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Creation Museum Madness… 28 April, 2007

Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, creationism, Earth, God, heaven, hell, Life.
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May 28, 2007: The intelligence of Man takes a giant leap backward, into the Middle Ages, with the opening of the “Creation Museum” in Petersburg, Kentucky where it seems not only is the Bible 100% correct, but so were The Flintstones. If it wasn’t so serious, it would be laughable.

The Flintstones 

Such incredible visionaries were Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera that they were able portray how life actually was on Earth just a few thousand years ago when Man and Dinosaurs co-habited the planet, living, breathing and working together. Who would have believed that more than 40 years after that pioneering cartoon series ended, that a brand new “Museum” would open that “confirms” a city like The Flintstone’s Bedrock probably actually existed.

According to this BBC News article, the Creation Museum is “the dream of Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, a Christian ministry that promotes the idea that the Biblical book of Genesis should be taken literally in describing the creation of the world, life and humans as carried out by God over a six-day period a few thousand years ago“.

Ken Ham holds a university degree in Science and left Australia to come to the United States about 20 years ago to found his Ministry. He boasts about the imminent opening of the Creation Museum at his website“…we’ll take guests on a journey through a visual presentation of the history of the world, based on the “7 C’s of History”: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation. Throughout this family-friendly experience, guests will learn how to answer the attacks on the Bible’s authority in geology, biology, anthropology, cosmology, etc., and they will discover how science actually confirms biblical history”. The Creation Museum has embraced the dinosaur as one of God’s creatures, however not one that became extinct 65 million years ago. Its exhibits will depict dinosaurs together with humans, with even a select few dinosaurs gaining a cabin on Noah’s Ark – the rest washed away in the Great Flood that produced the Grand CanyonAll this, just a few thousand years ago.

Ham’s US$27M donation-funded Creation Museum has every right to exist, but not to be referred to as a museum.  Princeton’s Wordnet defines a museum as “a depository for collecting and displaying objects having scientific or historical or artistic value”.  It might scrape through for “artistic” value, but a more apt title would be Creationland to place it in the same category as Disneyland - a theme park. Mankind would be better served by a Religion Museum which takes guests on a journey through a visual presentation of the religions of the world, based on the “7 B’s of Religion“: Blinkering, Belittling, Badgering, Bullying, Bludgeoning, Browbeating and Brainwashing.

Interestingly, Ham’s “Answers in Genesis” is even being refuted from within Creationist ranks. In one of a dozen Ken Ham rebuttals, the alternative website, “Answers in Creation” completely rejects Ham’s claims about dinosaurs. They include conclusions such as, “There is absolutely no geologic evidence for a global flood that killed all the dinosaurs“, and “There isn’t a single piece of evidence to show that dinosaurs and man lived together.”

Do our children really need or deserve such an education as Ham and others pump out through their ministries and through grand “authoritative” structures such as his new museum?  Richard Dawkins’ article, “Religion’s Real Child Abuse“, highlights the real problem of how religion is propagated on unsuspecting, uncorrupted children – also discussed in “Which is Stronger, Manfluence or Godfluence?“.  If you haven’t seen Jesus Camp, you really need to, to understand the motives and methods of those in religious power. To witness Ken Ham’s processes for yourself, have a look at this short clip from the HBO documentary, Friends of God.

Even Brad & Phil have found their way to Kentucky for the museum’s grand opening. Will you be going?

Brad & Phil #20
 STORY UPDATE (27 May 2007) : It’s the day before opening and protestors are waking up to the dangers of this sham “museum”. “Rally for Reason” are organising a huge protest across the road from the site, a plane will fly overhead with the clever trailing banner, “Thou Shalt Not Lie” and hundreds of scientists in Kentucky/Ohio/Indiana have signed a Statement of Concern petition. Nonetheless, a cocky Ken Ham “thanks his critics” for helping make his Creation Museum twice the size that it was originally intended to be.  May 28, 2007 will be a sad day in human history.

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Comments»

1. Jim - 28 April, 2007

I’ll be laughing in Paradise while you’re burning in Hell boy. I got my tickets for the opening of the Museum. Maybe you should go to get your eyes opened.

2. paralleldivergence - 28 April, 2007

That’s very Christian of you, Jim. If you have any useful comments, please add them.

3. Jack - 29 April, 2007

Sweet! I’ve always thought that a Flintstones style theme park was a good idea.

4. paralleldivergence - 30 April, 2007

Hi Jack. Maybe Ken Ham, being an Australian, got his idea from the now closed “Australia’s Wonderland” theme park which had all the Hanna Barbera characters, including The Flintstones! Take a look:

http://www.wonderland.com.au/85sb/

5. Teetop - 30 April, 2007

Well Jim
After taking into consideration the vast amount of gods and religions throughout history–god’s apparent complete lack of desire to communicate the correct version–and god’s apparent intolerance—I’d say odds are pretty good that you are screwed like the rest of us–a ticket to the creation museum won’t save you Jim–see you in hell.

6. mark - 30 April, 2007

25 years ago in another life I saw Ken Ham speak . He “proved” that humans hunted dinosaurs, and that Uluru was washed into the centre of Australia by the great flood.

Heck, people eagerly lap this stuff up just too easily. But you can’t expect them to be rational and question the whole premise, because that marks one out as a non believer, and as such, a threat to the stability of the other believers. Non believers end up in hell. The bible tells us this so it must be true.

In reality, rational thinkers have hell brought to them in this life by the “true disciples”. Family and friends are turned against the fool that turns from the way. How else can the straight and narrow way be kept pure. It only takes one scapegoat to ensure that other weak willed fools will not turn from the way. No more questions…good!

Seriously, if you want to understand these guys, look up “cult” and “cult survivors”

7. paralleldivergence - 30 April, 2007

Hi Teetop. Thanks for your straight-as-it-is contribution.
Mark, thanks for the insight into Ken Ham. Sounds like he’s been at this for a long time. People think “cult” is a term for small “out-there” groups that brainwash people, but when you consider EVERY SINGLE BABY born on this Earth is born an Atheist, then the only way you can classify the way the children in the video are being raised is brainwashing. Organised religion = cult. What’s the difference?

8. Teetop - 2 May, 2007

It always amazes me how normally rational people–those who don’t believe in fantasy such as the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause etc would never question the reality of incidents recorded in the Bible. Don’t get me wrong-people have the right to believe in whatever blows their dresses up-but the frightening thing about these people here in the U S is–alot of them hold political office and are attempting to make laws based on their religious beliefs–starting with the President at the top

9. Ben Hasic - 2 May, 2007

A nice video on The Creation of Life on Earth that I thought you’d enjoy:

10. paralleldivergence - 3 May, 2007

Ha ha ha! Great video Ben! Says it all in just one minute.
Teetop, you are absolutely right. The abundance of “believers” in government office is a major concern. But the reality is the abundance of believers in the US in comparison to other countries (particularly those in Europe).

11. Paul Martin - 3 May, 2007

So strange – like time running backwards. In elementary school I remember reading about the Scopes Monkey Trial and basically reacting with “Phew… glad that’s behind us!”

Was I ever wrong. The Christian far right has raised a generation of children who have no understanding of how science or even critical thinking works.

12. Simon - 3 May, 2007

Firstly to Jim, I pity your bitterness and your blinkered life. ‘Nuff said. As to Ken Ham, I’m ashamed to say this sham of a museum is to open in MY STATE of Kentucky. I know I’m a tiny minority being an atheist in Kentucky, but I honestly don’t believe the majority of people in my state would believe what Ken Ham wants to force-feed us. It’s interesting there’s hardly a peep from the media here. Are they too scared of the religious-right? Great article.

13. Randy - 4 May, 2007

When people say the far right what you are really saying is those that believe in “The Word of God” and trust in him. There is way to much
compromise going on . Science only reinforces the bible when one looks and uses some critical thinking. However today many people are teaching that evolution is a fact when in reality its a belief, and I am referring to goo to you not natural selection. NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN ANY ANIMAL TURN INTO A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ANIMAL(cat /dog) To believe this takes more faith then to believe what the bible teaches. And I must say that you are right when you say that a museum will not save you but the truth will….

Dave - 27 June, 2009

Randy – Your strange interpretation of scientific logic gives me a clue as to the way you think.
What I can’t figure out is how you can spell?
And actually, by comparing DNA over time we can see how animals turn into different animals.
However, you, and I, like every other human, both have bits of fish DNA in us.
It’s probably why the bible refers to fishes?
Doesn’t say much about cabbages though, and we’ve got some of that DNA too.

14. paralleldivergence - 4 May, 2007

Welcome Randy! Your uppercase statement “no-one has ever seen…” is absolutely right. We are not talking about miracles here. We are talking about evolutionary change which occurs over millions of years and hundreds and thousands of generations. But the religious right have problems with the concept of “millions of years”, let alone the reality of “billions of years” for both the age of the Earth and more for the age of the universe.

Belief in Adam and Eve as the first humans 6,000 years ago and the fact that incest must have occurred to breed more humans (between Adam and Eve’s children), only to see them wiped out by a flood and to start again with Noah’s children some 4,500 years ago and from their spawn to “somehow” produce white people, black people, chinese people, indian people, eskimos and scandinavians. To me that takes a lot more faith than evolution.

If your answer is “God works in mysterious ways” then that’s a cop-out. We need to ask questions if we are to progress – not just blindly accept what was and is still being written by men. Sure. Evolution is a theory. But you are stating that God and Creation and Adam and Eve and the Great Flood are all facts – without any evidence. The Bible is simply not evidence. It’s a book of flowery writings that contradicts itself all over the place that believers are happy to pick and choose from.

UPDATE: A man in the Netherlands has built a replica of Noah’s Ark!! Maybe Ken Ham should buy it for his “museum” as a new exhibit. Take a look at the images: http://www.nbc11.com/slideshow/news/13225852/detail.html

15. mark - 5 May, 2007

Back when I first saw Ken do his spiel to thunderous applause, (Lismore 1984) , the spiel where he proved that humans and dinosars lived togther, I was also exposed to an article in “Time” magazine. Time magazine was like a weekly rss feed on the goings on in the world.

The article was by a foreign affairs journalist who had spent some time with pentagon insiders. The insiders were publicly expressing alarm at the fact that extreme fundamentalist christians were poised to take power within the pentagon. These guys believed that it was their “calling” to hasten armageddon, so that JC would return and establish 1000 years of peace on the earth.

SCARY STUFF!!. These are the guys with their fingers on the button.
The article concluded that the biggest threat to US security (this was 1984) was the preponderance of right wing christian fundamentalists within the pentagon, and all levels of govt.

Fast forward 20 years and look what we get.

16. Dave - 5 May, 2007

HI pardiv.
Thanks for posting this article – it reminded me I wanted to do more reading on CiG.

BTW I would like to apologize for Jim giving us Christians a bad name – He clearly needs to meditate on God’s Love – No one in paradise laughs when souls are lost to hell – it saddens God and His true followers that you reject the Lord who bought your soul by the sacrifice Christ Jesus made for you.

As for children being born athiests, True Christians believe their children are born with faith – I do – because faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God – therefore children can hear the Gospel in the womb (science HAS proven they can hear in there) and therefore can have saving faith before they are born.

There is no point in arguing the origin of life as neither you nor I can PROVE to the other that our BELIEF is true because we have no common basis of proof – you will not accept the Bible as proof and I will not accept Darwin’s OOL. You believe your bible and I believe mine.

I can sadly accept it when the Bible of my God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is not allowed in public schools, BUT then I must resent that the bible of your god, mother nature, is still allowed. That is not playing fair.

If your religion is so foolproof, why are you C.D. followers so afraid of the J.C. followers whom you consider to be fools? Why so much enmity toward equal billing with another Origin explanation?

I will always pray for you all (with my group of little believers).

17. paralleldivergence - 5 May, 2007

Welcome to you Dave and thanks for your prayers. They can certainly do no harm. Diversity of race, belief and character is what happens over time and when you have very large numbers of “intelligent” people on any planet.

I’m never sure why Creationists think that it’s a case of black and white – Creationists on one side and Evolutionists on the other. But it’s the Creationists that fail to acknowledge there are many points of view in the world. What about the Bhuddists? The Hindus? The Muslims that don’t believe in a young earth? Why do you reject those religions out of hand? Is it because they pose no real threat to you, but Evolution does?

Why do Creationists refer to people who see logic and evidence in the Theory of Evolution as “Darwinists” and call Evolution a “religion”? In no way do we see it as a battle between Jesus and Darwin, but you seem to. Darwin was no Messiah who was passing on a message from God (nor even called himself God). Darwin was a scientist who discovered something himself and shared it. Other scientists saw more logic, reasoning and evidence in his proposal for the origins and development of life than they could see in the Bible. We have no “belief” nor blind faith in the theory of evolution – that’s why it’s still called a theory and we are willing to accept alternative points of view providing they are backed by evidence. We reject the Bible because it has failed the tests, despite the contant rejigging that Creationists try to push on the world – such as the concept of Intelligent Design, which has no place in our public schools.

Read Mark’s reply above yours for why we fear the influence of fundamental Christians (thanks for that Mark).

18. paralleldivergence - 5 May, 2007

NEWS Update from May 4 2007: The bones of one of Ken Ham’s dinosaurs has been dug up virtually intact in southern Argentina of all places (a long way from Mt Ararat). Problem is, they reckon it’s 150 MILLION years old. But Ken will tell us that carbon and radiometric dating are totally flawed to the point where every age it determines is in reality less than 6,000 years old. It has to be, or else his whole Museum concept is a sham. Oh wait!…. It is!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070504/sc_afp/argentinapaleontology

Why have we found no dinosaur bones that are less than 6,000 years old Ken?

19. Dave - 6 May, 2007

Hi PD,
If I may respond to your posts…

Thanks for the reply to mine, and I am glad to see in the last sentence of your second paragraph….

*But it’s the Creationists that fail to acknowledge there are many points of view in the world. What about the Bhuddists? The Hindus? The Muslims that don’t believe in a young earth? Why do you reject those religions out of hand? Is it because they pose no real threat to you, but Evolution does?*

…that you finally admit Evolution is another religion!

Re: the other religions… I have no problem with equal billing for all religions. If Darwinism is allowed, then Hindus, Bhuddists, Christians, etc, etc. should ALL be represented – and conversely, since they are not, neither should the Darwinists be allowed to propagate their origin doctrines.

In my opinion, there IS a battle between Jesus and Darwin because his OOTS stands in direct opposition to the Biblical creation account – and vice versa. I think Darwin’s essay has made him (perhaps unintentionally) the Goliath; the Mohamed; the Moroni; dare I say: the Pope; of the NewAge religions. As you say – he was not a messiah with a message from God, but certainly he fits the bill of a prophet preaching in support of his goddess (mother nature). Darwinian origin is not PURE science – hypothesis (fancy word for much conjecture based on assumptions) is based on a preconceived notion of how things are (fancy way of saying *personal beliefs*).

One’s religious beliefs both affect and reflect how one perceives and values the things that one observes and comes in contact with – which is why you and I are both biased against each other’s viewpoint.

Next… *Militant Millenialists* is a better term for the *Religious extremists* mentioned in Mark’s comment. I support them not. Were they orthodox Christians, they would acknowledge that Christ Jesus’ kingdom is NOT of this world – and that nothing mankind can do will ever hasten or hinder God’s predetermined time-line.

Oh…. and thanks for that link to the post about the new dinosaur – it would have been nicer though if they had reported scientific facts instead of the same stale Darwinistic propaganda.

20. paralleldivergence - 6 May, 2007

Dave, it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest my statement “admitted” that Evolution is a religion! I was asking why Christianity rejects other religions in preference to a battle against the concept of evolution which by the definition of “religion” has nothing to do with supernatural anything. You are hung up on “Darwin” as being some sort of “prophet”. Scientists acknowledge that Darwin started the investigations into evolution, but evolutionary scientists have gone far beyond what Darwin discovered. AND THERE’S the difference. Evolutionary science has evolved and developed and progressed. Christianity is stuck in a time warp and wishes not to question, investigate and evolve. Why else is it called “blind faith”?

We need to leave behind the Jesus vs Darwin concept because that’s one cooked up by Creationists to keep their own on-side. Creationists want their people to believe it’s a case of us vs them – case in point the Ken Ham video in this article. They don’t want their people to look at the abundant evidence that the world is at least milions of years old because if their followers started to ask questions from within then they know they would not be able to stop their whole complex, money-making structure from imploding. Hence the brainwashing.

One the subject of the Argentinian dinosaur, what “scientific facts” did they omit? Please elaborate.

21. Dave - 6 May, 2007

PD-They spout the same old rhetoric…

*dinosaur some 150 million years old*
*carnivorous dinosaur of the Middle Jurassic period*

… unprovable age estimates (likely based on the same unreliable tests as always) biased by a presupposed timescale based on Darwin’s unprovable theory.

YET PUT FORTH AS FACTUAL DATA! That is NOT true science.

I’m just saying: Report honestly and admit that it is a guess based on a guess backed up by a guess!

22. paralleldivergence - 6 May, 2007

Thanks Dave. Is it a conspiracy that very few scientists in world in every country would dispute that the Earth is at least millions of years old? So you are saying the vast majority of scientists do not undertake true science? Why do you scorn on Darwin’s “unprovable” theory when the Bible theory is just as, if not more unprovable? Man has the potential to prove the theory of evolution over time. Man can never prove that a supernatural being created the heavens and earth during Creation Week some 6,000 years ago – unless that said supernatural being shows itself.

No comment on the other part of my last post?

23. Dave - 7 May, 2007

Sorry… I didn’t intend to seem that I was ignoring the other parts of that post…

p1-s1: I don’t think it was a stretch. You mentioned other religions and evolution in the same context – perhaps unintentionally (but truthfully) comparing it to other religions. I was commending your *subconscious honesty*.

s2: If other religions were propagated in schools and Christianity still barred, I would be equally opposed to them as well. We are most at odds because Evolution is the only religion that IS allowed in schools because it passes itself off as *science* and forceably displaces all other religions. …And I disagree – astronomical odds of random chance causing spontaneous formation of life IS as close to *supernatural* as any miracle recorded in Scripture.

s-3ff: I do not see how Christianity is stuck in a timewarp (though cosmic quantum stuff is of great interest to me). If the timewarp you refer to is the lack of further revelation or ongoing modification of the writings, it is because it is not necessary. We believe the writings were completed over 1500 years ago. The revelations of the future that were given still apply and correlate well with many happenings of history since then. Some have not yet been fulfilled, so our beliefs are still *evolving* in the sense that, as more of the prophecies come true over time, the unchangeable basis of faith is confirmed.

p2: If Darwin had been a Christian seeking to prove creation by science there likely would not be a problem, but since he was an atheist seeking to DISprove Scripture, he instigated the controversy.
No one has ever PROVEN that the abundance of evidence is in FACT millions of years old! That is the whole point! The testing methods are based on the supposition that your beliefs are correct, discounting the many possible variables that might result in such an outcome, and all the *evidence* is then labeled in accordance with your flawed dating system! That it NOT true science!
(sorry for shouting)

Many of us Christians do question things. God made me with a rational thinking mind and a thirst for knowledge – I question nearly everything and search for answers (from both sides of the issue) inasmuch as I have time and rescorces to do so.

Re brainwashing: what do you call it when you REQUIRE the teaching of only one unprovable viewpoint and disallow (dare I say *outlaw*) all other views as *supernatural and therefore impossible*?
(Um……the epitome of brainwashing!)

(I think I replied to all the parts this time.)


Then, to your last post:
I believe that man does not have the potential to ever prove evolution as an origin, because there will always be another *…and what caused that* or *…and where did that come from* to answer for.

What seems to me irrational and illogical is that anyone can believe (and state as a fact, no less) a theory based on a totally random chance occurrence against astronomical odds over an unfathomable amount of time -resulting in us…
…but yet firmly discount ANY chance of us resulting instead from the carefully laid plans of a super-intelligent engineer who exists beyond the scope of our conceptional limits of time and space?

On that note, I’ll check back with you later.
I have to go do some more research on quantum physics.

24. paralleldivergence - 7 May, 2007

Thanks for your detailed and considered response Dave. I think that whilst ever you are not prepared to accept that we are talking about evolution over hundreds of millions or billions of years, then yes, a species changing in the scope of 6,000 years could be classified as a “miracle”.

You say “No one has ever PROVEN that the abundance of evidence is in FACT millions of years old!”. Please have a careful read of this and if you can dispute it WITHOUT resorting to a “super-intelligent engineer wanting to make everything look really old (for some unknown reason)”, then that’s great – but even the AiG people refuse to enter into this debate:

http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=3&t=108&m=1

25. Dave - 7 May, 2007

Thank you for the reply and the link – it will be helpful to me – I’m cataloging all this information that I come accross.
Strange that I did not come across that site in any of the serches that I ran – but then, I didn’t look through all the 100,000’s of hits on every search either – remember I don’t acknowledge anything over 6,000!)
Just kidding!

I may be reading for a while, so don’t stay up waiting.

26. paralleldivergence - 7 May, 2007

Glad to see you’re open-minded about this Dave (at least I think you might be). In the meantime, I don’t know how many other articles you might have read here – eg. “How Saddam Killed the Death Penalty” and “How Hubble Killed God” and “Which is Stronger, Manfluence or Godfluence?” All are interesting reads and have some great comment discussions.

27. joabema - 15 May, 2007

I have enjoyed reading this discussion between Dave and Paralleldivergence. I don’t have a lot of time to sit around reading through web comments as a homeschooling mom of 6, but I did find this interesting enough to stick with it! Thanks to you both and others for all of the thought-provoking comments.

Just a couple of comments of my own. I am a Christian creationist and I am teaching my children to think critically about life and the many opinions offered out there. I have not been brainwashed. I came to believe in creationism after a life-changing personal experience and then careful examination of various viewpoints and scientific evidence. Up until that time I believe I had had a “brainwashing” in evolution. To Paralleldivergence and other creationist critics – I understand your reluctance to think there is anything scientifically rational in creationism because of your presuppositions. I have had many of my own. But I encourage you to try to open your mind to a “divergent” viewpoint that you seek to critically pull apart but may not have really examined objectively.

One other comment – I enjoy the exchange of ideas – but not the exchange of hostilities. If I am responded to in a hostile way from this post I will probably shy away from any further discussion as I have enough stress and challenge in my life and don’t have the emotional energy to deal with being treated as an imbecile because of the opinions I hold. However, from what I’ve read above, there is room here for mutual respect and I would enjoy this kind of exchange of ideas.

28. paralleldivergence - 15 May, 2007

Hi joabema. Firstly thanks for your comments. Secondly, please feel free to have a read of the other articles at this site and particularly the comments. They are all related to critical thinking and cover a wide variety of topics – certainly not just religion. I try to interact with people who take the time to comment here. My aim is never to put people down – I see no reason for this. Of course, others comment here as well and sometimes there are side-discussions. As long as people stick to the subject, I have not problem with that. It’s all about sharing ideas and discussing issues. Your view is different to mine and there is nothing wrong with that. Where it can go wrong is when people “views” are forced on others.

I suggested religion is “brainwashing” children. Children are born without religion. If it wasn’t for missionaries, most islanders and Africans and South Americans would today not be following Jesus for they would never have even heard of him. If Jesus or God wanted individuals to know about Him and worship him, He would have made Himself “visible” to them. But He didn’t. Instead, Man chose to spread this word. Why is it Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Noah and Muhammad all came from the same general vicinity? Why do you reject the Norse God, Thor? Or the many Greek Gods? Why are Hinduism and Buddhism wrong? Very few children being born on the subcontinent are being raised in Christianity. Why are they wrong and you right?

You suggest you were brainwashed by schools to believe evolution was true. Should schools teach Science at all in school? Should we teach children that the Earth and the planets go around the Sun or that the Earth is the centre of the universe as many Christians believed until they were proven wrong?

They’re all very interesting questions. I’m happy to talk with you more. As a Home Schooler, you’ve taken on a great responsibility to your children that most people simply give away and you are to be admired for that. But if you are prepared to question then at least it shows you have an open mind and that’s important.

As for Dave, he’s been doing my Enigma Challenge (see top of site), so we’re buddies now. :)

29. joabema - 19 May, 2007

I’m finally getting back after an electric storm knocked out my modem while I was away from home.

I appreciate your polite and friendly response. It is refreshing. There is so much hostility out there . . .

You say that religion brainwashes children. What do you mean by religion, exactly? If you consider religion a system of beliefs then I agree, brainwashing happens all of the time. Pervasive within our western culture is a brainwashing that feeds people all kinds of beliefs that fuel their natural tendencies to be unthinking, self-gratifying and self-centered.

But there are all kind of religions out there and systems of beliefs that people have adopted (and adapted). For those systems of belief that you seemed to be referring to and that many would tend to classify as “religion” – Christianity, buddhism, hinduism, etc., they obviously integrate some kind of belief in a higher power outside of oneself. This is what I’m assuming you find trouble with, that people tend towards this kind of “brainwashing”. First, I would ask why?? Why do people seem to need to believe in a power greater than themselves? I have met and talked with people from all over the world – and I would have to say that even in some of the most atheistic people I have met from China, there was still some kind of hunger in them and desire to believe that maybe their was a God. (But it seemed to me they were too scared to really face their own need because it might lead them down a road they did not want to journey.) I have the opinion that each and every person is created with a God-given need to believe. It is at the core of our very natures and I think is actually most evident in children who haven’t yet been brainwashed to not believe (which I think happens as they are taught to think they are descendants of primordial materials). But this need really goes way beyond belief, and particularly a system of belief (which only partially fills that need), to a need to know and be known by their creator. It is a need for relationship and acceptance at the deepest level of our being.

I have studied various religions. I see many Christians who are merely living out a system of beliefs. But I believe that true Christianity gives us not a religious system of beliefs but the opportunity to have this divine relationship and acceptance. I did not grow up in a home that taught this, nor did I blindly follow and accept what other Christians told me. I tested and I found it to be true for myself – that Jesus Christ offers all of the riches the world cannot – true peace, joy, contentment, love, etc., all through a dynamic, life-changing relationship.

I did not grow up in a love or acceptance-starved home. I am not an unintelligent person (I am no rocket scientist, but I have a master’s degree and continue my life-long pursuit of growth as a person, intellectual stimulation and additional knowledge in numerous areas of interest.) I am mentally healthy and not ultra-needy emotionally. But, I have come to the place that I am in my faith in Christ despite this! And it is the most wonderful place I can imagine being.

Anyways – onwward- I do not have a sufficient answer to the question that if we have an all-knowing, all-loving God, why would so many fall into false systems of belief? That question kept me from faith and has continued to perplex me. I would like to know why. I do believe, though, that the God I know is just and even when circumstances from our human perspective seem unjust or disturbing, I choose to trust that their will be a reckoning someday.

As far as people all over the earth not believing in Christ if missionaries had not taken word of Him to them – how do you know that for sure? There are actually stories from all over the world of people who were introduced to Christ in a dream and sought out people who could tell them who He was. I’m sure you would say that these stories may not be credible – but can you prove that they’re not? I personally know people in Turkey, Uzbekistan and China who have told me they know people to whom this has happened. Also, there is an amazing book, titled Eternity in Their Hearts, by a man named Don Richardson. In this book he documents various cultural beliefs and happenings in various geographical locations around the world through which people were prepared to understand the message of Christ and who He is. In Don’s first book, Peace Child, he himself tells about how as a missionary he went to a very primitive culture (I can’t quite remember where – maybe Irianjaya or somewhere like that.) Anyways, the people there had a rarely-practiced yet very seriously-taken cultural practice in which one village would give one of their babies to another village in order to stop the murderous revenge that was regularly interchanged. The Peace Child was a sacrifice, a sort of atonement for sin. Anyways, he had been praying for a way to introduce this cannabilistic, violent culture to the love of Christ and then he witnessed the offering of this “peace child”. Through this he was able to explain to the people in a way they could understand what Jesus did for them. It transformed these villages.

I am getting very long-winded but I just wanted to comment real quick on the teaching of science in school. Of course science should be taught – and honestly, I think even evolution should be taught. However, what is your definition of science? From what I understand, science (and I am married to a physician who repeats this all of the time when I talk to him about various alternative treatments for medical problems) is the repeated testing through observation and experiment of various hypothesis. When a hypothesis is tested and the same result is proven over and over, there is scientific law.

Logically, we can not test our hypothesis about the origin of the earth or any of it’s species. It is impossible to go back to the beginning of time repeatedly to try to test and prove how things came to be. Of course we can theorize about origins and collect various “proofs” of how we think that life began. However, it remains and will always remain theory.

Evolution is taught as if it were law. Not just in our schools, but all over in our culture. Believe me, when you start to try to be aware of how often you come across it, it is everywhere. I think evolution should be taught in schools – but as theory, for that is what it is. I recognize that in a public setting creation from a bibilical perpective, or even from an intelligent design perspective would be considered far to “religious” to ever even be considered to be taught at this point in time. However, there could certainly be a mentioning of the fact that there are other theories of origins and leave it at that. However, even this option seems to be very threatening to some. Even the slightest recognition that evolution is not completely proven fact seems to make many uncomfortable. Why do you suppose that is???

Well, that is all for now, and I’m sure you’re glad! I will plan to read up on some of your other posts as you suggested.

Thanks. -Joabema

30. paralleldivergence - 20 May, 2007

Thanks for the considered and detailed reply joabema. I think we both acknowledge that the argument is based on “unprovable” points on either side. I find it easier to accept for myself a more logical and rational possibility for the origins of life over Billions of years.

I’m not suggesting your point of view is illiogical or irrational, but by restricting (or blinkering) your understanding to only a Young Earth concept, you automatically reject old Earth arguments.

Stephen F. Roberts once said:

“I contend we are both atheists – I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why YOU reject all OTHER gods,
You will understand why I reject YOURS as well.”

I look forward to more discussions with you on the other articles.

31. Vaughn Hopson - 30 May, 2007

I believe the origin of life ought to be investigated. Biogenesis is scientifically proven and means that life comes from life. As a Christian, I certainly believe life came from our living God (life). This is consistent with both science and the Bible. After all, God is the author of all scientific truths.

Yet, many who reject God will uphold Abiogenesis even though it is not scientifically proven. This means that life comes from non-life. So, who really is holding to a ‘myth’? When will those who uphold abiogenesis admit it is not even based on a scientific truth? Yet, this is their common argument — that they rely on facts! Really?

I believe it takes much more faith to believe that everything came from nothing (abiogenesis) rather than that life came from the life-giver, God (biogenesis). I don’t have that much faith!

32. Linda Parsons - 30 May, 2007

Just when it appeared that God may have delayed his response to evolutionists, enter THE QUEST FOR RIGHT, a masterful work on creationism.

