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Bungling the Facts Behind Evolution

A series of images show how the horse evolved over 50 million yearsA Huffington Post article earlier this week asked, “Does Questioning Evolution Make You Anti-Science?

Yeah, pretty much.

The author notes the flak Rick Perry received for stating that evolution was “just a theory” and that it has “some gaps in it” and tried to make the case that Republicans aren’t as anti-science as they’re portrayed.  I’m not interested in the politics here, but the science (or failure to understand science) is worth mentioning.

Denial of both climate change and evolution is popular among conservatives.  The author said, “While I cannot comment on climate-change science, I do have a great deal to say about evolution.”  He lists his credentials as organizing an annual science vs. religion debate at Oxford University, which were typically about evolution, and giving Richard Dawkins a good thrashing at another debate for good measure.

But for someone who’s well versed in these matters, his understanding of science seems stunted.

What I learned from these debates, as well as reading extensively on evolution, is that evolutionists have a tough time defending the theory when challenged in open dialogue.

I doubt that, but let’s assume it’s the case.  Who cares?  Science, not debate, is where our confidence in evolution comes from.

[Attacks on evolution do not] mean that evolution is not true or that theory is without merit or evidence. It does, however, corroborate what Governor Perry said.  Evolution is a theory.  Unlike, say, the laws of thermodynamics, it has never been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt to be true.

Wow—where do you start?

Evolution is an explanation.  It claims to give us the mechanism explaining how life got to be the way it is.  The best evolution can hope for is to become a theory, and it has done so.  The same is true for germ theory, another explanation, which has also reached that pinnacle and can’t become anything better.

By contrast, a scientific law is a description—how motion works (F = ma) or how gravity works (F = Gm1m2/r2) or how gasses work (PV = nRT), for example.

In Newton’s Second Law of Motion, why is force proportional to the acceleration and not to, say, the acceleration squared?  The law doesn’t help you out there; it only describes the relationship.  For the mechanism, you turn to a theory.

A theory doesn’t graduate to become a law.  They’re two different things.  And as for the “beyond the shadow of a doubt” thing, science is always provisional.  Nothing is ever certain.  A sliver of that shadow of doubt hangs over our most established scientific conclusions.

Richard Dawkins and the late and celebrated Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould fiercely debated basic presumptions about evolution. Gould … argued that the large gaps in the fossil record make a mockery of a theory of gradual evolution, which is why Gould advocated ‘punctuated equilibrium,’ a variation on Darwinism in which evolution takes place in dramatic periods of change followed by long eons of stasis.

You’ve got two scientists arguing about details within evolution.  That’s how science works.

The author seems to imagine some great schism within biology, but both scientists accepted evolution.  What’s the point?

No scientist has ever witnessed evolution directly and science itself says that this is impossible given the vast amount of time needed for species to evolve.

Witnessing something directly is nice, but experimentation is long past the day when Galileo dropped different-sized cannonballs from the Tower of Pisa to see if the bigger one fell faster.  (He probably didn’t, but it’s a nice story.)  Science is often indirect now.  When we look at a photo from the Hubble satellite or an electron microscope, there’s a long chain of technology massaging bits before we see it.

Nevertheless, we do have evidence of speciation.  My favorite examples are the evolution of a bacterium’s ability to eat nylon (which didn’t exist until it was invented in the 1930s) and Richard Lenski’s 20-year experiment in which bacteria evolved the ability to eat citrate.

Evolution is the overwhelming scientific consensus.  Deal with it.

So before [we attack] Republican politicians for simply questioning evolution, it would behoove [us] to recall that the very essence of science is to question and that stifling doubt is a sin that religion was quite guilty of in the past and that science should refrain from repeating it in the present.

Yes, science needs to question.  Politicians, however, are neither Science nor scientists.  (At least our current presidential candidates aren’t scientists.)  A non-scientist politician critiquing science is like a non-pilot politician giving pointers to the pilot flying my plane.

Take your seat, pal, and leave the expert fields to the experts.

Photo credit: Wikimedia

About Bob Seidensticker
  • Bob Calvan

    You’ve got two scientists arguing about details within evolution. That’s how science works.

