 'natural,' but outside 'this universe'.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,
      Apologies for the copy pasta:

      "Some have argued that evidence for this long day is found in other cultures:
      ...

      This, however, does not seem to be the case.

      The record of the long day has been much debated. Parallels have been found in Chinese, Egyptian and Mexican stories, but these will not coincide with the date or time of day (E.W. Maunder, JTVI, 1921, pp. 120-148); and an astronomical aberration would not have gone unrecorded in Babylon (John Lilley, The New Laymans Bible Commentary, G.C.D. Howley, F.F. Bruce, H.L. Ellison, eds., Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1979, pp. 320,321). "
      (http://www.blueletterbible.org/faREMOVEq/don_stewart/stewart.cfm?ID=625)

      "The prevailing scholarly view, however, is that Joshua is not a factual account of historical events."
      ('Joshua' McConville, Gordon; Williams, Stephen; 2010; p.4).

      March 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Nonimus

      That was painful, didn't know faq was a filtered word. Oh well.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Nonimus

      hmmm....

      /faq/

      March 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Nonimus

      hmmm...

      .com/faq

      March 1, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Nonimus

      huh?

      google.com/fa q

      March 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      “you don’t investigate supernatural cause it isn’t natural, as I said before “
      Not by choice, but because we can't. I would bet that practically ever scientists in the world would jump at the opportunity to scientifically demonstrate something supernatural, if there was even a decent chance at finding something. They would get a Nobel easy, if they had the evidence.

      If God ever deigned to do something, like float a mountain two feet off the ground or rearrange the stars to spell "I AM", then we could investigate, but claims in a 2000 year old book of self-referencing prophecies and questionable authorship, does not lend itself to evidence that can be investigated.

      Other things that might, and I stress *might*, support the supernatural. Origin of life: nearly uniform distribution of species across all similar habitats (kangaroos in Mexico and Africa, yaks in Canada, llamas in the Himalayas etc.), an even jumble of fossils in all strata (e.g. rabbit in the Cambrian) from the Flood; Cosmology: The Word (e.g. evidence of God's 'Let there be light' in the earliest/farthest reaches of the universe, similar to the CMBR, but in speech wave-forms. Obviously, it wouldn't be in English either, but speech nonetheless.), evidence of pure light prior to the singularity, which was to hot and dense for photons; Everyday stuff: any evidence of ghosts/souls, clairvoyance, effectual prayer, telekinesis, faith-healing, devils/demons, witches (real ones, not hysterical teenagers in New England or Neo-Pagans), etc.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,
      More copy pasta, but you asked for references, I think. On Isaiah:

      "Scholars have traditionally isolated three distinct sections of what is known as the Book of Isaiah, and in Isaiah 40-55, distinguished biblical scholar Joseph Blenkinsopp provides a new translation and critical commentary on the section usually referred to as Second or Deutero Isaiah.
      ...

      Second Isaiah was written in the sixth century b.c.e., in the years just before the fall of the mighty Babylonian Empire, by an anonymous prophet whom history has erroneously identified with the real Isaiah (born ca. 765 b.c.e.). Scholars know Second Isaiah was written by someone other than Isaiah because the contexts of these prophecies are so very different.

      ...
      Joseph Blenkinsopp is currently the John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught since 1970. Among his many scholarly publications on the Hebrew Bible is the Anchor Bible Reference Library volumes The Pentateuch and Isaiah 1-39."
      (preview of "Isaiah 40-55" Joseph Blenkinsopp, 2002; http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300140545)

      March 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Chad,
      On the question of Jesus' lineage, it certainly looks to me like Matthew is saying "Jacob the father of Joseph" and Luke is saying "Joseph, the son of Heli," is there some basis for claiming one is legal and one is bloodline?

      Also, I'm not certain of your reference to myself having two lineages, while I do have two parents, each with their own lineages, I do not have two fathers as Joseph appears to have had, which makes even less sense when Joseph wasn't even Jesus' biological father.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chad,
      “Do some reading, please.. … gravity, space, time, laws, those are all functions of the universe we live in. Prior to that, there was NOTHING."
      First, who says there was "NOTHING"? Many say that time and space, effectively, began after the singularity but, currently, no one can say that there was nothing before it because no one can investigate anything from before the singularity. Second, Hawking mentioned a "law such as gravity," not space or time. Third, what evidence do you have that natural laws are strictly a function of this universe? Or, space and time for that matter? Is it not possible that there are other spaces and times that exist?