The great gulf of ambiguity that once separated Intelligent Design from legitimate scientific discourse has been abolished. It is a fact: The Quest for Right has accomplished that which, heretofore, was deemed impossible: to level the playing field between forces advocating creationism and those promoting evolution.

The Lord has heard the cries of His people and responded with a scientific resource on creationism that will stop these onslaughts against Christianity. The Quest for Right turns the tide by providing an authoritative and enlightening scientific explanation of natural phenomena that will ultimately replace the Darwinian view.

For example, the investigation dismantles the hocus pocus responsible for the various absolute radioisometric dating techniques by which rocks and other materials are supposedly dated. Absolute-“perfect, complete, definite; without a prospect of being incorrect.” On these incalculable formulae— and they are incalculable—rest the science council’s claim that the earth is of great age, accreting some 4.6 billion years B.C. Upon publication of The Quest for Right, the council’s choice of the superlative absolute will be assessed to be a scurrilous invective, an “abusive, offensive, even vulgar, connotation.” After all, who would question an absolute? It is a matter of record that these dating systems are the tools by which evolutionists have attempted to rip apart the validity of historical documentations, specifically, that the account of creation as recorded in the Bible is mythology. The Quest for Right has changed all of that: the scientific record of creation has stood undaunted against these attacks and has proven to be an invaluable asset to the in-depth investigation.

The first three volumes of the seven volume set will be published early fall ’07. The Quest for Right is all new from the get-go and is destined to make headlines that will reverberate within the halls of academia throughout the world. Coming soon to bookstores and online merchants such as Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobel.com, Walmart.com and questforright.com. Author, C. David Parsons, biblical scholar and scientist extraordinare.

33. paralleldivergence - 30 May, 2007

Thanks Vaughn and Linda for your comments. The “Quest for Right” appears to be a fabulous companion resource for the “Creation Museum”. More of Man trying to squeeze the square peg into the round hole. Through the “truth” of the Bible, you determine that the Earth and all creation is 6,000 years old, so you then you make up explanations for all the evidence around us that shows our Earth and the Universe are vastly greater than 6,000 years old.

You may want to review the Scientific American’s “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense” here: http://tinyurl.com/6w62

Intelligent Design is not science. Public schools are right to shun it.

34. michael - 1 June, 2007

The so called evidence you refer to needs to be interpreted. it just so happens that you choose to interpret the evidence as proof of millions of years whereas creationists, starting from a different axiom, interpret the evidence as proof of a (relatively) recent creation.
There is plenty of evidence around that completely contradicts the theory that the earth is billions of years old, but long agers dismiss any of that as ‘bad science’.
At the end of the day, operational science can’t confirm for us whether evolution is true (i mean the theory of evolution not natural selection which can be observed) or the creation account is true because we can’t observe either happening. therefore it is simply a matter of faith either way. do you put your trust in scientists, with their continually contradictory findings, or the bible which has remained the same for 2,000 years, yet to be proven incorrect.

35. paralleldivergence - 1 June, 2007

Thanks michael!
Can you disprove any of this scientifically? So far nobody seems to have been able to…
http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=3&t=108&m=1

36. Jeff - 3 June, 2007

The human mind needs to put things into categories. Dogs and cats are mammals, lizards are reptiles and motorbikes are two-wheeled vehicles powered by an engine. Religion is the category that many people use to explain things that they don’t or can’t understand. I’m the first to admit that there are many things in this universe that I don’t understand, but using an excuse like “it’s the will of God, Buddha or Allah” is weak. I find it easier to believe that the world we live in has evolved over many hundreds of millions of years, rather than the Earth & universe being created 6000 years ago by a “magician”. Also, I would much rather put my belief in the “continually contradictory findings” of science, because of the fact that people can prove or disprove various theories. The bible hasn’t changed in 2000 years, our world has.

37. Linda Parsons - 4 June, 2007

paralleldivergence, The Quest for Right will PROVE all it says and disprove Darwin and quantum science. And as to there being dinosaurs on the ark, there were none. The dinosaurs died out before the Great Flood. If there had been dinosaurs on the ark, they would still be here today. So the Creation Museum is wrong on that one point. You will just have to wait and read the book (to be released in the fall of 2007…first three volumes with four more to come). God will ultimately have the last word in this debate since He was and is the Creator of the Universe and Savior of mankind.

38. globalizati - 4 June, 2007

Atheist: Data data, logical argument, data data, evidence, reason.
Creationist: There is no data, *plugs ears*, Bible Bible.
Liberal theist: Some science, Creationists are wrong, hope, belief.
Me: Sigh…

Although I must admit, “Babies can hear the Word in the womb and have enough mental power and verbal comprehension to believe before they are born” is certainly one I haven’t heard before! Thanks, that gave me a good chuckle. I’m waiting for the next bestseller to be “Fred the Faithful Fetus.”

39. paralleldivergence - 4 June, 2007

Thanks Jeff. I think we’re in total agreement on this one.

Linda, I look forward to the “Quest for Right’s “PROOF”. I’m even happy to write a special article about it here. If you disagree with Ken Ham’s ancient city of “Bedrock”, then how do you feel about his “Museum” and the falsehoods it passes as “fact”? If it’s wrong on that point, why couldn’t it be wrong on others?

globalizati – they’re some excellent definitions you’ve come up with. Thanks for sharing them. The “babies in the womb” comment was definitely out of the strike zone, so was happy to let that one through to the catcher. :)

40. Linda Parsons - 4 June, 2007

I cannot comment on the Creation Museum’s falsehoods or truths since I have not visited same. But it’s nice to know that someone out there is trying to bring some proof of creationism even though I do not think God needs anyone to vindicate Him. All men know in their hearts there IS a God and a Creator of what they see around them according to the following scripture:

(Rom 1:18 KJV) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

(Rom 1:19 KJV) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.

(Rom 1:20 KJV) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

(Rom 1:21 KJV) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

(Rom 1:22 KJV) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

41. edmundreinhardt - 5 June, 2007

Michael, you are absolutely right about the “unprovability” of either creation or evolution.
ParellelDivergence, I don’t think you have really responded to joabema’s very intelligent post
“I am getting very long-winded but I just wanted to comment real quick on the teaching of science in school. Of course science should be taught – and honestly, I think even evolution should be taught. However, what is your definition of science? From what I understand, science (and I am married to a physician who repeats this all of the time when I talk to him about various alternative treatments for medical problems) is the repeated testing through observation and experiment of various hypothesis. When a hypothesis is tested and the same result is proven over and over, there is scientific law.

Logically, we can not test our hypothesis about the origin of the earth or any of it’s species. It is impossible to go back to the beginning of time repeatedly to try to test and prove how things came to be. Of course we can theorize about origins and collect various “proofs” of how we think that life began. However, it remains and will always remain theory. ”

So to globalizati’s categorization of evolutionists being fact-based and creationists being faith-based, I have to disagree.
A fact is a fact. We establish through our senses that the Grand Canyon sits there. We then interpret the fact and see it as support our models or worldviews. An uniformitarian geologist will say, “look, the Colorado river has over millions of years cut through these many layers of sedimentary rock deposited over billions of years” and uses this as evidence for evolutionary time frames. A catastrophe geologist will say, “We know that large lakes created by melting glaciers from the ice age were dammed up and then burst created a tsunami of water nearly a kilometer tall, these drained toward the Pacific ocean and cut through the sedimentary rock in a relatively short amount of time. The sedimentary rock was also deposited by a previous large flood in which turbulent water carrying large amounts of sediment deposited it in layers as we see happening under controlled experiments today. The fact that the division between layers is so smooth and the surfaces of layers that were supposedly 10,000 years apart accord uniformitarian dating method, show no sign of any weathering or erosion, indicate they were laid down in quick succession.”
So now we have the same fact interpreted in two different ways using completely scientific approaches. Same facts, same science. Different conclusions. We did not use the Bible in the second scientific analysis. The conclusions just happen to be consistent with the Bible. Therefore that scientific analysis is no less valid.
It is dishonest to say that scientific analysis that supports creation is unscientific just because it ends up supporting a model that is consistent with what the Bible would predicts. To be dismissive of this science is to betray your own naturalistic presuppositions. To be reasonable is to objectively assess the viability of your opponents position. You can say “I disagree” but that is your decision to hold on to your faith in another model. But you have to acknowledge that there are thinking Christians, whose faith is not blind, who are objective scientists and have concluded that the Bible is a realiably true.

42. globalizati - 5 June, 2007

It is impossible to go back to the beginning of time repeatedly to try to test and prove how things came to be. Of course we can theorize about origins and collect various “proofs” of how we think that life began. However, it remains and will always remain theory.

Your definition of science and how the scientific method works is excessively narrow. There are many fields (astronomy is an excellent example) where the things being studied are too large or too distant for direct experimentation. That by no means means that one cannot determine which theory is the best. To do this, scientists develop theories, and then try to gather evidence that would either prove or disprove their theory, and then propose more refined versions of their theories that jive with the observed facts. There are two problems with the various forms of creationism you ascribe to; 1) the evidence does not support them, and 2) they aren’t science. Allow me to explain.

So-called flood geology is rejected by all respectable geologists, and the fact that you find it convincing makes me think we’ll have a difficult time having an objective dialogue about the well-proven fact and theory of biological evolution. Talk Origins has a nice FAQ on Flood Geology here.

It is dishonest to say that scientific analysis that supports creation is unscientific just because it ends up supporting a model that is consistent with what the Bible would predicts.

You’re right. That would be dishonest. What is honest is saying that the evidence does not support a literal interpretation of the Bible, and that those who say it do are considered to be crackpots by that majority of scientists who have considered the evidence without the bias of having to prove one’s religion correct.

But the main reason Creationism–whether it’s in opposition to evolutionary biology or reputable geology–shouldn’t be respected or given equal time to true science is that they don’t propose a naturalistic explanation that is testable. That is the definition of science. You said:

To be dismissive of this science is to betray your own naturalistic presuppositions.

Certainly. Science is a methodology whereby one assumes methodological naturalism to better understand the natural world. If you want to belief whatever you want without good evidence, then fine, but don’t call it science, because it isn’t naturalistic. That would be bad science, and very bad theology as well.

But you have to acknowledge that there are thinking Christians, whose faith is not blind, who are objective scientists and have concluded that the Bible is a realiably true.

I would acknowledge that there are many more thinking Christians who look at the evidence and conclude that the earth is very old and that evolution is a well-proven fact in addition to be a hugely successful theory. Based on the evidence I’ve read, I would question the objectivity of those who conclude otherwise.

43. globalizati - 5 June, 2007

I forgot to make that first paragraph a blockquote. Oops.

44. paralleldivergence - 5 June, 2007

Welcome edmundreinhardt. I’m very happy to agree with globalizati’s excellent response to your comments. Basically, there are very few scientists that regard your “science” as anything more than trying to make sense or reality of the stories written in the Bible. Scientific practice does not start with the conclusion and work it’s way back to the process.

45. walkingbyfatih - 6 June, 2007

I have some questions about the things I see in the natural world that I would like to have explained. I also have a commentary on the Evolution/Cration Debate.

1- Natural Selection always results in a loss of genetic information.
Mutations, although may benefit a creature, are always a loss of genetic information. These two natural accurances or the base line for the theory of evolution. Why haven’t scientist, as much as they have tried, been able to find one example of genenic iformation being increase within an species? If Evolution is correct where did the new genetic info come from that turned a single cell creature into a human? Or a two celled creator for that matter?
2- If man and dinosuars never existed together, can some please explain why cave drawing of dinosaur have been found all over the world?
3- Why does almost every people group have a global flood story?
4- Why does the Chinese language, which was written 1000 years before the first book of the Bible, have the story of the flood and the need for a redeemer woven into the character of the language?
5- Scienist tell us it takes millions of years for diamonds to form in nature, however,we know for a fact, diamonds can be created in a lab in months. The same for opels and many other gems. Why do we do we assume it takes millions of years?
6-We can observe the formation of fossil in as little as 6 months, but we assume it takes millions of years for most fossils to from, why is that?

The crux of the debate is this:
If there is a Creator, than we are His creation, and He has authority of His creation. That is an idea an evolutionist can not allow ! Read the following quote from a leading evolutionist.

“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfil many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” Richard Lewontin, Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, p. 31, January 9, 1997

Sounds like his religion is materialism.

The Bible is very clear, there was no death before Adam sinned. Without Adams sin, there is no need for a Savior!
1 Cor. 15:21–22 states:
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Read this quote from a leading athiest of his day.
“Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer that died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.”
G. Richard Bozarth, “The Meaning of Evolution”, American Atheist, 20 Sept. 1979, p. 30

I will continue to tell people that the account in Genesis is to be taken literally, because I have found the hope that is Jesus Christ, and I want everyone to have the hope I have. I can not sit by and let the belief on millions of years keep some from know the Hope that is found only in Christ.

46. globalizati - 6 June, 2007

I have some questions about the things I see in the natural world that I would like to have explained. I also have a commentary on the Evolution/Cration Debate.

Funny, it sounds more like you’re making unequivocal statements than asking questions. I don’t have the time to respond to all of your points, but I’ll go ahead and point out how the very first one is false, and use that as an example to say that you don’t seem to be very interested in the scientific evidence for anything that you disagree with. If you did, you would take the time to do a very quick search on these subjects, and you’d realize your errors and possibly formulate more educated, more complex arguments.

On the first one–this is undeniably false. Have you looked at the evidence? There are links to a whole bunch of published sources here.

To anyone passing by reading this: the fact that ‘walkingbyfaith”s first point so egregiously overlooks widely-known data should be a good indication that the other points are of similar nature. Do a little independent reading and you’ll see what I mean. It seems walkingbyfaith is doing just that, instead of demanding evidence.

47. paralleldivergence - 6 June, 2007

Thanks again globalizati. I’ll take on walkingbyfatih’s (his typo, not mine) second point.

“If man and dinosuars never existed together, can some please explain why cave drawing of dinosaur have been found all over the world?”

It’s easy to make a throwaway statement without any evidence to back it up whatsoever. “All over the world”? Where? Why are they not mentioned in any real museums? I Googled for cave drawings of dinosaurs, and sure, they are mentioned – ONLY on creationist websites. Several of these creationist websites referred to cave drawings made by Australian Aborigines. Isn’t it ironic that the Aborigines themselves say they have been in Australia for the past 40,000 years? – and there is skeletal and fossil evidence to back that up. Enough said.

If your only evidence is the Bible, then there is no science in anythiing you say. It’s all walking by faith.

48. Jeff - 9 June, 2007

All the answers are here:

49. paralleldivergence - 10 June, 2007

Thanks for this Jeff. I don’t suppose Family Guy is a favorite in the Bible Belt. :)

50. edmundreinhardt - 13 June, 2007

Thank globalizati, for you civil and reasoned response.

Your definition of science and how the scientific method works is excessively narrow. There are many fields (astronomy is an excellent example) where the things being studied are too large or too distant for direct experimentation. That by no means means that one cannot determine which theory is the best. To do this, scientists develop theories, and then try to gather evidence that would either prove or disprove their theory, and then propose more refined versions of their theories that jive with the observed facts.

I agree that we can compare theories by determining which one fits the facts better. Your final point about developing theories and seeing whether the observed evidence supports them or not, is a reiteration of the definition that I gave. I disagree that my definition is too narrow. Although stars are distant and large, we observe light coming from them over periods of time and can infer position orbit, from the red shift we infer movement perpendicular to our position, etc. All of these involve are repeatable experiments. I think what you really want to say is that my definition does not contain a precommitment to naturalism.
Both you and paralleldivergence object to creationism because it assumes that the Bible is true and is therefore biased.
From globalizati

What is honest is saying that the evidence does not support a literal interpretation of the Bible, and that those who say it do are considered to be crackpots by that majority of scientists who have considered the evidence without the bias of having to prove one’s religion correct.

From paralleldivergence

Basically, there are very few scientists that regard your “science” as anything more than trying to make sense or reality of the stories written in the Bible. Scientific practice does not start with the conclusion and work it’s way back to the process.

It is true that we need to follow the facts. Taking the Bible as my working hypothesis, I can see that the facts in the world around me support this hypothesis and that it has excellent verifiable predictive power in many dimensions, not only the physical. I would not believe the Bible, if it did not seem to be best explanation for the observations I see.
However I see that you are both holding a double standard here.
You have defined science to include a precommitment to naturalism. Therefore you have your own worldview embedded in your definition. While you discount out-of-hand the science of those who believe in a different worldview.

Certainly. Science is a methodology whereby one assumes methodological naturalism to better understand the natural world. If you want to belief whatever you want without good evidence, then fine, but don’t call it science, because it isn’t naturalistic. That would be bad science, and very bad theology as well.

Your precommitment to naturalism is very blatant here. I agree that we understand God’s world by discovering the natural laws of how he has designed things. I am very gratetful that things are predictable rather than random and allow such discovery. It was this belief that inspired the great God-believing scientists such Newton, Pascal, etc. We are not going to reject Calculus or F=ma just because Newton happened to believe in God. Just because we look for naturalistic explanations first, does not preclude possibility of the supernatural. If we are truly objective, would we not be willing to consider all possibilities?

51. edmundreinhardt - 13 June, 2007

To summarize:
A fact is interpreted as evidence with respect to a hypothesis.
Science is the process of validating or disproving theories using repeatable experiment.
Creationist start with the same set of fact and use the same set of natural laws, and experiments to come up with a falsifiable model. It so happens that these models are consistent with what belief in the Bible would predict.

This is not blind faith. It is valid science.

Secondly to say we that using naturalistic methodology you cannot observe the supernatural is to say that using my eyes I cannot smell a flower. You are preventing the conclusion by being selective in what you allow to be measured.

52. paralleldivergence - 13 June, 2007

In terms of methodology, edmundreinhardt, much of what you say has merit – however, you still must resort to the supernatural in order to complete your “science” – which throws the science out the window. My argument is you cannot scientifically argue what cannot be tested. I’m not sure why you bother to question anything at all when your bottom line is, “The Creator” trumps everything.

Scientists cannot disprove your claims and you cannot prove them unless your Creator conclusively shows Himself to non-believers. Why doesn’t He? Would solve a whole lot of arguments.

53. edmundreinhardt - 14 June, 2007

To apply your testability criteria to evolution you have the same problems. You cannot test abiogenesis (creation of life from non-life) nor can you test the big bang. These are accepted on faith.

And to reiterate my starting statements, even if you could have God create a human being in front of you, or create life in a test tube that would not “prove” this is what happened in the past.

Of course if either of those things happen, that would be tremendous evidence that creation or evolution had occurred, but the individual would still have to choose whether to “believe” based on the evidence, that either process was actually the orgin of our existence.

Why cannot the naturalist surrender and admit that he/she is working out of a particular worldview and is interpreting the data according to that world view. There are alternate explanations that make a lot of sense, but each individual is making a choice what they believe.

What creation science does, is show that the natural world, using regular science with all of its rigor does support a model that is consistent with the Bible. The choice to believe the Bible is an independent one. But the science stands or falls on its own and is subject to all of the testability and falsifiability as evolutionary science.

54. paralleldivergence - 14 June, 2007

But edmund, as a creationist, you are still restricting your view of the universe to less than 10,000 years when there is so much evidence that the universe is at least MILLIONS of years old and actually BILLIONS of years old. Can you dispute any of the science of this:

http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=3&t=108&m=1

…without referring to the supernatural trump card?

And how about answering some of these questions about the many discrepancies in the Bible? http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_dennis_d_070614_questions_your_pasto.htm

55. edmundreinhardt - 20 June, 2007

Hi parallel
I have seen that discussion on long ages as well.
Personally I am not dogmatic about 10,000 years, but I am seeing lots of evidence that points in that direction.

Age of trees – consistent with young earth
Radio-isotope dating – see http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2003/0821rate.asp
Coral see – http://creationwiki.org/Moon_is_receding_at_a_rate_too_fast_for_an_old_universe
Note that this is also supporting the fact that the moon is receeding at a rate too fast for an old earth

Which brings up the issue that there are a number of other geo-chronometers that support a younger earth.

Not enough Helium gas – http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i3/old_earth.asp
Naturalists choose an “index fossil,” one that is in a certain layer and date it by when they think it evolved – not by Carbon-14 dating, nor potassium-argon, nor by uranium-lead dating. They date the fossil by when they think it evolved. Then they date the rock by the fossil, and then they prove evolution by the date on the rock. This is circular reasoning.
Human population can be extrapolated backwards to see how long it would have taken to achieve present-day numbers. Using conservative growth figures of one-half percent per year, Earth’s population would have been eight people about 5,000 years ago, comparing very well with the number of people on Noah’s Ark. Based on evolution’s claim for the origin of man, the same ½ percent growth calculation for the human race results in a huge present day population that can not be justified by the fossil record or current statistics.
Rivers pour tons of material every year into the Earth’s oceans. Scientists know with a fair degree of accuracy the quantity of each element’s influx as well as the current concentration of these elements in the oceans. By simple division, they can calculate the time it took to reach present levels, even accounting for sedimentation and dissipation. None of these elements give an age of the Earth even coming close to billion of years.
Polystratic trees are fossil trees that extend through several “strata” of rock, sometimes penetrating 20 feet deep. According to evolutionists, a 20 foot deposit of rock would take place slowly and uniformly, over a great many years. However, the tops of such tree trunks would have decayed long before the new rock layers had a chance to surround them. At Katherine Hill Bay, Australia, a fossilized tree can be seen extending over twelve feet, through several sedimentary layers. This tree is testimony to the catastrophic and rapid burial that must have taken place.
When the carbon-14 test was first created, scientists used the process to date many different things including oil and coal. Tests of these two substances by this method revealed them to be only several thousand years old instead of millions of years old, as predicted by evolutionary theory. Once this method was shown to predict recent dates for oil and coal, scientists stopped dating oil and coal using this method.
Laboratory and field research has demonstrated that coal is formed rapidly and in vast quantities. Modern laboratories can duplicate the formation of coal formation in a matter of days – or even hours. Furthermore, massive seams of coal in the Earth remain undiluted by influxes of clay and other impurities before they thicken.
The pressure in modern day oil fields is too high for them to be very old. Current estimates indicate that the longest a rock layer could keep oil under pressure would be 100,000 years. Oil is simply not as old as evolutionists’ claim.
It is well known that the interior of the Earth is very hot. For each mile you descend, the temperature increases by 118 degrees Fahrenheit. The Earth is a thousand miles in diameter; the core is so hot that the rocks are molten. Yet as Earth passes through the extreme cold of outer space, it’s losing its heat. Even with the heat it receives from the sun, Earth’s net heat loss is 1027 calories per second. This means that if it started at 190 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface, Earth would have been frozen stone cold to the center in the first 40 million years. If it were four billion years old, it should have been a huge sphere of ice over 100 times by now.
Earth’s spin is slowing down at a rate of one third of a second every year. Extrapolating this back billions of years, we obtain an unreasonable spinning speed for the Earth.
Earth’s magnetic field has been measured since 1835. It is growing weaker and the rate at which it is growing weaker has been calculated. If we extrapolate backwards, even to 20,000 BC, the magnetic field would have been so strong Earth would have been like a star and nothing could have lived here. Extrapolating further back, it would have been so strong it would have crushed the surface of the Earth in on itself.
Evolutionists say that the magnetic field of the Earth has shifted from positive to negative at times – that’s how it keeps going. But observations of the sun’s magnetic field’s changing from positive to negative show it loses more energy each time instead of gaining energy. Applying the same criteria to the magnetic field of the Earth, we see is that it drops the age of our planet to about six to eight thousand years.
Like a giant vacuum cleaner, the sun sweeps up almost 100,000 tons of inflow per day. The sun’s radiation pressure also pushes small, dust particles outward into space. This phenomenon is known as the Poynting-Robertson effect. If the solar system is really billions of years old, then the solar system should have been swept clean by now. Unfortunately for evolutionists, tons of space dust remain in our solar system.
When spiral galaxies make one full turn they leave behind distinctive pairs of arms because the interior stars move around faster than the outer stars. These galaxies are supposed to make one full turn every hundred million years meaning they should have a pair of arms for every 100 million years. If the Earth is five billion years old, galaxies should have so many arms they couldn’t be counted. But astronomers haven’t been able to find a galaxy with more than three pairs of arms, meaning they haven’t been able to find one that’s even half a billion years old.
A star cluster contains hundreds or thousands of stars moving, as one author put it, “like a swarm of bees,” held together by gravity. But in some clusters, the stars are moving so fast that they could not have held together for millions or billions of years. Star clusters tell us that the age of the universe should be measured in thousands of years.
When big stars run out of fuel, they explode. Some of these “super nova remnants” are visible from the Earth. According to astronomical theory, in galaxies of our size, approximately 7,250 super nova remnants should be visible. Using the creationist age of the galaxy, we should expect to find between 125 and 200 super nova remnants. The actual number of super nova remnants visible from the Earth is 205, which is very close to the creationist numbers.

As you can see, at no point was the supernatural referenced.

As to the Bible discrepancies

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/20

Sorry ran out of time for more response, but more could be given.

56. paralleldivergence - 4 July, 2007

Hi edmundreinhardt. I’m sorry for taking so long in getting back. You spent a lot of time putting together your reply and that deserves a response. The reality is that you have come to a conclusion that Genesis is fact, the universe is very young and you THEREFORE need to make everything else FIT within that timeframe, despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary. It’s closing your eyes and accepting a supernatural answer to everything regardless of the fact that there has been no evidence of any supernatural event by any all-powerful being since primitive times.

You have accepted that the word of The Bible is true and correct, but how can you ignore the evil it professes? How can you pick and choose? If Jesus said the power of prayer can achieve anything:

“Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.” (Mark 11:24-25 NAB)

…then WHY has this never happened? Why does prayer patently not work?

You need to read the whole Bible, not just the bits you want to believe in – http://www.evilbible.com

57. GreenLantern - 12 August, 2007

edmundreinhardt,

I don’t really consider answersingenesis.org, creationwiki.org, or apologeticspress.org to be a good unbiased source of information when debating the subject of creationism.

Show me some unbiased experimentally verified science websites, and I will be prepared to listen. That is, if you can find any.

58. Ed Van Gennip - 24 August, 2007

Reading many of the comments here I am amazed. I see a very critical view of creation and a young universe and lots of talk of scientific evidence for a very old universe and evolution. This seems very biases and ‘closed eyes’ by those opposing a young earth as there is lots of evidence in favor of that theory. Even the initial entry about the definition of a museum leads me to question the use of evolution as a theory as it violates the definition of theory in that evolution has no evidence, no transitional fossils, many problems with dating techniques, and much more. If a critical, non-factual, non-logical view is used for one view it must fairly be applied to all. Also personal attacks calling well educated people blind again avoids the real issues if is usually used by people who cannot argue logically, rationally, and must resort to emotion. Any real progress can only be made by looking at evidence, the source of the evidence, the assumptions build into the conclusions based on the evidence, and see where that leads.
Three excellent books in this line are by Lee Strobel, a former lawyer, who looks at Faith, at Jesus, at Creation, and wrote a book on each, looking at the evidences from many points of view, to draw the conclusions he does,

59. paralleldivergence - 24 August, 2007

Thanks Ed. I’m actually pretty pleased that with an emotive subject like this that there has been no real mud slinging from either side and the debate has been fairly rational. One thing I will note is that both sides have been strongly defending their own points of view, rather than actually trying to directly dispute specifics. You say there is “lots of evidence” in favor of a young earth theory, but I say there is far more that suggests a very old earth and universe. However, you offer no direct evidence to support your stance. You have this “museum” that bases everything on faith and an almost 2000 year old book (Genesis), but you conveniently close your eyes to the evidence of age listed here (as raised earlier):

http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=3&t=108&m=1

Can you dispute these age measures to squeeze them into your 6000 year timescale? Is there no moral problem with incest driving the initial population of the Earth and again incest playing a major part of the repopulation after the “Flood” under your preferred theory? And in 4500 years after Noah’s flood “somehow” we’ve managed to produce Chinese and Japanse and Eskimos and Blacks and Indians and Scandinavians and Aborigines and Arabs and Polynesians and… the list goes on. You have no problems in your mind with this?

60. James - 27 August, 2007

Already done. That other crazzy Kent Hovind is waaaaay ahead. But then again he went to Jail for tax fraud. Ahhh the system works.

61. Ed Van Gennip - 28 August, 2007

Paralleldivergence, there appears to be much evidence for long ages. It also appears to be much evidence for short ages, as Edmund Reinhardt said in a previous append. Like tree rings some have claimed that ice layers in Greenland also determine age. But recently a hole was bored a few hundred feet down to some buried fighter jets, in the ice. There were thousands of years worth of layers yet we know these planes went down less than 70 years ago. Obviously the theory of of one ice layer per year was wrong. I’m not saying this is true of tree rings, but it does show some things we believe as scientific fact are really theories.

It is also interesting that the oldest living things on earth, trees, are less than 4500 years, but very close. In the Inyo mountains of California is the bristlecone pine forest. Trees about 4000 years old, calculated by tree rings. A possible reason there is nothing old is due to the flood killing everything. Regarding the different races, the Bible has an answer. Whether you believe it or not, it is a possible theory that explains the evidence. The fact that no one has ever recorded a transitional species in humankind or animal lends credence to the Bible explanation. It can be found in Genesis 11 verses 1-11.

Regarding the museum, I’ve not been there yet, I hope to go later this year. From the little I have read about it I think the exhibits are based on the same science and any other museums.

James, I have met Kent Hovind a few years back while vacationing in Florida. I found he was very articulate, quite vast knowledge base, excellent examples of young earth. I personally do not agree with his stand against taxes, but he did explain to me why he is taking this stand, and I give him credit for standing by his convictions. This does not make his crazy. My previous append mentions tactics like name calling and how it totally discredits the person doing the name calling.

62. Ed Van Gennip - 28 August, 2007

mistake, sentence:
From the little I have read about it I think the exhibits are based on the same science and any other museums.

should be

From the little I have read about it I think the exhibits are based on the same science AS any other museum.

63. paralleldivergence - 28 August, 2007

Hi Ed,

The trees take us to one age level, but that site I posted refers to so much more evidence than that. I looked and I found reference to a WWII plane being buried under a glacier in Greenland. Can’t really classify a glacier as layers of sheet ice.

I don’t know if you had a read of this at my site, http://paralleldivergence.com/2006/11/11/how-hubble-killed-god – but the whole “creation of light in transit” is such a weak ridiculous and nonsense argument that creationists hold up. What possible reason would “god” have to create galaxies that are over 10 billion light years away, visible to our Earth if the universe was only 6000 years old?

