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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dismembering Evolution 3: Origins

“There are only two possibilities as to how life arose. One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no third possibility. Spontaneous generation, that life arose from non-living matter was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others. That leaves us with the only possible conclusion that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God. I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible; spontaneous generation arising to evolution"

George Wald, 1954. The Origin of Life. Scientific American August: 44-53.


“When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

Sherlock Holmes


One of the nasty sticking points for evolution has been how life has come about from non-life. To date, despite millions of dollars spent on research into the origins of life, no answer has yet been found.

It is an acknowledged fact that in order for evolution to even have a chance to start life must already be around. It is also an acknowledged fact that “the spark of life” remains an utter mystery to the scientific community. It is also somewhat acknowledged, at least among scientists who are being intellectually honest with themselves, that to remove the divine from the process of life, you must make the conscious decision to believe in a theory that has been disproved again and again, a theory that actually has its roots in religion, from a time before science was very well developed, the theory of spontaneous generation.

Yes, there are experiments that have shown the under certain conditions the simplest amino acids can be formed by random chance. However, there has been no evidence found, in the lab or in nature, that these simple amino acids manage to randomly find each other, and then bond to each other in the appropriately complex molecules that consist the most basic blocks of life, ad then after all of this has been done, spontaneously start working in such a way as to be “living”. There are also some serious flaws in the experiments that I know of that have shown that amino acids can form randomly in nature.

I am talking, of course, about the famous Miller-Urey experiment. This experiment, and the repetitions of it have demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that given a strongly reducing environment of hydrogen, methane, ammonia, and water vapor, combined with electricity can randomly produce some simple amino acids. This experiment relies on an oxygen poor environment in order for it to be anything like proof of the possibility of random chance producing just the right random assortment of amino acids to create the protein building blocks of life. While the dominant theory of the Earth’s primitive atmosphere was one that consisted almost entirely of the aforementioned components this experiment could have been considered said proof.

One problem; that was not the Earth’s primitive atmosphere.

Geological studies of sedimentary rock going back before the accepted origin of life demonstrates an atmosphere less like the one used in the Miller-Urey experiment, and more like the one we have today.

Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. Recent geological evidence is showing a popular theory that produced a Nobel Prize winning experiment to be, shall we say, less than accurate? It would seem so.

Let us assume for a moment that the amino acids that were produced in the experiment predate not just life, but also the oxygen rich atmosphere. That would mean that the amino acids would have to be stable enough to remain intact in large enough numbers to find each other, combine, and make life millions of years after they were first formed. For many molecules this is a reasonable model, but not for the amino acids produced in the experiment. The amino acids produced in the Miller-Urey experiment break down very rapidly in an oxidizing environment, which geology has shown existed long before any life we have yet discovered ever appeared on this world.

This is a very brief synopsis of a subject that has filled far more space than I can reasonably take here. Hopefully, I have presented enough to give a clear picture of a simple scientific truth. That truth is that this thing that we have been taught as proof of evolution, as proof of an evolutionary source of life, is simply not true.

Given the importance of this information you might think that school textbooks would be updated with it in order to ensure the most accurate education possible. However, as of 2003 the college textbook I used on my oceanography class was still using the disproved model of the Earth’s primitive atmosphere, and teaching it as fact before going into the Miller-Urey experiment, as well an experiment by Linus Pauling that was along similar lines. I consider this to be a disgusting bit of miseducation. How can a responsible, respected scientist write a textbook that was deceitful about such an important piece of geologic history? There are only two ways. The first, and most common, is ignorance. There is so much to keep up with in any scientific field that it can be difficult, even for insiders, to keep up with it all. The second, and much more disturbing, is willful deception.

Still, all of this is not enough. It is not enough because the whole discussion becomes moot in the absence of matter and energy. The bigger question becomes; where did the matter come form anyway?

The most popular scientific theory is the Big Bang. In my last post I have allowed for the Big Bang to be true. Therefore, let’s assume the Big Bang is true. Let’s assume that all of the matter in the universe was once contained in an infinitely dense quantum anomaly that exploded, spewing forth matter and energy that ultimately formed the universe we know today.

Some call this science. I call it a description of a Creation event.

Why?

Ask yourself this. Where did the quantum anomaly come from in the first place?

The fact is that science has shown all matter and energy, including the quanta that comprise it, cannot be created or destroyed. It must exist in this universe in an eternal state. It will never go away, and no new matter will ever be made. Okay . . . then where did the Big Bang come from?

Here is where I am going to really annoy some people and use what they will call a “God in the gaps” argument. However, since we have already established that the creation of matter violates the laws of nature the only logical answer remains that something more powerful than the universe, something that is eternal, self sustaining, and incredibly powerful must have created said matter in order for the Big bang to have occurred. Going one step further, for the law of entropy to be violated to create the complexity of life out of the simplicity of non-life, there must also be something that does not need to obey entropy. I will avoid talking in depth about the spark of life, not because I think science will ever find the answer, but because it will prove to be too much God for some people to handle.

There are theories about matter being rifted in from other dimensions, and that is how we got the matter for the Big Bang. It does not solve the origins of the matter in the other dimension. There was even a big deal when one physicist suggested that maybe we CAN getter matter from absolute nothingness. This made a splash for a short time before being dismissed as ridiculous.

The simple fact is that for all of this to have started the known laws of nature must be violated.

Even if I were to grant some measure of truth to evolution, the spark of life is a creation event that is outside the realm of possibility in nature. The electrochemical reaction that make even the simplest of cells work cannot start on their own. If they did then we should have observed, at some point, a dead bacterium jump starting itself in the presence of the nutrients it needs to conduct life processes. An experiment where bacteria were starved to death, then bathed in food should have produced at least one bacterium restored to life. It should be easy if it were possible, even a small culture contains millions of bacteria. A few years of attempts should produce at least one bacteria restored to life.

It has never happened because it is not possible. It has never been funded because the scientific knows the experiment is both futile and ludicrous.

Such an experiment will fail in the presence of electricity to jump start the cells too. It is an impossible endeavor.

Anyone care to try it?

51 Comments:

  • Daniel,

    Let’s see if I can offer some alternative explanations for the things you find so confounding.

    Daniel: One of the nasty sticking points for evolution has been how life has come about from non-life.

    I guess it would do no good to remind you again that evolution says nothing about abiogenesis. Am I to take it from this post that you actually concede that evolution occurs or are you going to attack that in later posts? So far, you’ve said nothing to discount the theory of evolution itself.

    The theory of spontaneous generation held that complex organisms such as fleas, bedbugs or mice arose spontaneously. No one believes this and it has nothing to do with chemical abiogenesis.

    Daniel: Geological studies of sedimentary rock going back before the accepted origin of life demonstrates an atmosphere less like the one used in the Miller-Urey experiment, and more like the one we have today.

