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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ya gotta have faith

I have to say as I was dialoguing with a commenter, that it occurred to me that the creation side of the evolution/creation debate doesn't give Darwinists enough credit for one thing. Faith.

While I am being questioned about how Kangaroos made it to Australia, I am thinking suddenly about this whole idea of faith. Both sides are the same! Eureka, I have a greater understanding! We both darned well believe in what we say. Right?

I knew it all along, just didn't say much about it. But you sure have to have a lot of faith to believe that an organism, a self-replicating creature of even the simplest form, just kind of happened. As Wickersham once said, it is akin to believing a tornado went through a junk yard and assembled a working 747. Fueled, with crew, ready for takeoff. It is an amazing concept, but Darwinists believe it because "we are here."

Go ahead and give me three paragraphs about nested this and punctuated that, the bottom line is that you have absolutely no clue at all about how the first life ever could have happened, you just have faith that it did. Faith. With as much evidence as Darwinists have about the beginning of life, they might just as well believe that storks really do bring babies,

Logically, the idea of a Creator God makes much more sense. You have cause and effect, you have a reasonable explanation, the only thing is you have to allow for the supernatural. No, but that isn't really the problem. I will go to a Darwinist's blog and see stuff about astrology, or looking for space aliens, or Edgar Cayce, etc. So it isn't always an aversion to the supernatural but rather to God Himself. I have to realize that no amount of words, or reasoning, or evidence is going to change someone with that much faith.

Then I turn it towards myself. I am convinced that the evidence is overwhelmingly on the side of creationists, that the Darwinists are fighting a losing battle in the sciences and that over time the so-called theory will be more and more in dispute until it is finally discarded. You see, I began as a Darwinist myself and was kind of surprised to find that the evidence is not there for evolution.

Darwinists run away from the explanation of the beginning of life. They hate the fact that Darwinism is against the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and I have shown this to be true. They hate that it is against the Law of Abiogenesis. They hate the fact that the idea of macroevolution is shown to be impossible by the laws of statistics.

Don't get me wrong, there are long-winded explanations concerning those three things that I just asserted but they strike me as being "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

So give up the whole Kangaroo thing and the "4,500 years isn't long enough to repopulate the earth and start up the ancient civilizations" stuff. It is kind of on the edges of the discussion anyway.

The population? Like I said, the earth's population is what you would expect to have if one family began it all 5,000 years ago. The math says it, it is logical and makes a lot of sense. It makes no sense that man has even been around one million years, for we would have people standing on each other's heads by now. It cracks me up when Darwinists say something about catastophes keeping the population down, because I just say, yeah, one big one called the Flood did that trick.

Kangaroos? A world-wide flood, people! Ice sheets from the poles all the way up to and for a time deep into the temperate zones. Mud-rock being carved like a cake all over, likely land-bridges between islands readily available before the ice sheets, the glaciers, had done much melting. The violent weather, lots of earthquake activities and other likely effects of such a calamity make for a world that, other than near the equator, would be an incredibly difficult and very dynamic environment for a few years. It is no big deal to imagine a land bridge to Australia, or a shifting the the very probably newly-formed continent.

But Darwinists? Life from non-life? This is the big one. Hauling a kangaroo from the Canaan to Canberra is a piece of cake compared to making a reproducing living thing out of "stuff." I have yet to see anything written that is more than a fairy tale with all sorts of jargon mixed in to make it sound scientific.

Darwinists like to make fun of creationists and yet this is their deal-breaker. I would just love to see a Darwinist submit a paper that truly came up with an explanation for this. No, I am not going to hold my breath. I do not believe you can do it.

Meanwhile, I am going to review where we were on the basics of creationism so we can move on. I have research to do on water salinity so that I can present something that makes sense as I move on to the next area, which is the Flood itself. What was life probably like before it, and what was life probably like shortly after it had receded. That is a worthwhile endeavor and it will be my next project in this field.

But all who both agree and disagree, allow me to mention that I already have entries coming in to the Darwin is Dead Carnival and I do remind everyone that entries will be accepted from both sides of the fence.

53 comments:

Jake said...

I don't have faith that life developed, I have evidence that it did: we're here.

I assume that it developed by natural means, but if there were any evidence to the contrary I would accept it. So far there has been none.

Anonymous said...

You work with computers, but you can't explain how they make microchips! So there! It's all a big lie!

(Of course, it's quite possible you can, and anyway, somebody can, but the basic idea is there. If it bothers you, keep digging through the hierarchical explanations of how computers work until you hit something down in physics that we genuinely don't understand yet.)

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say we have no clues as to how the first life ever could have happened, but we haven't solved the mystery yet. It's even possible that we never will! But I can't remember a single episode of Law and Order, no matter how confusing where the detectives just threw up their hands and said "It must have been God!"

Must have missed that one.

Just think of the convoluted combinations of chance events that are necessary for most crimes! The probability of, say, the path of one specific person intersecting with a mugger at just the right time under just the right conditions - it's hard to believe. You sure have to have a lot of faith. It's an amazing concept, but the detectives believe it because they "have a 'victim.'" Half the time, with as much evidence as the detectives have about the crime, they might just as well believe that a movie monster is on the loose!

Of course, logically, the idea of God here makes much more sense. So, you have cause and effect (everything from righteous smiting to 'abducting' prophets to heaven*). you have a reasonable explanation, the only thing is you have to allow for the supernatural. No, but that isn't really the problem, because plenty of cops believe in astrology and such like. So it isn't always an aversion to the supernatural but rather to God Himself . . .

* 2 Kings 2:1 - 11: " 1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. . . . 11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

And remember that L&O episode where the defense attorney tried to use 'it was the will of God' as a defense, and there was outrage and uproar and the judge just shut it down?

Ridiculous, right?

But that's what you're demanding.

Not that there is a God (although we disagree), but that God is a legal strategy, a scientific variable, a factor in engineering, a possible explanation to why the computer crashed or became infected with viruses (sure, I opened the attachment - it was from somebody I knew, and they were asking me to check out a love letter! What does that have to do with anything? I thought computer viruses were caused by the wrath of God . . .)


It's as if we're inside a flimsy shack teetering on the top of a high mountain in a powerful storm. Inside the shack some candles are buring, shedding a flickering and imperfect light that nevertheless lets us read, or cook dinner, or take medicine, or even pray. The sound of the wind is impressive, even awe-inspiring. Some people say they can hear things in the wind (although they don't always agree on what exactly they hear). A few say they can't make anything out. As impressive as the storm is, the shack keeps everybody warm and dry, keeps the candles lit and everything in order. Even though some people don't really like the idea of the shack, it keeps them warm and dry too, so they can sit and read by candlelight, or help cook dinner, or write down ideas on why the shack isn't so great, or just lie in bed listening to the wind. You see, the thing is, some people say the shack is too small, too confining, too insulated. They want people to throw open the windows and the doors so that everyone can stretch, and really hear the thunder, and really feel the wind. It'll be so much better, they say - we'll be able to read, or eat, or write - anything - but surrounded by the real glory and excitement of the storm. Some folks are a little worried, though. How could they keep the candles lit? And if you listen very closely, whatever else people might hear in the wind, there is also what sounds like the cackling and gibbering of demons and witches and ghosts - things the people in the shack tell stories about, but don't really believe in anymore . . .


I have to mix that last bit into the analogy a little more . . .

Anonymous said...

But faith in what?