I also looked up Genesis 11 – it ONLY refers to different languages – nothing to do with different races. If you can explain through Genesis the incredible variety of races of humans in just 4500 years then maybe there would be some real Answers in Genesis – not just vague blabberings by primitive men from a primitive time. When the Bible was written, the authors had no comprehension of Chinese, American Indians, Polynesians, Scandinavians and Aborigines. It’s little wonder they aren’t mentioned. Surely God knew about them though. The Australian Aborigines have lived there for over 40,000 years. Well before Adam and Eve. Speaking of Australia, the Great Flood that destroyed EVERYTHING except the people and animals on the Ark SOMEHOW managed to drop animals totally unique to that island continent – kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, playpus, wallabies – the list goes on. Noah never went anywhere near Australia. Explain that in Genesis. It’s totally contradictory. Nevermind the Polar bears and bison. The reality is, Genesis does not mention kangaroos. Genesis 7:2-3 specifies seven pairs of each kind of clean animal and one pair of each kind of unclean animal. Deuteronomy 14:4-18 lists the species of clean animals and the species of unclean animals. Kangaroos, polar bears and bison were not listed and therefore were not in the ark. Likewise with giraffes, elephants, lions, etc. Genesis 7:2-3 is consistent with a local flood – not a global one. No global flood means dinosaur fossils in the United States, and the Grand Canyon being caused by the global flood is pure bunk.

Ken Ham even wrote an article trying to explain it, and that article goes nowhere. The Title of the article sets it up, for the answer we are all waiting for, but instead, his answer is “just believe because the Bible is the truth”. Read it for yourself – http://biblicalstudies.qldwide.net.au/cs-kangaroos_dinosaurs_and_eden.html

Just like the church was proved wrong about astronomy, over time it will be proven wrong generally and exposed for the mass human-control organization it is.

But I’m always open to any real evidence you might be able to bring to the table, Ed. Green Lantern said it right above.

64. Friendlypig - 1 September, 2007

I found this site by pure accident; or was I meant to find it? I followed a couple of links from a financial bulletin board and, “Hey Presto!”

I apologise for my use of the English language but we invented it!

My mother was a lapsed Roman Catholic of Irish descent, and my father an Anglcian whose family came from the Inner Hebrides; but I didn’t have religion forced down my throat. We were given religious instreuction at school based on the Christian Bible but by the age of 15 I had serious doubts about what we were being taught. The bible is a great history book based on the tribes of Isreal and those we now call ‘Jews’ although Jerusalem was not important, being only a settlement in the early days. MY doubts came from my ability to reason what I understood from what we were being taught, and information that I got from other sources.

Now there are several things that I don’t understand. No that’s wrong, there are thousands of things are don’t understand but I would like a few answers please:

If all animals (including T-Rex) were vegetarian, is the reason that Polar Bears now eat Seals because they ate all the vegatation that apparently grew on the Arctic ice pack before the flood?

If it is the case that the animals we now know as carnivors are really naturally vegetarian why do all the A class predators, on every continent, chase, kill and eat other animals. Why does ‘God’ allow his creations to eat each other when there is plenty of vegetation available? Of is this a continuation of the thread of death, in many many forms much of which was done either at ‘His’ command or in ‘His’ name?

Why do Hippopotamuses, which are vegetarian, kill more people than any other species in Africa, and eat them as well?

Why have fossils of Ammonites and other long dead sea creatues been found at a height of 4000 metres in the Himalayas? They are not exactly close to the high water mark – not even for the flood? Are we expected to believe that they are there simply for decoation or that the Himalayas have come into existence in just 6000 years? That is an annual rise of 4.8 feet a year.

When ‘God’ made this perfect planet of ours do you think he understood the side effects of the process we call Plate Techtonics? Because if he did then he is a mass murderer! The by-products are of course, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and, where an earthquake occurs under water, the chance of a tsunami.

Over 250,000 died in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, countless thousands in the eruptions of Mt St. Helens, Mt Pinatubo, Krakatoa and all the others not to mention the earthquakes that occur on the fault lines like the one that destoryed San Francisco in 1908.

I would like someone to explain the intelligence of this design!

65. paralleldivergence - 1 September, 2007

Welcome Friendlypig! I hope you find some interesting subject matter at the site. There are so many more questions raised than “Answers in Genesis” provides. Even their “answers” raise questions. But their mantra is don’t let them ask questions! Take a look at this quote: “If we allow our children to doubt the days of creation, when the language speaks so plainly, they are likely to then doubt Christ’s Virgin Birth, and that He really rose from the dead.” – this quote is taken directly frm the Answers In Genesis website. What kind of answer is that?? [Ref: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i1/sixdays.asp ]

66. Friendlypig - 1 September, 2007

Paralleldivergence,

Thanks for your prompt response. I can only hope that someone can explain how my points fit into their version of reality.

It seems to me that however well meaning the advocates of this, how shall I put it, ‘Theory’ is, semantics are once again getting in the way. They talk about ‘Not allowing their children to believe in an alternative to their views’. This is neither persuasion nor faith, but mind control. We were all born with a brain; I know that I’ve got one because it rattles when I shake my head, especially in disbelief at some of things that I have read in ‘answers in genesis’. If we have a brain then we have the power to think, and to deduce, in the same way that Ken Ham did when he developed this crack-pot version of reality. What he is wanting to do is to control everyone else’s thoughts, especially the most vulnerable.

That is the definition of ‘Cult’ not of ‘Faith’.

But the news gets better, but I’m not sure for whom. We now know, thanks to the archaeologists and the theologians, that monotheism only developed in the Levant 2500 years ago, and even then it was not widely accepted. The ‘logical’ and therefore only conclusion that can be drawn from these facts is that the ‘Book of Genesis’ could not have been written prior to 2000BC.

What we now have to do is to translate this into a date using Ken Ham’s own mathematical formulae i.e. that one day equates to a thousand years. Seeing that Ken Ham has not argued against the fact that a sidereal year is 365 days then we can assume that there are 2500 X 365 days since the development of monotheism in the Judeo Christianity Timeline. That gives us a total of 912500 days, or in their version ‘years’. Each day equates to a Thousand years, so by multiplying by 1000 we get an answer of 912,500,000 years since the concept of a single god was developed.

After all that work I need to go and lie down!

67. paralleldivergence - 1 September, 2007

Thanks for the excellent post, Friendlypig. I think we’ll all be wating for a long time for rational responses to your important questions. I wrote about this more here if you’re interested: http://paralleldivergence.com/2006/11/04/which-is-stronger-manfluence-or-godfluence/

68. Friendlypig - 2 September, 2007

My apologies; the date before which Genesis could not have been written is of course 500BC, and not 2500BC as i previously wrote.

69. Ed Van Gennip - 5 September, 2007

Paralleldivergence,
Sorry for the delay responding to your response on Aug 28th. End of summer and a busy time.

Going through you append, I did not read you ‘how Hubble killed God article’ but I still agree with you that God did not create light in transit. I see no purpose to that as I agree that it would be deceptive and I do not think God tries to deceive people. In fact Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him [God] since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse, …” So God says he has shown us stuff about creation and it is ‘clearly seen’, thus he would not deceive us. Thus the appearance of ‘old’ light must have another answer, and there are some which are more plausible. But I will not get into that here except to say if you are interested in other theories look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlight_problem#Starlight_and_Time:_.22White_Hole.22_Cosmology (I am not saying I agree with this, just that it is an alternative theory which is more plausible).

Your answer about people groups, relating to my comments on Genesis 11 is valid. I did not explain very well. It is possible God changes people physical characteristics along with their language but the Bible does not say this, so it is pure speculation. What is more likely is that God changed their language, as the Bible says, people spread out over the earth, and over many generations (but not millions of years) people changed. Those who remained along the equator area developed dark skins due to fair skinned people dying off quicker due to cancer, etc so the genes triggering darker skin helped those people survive better. Likewise adaptation to climate change heading north and south around the world had similar effects. This is not macro-evolution, a change in species but adaptation within a species, similar to the famous finch beaks study in the Galapagos islands. Another possibility is simply people killing each other. We see this today, so it was probably no different in the past. When someone who was a little different came into an area they would be outcasts, maybe killed. Even in cities like Toronto, the ‘most multicultural city in the world’ there are many ethnic communities to which people gather. Greek, Jewish, Chinese, Italian, etc.

Regarding Australia, and people being there 40,000 years+, you are assuming a long age of the earth, which I do not believe. As I believe everyone descended from Adam/Eve about 6000 years ago then 40,000+ years is not possible. The earth is about 25,000 miles in diameter. Walking 10 miles per day one can walk 3650 miles per year, so in about 7 years people could walk around the entire earth. So after Genesis 11 it would not take long for a group to migrate to Australia. Animal migrations would have begun immediately after the flood. If God called the animals to come to Noah, he did not go get them, then he certainly could have told them to disperse after the flood.

Regarding people, assuming continental drift did not kick into high speed until after the flood Australia would have been much closer to Asia and thus easily reachable. Aside from that there is the famous contiki expedition which demonstrated long distance travel by sea, long ago.
Genesis is certainly not contradictory. The Bible may be considered incomplete, but not contradictory. Of course anything written is incomplete, as is this append, as there is always more that could be said. But was God has said is enough, based on the quote above so that things ‘are clearly seen’.

Regarding a local flood, to your use own words, ‘this is pure bunk’. Genesis 7 talks about the highest mountains being covered by at least 15 cubits (22.5 feet minimum). If is was local than this water would flow out through the valleys to the seas and never get to this height. Other evidence like sea fossils on mountain tops around the world show it was global. It local, and these mountains very old then the fossils would have all been eroded away.

Likewise for the grand canyon. It is huge! I was there last summer. It was amazing; the highlight of our trip. And yes, it could have been created quickly. Mount St. Helen is a very small example. When you combine that with ~30,000’ of water and an ice age shortly after the flood, it is certainly possible.

As for the church being proved wrong about astronomy, non-‘church’ scientists have been proved wrong about many things also. That is all part of learning more, increased scientific knowledge. The Bible is not wrong even though SOME in the church were proven wrong. The Bible talks about the sun’s orbit in the sky, so the Bible tells us the sun moves. It also says the earth is a ball or sphere hung on nothing, so not flat, not sitting on an elephant as some believed. You can read details here: http://www.parentalguide.com/Documents/Bible_Studies/Earth_and_Universe.htm

You refer to Green Lantern, I assume his previous append “I don’t really consider answersingenesis.org, creationwiki.org, or apologeticspress.org to be a good unbiased source of information when debating the subject of creationism.
Show me some unbiased experimentally verified science websites, and I will be prepared to listen. That is, if you can find any.” I have found that pretty much everyone has a bias. Those who matter-of-fact dismiss the supernatural, ie God, are biased. They have no real evidence God does not exist, just a personal bias. The fact that >60% of Americans do not believe in evolution (as stated on CNN’s God’s Warriors 6 hour series last week). Approximately 90% or more believe in some for of God and creation. All these people are not illiterate, ignorant. Many are scientists in the same fields as evolutionary ones. So based on these statistics alone, anyone who is serious should seriously investigate all sides of this issue.
One though which came to me last week while pondering you append is why creationists are always on the defense. The onous seems to be for creationists to prove their point of view. North America was original founded mostly be men who believed the Bible but over the last 100 years, most recent 40 year moreso, slipped away from the Bible. I think the onous is on you to prove you point of view. So, for example, old age of rock. There are strong arguments for old age based on the various dating techniques. Why is it that there is such divergence in ages based on the technique used? Why do carbon based dating techniques also provide such drastically divergent dates or still living organisms? Why no transitional fossils? Why the mountains are as large as they are when the rate of erosion far exceeds the rate of uplift, … There are so many examples from so many areas of science. I realize there are similar arguments against the creationists views of short ages. To be fair both sides need to look at the other sides issues and not just point to creationists to prove the evolutionists are wrong.
Finally, you refer to Ken Ham and quoted saying “just believe because the Bible is the truth”. I had lunch with Ken about 4 years ago and have followed some of his work for the past 10 years. Unfortunately there is so much stuff out there and so little time to read and participate in it all. But, I know Ken believes in Acts 17:11-12 where a group of people called the Bereans were commended for studying the Bible and comparing what it said to what other says, and what God has revealed through nature to see what the truth is. No matter what you believe, creation, evolution, aliens, anything, there is an element of faith as nothing in these realms is proven. The Bible indicates we should study, learn, discover the truth and follow it, so I do not think Ken Ham believes blindly, but I don’t want to say anything more about him as I do not know him well enough.
In a previous append you suggested I look at http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=3&t=108&m=1 and see if I can dispute these arguments for old age. I hope to look at this soon and see how convincing they really are, and what are the underlying assumptions of these ideas.

70. paralleldivergence - 5 September, 2007

Hi Ed. Thanks again for your valuable contribution to this discussion. I accept that there is more than one side to this discussion and I also accept that we have no hope of resolving this young earth/old earth argument whilst ever there are articulate people on both sides with differing views. I took a look at Russell Humphreys’ take on the age of the universe but I’m afraid my reasoning cannot squeeze the creation and current state of the universe into a 6,000 year timeframe. Where is the God that was capable of creating this unfathomable universe now? Where are the “miracles” today? Are we really all just part of God’s intergalactic game of The Sims?

71. Friendlypig - 7 September, 2007

Ed

Re your comments: ‘The Bible indicates we should study, learn, discover the truth and follow it, so I do not think Ken Ham believes it blindly..

This is the whole point of this debate. There are those who believe in some all-powerful inter-galactic entity (hopefully benign – although reading the Bible casts this into serious doubt) and those who don’t. There are also those who believe in Creationism and those who believe in Evolution.

You can’t argue that Ken Ham doesn’t believe blindly in the Bible, when the basis of his entire argument is accepting the literal truth of the Bible, not selected bits, and that includes Genesis.

Please, just read his writings again: ‘If we permit our children to believe other than the literal truth of Genesis, as God’s word, then they could start and question the rest of the Bible.’ Not my concept but his. This is promoting ‘mind control’.

One of the problems with Creationism is that your experts attack the various systems for dating the earth and pronounce them as flawed because of Genesis. What they WILL NOT explain is how so many different methods used by evolutionists, which in the opinion of the creationists are each flawed, all arrive at the same answer. In other words the scientific methods used by evolutionary scientists exhibit a model of consistency that should be impossible if every method they used is flawed. The only answer is that the methods used by evolutionists are accurate, and not flawed as you would have it.

Evolutionary scientists look at the evidence, follow it through and then postulate a theory. Creationists look at Genesis and say, ‘This is the answer. Now let’s make the evidence fit.’

However for the sake of argument let us assume that that ‘god’ created the earth and that genesis is correct.

You make reference to the ‘fact’ that fair skinned people moved north from the equator because they probably caught cancer quicker than dark skinned people. Why did god put fair skinned people in the tropics? The ‘Holy Land’ is well north of the equator so what is the relevance please?

You believe that all humans are descended from Adam and Eve. First god made Adam from clay and then made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. How many children did they have? Who committed incest with whom? How can you explain the large variations in DNA that we have today? Different colours, skin types, skull shapes (almond shaped eyes) etc. And, of course, following the great flood there was only Noah and his family left and so they had to start again. Where did this divergent DNA come from?

Will you also please explain why only people of African and Afro-Caribbean extraction suffer from sickle-cell anaemia? This is a terrible disease so why did your benign deity impose this disease on them? What did they do wrong? And, if we all ‘spring from the same well’, why haven’t I, as a Caucasian got any risk from the disease?

I’m glad to see that you accept the ‘theory’ of Continental Drift. But when did it speed up? You state that it was after the flood, bearing in mind that the rate of plate movement in that area is about 1.5 inches per year, what was it before?

If you accept the theory of continental drift then you have to accept also that the various plates come into contact with each other. E.g. the Indian plate came into contact with the Eurasian Plate. The movement of the Indian plate against the much larger and more stable Eurasian plate causing the sea-bed to buckle and fold and to lift thereby creating the Himalayas. This is why there are fossils at 4000 meters and not because they were deposited there during the ‘flood’.

I must also dispute your assertion that erosion of the land surface is faster than uplift. If that were the case there would be no mountains just a vast plain. Have you any idea just how hard solid rock is and how long it takes to erode? If you were talking about soft rocks such as gypsum or talc, maybe even ultra-soft sandstone, then perhaps it could have been geologically rapid, but mountains are made of granite or a variety of granite; and where there has been volcanic activity basalt or even obsidian and that doesn’t erode quickly for anyone.

Just as an aside why did god make a rock like granite which gives of a radio-active gas, radon? I’m sure that he didn’t want us to glow in the dark, so why?

There are many ways of measuring time, without recourse to genesis. Take stalactites for example. Stalactites are the limestone deposits that develop in water-created caves after the caves have been formed. Modern measurements show that the rate of deposition of calcium carbonate can be 10cm per 1000 years, that is 1cm per 100 years, or 1mm per 10 years. The Carlsbad Caverns have Stalactites which are 11,300,000 years old. Not my work just straight mathematics.

Now, I’ve read the Creationist websites which state that Stalactites can grow at over 4” (10.16cm) per year, and so they can IF the rock the water runs through is gypsum. The chemistry is totally different and it is almost like liquid concrete. The process with calcium carbonate is different from that of gypsum. The rate of deposition is miniscule when compared to deposition through gypsum. With calcium carbonate 1mm per 10 years is quick!

I am not making this up. These are not tricks set out to trip you up. This is measurable.

Now the flood. I think everyone accepts that there has, at some time, been a flood ‘of biblical proportions’. In fact all the ancient civilisations make reference to it, including the Epic of Gilgamesh which pre-dates genesis by some time. Is it just possible that the writers of genesis ‘borrowed’ the story because firstly it’s a good story and secondly to shows the ‘wrath of god’ and has the hint of salvation for the pious man?

Let’s look at the account of the flood according to genesis. From what you state it rained for 40 days and 40 nights and the waters rested on the earth for 100 days; and all the mountains of the earth were covered by at least 15 cubits, that’s approximately 19 feet. Who did the measuring? It must have been Noah or one of his sons because everyone else had drowned..

The top of Mount Everest is at a height of 29,000, or 5.49 miles above sea-level. At that height it does not rain, it is too cold it only snows and when the snow started to build up the Ark would not be able to rise any more. The Ark would get buried under the snow and everyone would freeze to death. End of Mankind. Obviously that did not happen otherwise I would not be here and neither would you.

Next scenario. Above 8000 metres, or 25,000 feet there is so little oxygen it is called the death zone. It is called the death zone because without supplementary oxygen people die within a matter of hours. End of Mankind. Obviously that didn’t happen either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_zone

Assuming they didn’t freeze to death and didn’t die pf oxygen deprivation let’s look at the logistics of a global flood.

The radius of the earth is slightly over 3963 miles. Follow this link and ‘select another shape‘. Choose ‘fill sphere’. Enter the radius (3963) and calculate. Ignore after the decimal point.

http://grapevine.abe.msstate.edu/~fto/tools/vol/partsphere.html

Then add 5.5. You enter 3968.5. This takes into account the height of Mount Everest. Subtract the first answer from the second and what you have is the volume of the water that covered the earth. The answer is 1,086,984,344 cubic miles.

1 cubic mile contains 3,097,500 cubic yards and a cubic yard of water weighs 1 ton.

This weight of water would turn the surface of the earth into the abyssal deeps and everything would be crushed under the colossal weight. All life would be destroyed. ~End of mankind~ Again!

All the water that currently exists on the earth woukd fit into a sphere that holds 841 cubic miles. Under the above scenarios the amount of rain that fell is in excess of 1,292,490 times the amount of water on the planet.

In 40 days 5.5 miles of rain fell. That is 6 inches of rain a minute, non-stop for 40 days and nights.
There would be so much water vapour in the air without gills you would not be able to breathe. ~End of Mankind~ Again!

Question. Where did all the rain come from?

More importantly, where did it all go? If the flood was global there would be no where for it to run. It would therefore, by default, still be here.

Ed, you’re an intelligent man and let’s face it the above scenarios are simply preposterous. There is no way that the flood could have happened as it is in genesis. It just simply is not possible.

However this link will provide you with a scientific answer to the story of the flood. It is in the right area of the world and it happened at the right time.

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2000/blacksea-0920.html

72. paralleldivergence - 7 September, 2007

Hey Friendlypig! What a fascinating, thought-provoking and thoroughly mind-boggling set of eveidence to ponder. I especially liked the simple mathematical calculation of how much water it would take to cover all the mountains of the earth with “15 cubits of water”.

If my recollection of the Noah fable is accurate, didn’t the ark end up on Mount Ararat after the flood waters subsided? According to wikipedia, Ararat has an elevation of 5,137 metres (16,854 FT) – that’s almost 3.5 miles. So even if the writers of Genesis (or the Bible for that matter) did not even know of the existence of Everest, they still knew about Ararat. Plug 3966.5 into your volume calculator for the second figure and you still end up with astronomical rainfall figures. The Ark would have been pummelled non-stop. Not just rain, a world-wide waterfall!

Answers in Genesis? Pfft. Of course, Ed and Ken and other creationists can always fall back on their safety net – “God works in mysterious ways”, and their arguments can then still hold water – a global flood’s worth.

73. Friendlypig - 7 September, 2007

Thanks Paralleldivergence for your kind words,

I have, however, two apologies to make. Firstly, the water stayed on the earth, according to Genesis not 100 days but 150 days.

Secondly, In a cubic mile there are 5,451,776,000 cubic yards and not the 3,097,600 that I originally quoted; that’s just square yards in a square mile.

That’s even better.

I haven’t started to calculate how much fodder would be need to feed all the vegetarian carnivors yet! Perhaps I’ll leave that for another day.

74. Ed Van Gennip - 14 September, 2007

Regarding the flood, your facts in are acurate with what the Bible says. First, it says it rained and ALSO the depths of the earth opened up. See Genesis 7:11 and 8:2.

Secondly (I don’t know if I believe this) but it is possible the mountains were not as high then as they are now. Somewhere in the Bible is alludes to mountains not being as high and valleys not as deep as they now are.

Even the first case alone negates the possibility of estimating rainfall as we have no idea of percentage of rainfall versus ground springs.

75. Ed Van Gennip - 14 September, 2007

Friendlypig, I just read you comments re my last post. I don’t have time at address everything, so just a few. I think if you re-read it you will see I did not say fair skinned people moved north, I said ‘Those who remained along the equator area developed dark skins due to fair skinned people dying off quicker due to cancer …’ Thus over time these people would be darker and people north and south lighter.

Regarding scientists, we all have a foundation. You say creationist foundation is the Bible. I agree. We look at the Bible, believe what it says, and then look for evidence and theories to match the evidence we see. Likewise those who believe in evolution have a foundation: long ages. They look for evidence of long ages and develop theories to match. We come from different foundations, look at the same rocks and draw different conclusions based on our presuppositions.

I’ve read may articles about dating techniques and often using 4-5 different techniques yield ages varying by huge amounts, from thousands of years to billions.

One thing I never understood: rocks are basically mantle material that comes to the surface in various places, like mid-Atlantic ridge, volcano’s etc. This is hardened magma. The content of the rock is the same, I assume, as the magma. Nothing is created by the process. No new isotopes. In subduction zones rock falls back into the mantle and becomes magma again. Nothing is destroyed in terms of mineral content. So this material is simply recycles over and over again, over billions of years as it moved from subduction area to where-ever it comes up again. How is age determined? Based on the half-lives of the decaying isotopes of various minerals/elements. To me, the assumption here is that initially at some point in the past all elements were complete, no decay, no half-life. First, when was this? when the earth was formed, when the universe was formed, when the rocks harden, when? How do you determine the starting point? Secondly, when all these elements were first created in some huge random big bang, was were there no decaying elements created? If all this is random it would seem that a ‘decayed’ state of uranium or some other element is as likely as a non-decayed state. There seems to be uranium from U217 up to U242. Likewise for other elements. If everything is random, how can you determine an initial state on which to do calculation of decay and thus age?

76. Ed Van Gennip - 14 September, 2007

One last comment. Friendlypig, you said “God works in mysterious ways”. I find randomness (evolution) is even more mysterious as it seems the world and laws of nature (God) that govern it are not random at all. It takes more faith to believe in non-random randomness than a mysterious God.

77. Friendlypig - 14 September, 2007

Genesis does indeed state that, ‘the fountains of the earth opened’, as well as rain but if the earth’s mantle ie.crust sits on the magma, where did all this water come from? It wasn’t scalding hot! Had it been so Noah et al would have been cooked.

It was in fact you who made reference to 30000′ of water when you described how the Grand Canyon could have been made and not I. I was was just merely counteracting your comment.

I really does not matter where the water came from. Whether it was rainfall or water from the earth, it does not change the volume required by 1cc. So to discuss means of delivery is quite pointless. The volume of water that would have been necessary to produce a flood even to cover Mount Ararat is still over 1 million times the water on the earth’s surface. And you don’t address the problem of where it went.

Starting with the end in mind i.e. that the bible, especially ganesis, is factual, all you will do is to go around in circles because you cannot see past the text.

I am sure the you are aware the early astromomers challenged the church when they stated that the earth travelled around the sun, and that the earth was not the centre of god’s universe. Because they would not recant they were burned at the stake.

What do you believe? Do you believe that the earth travels around the sun or vice versa. Genesis sates that the earth was made before the sun and the stars and are attached to the firmament, which is the celestial sphere around the earth. If you don’t accept that the firmament exists then you don’t accept the literal truth of the bible. Which is a good start.

Another discrepancy that I found in genesis is that god made light and dark on the 2nd day, but it was not until day 4 that he made the sun, moon and stars. Where did the light come from on day 3?

Incidentally Darwin developed his theories whilst travelling on the Beagle and whilst making scientific observations especially on the Galapagos Islands. He was not an atheist but set out a theory as an alternative to the blind belief of the literal truth of the bible which was prevalent in christian countries during the 19th century. He did not, as you assert, start of with his thoery of evolution and then look for evidence. His theory developed with his observations. I suggest that you read his book, ‘The Origin of Species’.

78. Friendlypig - 14 September, 2007

You are quite correct in your comments about the laws of nature. However their is a pattern and this is at the centre os the origin of species. The finches that he studied on the galapagos were basically the same species of bird which had arrived on the islands some time before.

There were however different cirsumstances appertaining to each island. Finches are basically seed eating birds and have quite large bills. Over time the bills of the finches changed because the type of seed changed. The seeds which were harder or larger meant that the bills had to become stronger, they adapted to the circumstances, or they starved to death. Some started to peck animals and take blood from the wounds, a sort or vampire finch. this is something that can be observed to this day.

Over time they evolved into different species and no more capable of existing outside of their own small environment than I would be of breathing underwater without an aqualung.

Survival ofthe fittest. Those who adapt gain the upper hand and may live those who cannot adapt usually die.

79. Friendlypig - 14 September, 2007

‘One thing I never understood: rocks are basically mantle material that comes to the surface in various places, like mid-Atlantic ridge, volcano’s etc. This is hardened magma. The content of the rock is the same, I assume, as the magma. Nothing is created by the process. No new isotopes. In subduction zones rock falls back into the mantle and becomes magma again. Nothing is destroyed in terms of mineral content. So this material is simply recycles over and over again, over billions of years as it moved from subduction area to where-ever it comes up again’

I never thought that you would admit this! This is exactly what happens over, as you say, billions of years.

80. jeopardygame - 14 September, 2007

Ed, you said: “Regarding scientists, we all have a foundation. You say creationist foundation is the Bible. I agree. We look at the Bible, believe what it says, and then look for evidence and theories to match the evidence we see. Likewise those who believe in evolution have a foundation: long ages. They look for evidence of long ages and develop theories to match. We come from different foundations, look at the same rocks and draw different conclusions based on our presuppositions.”

I strongly disagree with your claim that evolutionists have a foundation of “long ages” and try to make things fit around that. Creationists are not matching to “evidence”, they are matching to The Bible – there is an assumption by creationists that the Bible is correct – there is no evidence that it is correct.

By using valid mathematics, astronomers can show that many stars and galaxies are a minimum of millions of light-years away – far more than 6,000 light years away. It may not be hard for you to dispute billions of years, but there is a wealth of evidence of millions of years and the only way you argue against that is via supernatural means – the real basis of your “science”.

81. Friendlypig - 14 September, 2007

Ed, without being patronising there is something you should understand, and that is if men did not question, our civilisation would be several hundred years behind where it is now.

Slavery would be the norm, women would not have the vote, America would be under direct British rule. The British would have an Empire and not a Commonwealth. The King of France would rule by Divine Right and the Emperor of Japan would still be worshipped as a God etc etc

When at the age of just 22 Darwin was selcted by Robert Fitzroy, the Captain of the Beagle, he knew that Fitzroy’s purpose was that the observations that Darwin would make, and the comclusions that Darwin would draw from those observations would prove, without question, that the story of evolution according to Genesis was correct.

The earth had been created in 6 days.

It was the observations, over those years at sea, that Darwin made that lead him to a totally different conclusion and the publication of ‘The Origin of Species’.

We have come a long way since 1831.

82. Ed Van Gennip - 16 September, 2007

Paralleldivergence, in a previous entry you suggestede I look at
http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=3&t=108&m=1. I did. I do not have time to look at it all, so I picked the first 3 items only:

• 8,000 years by annual tree rings from Bristlecone pine in California.
I was there with my family in the 2006 summer specifically to see the oldest living thing on earth. US Parks onsite says oldest tress dated is about 4500. Well less than 8000. This means it started to grow shortly after the global flood (Noah’s flood). Coincidence? NOT. Evidence of global disaster.

• 10,000 years by annual tree rings from Oaks in Europe (different environment and location). Read article: http://radiocarbon.library.arizona.edu/radiocarbon/GetFileServlet?file=file:///data1/pdf/Radiocarbon/Volume46/Number3/azu_radiocarbon_v46_n3_1111_1122_v.pdf&type=application/pdf . I am not a scientist, so do not understand all the technical terms. From what I could gleam: says oldest trees 575 years so the title, 10,000 years by annual tree rings is misleading. 10,000 years is based on layer of sediment in which the trees were found. Also based on C14 dating, which again is flawed, has many assumptions (C in atmosphere always been constant although we know much more vegetation in the past thus probably much higher C in atmosphere). So we are back to geological dating, which I questioned in append 75, no answers yet. Article also seems to match tree rings and growth patterns from trees in different parts of Europe, but then again associates these with geological eras without any justification of how this association is done. Only plausible answer I can see is based on geological column, which has also been shown to be false in many places around the world. It would be interesting to assume that C was double or triple the current atmospheric concentration say 4000-6000 years ago, and what effect that would have on the age calculations. Also I wonder how the rate of decay is affected by pressure and temperature. For example under a LOT of water.