    Name your source please, Daniel, and it had better not be a book from the popular press like Icons of Evolution. You say “geological studies” and I assume that these are scientific studies so please give a reference.

    Daniel: an oxidizing environment, which geology has shown existed long before any life we have yet discovered ever appeared on this world.

    What geology? Give a reference, please. Notice though that there could be another explanation for your confusion. It’s possible that life existed earlier than we originally thought.

    Daniel: Ask yourself this. Where did the quantum anomaly come from in the first place?

    Perhaps God created it, but then where did God come from, how did he do it and where is he now?

    Daniel: However, since we have already established that the creation of matter violates the laws of nature the only logical answer remains that something more powerful than the universe, something that is eternal, self sustaining, and incredibly powerful must have created said matter in order for the Big bang to have occurred.

    Not necessarily, Daniel. Did the universe exist before the Big Bang? Did the laws of nature exist before the Big Bang, given that there was no universe in which they could operate? The truth is, no one knows what caused the Big Bang, but there is also absolutely zero evidence that a supernatural being was involved. It’s purely wishful thinking on your part.

    Daniel: Going one step further, for the law of entropy to be violated to create the complexity of life out of the simplicity of non-life

    Oh dear, not this old chestnut again. Define the law of entropy and explain to us how it is violated to create complex life. I’m going to keep asking you to explain this until you do so please don’t ignore this request.

    Daniel: The simple fact is that for all of this to have started the known laws of nature must be violated.

    No, it isn’t a fact at all. Again, did the laws of nature exist before the universe existed? Can you provide evidence to support this assertion?

    Daniel: Even if I were to grant some measure of truth to evolution

    How magnanimous of you to grant that hundreds of thousands of professional scientists just may be telling the truth.

    Daniel: A few years of attempts should produce at least one bacteria restored to life.

    When a cell dies, it degrades and decomposes. Bringing a complex organism back to life after death is totally different from chemical abiogenesis.

    By the way, I couldn’t find your opening quotation anywhere on the web and I couldn’t find an Ian Read at Harvard. Could you please tell us the source of that quote.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 5:17 AM  

  • Daniel -
    Now eventually you do plan to have evolution in your evolution discussion, right? Hello? Yes?

    Okay, so if science doesn't have the answer to where the material for the big bang came from, then science can't tell us how life evolved on this planet? Am I getting that right?
    Now, religion comes along and gives us a story about where that material came from, and therefore it overrides science for that reason?

    Here is where I am going to really annoy some people and use what they will call a “God in the gaps” argument.

    Yes, that is exactly what it is, and pointing it out before hand does not negate it. You are standing in the gaps of science, and even creating your own gaps, in order to further your religious view.

    Daniel, just get to the evolution stuff, this is ridiculous and intellectually dishonest.

    Cjb -
    Perhaps God created it, but then where did God come from, how did he do it and where is he now?

    Dontcha know? It's God all the way down!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:40 AM  

  • cjb -
    Quote was from George Wald, not Ian Read. Still digging to see the context of what was meant by this quote mining, when it was said, etc.

    Daniel -
    'F' would be your grade for a mistake like that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:45 AM  

  • Yeah, thought so...

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-4.html

    Enjoy.

    So, which of your fine books used this unresearched quote, Daniel?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:05 AM  

  • Looks like it cut off the end of the link... it ends with .html

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:06 AM  

  • CJB,

    All in order my friend, start at the beginning and move forward.

    "Name your source please, Daniel, and it had better not be a book from the popular press like Icons of Evolution."

    As you wish. Please reference any of all of the following: Rare Gasses and the the Formation of the Earth's Atmosphere pp. 258-266. The Atmoshperes of the Earth and Plants, Revised Edition, from the University of Chicago press. Model For Evolution of The Earth's Atmoshpere, pp. 447-477. Petrologic Studies: A Volume in Honor of A. F. Buddington put out by the Geological Society of America pp 448-449. Chemical Events in the Primitive Earth, published in Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA 55, pp 1365-1372. These were sources of information for the Earth's primitve Atmosphere. You will find plenty od info about the Earth's primitive Atmosphere in these texts. Feel free to ask for more, I have more for you.

    Seriously, what did yo think I was doing for all those months leading up to this? Twiddling my thumbs?

    "What geology?"

    Paleontology. You know, the aspect of geology that studies acient life.

    "It’s possible that life existed earlier than we originally thought."

    Oh, That is certian, by a VERY long time, just not far back enough to have appeared before the oxydizing atmosphere. I intend to explore this subject more in an upcoming post.

    "Perhaps God created it, but then where did God come from, how did he do it and where is he now?"

    You seem to have a poor grasp of the terms "eternal" and "self sustaining" if you need to ask this question.

    "Did the universe exist before the Big Bang?"

    The space for the quantum anomaly to explode in must have been present, that means there was a voulme of are (the universe) prior to the big bang itself. If there was no "space" for the big bang to fill there would have been nowhere for the quantum anomaly to expand into. It's a simple concept, you really couldn't figure it out for yourself? Or did you just want me to say it for you?

    "Oh dear, not this old chestnut again. Define the law of entropy and explain to us how it is violated to create complex life."

    Entopy: The law of nature that states that all organization is naturally moving toward lesser state of organation. Also defined as: the law stating that all organization is moving toward's chaos. And many other ways of rewording a simple statement: Big and comlex become steadily smaller and less complex. The opposite of this is enthalpy, which is what we see by a dead world developing life that grows steadily more complex as the ages pass.

    "No, it isn’t a fact at all. Again, did the laws of nature exist before the universe existed? Can you provide evidence to support this assertion?"

    Plase refernece my previous answer regarding the need for a universe for the Big Bang to occur in, if that is not enough then ask again.

    "When a cell dies, it degrades and decomposes. Bringing a complex organism back to life after death is totally different from chemical abiogenesis."

    Which proves my point about entropy working aginst the formation of life.

    Finally, the quote is old. He may not be at Harvard anymore. I had to a web search to find him again after first encountering the quote several years ago. I had to do the search because all I initially remebered was the quote, and that is was the Profesor Emeritus of Biology at Harvard. I am still not 100% certain that he is the exact professor emritus of BIology at Harvard that rendered this quote, hence the disclaimer "If I Am Not Mistaken" next to his name. I did not write down the website I finally found the information from. I should have, it was a pain in the but to find.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:08 AM  

  • Anonomys,

    Thank you for the very useful link. I shall now correct the error. Knowing about that site would have saved me tons of time trying to find who stated that quote.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:10 AM  

  • http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-4.html

    Darn, I see anonymous pointed out the bogus George Wald quote already. Trying to get the low hanging fruit...

    By Blogger Samurai Sam, at 11:06 AM  

  • Experiments as recently as 2005 have reinvigoriated the Miller-Urey experiments. See here for information and sources. Abiogenesis is much better tested than you're letting on.