Phenomenon: Epilepsy
Original explantion(s): divine madness, demonic possession
Explained by reference to natural causes: Hippocrates, 5th Century BCE (proposed organic cause)
Various neurologists, 19th-20th Century

Phenomenon: Lightning
Original explantion(s): Gods/God/demons
Explained by reference to natural causes: Franklin and others, mid-18th Century

Phenomenon: Rainbows
Original explantion(s): Gods/God (covenent sign, Iris' path, the bow of Indra, the Bifrost bridge)
Explained by reference to natural causes:
Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi , 13th Century
Isaac Newton, late 17th - early 18th Century
(leaving out earlier and later refinements)

Phenomenon:Perceived motion of the sun Original explantion(s):Gods (Apollo, etc)
Explained by reference to natural causes: Copernicus, 16th Century, Galileo, Newton, 17th Century

Phenomenon: Infectious disease
Original explantion(s): Gods/God/demons/witches, (also miasma theory)
Explained by reference to natural causes:
(not miasma) Bassi, Pasteur, Redi, Snow, Koch, 19th Century

Phenomenon: Black Death
Original explantion(s): God, Jews poisoning wells
Explained by reference to natural causes:
(not Jews) - In general, 19th Century (germ theory); if caused by Yersinia pestis (bubonic plague), Yersin, Kitasato, 19th Century

Phenomenon: Leprosy (Hansen's Disease)
Original explantion(s): Gods/God/demons
Explained by reference to natural causes: Gerhard Hansen, 19th Century

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

Phenomenon: Production of organic compunds
Original explantion(s): vitalism (organisms possess vital forces not able to be explained mechanically; these allow only living organisms to produce organic compounds
Explained by reference to natural causes:
Friedrich Woehler, 19th Century (synthesis of urea)

See also magnetism, gravity.

On fine distinctions
"But Darwinists? Life from non-life? . . .Darwinists like to make fun of creationists and yet this is their deal-breaker. I would just love to see a Darwinist submit a paper that truly came up with an explanation for this."

The problem here in part has to do with making distinctions. Evolution isn't atheism, the search for the origin of life is different from the explantion for the origin of species, biology isn't chemistry, origin-of-life people (or geologists or physicists, or any of the other people you've been calling Darwinists) aren't Darwinists (although they probably accept the evidence for evolution), the folks who study fruit flies or finches, or dig up fossils, or analyze DNA - none of these folks are trying to come up with an explanation for how life started - just what happened next. If we never find out life started, it wouldn't matter (although it would be rather disappointing). If we find out tomorrow that aliens built it, or it fell of a comet, or God goosed it with a finger, it doesn't matter. Not for evolutionary theory. For evolution, all that's just prologue. This is the story.

On faith and science

The relationship between faith and science - especially in the early days of modern science - is a fascinating one. I'm sure you know of the claim that belief in God was a requirement for the development of Western science (over my head and out of my league, basically). Certainly many giants of early modern science had strong religious beliefs that probably (or defintely) influenced their work, although in a way that was often far more sophisticated than what we see with modern-day creationism. (I get the impression (and remember, I'm in way over my head here) that in some cases religious/mystical beliefs played a similar role as the magic bunny in conservation problems.)*

Anyway - so, how do we see faith and science interacting as society made such great progess in knowledge? Two examples.

1) If I understand correctly (and I very well may not), Kepler's adherence to a heliocentric model had religious/mystical aspects: the planets circled the Sun in a reflection of the relationship between God and man. [I can't swear this last part is correct]. For reasons I don't really understand and seriously can't explain (something about Platonic solids and the Trinity and the harmony of the spheres), he was convinced that the planetary orbits were circles. In struggling to prove this, he went through model after model until he finally realized that it simply didn't fit the real-world observations - but ellipses did
(However, neither he nor anyone else could figure out how they moved (angels, perhaps?), until Newton . . . .)
Sources: Models of the solar system
Johannes Kepler (Wikipedia)


2) Adam Sedgwick - who among many other achievements was the President of the Geological Society of London - had been one of the strongest supporters of a historical Flood being a major force shaping Earth's geology. Ultimately, however, research established that had been seen as a single massive diluvial deposit was in fact made of of distinct events at different times. With the evidence falsifying the Flood hypothesis, he proceeded, shortly before stepping down (at the end of his term, I believe) to give a speech, of which I am quoting part below:

"..But theories of diluvial gravel, like all other ardent generalizations of an advancing science, must ever be regarded but as shifting hypotheses to be modified by every new fact, till at length they become accordant with all the phenomena of nature.

In retreating where we have advanced too far, there is neither compromise of dignity nor loss of strength; for in doing this, we partake but of the common fortune of every one who enters on a field of investigation like our own....

Bearing upon this difficult question, there is, I think, one great negative conclusion now incontestably established -- that the vast masses of diluvial gravel, scattered almost over the surface of the earth, do not belong to one violent and transitory period. It was indeed a most unwarranted conclusion, when we assumed the contemporaneity of all the superficial gravel on the earth. We saw the clearest traces of diluvial action, and we had, in our sacred histories, the record of a general deluge. On this double testimony it was, that we gave a unity to a vast succession of phenomena, not one of which we perfectly comprehended, and under the name diluvium, classed them all together."

Note that this speech was in 1831, over a quarter-century before Darwin and Wallace's work became known, or the Origin published.

Source: A Flood Geologist Recants: [Talk Origins Archive] Post of the Month: April 2002

* ie, little kids, at a certain point, have trouble with saying that, ie, five coins are still five coins when you spread them out (although the same child may be able to do so with smaller numbers). Supposedly, if you tell them that, say, a magic bunny moved them, they do better (presumably because they can sorta get past the apparent counterintuitiveness of number and space. If this is true (not sure!), it suggests to me that various beliefs played a similar role, allowing early scientists to get past gaps in understanding/knowledge and hit on ideas they wouldn't have otherwise. The crucial part, though, is that these ideas then had to hold up against real world testing).

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

Sedgwick, if I understand correctly, continued to belive in the Flood - but realized that no evidence for it had been found.

and it should be "fell off a comet . . ."

and

"earch established that what had been seen as a single . . ."

The bit I'm not sure about with Kepler is the sun/God, earth/people bit, not what follows.

No, I don't think God is a magic bunny, nor am I comparing religion to belief in a magic bunny. What kind of religion talks about a magic bunny?

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

" I would just love to see a Darwinist submit a paper that truly came up with an explanation for this."

You would?
Why? Y'all'll just say we can't prove it, no-one was there . . .

-Dan S., busy creating life from non-life.

Juggling Mother said...

I think jake pretty much covcered it:

"the bottom line is that you have absolutely no clue at all about how the first life ever could have happened, you just have faith that it did."

I don't need to have faith that it happened - I pretty sure I am here!

and as Dans s said, evolution theory doesn't give a rats arse about how life started, just what happened since then, and maybe some extrapolations for the future.

I mean, it's bad enough when I hear the comment "Atheists believe..." You'd never say "Theists believe", you would need to say "YEC believe" or "Buddists believe" as they have very different beliefs.

The term "Darwinist" covers an even larger variety of people, so if you want to define what darwinists belive created life on this planet you'd have to cover everything from Roman catholicism (god) to sientology (evil alien) to Chinese mythology (hairy giant with an axe)!

highboy said...

Dan: Using natural causes in an attempt to prove that God was not responsible is not valid. God invented nature. Nature therefore cannot disprove God's involvement.

"The probability of, say, the path of one specific person intersecting with a mugger at just the right time under just the right conditions - it's hard to believe."