• 37,930 years by annual varve layers of diatoms in Lake Suigetsu, Japan (different biology and location)
• … corroborated to 45,000 years by Carbon 14 (C-14) radiometric dating (limit 50,000 years by half life)

Read this article also at http://radiocarbon.library.arizona.edu/radiocarbon/GetFileServlet?file=file:///data1/pdf/Radiocarbon/Volume40/Number1/azu_radiocarbon_v40_n1_505_515_v.pdf&type=application/pdf. Again, lots of talk about C dating, Holocene period. Article also mentions using the German Oak and pine trees as a model to determine timeframe, which I addressed above. Of great interest to me was the conclusion of the article which states C14 dating is very dependant on “geomagnetic field strength and solar fluctuations as well as rearrangements of equilibrium between major carbon reserves in ocean, earth and atmosphere, …”. It says this is covered elsewhere. But to me it reinforces the possible inaccuracy of such dating. A previous forum append, #55, addressed some of this.

I do not have time to research further, but the first 3 entries in http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=3&t=108&m=1, do not prove anything, do not answer anything.

I will not address the 45,000 year comment as it specifically mentions C14 dating. As the first 3 entries are not convincing at all I am not taking time to look further.

I thank you all for the recent appends. Good discussions, lots of ideas. Some quick comments: I have read about ½ of the book Origins of the Species. Regarding the comments about the Finchs, Friendlypig, you go from small adaptations of beak size to evolving into new species. This is the part I disagree with. I have yet to see an article showing any physical evidence of a change of species, which is what real evolution is. Changing beak size and strength, to crack hard nuts or drink a little blood is not
evolution.

The comments I made about billions of years regarding the crush and mantle was using evolutionists terms, not what I believe. Thanks for pointing out my lack of clarity. But my question was not answered.

Jeopardygame, you came into the forum a little late. Much of what you say has been addressed previously. Also evidence for creation does exist, it is plentiful as EdmundReinhardt shared in a previous append.

Finally, Friendlypig, your last append, about questions things. I agree 100%. I question things all the time. If I did not, I would not bother taking time to read these forums and various books. I read to look for answer to my questions. I am always looking to learn.

Regarding slavery, it is interesting that the abolition of slavery really began in England with William Wilberforce around 1830, whereas Abraham Lincoln worked on it a little later, around 1860 I believe. Both happened to be Christians. I suspect, but have not researched it, that both believed in a 6 day creation.

We have come a long way since 1831; much improvements, but not everything has improved.

83. Friendlypig - 16 September, 2007

Ed, What on earth has the religious beliefs of Wilberforce and Lincoln got to do with the abolition of slavery?

It is quite possible that they both were believers is the genesis angle of creation but at that time it was also believed that women’s intellect was inferior to men ~ ask your wife what she thinks!

As an Englishman I am well aware of the slavery debate that took place and the outcome. What you have not answered is my question. The bible is quote specific in its’ acceptance of slavery. What is your view?

Do you still believe what is said in genesis that the sun and stars are attached to the firmanment ~ the celestial sphere that was said by god to surround the earth.

Where did all the water go after the flood. If the earth was covered in its’ entirety to the depth of the mountain tops + 15 cubits ~ where did it go?

You say you are not a scientist. Well, neither am I however I can count and I can add up and I have the ability to reason. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that:
a) There have to be sufficient water from somewhere to flood the earth to a depth of 30,000 feet and,
b)there had to be somewhere for it to go after ‘the waters abated’. My question is where?

You have not even attempted to comment on the DNA question. You need 23 pairs on DNA to form a human being. Eve was a clone of Adam (she was created from one of his ribs ~ therefore their genetic pool was limited to that DNA that was available ie Adam’s), That means that Cain and Able were also clones. Because Adam and Eve must have had the same DNA there Cain and Able had to have the same DNA as their parents; because Adam and Eve’s DNA was identical.

That could account for the fact that the EVE in genesis wasn’t too bright. (My sources are as always ‘The Bible on the Web’) Why do I say this? Because seconds after this fully adult, sexually mature female has been created, by god, from one of Adam’s ribs she says, ‘The Lord has found me a man.’ Now how long had she been looking for a man? Choice was a little bit limited.

84. paralleldivergence - 16 September, 2007

Your arguments are very profound Friendlypig. I’d like to add something to the discussion here to also put some context to this whole argument. Below is a link to a recent image.

It is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover, “Spirit” one hour before sunrise on the 63rd martian day, or sol, of its mission. Take a close look at that photo and then come back here.

While a couple of robots wander around on another planet looking back at us, they see no mountains. They see no oceans. They see no countries, no borders, no people and no religions. They see no traffic jams and they see no wars. They see no right and they see no wrong. They also see no souls heading off to Heaven and in the infinite blackness that surrounds them, they see no sign of any God that would be playing “Sim Earth” on that tiny little insignificant speck.

Sometimes you have to go outside and look in to find a new perspective on life. Let’s not waste it chasing the folly of eternal Paradise away from our little speck. This little speck is our Paradise and it won’t be eternal.

85. Friendlypig - 17 September, 2007

“Friendlypig, you go from small adaptations of beak size to evolving into new species. This is the part I disagree with. I have yet to see an article showing any physical evidence of a change of species, which is what real evolution is. Changing beak size and strength, to crack hard nuts or drink a little blood is not evolution.”

Ed: When compared to finches on the mainland there was physical change in the shape and size of the finch’s beaks. There were also changes in behaviour.

The finch’s physical characteristics and behaviour ‘evolved’ to meet the needs of the birds to ensure their survival. This is called evolution whether you like it or not ~ please check the dictionary.

The is a bird called a Crossbill, a type of finch which lives in parts of Great Britain and the more mountainous areas of northern Europe. It’s called a Crossbill because the tips of it’s beak overlap. The reason for this is that where it lives its’ food is the seed of coniferous trees. In fact there are four types of Crossbill, all different with different sized beaks and associated musculature. This is because the primary food of each was different, in that the seeds upon which they are dependent are of different size. The larger the beak the larger and heavier the bird.

These birds have ‘evolved’ into vary specialist feeders. They can only eat the seeds from coniferous trees, preferably the one that is predominant in the area in which they live. If you placed these birds in an area where there was the ‘wrong’ type of seed they would die.

This is evolution at work. Adaption according to circumstances. these birds will always be finches i.e ‘Loxia’, but there are four sub-species.

86. Friendlypig - 17 September, 2007
87. Ed Van Gennip - 19 September, 2007

Quick response to the last few appends:
Slavery was different in Bible times, at least in the Roman empire. slaves were valued, some even decided to remains slaves forever and had their ear punched as a sign. Slaves could earn money and buy their freedom. They were different. Still not an ideal life, but different that the recent idea of slavery. Regardless, I do not agree with slavery.

Earth center of universe: I do not know, I’ve never see a picture from outside the universe looking in to see if earth is in the center. I have heard that space appears to look uniform in all directions from earth, so earth being the center is certainly possible.

Do I believe earth was created first. I think I do. That is no harder to believe than to believe there was no matter, then there was a universe full if it as a result of a big bang, or a universe full of matter compressed into a singularity which decided to no longer be a singularity, not to mention how it got to be a singularity in the first place.

Regarding the finches, beautiful birds. Amazing varieties. All finches. No dinosaurs or monkeys, all finches. They all adapted to their environments. Amazing how God created that ability in creatures. According to evolution one would expect these birds to die off when their food supply ran out or changed. Hard to imagine random changes happening fast enough for the birds to adapt, especially when random changes would tend to be far more negative that positive, where positive means adapting in the direction to be able to survive based on a new food group.

88. Friendlypig - 19 September, 2007

Ed: Until you open your eyes you are destined to walk in darkness!

89. Friendlypig - 19 September, 2007

Ed: The changes are adaptations to the environment. all creatures and plants adapt. Plants that grow in Tunguska adapted to the meteorite explosion of 1908. That is evolution.

The link I put in was purely about finches, so why your reference to dinosaurs and monkeys?

You talk about random changes taking ages to happen.

After the 2nd world war, in Europe, circumstances changed. Housing improved.

In the UK, thanks to improvements in food production, the general level of health improved.

The introduction of the National Health Service brought about greater access to medicine.

The average size and height of people increased, babies were bigger and stronger at birth. Not because of god but because of the health of the parents had improved.

In the 50s, 60s, and 70s, it was believed that plant fibre served no purpose to the human digestive process and food became more refined and processed ~ convenience food became the norm.

In less than two decades children were having to go to the dentist to have good teeth removed because their jaws were too small to accommodate their teeth. Investigations showed that the size of the mandible, the lower jaw was in fact fact decreasing. The reason? Food, now processed with much of the fibre removed did not require chewing as thoroughly. Because there was less chewing the musculature around the jaws was less strong. The mouth did not need to be able to hold as much.

The results? Over just a few generations the human jaws of those who ate processed food became too small for the natural numbers of teeth.

Nothing to do with god. Did not affect people who’s diet had not changed. This is evolution at work.

90. Friendlypig - 19 September, 2007

Ed: To reiterate my earlier question. If god differentiates between light and dark on the 2nd day, but did not create the sun, stars and moon until the 4th day just where did the light come from on the 3rd day.

Unlike many people I have read genesis and there are more discrepancies than their are answers.

91. Friendlypig - 20 September, 2007

Ed: I must take issue with your comments about slavery. It does not matter one iota whether those taken into slavery were well treated or not. Neither does it, in my opinion, matter whether it was the Roman, Greeks, Assyrians or Tobacco plantations in America, Slavery is slavery is slavery. Attitudes may have changed and that it all.

The image that paralleldivergence showed indicates that our little planet is just a small rock in the vastness of space. I don’t think he was making a statement about its’ position in relation to any point in the universe never mind the centre of the universe. Of course if I am wrong he will let me know.

92. paralleldivergence - 21 September, 2007

Friendlypig said:

“The image that paralleldivergence showed indicates that our little planet is just a small rock in the vastness of space. I don’t think he was making a statement about its’ position in relation to any point in the universe never mind the centre of the universe. Of course if I am wrong he will let me know.”

The image had noting to do with an attempt to show if the Earth was in the “center” of the universe of not. The image shows how absolutely insigificant we all are in the scheme of the universe. If we were “God’s Children” – made in God’s image, surely our status would appear more important than it actually is?

It’s understandable that 2,000 years ago, Man might have considered himself to be an important part of “God’s” nature – but today, with the new knowledge we have, how can we still believe in those 2,000 year old sayings? Why have there been no new prophets? Why are there no new sayings? Why no miracles?

93. Ed Van Gennip - 24 September, 2007

Paralleldivergence, Friendlypig, finally some time to respond, before going to church tonight.

Friendlypig, in append 88 you said “Until you open your eyes you are destined to walk in darkness!” Outstanding insight. I agree fully.

Three mice lived under a piano. They grew up there and often heard wonderful music coming from above them. They thought ‘there must be someone wonderful creating that music above us.’ One day as the mice were our looking for food one of them wandered a littler farther upwards and noticed wire strings moving. He noticed this happening in pattern matching the wonderful sounds. The mouse went and told his siblings that he found the source of the music. It comes from vibrating strings. A sibling mouse wanted to check it out. He went up into the piano to see the wires moving. He went a little higher and saw little hammers hitting the wires causing them to vibrate. He went and told his siblings that it was not the strings but hammers causing the sounds. The mice were all happy they had found the source of the music, never realizing the master sitting at the bench, striking the ivories, moving the hammers, vibrating the strings, causing the music.

It seems you have seen some of creation, you observe some of how it works, but you have failed to see the master behind it all. You continue to walk in darkness.

Regarding apend 89, technically I again agree with you. The finches have evolved regarding their ability to adapt to environment changes. I prefer to use adapt because the general understanding of evolve is much larger than beak changes, in is commonly understood to mean species changes, ie. My example of a finch changing to a dinosaur. It does not happen.

For append 90, it seems obvious that the light spoken of is not the light as we think of it today. We think of light coming from nuclear reactions in a star. But there are many types of lights. Chemical like a firefly or some deep sea animals. Electrical like a light bulk. I do not know what this original light source was; it is not clear in the Bible. But it is clear that it was not stars, which really makes one think about the whole order of events, especially when considering the earth seems to have been created before the rest of the universe. Hopefully someday science will develop to the stage were we can theorize what this may have been. You call this a discrepancy. I call it a lack of knowledge on our side in that we cannot yet understand it. It is only a discrepancy using naturalistic presuppositions that the stars and light were created before the earth and light.

Paralleldivergence, the fact our little planet is so small in comparison to the vastness of space further demonstrates how much God loves us. He created all this for our enjoyment and show us his greatness. He could destroy us and begin over but he does not, he keeps caring for us despite our evil actions and thoughts. This does should our status, it is great. So great that God allowed his son, a part of himself, to die to pay for our evilness.

As for miracles, they happen every day all over the place. One only need open their eyes to see them. You have probably experiences some yourself and just ignored it as a random chance event. Coincidences! NOT.

94. paralleldivergence - 24 September, 2007

Ed: Interesting to see your throwaway “miracles happen every day all over the place” statement without identifying even one. Where’s the walking on water? Where’s the instant healing of the sick and disabled? Or do you believe Benny Hinn is actually channelling God when he lays his hands on the gullible?

95. Friendlypig - 25 September, 2007

Ed: You walk in darkness because you are unable or unwilling to see past the text. All you do is to talk in circles. If it is in the bible it must be true. It doesn’t matter how improbable it is because ‘god works in mysterious ways'; end of argument. You are like so many people who walk around and look at the floor or the sidewalk, yet many of those who do walk into lamp standards. When you walk you have to look all around and not just in one direction because if you insist in doing this you lack a sense of perspective.

Your commments about the mice is a n(m)ice tale for children. Did the mouse who climbed into the piano to find the hammers not look out and see the pianist. This is perfect analogy of people who think in the same way that you do. You find half a story that fits your beliefs instead of looking around and seeking the whole truth Yo are satified with an illusion. Even the mice knew that their world did not consist solely of strange noises coming from above; they might have lived beneath a piano but they knew that their world was much larger.

You may call it adaptation; no matter what the reason the Crossbills and the Glapagos finches have changed, they have evolved slightly, not into other species, yet they have developed different characterists and patterns of behaviour. This includes feeding patterns. You failed to grasp the fact the evolution does in fact happen in very gradual changes and not huge steps.

I’m sorry that yo are unable to think of a more realistic comment about light. Light is light is light; according to genesis god seperated the light from the darkness I don’t think talking about fireflies which were not created until the fifth day ~ the day after he created light ~ can be included.

But how can we tell what it was? Man was not created until the 6th day. There were no witnesses. Nobody in genesis takes the credit for talking to god about his plans. This is a bit like talking about the flood covering all the mountains to a depth of 15 cubits. Who measured it after diving 20 feet to measure the depth and how did they know that they were above the top pf the highest kountain? Just a thought.

Interesting point that you raise about jesus dying for all our evilness. Please tell me what evilness had been committed by the children slaughtered by Herod! Or are you saying that they had to die so that he could live and die for them later for the sins they had not committed?

96. Friendlypig - 25 September, 2007

Ed; You still explained where all the water went after the flood. It was there for nearly a year, just where did it go to please?

97. Friendlypig - 26 September, 2007

Sorry, the above should read, ‘You still have not explained ….. ‘

Time to come out from inside your piano little mouse, and see the wonders of the world that evolved from the primordial soup!

98. Friendlypig - 26 September, 2007

Did you know? Sorry, of course you did, that the term ‘hell’ is not mentioned at all in the old testament? It is though in the newer, more friendly new testament, when jesus tells people that they will be cast into the eternal fire. Now why do you suppose that he did that, he was supposed to be such a nice man?

“And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire,” (Matt. 18:8).

Anyone who preaches to young children should be charged with chikd abuse!

99. Friendlypig - 29 September, 2007

“it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet,”

I must be slow but this is talking about mutilation of an unborn child.

I must admit there are plenty of verses in the bible which can be described as nasty, but this has to be one of the worst.

100. Ed Van Gennip - 30 September, 2007

I apologize ahead of time for any spelling, I wrote a lot of stuff and did not take time to proof read it. Ed.

Paralleldivergence, regarding append 94, about miracles:

As I stated, I cannot tell you what miracles have happened in your life, I do not know you. There are many examples in the Bible. Also there are many in my own life. In fact there are probably many more in my life which I did not recognize as I was not aware, or not looking. I suspect the same for your life. If your mind is closed to miracles then when something happens you will see desperately for a natural, even of implausible, explanation.

A few examples from my life:
I should have died or been injured many times in my teenage years due to carelessness, especially related to driving while drunk. I was never injured once, and even of greater importance, I never injured anyone else.

My brother was in a few accidents but not hurt seriously. In one case he was driving a snow mobile across a field and did not see a barbed wire fence at the field edge. He went through it, the wire caught him across the chest and he fell off the back of the snow mobile. Had the wire been 6 inched higher it would have probably decapitated him. On another occasion he again was out and crossing a field when all of a sudden a creek was inform of him. He could not stop, going too fast. He purposely rolled off. The snow mobile flew across the creek, hit the other side and exploded. Exploding is not a common thing, but it happened. In both cases I would say God performed miracles to save my brother from serious injury.

In January 1998 a specialist at the Toronto General Hospital told me I would be dead within 2 years without a liver transplant. The trouble was, I was too healthy at the time to be put on a transplant waiting list. In August of 1998 I became quite ill, I was put on the waiting list and told I would wait 6-8 months until my turn came for the transplant. In fact I waited 22 months, until June 20 2000. God new the timing and that I would be waiting much longer than the 6-8 months, and thus I must get on the list so that I would not have died before my turn came. A miracle.

Related to this operation, I was told that I do not have a very common virus called CMV. 80% of adults have this and do not even know it. I am one of the 20% that do not. I was told that the liver I would be given would most likely have this virus and I would thus get sick as this would be my first exposure to it. My recovery from the transplant would thus be longer and a little harder. The liver I was given did not have the virus. 20% chance I did not have it times a 20% chance the liver I received would not have it equals a 4% chance I would not end up with the virus. 4% are low odds. A miracle. Maybe this in itself is not a clear miracles as 4% do not get it, but when combined with the many other events it is clear to me that God was working miracles. For example, during the operation, which was 10.5 hours long my wife did not know for a long time what was going on (partly as the operation started 4 hours later than planned), so it seemed really long to her. Finally part way through a nurse came out to tell her the status. She does not know any nurses at Toronto General Hospital. Yet the nurse who came out is a friend of my wife’s sister, who was there with my wife at that time. So there was a bond now. She took this as a miracle, a sign from God that all is in control. Do not worry.

The operation was so long because once they opened me up and removed my liver they found that the portal vein, a large important vein behind the liver, was almost totally blocked. They unexpectedly had to replace that also. The doctor later said that I could have died any day had that vein totally blocked. I would have needed to have an operation within hours, which would not be very likely. Thus again a miracle of God’s timing, that the operation happened before that vein blocked.

I could go on, but I hope you get the idea. Miracles happen in our lives every day. We only need to see them, to recognize them.

You might say ‘those are not the things I mean, I mean the parting of the red sea, the healing of the disabled, etc’. Well, God did those, and you still do not believe it. It is recorded in a historical book called the Bible. People believe Homer’s Iliad as historical Greek history. The evidence for this being true is far, far less than that of the Bible, yet people believe one and not the other. It is not that the evidence is not there, it is that some purposely decide not to believe it as it does not fit what they want to believe. This goes back to the living in darkness comment.

Regarding healing, I know a few people who have been instantly healed after prayer. Not by Benny Hinn, but by God. Is Benny Hinn real? I do not know, I doubt he is a real healer, but I do not know.

As for more explicit miracles, by wife’s uncle was in Uganda last year. He was driving in a van with some other workers, down a hill on a road. Coming down another hill was a dump truck. Near the bottom of the hill the roads intersected. The dump truck had the stop sign. My wife’s uncle and people in his van were talking and not really paying attention and did not notice the dump truck was not slowing to stop. They both went through the intersection at the same time. He is 100% that their van passed right through the dump truck and came out the other side. Both vehicles continued on their way. Solid matter passed through solid matter. To me that is a miracle.

Some would say just randomly all these things happened. If you do, that is what I would call ‘blind faith’. Faith in the implausible.

Regarding your comment about light and my lack of ‘realistic comments about light’. Again I refer to living in darkness as this demonstrates to me your inflexibility in what you will consider. I suspect if you lived at the time of Niel’s Bohr who said the atom is the smallest unit that exists, you would have remained stuck there and not accepted the idea of subatomic particles, as your mind is closed to think beyond what is known today. I am willing to admit I do not understanding many things, and how there could be light without stars is one of them. But I am not ignorant enough to say it is impossible. May impossible things happen as we learn more. Scientists still, as far as I know, do not understand how a bumble-bee can fly. It is impossible according the thermodynamic laws. Yet it is a fact they do fly. We must be open-minded to grow.

Regarding measuring the water depth of the flood or man being created on day 6. I guess you do not believe any historical books then as most are written well after the events have happened. It is good to be skeptical but in this case it sounds more like paranoia.

Friendlypig, about the flood waters, where did they go? A problem we have when looking at this is that we see the world as it is today, not as it could have been 4500 years ago, before an ice age and before a global flood. Let’s pretend the mountains were not as high. Lets pretend the oceans were not as deep. No Mariana trench and things like that. Interestingly this trench is 35,814 feet deep, about a mile deeper than Mount Everest is high. If the world was generally flatter than the amount of water needed would not be near as great. Some of that is gone into the atmosphere, some in ice around the world, probably most into increasing the ocean depth, and some under the ground in ground water. Maybe some even sunk down into the mantle at subduction zones. Thinking like this shows it is clearly possible.

Regarding sin and evil, that is a whole other topic which I will save for another day. I’ve written enough now, almost.

Regarding evil, and the previous topic of slavery, how can either of you, paralleldivergence or friendlypig, say something is evil, or say slavery is wrong? On what basis do you make these claims? I can say they are wrong as I follow a standard set by God, who is outside the universe, who created and sustains it. But how can you claim anything is wrong when your foundation is random evolution? Maybe Hitler was a step forward in evolution. Maybe what he was doing was the random way of moving humanity forward (whatever forward is in a random universe). Slavery is also 100% acceptable and actually expected in a world where the strongest survive at the expense of the weak. Evolution is all about strong mutations living and weak dying. From an evolutionary framework there is no basis to determine anything is right or wrong. I read a quote once which says:

“Consistent evolutionism gives no basis for calling anything ‘good’ at all (or ‘evil’ for that matter). When a committed evolutionist like Hitler carried out his pledge to serve mankind by struggling against weaker, inferior ‘races’, he was utterly wrong, but he was being totally consistent to the standard he proclaimed. No-one can call him a hypocrite. In fact, within his own worldview, it is hard to call him immoral (by what standard can we judge him, if we are nothing other than rearranged pond scum, the outcome of eons of struggle, with the strong wiping out the weak?)”

Maybe by you determining in your mind that slavery is wrong, or murder is wrong, or anything is wrong is fighting the next evolutionary step and you should re-evaluate any such thoughts about what is wrong (or even what is right). Thus friendlypig you cannot in honesty say ‘… the bible is nasty’ for you have no basis to determine what is nasty and what is not.

In the end, such a mindset leaves nothing, for there is no basis to make any judgment, and life’s decisions are all meaningless, for everything is random. This kind of mindset is what causes so many young people to commit suicide for they realize there is no purpose to life.

101. paralleldivergence - 30 September, 2007

Ed, I’m pleased to hear that you live in a developed country where hospitals and doctors and nurses and medicine are available to perform “miracles”. Had you lived in Nicaragua or Bangladesh or Ethiopia, I’m certain your 10+ hour surgery would have been far less miraculous. Does God only perform miracles under the perfect conditions of first world medical facilities? I can believe that too because my father’s aorta ruptured and because it happened near a first world hospital, 12 hours of surgery and care and daily drugs have now allowed him to see 8 years more than he would have had we lived just a few more miles from the hospital. I thank God everyday for this miracle. I thank God that I was born where I was born. It needs to be understood that a lot of people die in these hospitals too – you only saw your part of the story, but as your doctors would have told you, your “miracle” doesn’t occur for the majority, and a lot of those casualties it didn’t occur for were also strong believers.

In the meantime, infant mortality rates in the third world (that God forgot) are through the roof and life expectancies struggle to reach 50. Not only that, God sends them earthquakes and tsunami.

As medical advances have occurred, the life expectancies in developed countries has increased. But your logic says that this is because God has decided to perform more “miracles” in the last century.

As for your drink-driving “miracles”, if you believe that your “good” God protected you, while you were a law-breaking youth in preference to protecting children who suffered sexual assault at the hands of some church leaders, then you are merely perpetuating the delusion you’ve chosen to build for yourself. How can you not question these thoughts?

Finally, since you raised the topic of the Mariana Trench, if we are all God’s children, created in His image, what possible reason did God have to create sea creatures such as deep sea anglers and flounder that live at the bottom of that trench? Yes, God works in truly mysterious ways.

102. Friendlypig - 1 October, 2007

Ed, can I take this point out of chronoligical sequence and answer your point point about my ‘paranoia’?

Paranoia is, according to my dictionary ~ and that is The Oxford Reference Medical Dictionary as, and I quote:

‘a mental disorder characterized by delusions organized into a system, without hallucinations or other marked symptoms of mental illness.’

It goes on to say that the term ‘paranoia’ is, ‘sometimes used more loosely for a state of mind in which the individual has a strong belief that he/she is persecuted by others’.

Let me state here and now that I am more frightened of being persecuted by The Sugar Plum Fairy than I am afraid of your arguments,

103. Friendlypig - 1 October, 2007

Following on from that, your belief in the literal truth of genesis is clouding the fact that the bible is NOT a pure history book.

It is a series or writings put together by unknown scribes over an indeterminate period of time.

Robust independent examination has certainly provided sufficient evidence to support that some events described have a basis in fact. e.g. Dead Sea Scrolls. But some is just conjecture and most of it allegorical.

Your assertion that I will not accept the events written about, as you say, ‘well after the event’, is false. I will accept providing that there is independent evidence to support the matters under discussion.

104. Friendlypig - 1 October, 2007

Ed: You are quite right when you say the scientists said that according to the physical laws that governed flight (as they understood them), that bumble bees ‘should not be able to fly’ but in spite of that they could.

This is science. The evidence of our eyes tells us they bumble bees can fly. Therefore they can.

However, because of their mass, the size of their wings, rate of wing beating it was unknown how they managed to achieve flight; because it did not fit the model and so scientists began to examine and experiment to find out how.

What was found was an entension to the rule. High-speed photography, played back in time-lapse, has shown the mechanism which allows bumble bees to fly.

It is not and never has been a miracle. Bees beat their wings in a way that reduces air pressure above the wing and that causes life. Ergo bumble bees can fly.

105. Friendlypig - 1 October, 2007
106. Friendlypig - 1 October, 2007

It sounds as if you had more than your fair share of alcohol in your youth and this was the reason why you required a liver transplant.

Your life was saved because of good hospital procedures ie. getting you into theatre before you died, and the skill of the surgeons.

It’s bad for hospital figures if you die when you are on their books and the blocked Portal vein was found by pure dumb luck.

You can thank your lucky stars the god made you drink too much in your youth and he must therefore have known that you would need a liver transplant. Just think had they been able to cure your live problem with medication, and not by having to operate, you would have died.

This was not a miracle ~ just Dumb Luck!

My son was born, unbeknownst to anyone, with a colon that was slightly too long. All through childhood this spare ‘loop’ of colon twisted and untwisted as he moved. Then one day when he was 11 it twisted twice and locked. At the point where the bowel twisted the tissue died and gangrene set in; not a heallthy state of affairs. Our doctor, who was a Hindu, and had seen the condition once in over 40 years of practise, recognised the symptoms and he was operated upon.

His life was saved not because of any divine intervention but because of an extremely dedicated Dr and a brilliant surgical team.

107. Friendlypig - 1 October, 2007
108. jeopardygame - 1 October, 2007

Well it sounds like the UK Government has it right. Creationism and Intelligent Design have NO PLACE in the UK Public Schools system:

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/09/creationism_in_the_classroom.html

109. Friendlypig - 1 October, 2007

Ed: I’m getting a bit concerned about you. I thought you understood that the evolution debate has only ever been about the evolution of the physical species from ‘homo erectus’ to ‘homo sapiens’.

Now you are wanting to include the human constructs of civilisation, culture, ethics, morals and of course religion.

As groups of people got together for protection it meant that divisions could be made and responsibilities divided. Males who were bigger and stronger became the defenders of the colony and the hunters. Women the carers and looked after the nest. You ought to read ‘Why Men Don’t Listen & Women Can’t Read Maps’ by Barbara & Alan Pease You’d learn a lot.

http://www.ebooks.com/ebooks/book_display.asp?IID=192384

The rules of society far pre-date Moses. If they had not done so there would have been anarchy and no civilisation.

Culture genrally speaking is the way people live taking into account many things including their traditions, art and ritual.

Ritual has developed into, in some cases, religion. And of course ethics follows on from that deciding what is right and what is not.

110. Friendlypig - 1 October, 2007

Your comments that I cannot make a moral judgement or say things in the bible are nasty because I am not a believer, but you can because you are a believer, are irrational.

As a human being I can make a judgement and I would point out that in an earlier append you stated that you did not agree with slavery; has there now been a change of heart?

I find your assertion that you can make a judgement because you believe in ‘god’ and that we who don’t believe ae you do arrogant, patronising and without any moral basis.

Please, try and understand that moral codes for pre-date the bible and are part of our psychological makeup.

Believe it or not the only time I have horns is on Halloween.

I don’t beat my wife, eat children, rob, murder or steal (life sure gets boring these days!)

Get off your moral high-horse and look at other cultures and religions.

111. Friendlypig - 1 October, 2007

I don’t know where you developed your philosophy about Hitler but you need to sit down and sort your thoughts out.

Your arguments about morals, slavery, evolution and your confusion about ‘survival of the fittest’ need to be assessed.

The last paragraph about suicide is very near the truth. Official figures from the US indicate that the rate of suicide amongst christians is about 10% higher than those recorded for atheists.

Let me ask you this. I held a very responsible job for over 30 years. I was a youth leader for 15 years. I have worked as a counsellor and a fitness instructor for 14 years on a cardiac programme. I pay my taxes and I run my own businesses. I do all this because it was, and still is, the right way to live your life. I don’t do it because of some promise of ‘life eternal’ or a fear of being cast into ‘the eternal fire’. In other words religion cannot sway me to do one thing or another.

The question is, if I can do it, why do people need to believe in a ‘god’? What are your frightened of? Why can’t you be a good citizen for its’ own sake?

112. jeopardygame - 1 October, 2007

…and God has just clarified His “Don’t Kill” commandment. Seems we didn’t get the gist the first time round…

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28151

113. Friendlypig - 2 October, 2007

jeopardygame: A couple of good posts but just to set you right, in the UK a ‘public school’ is private and fee paying! What are known as public schools in the rest of the world we call State Schools.

Don’t ask me why, it just is.