    Where did the quantum anomaly come from in the first place?

    I believe it was laid, as an egg, by the beautiful bird god Quetzelcoatl, though I'm willing to accept that your Hebrew volcano god may have kept it warm until it hatched. When you're talking the supernatural, anything goes...

    Seriously, however, I find the ekpyrotic model of the universe very compelling, especially in light of research showing gravity's mathematical symmetry with an 11-dimension universe.

    By Blogger Samurai Sam, at 11:32 AM  

  • The fact is that science has shown all matter and energy, including the quanta that comprise it, cannot be created or destroyed.

    Not true. Quantum mechanics has shown that particles (or strings) can annihilate and thus violate conservation for very brief instances (billionths of a second).

    By Blogger Samurai Sam, at 11:39 AM  

  • You're using the layman's definition of "entropy" when you should be using thermodynamic entropy S. Your assertion that an increase in entropy prevents the development of more complex organic compounds is only valid under the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics if the Earth's biosphere is a closed system. Which it certainly is not. It has an unending source of energy blazing away about 6 million miles distant. The 2nd Law does not fit the biosphere and, thus, an argument against life based on an increase of entropy doesn't hold water.

    Again, an interesting debate, abiogenesis, but it has nothing to do with evolution. Maintaining that evolution is wrong because abiogenesis has yet to be proven is like saying general relativity is wrong because gravity hasn't yet been proven. At what point will "Dismembering Evolution" begin talking about evolution?

    By Blogger Samurai Sam, at 12:02 PM  

  • Sam,

    Abiogenesis has a great deal to do with Evolution because without it, or an act of a Creatr God, evolution is not possible.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 7:17 PM  

  • Personally i am still searching for more empirical evidence on this matter, and i do believe that the chances of the empirical evidence which is needed to completely prove the origin if life won't be found in my lifetime.

    But the one moving question which arises in my mind is, If God is the creator of the universe, how created him, and for that matter who created his creator...The mere implication of your usage of God in science cannot be further investigated with our current knowledge. Though, we could all obtain faith by the means of negating the scientific method and ruling in supernatural phenomena.

    By Blogger Connery Johnson, at 9:28 PM  

  • Conkir_John,

    First, welcome to the debate!

    One of the most basic concepts of God that He is an eternal, self sustaining being without need of a creator himself. In order for anything to need an origin it must exist within the construct of time. God created time.

    The universe however, had a definite begining in time, and it shall have a definite in time.

    Sam,

    "Not true. Quantum mechanics has shown that particles (or strings) can annihilate and thus violate conservation for very brief instances (billionths of a second)."

    assuming we have the ability to accurately measure such a tiny amount of time I must ask you the following question: Are you certain this mater is indeed destroyed at all?

    Our ability to measure is limited. It is concievable that rather anything simply vanishing for a few billionths of a second at a time that it simply breaks apart into matter so tiny we can no longer detect it. Considering the constant state of flux matter experiences at the subatomic level I am incined to say that this is a reasonable, though currently untestable hypothesis.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 12:48 AM  

  • That’s great, Daniel. You’ve changed your initial quotation from one total fabrication to another total fabrication. Did you read the TalkOrigins article? George Wald didn’t actually say this.

    Daniel: The space for the quantum anomaly to explode in must have been present, that means there was a voulme of are (the universe) prior to the big bang itself.

    No, this is a misconception. There was no space and no time before the Big Bang. The Big Bang was an expansion of spacetime itself. The universe didn’t expand into anything. Even today, the universe is expanding, but it isn’t expanding into anything. The universe has no edge and there is nothing outside it.

    Daniel: Entopy: The law of nature that states that all organization is naturally moving toward lesser state of organation. Also defined as: the law stating that all organization is moving toward's chaos. And many other ways of rewording a simple statement: Big and comlex become steadily smaller and less complex.

    And all of them are wrong. The law you are misunderstanding here is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. There is no law of entropy, per se. The Second Law of Thermodynamics deals with energy, not information or complexity. It says simply that when energy is converted from one form to another, a portion is irrecoverably lost as low-grade heat. Entropy is a measure of the amount of energy unavailable to do useful work. You could say that it is a measure of the uniformity of energy distribution.

    You may have noticed in my explanation of physical laws in your previous post that they only hold under specified conditions. The condition specified for the Second Law of Thermodynamics is that it applies to closed systems. As Sam noted, the Earth is not a closed thermodynamic system. The universe is, but the law doesn’t preclude areas of low entropy and high entropy coexisting within the system, as long as overall entropy does not decrease. In short, the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not prevent the natural origin of life or the operation of evolution. This creationist argument against evolution is due to a general lack of understanding of science.

    Daniel: Abiogenesis has a great deal to do with Evolution because without it, or an act of a Creatr God, evolution is not possible.

    Abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution. It doesn’t matter to evolution how life began; once it was there, evolution took over.

    Daniel: One of the most basic concepts of God that He is an eternal, self sustaining being without need of a creator himself. In order for anything to need an origin it must exist within the construct of time. God created time.

    How do you know God is eternal and self-sustaining? Why didn’t he need to be created? How did God create life, the universe and everything? Show us evidence to support these preposterous assertions.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 1:41 AM  

  • Daniel, now you have popped on to something that I can agree with a bit. I think the existence of the miracle of life - an unreplicable experiment - is amazing proof of a creator.

    But it is philosophical proof, not a scientific one, it seems to me. I find plenty of logical and intuitive reasons for believing in God. I just don't think that makes it science - as many have said here already in better terms than I can.

    Science isn't my bag, y'all are dizzying me with your big words and theories, so I apologize if I don't get in to the specifics of this debate. My only point is that my belief in God is not a scientific one - I don't think it can be and why would I even try?

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 5:42 AM  

  • CJB,

    "The universe has no edge and there is nothing outside it."

    No so. Last I knew, the accepted theory of the Universe was that it's bounlessness is only an illusion duo to the immense size of it. Put simply, it is shaped like a globe with various gravity wells pockmarking it like craters in spacetime. Wht this does not solve is how the universe is expanding into a "null" or lack of space. This is a matter of continued study among physicists and astronomers.

    The "space" I was referring to for the Big Bang o occur in is the "null", or void. It contains an infinite potential volume, and is wothin this greater area that our universe resides and is expanding into. This is the space must had to exist prior to the Big Bang.

    On the other hand, you are half correct about time not existing prior to the Big Bang. More accurately, you should have stated that time did not exist prior to the quantum anomaly that exploded in the Big Bang. Remember, that this anomaly contained all of the matter and energy in the Universe today, this means that it also contained the time as well. I understand that you are saying that the anomaly existed before time and did not neccessarily need to be created. Given your argument, can I assume you agree that something that exists outside of time need not have an origin? Be aware that if you concede this point you have just conceeded that God needed no creator Himself.