No, its not. Especially since you are assuming that a mugger has a specific victim in mind. If the goal is simply to mug someone, regardless of their identity, the probability just sky-rocketed. However, the probability of a drought-oppressed area like the Sertao' in Brazil, who hadn't seen a drop of rain in more than 80 years, all of a sudden being victimized by massive flooding from rain killing literally hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children, right after missionaries with Bibles show up, well that is something else.

Jake said...

God invented nature

Prove it. Peer reviewed sources, please.

Anonymous said...

highboy:"Using natural causes in an attempt to prove that God was not responsible is not valid"

That's not what I was trying to do, though.

jake:"Prove it. Peer reviewed sources, please."
: )
Why God Never Received Tenure at any University

-Dan S.

radar said...

"I don't have faith that life developed, I have evidence that it did: we're here."

and

"I don't need to have faith that it happened - I pretty sure I am here!"


HA! Exactly as I predicted. The problem is, if God didn't put us here, how did it happen? If the naturalistic macroevolution model has no start, it has nothing. The above statements are statements of faith. With no possible clue as to how life could have begun, macroevolutionists soldier on, having blind faith that somehow it happened "because we are here."

Aside to Tim - Perfect answer to the mugger example, thanks.

Dan S - Yes, I find myself pronouncing the word verifications also. Not sure if I could stop now if I wanted to....

Jake said...

Okay, I'll give you that, radar. Evilutionists take it on faith that we exist. Happy?

(Actually, many of us don't, we just carry on under that assumption because it's the only sensible way to live, but some do.)

Jake said...

Radar, I reread your post, and you've just stopped making any pretense of sense. You think it's irrational to conclude that life began somehow on the basis that life exists? How does that make sense?

radar said...

What I am saying, Jake, is that a macroevolutionist must be a proponent of naturalism. That means that there is a natural explanation for the beginning of life, should this be true. But no one has a clue how that may have happened because all evidence points to the idea that it cannot happen. So macroevolutionists have faith in what seems to be an impossibility.

Creationists believe that God created, as the Bible says. This has been believed by a segment of mankind from the beginning and that belief, along with the scriptures has been passed down for thousands of years. As a creationist, I have both a plausible cause and a plausible effect. God created and therefore we are here.

Macroevolutionists state that they are here, but they really don't have a clue how that might be. Yet that is considered the rational point of view. I think it is rather humorous, myself.

highboy said...

"Prove it. Peer reviewed sources, please."

Thank you for taking my statement totally out of context. Good job. The problem is that my remark was directed at the obvious attempt at using natural causes to prove God was not involved, which can't be done.

Now prove YOU exist. Prove reality. Peer reviewed papers please.

If we evolved by chance, then our brains evolved by chance. If our brains evolved by chance, so did our process of logic. If our process of logic evolved, wwe can't be sure it evolved the right way.

"(Actually, many of us don't, we just carry on under that assumption because it's the only sensible way to live, but some do.)"

What's sensible? Who's standard of "sense" are you basing this on? Can you prove what is sensible and what is not? Isn't sense just a matter of opinion?

Jake said...

Scientists seek natural explanations to things because there is no other way to conduct research in a rational manner (I discuss this further here). If it is the case that the universe was created by an almighty god who is not bound by natural laws then there is simply no point in doing science. So far, science has a pretty good track record for explaining the world around us, religion has a pretty abominable one.

Scientists don't *assert* that natural explanations are the only possible ones, they just limit themselves to those because those are the only ones it is possibly to explore.

creeper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
creeper said...

"The problem is, if God didn't put us here, how did it happen?"

Running for the God option doesn't solve that problem:

If God did put us here, how did it happen?

radar said...

God tells us how He put us here in the Bible, there is no mystery there.

As to the Universe, even the majority of macroevolutionists concede that the Universe had a beginning and will eventually come to an end.

God invented "stuff", there was no time before He acted. It is now believed that there are 12 dimensions to the physical universe and two of them are dimensions of time. Interesting...

But why anybody thinks that belief that God created puts an end to science puzzles me greatly. You think all there is to science is trying to figure out how evolution might have occurred??? Scientists largely study the way things work today and whether those things were evolved or created has nothing to do with the process.

highboy said...

I'll just repeat my other comment since no one answered the first time: Now prove YOU exist. Prove reality. Peer reviewed papers please.

If we evolved by chance, then our brains evolved by chance. If our brains evolved by chance, so did our process of logic. If our process of logic evolved, wwe can't be sure it evolved the right way.

"(Actually, many of us don't, we just carry on under that assumption because it's the only sensible way to live, but some do.)"

What's sensible? Who's standard of "sense" are you basing this on? Can you prove what is sensible and what is not? Isn't sense just a matter of opinion?

Anonymous said...

"f the naturalistic macroevolution model has no start, it has nothing. "

Help! My cookbook doesn't tell me how to drive a car!!

jake - nice comment and nice post.

radar, you really don't get methodological naturalism? Read C.S. Friedman's Coldfire trilogy. It's set on a planet colonized by people who only too late find out that it responds to thought. Desires, fears, anxieties - all can be given form and force. Almost all complex technology collapses, since physical laws become bendable to our unconscious worries, needs, etc.

For science to work, we need to assume - for the purpose of doing science - that at the very least God is playing by the rules. You really don't get this? It's the same way all science and technology works. You're not sprinkling keyboards with baby (or chicken) blood to make sure they stay safe and secure, right?

"If we evolved by chance, then our brains evolved by chance. If our brains evolved by chance."

No. Remember, nobody (besides creationists) is saying that our brains evolved solely by chance. Rather, there was obviously very strong selective pressure for good working brains. Certainly human thinking is flawed (and there are some very interesting habits of thought that may reflect the conditions it evolved under . . .) but it's gotten us this far, for better and for worse.

"Scientists largely study the way things work today and whether those things were evolved or created has nothing to do with the process."

Of course, this doesn't apply to any historical aspect of any science, and any finding based on the idea that physical laws applied in the past. More importantly, it does. If things were created (in the sense that you use it), then for starters, a great deal of cutting edge biomedical fun is complete garbage and would have to be scrapped. Which would be necessary if you were right, of course. Luckily . . .

Just remember: we're not really expecting you to refuse any medical treatments based in any way on the assumption of common descent. We don't want you dying prematurely one of these decades just to prove a point . . .

I think we better go cold turkey on those verification words - uh-oh, there's one now . . .must resist . . .must fight it . . .

I may have to pull out the old pc and run that ancient copy of civ (yes, civilization I - all 2-d and stuff - some of them would be great city names . . .)

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

", it does . . ."
have to do with the process, that is. Not sure it made sense before . .
-Dan S.

Jake said...

prove YOU exist.

I'm not convinced that I do. It seems likely, and it's an assumption that I'll go with until I see evidence to the contrary, but I'm not convinced.

Can you say the same about your belief in God?

highboy said...

"Can you say the same about your belief in God?"

My answer: "It seems likely, and it's an assumption that I'll go with until I see evidence to the contrary,"

Carol said...

Radar,
It seems as if we are discussing the same topic!

Discussing Creationism

Come and read. I'll be back.

augurwell said...

atman (at`men) n. In Hinduism, the soul, or selfhood; the spark in people eminating from divinity. -- ATMAN The supreme soul from which all individual souls are derived and to which they return. [Skt.]


These thoughts to me are the real direction C.J.

creeper said...

Radar,

"God tells us how He put us here in the Bible, there is no mystery there."

