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Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Guess Too Far

It's Wednesday, and this week, instead of my usual evolution post I am posting a semi-related article on paleontology. Stuff like this makes me just sorta sigh and shake my head in disbelief at the simple-minded irresponsibility of it all.

As a lover of science, good science, I tend to be a bit perturbed when I encounter stories like this.

A 41 foot carnivorous dinosaur, named Mapusaurus roseae has been discovered. It is thought to be a pack hunter that took down large suarpods. All of this is based off of the discovery a single, 100 million year old 3 ft long shinbone.

Note that all of this information has somehow been gleaned from a single shinbone.

I repeat, all this from one shinbone.

WHAT THE HELL?

When exactly did responsibility and science part company? This kind of irresponsible jumping to conclusions is becoming all too common.

Let’s assume for a moment that this bone is in fact, definitely a shinbone. This seems like a realistic thing to do because we are pretty good at identifying bone types. Where does all the rest of that come from?

How do we know that shinbone is even from a theropod if we have nothing else? Is it not possible that it is from a four legged dinosaur?

If it is from a two legged dinosaur, how do we know it was a carnivore instead of a very large two legged herbivore like the various duckbilled dinosaurs? We have found no teeth or skull structures.

And where the hell does this hunt in pack bit come from? Yes there were large suarpods in the same area, but this does not mean that any carnivores were busy hunting them in packs? Is there even one carnivore alive that hunts full grown elephants in packs? No. Therefore we have evidence in nature that we can observe that says that enormous size like the great suarpods had can be an effective defensive measure that eradicates predation on adults. We have absolutely no evidence of pack behavior in this new dinosaur. We have nothing but one shinbone.

As much as my imagination likes to be able to create images of a possible past, I don’t see anything of sufficient quality here to make any such speculations and call it science. How trained scientists can is a mystery to me.

One thing I do know for certain. If they ever find a similar shinbone, and a nearby skull of appropriate size has the broad, flat teeth of an herbivore there will be some seriously embarrassed storytellers, I mean scientists.

UPDATE:

Once in a great while I manage to go off half cocked. After reviewing more information about the dinosaur in this article I must admit that this was one such time.

Based upon a full review of the evidence I have to make an amendment to my initial assesment. It turns out that the size if the dinosaur was detrmined by the bone in question, but there were other bones at the site that were used to make the other determinations. Most importantly, there were skull and jaw fragments as well at least one tooth recovered from the site that provides more than ample evidence suggesting this dinosaur was indeed a carnivore.

Also, the supposed pack behavior was based upon the the fact that the toes of 7 distinct inviduals were discovered on the exact same site as the very first bone. The scientists who evaluated the evidence took it to mean that Mapusaurus Rosae was a pack hunter that took down prey much larger than itself. They are entitled to their professional opinion, however, it only took a few seconds to concoct other explanations that are equally valid based upon the evidence that was found. They are as follows:

1- There were so many remains in such a small place because ancient terain features were favorable to these animals dying there, such a pitfall or narrow ledge and it indicates nothing about the behavior of this animal.

2- Mapusaurus Rosae was a migratory hunter, and this was the nesting grounds. What was uncovered was a place used by many of this animal over generations due certain favorable conditions at the time. It did not hunt in packs, but chose this are to nest because of the young Saurpods recently hatched. Being a solitary hunter such abundant, and easy to kill prey would be a fantastic food source for a growing family.

3- The dinosaur may have hunted animals smaller than itself in a solitary fasion in the pattern of most large predators. The number of individuals found in this one spot are a concidence resulting from an abundamce of the animal in the are over the span of the species existence.

4- Many males of carnivourous animals will prey upon the young of thier own species in order to eliminate the offspring of the competition. It is possible that the younger individuals are there as a result of such predation at a lair or nest. The larger specimens are potentially the remains of mortally wounded males who were attacked by infuriated mothers, or possibly the remains of mothers who died atthe nest from mortal wounds.

5- In nature, sometimes even solitary aminals have an event that brings many of them together at one time. One fine example is deer in rut. A male will gather a herd of females temporarily for breeding pourposes. this could have been once such harem that was beset by a majar calamity resltin in the deat of most or all of the individuals i the group.

All of these alternatives are equally viable based upon the evidence on hand. The way scientists have jumped to conclusion sabout the behavior of a dinosaur we still know practically nothing about is irresponsible. There is no need to go beyond the fact and start teling stories just because you don;t have enough evidence to prove yourself right or wrong. The scientists who made all of these iresponsible assumptions regarding the behavior of this animal are still irresponsible storytellers, they just made up thier stories with a little more evidence than I initally knew about.

25 Comments:

  • What's the deal with your blogg lately? I mean between dinosaurs and christianity how am I supposed to see where you stand on political views that REALLY matter to the American people. I mean are you a political prospect or are you starting a cult? I've gotten three things from your blogg this past couple months and those being that:
    1. Your a christian
    2. You like Dinosaurs
    3. You don't believe in evolution

    So why don't we move on and stop trying to change peoples views on religion and science.

    And in regards to your latest post I have but one question for you and that is, Are you a scientist? I think not, so stop judging educated professionals on their work in an area that you have neither the schooling nor experience to comment.
    Maybe you should talk about real issues instead of talking about Dinos and fairytales and such.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:12 PM  

  • Erm... Interesting comment from that particular Anonymous preson there! They put it less politely than I would have done but they have a point.

    Dinosaurs = real + God = real = a big contradiction somewhere.Hmmm...

    By Blogger DanProject76, at 3:11 PM  

  • Daniel L:

    You might want to check out this paper that was published on the discovery of the dinosaur in question.

    It seems that numerous bones were found and used in the reconstruction process. As to the creatures habits in hunting, it does seem like it would be like reconstructing a crime scene billions of years old. That said, in matters such as these the scientists tend to avoid definitive language but instead let the audience know that this is only an educated guess. I wouldn't go so hard on them for such conclusions.

    - Matt

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:18 PM  

  • "...stop judging educated professionals on their work in an area that you have neither the schooling nor experience to comment."

    Hear, hear!

    I see this as a common disease of the uneducated, particularly virulent in people like Daniel- men who feel self-indulgent authority while having no more credible experience than military service and a little unpublished internet fantasy writing.

    By Blogger Vile Blasphemer, at 11:56 AM  

  • "stop judging educated professionals on their work in an area that you have neither the schooling nor experience to comment."

    Heh, I DO have the Schooling to comment. Or does education in geology, paleontology, and zoology not count to poeple like you? OOO! Lemme guess, my years of fossil hunting and collecting are meaningless as well.

    These scientists leaping to such conclusions opens them up for embarrassing corrections in the future, such the one that happened when the "tooth" that gave iguanadon it's name was found to actually be a thumb spike. And let's not forget the riidicule that is now heaped on the once fasionable theory of Tyranosaurus Rex being a scavenger rather than an aggressive predator. And who can forget the way scientists once assumed that Apatasaurus (formerly Brontosaurus) could only live in deep lakes and swamps due to its sheer bulk requiring the added bouyancy of water.