    "In short, the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not prevent the natural origin of life or the operation of evolution."

    In that case you should be able to bring an inert (dead) bacterium to life simply by adding whatever it needs to the system. Please do waste your life trying. You will fail and eventually be laughed out of the scientific community if you are part of it.

    "How do you know God is eternal and self-sustaining? Why didn’t he need to be created? How did God create life, the universe and everything?"

    Reference my query regarding time and creation above. Answer that, then I will go further.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 7:55 AM  

  • I want to address this statement by itself.

    "Abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution. It doesn’t matter to evolution how life began; once it was there, evolution took over."

    Untrue.

    remember that part of the fervor around evolution is the "God versus Nature" debate. Many people point to evolution, and the theories of natural origins of life as proof that God need not exist, some even say that because science supports these theories and not God that God must not exist.

    Given this, the origins of the universe and life have been inextricably dragged into the scientific and theological debate surrounding evolution. The evolutionists say that if the universe did not need God to make it, and if life did not need God to make it, then there is no other mechanism save for evolution to explain the development of life on this world.

    It is this repeated argument that has motivated me to start at the beginning of theuniverse and move forward from there in this series.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:01 AM  

  • Be aware that if you concede this point you have just conceeded that God needed no creator Himself.

    Or that the universe needed no creator for itself. Right? Which removes God from the whole topic. yay! God is dead! God is dead!

    remember that part of the fervor around evolution is the "God versus Nature" debate. Many people point to evolution, and the theories of natural origins of life as proof that God need not exist, some even say that because science supports these theories and not God that God must not exist.

    Given this, the origins of the universe and life have been inextricably dragged into the scientific and theological debate surrounding evolution. The evolutionists say that if the universe did not need God to make it, and if life did not need God to make it, then there is no other mechanism save for evolution to explain the development of life on this world.


    Actually, science comes up with a theory (you know, one of those random guesses with no facts), it happens to conflict with your religion, and your religion attacks it. (See also: Galileo)
    Now, when you come at someone with a weapon, waving it around like a madman, what do you think will happen? Your opponent attempts to disarm you.
    Now, you attack scientific theories with religious stories, and those being attacked are attempting to disarm you. YOU brought on the religious attacks because YOU were afraid of what it would mean for your religion.

    If you want to use religion as a point of argument, then prepare to defend it. Leave it out and it is less likely to be attacked. However, some people might still attack it simply because they can. No one can account for those people who bring up religion in the middle of a scientific debate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:01 AM  


  • If I grant some measure of truth to the god of Christianity, then if I take a piece of chalk and drop it onto the floor then he could keep it from breaking when it hit the ground.

    It has never happened because it is not possible. It has never been tested because the Christians know the experiment is both futile and ludicrous.

    Such an experiment will fail in the presence of priests to pray the chalk not to break too. It is an impossible endeavor.

    Anyone care to try it?

    By which I mean to say, Straw man fallacy

    By Anonymous Todd Sayre, at 11:17 AM  

  • Todd,

    I am familiar with your story. It is the last lesson a certain philosophy professor used to give his classes. Nobody ever took him on the challenge, except for one person. He still dropped the chalk every time, and it broke every time.

    This student, a Christian, was distressed by the way that teacher spent the entire class attacking religion. In the weks leading up to the final lesson, knowing what the professor would do from reputation, he prayed alone every night for God to give him the strength to stand up for his faith on that fateful day. He did, and when the professor dropped the chalk, after calling this student a fool, an amazing thing happened.

    The chalk struck his wristcuff, deflecting it from the florr an causing it to stike his leg, where it tumbled down, almost getting caught by his pant cuff, and hitting the floor gently wiothout breaking.

    Someone did try it. God answered.

    I guess this means you believe in God now, eh?

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 6:47 PM  

  • Anonomys,

    "Or that the universe needed no creator for itself. Right? Which removes God from the whole topic. yay! God is dead! God is dead!"

    Thank you proving my point of the supposed science behind evolution being used to assault religion. I have been telling people that there is an ideology, a religion even, of evolution, and they have been denying it. Thank you for being the proof they have been asking for me to produce that backs up my assertion.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 6:49 PM  

  • Daniel -

    Thank you proving my point of the supposed science behind evolution being used to assault religion. I have been telling people that there is an ideology, a religion even, of evolution, and they have been denying it. Thank you for being the proof they have been asking for me to produce that backs up my assertion.

    That makes no sense. Thanks for being the proof that you have no ability to reason.
    It is interesting though that you only want to call the science of evolution a religion so that you can crusade against it. Us vs. Them. How simple, and what better way to rally the troops? Onward Christian soldiers...

    You put your religion up against science and expect no one to swing back at it. Well, you're wrong. You put it in the arena against a scientific theory and it becomes fair game. This is how it would work if a theory was presented by a group that space aliens were behind it all. Scientists would ask for evidence, and this group would state, "Look at how complex it is! It had to be an advanced civilization from outer space!"
    But it could be, so let's give it equal time in classrooms. You know, fairness. Cause that's how science works.

    One day Evolution will be accepted so completely that even Christians will nod and agree readily. It will be one of those geocentric vs. heliocentric stories that people have a hard time putting their minds around. "You mean to tell me the church actually thought that mattered?"

    Trust me, stop swinging your religion around like a bludgeoning weapon and move on. Christianity will survive Evolution, just as it survived the shift from geocentric to heliocentric. There are people who need your religion as a way to get past the idea that it all ends some day. That nothing is in our hands and sometimes bad things just happen. They really need that illusion of control. I imagine Christianity has several hundred years of life left in it. So, cheer up!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:37 PM  

  • Oh, and Daniel. If I alone am ever the proof that you needed to support a theory against an entire group... Think again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:39 PM  

  • Dan T: But it is philosophical proof, not a scientific one, it seems to me. I find plenty of logical and intuitive reasons for believing in God.

    I admire your candour, Dan T, and your willingness to admit that your beliefs are probably based more on feelings than sound evidence. I think many religious people have little knowledge of science and it shows in their misunderstanding of the scientific method and the need for critical thinking and evidence. Perhaps if they understood science a little better, they wouldn’t be so quick to believe in the supernatural.

    Daniel: The "space" I was referring to for the Big Bang o occur in is the "null", or void. It contains an infinite potential volume, and is wothin this greater area that our universe resides and is expanding into.

    If it’s null, that means there is nothing there. Read this article explaining cosmological concepts. In particular, note the three common misconceptions about halfway down the page. The second one states:

    By definition, the universe encompasses all of space and time as we know it, so it is beyond the realm of the Big Bang model to postulate what the universe is expanding into. In either the open or closed universe, the only "edge" to space-time occurs at the Big Bang (and perhaps its counterpart the Big Crunch), so it is not logically necessary (or sensible) to consider this question.