Sure, but taken literally it is all rather vague and, worse, is falsified by what we see around us, so it's hardly a closed case, and plenty of mystery remains. A lot of the "how" still has not been figured out. It's okay, Radar, for creationists to not want to be part of this exploration, but don't be upset if someone else does.

"As to the Universe, even the majority of macroevolutionists concede that the Universe had a beginning and will eventually come to an end."

What is a "macroevolutionist", and what does his or her opinion have to do with the beginning of the universe?

Also: uncertainty about if and how the universe began is hardly proof of a personified God. It's a non sequitur.

"But why anybody thinks that belief that God created puts an end to science puzzles me greatly."

It's because of the anti-science quotes one hears on occasion from some fundamentalist or other. The Baby Fae example was mentioned, and we've seen the attempts to dismiss any science that contradicts a literal interpretation of the Scriptures. Are you really surprised that this would lead to that perception? It's why young earth creationists have a hard time being taken seriously.

"You think all there is to science is trying to figure out how evolution might have occurred???"

Of course not and, your little strawman aside, nobody has suggested that we study evolution to the exclusion of other areas of science. But why should evolution not be explored? You can't even come up with a way to tell us how God did what he did, hence are not able to exclude the possibility that He used the process of evolution to accomplish His creation. And yet you've decided that it should not be explored.

"Scientists largely study the way things work today and whether those things were evolved or created has nothing to do with the process."

First of all, geologists and archaeologists also study the past, using what they find today. Most people think these are worthwhile endeavors. You don't have to.

Second, where are the young earth creationists at the cutting edge of modern science? If "whether things were evolved or created has nothing to do with the [scientific] process", then why don't they find something more useful to do? Why don't they go study "the way things work today"?

Third, insights stemming from research in evolutionary biology have indeed led to benefits in modern science - see for example here and here.

creeper said...

"But no one has a clue how that may have happened because all evidence points to the idea that it cannot happen. So macroevolutionists have faith in what seems to be an impossibility."

Where is the evidence that it cannot happen? It's not that statistics mess again, is it? The same one that says you can't possibly exist?

Or what did you have in mind?

creeper said...

Given a number of insurmountable questions that Radar can not address, he has now opted for the old "Darwinism is a faith" emergency brake. Very telling, and tantamount to a concession on many points.

"While I am being questioned about how Kangaroos made it to Australia, I am thinking suddenly about this whole idea of faith. Both sides are the same! Eureka, I have a greater understanding! We both darned well believe in what we say. Right?"

So the question of how kangaroos made it to Australia in a young earth scenario has you stumped - which isn't surprising, and it's not the only thing that doesn't make sense in that scenario. It's a very good illustrative example though - but it's understandable why you're aching to change the subject at this point.

"But you sure have to have a lot of faith to believe that an organism, a self-replicating creature of even the simplest form, just kind of happened. As Wickersham once said, it is akin to believing a tornado went through a junk yard and assembled a working 747. Fueled, with crew, ready for takeoff. It is an amazing concept, but Darwinists believe it because "we are here.""

To think the two are analogous is to avoid the entire theory of evolution, which says no such thing, but offers a gradual explanation of how life evolved - quite different from a working 747 being constructed at once and entirely by random chance. Again, it would be very helpful for you if you spent at least a little time to learn about the theory of evolution from a neutral source (again, Wikipedia is a good start); learn about what you're arguing against before parroting outdated talking points.

"the bottom line is that you have absolutely no clue at all about how the first life ever could have happened, you just have faith that it did."

"No clue at all" is probably putting it a little too strongly, Radar. "Not nailed down" may be more accurate. It's not as impossible as you make it sound, and a lot of work has been done in this area.

"[M]ost currently accepted models build in one way or another upon a number of discoveries concerning the origin of molecular and cellular components for life, which are listed in a rough order of postulated emergence:

1. Plausible pre-biotic conditions result in the creation of certain basic small molecules (monomers) of life, such as amino acids. This was demonstrated in the Urey-Miller experiment by Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey in 1953.
2. Phospholipids (of an appropriate length) can spontaneously form lipid bilayers, one of the two basic components of a cell membrane.
3. The polymerization of nucleotides into random RNA molecules might have resulted in self-replicating ribozymes (RNA world hypothesis).
4. Selection pressures for catalytic efficiency and diversity result in ribozymes which catalyse peptidyl transfer (hence formation of small proteins), since oligopeptides complex with RNA to form better catalysts. Thus the first ribosome is born, and protein synthesis becomes more prevalent.
5. Proteins outcompete ribozymes in catalytic ability, and therefore become the dominant biopolymer. Nucleic acids are restricted to predominantly genomic use.

The origin (see Origin of organic molecules) of the basic biomolecules, while not settled, is less controversial than the significance and order of steps 2 and 3."


I'll also add that "creation science" has not provided any answers in this regard. Saying "God did it" is akin to saying "It just happened" without going into detail. "Creation science" has no answers as to how God did it and, since it is doing no research into the matter, is actually behind modern science on the issue (as it is on every other issue, not surprisingly).

"Logically, the idea of a Creator God makes much more sense. You have cause and effect, you have a reasonable explanation, the only thing is you have to allow for the supernatural."

Of course the idea of the Creator God makes perfect sense to us - that is, after all, why we invented Him.

"I will go to a Darwinist's blog and see stuff about astrology, or looking for space aliens, or Edgar Cayce, etc."

I've asked you repeatedly about this claim of yours. If such a “Darwinist’s blog” actually exists, it is hardly representative. I’ve seen quite a few of them and never run across such a mix. Since at the time you first mentioned this, the only links that were being discussed were anti-evolutionist ones, I already asked you at that time whether you might have gotten some blogs or sites confused.

It’s likely that you did exactly that – confuse something you read on one site with another – but please clear up the matter and post the link to this “Darwinist’s blog” with stuff about astrology, looking for space aliens, Edgar Cayce etc. If you continue to dodge the question – as you have for over two weeks now – I’m going to have to assume that you’re making this up.

"Darwinists run away from the explanation of the beginning of life."

If by "Darwinists" you mean scientists who accept the theory of evolution, then no, they do not run away from this. It is something that has been and will continue to be explored, which "creation science" has no intention of doing.

"They hate the fact that Darwinism is against the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and I have shown this to be true."

You did not show this to be true; on the contrary, you showed that you believe it to mean something that would make life on Earth (or anywhere) impossible, and you continue to run away from explaining your understanding of this theory.

We don't hate the "fact" that evolution violates the 2nd law of Thermodynamics because it simply is not true, as has been demonstrated ad nauseam in the comments on your blog.

What I for one find somewhat odious, on the other hand, is your pronounced habit of making the same claims repeatedly without responding to the rebuttals, or even bothering yourself to think about them. Please have a look at the link at the end of this comment - it addresses the question from a Christian perspective.

"They hate that it is against the Law of Abiogenesis."

Radar, please tell us what the Law of Abiogenesis says.

"They hate the fact that the idea of macroevolution is shown to be impossible by the laws of statistics."

Is this the same mess that can be shown to prove that your existence is statistically impossible? Or is it one of those quote-mining stunts? By all means, bring it on; tell us more.

"Don't get me wrong, there are long-winded explanations concerning those three things that I just asserted but they strike me as being "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.""

In other words, you choose not to address the rebuttals that have already been made to your points. A retraction would have been just as appropriate, and far more gracious, but you can't have everything. In absence of defending your views, I for one am happy to accept your concession of these points.