    But then, who am I to say such things? I'm just some ignorant blogger . . .

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 2:24 PM  

  • Daniel: A 41 foot carnivorous dinosaur, named Mapusaurus roseae has been discovered. It is thought to be a pack hunter that took down large suarpods. All of this is based off of the discovery a single, 100 million year old 3 ft long shinbone.

    Note that all of this information has somehow been gleaned from a single shinbone.

    I repeat, all this from one shinbone.


    Did you even look at the paper (3 MB PDF) Matt linked to? When I read this post, I Googled for Mapusaurus roseae and the first link in the results is to the Wikipedia article on this dinosaur. The first reference at the bottom of the Wikipedia page is to the paper Matt mentioned that shows that your statement above about the information being gleaned from a single shinbone is completely false.

    What is your problem, Daniel? Can’t you be bothered to do the most basic research before you make some preposterous claim? It took me all of ten seconds and two clicks to find that paper. In fact, most of the news articles I found also mention that there were seven to nine beasts found in a group. At first, I was concerned that it was too easy to refute your claim and I became suspicious that you had some knowledge that the find was a hoax or a fraud, but after quite some searching, I cannot find anything contradicting the Coria and Currie paper. So I am left to conclude that you are either incompetent or lying when you said that everything was gleaned from a single shinbone. Which is it?

    By Anonymous cjb, at 4:06 PM  

  • ... handbags at dawn!

    By Blogger DanProject76, at 5:28 AM  

  • "So I am left to conclude that you are either incompetent or lying when you said that everything was gleaned from a single shinbone. Which is it?"

    The article I read in Newsweek Only mentioned the shinbone. I got T'd off and wrote this article.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 7:57 PM  

  • Ah, I see, incompetent it is then. We can only hope that next time you may not be so quick to assume that it is those stupid scientists that have got it wrong, but perhaps the stupid journalists or the stupid bloggers.

    What annoys me about this is that those who are ignorant of science and too lazy to look anything up will just believe what you say without thinking, which only spreads this growing distrust of science and rise of faith-based illogic that seems to be happening in the US today. Please check your facts in the future rather than simply believing what you read in the popular press.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 11:51 PM  

  • CJB has a point with "those who are ignorant of science and too lazy to look anything up will just believe what you say without thinking, which only spreads this growing distrust of science and rise of faith-based illogic" but surely those kind of people wouldn't look things up anyway because the half truths they get fed are too much for their conditioned minds to cope with as it is?

    Oh and can I add that your Mister Bush is once again proving his utter incompetence by using his radio spot to scapegoat his own people instead of fosusing on all of the real problems he is currently responsible for. I just cannot understand how he can justify this. It really does appear that he is insane or at the very least evil. It's like the Iran Dude without the beard.

    By Blogger DanProject76, at 2:35 AM  

  • Damnit all to hell! I posted a comment, took 35 minutes to write it, and the damn website lost it on me!

    Just see the update to the original article tonight.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:53 AM  

  • Daniel: The scientists who evaluated the evidence took it to mean that Mapusaurus Rosae was a pack hunter that took down prey much larger than itself.

    The way scientists have jumped to conclusion sabout the behavior of a dinosaur we still know practically nothing about is irresponsible.


    So Coria and Currie “took it to mean” and “jumped to the conclusion” that Mapusaurus roseae was a pack hunter, did they? Did you find any mention of this in the paper Matt and I linked to? Did you read the Wikipedia article and follow the links? Here’s a quote from the ABC News story.

    Coria noted the dig showed evidence of social behavior in Mapusaurus. The excavation found hundreds of bones from several Mapusaurus individuals but none from any other creature. That suggests the animals were together before they died, Coria said.

    Perhaps they hunted in packs, though there is no direct evidence for that, he said in an e-mail. Currie, in a statement from his university, speculated that pack hunting may have allowed Mapusaurus to prey on the biggest known dinosaur, Argentinosaurus, a 125-foot-long plant-eater.


    Notice the tentative language. Notice the words “suggests”, “perhaps” and “speculated”. Notice that Coria explicitly says that there is no direct evidence that they hunted in packs. Show us a quote from a scientist who “took it to mean” or “jumped to the conclusion” that this dinosaur was a pack hunter, not ‘may have been’ or ‘perhaps was’, but definitely was a pack hunter. I doubt very much that any reputable scientist would make such a definitive claim. I think you are again misrepresenting what scientists say in an effort to portray them as something they aren’t.

    Daniel: There is no need to go beyond the fact and start teling stories just because you don;t have enough evidence to prove yourself right or wrong.

    Oh, if only you would apply this advice when it comes to your own irrational beliefs such as the infallibility of the Bible, the existence of God and the creation myth.

    Daniel: The scientists who made all of these iresponsible assumptions regarding the behavior of this animal are still irresponsible storytellers, they just made up thier stories with a little more evidence than I initally knew about.

    Show us where scientists have made irresponsible assumptions and made up their stories. Give us quotes to support your claims.

    You’ve now had a chance to read the paper Matt and I linked to and the Wikipedia article and its links. You’ve passed the point where you can pass this off as incompetence. If you persist in misrepresenting what scientists say, the only remaining conclusion I can draw is that you are deliberately trying to deceive people.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 1:51 AM  

  • "So Coria and Currie “took it to mean” and “jumped to the conclusion” that Mapusaurus roseae was a pack hunter, did they?"

    Yes. I reviewed their evidence, looked at thier conclusions, and found the evidence to be lacking to make anything close to a definitive statement about this animal's behavior. Like Matt said, doing such a thing is like reconstructing a crime scene millions of years old. It CAN be done, but you need an incredible amount of evidence, which is NOT available at this point.
    It doesn't matter how lond someone looked at the evidence currently available, any conclusion drawn from it about behavior is a jump to a conclusion.

    "Notice the tentative language."

    Oh, I already did note it. But what you are overlooking is that, tenataively sppoken or not, it is not a verifiable theory, and a scientist should restrain from floating such speculation because it has caused many a bit of scientific confusion in the past in various discipline of science. Science is about facts, NOT wild speculation. I demonstrated the irresponsible wildness of this speculation by putting forth several other guesses as to the explanation of the concentration of the bones. Each one is roughly equally valid and equally valid to the whole pack hunter idea. And, just like the pack hunter guess, each one is totally unverifiable and incapable of being disproved.

    "Oh, if only you would apply this advice when it comes to your own irrational beliefs such as the infallibility of the Bible, the existence of God and the creation myth."

    Oh, if only you would apply this to your own irrational beliefs, such as the non-existence of God, the equal inavilidity of all religions, and evolution in the face of damning eveidence.

    "Show us where scientists have made irresponsible assumptions and made up their stories. Give us quotes to support your claims."