    You could also read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time for more information.

    Daniel: Given your argument, can I assume you agree that something that exists outside of time need not have an origin? Be aware that if you concede this point you have just conceeded that God needed no creator Himself.

    As you can see from the article, we do not know of anything existing outside time and space and hence we do not know of the existence of any supernatural beings. Sorry, perhaps I should qualify that by saying that science does not know of the existence of supernatural beings. It appears, though, that you are privy to some special knowledge of their existence and I would like to know what that is and what evidence you have to support your assertions.

    Daniel: Reference my query regarding time and creation above. Answer that, then I will go further.

    By all means, please do.

    Daniel: In that case you should be able to bring an inert (dead) bacterium to life simply by adding whatever it needs to the system.

    No, of course you can’t, anymore than you could reconstruct a match after it has burnt. Some processes are irreversible. This is a silly argument, Daniel, and it has nothing to do with abiogenesis.

    Daniel: Given this, the origins of the universe and life have been inextricably dragged into the scientific and theological debate surrounding evolution. The evolutionists say that if the universe did not need God to make it, and if life did not need God to make it, then there is no other mechanism save for evolution to explain the development of life on this world.

    Abiogenesis has been dragged into the debate by those who feel their irrational beliefs are threatened, not by scientists. The theory of evolution stands on its own. It doesn’t depend on and makes no statement about any particular explanation of the beginning of life. All evolution deals with is how life evolved after it began.

    Science doesn’t care about fairy tales. It only cares about the natural world and theories supported by sound evidence. Science can happily ignore religion because religion is useless when it comes to telling us about the natural world. Religion offers no explanations, makes no testable predictions and is not supported by evidence. Religion is worthless except as an emotional crutch for those who cannot deal with reality. The problem is, religion cannot ignore science because, as you say, science shows that belief in the supernatural is unnecessary and often wrong.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 12:50 AM  

  • I think you might have missed my point about your strawman. But that's okay, let's just get back to the discussion.

    Biology employs the theory of evolution because of it's usefulness. As an explanatory framework it provides good explanations for a number of natural phenomena like biostratigraphy, biogeography, homologies, vestiges, atavisms, ring species, Haldane's Rule and the presence of various endogenous retroviral insertions. Really, if you want to supplant the theory of evolution, all you have to do is provide a better expanation for what the theory of evolution explains and hopefully explain a few more things along the way.

    By Anonymous Todd Sayre, at 4:57 AM  

  • My 2 cents:

    This debate is pointless. Science will never prove there is a God, whether God exists or not, because the very nature of science is to explain things without using supernatural explanations. Neither will science be able to disprove there is a God. The very nature of God is that he is all powerful and beyond human comprehension.

    The fact is that God and science don't mix. They're apples and oranges. It is a mistake to explain science with God and God with science. By the same token, God doesn't mean that science is wrong, and science doesn't mean that God is wrong.

    Science doesn't hold all the answers. Neither does religion. The problem arises when people act like they do.

    Science has become a religion to a lot of people. It's not science's or scientist's fault. It's the people that pimp science to further whatever cause they are advocating. The same thing happens with all religions. People manipulate them to provide the answers that are most profitable to them.

    People, in general, are sheep. You throw the words, "Scientific studies show..." and they just accept whatever crap is handed to them after those words as gospel.

    I am skeptical of everything. Both supernatural things, and things that "scientific studies" show. One of my personal rules is to never mix science and religion.

    By Blogger fmragtops, at 5:49 AM  

  • "You put your religion up against science and expect no one to swing back at it."

    WRONG! I totally expect people to swing back. On top of that, I am convinced that much of the support for evolution is fallacies, errors, and pseudoscience. I am not pitting my religion up against honest science at all, and, quite frankly, fail to see any neccessary conflict between my religion and science. The only places whre my religion and science diverge at all, in any prt that overlaps, is in the origins of the universe and the origins and development of life itself. I can think of no other reasonabl conflict, and it is my opinion that the conflict has gone from being fostered by my religion to being fostered by the darwinists who are simply offended by religion and seek to seperate themselves as far from it as possible, hence the insanity surronding the conflict over intelligent design. The Darwinists just can't stomach the idea that maybe their ideology shrouded in pretend science could possibly match up with religion.

    CJB,

    "No, of course you can’t, anymore than you could reconstruct a match after it has burnt. Some processes are irreversible. This is a silly argument, Daniel, and it has nothing to do with abiogenesis."

    Incorrect. Decomposition is the reverse of cellular construction. An fully formed and vital cell dies (becomes inert) and degrades from fully formed to steadily less formed until it is reduced to its most basic components. Abiogenesis states that the most basic components found each other, combined, formed a complex syatem, and then sparked to life all on their own. Howevenr, I will grant that reversing decomposition is impossible, proving that you have no choice but to agree that abiogenesis is impossible.

    "The theory of evolution stands on its own."

    No, it doesn't stand at all, much less on its own. And it was evolutionists who first paraded abiogenis around as proof of the possibility of evolution, not religious folks, unless you want to cenceed that Darwinists are more of a cult than a scientifically based group.

    Todd,

    "Really, if you want to supplant the theory of evolution, all you have to do is provide a better expanation for what the theory of evolution explains and hopefully explain a few more things along the way."

    Thank you. I have said the same thing repeatedly, as a challenge to people to find a more scientifically feasable answer than evolution. Every evolutionist around responds by saying there is no better explanation to be found. Intelligent Design presents many important, compellig, and scientifically sound arguments in it's favor, and the Darwinists sue. Creation is reliously based, so the Darwinists seek to suppress it. No other realm of science is used to assault opposing views so regularly. People challenge everything in science with new theories and experiments, but for some reason Evolution is so sacred that challenging it can get you thrown out of the entire American scientific community. The natural question in response to this is "what are you so afraid of people?"

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:05 AM  

  • CJB,

    You: "How do you know God is eternal and self-sustaining? Why didn’t he need to be created? How did God create life, the universe and everything?"

    Me: Reference my query regarding time and creation above. Answer that, then I will go further.

    You: By all means, please do."

    Very well. I shall rearrange you question into the logical order.

    "How did God create life, the universe and everything?"

    According to the Bible He simply willed into existence. Specificall, it says He spoke it into existence.

    "Why didn’t he need to be created?"

    The short and unsatisfying answer is that He is the origin of all things. The moreappropriate answer is that He is the only true "being" in existence, being the only the thing that is fully self sustaining. This means that He exists outside of every construct, such as time and space, because He is the one who sustains its very existence. Existing outside of time eradicates the need for an origin by virtue f the fact that timelessness does not allow for beginnings or ends. The Universe has a detrmined beginning, and a predicted end, all contaned within a construct we call time. This is a stark contrast between this construct that we are capable of understanding, and the eternal nature of God.