    No, What you have here is one, Gould saying ( yes I know he is dead) Neo Darwinian micro mutational evolution is wrong! Darwin quoted and admitted without slow minor developments in the fossil record from one species to another my theory is wrong. And guess what there are NONE! no intermediate fossils of the 100′s of Millons found.
    Then you have the other so called scientist who diagree with Gould’s hundres of scientist and say if punctuated Equillibrium were true it is saying new Specise sprung up miraculously which is no different than a mirical..So we have each group calling each other heritic’s..What we have is not science, but a philosophical debate. I will give you quotes from Atheist Evolutionist who admit evolution is not scientific but Philosophical..I even have quotes that say evolution is a religiion unto itself.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Uh … every fossil is a transitional fossil. It’s an intermediate between what came before and what came after.

      Two scientists each agreeing that evolution is the best explanation. I don’t see the problem.

      Save the quotes, please. I care only about the scientific consensus. Neither of us has the platform from which to reject it. (You’re not a biologist, right?) Sorry.

    • RandomFunction2

      To Bobs,

      Actually, everyone, as far as I know, admits that novelty in evolution arises by micromutations. However, natural selection does not always push for change. Often, it wipes out individuals that depart from the average. Which means that the species pretty much remains the same. Biologists call that “stabilizing selection”.

      It’s a mistake to think that evolution teaches that species have some inner drive for change. Species won’t change as long as they fit well into their niche.

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        About change: I agree. If you consider turtles and crocodiles, for example, they’ve been fairly stable for tens of millions of years (I think). The point is, if the environment isn’t changing much, then whoever is well adapted to that environment needn’t change. When the environment changes quickly, you evolve quickly or die.

        As you suggest, it’s convenient and easy to imagine that dinosaurs “wanted” to change into birds (for example), but of course that’s not the case.

  • Bob Calvan

    Bob says:
    Uh … every fossil is a transitional fossil. It’s an intermediate between what came before and what came after.

    That is not Macro Evolution. What Darwin is saying a reptile through slow micro mutational changes turned into a bird. An Darwin expected to find Fossil evidence of this..Within the millions and millions of Fossils, according to Darwin we would expect to see some fossils 3/4% reptile and 1/4 % bird . Then later on 1/2 % reptile and 1/2 % bird. then later 1/4 reptile and 3/4 bird then finally 100% Bird. He said even though at his time they have not found these fossils , they would as time goes on..Well some 150 years later we have found millions of more fossils and still no intermediate fossils from one specie turning into another…

    And this is so embarrassing that Paleontologist Gould came up with a new theory ( wild guess) of Punctuated equilibrium. Which refutes Neo Darwinian micro mutational evolution.. This is huge and is causing a split.. No science here, it is a philosophical war on who presupposes Darwinianism and who does not. It is a big deal . As each group is calling the other group heretics and bogus science.

    Fossils are our only evidence of how life was way back then..It is empirical evidence of living things. And what we have learned is neo Darwinian micro mutational evolution is not true..As believed by Stephen Gould and most the new young evolutionist of today.

    But think about the blind faith one has to believe to accept Punctuated Equilibrium theory..Not scientific but pure philosophy. One has to believe that a lizard basically laid and egg and a Bird hatched out. That is why the Darwinian evolutionist criticize the Punctuated equilibrium boys, because it is the same as a miracle..

    Gee the Bible has been saying this since time began that each animal is it’s own kind. Not that All animals evolved from soup. The fossil evidence the only empirical evidence we have points to creationism.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Who told you that the question of intermediate fossils is an embarrassment to evolution? Was it someone in the Creationist camp?!

      (Nailed it! I must be psychic!)

      If you actually care to learn about evolution, here are short articles about the evolution of the horse and whale. Or do you prefer to get your scientific information exclusively from Creationist sites?

      I haven’t heard of the split that you mention. Show me how the consensus view supporting evolution within biology is crumbling.

      And, BTW, the word is “evolution,” not “Darwinism.”

      You say that the Bible was right about scientific facts all along? I hadn’t heard that. Show me anything scientific that we learned about from the Bible (rather than imagining in the Bible after science told us about it).

  • Bob Calvan

    Bob asks:

    Who told you that the question of intermediate fossils is an embarrassment to evolution? Was it someone in the Creationist camp?!

    (Nailed it! I must be psychic!)