If fact it’s about as logical as Creationism. Need I say more?

114. paralleldivergence - 5 October, 2007

Ed, if you’re still listening, there’s an excellent discussion on why the concept of Noah’s Great Flood and his Ark deserve to be condemned to fairytale status here:

http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/showquestion.asp?faq=4&fldAuto=390

Covers some of the ground Friendlypig raised too.

115. Ed Van Gennip - 5 October, 2007

Here are some thoughts on evil and sin, as raised back a few appends. Next time I will address the most recent thoughts, at least those which show intelligent thought and not attempts at mockery.

1) Why is there so much suffering in the world if God is a loving God?

2) If you were God what in the world would you change, ie. starving innocent children in Africa, would you feed them?

3) If God allows innocent suffering like 9/11 then I have no use for such a God!

4) Why is there more suffering in Africa than anywhere else?

All are related ideas, questioning why God does not stop or allows what we see going on in the world today. How does a Christian respond in a loving way that all can understand?

Answers:
The world today is not how God originally created it (Genesis 1:31: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good”), and it is not how it will eventually end up (Revelations 21:1-4: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven . . . and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”). It was perfect, without suffering in any way, without death, without lack of food, or disasters, natural or otherwise. One day God will recreate the world so that it is again perfect.

How did we get to a state like this? We did wrong (Genesis 3:11: “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”). Once we disobeyed Gods will then the perfect world was no longer perfect (Genesis 3:17: “…hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;”). It was perfect and would have remained perfect has we continued to do what the perfect God asked us to do. But we did not. The wrong we did is called SIN. We continue to do it today, and all mankind throughout history has (Romams 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”).

How could we do wrong if the world was perfect you ask? Because God loves us, and wants us to love him (John 3:16: “For God so loved the world …”). That does not sound logical but it is when you think about it. God created us, He loves His creation. He wants His creation to love Him. The only way for a person to show love is to be given the choice to love or to not love. God gave humans that choice. We have the choice to love God by obeying His requests, or not love Him by disobeying His requests. We chose to disobey, as stated above, and thus show we do not love Him. At least not in the perfect way He desires, since He is perfect. As our love was no longer perfect when this bad choice was made, the world in which we live was no longer perfect. Our greed, or pride, or desire to be ‘like God’ was our sin. It destroyed the perfect world God placed us in. This world has been decaying (Romans 8:22: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now …”) ever since due to this evil, this sin. This decay is evident in the problems we see in nature that affect us every day: deserts/drought, tornados, floods, etc. In the original perfect world these did not exist.

But, as stated, God loves us. Thus God will one day recreate the world perfect again (Revelations 1:1-4, see above). He will destroy the sin, the evil of this now imperfect world and create a new perfect world. But we are not perfect, we have sinned, thus we cannot go to this perfect world. We must be perfected, also called sanctified. God loves us, but God is perfect and thus also requires justice. We disobeyed, and thus a price must be paid. But we are not able to perfect ourselves, to pay the price we owe for our sins, thus God, in His love for us provided a substitute to cleanse the evil (iniquity), cleanse the sin from our lives (Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all”). God’s son Jesus, who is perfect (2 Corinthians 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; …”), is the only one able to cleanse the evil by paying the price for disobeying Gods perfect will. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Because Jesus did this; showed His love for us by giving His own live to die for us, sanctifying us (John 10:28: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”) and paying the price for each of us disobeying God’s perfect wishes we can one day go to that perfect place, the new world.

The only thing God and Jesus ask of us is that we believe that Jesus did pay our price (Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,…”, John 3:16). Jesus bought us out of our slavery (to sin), and made us perfect again. If we do not believe Jesus did this for us then we are again going against God. There is nothing else to be done. Each person has been given the choice, God had shown His love, and we rejected it, thus God’s justice demands that He reject us, so we will not be able to go to the new, perfect world. The only other place to go is where the evil will go, what we call hell.

So, you ask, how does this relate to the original questions? The answer is the sin that was committed by not following Gods original request has caused sin to infect this world, and each of us also sins daily, no matter how good we try to be. The sin, the evil infecting our world is what has led to the various situations we see. In some cases like 9/11 it is the evil of one group of people being acted out against the evil of another group of people. Yes, both groups are evil, both groups have sinned (Isaiah 64:6: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses (good deeds) are as filthy rags; …”, Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”). So events where man kills man are the consequences of our own sin, not God. We cannot blame God as we turned our backs on Him by not following the perfect setup He had given us.

Other situations such as starvation in Africa are more complicated but at the root it is still the evil in the world that caused it. Starvation is caused by evil people destroying the food sources of other people. Maiming people so they cannot work the fields but still must eat. Immoral live styles where sex related disease spread quickly. It is also caused by weather patterns which result in poor growing conditions. But these weather patterns are also due to man’s sin (Romans 8:22: “all nature groans and travails in pain together”). The world itself, nature, is affected due to human’s sin. So even the weather that affects crop growth (typhoons, tornadoes, …) are all a result of our sin, our evil actions. Finally, suffering like starvation and disease can be a method God uses to get our attention, to change our evil ways, to come back to Him. But we often do not. This happened many times in the Bible, and can be read about in book of Judges. It has been said many times on our modern world that if men stopped spending money on weapons and instead focused on food, there would be plenty to go around. If our efforts were to help each other instead of killing there would be no starvation and probably less disease. Finally, God may be punishing people for past sins. Much of Africa comes from evil backgrounds of mystical and Satan worship. Sacrificing children, and practicing much sexual immorality. Maybe they are now being punished. The Bible says in Exodus 20:5 and Deuteronomy 5:9 and Exodus 34:7 that the “sins of the father are carried to the children to the third and fourth generation”. I do not know which of these is the case, or even possibly some totally different reason God allows what is happening, but this gives some possibilities.

In summary, there is no one innocent. Everyone is a sinner, everyone deserves death. It happens at different times and in different ways to each person, and no one knows when or how it will happen to them, but it will. Death, pain, suffering, they are not God’s plan, not His will, He does not enjoy it, but we have brought it upon ourselves. Think how much it hurts you to see pain around you. Then think of God and that he sees the entire worlds pain. It hurts him to an extreme extent. As for the comment “I have no use for such a God”, that is extremely selfish and demonstrates the sinful nature of man. To think we have no use for God, when He is the creator, He determines our usefulness, our value, we do not determine His. Fortunately He loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him in happiness. He has a use for us, the best use we could ever dream or imagine. All we need to do is accept His offer to us (Acts 16:31: “Believe in me and you shall me saved”). Also you may think you have no use for God but if he were to remove his control of this planet then Satan would take over and it would be a literal hell on earth. Then, too late, you would realize how much you do depend daily on God’s goodness to you and all humankind.

For the question, if I were God, what would I change? The answer, after much thought, which really should have been no thought, is NOTHING. God had a perfect world, He will again have a perfect world, and despite the present pain and suffering, which we cannot fully understand, He has a perfect plan for this present world also. If He did not, He would not be perfect. If I could be God and change something to make it better, I would be better than God, but this is impossible as God is already perfect, thus I could not possibly change anything to make the world better.

A key point to ponder on this issue is “what does better mean?” If God changed the suffering in Africa He would be changing the course of events for what we may think would be better, but as we are not God, we cannot see the future, and thus it may really be worse. It is hard for us to understand as we are very limited (Isaiah 55:8,9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”). While we may think we know better than God, you can be sure we do not. In the end we will all stand before His throne and look back over human history and say “WOW, and worship God saying that He is incredible, His love for man is amazing, His plan for history unfathomable.” No one can ever match or fully understand what He is doing, on our behalf, because He loves us more than we can humanly comprehend.

Two examples, one from the Bible and one personal, hopefully help illustrate how God is in control of all things, and works them out, even though we cannot fully understand.

1) In Genesis 37 through 47 is the story of Joseph. Joseph had 11 brothers who were jealous of him. They decided to kill him, but then changed their mind and sold him as a slave instead, as they could make some money this way. Joseph through much hardship and wrongful treatment over about fifteen years by his masters eventually became the second in command of all Egypt, the greatest nation on the earth, at that time. Joseph’s brothers had to come to Joseph, without knowing who he was, to buy food due to a famine. As the story unfolds they find out Joseph is their long lost brother and fear for their lives. But Joseph tells them in Genesis 45:7 “And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth …” So God turned this evil act around and saved the founding family of the nation is Israel from death due to famine.
2) My health issues. I had a time of suffering and illness. It was not a pleasant experience. At times I could not even sleep lying down and had pain walking up one flight of stairs at work. But now, looking back on the experience I can see how God was involved in many ways. For example I have met, prayed for, and been able to encourage many people whom I would not have met if I had not gone through the pain and suffering and eventual liver transplant.

So we see pain and suffering are a direct result of sin, of our own actions, but even therein God is so wonderfully loving that he takes evil, sinful deeds and often turns them around so that good comes from it, and that God can be recognized through it. But it is important to remember pain and suffering are not always a result of our sin, God may have some other plan, as we see in the life of Job.

One final thought on the suffering in Africa. This is a personal thought; I have not researched it to see how factual it is. I think Africa could be the most ‘in trouble’ part of the world in the physical sense due to its wide spread rejection of God. Africa knew the truth about God back when the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon. But we do not read in history of any significant changes made in Africa. Africa heard again of God when David Livingston and other missionaries traveled through it in the 1800’s. They seemed to have small impact. Africa has not only rejected God but they have embraced evil though their wide spread involvement with the occult and witchcraft. Africa has accepted Satan as their leader and thus reap the consequences. On the positive side, there does seem to be a strong growth in Christianity in Africa in the last 20 years. Africa is sending missionaries out. Also African Christian leaders are strong opposition in some church organizations when changes are being made, such as accepting homosexual relationships as acceptable for a Christian. The African leaders know this is not Biblical and oppose it. God is honouring that stand and I think is raising up leaders in Africa as Christian leaders in other more ‘advanced’ nations fall due to compromise with what the Bible says.

116. friendlypig - 6 October, 2007

Ed: 3 videos for you to watch.

The first one shows an amazing young man, Patrick Hughes, born without eyes, and with a syndrome that means his tendons and ligaments are so tight that he has limited movement.

His parents are devout Christians and believe that his talents are ‘god given’. If you believe that, you also have to accept that Patrick’s condition was inflicted on him by your God. If your god is so spiteful, WHY?

2 – Explain this please; it’s almost in your time scale and therefore has to be relevant.

http://www.richarddawkins.net/article,1671,Yes-its-a-Hobbit-The-debate-that-has-divided-science-is-solved-at-last-sort-of,James-Randerson-Guardian

I know that you believe that god created fossils and hid them as a test but that does not explain this!

Lastly:

http://www.richarddawkins.net/article,1619,Incredibly-lucky-find-yields-important-fish-fossil,PhyOrgcom

If god wanted to hide fossils to test us ‘when’ or ‘if’ we found them. And he buried them in the ‘great flood’. Why did he bury them so deep, i.e.1300m below ground?

Incidentally the area where they were found was once the sea bed of the Western Interior Seaway which covered most of what is the central USA several million years ago; from what we now call Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.

The next time you go into a pharmacy ask if they have any Coral Calcium supplement. Coral Calcium is mined from what once were seabed deposits that are now the USA. Coral does not grow in raging torrents, only in warm shallow seas, which are of course salty. The flood would have been fresh water.

117. friendlypig - 6 October, 2007

Hi PD: All I did was to Google the terms and use those that I found; I found the mathematics in your link quite staggering, although all the analyses were excellent.

I thought the comments regarding the divergence of the animal DNA after ‘the flood’ quite thought provoking and, of course, the same applies to human DNA.

Incidentally having searched on Google I am unable to find any reference to any Olive tree growing above a height of 900 metres.

I wonder how those who are steeped in dogma will respond?

118. Friendlypig - 6 October, 2007

I am pleased that you consider Robert Mugabe a Christian and I am sure that he will agree.

However I am not so sure about the millions he has had murdered, arrested and imprisoned without trial. Do you think they would agree?

Zimbabwe was the bread-basket of Africa and now thanks to his careful ministrations it’s a basket-case with, inflation is running at an annual rate of 1800% and increasing, there is no food in the shops and if there were, no-one has any money to buy it. Anyone who speaks out against him can be sure of very careful attention from his securtity forces. Neither is there any free press.

The wonderful thing is that all the other African despots (And that includes most of Africa) agree with him. If that is Christianity I’ll take the alternative.

119. Friendlypig - 6 October, 2007

Daily Mail ~ Saturday 6th October 2007

WAR ON CREATIONISM by Olinka Koster

A human rights watchdog has urged governments to oppose the teaching of creationism in science lessons.

Creationism includes the doctrine that God created the Earth in six days.

But members of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly approved a resolution which said attacks on the theory of evolution were rooted in ‘forms of religious extremism’.

The 47-nation Council voted against giving creationism the same status in education as evolution. It said these attacks amounted to a ‘dangerous assault’ on science and human rights,

There was a ‘real risk of a serious confusion’ being introduced into children’s minds between conviction or belief and science, the resolution said.

‘Creationists are bent on ensuring that their ideas are included in the school science syllabus,’ it said. ‘Creationism cannot, however, lay claim to being a scientific discipline.’

It said concern was growing because creationism, once almost exclusively an American phenomenon, was affecting ‘quite a few’ of the council’s member states, including the UK.

But some academics responded by insisting that teachers should respect the growing numbers of pupils who hold ‘creationist beliefs’ and be prepared to hold the topic in class.

A few days ago, the UK Government told teachers if the subject was raised in class, they could contrast the Biblical belief that the Earth was created in six days with the evolution theory.

120. Ed Van Gennip - 11 October, 2007

Paralleldivergence, append 101: I agree with you regarding living in some 3rd world country. Had I been healed there it would have been a much more obvious miracle. But, unfortunately that still does not turn some from unbelief. But I do credit doctors for all they do; and I admit I am very fortunate to live where I do. I am very thankful for that. Never-the-less, doctors as good as they are still cannot create life or, as I mentioned previously, in my case, make a substitute liver function, that task remains totally in God’s hands.

As for only seeing my story, again you are wrong. During the 10 years my health weakened before the surgery I met a young girl named Robin (about 18 at the time). She had the exact same health issues as I. Ulcerative Colitis and the liver disease, PSC. She was sicker than I but due to a different blood type needed a different donor for the liver. She received her transplant very shortly (1 day I think) after me. She never totally recovered and died 1.5 years later. I cannot explain why I lived and why she died. Only God himself can look back and forward through history to see the ramifications of all events. I believe somehow this worked out for the better, but I cannot see how. If you believe in a life after death, an eternity after your time in this world ends, then death here is not so significant. It is what comes after that is most important, as it will last forever.

As for life expectancy, you refer to my logic. Somehow you have twisted what I said to related that to life expectancy. Death and disease and suffering around the world go all the way back to the origin of sin, as discussed in my previous append (which was after your append to which I am now referring). Reread that and maybe this will make more sense.

Again your logic about God protecting me as a law breaking person and not helping someone else is flawed and not logic at all. Everyone is a sinner, everyone. No one is exempt. Why has God has preserved me? Maybe just so I can speak to you now. Maybe some other reasons. Does God cause young children to suffer at the hands of sexual predators (church leaders and MANY non-church people)? I think not. He does allow it, but it all goes back to our sin. It is the sin of the people who do these deeds, not God.

Finally, sea creatures in the deep trenches. Why did God create them? Good question. I do not know. Why did he create billions of stars billions of light years away? Because he can and because it is beautiful and mostly because he wants to show us something of himself for as the Bible says ‘All nature declares the glory of God’, and these things are truly glorious.

Friendlypig, append 102, it is sad to hear you are frightened by the sugar plum fairy. I am not very familiar with that tale, but as with most tales, there is an evil element, so it is understandable. On a more serious note, your logic in append 103 is totally lacking. You admit that much of the Bible has been validated as historical based on the Dead Sea scrolls. To the best of my knowledge, nothing has ever been shown to be false. Thus logic would indicate that the best conclusion is that the entire book is true. I agree it is not all literal, but it is all true when you study it and understand the context (which I do not totally yet, but I continue to study). As for who wrote it and over how long, that is quite well documented, both in terms of authors and time periods.

I don’t think I ever said bumble-bee flight was a miracle. I do not believe it is, I simply said ‘man says it is not possible’, yet it happens. This points out our limited understanding. Thank you friendlypig for your explanation, I did not know that problem had been resolved. We do learn more everyday. As we learn more everyday I hear of more scientists loosing their faith in evolution due to the ever increasing complexity discovered and the inter-relationship of everything. Impossible to evolve, even in infinite time.

Append 106: my live disease is not related to alcohol, as least as far as doctors understand it at this point in history. Regarding your son, it was an amazing coincidence that your doctor has previously seen this rare colon condition and knew what to do about it. You credit the doctor. So do I, but I give more credit to God who worked out circumstances so that this doctor would be your doctor at the needed time and place.

Jeopardygame, append 108: on what basis do you say the UK government has it right? The basis is because they believe what you do? If I quote a website that believe what I do, then does than make that website right? Facts, evidence, not empty words with no basis in logic do not determine right or wrong.

Friendlypig, append 109. Why do you separate physical evolution from mental evolution or morals? If people evolved physically then logically their mental abilities are simply the result of said evolution and thus directly related to it. I see no basis for separating the two, and if there is a basis, then where did morals, ethics, etc come from? Maybe it came from nothing, kind of like the bigbang?

I agree morals predate Moses. Moses lived well after creation. Morals were given by God to man when he was first created. It has always been part of mankind’s mental faculties. Moses is the person who formally wrote down the most important morals when God instructed him to. Right after creation when Eve took the fruit she knew it was wrong. Likewise when Cain killed Abel knew it was wrong. Others from other cultures wrote down their morals, some very much like those Moses wrote. The reason is that is all came from God, in the beginning.

Regarding append 110, sorry this offends you. My point is not to offend but to again use logic to point to that fact that in evolutionary thinking there is no basis for saying something is right or wrong. Only by going outside out system, going to God, can one have a basis for right and wrong. In evolutionary thinking we are all a product of our environment, evolved randomly to where we are, and thus not really in control of anything, just a product of random events, and thus have no way to truly know right and wrong. I am not trying to ride a high moral horse, I am simply stating the obvious deduction of evolutionary theology.

Friendlypig, append 111: why do you live the way you do? I think it is great you do. You sounds like a great person, a great asset to humanity, to your wife, to the kids you led in youth group. You say this is the ‘right way to live’. Why? On what basis? I once heard Hitler totally believed he was living the right way. He was totally consistent between his actions and his beliefs about mankind. To him he was living right. I think your right is based on you being in touch with the moral code God has placed in everyone, as I previous stated, even though you do not acknowledge it. This moral code has nothing to do with going to heaven or hell, it is built in by God. Heaven and hell are based on whether you believe in God and Jesus or not. It is as simple as that.

Some like Hitler totally ignored this built in value system, and lived by their own distorted sense of right, but at least he was consistent in his character and actions. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way endorsing Hitler, he was a monster. I am simply saying he was consistent in action and thought.

Append 114, about Noah’s ark being a fairy tale. Sorry, but I do not have time to go into it, especially for an article so full of assumptions. I remember a few years ago browsing a book showing many, if not all the points in your link, and explaining them. I wish I could remember the name, but I cannot.

Friendlypig, append 116: maybe this persons limitations, in his parents and his minds, are God given, for a reason. I cannot say. God does have special plans for many people. Personally, I would not consider that a ‘God given talent’, but I do not know this person, so I cannot really say. I can relate back to my own story thought. Regarding my liver transplant. Looking forward to be, so in the years before June 2000, I did not want to go through it. Looking back on it now, after it is over I can say I am glad I went through it. I have met so many people, talked to so many people, encouraged many people, shared my faith with many people, helped people, that is was truly a very good experience. I can only say that after having gone through it. Maybe Patrick Hughes can say the same.

Friendlypig, you say ‘I know you believe that god created fossils and hid them as a test …’. Again your wrong. Please tell me in all my appends where I said this? This is the problem I’ve been talking about all along: so many false assumptions. I certainly do not believe God created fossils and hid them to test us. Fossils are the remains of creatures that were alive and were buried at some point in the past. Most are from the flood. Some are from before the flood, as creatures lived then also. You mention 1300m depth for fossils and that much of USA was a seabed in the past. Is this supposed to contradict what I think? It does not. I agree 100% with you. These are both obvious facts. It is easy to measure the depth. It is easy to find evidence for sea life on the continent. No questions. But from these facts you free add the ‘several million years ago’. This is the part I disagree with, and the part that is not fact but conjecture.

Also regarding the flood being freshwater. Again, I never said this, so I assume you are getting this from somewhere else. I have no idea. I assume the rain was fresh water, but the waters rising from the depth of the earth, no one knows if fresh or salt. Thus no one knows if the entire world was covered by salt or fresh water. Either is acceptable to my mind.

Append 118: anyone can say they are a Christian. Saying something and living by the principles are quite different. The Bible talks about this for Jesus himself said that not everyone who calls Him lord will be saved. Jesus knows peoples actions and their hearts. He cannot be fooled.

Append 119: Again false information. Creationism is not originally American. Most Christian writers in history from about 100AD believe in a young earth, 6 day creation. It was only around Darwin’s time in the 1800’s that this changed. America is a young nation itself, none of these ideas are American in origin. What is really happening is that the middle east and European ideas from 100 – 1700 AD are coming back to Europe.

121. paralleldivergence - 11 October, 2007

Hi Ed and Friendlypig. Wow. Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you both. This is by no means a simple discussion and I’ve seen much simpler topics degenerate into major flame wars. For this discussion between (mainly) the three of us to be going since 24 August (#58) and still have both sides going strong (yes, I know it’s two against one :) ), it says a lot for humanity – regardless of how big sinners we all are…

While the long posts add a lot to the discussion covering a wide area of sub-topics, I propose a change to our discussion, providing we’re all up for it and in agreeance. Let’s set a few rules and guidelines (aka commandments) to furthering the discussion.

As I read through all the appends, there have been many cases where questions have been raised by both sides, but direct answers have often not been provided, or the questions have been casually ignored, or missed in the mass of responses.

How about we work on it this way? One side asks one question that they’d like the other side to directly answer. I’m happy to email FP off-list to discuss questions. Ed, if you’d like, you are most welcome to invite anybody you feel might be able to assist you into the discussion. The other side should answer the question as directly as possible and then that side can ask a direct question in the same response.

There have been so many interesting concepts raised so far – I’d really like to see some of them fleshed out.

I’ll start us off. Friendlypig asked direct questions about the flood such as “where did the flood waters go?”, “how did anything survive such a moist atmosphere?” – especially considering the Genesis story that says the waters covered the highest mountains. Was this a global flood or just a local flood? Ed, you said you once saw a book that “answered” these questions. Here’s your chance to research it some more and enlighten us all.

I don’t know if any of us can come to agreement over any of these questions, but at least the responses will allow other casual readers to form an opinion in their own minds as to which sounds more plausible. I think we’ve come to a point where we are not going to convert Ed to atheism and Ed’s not going to convert us to Christianity, so how about we just have a good structured discussion?

And once again, thanks for the civility.

122. Friendlypig - 12 October, 2007

I agree. Perhaps it would help if we debated, as much as possible, each point raised whilst it was topical.

123. Ed Van Gennip - 12 October, 2007

Paralleldivergence, great idea, because, as you say, we partially answer questions. It seems we raise more ideals, and get on other topics. I also am very pleased the discussion has remained civil. I’ve seen many become personal attacks of intelligence or character, and I think our discussion has shown we are all intelligent individuals, so we hopefully can continue to act that way, have intelligent debate.

So, to rephrase the first questions, targeted to me:
1) “where did the flood waters go?”
2) “how did anything survive such a moist atmosphere?” – especially considering the Genesis story that says the waters covered the highest mountains.
3) Was this a global flood or just a local flood?

As these are all very related I will address them all at once. I will do some research and also draw on some of the answers I have already given in the forum. I suspect it will be next week before I can append again as this weekend is very busy.

124. paralleldivergence - 12 October, 2007

Glad you both agree. I look forward to your responses Ed, also don’t forget to think about your question(s) of us. Related ones are fine.

As for anyone else who stumbles upon this thread, please remember it’s not closed. If you feel you have something to add to the discussion, or even your answer to the above questions, feel free to contribute.

125. Ed Van Gennip - 15 October, 2007

Q1) “Where did the flood waters go”.

Genesis 1 talks about the creation of the earth and heavens (one of which is the atmosphere around the earth). It is important to understand a few key ideas here. Not all Christians believe these ideas, but the importance is that it is a possible interpretation of the Bible texts.
Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was [a] formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. . . . 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. 9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
Notice the earth creation, verse 2 says it was formless and empty and it talks about the ‘surface of the deep’ and ‘hovering over the waters’. It implies there was no land, only water. The entire earth was covered by water. Then verse 7 God separates the water, not horizontally but vertically, creating a space in the middle called sky. I understand this as there was water above the atmosphere (sky) and the surface of the whole earth was still water. Then verse 9 talks about the horizontal split of waters, so that land formed.

From this it seems there was water above the atmosphere (canopy theory). This has been speculated to have resulted in a moderating effect on the earth. The water kept out ALL harmful radiation (that is why people lived to be 900+ years old). It also kept the whole earth warm, like a global equator, very tropical. This explains the fossils to tropical plants at northern latitudes, under permafrost today. The tremendous plant life also meant far higher carbon dioxide levels in the air, which has an effect on our carbon dating methods and assumptions of today. But that is another topic. The important part here is the water above.

Now, moving to the actual flood, Genesis 7 in the Bible says: verse 4: I [God] will send rain for 40 days and nights, and will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made. Verse 11 says the springs of the great deep burst forth and the floodgates of heaven [the atmosphere] were opened. Verse 17-19 say as the waters rose the ark floated and all he high mountains under the entire heaves were covered to a depth of more than 20 feet. [this is the New International Version of the Bible]. It continues in verses 21-23 stating everything died on the face of the earth. Only Noah and those in the ark were left. Also notice verse 24: “The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.”. Some think this means the rain ended after 40 days but the waters continued to come from the earth fissures for 150 days in total. Thus the 40 days of rain did not produce all the water to flood the earth.

Also the entire earth land mass was probably one continent. This is not a Christian idea, may non-Christian scientists also believe this. Some called in Pangea (sp?) or the super-continent, or Gondwanaland (I think). The evidence for this is the well fit of the land masses, in particular the continental shelves.

The current average ocean depth is about 12400 feet, with trenches going down to 36200 feet. Possibly there were no deep ocean trenches, and the ocean overall was not as deep. Also possibly the earth land mass was more flat, so Everest and other mountains were not as high. This is reasonable as plate tectonics had not yet kicked in, if you follow the pangea idea.The plates were not yet moving and thus not creating subduction zones (the trenches) or buckling up land in other areas, forming mountains like the Alps and Himalayas.

So, the earth surface cracks for some reason (God does it through a miracle, or a huge meteor hits the earth and triggers it, or …, somehow it happens). The deep’s burst forth possibly high into the atmosphere due to the huge pressure of land on the water trapped below. The moisture content in the atmosphere is far too high now and rain falls and everything is buried. Also the meteor falling through the canopy of water causes it to collapse and all that water falls to the earth (if you believe the canopy theory). Even if the water from under the ground did not spray into the atmosphere it still was a hugre amount to raise the ocean levels.

In any of the variety of ways or a combination of some, the earth is now covered in water: the fallen canopy of water, the topical atmosphere, the crust cracks and water gushes forth, the mountains are lower, the valleys higher, the trenches do not exist, the oceans levels lower.

Now the plate tectonics kick in, continents start to move, mountains start to push up, valleys down, trenches created, and some of the water goes back into the deep places it came from. Overall the ocean levels are now higher, covering the continental shelves as they are today. Some shelves extend up to 1500 km out into the ocean and up to 500’ deep. These exist around almost all continents except where there are subduction zones. Thus it appears the waters level is possible 500’ deeper than it was before the flood. Thus all the flood water did not ‘go away’, much, maybe most remains.

Further evidence can be seen here: http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterTwo/BlackSeaProject.htm This articles does not believe in a Biblical flood, but does present evidence of a significant water rise based on

Q2) “how did anything survive such a moist atmosphere?” – especially considering the Genesis story that says the waters covered the highest mountains.

Based on the answer to Q1, I think the atmosphere was probably very tropical and moist, like a jungle before the flood. This was world wide. I think the assumption in this question is that the tremendous rainfall cause a super high moisture content in the atmosphere which probably caused problems breathing. But there is no Biblical evidence that the rains were that heavy. Also the huge amount of water did not all come from rainfall, as stated above, the waters from under the earth surface came forth and probably contributed far more water than that in the atmosphere. But, even in areas of the world today where there is huge rainfalls, people live and breathe. If all the water needed to raise the oceans to cover the earth came from rainfall in 40 days, then I think that would be a real problem. But that is not what has happened.

Q3) Was this a global flood or just a local flood?
In question 1 I quotes from Genesis. There are many phrases that indicate a global, not local flood. The evidence of seashells on mountains around the world is a big piece of evidence for this. Some say these mountains were once flat and under the sea, until they were pushed up. The problems with this argument is that mountains are being eroded faster than they are being lifted up. Thus any seashells on mountain sides should have eroded long ago, and in fact there should be no mountains at all as they erode faster than they are lifted up. The exception is volcanic, formed quickly.

I am thinking of 3 questions. I will post them in the next few days.

126. Friendlypig - 16 October, 2007

Ed, may I congratulate you on such amazingly imaginative answers.

Can we start by agreeing on definitions?

Because, Ed, you believe that the Bible, including Genesis, is the ‘LITERAL’ truth of God it would be fair to say that you should not base any of your answers on guesses, suppositions or any other interpretation of what is written in the Bible. After all in Append 115 you wrote, and I quote…. ‘If I could be God and change something to make it better, I would be better than God, but this is impossible as God is already perfect, thus I could not possibly change anything to make the world better.’

However to insist that you stick to this narrow field would render it impossible to have a reasoned debate, but don’t go too far! In fact the further you stray from your strict interpretation of the Bible the more reasoned your answers appear.

It does surprise me however that you have chosen to research your answers in a modern re-writing of the Bible. I shall use the following as my guide to the Bible. http://bibleontheweb.com/Bible.asp; this is because this website uses the King James’ version of the bible.

We use the following definition(s) of the word theory:

I particularly like this one;) http://home.comcast.net/~fsteiger/theory.htm

Or this one.

theory (a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena) “theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses”; “true in fact and theory”

In all aspects of our debate I would like to see you applying the theory of Occam’s Razor to the question:

http://www.eduqna.com/Trivia/1582-trivia.html

You seem to have expended a huge amount of thought into where the water came from; and I think that your ‘Canopy’ ‘theory’ is wonderful but do you not agree that it should be re-named the ‘Colander Theory’ because it has so many holes, it could not possibly hold water!!