    You and Matt already provided the links that prove my point, and you have even put a quote that proves my point in this discussion. Just because you are incapable of seeing an obvious unverifiable guess when you see one as long as it is a scientists putting out there doesn't mean hat people who are actually capable of critical thought do not. Also, NOte that you refused to address the alternative guesses I put forth. Lemme guess, if I were a doctor of paleobiology you would suddenly find them to be credible. Or is it that that they are so equally credible to the guess of the scientists who settled for pack behavior that you cannot successfully criticize them, which is why your entire post has been nothing but an attack on me and not an actual discussion of the facts on hand?

    Based on all of our discussions I have noticed something about you. You have yet to put forth one idea ofyour own. You have yet to put out a personal criticism basedon personal knowledge. In every circumstance you have simply quoted or paraphrased soomeone else and called me a fool for not taking that statement at face value the way you do. When I present a critical analysis of what you present you don't actully address the critique. Instead, you start calling me names for critiquing it. You have presented many thoroughly irrational ideeas as if they were truth because someone else said it, and when I point the irrationality of what you havepresented you toss logic to the wind and insist that the illogical idea is still valid. This behavior demonstrates a lack of practice, or ability in critical thought; that you have gotten mentally lazy by simply quoting the woords of others as long as they fit in your own presupposed views. It's a shame really. If you want to be taken seriously you would be far better served by putting your brain to work.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:34 AM  

  • Daniel: Yes. I reviewed their evidence, looked at thier conclusions, and found the evidence to be lacking to make anything close to a definitive statement about this animal's behavior.

    Precisely, but show us where they made any such definitive statement. They have made no conclusions. A conclusion would be something like, “We know these dinosaurs hunted in packs”. None of their statements comes anywhere near this. None of them is definitive in any way except their statement that there is no direct evidence to show that these dinosaurs hunted in packs. You are once again distorting and misrepresenting what people say to suit your preconceived notions of how you think things ought to be. It’s deceitful and I wish you would stop it.

    Daniel: Science is about facts, NOT wild speculation.

    There is no wild speculation in Coria and Currie’s paper. It is a sober and reasonable exposition of the evidence they found. However, science is not only about facts. Review the scientific method.

    1. Make observations and gather evidence.

    2. Form hypotheses based on that evidence.

    3. Test those hypotheses by making further observation or performing experiments.

    4. Discard those hypotheses that are falsified by the tests.

    5. If a hypothesis passes any and all tests, tentatively assume it is true until it is falsified.

    6. Continue the process.

    You must allow for some speculation because that’s how hypotheses are formed.

    Daniel: Oh, if only you would apply this to your own irrational beliefs, such as the non-existence of God, the equal inavilidity of all religions, and evolution in the face of damning eveidence.

    Sadly, your tu quoque argument fails dismally, because these statements are simply false.

    I don’t hold the irrational belief that God exists; you do. It is not irrational to withhold belief in the supernatural when there is zero evidence to support it. Look up the definition of irrational sometime. It is simply not logical or reasonable to believe something without a shred of evidence to support that belief.

    I have never said that religions are invalid. I’ve said religious beliefs are irrational and that religion is nothing more than an emotional crutch, but not that religion is invalid. What does that even mean?

    I believe the theory of evolution offers the most reasonable explanation for the diversity of life we see around us. Your statement that there is damning evidence against the theory of evolution is merely wishful thinking on your part in an effort to keep your irrational beliefs in supernatural creation alive.

    Daniel: Also, NOte that you refused to address the alternative guesses I put forth.

    This is yet another distortion. It would have been better to say I have failed to address your guesses rather than refused. ‘Refused’ implies active avoidance on my part whereas I didn’t address them because I couldn’t be bothered. But I’ll do it now if it makes you happy.

    1. Yes, the grouping could have been caused by a natural trap, though it seems unlikely that all the trapped animals would be of the one species. If you read the paper, you will see that the authors say as much.

    The monospecific nature and some taphonomic characteristics of the burial have implications on our understanding of the social behavior of large theropods (Currie 2000).

    The fact that they were all buried together implies a social grouping.

    2. Yes, the fossils could have been deposited over time. Again, the authors say this.

    It is conceivable that this bonebed represents a long term or coincidental accumulation of carcasses.

    3. Again, yes. As I said above, the authors say this could be an accumulation over time.

    4 & 5. You are talking about more examples of social grouping, which, again, the authors acknowledge.

    All your scenarios are plausible and the authors acknowledge them as such, but they have not made definitive statements that it must be one of these scenarios in particular, they are just forming hypotheses as part of the scientific method. Now they need to wait for more evidence to support or falsify these hypotheses before they can draw any tentative conclusions, which is exactly what they are doing.

    Daniel: You have yet to put out a personal criticism basedon personal knowledge. In every circumstance you have simply quoted or paraphrased soomeone else and called me a fool for not taking that statement at face value the way you do.

    How can you possibly know what is or is not my personal knowledge? Do you have some visibility of everything I know? That aside, there is no point in my countering your false claims with my personal opinion. What weight does that hold? I need to present evidence to show that your claims are false, as I did in this instance. Sure, I could have just said that you were full of it when you claimed that everything was extrapolated from one shinbone, but other readers would have no more reason to believe me than you. Matt and I needed to provide links to actual evidence to show that you didn’t have a clue what you were talking about.

    Daniel: When I present a critical analysis of what you present you don't actully address the critique. Instead, you start calling me names for critiquing it.

    Are your eyes painted on? What do you think has been happening in this very thread? You made yet another deceitful false claim and I addressed it with evidence that showed that your claim was totally false.

    Daniel: You have presented many thoroughly irrational ideeas as if they were truth because someone else said it, and when I point the irrationality of what you havepresented you toss logic to the wind and insist that the illogical idea is still valid.

    Give me an example of this. What thoroughly irrational ideas have I presented?

    By Anonymous cjb, at 1:56 AM  

  • "Precisely, but show us where they made any such definitive statement."

    Theyalso negelected to mention the other possibilities,which is the universal indicator that a scientists is floating a pet theory to see if it sticks.

    "There is no wild speculation in Coria and Currie’s paper."

    Evrything about the animal's behavior is wild speculation. Are you really so ignorant a to not understand this?

    "they are just forming hypotheses as part of the scientific method. "

    BEAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The scientific mthod requires that a hypothesis be testable under controlled conditions with a control group and an experimental group. Seeing as how this cannot be done with the behavior of long extinct animals the scientific method cannot be applied with any success. That leaves us with nothing but guesses in this instance.

    "How can you possibly know what is or is not my personal knowledge? Do you have some visibility of everything I know?"

    For starters, you always say something along the lines of "so-and-so said" or you provide a weblink which you have either quoted or paraphrased in a very direct fashion. That means that you are simply using the words of others and not puting personal thought and evaluation into the debate.

    "there is no point in my countering your false claims with my personal opinion."

    Not opinion, ANALYSIS. You have yet to even look at thelogic of a claim and give a personal analysis. Wait . . . not quuite true . . .
    "What thoroughly irrational ideas have I presented?"