      "QF presumes the existence of space, it does not posit creation from the nothing that existed prior to the big bang."
      Who said anything about Quantum Fluctuations? As I said in an earlier post, the video you referenced has Dr. Krauss saying that the pre-BB 'nothing' is not the same as the empty space 'nothing' which is associated with QF.

      "If you want to believe in a multi-verse, then you just face the infinite regression problem."
      As I've said before, 'science' does not currently say where or how our universe came to be, because we don't know, a multi-verse is but one hypothetical possibility. As for the infinite regression problem, how exactly does the God hypothesis solve it?

      March 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Peikoviany

    If I said that God just came by the house, why wouldn't you believe me? Is it all about your own faith and no one else's?

    February 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  10. The Dawkin's Delusion

    In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, the Disciples of Christ observed him walking on water. Even though they didn't know about science, they understood that this type of event does not occur in the natural realm. To them, this act and their own cognitive abilities provided proof of supernatural control over the natural realm. During the life of Christ, even his worst enemies did not doubt his supernatural power, but, unfortunately, questioned the authenticity of the source. In modern times, it is amazing that people still question the existence of supernatural power while limiting themselves to science and not recognizing their own logical and cognitive abilities. Think outside of the box.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • momoya

      I agree in part. In these modern times it is indeed worrisome that so many people still believe in the "supernatural" or "miracles." If there was a god, and he wanted to communicate with man, he'd do so plainly. There's a reason that all peoples of different god-beliefs all use the same math. For so many people to believe so many different and CONTRADICTORY things about god means that he's a terrible communicator.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • jason

      People believe so many things because they are deceived, by the God of this world, Satan, love sin and the wrong things that they do, etc All false religions basically are the same – same thread if you compare them ~~ Man trying to get to God Biblical Christianity is God reaching out to man

      February 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • martint

      Have you ever read any of the books that were banned from the bible? The stories in the bible are outrageous and such bunk that if anyone takes the literally they need to have their heads examined. Just saying.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • The Dawkin's Delusion

      I've read the banned books. Quite frankly, they were banned for very good reasons. In many instances, the messages were deemed heretical or too Gnostic. The Gnostics believed that Jesus was only a spiritual being and did not exist as a human. This is obviously incorrect.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • The Dawkin's Delusion

      God speaks plainly to His people. We are just terrible listeners.

      February 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      The banned books were banned for good reason. They were too over-the-top for people to believe. Otherwise they are just as historically legitimate as every other book of the bible.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • The Dawkin's Delusion

      Are you kidding me?! The Apostle Paul is a perfect example of God's supernatural intervention into the natural realm. Paul wrote about Jesus including his life, teaching and miracles. In fact, Paul witnessed a Jesus miracle himself. As you may know, Paul was hired by the Jewish authorities to root out the remnants of Judaic Christianity after Jesus was crucified. On the road to Damascus, he was literally blinded by an appearance of Christ. Jesus asked him why he was being persecuted. Paul was literally converted from pharisee Judaism to Judaic Christianity after this event. It must have been a real event that had a profound effect on him because he was a Christian head hunter.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Of course it is!!!! and Beowulf is a perfect example of attacks on mead halls by giant cave-monsters with monster babies! They wrote all about Beowulf's life, his defeat of Grendel, his Kingdom of Geats, and his death from being injured by a dragon. The writer witnessed Grendel himself! It must have been a real event to have that affect on them, because they were terrified of monsters.

      The poem of Beowulf is proof that the poem of Beowulf is true.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • WASP

      @delusion: remember the plane landing on the hudson? it was ti.tled "mircle on the hudson" people on the bridge said because of the plane wings being submerged it looked like 300 people were standing on water. now let's take this into context. if those folks lacked logical sence they would have swore they were angels or some kind of supernatural being displaying their power. get where i'm going? a magician is an illusionist, they make the natural appear supernatural.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • WASP

      @jason: the devil exists only to you religious folks. even when i was pagan i understood that no outside force can make me do anything i wouldn't already do. atheists don't require a threat of eternal damnation to make us good people. we do that on our own. one of the best sayings i have ever heard is" if you want to find god go to the bar, if you want to find the devil go to church." know what that means? god would be in the bar trying to save people while the devil is in church whispering in your ear. so good luck with that.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • The Dawkin's Delusion

      Please learn how to spell and please do READ these texts before judging them. This is not poetry or mythology!!