Your ‘guess’ that this canopy of celestial H2O protected early man and allowed to him to live almost, in some cases, 1000 years is also questionable, please read Genesis Ch. 6 verse 3:- ‘And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years’!

However the question is NOT ‘Where did the water come from‘ but, ‘Where did the water go’? If the flood were truly global just where did it go?

I love the fantastically simple logic of your answers. Just like clockwork ~ if only it were so simple. Unless you are going to claim that God not only had this worked out in his plan, but changed the laws of matter, physics and every other scientific discipline, just for his experiment of course, and then re-adjusted them to what we have now.

Forgetting your wonderful ‘Canopy’ theory and the timely asteroid or meteor striking the earth and releasing the water. Your statement ‘now the plate tectonics kick in’, is also absolutely fantastic. Sorry, but it’s too little, too late.

Plate tectonics works because the Earth’s mantle is molten. Not something referred to in the Bible, or if it is I haven’t found it. The convection currents result in movement of the mantle circulating under the Earth’s crust. This induced stress would find potential weak spots and allow magma to escape, sometimes violently (volcanoes). Eventually, over many thousands of years, stress cracks would start to appear and in due course pieces of the crust would break away and Pangea would start to disintegrate. Obviously not all the plates would start to move at the same time (that would be too much to expect) but break away they did until they occupied the place on the Earth’s surface that they occupy today. When you consider that the plates move at between .5” and 2” per year it takes a long time. If Pangea was where the scientists believe it was it would have taken the Indian plate, moving at 2” per year, 10,560 years to move one mile; it moved about 2000 miles before it made contact with the Eurasian plate and then the Himalaya started to form!!

Incidentally, not strictly part of this set of questions, but you have made reference several times in the past to a ’fact’ that water erodes rock faster that mountains can build. What is the authority for this please? Where is the evidence?

Might I suggest that you have another look at Genesis Ch 2 verses 11-14. Eden has to have been in not only a fantastic climate (because of the plants that grew there), with a very heavy rainfall, but also in a hilly or mountainous area. Why do I say this inconvenient truth? Because you will see that the river that flowed out of Eden was so large there was enough for 4 rivers; including the Euphrates. By the way the second river (Gihon) that was formed after leaving Eden, encompassed the whole of Ethiopia, which is in the Horn of Africa. That is some river!

I am delighted that you should have included this website, http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterTwo/BlackSeaProject.htm
because the latter sections re-iterate what I posted earlier regarding the Black Sea and the relevance of the time.

Please take time to read and understand this. Some of the comments are offensive to people who don’t agree with their views but it is the content that matters and not the commentary.

http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/showquestion.asp?faq=4&fldAuto=390

Where did the water go? It didn’t, the Black Sea is still there. (Occam’s Razor). And, because the flood was local and not global we don’t have to worry about humidity.

127. Ed Van Gennip - 17 October, 2007

friendlypig, I am not going to debate each point. I thought the new rules were present answers to questions, then if needed clarify points. I am happy to discuss points where you have proof they are wrong. Most of your comments are very vague and general. If you want to discuss issues then you need to be specific and present your counter arguments.

My LITERAL view of the Bible stands intact, where it makes sense, as I think I previously said. Please tell me what I said that disagrees with a literal translation, for I do not see it.

Canopy theory – full of ‘holes’. Those holes are? You have proof in some form? Before answering consider other planets of rings of ice and other material. Saturn in case you wonder which.

Regarding my simples answers. Hummm. E=MC**2. That is really simple. Amazing some times how simple some things turn out to be.

Regarding physical laws God changed: which ones? Again this seems vague, I do not know what you are suggesting. But, can God change or override physical laws? Yes, he can, he made the laws for us, not for himself. And sometimes he did. The parting of the Red Sea seems to be one example. In another case he made an axehead that had sunk, rise up and float. He cause the sun to stand still in the sky on a few occasions. To me this is the most amazing one when one considers the physics behind this, the centrifugal forces.

Plate tectonics: your assuming everything now is how it always has been. Why? Even following an evolutionary way of thinking I’ve heard of tremendous events happening in the cooling of our planet. Why does this work for evolution but not other ideas? Your making assumptions which are 1) assumptions and 2) inconsistent with what you proclaim to believe.

Likewise why does a molten mantle mean the crust must have cracks and been moving all along. I see not logic here, again assumptions. Many liquid’s form ‘skins’ which stay intact very well unless extremely strongly agitated, something like a global flood might do.

The rivers of Eden. Why are these the current Euphrates and Tigris rivers? Again a global flood changed everything. If the garden of Eden is gone then certainly the rivers can also be gone. Again, using the current world state to define the past, which is a good starting point but very limited due to extreme changes caused by the flood.

Regarding Genesis 6 and 120 years. Good to see you reading the Bible, keep going, both forward and back. Forward, in the same chapter you will see the flood story beginning to develop. Shortly after the flood you see peoples ages start to decline quickly. Read back, to chapter 5 and you will see how old the people lived. So the 1000 years is not questionable. There are about 10 people listed with ages at death all over 900 years. The longest being 969, and he died the same year the flood began. God was delaying the until this great man had died.

Now, my 3 questions:

128. Ed Van Gennip - 17 October, 2007

Energy and mass and well accounted for in the universe. E=mc**2 related the two together. But how do you account for all the information in the universe? Everything is so finely tuned to function together. Pick one case, life: cells have information, called DNA. Even very simple life have this. To grow, to live, this DNA is replicated by the RNA I believe. The RNA understands the DNA, it ‘knows’, and it takes actions. The DNA is incredibly full of information and redundancy, which we know now, and it even includes chunks of information we do not yet know what it is used for. Where did the information come from first, and secondly, it is randomly came about, how to do account for another random process to be able to understand it and use it (ie. replicate).

2) Scientists measuring the universe say it is moving away from is in all directions. This implies we are at the center of the universe. If not, some of the big bang matter should be flying in the same direction as us, parallel to us, or towards us, from the big bang origin. This does not seem to be the case. If the earth is the center of the universe then it seems to me that we are not just a random point if space but we have a very unique position. We are the origin of it all. How do you account for observation that everything is moving away from earth ?

3) Related to question 1: even if a life form evolved on the earth, in the ‘large soup’, it would have taken many life forms to evolve at the same time, to meet each other randomly in the primordial sea, and some form together in a beneficial way. But thermodynamics (2nd law, of entropy) say all systems tend to disorder not order. This means that the very first form of life to evolve should shortly die, tend to decay, not evolve to something higher. Explain how it can become ordered in a random, decaying system.

129. paralleldivergence - 17 October, 2007

Hi Ed. As you know, I still have major hang-ups with all of this major upheaval of the Earth happening in a brief 6,000 years, furthermore, about 4,500 years ago, after a never to be repeated flood calamity, all of that upheaval suddenly stopped. There is plenty of evidence that Australian Aborigines have been inhabiting this distant island continent for thousands of years, yet somehow in unbelievably quick time, Australia broke off from Pangea and drifted, or more likely aquaplaned like a hydrofoil for thousands of miles, then suddenly stopped (or reverted to the continental drift that we know today). Why didn’t it keep going and crash into another continent? Do you have any idea how much momentum a continent travelling at speed would have?

Yes, looking at the borders of continents, it is feasible that a “Pangea” did once exist, but that was more like 225 MILLION years ago. If you’re interested, also take a look at this for another contentious point of view: http://paralleldivergence.com/2007/03/02/the-inflation-of-earth/

Your “canopy” theory is interesting – I’ve not heard of it as a creationist proposal before, but upon investigation, I see it is fairly widely considered possible among Y.E.Cs. But our good buddy Ken Ham suggests at his Answers in Genesis site that Creationists should NOT use this argument! There are many other common arguments he suggests you don’t use.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp – there is also a link from that section to Ken’s own answers to our questions.

With regard to your canopy above the atmosphere (and your implication of Saturn’s rings), would that volume more likely be frozen and not in the form of vapour? But unlike rings, it would actually be a shield covering the entire Earth. Couldn’t be good for living things… How this would allow people to live 900+ years, I don’t know. Human bodies die from more causes than solar radiation and the fact that we now struggle to reach 100 years with all of the advances in medicine, it’s very difficult to believe stories of 900+ years without evidence.

I do not disagree that there was a flood, but due to the lack of evidence and the abundant environmental problems facing any humans and land animals in a global flood, I personally cannot accept it – especially considering the authors of the Noah story would have had no concept of the size and nature of the entire earth at the time. I accept that there would be a strong chance of exaggeration.

Finally, I have big problems with a small surviving family repopulating the Earth, the moral issues of the ongoing incest involved, and in a short 4,500 years, producing the diversity of human races that we see today. This is to say nothing of the diversity and location of animals in that short space of time.

Creationists have huge problems with the concept of millions let alone billions of years – but time is what provides us with answers – not a miraculous, omnipotent, invisible God.

I’ll look into your questions tomorrow.

130. paralleldivergence - 17 October, 2007

Answer to Q2: I need to research your other two questions, but I couldn’t let Q2 stand alone any longer. Ed, are you suggesting that the Sun revolves around the Earth? That was disproven many years ago. Unless you hang with these guys: http://www.fixedearth.com/ ;)Furthermore, nowhere in the Bible does it say the Earth is the centre of the Universe, so on what basis are you asking this question?

It’s already been determined that our solar system is on the edge of one of the arms of our spiral galaxy and we rotate around the centre of the galaxy. Read some more here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric

I can’t dignify this with more of a response. Sorry.

131. Friendlypig - 18 October, 2007

Ed, Your comment, “My LITERAL view of the Bible stands intact, where it makes sense, as I think I previously said.” says it all.

In Append 115 you wrote, and I quote…. ‘If I could be God and change something to make it better, I would be better than God, but this is impossible as God is already perfect, thus I could not possibly change anything to make the world better.’

And now you are saying that parts of Genesis DO NOT MAKE SENSE! If only you had listened to us in the first place!

The Bible and especially Genesis are so full of contradictions YOU just select the ones that YOU want to illustrate YOUR point and most conveniently chose to ignore those that don’t

Genesis Ch. 6 verse 3:- ‘And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years’!

This is, according to your viewpoint the direct word of God. Nowhere is there an addendum that in X years time some of good guys are going to be allowed to live for up to 8 times the span allotted to mankind by The Man Upstairs.

I think that might be considered a significant comment, suitable for inclusion in the record.

The rules, and this is one of them, were laid down by GOD. The calculation of the ages of those lucky chosen few were done by MEN. If you uphold this version then you are saying that the record of men is more important than the word of God. WOW!

You can’t have it both ways. Choose the word of GOD or the calculation of MAN!

As stated by PD any water in space i.e. outside the Earth’s atmosphere would be ice, and not in liquid form. Held in position by gravity. Not enough mass or momentum to escape or to be dragged into the Earth’s atmosphere and melt.

However in Genesis Ch. 1 v 7, reference is made that the water was ‘beyond the firmament’. This literally means that that water was beyond the stars; because they sun, moon, planets and stars were affixed to the firmament, as they believed at the time the Earth was at the centre of the universe. Something I think we all now agree is incorrect.

However, if we accept, for the sake of your argument that there was a complete sphere of water ice surrounding the planet it would have to be at least half a mile thick! I draw your attention to the following. http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/405/

Below 200 metres there is no photosynthesis, i.e. no positive action of sunlight. No plants could grow and there would be no heat. The planet therefore would become an Ice-Ball! End of life!

With regard to the crossing of the Red Sea you may find the following of interest !! http://www.mikekemble.com/egypt/moses.html
The effect of the explosion of Santorini, or Thera to give it its’ ancient name, fortuitously created the circumstances for the crossing of the Sea and not the hand of God.

Your comments are far to vague for me to be able to research, and I find your comments about the sun and the earth standing still, childish in the extreme. What is your EVIDENCE please?

Sorry, claiming the GOD has changed physical laws, for his convenience, and then altered them to what we have know is far beyond even your level of credulity. Gravity, Plate Tectonics, Speed of light! Are there any more that we should know about?

Please explain where the original rivers of Tigris and Euphrates were.

Finally, you keep coming back to your global flood with what effect it might have on plate tectonics. If you are going to re-introduce this where did the water go? And I do not understand your comments about the effect on ‘Pangea’ of the ‘Flood’.

132. Friendlypig - 18 October, 2007

Reference your comments about Carbon Dioxide. The early atmosphere was much higher in CO2. CO2 is one of the greenhouse gases and therefore helps to trap heat in the atmosphere. This higher temperature and preponderance of CO2 resulted in bigger and more luxurious growth in plant life. Plants give off O2 (oxygen). that is why we have oxygen in the atmosphere. Radio carbon dating is nothing whatsoever to do with the volume of CO2 but the breakdown of the Carbon 14 isotope which, inspite of what you have been mislead to believe, is far more accurate than Genesis

133. paralleldivergence - 18 October, 2007

Response to Ed’s Q1 and Q3: The idea that the first living thing materialized from non-living matter in a primordial soup of chemicals – or any other hypothesis regarding the origin of life on Earth – is not and never was a part of the theory of evolution. Encyclopaedia Britannica defines evolution as “theory in biology postulating that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other pre-existing types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations”. It also states that while “the fact of evolution; that is, that organisms are related by common descent” was established by scientific research “with utmost certainty,” “the characteristics of the first living things and when they came about… remain completely unknown.”

Douglas Futuyuma’s textbook “Evolutionary Biology” (which my sister owns) only devotes one of its well over 500 pages to discussing the origin of life on Earth, and ends with the conclusion that “the origin of life has not still yielded to the efforts of chemists”. This acknowledgement obviously did not stop Futuyuma from dedicating hundreds of pages to evolutionary mechanisms, changes in genetic information of organisms and to natural selection – all of which are presently far better understood.

I’m not avoiding your questions here Ed, I’m merely stating that right now, biologists, chemists and other scientists are happy to admit that we do not yet know everything there is to know about the mysteries of life, the Earth and the Universe. But the point is, we are prepared to investigate, to discover and to educate. We are not closed-minded, blindly accepting a story book written by far more primitive men many hundreds of years ago. We actively search for evidence to quench man’s natural desire for knowledge and advancement and we reject outlandish claims by other men (who wish to stifle knowledge) about miracles performed by an unseen and unheard from omnipotent ghost in space. It’s billions of years Ed, billions of years. That’s the way I see it.

On the flip side of the coin, we have the Creationist’s point of view. Friendlypig shared with me this definition of Christianity for the layperson – I’ve embellished a little myself – sorry if the rude word offends:

“An invisible wizard who lives in the sky decided about 6,000 years ago that nothingness was too boring, so he decided to create the universe and everything in it during what we now call Creation Week. About 2,000 years ago the belief started that some cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can get you to dance forever with him and his father if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in all of humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree thereby pissing off that same invisible wizard who lives in the sky.”

If I had to choose between the path of knowledge and the path of faith, I know which path I’d take. ;)

134. Ed Van Gennip - 19 October, 2007

Parelleldivergence, regarding append 129, I agree with your issues, they are hard to explain and certainly have huge implications. I acknowledged this fact regarding ‘the sun stopping in the sky’ miracle. Never-the-less, even with those points I cannot yet explain or understand I do not see it as an impossibility.

I fail to see why Noah and others would not comprehend the size of the earth. I think these people were smarter than we give credit for. I previously mentioned how short a time it would take to walk around the entire earth so it is conceivable they knew it quite well, especially if they had 900 years.

REgarding not living to 900+, consider the world then, just newly created, originally with no disease, no genetic mutations, no water or air pollution. All the things which affect us today where just beginning to develop then.

About the planet being an iceball, I remind you that the sun/stars were not created until day 4. This is where we get energy today which sustains life. But on day 3 God created plant life. Thus in the beginning it exists without the external sun for heat. So somehow, and I do not know how, heat existed. Maybe just from the mantle somehow.

Evidence for sun standing still: I will look up the Bible passages. I once read an article about this, some kind of stellar evidence. I will try to find that also.

Regarding append 130, I am not saying the sun revolves around the earth, you misunderstand my question. My question was about earth being at the center of the universe. Considering the size of our universe, and the short time we have been here (6000 years), we have not moved very far in our arm of the galaxy. So we may have moved from the center, but on a stellar scale that amount is extremely small. I know the earth moves around the sun, the sun moves in the Milky Way, and it is in an arm of that galaxy. I will try to find the article about all stars moving away from the earth.

Friendlypig, regarding append 131, did you read what I suggested? I don’t really know what else to say, it is so basic and simple. People lives 900+ years before the flood, then God said their livespan would be reduced to about 120 years, and he did it, after the flood. I see no contradiction in the Bible or with what I said. I simply read the words in the order they are written. So sorry, but I do not understand your comment that I am not taking this literally. I certainly am, very literally.

Regarding the firmament, if you do a little research you will see the Bible talks about 3 firaments, the sky (atmosphere, then space, then outside space, namely heaven or the spiritual realm). So your argument about this water being outside the universe, outside the firmament could be right, but that is not the straightforward reading I see there.

I already explained where the waters went. The flood effect on pangea was the waters of the deep gushing forth probably split the ground, the pangea plate, and cracked it into continents, and they began moving.

append 132, C14 dating – where does C14 in living objects come from? It comes from the C in the atmosphere, thus they certainly are related.

append 133: Thank you PD for your straight-forward answer and acknowledgment that scientists do not know where life came from. The not so well educated believe evolution means life evolved from non-life, and then continued evolving to the present state. At least you
acknowledge this is not a know fact.

Creationists, despite your view also have open minds to look for answers. I’ve said many times I do not know all of the answers, we continue to research and learn. Hopefully someday we will all come to the same understanding, but until then we look at the same evidence, look at it with different base assumptions (Bible or billions of years) and come to different conclusions.

As for your story about God, that does not offend me, it just shows how short sighted some are, that they do not have an open mind to other possibilities. The alternative idea seems to be that then entire mass of the universe was compressed to an infinitely small area and for some reason just exploded. Both points, this mass and such a space violates the laws of physics held so tightly by some appends above, and also the reason for an explosion. This also takes a lot of faith for there is no experimental evidence for it.

So I fail to see how this is the path of knowledge. It is a path of faith as well.

135. Friendlypig - 20 October, 2007

Ed, I am astounded by your logic! Please tell me that you are not a computer programmer.

You make assumptions that because things are mentioned in adjacent verses that there is no time differential involved i.e. things follow-on immediately, even if there is no proof.

In Genesis the word ‘firmament’ is mentioned 7 times and the wording of the verses is so bizarre that no-one can reasonably state, with any certainly, how many firmaments there are supposed to be. The only consistency appears to be they all refer to the space above the surface of the Earth.

With regard to the water above the firmament. That which we all, somehow seem to agree was water ice. However ‘above the firament’ there is no atmosphere and therefore no heat, which is why all such material whether around the earth or around Saturn remains in the form of ice. If we accept by your reckoning that Noah lived for over 600 years and the flood happened at this time then the ice-sphere around the Earth must have been in situ for all this time. Therefore we are back to the ice-ball scenario. That did not happen therefore there was no all-enveloping sphere of ice. No matter how much you would like that to be the case it just could not happen.

With regard to the comsumate ease with which you think that Bronze age middle-east man walked around the Earth. It is most unlikely that they had wheeled transport and therefore everything would have to have been carried on pack animals or by people. Desert nomads walking tens of thousands of miles carrrying everything? Not likely. Especially with Lions, Tigers, Wolves and predatory Dinosaurs e.g. T-Rex and Allosaurus on the lookout for extra protein. Of course not forgetting all the other tribes that suddenly appeared from a mysterious source of DNA. And of course mountain ranges, innumerable rivers, mists, fogs, ravines and insects, bacteria and maybe one or two other things.

136. Friendlypig - 20 October, 2007

Ed: You haven’t yet commented on the amazing coincidence of the after effects of the explosion of Santorini and the ‘mysterious’ ‘parting of the waters’ of the great Reed Sea (Sea of Seaweed) if you go back to the original script of the Torah.

We do value your input.

137. paralleldivergence - 20 October, 2007

Thanks for your response Ed. For my part, while we don’t agree, we’ve both put our sides on the table. Certainly, evolutionists and other scientists disagree on many things as they investigate and theorize. But aside from our organized discussion here, I’m interested in one thing. The original article way back at the top includes this link: http://www.answersincreation.org/profiles/ken_ham.htm – did you get a chance to look at it? How do Creationists accept theories from within that directly contradict the biblical claim that the earth is young? Take a look at FAQ #1 and FAQ #7 for examples: http://www.answersincreation.org/faq.htm

Would love to know what you think.

138. Ed Van Gennip - 22 October, 2007

In append 134 I said I would try to find the Bible reference to the sun standing still and the article I read long ago about it. The passage in the Bible is in Joshua Chapter 10. I could not find the article from long ago, but I did find some interesting ideas on one of our favorite websites: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i3/longday.asp.

FP, append 135 – you ignore all my previous comments and ideas when you continue to say man did not walk around the earth, due to mountains, wild animals, luggage to carry, etc. I already said the earth before the flood was probably much flatter, I think I said people did not eat meat. I probably did not say that animals did not either, the entire world was vegetarian, so wild animals was not an issue. As for carrying luggage, what luggage? Food was plentiful, probably world was tropical, so minimal luggage needed. My point stands.

FP, append 136: I read the article. the only comment is that the article is interesting, some points maybe correct, but not a single reference is given to any research. You comment abut me being vague, that author is far worse than either of us. Even if some of it is right, God through-out the Bible does miracles through nature. I’ve never heard of the Reed Sea before, that is a new one. The location of Mount Sinai I’ve heard debated. If fact my reading leads me to think it is not in the Sinai peninsula but farther east in what is not Saudi-Arabia,and the sea crossed was not the western arm of the Persian gulf but the eastern arm. Either way, the net result is the same, and if 90% of the record of the story of Moses is correct, and no real proof of error in rest, only speculation, then I’m inclined to stick to the recorded record not someones 3500 year later baseless ideas.

PD, append 137: I’ve never heard of answersincreation website before. I glanced at it just now. I will look in more detail and append my answers to FAC 1 and 7.

I do not understand your question “How do Creationists accept theories from within that directly contradict the biblical claim that the earth is young?” Is this regarding the 2 FAC’s mentioned? If so, the answer is that there are various views on creation. All believe God created everything but some believe it happened in a short time, others believe it happened in a very long time. some say God did major things each day, others that God caused ‘jumps’ to ‘kick off steps’ in an evolutionary way. An example is no life to life was such a kick. Another is a change from one animal species to man, another kick, thus no transitional fossils.

Regarding Ken Ham link you included. What specifically are the questions?

Regarding the answers to my 3 questions, I think they are very sparse. For example the fanciful story of the invisible wizard does not answer any of the 3 questions, it just deflects away from giving an answer. In the questions to me I tried to answer based on my side of the story, not deflecting by poking fun at the opposing point of view. Ideally it would be nice to see the same: base you arguments on your understanding of the evolutionary story.

139. paralleldivergence - 22 October, 2007

Ed, the Evolutionary story does not attempt to answer how life was formed or propagated, so neither will I. The reason you believe a God or Creator produced life and everything we see is because you have restricted your view of the universe to a 6,000 year time limit. You have the end and you are formulating the means. If I have proof/evidence that the Earth and Universe are 6,000 years old, then I too would believe as you do. A God must have created all of this, because evolution to the extent that we see it does not work in that small a timeframe. But that God may well have been a Flying Spaghetti Monster for all we know.

Instead, I see abundant evidence for an ancient Earth and an even older universe. Because of these billions of years, I can see evolution as being a partial answer to how we got here. Also, the total lack of evidence of any God allows me to put litle or no emphasis on that argument. Is there some conspiracy? Why are all the space and dinosaur documentaries on Discovery Channel and National Geographic talking about millions of years at least? They can’t ignore the evidence, but you can because you’ve already drawn your conclusions based on genealogy contained in a story book.

It’s interesting to note that new books on atheism have topped the best-seller lists for the past two years with titles by Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris. It’s good that people are starting to question and not just take the word of their forefathers. This is how we progress as a civilization.

What will happen in 10 years if this works? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20249628/

The link about Ken Ham was taken from the original aticle at the top. I wasn’t asking a question, just reiterating that there are Creationists that disagree with Ham on many subjects. YECs are being bombarded from within and from without – but these are all just words Ed.

140. Friendlypig - 23 October, 2007

Evidence Ed, evidence!!

Probably, maybe, might haves are NOT evidence.

Show me the EVIDENCE that mountains were smaller, everybody and every animal was vegetarian. That the climate WAS tropical or sub-tropical. If it was sub-tropical it would be dense jungle and PROBABLY impenetrable so progress would be minimal.

Where is the EVIDENCE that carnivors, who have cutting and slicing teeth have been found with herbivors teeth (grinding).

Ed, you do not a point to stand on!

The term research means to re – search, look again, for independent sources of information…. not to re-read Genesis and try to rehash old material.

Find some evidence that stands scrutiny.

141. Ed Van Gennip - 23 October, 2007

Well gentlemen, it has been an interesting discussion, but I guess it is time to end. You do not wish, or cannot answer my 3 questions with reasonable depth of argument, so you deflect back to my answers as being insufficient. So there is not sense going further except to point you back to append 55 which specifically provides what you ask for friendlypig in your last append. Maybe you can answer those questions.

PS. EVIDENCE for cutting and slicing teeth – open your eyes. Ever heard of the fruit bat or a panda. Just 2 examples.

jungle too dense to travel – again use your brain. Open your mind. The jungles have lots of tribes, many dying now, but people live and move there.

Take care gentlemen. Maybe some day our paths will cross again. Ed.

142. Friendlypig - 23 October, 2007

No Ed, you’re quite right.

You should run away without facing up to the fact that you are unable to answer the questions raised by your own philosophy.

One of these days I hope that the blinkers will fall from your eyes and you will then appreciate the planet that we inhabit; one which has been evolving for 14,000,000 years and will continue until consumed by the sun at some point in our distant future.

Good luck you’ll need it

143. paralleldivergence - 23 October, 2007

Ed, just to clarify, we did answer your second question, but your first and third questions are acknowledged as “we don’t know the answer – yet.” That should be perfectly acceptable. In fact, you knew that was the only answer that a non-believer could truthfully supply before you asked it. So now we give you that answer and you don’t accept it.

Just as you asked us in a round about way (where does life come from/how does it work?), we could just as equally have asked you, “Where did God come from? – provide evidence and detailed scientific data to back up your response”. But we are not that petty – we know you can’t answer that either.

The point is, apart from that question, you can provide as the answer to any question, “it was God’s miracle” – a cop out – but we have to provide a detailed scientific response. FP is right, there is no evidence in your “probablys”.

On your decision to call it quits, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s very rare to find two opposing views of this nature discuss amicably (mostly) a very difficult subject for as long as we did. I’d like to thank you for your time and many contributions to this discussion. I know the page has developed into a good resource for anyone who chooses to question their Y.E.C. faith. I hope you continue to seek answers.

See you in heaven.

144. Ed Van Gennip - 25 October, 2007

Paralleldivergence, thanks for the last append. I can accept and ‘I dont know answer’. Many of my are the similar. I do not know either as God often did not explicitly state the method in the Bible. In my answers where I do not know I tried to provide ideas, suggestions, possibilities of how it might have happened.

When did I use the ‘God miracle cop-out’? I know once I said he made an axehead float, but that is the only one I think. In all the other cases I think I gave answers of how God uses nature to accomplish things.

Thank you for your questions, insights and amicable discussion. Like you, I hope this will be a resource for those who are questioning their faith – the faith of evolution. :-)

145. paralleldivergence - 25 October, 2007

Thanks Ed. I didn’t say you DID use the “God’s miracle” cop-out, I said (because of your faith) that you CAN. References to intelligent design, protection of Noah and his Ark, waters that burst up magically from inside the earth and even 900+ year life spans all imply godly influences anyway. Certainly, you did propose some possibilities to support your angle, but without evidence, they remain proposals.

Did you happen to catch “God’s Christian Warriors on CNN last weekend? http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/gods.warriors/

146. Seek4Truth - 26 October, 2007

Re: post 143 – PD says “I know the page has developed into a good resource for anyone who chooses to question their Y.E.C. faith.”

Of course someone might come along and look at the same data i.e. this web page and conclude “here is a good resource for anyone who chooses to question their faith in evolution.”

The point is that there is one set of data, and two possible interpretations of the data. This parallels the observable world which provides us data and two possible interpretations of that data that support two possible theories of the origin of that world.

Ed has been transparent that he believes in one origin of the world and that he finds the data from this observable world can be interpreted to support this theory. He acknowledges that there is some data that he does not yet know how to fit into this theory (starlight for example, although Humphries has a potential answer).

PD and FP on the other hand believe that the very same data supports a different theory of origins. But they have not been willing to concede that they are also acting in faith out of their own worldviews. They also acknowledge that there is data and observations that they cannot account for with their theory.

Both sides can accuse each other of “wilful ignorance” i.e. being unwilling to question their beliefs given contradictory evidence. But at least Ed is being honest that he has beliefs which can be examined in the light of the data. PD and FP have not even acknowledge their apriori assumptions and claim to only be working from objective fact. This blindness to the existence of their belief system, hinders them from truly examining it and testing it for validity.

147. Friendlypig - 26 October, 2007

Hello Seek4Truth welcome to the fray, I hope that you have enjoyed our debate so far.

Not a very convincing argument. At least as far as I am concened.

My belief system is not based on the supernatural and the writings contained in a book written about 2500 years ago, and which masqueurades as ‘The Truth’, when there is no way that it can be, in any acceptable sense, proved. Although there are many ways that it can be disproved if you start at the begining and not the end.

My belief system does not depend upon an invisible being who exists outside of time and space and who, X years ago, snapped his fingers and brought the universe as we know it into existence. The suddenly stopped creating miracles a couple of thousand years ago.

If you follow Ed’s threads you will find that his ‘arguments’ depend upon his ignoring facts, and awkward questions when it suits him. Also introducing maybes, perhaps and what ifs; as well as totally suspending belief.

I was always taught that to reach a logical conclusion you must FIRST consider the known FACTS and then draw your conclusion.

Ed start off with his irretractable conclusion ie. the bible and the literality of Genesis and then manufactures and manipulates data (factual or not) to support his original conclusion.

By definition a conclusion, concludes. If it were a pre-cursor that would be different.

Tell me, Seek4Truth, where do you stand? What is your particular viewpoint. Do you seek to entice debate or what … ?

148. Seek4Truth - 26 October, 2007

In post 111 FP misinterprets Ed’s arguments as a personal attack.

FP is assuming that Ed is a self-righteous Christian who is judging him as living an immoral lifestyle.