    Your claim that having free will means you will be able to make a choice God did not forsee and prove Him wrong for one. Such a feat is impossible without you having the ability to know exactly what God knows. You repeated this ridiculous claim at least 6 time sin a previous debate, as you do with every one of your claims that is demonstrably illogical. YOu have also taken the words of others that are demonstrably and equally ridiculous to that one and presented them as credible because some famous said them. Again, you failed to actually give a critical look at what is being said. Either that or you have no bullshit meter at all.

    Matt has actualy been far morelogical thanyou. He has been able to acknowledge the problems wihhin a belief, statement, or evidence he has presented. He has also provided logical personal analysis position I have taken without going into the realm of the utterly ridiculous.

    Neither one of you hase been able to prove me wrong in the evolution debate. Your links have been easily picked apart and dismantled. and next week it is time to show how DNA proves evolution is impossible.

    "Are your eyes painted on? What do you think has been happening in this very thread?"

    Perhaps I am having a hard time seeing it buried in all the rhetoric about my personality, state of mind, presumed educational level, etc.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:46 AM  

  • Daniel: ["There is no wild speculation in Coria and Currie’s paper."]
    Evrything about the animal's behavior is wild speculation. Are you really so ignorant a to not understand this?


    And yet, if you actually read the paper, Daniel, you will see that there is no mention of what the animal’s behaviour may have been. No speculation, no guesses, no hypotheses, nothing to support your claim of irresponsible storytelling.

    You were the one telling stories here. You were the one who was ignorant of the facts. You were the one who jumped to a conclusion when you said that scientists based their observations on one shinbone. You were the one being irresponsible by deceitfully misrepresenting the facts. And now you are the one doing everything you can to weasel out of it.

    Daniel: The scientific mthod requires that a hypothesis be testable under controlled conditions with a control group and an experimental group.

    Well readers, here we have yet another example of Daniel distorting and misrepresenting the situation in an effort to keep his irrational world view. If we were to take your narrow definition of the scientific method as the truth then how on Earth could astronomers possibly conduct their science? Learn a little more about the scientific method. Read the sections on hypothesis development and experiments. Here’s a quote from the section on experiments.

    Depending on the predictions, the experiments can have different shapes. It could be a classical experiment in a laboratory setting, a double-blind study or an archeological excavation.

    Well, what do you know; it specifically mentions archæological excavation as an experimental method. So your claim that the scientific method requires that experiments be double-blind studies is, not unexpectedly, false.

    Daniel: For starters, you always say something along the lines of "so-and-so said" or you provide a weblink which you have either quoted or paraphrased in a very direct fashion.

    Not opinion, ANALYSIS.


    Look at my first comment in this thread, Daniel, and tell me again that I didn’t analyse the situation. I looked at your post and immediately doubted its veracity. I looked for and found evidence to confirm my suspicions then I presented you with my conclusion that you were either incompetent or lying. Did I say, “so-and-so says you are lying?” Did I provide a web link to someone else who said you were lying? No, I came to the conclusion myself and the links I provided were to evidence to support my conclusion.

    Daniel: Your claim that having free will means you will be able to make a choice God did not forsee and prove Him wrong for one. Such a feat is impossible without you having the ability to know exactly what God knows.

    The problem here is that what you think you know about God’s attributes is all in your imagination, Daniel. Then you determine that my statements are false because they don’t concur with your imaginary nonsense. But it is all make believe, Daniel, every bit of it. There is no sound evidence that such a thing as a god exists. Your entire argument is based on a fiction. Believing that gods, goblins, unicorns, fairies or Santa Claus exist without any evidence to support that belief is not logical or reasonable. It is completely irrational.

    Daniel: Neither one of you hase been able to prove me wrong in the evolution debate. Your links have been easily picked apart and dismantled. and next week it is time to show how DNA proves evolution is impossible.

    Oh, dream on, Daniel. You really do live in a fantasy world.

    What annoys me, Daniel, is that you decry evolution in particular and science and scientists in general, yet you are only too eager to use the fruits of science when it suits you.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 1:49 AM  

  • CJB,

    "You were the one telling stories here."

    Really? observe the following statements from scientists:

    Holtz (Thomas Holtz Jr. Paleontologist, University of Maryland) called the finding the first substantive evidence of group living by giant two-legged carnivores other than tyrannosaurs. It's not clear whether the animals cooperated in hunting, as wolves or lions do, or simply mobbed their prey or just gathered around after one of them made a kill, he said.

    Another paleontologist reapeated this, from yor very own wikipedia lnk:

    " Paleontologist Rodolfo Coria of the Museo Carmen Funes, contradicting his own article, repeated in a press-conference earlier suggestions that this congregation of fossil bones may indicate that Mapusaurus hunted in groups and worked together to take down large prey such as the immense sauropod Argentinosaurus (AP 2006). If so, this would be the first substantive evidence of gregarious behavior by large theropods other than Tyrannosaurus, although whether they might have hunted in organized packs (as wolves do), or simply attacked in a mob, is unknown."

    Curie himself:

    "The presence of so many animals in one quarry suggests that they were living together in a pack at the time leading up to their catastrophic death,"
    and -
    Currie speculated that by co-ordinating movements, the Mapusaurus pack or family might have been able to hunt the largest dinosaur that ever lived - Argentinosaurus, the 40-metre plant-eater which shared its habitat in central South America 100 million years ago. Currie and Coria described this new species in the journal Geodiversitas.

    National Geographic reportded:

    Coria and Currie say the different sizes of the animals point to the creatures living as a group.

    And I could search out more from others. The fact is that there is an idea of behavior being put forth without sufficient eveidence to support it. And your own obsession with the technical paper, which actually mentions behavior in the Abstract, sayin gthat this bonebed could be an indicator of behavior, opens the door wide sor wild speculation before more evidence is found, which you can see has already started.

    Now, I know you have a problem with someone treating the holy words of random scientists with skepticicm, viewing what bein gpresented with a critical eye, but that's just the responsible thing to to prevent unsupported, poorly supported, and even outright false ideas from being taught. Failure to do so promotes ignorance, which you only appear to have a problem with when it involves religion.

    "Well, what do you know; it specifically mentions archæological excavation as an experimental method."

    What is your point? An excavation is not an experiment. it is digging up fragments and attempting to deduce the meaning of the relics. It is not experimentation at all, it is deductive work like that of a detective. I take my definition of the scientific method from my education starting with my first science class and going all the way through college. You take yours from a paper on the internet. What is more credible?

    "Look at my first comment in this thread, Daniel,"

    And look at the others you have presented snce you started commenting here. Also, your own comments followed Matt's who posted the scientific paper first, which you then followed.

    "The problem here is that what you think you know about God’s attributes is all in your imagination, Daniel. Then you determine that my statements are false because they don’t concur with your imaginary nonsense."