    "How do you know God is eternal and self-sustaining?"

    Ths may sound like circular logic to you, but He is provably self-sustaining by His eternal nature. To be eternal you must not only be devoid of a beginning and an an end, you must also be totally independent of all conditions for personal existence. The second condition is also reliant on the first. To have a begining means you have something above you, something more powerful that you would exist without, that you exist because of.

    This is all very philosophical and definition based, but it must be due to the inability of science to measure what is beyond the physical realm.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:21 AM  

  • CJB,

    I shall adress you link tonight. I am out of time for the morning.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:25 AM  

  • Daniel -

    Bravo! In the same paragraph you admit that you expect people to 'swing back' at religion for putting itself out there as a scientific theory, but then you go on to name call those who do:
    "...darwinists who are simply offended by religion..."

    Demonize much? They're all dirty atheists! Get'em!

    First of all, stop calling supporters of Evolution Darwinists. It's just lame.
    Second, what about those who support Evolution and are religious at the same time? Yeah, they exist. Maybe they're not True Christians[tm].
    Or maybe they won't accept mythology in the place of where the evidence leads them.

    Stop putting your religion out as a scientific theory and most people will leave it alone. But you can't because you believe it has more evidence. Evidence which has no support. Oh well, and so the bashing continues. Why do you hate God so much as to put his religion through such horrible things?

    Every evolutionist around responds by saying there is no better explanation to be found.
    Hmm. Do they? Or do they say that the current evidence supports evolution and when new evidence is found that theory might be modified or changed? Cause that sounds more like it to me. After all, the theory has changed in the time that it was first proposed. Significantly. You know, that's how it works. Lucky for you though, you have a theory (you know, just a guess based on whatever stray thought you had in your head that day) that will never change, no matter what new evidence you have to ignore. Oh well. This really is pointless. You won't get to Evolution, you just set up your straw men and then knock them down. The next step in this series cover the 'fact' that there isn't enough dust on the moon to account for billions of years? Or maybe how to unclog a sink? Heck, who knows where your rants will take you, obviously no where near intellectual honesty.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:14 AM  

  • CJB said:
    "I admire your candour, Dan T, and your willingness to admit that your beliefs are probably based more on feelings than sound evidence."

    This may be straying afield from the point at hand and, if so, I apologize, Daniel. I just thought I'd offer a clarification to cjb.

    I don't believe I'd characterize it as you have. My beliefs are based very little upon my "feelings." I feel all manner of things. But I try to act based on rationality.

    My belief is based upon what makes sense to me logically (I reckon I shouldn't have used the term, "intuitively"). I don't (try to) love my neighbors because it's sweet or makes me feel good. I don't even do it because the bible says so.

    I love my neighbor because nothing else makes sense logically. If we live in a hate-filled world, it would be a horrible place to live and so, logically, I try to love my neighbors.

    Just because I don't believe I can scientifically or empirically prove that I ought to love my neighbors, I think I can make a fine logical case for doing so.

    For what it's worth...

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 1:05 PM  

  • Anonomys,

    "Second, what about those who support Evolution and are religious at the same time?"

    Many of these people are the ones advocating Intelligent Design, which the Darwinmists demonize.

    "Hmm. Do they?"

    In my experience, yes. Almost without fail.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:24 PM  

  • CJB,

    Regarding the link in your last post . . . I had truly hoped to encounter some new information. I understand that the part you were focused was the portion where it stated that anything beyond the boundaries of our universe is immesurable, incomprehensiblee, and irrelevant. The problem is that it also ackowledges that this whatever that I have been calling the "null" is exactly what the universe is expanding into, while at the same saying that the universe is, and always has been the same size. On the one hand your "proof" in opposition is actually in agreement with what I have already said, and on the other it appears to contradict itself.

    So, if we take the article literally ,it is saying that the universe is expanding into an unknown that it really isn't expanding into because the big bang threw all of the matter and energy in the universe out, but didn't really because everything appeared in its relative position at exactly the same time.

    The article you are pointing to has mashed several theories together into one.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:34 PM  

  • Daniel: An fully formed and vital cell dies (becomes inert) and degrades from fully formed to steadily less formed until it is reduced to its most basic components. Abiogenesis states that the most basic components found each other, combined, formed a complex syatem, and then sparked to life all on their own.

    Correct and correct, but your conclusion that abiogenesis is impossible doesn’t follow from these premises because you have left out several factors. Yes, cells decompose eventually into carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and a few other molecules and, yes, abiogenesis used these same molecules as the building blocks of life, but these two events are taking place under completely different conditions.

    On the one hand, you have cells decomposing into compounds that are immediately taken up by surrounding organisms because life already exists.

    On the other hand, you had the basic building blocks of life jostling and bumping into each other while energy was being applied for 100 million years without interference or competition. At some point, self-replicating molecules were formed and after about twenty more steps, a single celled organism came into being. How this actually happened is still open to question and, of course, this is where you will jump in with God, until it is explained by science and then you’ll have to clutch at some other straw.

    I anticipate that subsequent posts of yours will try to prove that the odds of abiogenesis happening are astronomical and I look forward to pointing out your errors when you do so.

    Daniel: No, it [evolution] doesn't stand at all, much less on its own.

    For the sake of argument, let’s say you are right and God created the first spark of life. It doesn’t matter in the least to the theory of evolution if that were the case because it still carries on from there. For the last time, evolution says nothing about the beginning of life, only what happened after that.

    Now let’s move on to your second response where you try to answer my questions about God. Do you remember just a few days ago my saying that I would ridicule you if you tried to use books from the popular press or the Bible as evidence for anything? Well, I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation, after all, you don’t have any other evidence, but I didn’t think you would resort to this last refuge so soon.

    Daniel: According to the Bible…

    Any explanation of the natural world that begins with these words is utterly worthless. It’s like my telling you that I read in a book of fairy tales once that unicorns really exist and expecting you to believe me. No, really they do; it said so right there in that book. Your entire response was nothing more than a series of totally baseless assertions without one scrap of evidence to support it. This I what happens when you try to argue for the existence of God, Daniel; you wind up looking desperate and clueless. There is no evidence for God and there never will be because it is all a fairy tale. When are you going to realise that?

    Dan T,

    You are correct that I read your use of the words ‘philosophical’ and ‘intuitive’ as meaning you were basing your beliefs on feelings. But then you use a non sequitur to rationalise your belief. You say that it is logical to love [respect] your neighbour because that’s how you make a society work. And I agree with you, but the fact that respecting your neighbour is the logical thing to do doesn’t mean that it is logical to believe in supernatural beings without a shred of real world evidence to support such a belief.