"The population? Like I said, the earth's population is what you would expect to have if one family began it all 5,000 years ago. The math says it, it is logical and makes a lot of sense."

And again, this completely sidesteps the question of how the races could have evolved that quickly. One that is insurmountable for "creation science", which is why nobody is going near it with a ten-foot pole.

"It makes no sense that man has even been around one million years, for we would have people standing on each other's heads by now."

1. By your own logic, then, if you want to shift the Flood back a thousand years (as you're now trying to do, since the dating of the Flood is somewhat, shall we say, problematic, i.e. falsified by existing evidence), we should have far more people on the planet today than we do (basically take 6 billion at the constant and inflexible growth rate you proposed, and add another thousand years - how many people should we have on Earth right now?).

2. Have you considered the possibility that population growth is not constant, especially in light of human living conditions and healthcare improving over time?

It cracks me up when Darwinists say something about catastophes keeping the population down, because I just say, yeah, one big one called the Flood did that trick."

Never mind that that Flood is not consistent with observations in geology, biology and archaeology.

"Kangaroos? A world-wide flood, people! Ice sheets from the poles all the way up to and for a time deep into the temperate zones. Mud-rock being carved like a cake all over, likely land-bridges between islands readily available before the ice sheets, the glaciers, had done much melting. The violent weather, lots of earthquake activities and other likely effects of such a calamity make for a world that, other than near the equator, would be an incredibly difficult and very dynamic environment for a few years. It is no big deal to imagine a land bridge to Australia, or a shifting the the very probably newly-formed continent."

That's right, a world-wide flood during which the continents shifted, i.e. after the waters receded (hint - water being higher than usual does not bode well for temporary landbridges; it's exactly what one would expect if this were the other way around), the continents would already have been separated by water.

Regarding your notion of ice sheets – when was the last time Australasia was covered in ice?

” I have yet to see anything written that is more than a fairy tale with all sorts of jargon mixed in to make it sound scientific.”

In other words, you reject all scientific papers that would delve into enough complexity to deal with such an advanced topic. What was that about you claiming to be a “truth-seeker”, open to where the evidence points?

For your reading pleasure, here are two articles that deal with some of these issues specifically from a Christian perspective, one on dating techniques and what they show, and one on the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Anonymous said...

" dating techniques "

You know, for a second, I honestly thought 'what does Christian dating stuff have to do with . . . ah!'

Not the brightest bulb in the box, always . . .

To be fair, I feel like I remember seeing 'most likely places to find aliens' linked on scienceblogs.com, which is owned by the publishers of some sci/culture magazine (and is at least partially a promotional strategy for it?). I got the impression that it was an article from the magazine, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere. Anyway, I'm willing to bet quite small amounts of money that it was either a) humor or b) an at least semi-serious science piece - ie, where are we most likely to find life in outer space.

There are apparently serious debates over the implications of alien life - let alone intelligent alien life - for Christian doctrine. Are they fallen? Have they been redeemed? Is Christ also the Son of green blobby guys with radial symmetry and lots of tentacles? Luckily, there's a general agreement that this is one for the theologians and philosophers, and the scientists can get on with the more down-to-earth (or down-to-Krylon IV) issues.

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

radar, highboy, anyone -
do you know what I was trying to show with my little list o' phenomena?

Oh, and jake - glad you like the ancient-virus science link : ) . . .

-Dan S.

radar said...

Creeper, you don't like my answers to the Kangaroo and Egypt so that is life in the big city. Don't try to say I didn't answer them. I am tired of hearing it from you. You don't like the answers, fine. Then don't like them. I didn't think you would. Let's not stoop to deception here.

Space aliens was on the Pharyngula site when I first went there to see where somebody had come from, and Edgar Cayce was from the JREF forum when I went to poke around over there.

The 1953 biotic soup argument is dead and long buried. Abiogenesis says that life does not arise from non-life, as demonstrated by Pasteur and many others. This was accepted as a law of science and yet must be violated for evolution to be true.

The Second Law was throroughly explained. Darwinism says that things become more organized by the operation of natural selection working with chance occurrences. This is the opposite of what the Second Law would predict. Period.

I never said I was shifting the flood back 1,000 years and the date has NOT been falsified. I said there is no certainty of the exact date of the flood because of the way Jewish geneologies were kept before the time of the temple. On the other hand, there is far more evidence for the Biblical time frame than there is for the Egyptian. Count on a Darwinist to trust unsubstantiated evidence for the longer Egyptian rule rather than the thoroughly documented Bible which has thus far never proven to be wrong on archaelogical issues. Never. Not once. The time of the flood and the length of the rule of Egypt are both uncertain.

Statistics. You can manipulate them if you will. The simple straightforward application of statistics to the problem of macroevolution says that statistically such a thing is impossible. I demonstrated this. Some of you answer by changing the question so you are proving that it is statistically impossible that I, for instance, would exist. Duh.

Statistics say that by the macroevolution model no one person of any sort would exist. The problem is not whether any one individual could happen to be. Play card tricks with the math if you like, it doesn't impress me, sorry.

Geologists know that the layers of sedimentary rock on the earth were put there by water events. In order to postulate the large number of layers there have to be an awful lot of water events. Poor Sedgewick understood that they did not all happen at exactly the same time, but he didn't think through the idea of a world-wide flood. Layers would be made at the start, and also during the flood itself and finally at the end of the flood period. Modern hydrologists have shown how the rock layers are consistent with one world-wide flood.

Dan S - Years from now it will be:

Phenomenon: Life

Original explantion(s): Macroevolution, a process by which Natural Selection was thought to have intelligence and powers to direct the origin and development of living things

Explained by reference to natural causes: The overwhelming evidence for design finally caused most scientists to acknowledge that the first cause of nature was also the first cause of life.

Jake said...

God tells us how He put us here in the Bible, there is no mystery there.

What proof do you have that God had anything to do with the writing of the Bible? How do you know that the Vedas aren't actually the writings of the divine?

creeper said...

”Creeper, you don't like my answers to the Kangaroo and Egypt so that is life in the big city. Don't try to say I didn't answer them. I am tired of hearing it from you. You don't like the answers, fine. Then don't like them. I didn't think you would. Let's not stoop to deception here.”

Your sweaty-handed anticipation of being caught with your non-answers does not speak well in your confidence of your responses. Indeed, you did not respond in any coherent way, instead just threw out some (mostly incoherent) speculations that are not backed up by any substantial argument or research, either by you or anyone else.

For the kangaroo, you said something about landbridges and ice sheets. Now, if the continents are moving away from each other and the water levels are at an all-time high, a landbridge is highly unlikely – nor is there any evidence of such a landbridge today, such as we have with the Aleutians. I asked you when the last time was that Australia was covered in ice, and in return I get this defensive, weasly little non-answer.

Regarding ancient Egypt, you claimed that the chronology of ancient Egypt was based mostly on one man’s account, and I pointed out to you that it was substantially confirmed by at least one other source. I also asked you that if there was a serious argument that had been made to call into question the chronology of ancient Egypt to the tune of a millennium or so, that you should please provide a link to it. In return I get this defensive, weasly little non-answer.

It is not deceptive to say that you have not come up with coherent responses to these key questions, and are loath to explore them further. Indeed, it would be deceptive to claim that you had actually answered them, because you have not presented a reasonable answer to how the kangaroo got to Australia, nor how the existence of ancient Egypt does not falsify the timeline of Noah’s Flood according to a literal interpretation of Noah’s Flood (even when you turn the once inerrant account that was to be taken literally at all costs into an enormously flexible bungee cord).