    No Bob . You r no psychic; It came from your side all athesitic evolutionist:

    Fossil evidence of intermediates are generally absent, as paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould explains:

    “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.”4
    Is long, slow, “gradual” evolution (see Figure 1) an inference from the evidence, or was it assumed simply because of naturalism and what was predicted by Darwin’s theory? Gould explains it is inference:
    “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.”5

    consider this quote from Gould’s colleague, Niles Eldrege, who wrote in 1995:
    “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It never seemed to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields … a rate too slow to account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the fossils did not evolve elsewhere!”
    In 1997, vertebrate paleontologist Robert Carroll wrote:
    “Fossils would be expected to show a continuous progression of slightly different forms linking all species and all major groups with one another in a nearly unbroken spectrum. In fact, most well-preserved fossils are as readily classified in a relatively small number of major groups…”10
    In 1999, writing in Nature, Oxford zoologist Mark Pagel stated while reviewing a book by Niles Eldredge:
    Palaeobiologists flocked to these scientific visions of a world in a constant state of flux and admixture. But instead of finding the slow, smooth and progressive changes Lyell and Darwin had expected, they saw in the fossil records rapid bursts of change, new species appearing seemingly out of nowhere and then remaining unchanged for millions of years-patterns hauntingly reminiscent of creation.11
    Finally, in 2001, evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr wrote:
    “Wherever we look at the living biota … discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent…The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. New species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates.”12
    It was thus confirmed that the fossil record did not contain the pattern of transitional forms predicted by Darwin. Paleontologists had to accept this fact in order to preserve evolutionary theory, and came up with new ideas about how evolution worked.
    As you can see Darwinian Evolution is being refuted by Atheistic Paleontology.. Sure they still hold to there presuppositions of Evolution, and coming up with new ideas..Not scientific ideas, just philosophical theory’s..The Science the real evidence that we can see( Fossils) tells us Darwin is wrong, and what we see is No transitions coming from on ancestor..What science see’s are different kinds of species of their own kind appearing sudenly..Exactly what Genesis tells us..And what Gould and the boys now call Punctuated Equilibrium, which sure sounds miraculous.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      No Bob . You r no psychic; It came from your side all athesitic evolutionist:

      “My side” is science. It’s a pretty comfortable side to be on. And there’s room for more–c’mon!

      Fossil evidence of intermediates are generally absent, as paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould explains:

      I’m not sure why this is hard. Gould did not say, “Golly! Evolution is complete bunk! I reject it now.” And even if he did, all I care about is the scientific consensus.

      You need to find a different Creationist web site for another argument by which to imagine that evolution is crumbling, because this one isn’t working. Gould was talking about modifying, not discarding, evolution.

      BTW, it’s not helpful to quote, as you did, from web pages like “Punctuated Equilibrium and Patterns from the Fossil Record” from the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center. I’d prefer to hear your own thoughts rather than having you cut and paste someone else’s.

  • Bob Calvan

    Just gave you quotes from Atheist’s Scientists who do not hold to Darwinian Evolution . Because of the lack of evidence..Sure like I said they still hold to Evolution, but are comming up with new philosphical ideas. I did not quote one creatrionist,,All are Atheist’s..And you know Gould hates the creationist theory. But Gould and his new band of young Scientist disagree with traditional Darwinian evolution.
    So the Faith you talk about, I ask you; your faith is only as good as who you put it in. So which school of evolutionist are you putting your faith in? As both think each other is bogus science? So tell us which religious, philosophical, side you are going with? By Faith which side are you going to pick? The Darwinian, or the Puncuated Equilibrium? As they both differ, and accuse each other of bogus science? So by Faith which one do you hold to now?

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Just gave you quotes from Atheist’s Scientists who do not hold to Darwinian Evolution .

      Huh? You just gave me a quote from Stephen Jay Gould who accepts evolution!

      I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! :-)

      So the Faith you talk about, I ask you; your faith is only as good as who you put it in. So which school of evolutionist are you putting your faith in?

      I don’t think I have faith in anything. I do have trust, however, and that’s squarely placed in Science. Science makes mistakes, but it has a pretty impressive track record for telling us about how reality works. I’ve seen nothing but unsupported claims from Christianity.

      You imagine some towering problem with my worldview, but I’m not seeing it.

  • Bob Calvan

    Bob, Keep in mind that both of the schools of “Science” (LOL) can be wrong . But both can not be right.