    Finally, Daniel, I’m sick of trying to make you see reason. If you want to cling to your God of the gaps, that’s fine, but don’t expect anyone who understands science to believe you. Eventually, science will explain those gaps and then your God will have nowhere to hide. He’ll disappear, as he should have done long ago; forgotten like so many other gods before him.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 11:02 PM  

  • cjb,

    I apologize for failing to adequately explain myself.

    What Daniel had to say about some thing coming from no thing, about life coming from no life, to me is a logical argument for the existence of a Creator. I don't think that qualifies as science, but as a logical philosophy.

    CS Lewis wrote a book called Mere Christianity in which he sets out to logically deduce the existence of a Creator and from there, why Christianity makes sense to him logically.

    It is not empirical science, but rather deductive logic. That was my point. I believe what I believe not because of science, but deductive logic.

    Peace.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 5:23 AM  

  • Dan T: What Daniel had to say about some thing coming from no thing, about life coming from no life, to me is a logical argument for the existence of a Creator.

    Here’s the problem, Dan T. Why does it seem logical to you to assume an answer based on a total lack of evidence?

    We currently have no explanation for these events. I see that and think, “Okay, let’s wait until we have some evidence before we come to a conclusion; I’ll just put it to one side for now.” I don’t fear the unknown. You, Daniel and many others immediately think, “God did it”, despite the fact that there never has been and never will be any evidence that this supernatural being you call God even exists.

    It’s a completely circular argument, Dan T.

    “How did the universe come into being?”
    “God did it.”
    “How do you know there’s a God?”
    “Well, he created the universe, didn’t he, so he must exist.”

    Your belief is based on two logical fallacies: an argument from incredulity and a false dichotomy. There is currently no explanation for the origin of the universe, but for some reason you feel you must have an answer. The only answer you can think of is that God did it (of course, it’s just possible that there is another answer). Okay, that’s the hard questions out of the way; no need to think any further for an explanation. Hey, why not use that answer for every difficult question? Think of the money spent on research that we could save and put into the war effort.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 1:56 PM  

  • "Why does it seem logical to you to assume an answer based on a total lack of evidence?"

    From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.

    -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    As I said, I ain't that smart. I'm just saying that it makes sense to me that a created thing requires a creator. That life springs not from nothing.

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there is another answer. Don't see how we can tell - how science could measure out an answer. And so, it seems logical enough to me.

    In truth though, my Christianity is not even dependent upon the existence of God - or the proof thereof.

    I'm a Jesusian, perhaps you might prefer to say. I believe in Jesus' teachings - that they are logical and eloquent and sensible in my day to day life.

    Have you read CS Lewis' Mere Christianity? I know oftentimes Christian apologists ask others to read their own writers as proof and that it is an annoying habit, but it really seems to me to be quite an efficient argument and I'm not capable of relating it here. It's a small (but dense) book, for what it's worth.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 9:43 PM  

  • Dan T,

    Judging from your past posts here, you seem to be one of the more rational believers I’ve encountered and I am not trying to hammer you. You seem to be saying that you agree with the philosophy of the Bible (well, at least the parts that promote goodwill toward others) without necessarily buying into all the crazy fairy tales.

    I can’t fault you for that as long as you don’t think that because the Bible makes some common sense points about living in harmony then everything else in it is also true. And this still doesn’t excuse your believing something without evidence supporting that belief. A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.

    No, I haven’t read any CS Lewis, but I have read other works by Christian apologetics. I’ve given up reading them because they all appear the same. They all use arguments riddled with logical fallacies like false dichotomies, arguments from ignorance or incredulity, appeals to authority and appeals to fear or other emotions. The other thing they all have in common is they contain no sound evidence to back up their arguments. They’re written for people who already believe and who aren’t smart enough to see through the deception.

    You have to face the facts, Dan. There is no real world evidence to support the belief that God exists; there is only the faulty logic of the apologetics.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 10:56 PM  

  • "There is no real world evidence to support the belief that God exists; there is only the faulty logic of the apologetics."

    I buy there is no scientific way to prove or disprove God. I question your belief that some rational logic can't stand in support of God.

    As to the stories of the Bible, it is irrelevant to me their actual historic accuracies - the truths remain valid.

    I don't need to believe that Jonah was swallowed by an actual whale/great fish to believe that one can't run from responsibility to humanity. I don't need to believe in a six day creation to believe in a creation or, by extension, a creator.

    And, more to the point, I don't need to believe in a virgin birth to believe in the teachings of Jesus. They stand as self-evident to me and are echoed by other great philosophers whom I can't prove existed, either.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 6:21 AM  

  • From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.

    Be careful there. A common canard the ID/Creationism crowd use is that they accept "microevolution" but doubt "macroevolution". They argue that logically mutation and selection can change small aspects of animals but can never change large aspects of animals.

    By Anonymous Todd Sayre, at 2:03 PM  

  • CJB,

    "Yes, cells decompose eventually into carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and a few other molecules and, yes, abiogenesis used these same molecules as the building blocks of life, but these two events are taking place under completely different conditions."

    You know as well as I do that if you place a dead cell in a sterile environment with only air and sunlight to affect it thet it will still decompose. You also know that there is no satisfactory answer provided to date to how abiogenesis could have possible happened, and that many theories have been put forth in this matter that simply violate the rules of nature, hence their lack of widespread acceptance.

    "For the sake of argument, let’s say you are right and God created the first spark of life. It doesn’t matter in the least to the theory of evolution if that were the case because it still carries on from there."

    Let's say for the sake of argument that you are correect. tat would make the Intelligent Design people the ones who actually have it right, and I believe you have been railing against that theory for a long time.

    "Daniel: According to the Bible…

    Any explanation of the natural world that begins with these words is utterly worthless. It’s like my telling you that I read in a book of fairy tales once that unicorns really exist and expecting you to believe me."

    I have used many references, and as an admitted Creationist you really should have expected me to integrate Biblical truth in my arguments. How you could have possibly though otherwise speaks poorly of your own reasoning.

    "Eventually, science will explain those gaps and then your God will have nowhere to hide. He’ll disappear, as he should have done long ago; forgotten like so many other gods before him."

    Ah yes, you finally admit that you use science to justfiy Atheism. This is exactly the thing so many people like you deny repeatedly only to have it come out in an unguarded monent. I was asked what a Darwinist before, and you have just exposed yourself as one. That is: someone who bases his religious beliefs, or the lack thereof, on evolution. James Gould admitted to doing just this himself.

    "Here’s the problem, Dan T. Why does it seem logical to you to assume an answer based on a total lack of evidence?"

    You are 100% wrong. there is ample evidence, you just refuse to acknowledge it. I would go into detail, but this series is about the flaws in evolution, not the proof of God, though the two have, and will continue to have some crossover.