    Again, your OPINION. However, the dabate at the time was based entirely on these traits you call imaginary and you were trying to disprove them. However, you used such an illogical argument that you failed to do anything but make yourself out to be a fool. Allow me to demonstrate:

    When pesented with the ability to choose the opposite of what God forsaw you stated: "Then I will choose B" as if you had the foreknowledge to actually make the conscious decision to go against God's knowledge. I pointed out how this statement was illogical multiple times over the course of teh debate by pointing that you lack the foreknowledge to do such a thing, and your response was to simply repeat it in every instance. Now your response is to say that it doesn't matter because yopu don't think God exists. Too bad. You have already gone on the record.

    "What annoys me, Daniel, is that you decry evolution in particular and science and scientists in general, yet you are only too eager to use the fruits of science when it suits you."

    Does it bother you that there is science out there that suits me? Is it troublesome that there is science out there that contradicts some of your sacred beliefs in the nature of the universe, thereby giving credit to mine? Or does the posibility that evolution could be truly impossible firghten you because the loss of this theory would take away your own greatest tool for denying God? If there is no evolution what is left?

    Again, to quote Sherlock Holmes:

    "Whenyou have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 11:23 AM  

  • Holtz: It's not clear whether the animals cooperated in hunting…

    Coria: …this congregation of fossil bones may indicate that Mapusaurus hunted in groups…

    Coria: If so, this would be the first substantive evidence of gregarious behavior by large theropods other than Tyrannosaurus, although whether they might have hunted in organized packs (as wolves do), or simply attacked in a mob, is unknown.

    Currie: The presence of so many animals in one quarry suggests that they were living together in a pack…

    Currie: …the Mapusaurus pack or family might have been able to hunt the largest dinosaur that ever lived…
    Coria and Currie: the different sizes of the animals point to the creatures living as a group.

    Daniel: And I could search out more from others. The fact is that there is an idea of behavior being put forth without sufficient eveidence to support it.

    And if you searched for more, they would all show the same thing—that the scientists are forming hypotheses. They are saying the dinosaurs may have or might have hunted in packs, not that they did hunt in packs. They are saying that it’s not clear that they hunted in packs and whether they did or not is currently unknown. It’s just a hypothesis that will have to wait for further observations and evidence before any definite statement can be made. If you look again at all the quotes you provided, you will see that no definite statements are being made.

    Daniel: sayin gthat this bonebed could be an indicator of behavior, opens the door wide sor wild speculation before more evidence is found, which you can see has already started.

    The only person wildly speculating here is you, Daniel. You continue to extrapolate the mundane to the extreme and then scream about it as irresponsible. These scientists are not wildly speculating at all; they are simply forming hypotheses. It isn’t wild speculation to hypothesise that the dinosaurs hunted in packs when the existing evidence already suggests that this is a possibility.

    Daniel: that's just the responsible thing to to prevent unsupported, poorly supported, and even outright false ideas from being taught. Failure to do so promotes ignorance, which you only appear to have a problem with when it involves religion.

    No one is teaching anyone that these dinosaurs hunted in packs. It is just a recent hypothesis. But if you really want to talk about teaching unsupported and outright false ideas, then look no further than the creationism being taught in churches and Sunday Schools across the US. Some lunatics even want to promote this ignorance in public school science classes and they launch pathetic lawsuits in an effort to achieve this.

    Daniel: It is not experimentation at all, it is deductive work like that of a detective. I take my definition of the scientific method from my education starting with my first science class and going all the way through college.

    Well, then your education is lacking in depth, Daniel. Your definition of testing hypotheses relies on experimentation alone, but hypotheses can be tested either by experimentation or by further observation or both. Not all sciences are purely experimental, Daniel, or have you never heard of observational sciences such as astronomy, geology, palæontology, cosmology or climatology? In those sciences, nature performs the experiments and we observe the results.

    While we’re on this subject, though, I must ask you what evidence there is supporting creation? What observations have been made to gather evidence for creation? What predictions has creation made? Could those predictions be tested? If so, have they been tested? What were the results of those tests? Is there continuing research providing positive support for creation? (Feel free to substitute ‘Intelligent Design’ for ‘creation’ in any of these questions.)

    You see, on one side of this wider debate we have observations, facts, evidence, predictions, tests and verified results providing positive support for theories; and on the other side we have… what?

    Daniel: Again, your OPINION. However, the dabate at the time was based entirely on these traits you call imaginary and you were trying to disprove them.

    Oh, and your knowledge of God’s attributes is not also ‘opinion’; you actually have some evidence to support your claims of knowledge of the attributes of an imaginary being?

    Daniel: When pesented with the ability to choose the opposite of what God forsaw you stated: "Then I will choose B" as if you had the foreknowledge to actually make the conscious decision to go against God's knowledge.

    Thank you, Daniel; I finally see my mistake here. I meant, “for the sake of the argument, let’s say I choose B”, not that I would do so based on some foreknowledge. My mistake was in thinking that you would understand that from the context in which I presented it. If you like, we can continue that discussion now that you have this clarification.

    Daniel: Or does the posibility that evolution could be truly impossible firghten you because the loss of this theory would take away your own greatest tool for denying God? If there is no evolution what is left?

    No, it doesn’t bother me that it is possible that the theory of evolution could be proven false. All theories can be falsified. The theory of evolution hasn’t yet been falsified and it doesn’t appear that it will be any time soon given the worthlessness of creationists’ arguments against it. It is extremely unlikely that the theory of evolution will be falsified in its entirety. It is more likely that parts of the theory may be modified as new evidence comes to light, but the chance that any of that evidence will come from creationists is vanishingly small.

    Your last question is once again assuming the false dichotomy so beloved of creationists. Creation is not the only alternative to explain the complexity of life we see around us. As I mentioned before, there is Lamarckism, panspermia and exogenesis. You will need to eliminate those as possibilities as well. Even then, with zero evidence actually supporting creation, the best you can say is that the answer is unknown.

    Daniel: “Whenyou have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

    The problem with this is that creation isn’t even improbable. There is no evidence at all to suggest that it is even a possibility. It is nothing but a myth.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 4:17 PM  

  • CJB,

    "if you actually read the paper, Daniel, you will see that there is no mention of what the animal’s behaviour may have been."
    "They are saying the dinosaurs may have or might have hunted in packs, not that they did hunt in packs."

    Changing your story as you get slapped with the facts? As usual, your overwhelming need to ridicule me has made you out to be the fool.

    Furthermore, I repeat, ANY guess put forth about this animal's behavior at this time is irresponsible due to a lack of sufficient evidence. Without more evidence, some other information to analyze, all ideas put forth about the behavior of this animal are irresponsible guesswork, especially when they are put out in press releases so every uneducated (in science) journalist in the world can run with it and present as a fact rather than a guess, which is what is happening here.

    "It isn’t wild speculation to hypothesise that the dinosaurs hunted in packs when the existing evidence already suggests that this is a possibility."

    It is wild speculation becuase there are numerous other explanations that are equally viable based on the information at hand, as I have already demonstrated.