      February 8, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Nonimus

      @The Dawkin's Delusion,
      "In modern times, it is amazing that people still question the existence of supernatural power while limiting themselves to science and not recognizing their own logical and cognitive abilities."

      I don't understand what reason is there, "in modern times", to think there is any "supernatural power"?

      February 8, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Bizarre

      The Dawkin's Delusion, "Paul wrote about Jesus including his life, teaching and miracles."

      No, he did not. Paul did not even know about the "Lord's Prayer", which was allegedly right out of the mouth of Jesus. Paul said in Romans that "we do not know how to pray or what God wants us to pray for".

      February 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Bizarre

      p.s. Paul of Tarsus had 'nuthin' but his zealotry, vigor and excellent PR skills with a personal (i.e., individual community) angle.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      @Delusion:
      It may not be poetry, but mythology is precisely what it is.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • WASP

      @dawkins: i owe you an apology. i miss read and misunderstood your post.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • dats right

      All the miracles that Jesus supposedly performed were attributed to him some 600 to 900 years after his death. The bible is a fictional nonsense and not even remotely good writing.

      February 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Bizarre

      dats right,

      Re: Jesus' "miracles" being reported 600-900 years afterward - if you got those numbers from the article cited below, it says, 60-90 years (6-9 DECADES, *not* centuries).

      You have point, but real facts and figures are best.

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/29/my-take-the-3-biggest-biblical-misconceptions/

      February 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  11. Mike

    @ burnz...If that is what you and Wasp and no doubt others prefer to believe, then all the psychiatrists in the country would not persuade you otherwise and so I will certainly not attempt to do so. Believe whatever makes you feel good, most people do. I prefer the truth...even when I don't like it.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • WASP

      @mike: dude let's take a look at your statement. "But I have been unfortunate enough to have heard from other ET's...I have seen them, heard them, and been attacked by them...and their power is beyond human comprehension."
      now let's take a look at the psychological condition called schizophrenia: definition:: a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as delusions), perception (as hallucinations), and behavior —called also dementia praecox
      now according to your own words you see (hallucinations) attacking you, hear voices (delusions) and to be at such you had to have started deteriorating early on.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Mike

      @ Wasp... Then I guess that's that...one of us is deceived...In the end we will find out who it is eh?

      February 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  12. Christopher Cobb

    Religion will always deny the truth when it contradicts there lies. No surprise there.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • Blind CS

      Learn how to spell!!

      February 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • jason

      The Scientific Method itself is a logical fallacy – Affirming the consequent or denying the antecedent. The Bible presents itself as a worldview – worldviews are made of presuppositions – things that you assume to be true but never internally critique it. To the evolutionist who believes in naturalism – ie nature and matter are all that exist, or a form of materialism – matter and energy are all that exist. I say – where do laws of logic come from? are they matter? can they exist in that worldview? How do you know you evolved correctly? How would you know the standard to what that is based on

      Actually the Bible is the only standard that can make sense of Laws of Logic, absolute morality, uniformity in nature, reliability of senses and that our memories are reliable. All 5 things are needed for knowledge to be possible, without it, knowledge would be impossible

      Many people don't believe the Bible, and know things, but that is because as the Bible says "you have the knowledge of God written on your hearts" and you were created in God's image so you can use your logical fallacies all the time. Learn up, start thinking for yourself ~~ peace and Grace

      February 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Wow, for a logical fallacy the scientific method sure has led to an amazing amount of stuff. Who knew the airplane I flew on today was based on a fallacy? Not only it's engineering, but it's engine, it's navigation and communication instruments, the very rubber of it's tires ... I would have been nervous if I had known.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • WASP