”Space aliens was on the Pharyngula site when I first went there to see where somebody had come from, and Edgar Cayce was from the JREF forum when I went to poke around over there.”

I’d like to see the link re. space aliens from Pharyngula and what it was about. Just a hunch, but I suspect it’s more like what Dan described above. And since when is James Randi’s outfit a Darwinist blog?

”The 1953 biotic soup argument is dead and long buried.”

How so? It was said that the Miller-Urey experiments showed that amino acids could be produced. While more information and knowledge regarding this has been gathered and explored since then, the essence remains the same – the conditions could have resulted in amino acids, which is what the stage that was listed concerned itself with:

”There have been a number of objections to the implications derived from [the Miller-Urey] experiments. It is now believed that Earth's original atmosphere did not contain as large a quantity of reducing molecules as was thought at the time:

Originally it was thought that the primitive secondary atmosphere contained mostly NH3 and CH4. However, it is likely that most of the atmospheric carbon was CO2 with perhaps some CO and the nitrogen mostly N2. The reasons for this are (a) volcanic gas has more CO2, CO and N2 than CH4 and NH3 and (b) UV radiation destroys NH3 and CH4 so that these molecules would have been short-lived. UV light photolyses H2O to H· and ·OH radicals. These then attack methane, giving eventually CO2 and releasing H2 which would be lost into space.

In practice gas mixtures containing CO, CO2, N2, etc. give much the same products as those containing CH4 and NH3 so long as there is no O2. The H atoms come mostly from water vapor. In fact, in order to generate aromatic amino acids under primitive earth conditions it is necessary to use less hydrogen-rich gaseous mixtures. Most of the natural amino acids, hydroxyacids, purines, pyrimidines, and sugars have been produced in variants of the Miller experiment.[1]

More recent results may have called this into question, however. Simulations done at the University of Waterloo and University of Colorado in 2005 indicated that the early atmosphere of Earth could have contained up to 40% hydrogen, implying a much more hospitable environment for the formation of prebiotic organic molecules. The escape of hydrogen from Earth's atmosphere into space may have occurred at only 1% of the rate previously believed based on revised estimates of the upper atmosphere's temperature.[2] One of the authors, Prof. Owen Toon notes: "In this new scenario, organics can be produced efficiently in the early atmosphere, leading us back to the organic-rich soup-in-the-ocean concept... I think this study makes the experiments by Miller and others relevant again." Outgassing calculations using a chondritic model for the early earth, (Washington University, September 2005) complement the Waterloo/Colorado results in re-establishing the importance of the Miller-Urey experiment.[3]

Although lightning storms are thought to have been very common in the primordial atmosphere, they are not thought to have been as common as the amount of electricity used by the Miller-Urey experiment may imply. These factors suggest that much lower concentrations of biochemicals would have been produced on Earth than was originally predicted (although the time scale would be 100 million years instead of a week). Similar experiments, both with different sources of energy and with different mixtures of gases, have resulted in amino and hydroxy acids being produced; it is likely that at least some organic compounds would have been generated on the early Earth.

However, as soon as oxygen gas is added to the mixture, no organic molecules are formed. Recent research has been seized upon by opponents of Urey-Miller hypothesis which shows the presence of uranium in sediments dated to 3.7 Ga and indicates it was transported in solution by oxygenated water (otherwise it would have precipitated out) (Rosing & Frei 2004). It is wrongly argued by some, in an attempt to invalidate the hypothesis of abiogenesis, that this presence of oxygen precludes the formation of prebiotic molecules via a Miller-Urey-like scenario. However, the authors of the paper are arguing that the oxygen is evidence merely of the existence of photosynthetic organisms 3.7 Ga ago (a value about 200 Ma earlier than current values[4]), a conclusion which would possibly have the effect of pushing back the time frame in which Miller-Urey reactions and abiogenesis could potentially have occurred, it would not preclude them in any way. Though there is somewhat controversial evidence for very small (less than 0.1%) amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere almost as old as Earth's oldest rocks the authors are not in any way arguing for the existence of a strongly oxygen containing atmosphere occurring any earlier than previously thought, and they state:"..In fact most evidence suggests that oxygenic photosynthesis was present during time periods from which there is evidence for a non-oxygenic atmosphere".”


So while there has been argument and research about this based on emerging information, the result remains the same, as it is currently postulated as the initial step from non-life to life:

” Plausible pre-biotic conditions result in the creation of certain basic small molecules (monomers) of life, such as amino acids.”

”Abiogenesis says that life does not arise from non-life, as demonstrated by Pasteur and many others. This was accepted as a law of science and yet must be violated for evolution to be true.”

As I suspected, you’re confusing two things here. Needless to say, abiogenesis says no such thing, and the “law of biogenesis” (with which you’re apparently confusing it, judging from your reference to Pasteur) did not prove that life can never arise from non-life. He disproved spontaneous generation (Aristotelian abiogenesis, e.g. animals springing from putrid matter), but did not disprove chemical evolution, which is what the current scientific study of the origin of life concerns itself with.

”The Second Law was throroughly explained. Darwinism says that things become more organized by the operation of natural selection working with chance occurrences. This is the opposite of what the Second Law would predict. Period.”

No period. The mere fact that you exist (and that you were born, and that you are capable of digesting food and turning it into energy, and are capable of cleaning up your desk) disproves your oft-disputed contention that entropy can not decrease locally. I’ll again guide you to this article, which examines the implications of the 2nd law of thermodynamics from a Christian perspective.

”I never said I was shifting the flood back 1,000 years and the date has NOT been falsified. I said there is no certainty of the exact date of the flood because of the way Jewish geneologies were kept before the time of the temple.”

The date is falsified by the existence of ancient Egypt (by all means present a coherent argument why and how the Egyptian chronology – stemming from more than one source – could be wrong to the tune of a whole millennium), and by the findings of dendrochronology and geology.

”On the other hand, there is far more evidence for the Biblical time frame than there is for the Egyptian. Count on a Darwinist to trust unsubstantiated evidence for the longer Egyptian rule rather than the thoroughly documented Bible which has thus far never proven to be wrong on archaelogical issues. Never. Not once.”

Except for when it has, rather blatantly, such as the timing of Noah’s Flood or the age of the earth (see also the article about dating techniques from a Christian perspective that I linked to earlier). You’re making a circular argument here: the Bible has never proven to be wrong on archaeological issues and it is the final arbiter on archaeological issues. If another source contradicts it, the Bible’s account is not to be questioned.

Radar, as you’ve acknowledged already, the Bible is hardly infallible as a source; you acknowledge that it is incomplete and as flexible as chewing gum, that if required surely room can be found for a millennium here or there (if you dispute this, I’ll go through the trouble of digging up where you said this, but I’m not going to bother just yet).

You’ve also acknowledged that it was written by fallible human hands. We also have two accounts re. the ancient Egyptian timeline. They substantially confirm each other, and indicate a timeline that happens to contradict the timing of Noah’s flood. You’ve presented a very vague claim that they must have been meant in parallel rather than in series, but have presented no serious argument or research to back this up based on the available information. As a result it is difficult to see your response as a serious alternative to the scientific research that has taken place by qualified experts so far.

”The time of the flood and the length of the rule of Egypt are both uncertain.”

I know it’s easy to throw this out there as a vague something-or-other, but can you (or anyone) present a plausible, coherent scenario in which they can become compatible?