    "No one is teaching anyone that these dinosaurs hunted in packs."

    Everything out in the world about this dinosaur, every media outlet, every scientific lecture based on the work of the discoverer's, mentions pack behavior. At least, everything that I have found. People are REALLY excited about it.

    ". . . In those sciences, nature performs the experiments and we observe the results."

    One problem with your asssertion. Nature does not perform any experimentation for us to observe in the field of paleontology. We simply dig up relics of the past and try to piece together the story they tell. There is no experimentation possible either in a lab or in nature. Nice try though.

    "What predictions has creation made"

    There are numerous other question that you presented that have either already been dealt with, or will eventually be dealt with. but this one I shall deal with right now. Creation is part of the Bible. The Bible has made many predictions from beginning to end. these predictions are called prophesy. I even discussed some of these predictions in a previous article entitled "The Ultimate futility of the Good Fight", which can be observed coming to fruition inthis current day and age. However, there are hundreds of prophesies in the Bible, almost all have already come true. The mathematical odds of such a thing happening are so astronomically remote as to be verifiably impossible, even given the time allowed. This fact alone lends credence to the Bible and everything it contains, including Creation. Of course, to you I'm sure this is less reliable evidence, and a less reliable conclusion than the idea that Mapusaurus hunted in packs is. Interestingly enough, the deductive process is very similar. look at the evidence we have and draw a conclusion. I say that since so many Biblical Prophesies have come true so far, and because the odds of such a thing hapening are so remote, that there is compelling evidence in favor of the Bible's veracity. You. on the other hand, will say this is hogwash and that this historical evidence proves nothingwhatever, andit is based on your own personal biases rather than any evidence. Oddly enough, this behavior is also predicted in the Bible.

    "As I mentioned before, there is Lamarckism, panspermia and exogenesis."

    Exogenesis requires evolution, in its enirety to have happened elswhere in the universe, and it it has to have happened close enough to Earth that life could have been transported here. Evolution being impossible removes this theory from the equation.

    Lamarkism is just another presentation of an evolutionary process. Again, evolution being impossible eliminates this thoery as well.

    Panspermia is yet another evolutionary process. Evolution being impossible removes this from the ralm of posibility as well. Also, every shredof evidence we have suggests with ever increasing probablity that Earth is actually unique in the universe. There was a fascination article about this in American Skeptic recently that I highly suggest you check out. I even plan on on blogging about it.

    Everything you present relies on evolution. With no evolution possible there is nothing left but God.

    I am very curious. Is there any part of the Bible that you consider to be true, and if so, what? You constantly call it nothing but fairy tales, so I am genuinely curious.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:29 AM  

  • Daniel: Changing your story as you get slapped with the facts? As usual, your overwhelming need to ridicule me has made you out to be the fool.

    I’m not the one changing the story, Daniel. The quotes you gave were from the popular press, not their paper. There is no mention of the animal’s behaviour in Coria and Currie’s paper; that fact hasn’t changed. Implying that there was is dishonest. Claiming that scientists have jumped to conclusions about hunting in packs is also dishonest. No scientist has stated a conclusion on this.

    You stated that scientists made all sorts of unwarranted claims based on a single shinbone. A reasonable person would have thought that perhaps the journalist had made a mistake and that scientists wouldn’t be that silly. A reasonable person would have checked the facts, but not you. No, you immediately assumed that these scientists were just plain stupid and launched into a diatribe against them even though ten seconds’ work would have saved you from public embarrassment. Now, in an effort to cover your incompetence, you are engaging in hand waving and obfuscation.

    You open yourself to ridicule, Daniel, when you parade your irrational beliefs, blind faith, anti-gay sentiment, incompetence and deceit on a public forum.

    Daniel: It is wild speculation becuase there are numerous other explanations that are equally viable based on the information at hand, as I have already demonstrated.

    Good grief, Daniel, when are you going to stop flogging this dead horse. There is no wild speculation on the part of scientists. It’s all in your imaginative rhetoric. As I showed in a previous comment, the authors of the paper acknowledge that there are other equally viable explanations. Are you claiming that they don’t acknowledge them, even though they mention them in the paper? At no point do the scientists say that the animals hunted in packs. They explicitly say that it is unknown whether they hunted in packs or not. They only mention it as one of the, as you say, equally viable hypotheses for the grouping.

    Daniel: Creation is part of the Bible. The Bible has made many predictions from beginning to end.

    Oh, right. So the Bible has made predictions (unrelated to creation, mind you) and creation is part of the Bible, therefore creation has made predictions. What nonsense. Show us what predictions creation has made. That’s creation, Daniel, not the rest of your book of fairy tales. Show us how those predictions have been tested. Show us the results of those tests. Explain to us how knowledge of creation has increased our understanding of the complexity of life. How has it helped us develop new vaccines, new drugs and new therapies for disease? How has knowledge of creation helped us develop new crops or increase food production in other ways? Face it, Daniel; knowledge of creation is worthless except to comfort the ignorant masses.

    Daniel: Everything you present relies on evolution. With no evolution possible there is nothing left but God.

    And you wonder why people ridicule you?

    Daniel: Is there any part of the Bible that you consider to be true, and if so, what? You constantly call it nothing but fairy tales, so I am genuinely curious.

    As with any fictional story, there are mundane, day-to-day facts sprinkled throughout the Bible. However, the vast bulk of it has no basis in fact. There is no independent historical evidence for the existence of many of the major players such as Moses, Abraham or Christ and there is certainly no evidence to support the stories of miracles performed by such individuals. The Genesis story is pure myth with no evidence whatsoever to support it. The Bible is a compendium of fairy tales concocted to provide emotional comfort to the masses. People only believe it because they were brought up with it, it is comforting and no one admitted to them that it was fiction. People believe the religion of their culture. Which nonsense you believe is just a function of where you were born. I think that if you had been born in a Muslim nation, you would be a Muslim fundamentalist now.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 2:19 AM  

  • CJB,

    "I’m not the one changing the story, Daniel. The quotes you gave were from the popular press, not their paper."

    It was still thier quotes. You were busy calling me a liar for saying they were makng such claims, I proved you wrong. It's not my fault you chose to ignore everything that was outside of the scientific paper, which mentions pack behavior right in the very first paragraph.

    Another interesting difference between us. I have no problem correcting my own errors, as I did with my original post. You however have made a continual habit of trying to justify yourself and will admit no wrong even when you have been proven wrong beyond a reasonable doubt. This is not surprising as it is typical of Darwinists.

    "Good grief, Daniel, when are you going to stop flogging this dead horse. There is no wild speculation on the part of scientists."

    As long the known facts are too abmiguous to draw a firm conclusion any thoeries about the behavior of this animal are wild speculation. Period. It does not matter that a scientist is the one engaging in this academic irresponsibility. Titles do not automatically transform mere speculation into credible theories. Try not to be such a sheep.

    "Are you claiming that they don’t acknowledge them, even though they mention them in the paper? At no point do the scientists say that the animals hunted in packs."