      @jason: ok so it is more logical to believe a guy can walk on water, than seeing if he is standing on a sandbar? it's more logical that a dead guy got up and floated away? i don't see logic in the bible just mythology of older cultures being rewritten to suit the needs of the story teller. is it logical to have 20,000 sects of "god" belief based off of one book? how is that even possible from one book? do this for me jason, read about norse mythology about ragnorerok. the gods die, and only one man and one woman are left on a perfect world..........que bible one man and one woman were created by god. it just picks up where norse religion left off. it was logical for the bible to be set up in such a way to encourage norse people to buy into christian religion seeing their story wouldn't just stop at one man one woman but be continued.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Nonimus

      @jason,
      "How do you know you evolved correctly?"
      There is no "correct" evolution. Evolution happens and the result is what evolved, neither correct nor incorrect, neither good nor bad.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  13. jack

    Can you just imagine that millions of Americans sit in the pews and listen to sermons from men who believe that the earth is about 6000 years old? The level of their ignorance is astounding. People should take that collection of myths and fables and made up bloody history that they call the bible and shread them. This is the 21st century. Free yourselves from the myths and dogmas of the past.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • jason

      actually evolution is a myth created so that man could try to free himself from God. Knowledge isn't possible in the worldview of Evolution, it's self refuting.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Blind CS

      well said.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • AGuest9

      They don't know how, jack. In a way, that is what makes the US look very much like the Middle East in that regard.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • WASP

      @jason......again: ok is it a myth that wooley mammoths have been found frozen in ice? or how about the thousands of neanderthal bodies found? i think a book that was written by men, judged by men then voted on what was to be in that book by men to be a bigger myth. in modern times we have had some of the best authurs. the authur of harry potter made a very convincing book series.....so much so that a christian group protested it as the works of the devil and yelling it was teaching children pagan beliefs. the common themes in books are as follows : man verses man, man verses nature, man verses himself. each of these are covered in the bible as well. so the bible is an elected lie that the timid choose not to question out of fear of burning in the firey pits of hell for all eternity. science is logic, not myth.

      February 8, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Primewonk

      ll Jason, if evolution is a myth, I certainly hope you and your family don't use antibiotics. I hope you and your family don't get flu shots or any other vaccines. I hope you don't eat any modern food stuffs.

      February 8, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  14. Reason Rally March 2012

    The Rally will be a good time & place for the the non-theists of America to put forth a “Declaration of Independence” from all religion.

    http://reasonrally.org

    February 7, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  15. The Dawkin's Delusion

    As human beings, we have the general cognitive capability to answer the question about whether or not God exists. The problem is that science is based on the natural realm, and by its own construction and design, yields the conclusion that a supernatural being does not exist. Therefore, it is not possible to prove the existence of God through science, and especially not biology since it is already heavily dependent on processes that can be easily explained.

    February 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm |

    • "Therefore, it is not possible to prove the existence of God through science, and especially not biology since it is already heavily dependent on processes that can be easily explained." Why would anyone have ever thought so?

      February 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      A supernatural being cannot be addressed by science as long as it's never claimed that the being affects the physical world. As soon as physical phenomena are proposed, the question falls squarely within the realm of science. "There is a god that exists beyond the physical world" cannot be tested. "There is a god that parts oceans and brings long-dead people back to life" can indeed be tested.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • The Dawkin's Delusion

      Your premise is incorrect. A general proof or disproof of God does not depend on intervention of the supernatural into the natural realm. My point was that the necessity (and regularity) of this type of intervention is required within the realm of science.

      February 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Jo

      I think the parting of the red sea does happen on a regular basis. So much for God affecting the physical world.

      February 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Blind CS

      Supernatural power over the natural realm is clearly demonstrated in the Bible.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • The Dawkin's Delusion

      In the New Testament, the Disciples of Christ observed him walking on water. Even though they didn't know about science, they understood that this type of event does not occur in the natural realm. To them, this act and their own cognitive abilities provided proof of supernatural control over the natural realm. During the life of Christ, even his worst enemies did not doubt his supernatural power, but, unfortunately, questioned the authenticity of the source. In modern times, it is amazing that people still question the existence of supernatural power while limiting themselves to science and not recognizing their own logical and cognitive abilities. Think outside of the box.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Bizarre