”Statistics. You can manipulate them if you will. The simple straightforward application of statistics to the problem of macroevolution says that statistically such a thing is impossible. I demonstrated this. Some of you answer by changing the question so you are proving that it is statistically impossible that I, for instance, would exist. Duh.”

Duh indeed. And still you act as if the “impossibility” you’ve supposedly “demonstrated” (was this that mined quote you put up a while ago?) means anything.

”Statistics say that by the macroevolution model no one person of any sort would exist. The problem is not whether any one individual could happen to be. Play card tricks with the math if you like, it doesn't impress me, sorry.”

I think you’ve misunderstood the analogy here – the analogy was between a particular person to be born and a particular organism to have evolved.

”Geologists know that the layers of sedimentary rock on the earth were put there by water events. In order to postulate the large number of layers there have to be an awful lot of water events.”

As is of course entirely plausible over a long period of time.

”Poor Sedgewick understood that they did not all happen at exactly the same time, but he didn't think through the idea of a world-wide flood. Layers would be made at the start, and also during the flood itself and finally at the end of the flood period. Modern hydrologists have shown how the rock layers are consistent with one world-wide flood.”

I’d be curious to see that. I’d be especially curious to see how they go about explaining mile-thick salt formations in Utah that were formed by evaporation (!) of seawater during (!) a flood.

IAMB said...

Couple things:

1) Show me where evolution says "things are becoming more ordered". That is a totally subjective point of view... not an objective observation.

2) Re: card tricks. The card example stands. You use "impossible odds" to say that life couldn't have formed, despite the fact that the chemical ingredients were there. I show you an example where even more "impossible" odds are overcome simply because the ingredients are there. yes, forming life is different than a shuffle of cards, but the point was to show that probabilities of any magnitude can be overcome. The first time we went over this, you accused me of avoiding the math. Now you say I "play card tricks with it". Interesting.

3) The aliens on Pharyngula thing: I don't really have to explain how ScienceBlogs works, do I? Believe me, more than a few of them have bitched about some of the things that show up in the sidebar. The bloggers don't get a choice. I don't think it would be too far off the mark to guess that the ones who actually complain to the admin get something back like: "you chose to be here... we pay you to be here... deal." But that would be pure speculation.

4) Word verification pronunciation: the urge will pass in time. At least it did for me after about four months.

radar said...

"Show me where evolution says "things are becoming more ordered". That is a totally subjective point of view... not an objective observation."

to go from the mythical "pre-biotic soup" to the remarkably complex and wondrous horse is going from disorder to order. If you don't endorse things becoming more ordered, then you do not endorse Darwinism.

Creeper, I have been paid to put words on paper. When you say I am incoherent then you are just going ad hominem on me and it is not impressive. I am neither sweaty-handed nor confused. I just thought I would bring up the life from non life topic because my commenters were beginning to lead us down ratholes like "how did kangaroos get to Australia?"

Those who believe life came from non-life but cannot picture a Kangaroo getting to Australia probably cannot be reasoned with so I didn't want to get bogged down in the little stuff. This is why a coming post will address the likely conditions post-flood, which goes into a few of the possibilities without focusing just on the Kangaroo. Although I do like Kangaroos....

Bottom line is that attacking me will not change the basic arguments. Plus, it is a ridiculous waste of time to argue with someone who wants some additional proof about the historicity of the Bible when the subject has been covered time and time again for centuries and there is no controversy about the historical nature of the Bible. There is some controversy about exactly who authored parts of it and some doubt about exactly how many years the geneologies from the Flood to the time of the temple cover. But there is so much more written about the Bible and so much more research done than has been done regarding Egyptian dynasties that it is a foolish quest. Better scholars would have long ago "proven" that Egyptian records disproved the Bible if that was indeed possible.

In fact, the Bible is often used as a guide to archaelogists studying the "Holy Lands" and the places and people mentioned in the Bible have proven to be accurate.

IAMB

I would heartily recommend IAMB's website. There is a long thingy about a "Evolution Cruncher" that I intend to finish this weekend and it looks pretty funny. Even to me!

It nevertheless goes without saying that I largely disagree with what IAMB says but I still find it interesting.

"2) Re: card tricks. The card example stands. You use "impossible odds" to say that life couldn't have formed, despite the fact that the chemical ingredients were there. I show you an example where even more "impossible" odds are overcome simply because the ingredients are there. yes, forming life is different than a shuffle of cards, but the point was to show that probabilities of any magnitude can be overcome. The first time we went over this, you accused me of avoiding the math. Now you say I "play card tricks with it". Interesting."

Basically you are then saying that anything can happen and the statistical law (anything with less than a 1/10 to the 30th or so) of impossibility needs to be thrown out. I'll let you break the news to the statisticians, you know how they are about the accuracy of their laws and everything....

creeper said...

Radar,

regarding the kangaroo question (and why do you think it's a "rathole"? it's an entirely valid question that arises from this whole dubious young earth scenario), I just caught up with some of the discussion that had taken place here (I'd been out of town for two days and missed it)... and boy, Radar, have you ever not answered the kangaroo question. Mrs. Aginoth scores full points for some excellent arguments here!

radar said...

I promised a post on the conditions right after the flood and it is coming. But "excellent points?" on the Kangaroo issue? Let's see, if shortly after the flood abates a large percentage of the water is being held in ice, then the sea levels will be lower than they will be once temperatures and climatic conditions normalize. But I will cover that in the posting. But in the interim, let Kangaroos hop in peace.

creeper said...

"When you say I am incoherent then you are just going ad hominem on me and it is not impressive."

No. Ad hominem is attacking the person instead of the argument. I was calling your arguments incoherent, not you.

"Those who believe life came from non-life but cannot picture a Kangaroo getting to Australia probably cannot be reasoned with so I didn't want to get bogged down in the little stuff."

Of course we can be reasoned with, as we're looking for reasonable answers to both questions. The young earth scenario throws up all kinds of inconsistencies with the world around us, and How The Kangaroo Got To Australia is an excellent illustrative example of this.

"Bottom line is that attacking me will not change the basic arguments."

I wasn't attacking you, but your arguments. There's plenty there to attack, and not much of a coherent defense that you have offered in return.

I have no doubt that within a certain area the Bible is a useful historical source, such as information about the Holy Land during a certain timeframe. That's a very different thing from claiming that the Bible is undisputed as a historical source in all matters, especially going further back in time (starting with Noah's Flood and continuing backwards), where the overwhelming majority of historians, archaeologists, geologists etc. do not consider it to be a historical source - on the contrary.

"Better scholars would have long ago "proven" that Egyptian records disproved the Bible if that was indeed possible."

Egyptian scholars have no qualms about roughly agreeing on a timeline that goes back approx. 5,000 years. Perhaps you can ask some of them why they don't make a point of rubbing this in YECs' noses. Could it be because YEC is on the very fringes of science, is contradicted by most science, and there is no benefit in spending time confronting YECs with the obvious?

"But there is so much more written about the Bible and so much more research done than has been done regarding Egyptian dynasties that it is a foolish quest."

So how's that genealogy coming along? Still full of holes? How many sources have been compared? What do we know about, say, Mahaleel from sources outside of the Bible?

How is that substantially more significant than comparing sources re. Egyptian kings?


And yes, "excellent points" on the kangaroo question. I'm looking forward to your pursuit of this topic. Are you going to base it on "creation science", or do you have to make it all up yourself?

IAMB said...

Thanks for the compliment.