The question was not whether FP’s behaviour was moral but rather what philosophical basis does FP have for judging anything to be moral, i.e. right or wrong. The illustration of Hitler was given. From an atheistic perspective, on what basis can we judge Hitler’s actions to be wrong. Hitler believed in survival of the fittest and was just helping evolution along. After all, if we are merely an accidental collection of atoms, what inherent value does anyone of us have?

149. Seek4Truth - 26 October, 2007

In post 66 FP says

It seems to me that however well meaning the advocates of this, how shall I put it, ‘Theory’ is, semantics are once again getting in the way. They talk about ‘Not allowing their children to believe in an alternative to their views’. This is neither persuasion nor faith, but mind control. We were all born with a brain; I know that I’ve got one because it rattles when I shake my head, especially in disbelief at some of things that I have read in ‘answers in genesis’. If we have a brain then we have the power to think, and to deduce, in the same way that Ken Ham did when he developed this crack-pot version of reality. What he is wanting to do is to control everyone else’s thoughts, especially the most vulnerable.

That is the definition of ‘Cult’ not of ‘Faith’.

Does anyone else see the inherent contradiction with the later post 119 where a newspaper article is cited which calls for banning the discussion of creationism from the classroom because it may “corrupt” our children.

I thought we were after truth and didn’t need to shy away from an open discussion.

150. Friendlypig - 26 October, 2007

Re post 111.

Wrong, wrong and wrong again.

You’ll never make a living as a mind reader as for telling me what I believe or think you have a long, long way to go.

My comment was directed to Ed regarding his complete lack of knowledge about Hitler. Ed was making a mistake bewteen ‘evolution’ and ‘eugenics’. How anyone could imagine that Hitler was astep up the evolutionary ladder beggars belief.

Re post 119 there is no contradiction.

Creationists want creationism to be given equal status, in the clasroom, alongside science. Creationism is merely a collection of ideas based on a 2000+ year old book. If you are going to teach creationism as a science then you have to introduce Alchemy into the classroom as well it’s just as valid, and much more modern.

It you want to understand what a scientific theory is then please read this. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000D4FEC-7D5B-1D07-8E49809EC588EEDF&pageNumber=1&catID=2

If you want an open discussion please do not misrepresent my previous posts.

151. Friendlypig - 26 October, 2007

You really should pay attention to these!

152. Seek4Truth - 26 October, 2007

Re: post 147
Hi FriendlyPig,
I have found the debate quite interesting, although it took me quite a looong time to get to the end here. I can see that some rather prolific writers are present, and I will not have enough time to keep up with the volume.

In responding to the post, you were careful to define what your beliefs were NOT and in the process be dismissive of Ed’s beliefs. But you did not really state your own beliefs and assumptions.

I don’t think it is fair for you to say that Ed starts with the Bible and works backward and therefore he is unscientific. Ed was looking at observable data and interpreting them in the light of the theory of origins he believes in. You are ascribing the motive to Ed of trying to hang on to his belief in the face of facts. This assertion cannot be proven but Ed has to look at his own heart. I give Ed credit for being willing to look at scientific facts and come up with scientific explanations. These explanations are testable and some we can discard because they are weak, for eg. the canopy theory. They are testable because they lie within the domain of observable science. So this is not just God of the Gaps thinking.

On the other hand, one could just as easily ascribe motives to the atheistic positions and say “In order to avoid accountability to a higher being, the atheist is forced to come up with a naturalistic explanation for the origins of the complex interdependent reality he finds himself in. The atheist latches on to evolution, in spite of the gaps and inconsistencies because he is motivated by a desire to avoid the implications of the only plausible alternative.” Once again this is an assertion that cannot be proven because we cannot observe one another’s hearts. Interestingly enough we still believe that motives exist, even though we cannot observe them. :-)
Of course Ed and yourself cannot make much progress accusing each other of ulterior motivations, so the only way progress is made is by discussing the weaknesses and strengths of the two theories in explaining the observed reality.

My point is that there is needs to be a level playing field. You both have presuppositions. Admit them and discuss within the shared domain. The one thing I didn’t enjoy about the debate was the name calling and inferences that the other person was stupid, or backward. I would expect better of English civility. Let’s assume that we are all intelligent people with different points of view and we want to compare them. Despite being biased towards our own, we need to be open to the truth wherever it leads us.

153. Seek4Truth - 26 October, 2007

Re: post 150

Let’s finish one conversation here. I made the point:

The question was not whether FP’s behaviour was moral but rather what philosophical basis does FP have for judging anything to be moral, i.e. right or wrong. The illustration of Hitler was given. From an atheistic perspective, on what basis can we judge Hitler’s actions to be wrong. Hitler believed in survival of the fittest and was just helping evolution along. After all, if we are merely an accidental collection of atoms, what inherent value does anyone of us have?

The question does not center around Hitler. The question centers around, how do you distinguish between right and wrong? Given an evolutionary, pure materialistic world-view, how can you tell me that torturing my child is wrong. Or that Hitler should not have massacred Jews. Or that slavery is wrong. These are assertions, but how do you back them up with reasons?

You are a person who believes things to be true or not. I assume (correct me, if I am wrong) that you also are a person who believes that actions can be right or wrong. After all you did make a number of moral judgments throughout the forum. But if a human being has no inherent value, what basis do you have for such judgments?

You say that eugenics is different that evolution. That may be true but Hitler was just acting out the logical conclusions of his world view as did Stalin and Chairman Mao.

154. Seek4Truth - 26 October, 2007

Regarding the word ‘theory’

No, I am not using the word to try to discredit evolution because “it is just a theory” so the response of Scientific American does not apply.

The way the scientific method works is that you postulate a working hypothesis and then test to see of the observable data supports that hypothesis. If so that data is “evidence” that the hypothesis is true.
Of course we can never know for certain that the hypothesis is true but we can adopt it as an explanatory model until we have one that better fits the data

As theories of origin, neither evolution nor creation are scientific theories, because our origins are in the past and were not observed.

As a previous poster noted, even if God came down and created a man, or we saw molecules mutate into an amoeba, neither would be conclusive “proof” that this is what originally occurred.

So as far as origins are concerned we have two theories and we can see which has more supporting evidence.

And our final decision is done based on faith – not blind faith – but evidence-based faith.

155. Friendlypig - 26 October, 2007

Hi, Oh Seeker 4Truth

Just in case you missed it, the following is taken from App69 posted by Ed.

‘As I believe everyone descended from Adam/Eve about 6000 years ago then 40,000+ years is not possible. The earth is about 25,000 miles in diameter. Walking 10 miles per day one can walk 3650 miles per year, so in about 7 years people could walk around the entire earth. So after Genesis 11 it would not take long for a group to migrate to Australia.’

This is over-simplistic to say the least, and you can draw your own conclusions as to whether he is being scientific or not. If the premise of the argument is the conclusion, then all Ed and his freinds are trying to do is to make whatever ‘evidence’ they can find fit their ‘facts’. This is NOT science.

156. Friendlypig - 26 October, 2007

This blog is neither mine nor yours. It was started by PD to debate the arguments surrounding creationism and evolution in the light of the presence of the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

You appear to want to take the debate into the realm of philosophy and morality, and the decisions that we make based on our particular standpoint.

Whilst I will answer your points please, out of courtesy to PD, limit your argument to the prime subject matter until he makes his opinion known.

157. Friendlypig - 26 October, 2007

Seek4Truth where is this please?

‘They also acknowledge that there is data and observations that they cannot account for with their theory.’

158. Friendlypig - 26 October, 2007

Seek4Truth

Append 154 ~ ‘Regarding the word ‘theory’

No, I am not using the word to try to discredit evolution because “it is just a theory” so the response of Scientific American does not apply.’

Yes, you are. And, Yes, it does. Scientists have never been able to ‘see’ planets circulating another sun but can draw the conclusion that they are there because of the effect on the sun caused by the rotating planet.

There may be gaps in the fossil record but there is a logical thread leading from one stage to the next. e.g. From Eohipus to the modern horse. We do not yet know every single step and stage that took place; neither do we yet know when the various branches of the family evolved, but we do know they did and that they are related.

Creationism however, in my humble opinion, is merely a collection of stories, with more holes than a Politician’s promise. At best it can only ever be a hypothesis, but it is presented as truth.

No doubt that as Ken Ham sits in his prison cell, looking at the four grey walls that surround him. Perhaps even thinking of his Ma and his Pa, maybe even of God and a sad old Padre. He may even be considering that logically the American Govt. may determine that, as a jailbird, they should decide that he ought to reside in another country. He could end up back in Australia trying to persuade the locals that Ayres Rock was washed into the middle of Australia by Noah’s flood! Oh! Sorry, he’s already tried that once and it didn’t work. Shame.

159. paralleldivergence - 26 October, 2007

Whoa! I go away for less than 24 hours and we’ve jumped from post 145 to 157 on what is now a six month old article. Obviously, the topic is something that a lot of people have something to say about.

Firstly a warm welcome to Seek4Truth! And congratulations on wading through no less than 43,700 words posted by commenters from all over the world. When I pasted them into MS Word to do the word count (because I’m not that obsessive), it pasted up 98 PAGES of text. All that evolved from an original 600-word article. The Internet truly is amazing in drawing people together.

Your posts deserve to be reflected upon before I respond, but in response to Friendlypig’s post #156, I have no problem discussing the issues/concepts of philosophy and morality, as long as it remains within the religious vs scientific context.

I’d just briefly like to comment in response to Seek4Truth’s first post. You say (in a fashion) that rejection of religion in preference to evolution represents a “faith” in evolution. This is a method commonly used by Creationists to try to turn the concept of evolution into another religion, so they feel they can fight on a common ground. But the reality is, there is no common ground between evolution and religion. One is grounded in science, the other is grounded in blind faith. I do not “believe” in evolution, I do not pray to Charles Darwin, I have no rituals surrounding my preference of evolution as a partial answer to how we are where we are. We do not know all the answers yet. We may not ever know them all – but I know we will learn more. Trying to legitimise Christianity through science is a waste of time and I believe Creationists shouldn’t even bother. It cheapens the glory and wonder of the miracle to attempt to explain it.

The real problem as seen by Christianity is evolution and the widespread scientific acceptance of “millions and billions of years” which has been resulting in an exodus of believers from the church – an enormous threat to the viability of their religion. Christians should be fighting to convert Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists – people who are susceptible to spiritual arguments. All the atheists are going to Hell anyway.

160. Friendlypig - 28 October, 2007

The YEC philosophy reminds me of the Hans Christian Andeson Fairy Tale; The King’s New Suit of Clothes:

One day a very dishonest but manipulative tailor went to the King and showed him a wonderful suit of clothes. Actually there was nothing there but the tailor said to the King, and his Coutiers.

“To a wise man this is the most wonderful suit of clothes ever made. The cloth is woven from the finest materials, and stiched with thread drawn from real gold. In fact it is unique and no-one will ever make a suit of clothes like this again. However to a fool it will appear invisible.

Now the King not wanting to appear a fool in front of his Courtiers said that it was the most wonderful thing he had ever seen. The finest garment that a King could wear, and one that no other Monarch could equal.

The Courtiers not wanting to look stupid, or to make the King look foolish also agreed. And so the King bought the invisible suit.

To show his subjects his splendid new suit of clothes the King ordered a Grand Parade. People lined the streets, bands played and the Army marched and in the middle was the King, stark naked, riding his favourite horse, but believing that he was wearing his wonderful suit. Everyone cheered and said how wonderful the suit was, because although they could see the King was naked they didn’t want to appear stupid either.

However. One little boy who was watching the parade hadn’t heard the story.

He stood there horrified as the King slowly processed through the city, stark naked, on horseback. As the King passed he shouted, “Look at the King, look at the King. The King has no clothes on!”

At that moment the blinkers fell away and the King, his Courtiers and everone in, and watching, the procession realised how they had been duped. The King was stark naked. there was no magic suit of clothes it was all a con!”

Oooops!!

The moral of the tale is that You Can Fool Some of The People All of The Time, And All of The People Some of The Time, But you Can’t Fool All of The People All of The Time.

161. Friendlypig - 29 October, 2007

I apologise!

It’s not Ken Ham who is in prison but Kent Hovind.

My apologies to Mr Ham.

162. paralleldivergence - 3 November, 2007

Sorry, I’ve had too much work in the past week to get back to this. I’ve now had a careful read through Seek4Truth’s comments and apart from the “morality” question, – (i.e. if we’re all just atoms, where does morality come from?), I think FP is right. Ed and Seek4Truth have used their conclusion as their starting point – there is no science in that and there never can be.

On the morality question, evolution does give us the answer. Over millions of years the human brain has developed into understanding there is a need for co-habitation. As populations grew, there was a need for civility. As civil problems emerged, there was a need for laws. As emotions developed, there was a need for morality.

The Ten Commandments could very well have been written by the world’s first blog author for all we know. A visionary in a sea of faces.

Reiterating my post #159, Young Earth Creationists have a right to believe whatever they want to. But if it’s all based on a miracle, cheapening that miracle by trying to explain it scientifically is doing Christianity a disservice. Some people choose to believe, others don’t. But the point is, if it wasn’t for the likes of Ken Ham and his Museum and philosophies based on the ”7 B’s of Religion“ (see the original article), our children would all be born into a Godless world. If God wanted us to believe in him, HE would convince us – not some MAN who wants to control others.

Peace.

163. paralleldivergence - 14 November, 2007

Here’s an update on the creation museum – and a great read to boot!

http://scalzi.com/whatever/?p=121

164. Friendlypig - 15 November, 2007

Well, they let me out of hospital after I promised that I would NOT fall off the chair again. They told me that to re-wire my jaw would be very expensive and the Insurance Comp might not want to pay.

What makes it worse is I’ve only seen the photos. If I hadn’t laughed I would have cried.

When I’ve recovered the Dr. says that I can go and read the second part just as long as I wear a gum shield.

165. Gordon J. Glover - 21 November, 2007

This is a great thread. Anyone interested in this should be interested in a video series that I’m working on. Parts 1 and 2 are complete. Check back after the holidays for Part 3.

Peace

166. paralleldivergence - 21 November, 2007

Welcome Gordon! And congratulations on the creation of your video series – it’s evolving nicely. :)

It’s certainly refreshing to see a quite thorough discussion in such a concise way and you’ve left us at a point where we are questioning a miraculous deception. A deception which extends beyond fossils and DNA as I suggested in this article:

http://paralleldivergence.com/2006/11/11/how-hubble-killed-god/

I haven’t had a chance to take in your website, but I do aim to do so as soon as my workload allows me to. Your videos so far haven’t clarified for me whether your stance is for a Young Earth or an Old Earth. I guess I’ll have to wait until part 3 – or buy your book :) – But you do at least (for now) seem to acknowledge millions and even billions of years – something Ken Ham can’t seem to get his head around at all.

In your first video, you sort of hinted that we should all be keeping theology separate from science – the two do not go together in any way. It’s Faith vs Evidence. If you had evidence, you wouldn’t need faith. But as more evidence gets reported via instant global communication in this ever-shrinking world, those who have lived their lives in blind faith are slowly seeing patches of light in the dark and it’s not Heavenly light.

So from my point of view, Creationists are seeing a strong need to jump on the science bandwagon, no matter how surreptitiously in an effort to make the supposedly same evidence “scientifically” fit their pre-existing conclusion (the opposite of science). This way, the “unscientific” masses are bamboozled enough to accept that as long as the scientists don’t have an answer to how life started and where we came from, there is always the God Factor that comes up trumps and that will at least slow down the defection rate.

Thanks again for sharing your video and website. I really look forward to any comments you may have on the above and also to your third video instalment.

167. Gordon J. Glover - 21 November, 2007

Thanks! I find no reason to doubt the scientific consensus of a 4.5 billion year old solar system, a 13.7 billion year old cosmos, and a 3.8 billion year process of creation that has come to be known as “evolution”.

I also find no reason to doubt the Bible as the Word of God, which for some might seem contradictory. But I actually take the Bible more seriously than your average YEC – who makes a mockery of both scripture and creation by picking and choosing what passages should be taken as literal and what passages should be taken as figurative, metaphorical, or phenomenological.

For you or your readers interesed in this, I have another video series called, “Does Science Contradict the Bible?” that was a little too long for YouTube. But I posted it on GodTube and on my site here:

http://www.blog.beyondthefirmament.com/video-presentations/does-science-contradict-the-bible/

Enjoy!

168. Gordon J. Glover - 21 November, 2007

I enjoyed your post about Hubble. But disagree that it killed God obviously – but it does lay waste to a certain interpretation of Genesis.

About Ken Ham and others, here is what I think about them:

http://www.blog.beyondthefirmament.com/2007/09/26/lawyers-and-scientists/

Since you also appreciate humor!

Gordon

169. Friendlypig - 22 November, 2007

Gordon, I don’t think that you are being exactly honest! Methinks that perhaps your aim is to confuse, and of course sell your book.

No matter how astute the confusion, promulgated as argument and truth, if it is based on false premise it will always result with a false conclusion.

Nevetheless I look forward to the 3rd installment in this gripping novel.

Evil Atheist ~ I’m not really.

170. paralleldivergence - 22 November, 2007

Gordon, I’ll take a look at your other video shortly. But your direct comparison of Ken Ham and YEC with lawyers was excellent. Do you have any affiliation with the “Answers in Creation” people? – http://www.answersincreation.org/profiles/ken_ham.htm

171. Friendlypig - 22 November, 2007

“The point here is that while most professional scientists are indeed atheists, at the end of the day, after all of the emotional and philosophical dust settles, a scientific theory stands or falls on the evidence alone. History bears this out. ”

Surely the point here is that if, as you state, ‘ a scientific theory stands or falls on the evidence alone.’ what relevance is there in introducing ‘atheism’. It adds nothing to your point.

172. Friendlypig - 22 November, 2007

‘Atheists, who rely on evolution as an “intellectually fulfilling” alternative to creation, would have had to find something else to put their faith’

Atheists do not, as you assert, ‘put their faith in evolution’, to accept your statement without question would be to accept that we believe in ‘evolution’ as another religion. This is just another Creationist trick to try and make the playing field level. Evolution is a preferred model and nothing more.

173. Friendlypig - 22 November, 2007

‘If all that scientists cared about was to avoid any implications of special creation, then they would have never accepted the evidence for big bang cosmology and would instead still cling to an irrational belief in a static and eternal universe. In fact, the big bang theory was once referred to as the “Genesis Problem” in scientific circles’

Professor Sir Frederick Hoyle was probably the last great proponent of the Steady State theory. 80% of what he believed we know to be true. Stellar nurseries and constantly producing new stars and old stars die, he just did not accept the developing Big Bang theory To suggest that a man of his distinction was, in your words, ‘irrational’ just because his beliefs ran contrary to a new theory is offensive to his memory and unworthy. You who stand on the sholuders of giants ……

One further fact that you should be aware of is that it was Prof Hoyle himself who coined the term ‘Big Bang’.

174. Gordon J. Glover - 22 November, 2007

Ok – here it is – fresh of the press!

PD: I have no affiliation with AiC – and to my knowledge they do not support evolution, only old earth creationism. But I could be wrong – I just don’t know enough about them.

FriendlyPig: we’re on the same page bro. But you have to keep in mind my target audience – it is not you! As a firm believer in Christian Orthodoxy, it pains me to see so many of my fellow believers buying the creation science nonsense. As a scientific model, “creationism” is completely useless. And my primary thesis of my book is that it destoys the credibility in the Bible by making claims that go far beyond what the original authors intended.

Evolution, right or wrong, is the overwhelming scientific consensus of today. And it explains the known data better than any other theory – in fact, there are no rival ideas that even qualify as theories!

As far as standing on the shoulders of giants, I do not even count myself that worthty – since I do not practice science for a living. But as a big fan of science who is concerned about the widespread ignorance of my fellow believers, I spend a lot of time familiarizing myself with the latest and greatest. And yes – I am trying to sell books!

GJG

175. Gordon J. Glover - 22 November, 2007

Here it is:

I just type a long response and it got lost, so I don’t feel like typing it again. But in a nutshell, to FriendlyPig: I think once you understand that my primary audience consist of my fellow conservative Christians, and that I need to contextualize the debate in familiar terms so they can see the usefullness of common descent and the absolute uselessness of creation science – you’ll cut me some slack.

As for standing on the shoulders of giants, I don’t even cound myself worthy to be in the same room as them. I am nobody, just a fan of science who is trying, in a small way, to keep my brothers and sisters in Christ from associating materialistic philosophies with good science.

-GJG

176. SadisticCynic - 22 November, 2007

This whole conversation reminds me of a pre-school argument…
It’s my blanket!
Nuh uh, it’s Mine!
Mine!
And you get the point.
This entire debate is in front of me, and yet I still see no plausible truth… Only arguments based off of theories and theology.

The theology mentioned in this debate I do not believe, due to the fact that is is the largest collection of plagiarized stories that are based off of ancient religions that taught the same basic principles, and that also told the very same “Great Flood” story.

Modern miracles? Huh. I could get all teary eyed, and tell you about how ‘god’ saved my life when i went through the windshield of my friends car 10 years ago.
I could tell you that ‘god’ sent me back from heaven when i died in the helicopter that day because i wasn’t ready, or i had some weird prophecy to fulfill.
But I won’t, just because I know my body, and I know my heritage, and I also know, from Family history, that, asides from the rare (as in every 150 years) risk of a severe aneurism, I’m not gonna die until I’m good and ready. There was no ‘god’ involved. I just wasn’t ready to die. If you’d quit trying to explain every little thing that happens in your life by referencing outdated text that has been modernized, You’d come to the realization that we control our lives.
Body, mind and soul. That is the true Trinity.
((And yes, I do have A.D.D…just a warning in case I get off track.))

Creationists…Prove to me that you are right… show me the unbiased proof. Prove to me that there is no doubt, no flaw in your reasoning and answer.

Evolutionist- I going to say the same thing that I said to the Creationists. Prove your answers with no bias, showing irrefutable truth.

Now here’s my question for this forum…When do we get to start worshipping Aesop? It’s just as informative on life lessons as the bible, Quran, and the Bagavadita(i think I misspelled it)), it’s just about as realistic, AND it’s got cool talking animals!!!
And…Get this…It’s just as plausible as worshipping the invibile man in the sky.

I’m sorry if my spelling is off, english isn’t my language.

177. SadisticCynic - 22 November, 2007

Hah
I’ve got to pay attention to the rest of the conversation… I read the first page of responses, and typed mine…
Sorry about that.

Here’s a few questions for Ed, and anyone else that can give an answer.
Ok, The bible states that Jesus was God, and that God created us all, Was Jesus a homosexual?
I’m not attempting to be a jackass with that question, either.
It’s just something that has always plagued my mind.

And my other question is this : where did Lillith come from when at the time, the bible only mentions 4 people being created? (Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel.)

178. paralleldivergence - 22 November, 2007

Gordon: Your missing post has been recovered as #174. The Divine Robots of WordPress determined that it was spam. Even Divine Robots can sometimes be wrong… :)

Watched part three. OK, I’ve summed it up. The whole thing was a great teaser for your book, aimed at Christians who blindly believe, following so called Christian Leaders and their specific interpretation of the Bible. But you have a different interpretation for them to consider. Interesting concept, but it’s not easy to undo generations of brainwashing. While I wish you well, I think your job in trying to make Christians think is probably harder than the atheist’s.

I’d love to know, if you are a Christian and you regard evolution to most likely be true, what is your stance on Biblical miracles? On Noah’s Ark? On Heaven and Hell? The true majesty of “Billions of years” where Man plays such a miniscule, insignificant proportion of history, does not suffer this folly gladly. Or do I have to get your book for the answer to that as well? :)

179. paralleldivergence - 22 November, 2007

Welcome SadisticCynic! Yes, you have joined what has grown into a pretty big thread weaving in and out of all sorts of discussions – but fortunately, they’ve all mostly stayed on topic.

I can’t say I’ve ever pondered Jesus’ sexuality, probably because I have found him to be relevant in my life. But for half the planet, the question would probably be regarded as blasphemous, what with homosexuality being frowned upon in the Bible. “Frowned upon”? – actually the Bible advocates the murder of homosexuals. But fortunately, Christians don’t tend to follow through – because as Gordon said, they like to “pick and choose” what they’d like to believe in.

Had you made the same statement about the prophet of Islam though… :)

A lot of people pick on Christians for their beliefs, but that’s because they make up the bulk of the world’s believers. Easy targets. But as I said earlier, Christians really shouldn’t be bothering with atheists. They’d have much better chance converting people of other religion – and that should be their main focus. My opinion anyway.

As for inconsistencies in the Bible, such as the sudden appearance of Lillith, you’ll just have to take that little “oops” and join the queue.

180. Friendlypig - 22 November, 2007

Sadistic Cynic. Hi there, it’s good to have another voice on this thread. With regards to your comment above the God created four people, Adam, Eve, Cain & Able.

If you look again at Genesis Ch 4 Verse 1you will see that Adam & Eve managed the procreation bit all by themselves. God ONLY created Mum & Dad.

181. paralleldivergence - 22 November, 2007

Friendlypig! You mean they were siblings?!

182. SadisticCynic - 22 November, 2007

1) Honsetly, Cain and Abel could have been brother and sister for all I care…

…the story is based around the early Sumerian tale of the wooing of inanna, which showed early struggle and conflict between nomadic herders and agrarian farmers.
It’s interesting how someone can read a book and say “This is how it happened, This is your proof” even though there is historical proof to prove otherwise.

Take the whole creationist vs. evolutionist discussion.
Creationism…Well, lets just say that to me, It makes very little sense at all. “And God said let there be light, and there was, and it was good”.
Ok. I’m pretty sure that finally having some light after millions of years of dark would be awesome… Wait, wait, wait, The millions of years didn’t exist, until that moment, so throw that one out.
Actually, We may as well throw out both theories seeing how there’s very little exidence shown here that either happened.

People throw out bible verses, and scientific fact… Hell, I can throw out some versus from the koran and the book of moses along with passages from the minds of Sagan and other astrophysisists(sp?)
and yet it doesn’t make me right either way. Show me the irrefutable truth, even if you have to drive/fly/swim/teleport to get to Florida to show me.

So far, none of you have proven to me that your theories and your beliefs are valid. You’ve only shown your bias and the paperwork to back it up.

PD
I’m not trying to be an ass when I say this, But if God created all, that means he created the homosexual. Even if it was inadverdent.

-I have A.D.D, sorry if this post goes off subject-

183. SadisticCynic - 22 November, 2007

Oh…Friendlypig…So where did Adams first wife come from?
And do some research this time, instead of playing the typical hardheaded christian role.

184. SadisticCynic - 22 November, 2007

Oh…Pd, I really don’t mean to insult any one religion with my questions about God being gay. If he created mankind in his image ((and there are plenty of homosexuals in mankind, if you didn’t notice)) that means he’s got a little gay in him.

185. Gordon J. Glover - 22 November, 2007

PD: Yes – you are correct, sometimes I feel like I’d have more success selling electrical appliances to Quakers!

“I’d love to know, if you are a Christian and you regard evolution to most likely be true, what is your stance on Biblical miracles? On Noah’s Ark? On Heaven and Hell? The true majesty of “Billions of years” where Man plays such a miniscule, insignificant proportion of history, does not suffer this folly gladly. Or do I have to get your book for the answer to that as well? ”

My answer on biblical miracles will not satisfy you, or any of my other atheist friends (I know becasue I’ve tried it). The reason for this has to do with worldview assumptions. Worldviews are like scientific theories – frameworks by which we understand the data of life. If the conclusions drawn from our assumptions are self-consistent, then then the framework lives another day. If we find too many inherent contradictions that we can’t live with, then we apporach the data with a different set of assumptions until we feel comfortable with the system as a whole.

A consistent biblical theist will begin with the proposition that God (a non-material reality that exists independently of time and space) is real, and brought all thing into existence. The order and harmony we see in nature is therefore the result of God’s governance of the cosmos, using the 4 fundamental forces of nature to produce all of the organazation we see over billions of years. Carl Sagan once said that, if by God you mean the sum total of the all the laws of nature, then yes – there must be a god. By this we can rest assued that (1) the universe is real, and (2) that the laws of nature are universal throughout both time and space. Because of this, I have no problem with science and anything that is determined to be true by scientific consensus. But because God is not bound by the rules that He uses to govern the cosmos, I also have no problem the CONCEPT of the miraculous. To me, that just means that at some points throughout the course of human history, God chooses to govern – not according to the ordinary patters that He set up during the first few seconds of creation (as the 4 fundamental forces resolved from the superforce/singularity), but in such a way that draws attention to something that we are take note of.

Because of this, I do not accept any miracles having to do with creation. Why would God need step in fix something that He made in the first place? Can He not get it right the first time? And who was the audience for these supposed “creation miracles” – angels in heaven? These only distract from the true miracles that occurred during Christs earthly ministry (and some from the OT I suspect).

The Hebrew story of creation is a monotheistic theological response to the pagan polytheistic creation mythology of Isreal’s Ancient Near-Eastern neighbors. SadisticCynic calls it plagerism, which is one way to look at it, but if you consider the popular creation mythologies that were so pervasive in the Ancient Near East, it makes perfect sense why the Hebrew story needed to embrace certain elements of the ANE cosmos. I wrote a short guest post about this here:

http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2007/09/interpreting-genesis-creation-accounts.html

Back to miracles: from within the framework of biblical theism, science and miracles can coexist peacfully. There are no inherent contradictions since God rules over both. Now, I completely understand that this is utter nonsense to those who operate from within the non-theistic worldview. Once you start with proposition that there is no supernatural, then science will only confirm this, and the lack of obviously supernatural activity today will only serve as supporting data. So I don’t really concern myself with trying to convince atheists of Christian theism. My focus is on trying to help Christians come to term with evolution.

Real quickly:
Noah’s Ark – same as creation – the retelling of a popular ANE story to illustrate the superiority of montheism over polytheism. Zero evidence of a literal worldwide flood. And the concept of “world” or “earth” to a Mesopotamian would not even include a spereical planet, so to even suggest that “global” flood story from the ANE implies the entire earth was once covered by water is absurd.

Heaven and Hell:
Mysteriously absence from the OT, strangely Hellenistic (Platonic) in the NT, Jesus seems infinitely more concerned with this life (meeting the immediate physical needs of our fellow humans in the here and now) than the afterlife. But still working through this one.

Billions and Billions:
Yup – Insignificance in both space and time – “what is man that thou art mindful of him?” – there is some truth to the Copernican principle, but insignificant in time and space does not equal spiritual insignificance.

If you have Christian friends struggling with evolution because they don’t understand the scienctific case and they think it is incompatible with believing in the authority of the bible as God’s word, then I recommend my book to them.

G’day!

186. Friendlypig - 23 November, 2007

SadisticCynic: Please try and concentrate.