      The Dawkin's Delusion,

      The Romans (or other enemies) of Jesus' time (if he existed) did not question the purported 'miracles' performed by Jesus because those miracles were not even 'reported' until at least 70 A.D. when the evangelists claimed that they had occurred way back when.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • The Dawkin's Delusion

      By enemies, I was not referring to the Romans, but the Jewish religious authorities.
      Also, there are numerous examples of pre 70 AD writings on Christ.
      The writings of the Apostle Paul are just one example.
      It is long overdue to consider that many of the original texts were written by the disciples
      and possibly Jesus himself.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Paul's writings do not mention anything about Jesus' life, nor his alleged parables, nor any of the alleged miracles.

      Jesus ("God"?) wrote things and allowed them to be lost? Even the disciples allowing something like that to be lost is outrageous, given what they believed.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • The Dawkin's Delusion

      Are you kidding me?! You must be kidding. The Apostle Paul is a perfect example of God's supernatural intervention into the natural realm. Paul wrote about Jesus including his life, teaching and miracles. In fact, Paul witnessed a Jesus miracle himself. As you may know, Paul was hired by the Jewish authorities to root out the remnants of Judaic Christianity after Jesus was crucified. On the road to Damascus, he was literally blinded by an appearance of Christ. Jesus asked him why he was being persecuted. Paul was literally converted from pharisee Judaism to Judaic Christianity after this event. It must have been a real event that had a profound effect on him because he was a Christian head hunter.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Paul is evidence of the divinity of Jesus in the same way that Joseph Smith is evidence that god is a mormon. When you start believing whatever people write down without independent corresponding evidence, you can believe anything.

      I have some ocean front property in Wyoming. Interested?

      February 8, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Are you kidding me!?! Beowulf is a perfect example of attacks on mead halls by giant cave-monsters with monster babies! They wrote all about Beowulf's life, his defeat of Grendel, his Kingdom of Geats, and his death from being injured by a dragon. The writer witnessed Grendel himself! It must have been a real event to have that profound affect on them, because they were terrified of monsters.

      The poem of Beowulf is proof that the poem of Beowulf is true.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  16. The Dawkin's Delusion

    Those who are quick to squeal "ad hominem" and "begging the questions" are often guilty of several other logical fallacies, including one of the worst of all: the fallacious belief that introducing an impressive-sounding Latin term somehow gives one the decisive edge in an argument.
    -Wiki source

    February 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  17. Oregon Alley Cat

    Most pastors dont believe in evolution... but do believe that there is a god who has a son who is actually himself. That this god sent his son... I mean himself... to the earth to sacrifice himself to himself to atone for thousands of years of moral transgressions which began when a man made of dirt and a woman made from the dirt man's rib spent a bit too much time hanging out with a talking snake in a magical garden when the earth was new, less than ten thousand years ago.

    Seems credible... >.<

    February 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  18. False Dichotomy

    Um, hate to break it to you there, Mike, but there are many many more than 8 planets, and lots of them have moons, and our sun is one of an unimaginable number of stars – it's just the closest one. I think we give these symbolic weight because they're the ones we're most aware of from our humble perch on this one small planet. To believe that ours is the most important planet, the most important moon, and the most important star in the universe because they are close to us is perhaps as arrogant as one could be. But then again, I'm talking to somebody who claims the most powerful force in the universe consults with him personally.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • Mike

      You are correct...the most powerful force in the universe does indeed consult with me personally on occasion, and he would be overjoyed to be able to consult with you. That's what this world is all about and that's why Christ died. He says "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..." He cannot consult with you, if you are unwilling to open the door and invite him into your life. The Bible says that the angels themselves rejoice over just one person that turns to Christ. He has things that he wants to reveal to each individual...and you're missing out. It is not easy to hear from him, but it's well worth it. I would have made things easy...but it's not my world.

      February 4, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • Beware

      Mike,

      Huge numbers of people throughout history who thought that they were conversing with this 'consultant' have done horribly bad things as a result of these 'conversations'. They were absolutely convinced that they were especially divinely guided to kill their babies, or prosti.tutes, or devil-possessed witches, or to marry 30 wives and ra.pe children, and on and on...

      Be careful, Mike, be very, very careful where your mind takes you.