    Wow, in spite of the actual quotes from the scientists you still insist that they are not sayng this animal was a packhunter. Also, you have said in the past, durin this very discussion, that the original paper does not mention pack behavior, now you say it mentions pack behavior, but only as a possibility. All this after you ridiculing me by claiming there is no mention of pack behavior in the original paper. You really do suffer from tunnel vision, don't you? Then again maybe not. Maybe you simply from excessive pride that turns you dushonest.

    "Oh, right. So the Bible has made predictions (unrelated to creation, mind you) and creation is part of the Bible, therefore creation has made predictions."

    Actually, the tie had nothing to do with Creation making predictions. The tie in was that the BIBLE is 100% truth as proven proven, in part, by the verifiable total accuracy of Bioblical prophesy. The Bible being 100% true makes Creation 100% true. Surely you are smart enough to figure this out without me needing to guide you by the hand?

    "And you wonder why people ridicule you?"

    And you still can't provide an alternative that doesn't rely on evolution?

    "There is no independent historical evidence for the existence of many of the major players such as Moses, Abraham or Christ and there is certainly no evidence to support the stories of miracles performed by such individuals."

    Interestingly enough, this same claim has been made about every player in the Bible period. PIlate was supposed to be fictional. He has ben proven to exixt. Neduchadnezzar was supposed to be fictional. He has ben proven to exist. The Isreali's being a nation during the the time of ancient Egypt was supposed to be a myth, it has been proven true. Simple facts like the verifiable accuracy of the price of a slave during the time Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers, facts that would have been lost to the Isrealis had the Bible been made up a fe hundred years before Christ have been verified as true and accurate. And there is more evidence that Christ HImself lived than there is that Julius Cezar did, you, and others, just choose to ignore it because outside nations took little to no notice of Him. You say that the accounts of Jews and Christians is unreliable, but this provably untrue by this simple fact: People die for whatthey know or believe to be true. Nobody knowingly dies for a lie. 11 out of the 12 apostles went to thier deaths proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ. Only John survived to old age, and his account is 100% in line with the others. The Book of Luke was an independent historical account by a doctor, not apolistic propaganda. Over many centrie of investigation Luke has been so well proven that he has been declared the most accurate historian the world has ever had. Of course, none of this is meaningful to you because you so desperately want to believe the Bible is false. So desperately that you automatically take whatever stance is most hostile to the Bible. I have said it before and I will say iot again: no true Atheist is hostile to the Bible, or to religion in general. A true Atheist simply doesn't care. Hostile Atheists believe in God, the know He exists, and they hate him, so they are not actually Atheists.

    In fact, I do believe shal do a quickie post repeating this right now.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:16 AM  

  • Daniel: The tie in was that the BIBLE is 100% truth as proven proven, in part, by the verifiable total accuracy of Bioblical prophesy. The Bible being 100% true makes Creation 100% true.

    That’s right, Daniel, ignore any requests for evidence to support the creation myth. Just jam those fingers further into your ears and keep chanting, “the Bible is 100% truth”. I can imagine you behaving in a similar way at eight years old when people told you there was no such thing as Santa Claus, “There is a Santa Claus, there must be, my parents told me there was.” Yet, the next year they admitted to you that they had been lying all along. How heartbroken and disillusioned you must have been. But cheer up; you still have your irrational belief in God to provide you with emotional comfort. I’m guessing they haven’t admitted to that lie yet.

    Daniel: And you still can't provide an alternative that doesn't rely on evolution?

    And you still can’t provide any evidence to support the creation myth. Your entire belief in God, the Bible and the creation myth is based on nothing more than the words in a book of fairy tales, Daniel. Show us otherwise.

    By Anonymous cjb, at 4:44 AM  

  • CJB,

    "And you still can’t provide any evidence to support the creation myth. Your entire belief in God, the Bible and the creation myth is based on nothing more than the words in a book of fairy tales, Daniel. Show us otherwise."

    You said yourself that the only evidence you will accept is God walking up to you, shaking your hand, and introducing Himsellf as God with some magnificent sign that cannot be denied as miraculous, and then only after you have 100% eliminated any possibility of delusions, hallucinations, dreams, psychosis and other causes whenther natural or induced. You even refuse to accept the regenration of limbs, retoration of eyes, not just eyesight, but eyes and various other proofs as real. You claim that the men who recorded the events in the Bible were not entirely honest and were just trying to gain power and influence, yet you ignore the fact no man knowingly dies for a lie, andthat 11 of 12 apostles died for thier beliefs. Only John lived to a ripe old age, all the others were executed as heretics who would not repent of thier teachings. You specifically chose to ignore every evience of truthi n the Bible, even going so far as to say things like "pure coincidence" "delusions" "lies" and many other terms stating that you are, in a nutshell, engaging in a conscious effort to not believe anything in te Bible no mater how wel supported it may be by the evidence. It must anger you to no end that the only holy text in the world that has had what it has recorded verified by archaeology and the natural sciences is the Bible. Atheists spent centuries claiming the Red Sea could never part, then it was shown that it actually does part when the winds are right, just like the Bible records happened when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. The burning bush was supposed to be a myth, only we have found a real plant that catches fire spontaneously and does not burn up. Only the ecxess oils on the surface of the bush are consumed. Egyptian texts record the existence of the nation of Israel during the time of David, which Atheists spent years claiming was a myth. And now Atheists are even claiming that Jesus Chris nevr lived even though there is more evidence of His life than that of Julious Cesar. Please see "The Case for Christ", a book, for a look into this evidence which has not, and cannot be disproved, but has has been verified as true.

    Like I said before, there is nothing you will accept as evidence for God. You did not even bother to address your own arguments that here are universal truths, like pedophilia is evil, when I posted an article claiming the only way universal truth can exist is if there is a being that is greater t han man, greater than the universe, that is making the rules because man is simply too inconsistent to give universal truth. I take your silence on your own claims that there is at least some universal truth as a sign that you have no suitable argument to explain away this stance in the absence of God. So unless you can either A- prove that man is capable of producing a truth that is the same worldwide and never changes, or B- refute your claims that pedophilia and murder are always wrong I shall consider the existence of truth a sticking point you will just have to deal with in your Atheism and let it gnaw at you to know that every Christiian in the world who believes in universal truth of any kind believes it comes from God, and that it is also an argument for God and against Atheism thatyou cannot refute as long as you ever claim that there is any moral truth. We both know you will never do this as you are not some sick individual who is ready to call murder, pedophilia, necrophilia, beastialty, and various other sick endeavors okay as long as the society accepts them.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:52 AM  

  • Daniel: [You will only accept evidence of God] after you have 100% eliminated any possibility of delusions, hallucinations, dreams, psychosis and other causes whenther natural or induced.

    Well of course. What sort of idiot would accept evidence that is the product of any of these mental aberrations?

    Daniel: You even refuse to accept the regenration of limbs, retoration of eyes, not just eyesight, but eyes and various other proofs as real.