No, I'm not asking the stats guys to throw out anything. Being the evil spawn of a math professor, I can tell you that they don't disagree with me the way you think (except Dembski, who has been criticized over and over for his abuse of probability bounds and misuse of NFL theorems). Like I said: a statistical improbability is no big deal unless it happens more than once. You just can't count on it happening. Big difference between throwing out something before it happens and saying that it can't happen after it already did.

Okay, on the order/chaos thing:

As an example I keep my desk fairly organized (in my opinion). Dad, on the other hand, literally has somewhere between six and eight inches of papers covering all surfaces not taken up by his computer and phone. To me, that's disorganized. To him, no big deal. He can find, within minutes, any single document required from that pile.

The question for you is: which desk best represents the state of the biosphere as we see it today?

Your answer should show you the subjectivity of "order" and "chaos".

Anonymous said...

Abiogenesis

Abiogenesis isn't simple at Pharyngula - not a lot, but a nice diagram . . .

radar said:
"Phenomenon: Life"

Are you referring to the origin of life, or the whole kit and kaboodle. And what on earth does that expression mean, anyway? Kit, sure, but what's a kaboodle? That's the real mystery here!

"Original explantion(s): Macroevolution, a process by which Natural Selection was thought to have intelligence and powers to direct the origin and development of living things"

1) If you're referring to the origin of life, macroevolution is most definitely not an explanation.

2) Natural selection is not "thought to have intelligence and powers to direct the origin and development of living things." Again, this whole debate is like, I imagine, a Christian being faced by someone who argues that Christianity is ridiculous because they have three gods, killed one of them, and eat and drink bits of him every week! (Or, to be more historical, practice cannibalism - baby eating, I think, may have been the exact accusation - a claim made by Romans about the early Christians . . .) If you're going to keep talking about evolution, it would be helpful to read some recent work on it that isn't put out by creationists, since this is akin to basing your understanding of religion on Richard "Religion is the Source of All Evil" Dawkins. Otherwise it's almost sort of an insult, y'know?

"Explained by reference to natural causes: The overwhelming evidence for design . . ."

I suppose it's possible, even though we haven't seen any yet. But given science's track record, and pretending you hadn't already made up your mind, what would seem most likely?

Of course, I imagine the best we're likely to do is construct a plausible scenario that has some support from the available evidence. But who knows . . .

-Dan S.

Rob Binder said...

I can't even begin to understand the faith it must take to believe in evolution. I mean, it really does take more faith to believe that nothing created something as opposed to God creating mankind. Where did the gas come from? Where did the universe come from. Did they just will themselves into existence? I mean, the mathematics are just impossible to support something like evolution. It's just too far- fetched. Also, if we evolved from chimpanzees and apes, why are there still chimps and apes among us. Why aren't cavemen still around? Why haven't we evolved into the next "higher being", instead of evolving into more murderers, rapists, theives, liars, etc. I just must not have enough faith to believe in evolution, I guess I'll just have to settle with God creating us and sending his son Jesus to save us.

IAMB said...

Mr. Binder, I have to hope that you are a parody and this is just another case of Poe's Law in action.

If not...

creeper said...

I second that, iamb - definitely a parody, but a very good one. He's nailed the inaneness of the Argument from Ignorance brilliantly.

Anonymous said...

Problem is... no creationist will ever see evidence for anything. They believe in something, doesn´t matter how odd it is, and that´s it. And they are so blind-minded that they try to impose the same blindness on sane people. They keep saying that we "believe" in evolution. When I see that written, I instantly know that who wrote it doesn´t have a clue about how science works - and possibly don´t care. They can´t understand that we don´t "believe" in evolution... it´s just the best theory we have to describe speciation and also. You have a better one, based on observable facts? Go ahead and help us to have a better understanding of the world! Science don´t have beliefs, when will this crowd ever understand that the way they see the world is not universal? We don´t believe in gravity, we infer it by observation, for example... If we were going to take things as we believed they are, lightning would still be the wrath of some god, earthquakes who knows, some god farting? But to believe in a book and then that´s it? I don´t know, overly religious types gives me the creeps, scary to think about an US full of A and H bombs with religious wackos in control.

radar said...

There is another post coming to revisit this issue, I just needed a couple of days to think about other things.

But there are several reasons why evolutionists are going on faith.

1. Macroevolution has not been demonstrated to occur
2. You like to play with math, but the laws of statistics say that life could not have evolved from one simple form into the varied forms found around the planet now,
3. Macroevolutionists have no explanation for how life came from non-life.
4. Macroevolution is a movement that comes from a faith, that is, a faith that there is no God. It is a way to try to explain life without a creative source. Now I realize that plenty of believers endorse some form of macroevolution. However, the facts on the ground would agree with the creation model with fewer corollaries than that of the macroevolution model.

Stop using ignorance as an explanation why people disagree with you. It gets pretty old. It sounds like an argument that little kids use, like:

"You are stupid and you smell!"

There are plenty of absolutely brilliant men who disagree with Darwinism, men who understand macroevolution and do not believe it fits the facts. Learn to live with it.

Anonymous said...

I HAD to take on these...

About 3: Evolution theory doesn´t tinker with origin of life. No no. It´s a big NO. For Evolution theory, only what matters is what happened next. If you can´t get the subject on this, what to say about the rest...
And about 4: You´re just trying to say "who believes in evolution is evil because doesn´t believe in God"... for me, THAT IS a kind of argument a child would use... besides, it shows a total lack of understanding of evolution theory. Where does it says that God does not exist?
And besides.. you´re using faith-based arguments. IT ONLY WORKS ON PEOPLE THAT TAKE RELIGION AS SERIOUSLY AS YOU DO! Doesn´t mean ANYTHING to people that aren´t that way.. and yes, sorry, there a lot of people that way.
A big hug for you.

Anonymous said...

"Also, if we evolved from chimpanzees and apes, why are there still chimps and apes among us. Why aren't cavemen still around? Why haven't we evolved into the next "higher being", instead of evolving into more murderers, rapists, theives, liars, etc."

Mr. Binder... thank you for the good laugh!!! The world needs more comedians like you, thanks a lot... keep posting this nonsense stuff, I´m getting a lot of stress at my work lately.. thank you, thanks a lot!

radar said...

"you´re using faith-based arguments. IT ONLY WORKS ON PEOPLE THAT TAKE RELIGION AS SERIOUSLY AS YOU DO! Doesn´t mean ANYTHING to people that aren´t that way.. and yes, sorry, there a lot of people that way.
A big hug for you."

Thanks for the hug. My first posting on evolution included several quotes from Darwinists who admitted that the idea of Macroevolution freed them to be committed atheists. Sound like what I was saying? There are plenty of such people within the scientific community.

Darwinists hate #3 because they have no answer. You see, creationism has the answer. If a Darwinist doesn't have life to start with, how can life evolve?

Anonymous said...

Hmm, and what is the answer that creationism has?
That David Copperfield created the world? Ok. How he did it? You´ll say it´s written in the bible. How you know it´s true? You believe it´s true, but you have no evidence. See? That´s why I believe you can´t teach it in science classes... no proof of anything. Just it...

Anonymous said...

"My first posting on evolution included several quotes from Darwinists who admitted that the idea of Macroevolution freed them to be committed atheists. Sound like what I was saying? There are plenty of such people within the scientific community."

Hmm, you´re saying that when they got themselves some education, they started to realize that maybe there is no god? The more smarter you get, more difficult to believe in God, I see your point. And WTH is a Darwinist, anyway?