187. Friendlypig - 23 November, 2007

My having read Genesis no more makes me a Christian than you having ADD makes you deficient.

188. Friendlypig - 23 November, 2007

Hi PD, Yep, Adam & Eve actually did, well at least twice. Eve was created as a mature, sexually active adult female with full powers of speech and intellect.

After all according to Genesis the first words she allegedly uttered were, ‘God has found me a man’. And we didn’t even know she was looking.

We also know that Cain and Able were born out of wedlock! Of course morals weren’t need then there were only the two of them and that that must have been OK because the man made it so; and he certainly knew what would happen because why else would we have two sexes?

189. Friendlypig - 23 November, 2007

One of the problems that I always come up against in Genesis is the knowledge that I have gathered over the last 6 decades or so as a gardener.

If I grow a plant from seed I know that I am going to get plants which show chacteristics of both parents; as you would in a new born baby. If I take a cutting i.e. a piece of the living plant, treat it with hormone rooting powder and get it to grow I am going to get a plant identical to the parent, i.e. a clone.

With Eve, she was ‘made by God’ by extracting a rib from Adam i.e. identical DNA. Therefore Eve was a clone, created from a ‘cutting’. But a clone with a difference. Eve was female. Different sexual organs, endocrine system etc. But how? Are the Creationists claiming Special Creation for Eve? Did she get an extra jolt of electicity to change gender?

So that raises a big problem. Creationists state that God made Adam from dust, and Eve from Adam. So we now have the only two people on the face of the planet, and they are sexually active. They produce two sons both of whom must have identical DNA to both parents, there was no other option, therefore Cain & Able were also clones of Adam. There was no variability in the DNA pool. This is not a good thing. Perhaps Gordon you could explain.

190. Friendlypig - 23 November, 2007

I think this guy is great. can we all go home now?

These are a less philosophical but more fun way of moving to the same point.

The Evil Atheist!

191. Friendlypig - 23 November, 2007

Sorry missed out the last 1, No 5.

The Evil Atheist returns!

192. paralleldivergence - 23 November, 2007

G’day Gordon (#185). Thanks for your detailed responses to my questions. I’m glad you saw the point to the questions, in reference to your particular and not so common view of Creation. While God may conveniently exist outside of space and time, everything else we know about the universe fits inside it and recorded “history” as told by humans represents a miniscule proportion of time and an infinitessimal proportion of space. Yet somehow we humans can be so selfish and ignorant to believe that a God created all of this for us and that He’ll reward us (select Humans anyway) with eternal paradise just for living a certain way for 70 years on this little rock. I mean, we are quick to reject Scientologists for their looney “Operating Thetan” and “Xenu” beliefs, but really, what’s the difference? If you’re interested, have a quick read of this one: http://paralleldivergence.com/2007/09/16/how-spirit-killed-god/

Your comments about Noah’s Ark are very refreshing, particularly in light of the original article, all the way up there at the top. I’m happy to accept there was a local flood and it was recorded by the people of the time, but why turn it into a global flood and then add an several hundred-year old man who built a massive wooden ship, virtually by himself and without modern tools and then got two of every animal on the planet onto it to save the world? Why is that story any different in credibility to another story of an old man who lives at the North Pole creating toys for all good children on Earth and then distributing them all in one night using his flying reindeer? Why is that first “miracle” not universally rejected by the time of adolescence like the second “miracle” is? Why do adults admit they lied to their children about Santa, but are still happy to bribe them with stories of Heaven and threaten them with the horrors of Hell? Because they are detailed in The Bible, and that makes it right.

If you’re interested in a little chuckle, you can read my take on Santa here: http://paralleldivergence.com/2006/12/22/how-google-earth-killed-santa/

Personally, I agree with you. You *can* be a Christian and accept evolution – and I think you are offering a new level of undertanding for young earth creationists that helps them to answer obvious questions they have about the faith that’s been drummed into them by their elders. But I don’t think anybody can really define what being a Christian really means.

For example, you could be a Christian by caring for your fellow man and adhering to the 10 commandments, none of which really refer to rituals or prayer or rewards of paradise or punishments of endless torture. I’d argue that’s how most Atheists live their lives.

193. SadisticCynic - 24 November, 2007

PD-
Hmm…
Let’s see if your theory on athiests and the ten commandments are correct…
…For my athiest @ss anyways, because I cannot speak for any other athiest that is present or not present.

6 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;
7 you shall have no other gods before me.<–I have no “god”

8 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.<–That’s not an issue, I don’t worship anyone or thing.

9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me,<—I got the point when ya said the whole “No other gods thing, dude. Chill.

10 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.<—sigh.

11 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.<–I have no “god”, as previously stated.

12 Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.

13 For six days you shall labour and do all your work.

14 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you.<– Wow, I almost follow this to a T….I work Mon-Sat, and then get completely drunk with my neighbor’s gardener.

15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.<–Sorry, My heritage and DNA begs to differ. I have visited Eqypt, though. Does that count?

16 Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. <–Here’s another one that I actually follow.

17 You shall not murder.<– There’s another one.

18 Neither shall you commit adultery.<— Maybe I should have read that before my first and second marriages…Oops.

19 Neither shall you steal.<— I should have read this one when I was a teenager, It may have saved me a few years in prison.

20 Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbour.<– Ok so this one makes the tird of the ten that I follow.

21 Neither shall you covet your neighbour’s wife. Neither shall you desire your neighbour’s house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour. <– Ox? Donkey? No problem there…I’m not into the whole barnyard thing. My neighbor’s wife? You look at her and you know why only me neighbor wants her… She looks like she tried to lick the front end of a speeding mack truck.
Ok, so out of the ten, I follow four on a daily basis.

Noah’s Ark.
Did you know that the native Americans have a story similar to that?
Well, you probably did, so never mind.

An interesting thought that I just had… We can actually break down the bible and use it as a prophetic devise…Well…You can do the same for “The Catcher in the Rye” but still…

Look at revelations, and look at some of the more far fetched verses.
A great dragon… This could be an ancient prophecy by men that knew nothing of volcanic activity, used to describe the end of earth as we speak. Look at all of the supervolcanos that are still brewing…I believe every continent has one… But the one that basically covers the understratus of Yellowstone National Park is the largest…The prophecy could be used to describe the eruption and aftermath of one or more of these supervolcanos.

And he shall part the eastern heavens… (I think it’s in revelations) This one could be used to describe the asteroid that keeps on getting closer and closer to us on every trip… The next time it passes us, it’s gonna go between the earth and all of our communications satelites.

-need coffeeeee………

194. paralleldivergence - 25 November, 2007

SadistincCynic – So many stupid repetitive commandments. I meant these ones:

– Honor thy Father and Mother
– Thou shalt not murder
– Thou shalt not commit adultery
– Thou shalt not steal
– Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
– Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house
– Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife

Forget the God-related ones, they are irrelevant to an atheist. But just because someone is an atheist, it does not make them immoral – something that a lot of “believers” will have you believe.

Now I’m happily married, so the adultery one is not really an issue for me, but I’m not fussed about it for others – we’re all rabbits anyway. And fortunately, I have a good neighbor… :)

195. paralleldivergence - 27 November, 2007

At last – some commonsense in Kansas State University:

http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/ap_051122_id_myth.html

196. Chris mankey - 2 December, 2007

‘There is plenty of evidence around that completely contradicts the theory that the earth is billions of years old, but long agers dismiss any of that as ‘bad science’.”

Sure, what is that “evidence”. Do you have some or just an assertion? Make your case!

“The so called evidence you refer to needs to be interpreted. it just so happens that you choose to interpret the evidence as proof of millions of years whereas creationists, starting from a different axiom, interpret the evidence as proof of a (relatively) recent creation.”

I could chose to believe that the universe is 1 week old and god just made it look old. I guess I’m proceeding from a different axiom then the rest of the world. It wouldn’t be very honest to do that though. Pretending that god speed up the light from distant galaxies to fool us into believing that the universe is one million times older than it really is, is nonsense ! It’s funny how moral absolutists use post modern relativism when it suits them!

197. Friendlypig - 2 December, 2007

Chris,

What point are you trying to make?

Are you saying that there is evidence that Creationists are correct or do you accept the Darwinian model?

If you have any ‘evidence’ that we have missed please let us know so that we also can examine it.

198. paralleldivergence - 12 December, 2007

Just saw a really well put together animation discussing Creationism vs Evolution – with a twist. Well worth watching:

http://www.duelity.net/

199. Friendlypig - 14 December, 2007

Yeh verity, it was good! Or, was it God?

200. jeopardygame - 16 December, 2007

People have mentioned Occam’s Razor in the comments here. I thought I’d share this great visual application of Occam’s Razor:

201. Friendlypig - 20 December, 2007

Another missing link found.

The God of the Gaps is running out of places to hide.

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7150627.stm

202. paralleldivergence - 28 December, 2007

Here’s a cute one. A lot of Christians like to ignore Mark 16:17-18

203. Friendlypig - 28 December, 2007

This one is amazing!

Conservative Jews have, on the basis os archeological evisdence, declared that the Torah is myth.

http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/ConservativeTorah.htm

204. Friendlypig - 29 December, 2007
205. paralleldivergence - 29 December, 2007

Good news stories Friendlypig! Thanks for sharing them.

206. marianne - 30 December, 2007

Hi!

I’ve discovered this blog in that mysterious Internet way (looking for something else entirely), and liked your post – thanks for writing!

I’m a 30 y.o. prof. of geology from a small European country where over 80% of the population is traditionally (very) religious. I’m an open-minded, tolerant person – some of my closest friends are strong believers in God – but being an atheist (and a scientist), it’s been increasingly frustrating to see and hear the Church (as an institution) gain more and more influence in everyday life, from politics to should-the-shops-be-open-on-sundays. It’s like battling the windmills – if I say something, I’m not tolerant. ‘They’, on the other hand, apparently have the right to say whatever they want because they’re in majority, and everyone else should accept their Truth (not all people are like that, and I certainly don’t put everyone in the same basket). Here it’s a sort of very quiet, very subtle type of discrimination… it’s democracy, so you’re allowed to think what you want, but you may experience dissaproval at work, in school, with friends and family. Working with children, I have to walk that thin line between accepting others’ beliefs and explaining science (origin of Solar System, Earth’s geological evolution, etc…) in a scientific way. I hate when I have to be a diplomat to answer the all-time question “Where does God fit into this ? My ____ says he created everyhing”. I know that many scientists are more or less religious. I have collegues who have somehow managed to reconcile their faith with science and it obviously works for them; they don’t mix belief with scientific proof. But overall, I find myself horrified to see the world going backwards, into Middle ages, when we should be broadening our horizons with the worlds beyond our own.

Well, anyway, sorry for the rant and thanks once again for the interesting discussion!

207. Friendlypig - 31 December, 2007

Hi Marianne,

Welcome to the club. I supposethat Paralleldivergence will be along any time to welcome you to his blog.

Sorry, felicitations and the compliments of the season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I found the site the same way.

This small country that you live in sounds like Wales in the 1990s when the only things that opened on a Sunday were the Church doors! I live next door ;-))))

We hope to entice others in to enjoin with the discussion but for some reason they don’t want to play when they can’t win, but as you will have seen we have had some interesting discussions and feel free to add your 10c worth as you see fit.

Do you read the Richard Dawking site? http://richarddawkins.net It is an excellent resource.

208. Friendlypig - 31 December, 2007
209. paralleldivergence - 31 December, 2007

Hi and welcome Marianne! I agree with you that the world is going backwards with this very apparent return to religion, particularly to more hardline versions. The “have-faith-and-ask-no-questions” policy of all religions is in direct conflict with science and progress. It relegates the Earth to a “transit lounge” that just segregates people into First Class (Heaven) or Economy Class (Hell).

Don’t know if you had a look at this article: http://paralleldivergence.com/2006/11/04/which-is-stronger-manfluence-or-godfluence/ – it discusses the parental influence that you have to deal with when trying to educate children.

Feel free to join in any of the discussions – there are many different articles to choose from.

210. Friendlypig - 10 January, 2008
211. shirhashirim - 11 January, 2008

@Ed van Gennip: “there appears to be much evidence for long ages. It also appears to be much evidence for short ages, as Edmund Reinhardt said in a previous append. Like tree rings some have claimed that ice layers in Greenland also determine age. But recently a hole was bored a few hundred feet down to some buried fighter jets, in the ice. There were thousands of years worth of layers yet we know these planes went down less than 70 years ago. Obviously the theory of of one ice layer per year was wrong.”

Well Ed, a couple of years ago I was involved in an archaeological excavation of a Late Bronze age – Early Iron Age age settlement in the Betuwe (judging from you name, you know where that is). According to the ‘faith’ of archaeologists that settlement dated from the period 1100-500 BC.
But when we were digging the deepest and olders postholes we suddenly smelled gasoline. There’s no natural occurences of gasoline in my country, so something was wrong.
When we dug deeper, we found the engine of a 1944 Spitfire!
Obviously, this scientific evidence proves beyond a doubt that the world was created less that a century ago. In 1944 the Spitfire engine was deposited -probably during a catastrophic event. All sedimentation that materialist archaeologists ascribe to a period thousands of years ago, was actually deposited between 1944 and 2000 (that’s the year in whith the excavation took place if I remember correctly). Only a catastrophic deposition of potsherds and postholes can account for this record.
And lo! All over the world we find people believing in stories about a catastrophic event that ended in 1945 (one year after the deposition of the Spitfire engine), and that involved the creation and deposition of many a potsherd!

212. paralleldivergence - 12 January, 2008

Hello shirhashirim and welcome to Parallel Divergence. With regard to Ed Van Gennip’s plane in Greenland, I have since discovered information about it. There is a big difference between “thousands of years worth of layers” and “a lot of snow”. Before he and others go further spreading this creationist myth which is one of the “amazing pieces of evidence” that Ken Ham points to at his website, have a read of this:

http://www.answersincreation.org/rebuttal/magazines/Creation/1997/greenlandair.htm – here, “Old-Earth Creationists” have (easily) refuted the twisting of that tale.

As for the catastrophic event around 1945, maybe in a few hundred years it will magically turn into the “real” story of a global flood that also deposited more than six million human skeletons around central Europe – another “miracle” of God’s power against non-true believers.

213. shirhashirim - 15 January, 2008

I have no doubt that the story was twisted, but when I read Ed’s tale, I immediately thought of this Spitfire -incidentally: that story is correct! There’s more ways than one to deposit a plane on/into the ground, so even when there were ‘thousands of years worth of layers’ above the Greenland plan, it still wouldn’t have been proof of anything. (apart from the law of inertia, that is)

214. Friendlypig - 16 January, 2008

Hi PD.

One for Ed and his friends. Because as we all know that GOD created everything in just 6 days and, he must have been well and truly knackered, although he is/was omnipotent, he must also have spent a considerable time sat at his metabolic laptop copying and pasting physiological systems from bacteria to fish and mammals and finally to man.

This explains it all! Well, when I say all, I don’t really mean all, just all to do with breathing, hiccups, repoduction and hernias.

This must be the truth because as we all know there was no evolution just creation. It made me smile to think the Ed and Ken Ham actually are part tadpole. Something to think about.

http://richarddawkins.net/article,2125,Fish-out-of-water-Your-Inner-Fish,Neil-Shubin

215. Seek4Truth - 29 February, 2008

Re: 213
It turns out that the planes could not have sunk into or smashed into a deeper level of snow/ice
The original article deals with this possible objection:

It is true that the pressures involved would not cause the planes to descend through the ice but there is a simpler and more visual way to determine whether this has happened or not. To attain forward directional stability, aircraft must have their centre of mass ahead of what is termed their ‘aerodynamic center’. The centre of mass is moved forwards by siting engines and other heavy elements towards the front and adding control surfaces such as tail fins whose surface area pulls the aerodynamic centre to the rear. A simpler equivalent is the arrow (weight in the nose, flights at the rear) which attains forward directional stability by the same means.

The consequence is that, barring control mechanisms acting, an arrow or aircraft will pitch forward and fall nose-down when allowed to fall freely through a medium — whether air, water or ice. So if the aircraft had indeed moved through the ice, they would all have been found in the same nose-down position. They were not.

216. Friendlypig - 29 February, 2008

As we are seeking truth please pick the bones out of this:o)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7264856.stm

Seek4Truth, are you trying to say that they had Spitfires several thousand years ago? Or that the geologists and ALL the other scientists got it wrong?

I suppose you could be correct. You theory right, everyone else wrong?

Who knows:o)?

217. friendlypig - 9 March, 2008

Hi PD

This is No1 in a series of, I think, 16 entitled ‘Why people Laugh at Creationists’.

Enjoy!

218. paralleldivergence - 10 March, 2008

Thanks Friendlypig. Why is it that the “faithful” will believe anything you tell them?

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1152984

219. friendlypig - 11 March, 2008

Pass. There’s Nobel prize for the one that discovers the reason.

BTW the Vatican have come up with an additional set of deadly sins, including ‘Having too much money’!

So, we can start with Ken Ham and all the other very wealthy promulgators of Bronze Age myths.

220. nye - 21 March, 2008

i’m really going insane with frustration here, i read through to about half way through this discussion but i just couldn’t carry on.
I honestly can’t believe that people intelligent enough to argue and avoid questions so well can believe such monumentally stupid things. it’s actually easier to handle when it’s just idiots shouting and name calling.

I’m incredibly stressed and angry now, i wish i hadn’t read any of this! I have to be up early tomorrow and now i’m not going to be able to sleep, i’ll be thinking about this all night!! aaaarrrghh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

221. paralleldivergence - 21 March, 2008

Welcome nye. I hope you got some sleep in the end. :) Debates about religion always raise lengthy discussions – but intelligence and faith don’t mix. You can’t confuse intelligence with eloquence.

222. paralleldivergence - 24 March, 2008

OK, so the Creationists haven’t been able to make everyone go to their Creationist Museum, so the Creationists are going to the real museums to run their own tours. We must fight back against this brainwashing of children:

http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/03/23/how-to-ruin-a-trip-to-the-museum/

223. Jeremy - 5 April, 2008

[Dave] p2: If Darwin had been a Christian seeking to prove creation by science there likely would not be a problem, but since he was an atheist seeking to DISprove Scripture, he instigated the controversy.

Despite the fact that Darwin’s family were nonbelievers, Charles Darwin attended Cambridge to study theology and become an ordained Anglican minister.
Instead of becoming ordained right after graduation, he did what many young men do: he decided to see the world.
It was only his voyage on the Beagle when he began to question some of the “truths” in the bible. Even still, he believed fervently in the existence of God and his judgment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin#Religious_views

224. paralleldivergence - 7 April, 2008

Welcome Jeremy and thanks for the link. The more we share, the more enlightened we all become.

Take this article for example – http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-04/acs-mdt_1031008.php – we’re all here because of meteorites – not some invisible, all-powerful immortal in the sky.

And to prove it, take a look at 10 Impossibilities conquered by Science:

http://technology.newscientist.com/channel/tech/dn13556-10-impossibilities-conquered-by-science.html

These “miracles” are real, can be tested and repeated. Where’s the PROOF of Creation Mr Ham? Not some animatronic dinosaurs frolicking with children in a sham-museum.

225. Podcast Lane - 28 April, 2008

Excellent article here explaining how “Religion is a figment of man’s imagination”. Well worth a read:

“Religious-like phenomena in general are an inseparable part of a key adaptation unique to modern humans, and this is the capacity to imagine other worlds, an adaptation that I argue is the very foundation of the sociality of modern human society.”

“Once we realise this omnipresence of the imaginary in the everyday, nothing special is left to explain concerning religion,”

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/dn13782-religion-a-figment-of-human-imagination.html

226. Friendlypig - 29 April, 2008

Hi PD

Just pulled this off You Tube.

227. Friendlypig - 7 May, 2008

Hi PD

This is a short video about CERN.

Elegantly presented by the man described as the ‘Rock Star Physicist’.

As he says, ‘We now know what happened 1 billionth of a second after the Big Bang.’

The Creationists will be pleased to point out. ‘Ah, but you don’t know what happened at the VERY BEGINNING though do you? And you don’t know who, or how, it happened, do you? Therefore GODDIDIT.’

These infuriating gaps are getting mighty small ;o)

228. paralleldivergence - 7 May, 2008

Yes, Friendlypig, on one hand we have a massive, incredible machine that will provide us with new awareness and intelligence, and on the other hand, in the state of Florida in the US, where “Intelligent Design” is taught in preference to evolution, we have this:

http://www.local6.com/news/16169506/detail.html?rss=orlpn&psp=news

Yes, a teacher in a school does a magic trick in class with a toothpick, then suddenly gets called in because he’s been accused by a parent of “wizardry”. Thank You Creation Museum.

229. Friendlypig - 9 May, 2008

Hi PD,

You couldn’t make it up could you.

If you can wade through the following, which would be even more hilarious if it weren’t for the fact that it happened, you will probably find that this teacher has probably read learned a few tricks from the one and only Harry Potter Esq. Unless of course the reacher in question is the one and only Professor Snape

http://richarddawkins.net/article,2544,n,n

230. Mike - 15 June, 2008

where ever you, there will always be people who don’t think about things the way you do, feel, talk, and do things differently. There are some people who claim to be Christian and are as mean as snakes, well, you’d probably even meet a snake that’s nicer, I know people like that. I myself am a Christian, but don’t let those people who claim the name of Christ but have actions, attitudes, life styles and habits that don’t reflect God’s heart, deter you from the Truth. The truth is; God is real, science and God are real, and what’s it going to matter 20 years from now whether the earth started from a bang or not? What matters most is your salvation. A relationship with Jesus. We can ask God how the earth was made when we get to Heaven.

231. paralleldivergence - 15 June, 2008

Welcome Mike. You are absolutely right. No one can prove that God doesn’t exist, not when they have not worked out how life can be made from nothing. But science is chipping away at religion and in a century has gored mighty chunks out of the stories, logic and rituals that have lasted for a millennium or more.

The concept of Heaven is very different to the concept of God and is very dangerous. We see Muslim Jihadists blowing themselves and fifty innocents up because they “know” they’ll go straight to Heaven – because God told them so. Is this the same Heaven you’ll be going to? Either Christianity is wrong, or Islam is. They can’t both be right.

BUT – They can both be wrong.

232. Friendlypig - 23 July, 2008

Apparently Salamanders living in total darkness have lost their eyes but retained their eye sockets as concavities or indentations.

As Christopher Hitchens pointed out, you would have thought that if God had placed the Salamanders in the cave system he would not have left vestigial eye sockets.

On the other hand is it just possible that because the Salamanders have been living in total darkness for untold millenia, their eyes were of no practical use, the energy needed to maintain this system could be put to better use.

This is not an adaption but Salamanders evolving.

http://richarddawkins.net/article,2889,Losing-Sight-of-Progress,Christopher-Hitchens—Slate

233. Friendlypig - 11 August, 2008

Hi Stu,

Yesterday morning I had a slightly surreal experience. My wife had gone shopping with a friend and the door bell rang. I thought they had come home early because the weather was lousy, but when I opened the door there stood a man and a woman, and the woman was holding a copy of Watchtower under her arm

What’s the relevance of Watchtower? Well it’s the ‘magazine’, for want of a better word, of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. And, I opened the door to talk with them. Why? Because I was hungry and ‘needed’ a meaningful conversation. Plus it was pouring down and I was dry and standing in the porch and they were outside in the rain and they only had a small umbrella. They decided that spreading their message was more important than than staying dry. Who am I to argue; no doubt that God was looking after them, although he didn’t provide them with a bigger umbrella. It would have been impolite not to indulge them.

They always amaze me. They insist that they have studied the modern world and can counter any argument with The Bible. The problem arises when you talk about time and get away from Isotope dating methods and get onto such things micro-deposits such as those that lead to the building of stalactites and stalagmites such as those that are found in the Carlsbad Caverns which have been growing for over 11 million years after the cavern was formed. Sorry that should have been 6 thousand years ago.

They were somewhat confused when I pointed out that the Bristlecone Pines in California were nearly twice that age.

They also get hung up on the fact that there are no ‘transitional fossils’ lying around in the streets. And, because fossils such as Tiktalik aren’t mentioned in Genesis they doesn’t exist.

Cain’s wife was his SISTER, it MUST have been so otherwise GOD would have decreed that it appear in the Torah that there were other people; and they accepted that was incest but couldn’t explain why there is now such a wide spread variance in DNA around the World, but God must have arranged it so.

At the end of the day the God of the Gaps struck again. Every time I raised something that wasn’t in their script it was, ‘Well we believe that the Bible is the Truth’.

I even offered them my copy of The Ancestors Tale by Richard Dawkins, which is nothing really to do with God but a reverse journey through evolution, so that they could discover for themselves when Mankind and the anthropoid apes split form each other. But as they said they had everything they needed in the Bible.

It was, as I said , a slightly surreal conversation. 2 intelligent, well meaning, people, trying to save sinners like myself from going to hell, or was it Darwen. Anyway it was warm. They were so hung up on these Bronze age myths and fables it was unbelievable. But the thing that I found strange was the fact that their faith was, in my opinion, so weak that they refused, point blank, to do research on the net or in any other reference book, for fear of finding verifiable evidence evidence that would have shown the ‘facts’ in the Bible for what they really were.

I do so hope that they will come back.

234. paralleldivergence - 11 August, 2008

Great story Friendlypig. I think you’ll find they’ve firmly crossed OFF your address from their list of those to be saved. You are hereby DAMNED – (together with me). :)

I too have had the Watchtower people at my door. Did you know their kids are miserable? No birthdays, no Christmas.

I don’t know why they are bothering door-knocking. They believe only 144,000 people from all time will go to Heaven.

A Google Search of the terms “Jehova’s witness” and “cult” brings up around 100,000 hits. Here’s a good quick place to start:

http://www.cultwatch.com/jw.html

235. Friendlypig - 12 August, 2008

Hi Stu, I agree about the kids that’s why in the UK they are trying to get schools whereby their kids are protected from ‘life as we know it’.

I personally know several Jehovah’s Witnesses, many of whom don’t know that I know. On the outside they are quite normal and friendly but many of them home teach, and one that I know has over £500,000 worth of debt!!!! Much of that I suspect spent to protect their children. That I find particularly sad.

Incidentally this was the 2nd visit from their missionaries in 2 months and I hope for more.

You know I forgot to ask these two if they were of the 144,000.. The previous one’s weren’t but they were quite happy that they weren’t going to HELL.

They don’t need to go anywhere to find HELL! This is England in Summer and my garden is flooded, and it’s quite cool. Ah well!

236. Jennifer Tilby - 19 August, 2008

This has been a great discussion and I’ve just got through all of it. Whew! I also found another interesting set of comments at the Sydney Morning Herald’s website where tonight there will be a debate titled “Would the World be Better off Without Religion?”:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/god-goes-up-for-debate/2008/08/18/1218911572829.html

Reader comments are here. Sounds like Australians have a lot of commonsense.

http://blogs.smh.com.au/newsblog/archives/your_say/019786.html

237. Friendlypig - 19 August, 2008

Hi Jennifer,

WOW!

With that sort of stamina you could represent Oz in the Olympics! Running the marathon. They could do with some success in athletics ;o))

Sorry, had to get that bit in; of course Stu might delete this post!

I must admit that I do like Rookie’s comment when she says that she is married to ‘an ancient historian’. Is this someone who studies ‘ancient histroy’, or did she marry her ‘history Professor’?

It’s good to see rational points being made in discussion. Here in the UK all the main stream political parties seem to have mislaid their national and cultural identities; pandering to the desert warriors is not a good sign for the future.

238. paralleldivergence - 19 August, 2008

I wouldn’t delete your posts Friendlypig – even if you are beating us for medals at the Olympics (first time since Seoul ’88). I heard your government has spent more on preparing the GB Paralympics team than Australia spent on our Olympics Team and Paralympics team COMBINED. See you in London 2012. :)

Welcome Jennifer, yes that’s a great discussion in the mainstream news. We need to see more of it happening. People must question their beliefs. They must ask themselves – where/how did they get them? If the answer is “parents” and/or “school”, then it’s not good enough to just accept that form of education. What if you were born in India? Or Iran? Or Brazil? Being born into a religion does not make that religion the right one! They can’t all be right. But they CAN all be wrong.

239. Jennifer Tilby - 21 August, 2008

Our buddy Ken Ham better make some changes at his Museum.

“Traces of a dinosaur found at a German quarry suggest the creatures may have been 15 million years older than previously believed.”

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,573226,00.html

240. Friendlypig - 6 September, 2008

Sorry for the political message, but this demonstrates the intelligence of a women who is probably the Creationist with the highest profile at the present time.

A woman who wants to be the Leader/Deputy of the the most powerful nation in the world. One who believes in talking snakes and that the earth was formed just 6000 years ago.

This is not my personal message but I endorse every word of it.
It was sent to me by a YouTube friend Windham666
Sarah Palin Supports the Aerial Hunting of Wolves

This video was done by a fellow YouTuber. I would like to say that in the past centuries, man has killed off 19 different species of wolf from North America and this Religious Right Wing Bitch wants to kill them off even more. She wants to outlaw abortions in the case of incest and rape on one side but then rapes and destroys nature by killing Polar bears and wolves. This authoritarian book banning whore must never be allowed in the White House.

241. Ian - 18 October, 2008

Hi PD, do you remember our earlier conversation regarding a series of experiments that were carried out in the US around 50 years ago when electrical discharges were created in flasks of gases thought to make up the atmosphere of the ‘young earth’. The result of these experiments showed that some amino acids were formed in this manner.

Well, look what turned up on the BBC website yesterday

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7675193.stm

For the benefit of any Creationists who might be reading this blog with a view to educating themselves the term ‘young earth’ refers to an age approximately two billion years ago and not 6-10,000 years ago.

Another gap gone, soon there will be nowhere to hide!

242. paralleldivergence - 14 January, 2009

Uh oh. Don’t look now:

“09 January 2009

A test tube based system of chemicals that exhibit life-like qualities such as indefinite self-replication, mutation, and survival of the fittest, has been created by US scientists. The researchers say their perpetually replicating RNA enzymes take us a step closer to understanding the origins of life on Earth, as well as to how life may one day be synthesised in the lab.”

Full story:

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2009/January/09010901.asp

When will we see THIS in the Creation Museum?

Dave - 27 June, 2009

Just read some of this discussion.
Quite fascinating really.
Apple predicts computers will become self aware in 5 years.
We may live to see the birth of a whole new non RNA based lifeform.
It will be creation – but I bet it doesn’t get a place in the museum. (-:

paralleldivergence - 27 June, 2009

It has been a very interesting discussion Dave, and unlike many discussions on religions, it’s actually quite amicable. :)

I once printed out this discussion becuse my Dad wanted to read it and he doesn’t like these “new fangled computers”. It was about 180 pages long at the time!


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