      February 4, 2012 at 4:04 am |
    • Mike

      @ Beware...Thank you for your concern, and you are quite right...many horrible things have been done, for centuries, based upon what people thought they heard or actually did hear. The Inquisition age probably had more than it's share of people who thought they were hearing the voice of God. A rather amusing incident occurred years ago when two women, who were determined not to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs, heard a voice telling them to take off their clothes, smear their bodies with mustard and go running down the street...which they did. The not so amusing incidents involve people who have killed their children because they heard voices telling them to do so.One might ask "why do these people do what they think the voices are telling them to do?". Why don't they just ignore the voices and go on with their lives? Because in many and probably most instances, the voices are real and unbelievably compelling. The Bible says "test the spirit, because not all spirits that speak are from God". God is an extraterrestrial being, but he is not the only ET that speaks. He is however, the only good one, except perhaps for when he occasionally sends out an emissary, otherwise known as angels. I have never heard from an angel. But I have been unfortunate enough to have heard from other ET's...I have seen them, heard them, and been attacked by them...and their power is beyond human comprehension. The good news is that they cannot do this to everyone...at least not yet...for they need an avenue into a person's life and at this point they either prefer that most people remain unaware of them, or they simply have not been able to access as many "avenues" as they would like. But that is changing. One last thing...if you ever hear a voice in your head, it isn't from God...he never speaks in one's head.

      February 4, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • f

      I have never understood why the most powerful force in the universe would be so hard to hear if it wants with all its might to speak to me.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • WASP

      @ mike: that condition is known as schizophrenia: definition:: a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as delusions), perception (as hallucinations), and behavior —called also dementia praecox

      if you are seeing, interacting with and being attacked by things only you can see. any professional would say seek help.

      February 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • burnz

      Mike, do you have schizophrenia?

      February 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  19. Mike

    @ Wasp...Explaining God and this world to a child without using the Bible is extremely easy. All one needs to know is the symbolism with which this world was created...and the child will instantly understand why there is only 1 sun and 1 moon but many stars. Or why there were 9 major planets and now only 8. If you had known this symbolism which cannot be found in the Bible and which only God himself can reveal, then you would have known years in advance as I did that pluto was not what people thought it was. You would know the exact meaning of clouds and rain, cells and dna, understanding and wisdom and even the process of photosynthesis. All these things, including the reclassification of pluto and the recent extended solar minimum, were created to not only have a specific purpose, but to have a specific meaning...and the meanings of these things are so simple, that even children can easily understand and learn what philosophers since the beginning of time have never understood. But these things MUST be revealed by God...you will never learn them on your own...because he hides them from those that are wise in their own eyes and reveals them to children...and dummies like me. All these things make perfect logical sense, for faith is "...the evidence of things not seen" (HEB 11:1)...and the evidence of things not seen, is logic. Faith is ALWAYS based upon logic, it is never blind...but if you cannot understand his symbolism, how would you ever understand his logic.

    February 4, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Mirosal

      Faith is based upon logic???? Are you sure you're reading your moldy 'holy' book instead of rolling up and smoking its pages?

      February 4, 2012 at 4:59 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Mike,
      "But these things MUST be revealed by God... because he hides them from those that are wise in their own eyes and reveals them to children..."

      I'm confused, if He reveals then to children, then why doesn't everyone know them?

      February 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • WASP

      sorry for being away everyone, i don't work weekends. @mike: ok real quick symbolism and logic shouldn't ever be associated. one is metaphorical the other is based on factual and testible out comes. ok so you can explain god to a child without using a scripture? then please without using scripture prove to me god exists. let's see faith.....definition:a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
      2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
      3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

      ok so faith doesn't require proof, or facts or even logic for that matter. on to the next item. you gave extentsive examples of science adjusting due to new information. but none what so ever that validated your claim that "god" makes things evident to children and hides them from adults, i know the stove is hot, my 2 year old son has learned that consept yet due to the fact i haven't let him into the kitchen. intelligence is the ability to store information, wisdom is the ability to decide what information is required to achieve a certain goal.

      February 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  20. Kevin Williams

    Holy wow. I don't even know where to start with the stupidity...

    February 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

« Previous entry
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.