    You are yet to provide evidence of these miraculous events, Daniel. I’ve asked you before to show us these things and you’ve simply ignored the requests. All you do is make these wild assertions. It’s really quite pathetic.

    Daniel: yet you ignore the fact no man knowingly dies for a lie…

    Really? How about this loser?

    Daniel: the only holy text in the world that has had what it has recorded verified by archaeology and the natural sciences is the Bible.

    There is no archæological verification of Biblical miracles nor that Jesus was the son of God nor that God exists. There is no evidence to support these things. They are simply fairy tales.

    Daniel: Atheists spent centuries claiming the Red Sea could never part, then it was shown that it actually does part when the winds are right, just like the Bible records happened when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. The burning bush was supposed to be a myth, only we have found a real plant that catches fire spontaneously and does not burn up.

    So tell us, does the Red Sea part where the Bible said it did? Was there a wall of water to the left and the right of this part caused by the wind? Were these walls high enough to cover horses or chariots? How wide is the Red Sea at the point where they supposedly crossed? Do you really believe these fairy tales?

    While you’re about it, please tell us how many times angels have appeared out of these real plants that catch fire yet are not consumed? Do you believe that angels really appear out of burning bushes? Are you that deranged?

    Daniel: Please see "The Case for Christ", a book, for a look into this evidence which has not, and cannot be disproved, but has has been verified as true.

    Please see this review of yet another one-sided piece of Christian apologetics (I’m always amused by that word).

    Daniel: So unless you can either A- prove that man is capable of producing a truth that is the same worldwide and never changes, or B- refute your claims that pedophilia and murder are always wrong I shall consider the existence of truth a sticking point you will just have to deal with in your Atheism and let it gnaw at you to know that every Christiian in the world who believes in universal truth of any kind believes it comes from God, and that it is also an argument for God and against Atheism thatyou cannot refute as long as you ever claim that there is any moral truth.

    What pure, unadulterated rubbish. It doesn’t even make any sense. What on Earth are you trying to say with this rambling, disjointed, 110-word sentence? Are you trying to say that because most normal people consider murder and pædophilia wrong that God exists? How does that follow?

    By Anonymous cjb, at 2:17 AM  

  • CJB,

    "Well of course. What sort of idiot would accept evidence that is the product of any of these mental aberrations?"

    Indeed, such as the belief that there is genetic evidence that supports the idea that homosexuality is is genetic when all data indicates the opposite is true. Also, the belief that evolution is real despite all the evidence demonstrating that there has never been one solid case of one species evolving into another.

    "You are yet to provide evidence of these miraculous events, Daniel. I’ve asked you before to show us these things and you’ve simply ignored the requests."

    I have given you the stories as they are told by the people who lived through them. While this is not as good as me making a personal trip over to say, Vietnam, and stealing the medical charts of the person who experienced the miracle it is far more legal.

    "Really? How about this loser?"

    What about him? What bearing does a lunatic tryiong to prove to himself whether God exists by trying to recreate the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den have on the statement that no man knowingly dies for a lie? He decided to est God on his terms, and as the Bible states quite clearly would happen to all who engage in such ridiculous demanding behavior, he was ignored and left to die for his prideful demands.

    "There is no archæological verification of Biblical miracles nor that Jesus was the son of God nor that God exists. There is no evidence to support these things. They are simply fairy tales."

    You had beter hope so, and hope so with all your being. Events that people denied being possible for centuries being shown to be plausible, people whose existence had been denied being shown to be real, and all in a book claiming to be the Word of God. The Bible is the only book like this in the world.

    "So tell us, does the Red Sea part where the Bible said it did? Was there a wall of water to the left and the right of this part caused by the wind? Were these walls high enough to cover horses or chariots? How wide is the Red Sea at the point where they supposedly crossed? Do you really believe these fairy tales?"

    First, the answer to all of your questions is . . . heh, don't take my word for it. Check it out yourself. Any quick Google search should answer all of them. You can also watch a facinating special that Discovery put out a few years back explaining this phenomenon. Enjoy!

    And yes. I do believe it because it is true.

    "While you’re about it, please tell us how many times angels have appeared out of these real plants that catch fire yet are not consumed? Do you believe that angels really appear out of burning bushes? Are you that deranged?"

    Interesingly, you are an excellent case of proof that Atheists actuially know far less about religion than they claim to know. The Bible does not say that an agel appeared from the burning bush. It says that God Himself spoke through the burning bush. NOte the word "spoke" and not any phraseology indicating anything jumping out of the bush.

    "Please see this review of yet another one-sided piece of Christian apologetics"

    Upon reading the review I have the following to say:

    The main criticism of the author is that he did not give equal time and credit to an opposing view. Well, DUH! The instant you can produce one work by say . . . Carl Sagan or Richard Dawkins oe even Steven J. Gould that gives equal time and credence to Creation or Intelligent Design and the evidence that supports these theories as they do to evolution I will consider this criticism to have some merit.
    Second, There is a verification process going right now to determine if the remains of a certain twon actually are the ruins of Nazareth. This is because it has been found right in the general vicinity that the town was supposed to be. Also, the criticism of it being a first century towm is rather fallacious since it is mentioned in a book of the Old Testament that predates Christ by some 300 years.
    Third, there are various scholarly errors in the critique. One fine example is "Yet, contra Strobel and Gary Habermas, there just does not seem to be any reason to believe that 1 Corinthians 15, our earliest source concerning the Resurrection, implies that Jesus physically appeared to people after his death". The real fact is that the first 4 times that it is recorded that Jesus appeared are actually in the 4 gospels. Corinthians is a later book. HOwever, perhps the author was speaking in the presumed Chronological order that the books were first written, which is a debaable topic. Stil, he makes the following statement "And Mark, the earliest gospel, does not contain any appearance stories. Only the later gospels (Matthew, Luke, and John) include any appearance stories." However, Mark 28:9-20 is an account of Jesus appearing first to the women atthe tomb, and then to the remaining 11 disciples. Such sloppy scholarship on the part of the author destroys his credibilty, unless this is a case of willful deception, in which case it is far worse for his credibility.

    "What pure, unadulterated rubbish. It doesn’t even make any sense. What on Earth are you trying to say with this rambling, disjointed, 110-word sentence? Are you trying to say that because most normal people consider murder and pædophilia wrong that God exists? How does that follow?"

    I am saying that entire societies have deemed every evil in that list to be acceptable at some point or another in history. Are you going to say that every person in that society was/is a psychopath? The fact is that mankind has deemed every evil we condemn to be acceptable at some point in some society in history. This proves that man has no ability to bring about a constant, unchanging moral truth. For any eveil to actually be evil, and not just the flavor of the month, there must be something more constant thanman to make themoral judgement and issue the truth. So if YOU are going to claim anything as universally right or wrong youhave no choice but to acknowledge some power greater thna man that issues said truth. Simple enough for ya?

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 7:33 PM  

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