    "I can’t fault you for that as long as you don’t think that because the Bible makes some common sense points about living in harmony then everything else in it is also true."

    I believe you have Christianity mixed up with Bhudism here.

    Todd,

    That is a future post.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:31 AM  

  • Daniel: …many theories have been put forth in this matter that simply violate the rules of nature…

    Oh, you mean like, ‘God did it’.

    Daniel: tat would make the Intelligent Design people the ones who actually have it right

    Not exactly. I did say “for the sake of argument”. I don’t for a second believe that God created the first spark of life because I don’t for a second believe that supernatural beings exist.

    Daniel: you really should have expected me to integrate Biblical truth in my arguments.

    As I said, I did expect you to fall back on the Bible for support. However, I would certainly dispute that anything in the Bible is the truth. Just because you call it the truth doesn’t make it so. You’d have to provide evidence to support that assertion.

    Daniel: you finally admit that you use science to justfiy Atheism

    How am I using science to justify atheism? I’m saying that science will eventually explain most things in the natural world and when those explanations are found, it will be apparent that God had nothing to do with it, just as it has been in the past with things like Genesis, the flood and geocentrism. Science doesn’t have to find these explanations for me to be an atheist. I’m an atheist because there is no sound evidence supporting the existence of supernatural beings.

    Daniel: You are 100% wrong. there is ample evidence, you just refuse to acknowledge it.

    The problem here is that what you call evidence and what I call evidence are two entirely different things. What you call evidence is usually nothing more than anecdotes, testimonials, logical fallacies, feelings and words written in a book of fairy tales. What I call evidence is those things that can be observed, tested, repeatedly confirmed, are logically sound and within the natural world.

    Daniel: I believe you have Christianity mixed up with Bhudism here.

    So are you saying that there is nothing in the Bible about living in peace and harmony with your fellow man? That’s a shame. I had hoped that it would have at least some redeeming features, but if it doesn’t mention these things then it is even more worthless than I thought.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 1:10 AM  

  • CJB,

    "So are you saying that there is nothing in the Bible about living in peace and harmony with your fellow man?"

    There is plenty of that. what there is not is the following statement you made:

    "the Bible makes some common sense points about living in harmony then everything else in it"

    What you described is the Budhist philosophy of universal harmony, where men seek harmony not just with each other, but with the rocks, trees, animals, wind, zillions of spirits, etc. This is not a Biblical teaching in any way. Th eBible teaches love toward our fellow man, love, worship, anr obendience to God, Salvation through sacrifice (animals in the Old Testament, Jesus Himself in the new), fogiveness, and a host of other wonderful things. It also teaches about the eternal damnation of the wicked, which is contrary to Budhist beliefs. You realy should bother to learn about the God you are so derisive of. Statements like what are making here make me think it's noy MY God you refuse to believe in at all, but some wierd amalgamated God of who-knows-what. Yes, I know your response is that you are not refusing to believe in a god, and that you just don;t see science supporting a God, and so-on as you have said repeatedly over the months.

    Which brings me back to the using science as a replacement for God Argument I have benn laying out . . .

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 10:54 PM  

  • Come on, Daniel, you are reading an awful lot into my use of the word ‘harmony’. I could just as easily have used the word ‘peace’, but I wanted to remain in keeping with Dan T’s previous remarks about respecting each other and promoting harmony within society. I see your point that the word is most commonly associated with Buddhism or other new-age philosophies, but it is also just an English word. I didn’t mean anything new age by it.

    Daniel: Yes, I know your response is that you are not refusing to believe in a god

    Well, you could say that I do refuse to believe in a god, but then I refuse to believe in other supernatural beings or anything else that doesn’t have sound evidence to support it. Science isn’t really a replacement for God. Science reveals the workings of the natural world: religion doesn’t. Religion provides emotional support to people who can’t handle reality: science doesn’t.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 1:13 AM  

  • I think the fundamental problem with all of this "debate" over evolution and intelligent design is the thought process that it must be one or the other.

    Intelligent design simply says that there is a pattern or a model that must be followed for life to exist. It DOES NOT answer to a guiding hand or a purposeful intervention or anything of that nature. It seems to me that the idea of a creator makes sense - prove it false (absolutely impossible) - just as evolution - look at monkeys - makes sense.

    Instead of preaching the most ideological end of either debate, why don't we all just take a look at both science AND religion. You guys are constantly arguing on this site that the two are so divergent... I do not see this to be the case at all.

    By Blogger The Disenchanted Moderate, at 1:00 PM  

  • Oh.... I get it now, The Disenchanted Moderate has really opened my eyes to the Truth.

    Religion says that the sun is a chariot driven by Helios and pulled by four horses.

    Science says that the sun is a mass of hydrogen at the center of the solar system that burns with the nuclear fires of fusion.

    Obviously the answer must be somewhere in between. It is really a burning ball of hydrogen pulled by four horses.

    Obviously the way to come up with the most accurate description of natural phenomena is through the combination of scientific and religious knowledge.

    By Anonymous Todd Sayre, at 3:16 PM  

  • Todd,

    Love the way you are using a straw man argumment by comparing modern religions to ancient mythology. Yes, I know you think they are one and the same. And no, they are very different. Try to find any claimin the Bible that the sun orbits the Earth. Good luck.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 12:18 AM  

  • I recognize that some modern religions, such as Pastafarianism and Discordianism, are certainly very different from ancient mythologies. The "beleivers" of these religions are in on the joke.

    By Anonymous Todd Sayre, at 11:20 AM  

  • All of the evolution/creation debate is a fruitless waste of time. At the end, people will beleive what they want to beleive. Blas Pascal put it in terms of probabilities, if you want a simple reason.

    It is simple indeed, you bet your life to your assumption that there is nothing beyond the grave. But some of us won't take that bet. I will bet my life, to the assumption that Jesus is who he claimed to be "the way, the truth and the life", "the water of life". Jesus said: "anyone who thirst, come to me". I was thisty so I came to Him, and he has quenched my thist completely.

    Now, if you are not thisty then He is not for you, and "nothing beyond the grave" is your only hope. And what a hope my friend. If one day, it happens that you get thisty then come to Him, He will quenched your thist, as he has done to many. And all the evolution stuff will be nothing by His side. Jesus is the Creator. Please just out of curiosity read the gospel according to John, it might save your life. The only thing you can loose is your hopelessness, but there is so much to win.

    By Anonymous Axel, at 9:38 AM  

  • Textbooks are ridiculous I'm so tired of freaking expensive books and the fact they keep coming out with new editions that have like a word or picture changed every year. I have been using the site cheapesttextbooks.com which has really got me through my college years; they gave me really good deals on a whole lot of book sites. I only heard of them through money magazine last year as the best site for cheap textbooks, they have saved me a bundle on my overpriced computer books.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:14 PM  

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