    That means that the scientists of one of these schools of thought are wrong? How can that be? Did you not tell us that Science is our way of true knowledge?
    So, Bob which side are you going to pick by Faith? What if you put your Faith in the wrong school of thought?
    So tell your three listeners which school of science are you going with? Using you faith and reason? Hmmmm, If I were you I would go with Gould and his group of new young scientist’s. But maybe not? I mean Puncuated Equilibrium the sudden appearence of new speicies is awfull close to the Genesis account. So close to miracles.. As the other school of Darwinian scientist’s point out. Boy this is a tuff one for ya. So tell us three listeners which one ya going with. Which one by FAITH are you picking.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Bob, Keep in mind that both of the schools of “Science” (LOL) can be wrong . But both can not be right.

      Do you mean that punctuated equilibrium must be either right or wrong? I agree with you. If there’s a consensus, I’m happy to accept that. If there’s not, I’m happy to be patient. Once again, not a problem.

      You seem to imagine that the theory of evolution is lying in pieces on the floor. But you can’t just claim that; you need to show me.

      That means that the scientists of one of these schools of thought are wrong? How can that be? Did you not tell us that Science is our way of true knowledge?

      You do live in modern society? You are using a computer? You do use cars? It’s like you don’t understand how science works.

      Science is self-correcting. Christianity simply splits off yet another flavor, with no way to tell which one is correct. Or if any are correct.

      • RandomFunction2

        Hi Bob,

        Christianity IS self-correcting to some extent. For instance, 400 years ago, many Christians found slavery normal. Now they see it as an injustice, because of the progress in theological research. Same with the status of women. Or human rights (compare Vatican II with Pius IX’s 1864 Syllabus). And today there are debates over issues like the status of Jesus, evolution, homosexuality, women as priests, biblical inerrancy, and the meaning of the Cross.

        You should be aware that BobC’s theology is but a tiny fraction of the theological family.

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        I’m definitely with you that BobC speaks for a minority of Christians (despite his apparent claim that his is the only correct version).

        But as for Christianity being self-correcting, I have to disagree. Yes, Christianity has now rejected slavery, genocide, polygamy, and so on. But on what basis? What correcting mechanism within Christianity was applied to make these changes? None. It was external pressure that made the change. It’s a very easy argument to make IMO that the Southern preachers during the Civil War had the easier, more straightforward biblical argument to make in favor of slavery than the Northern preachers did against it.

        I’m happy to agree with you that some Christians have made important strides against slavery, etc. Bravo! But they did it in spite of their religion, not because of it.

  • Bob Calvan

    “…..Christianity simply splits off yet another flavor, with no way to tell which one is correct. Or if any are correct…..”??

    Explain what you mean in that comment?

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Yeah, that probably was a little terse. Sorry about that.

      My point was that there’s one Science. There’s not American Science and French Science. There are regional differences (I suspect that universities in Utah held on to the cold fusion idea a little longer than others because the idea came from there), but these are ironed out pretty quickly. That was my point in the post Map of World Religions.

      Contrast science with religion. If there’s a disagreement in a church, one person might just form a new church and take with him the congregants that agree. Look at the 19th century–Mormonism, Christian Science, the Shakers, the Millerites, the Holiness Movement and Pentecostalism. One Christian encyclopedia says that there are 34,000 sects within Christianity.

      How is an objective third party to make sense of this mess? There is no self-correcting mechanism in religion like there is in science, and you see the result.

  • Bob Calvan

    Gald yo agree that you put your Faith in What ever the majority of science tells you to.
    You are no different than a Roman Catholic. Whater the Infallable mageterium tells you , it is so. Still have not answered the question, which Evolution do you now hold to ? The slow micromutational cange in species, that eventually produce a brand new specie. Or the sudden appearence of new species? Which do you now accept as your faith commitment..If you read the definitions of Faith I copppied you can see that faith and trust are the same thing. I will give you the definition of Christian faith on you latest atricle.
    .Faith is trust, hope and belief in the goodness, trustworthiness or reliability of a person, concept or entity. It can also refer to beliefs that are not based on proof (e.g. faith that a child will grow up to be a good person) [1][2]. Religious faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition, “things will turn out well in the end,” can be enjoyed in the present and secured in the future. Religious faith appeals to transcendent reality, or that reality which is beyond the range of normal physical experience (e.g. the future). Transcendent reality, in this view, constitutes a realm which is off limits to material measurement and other rigors of scientific inquiry such as falsifiability and reproducibility. Philosophical reflection on the nature of theistic and religious faith has produced different accounts or models of its nature. The concept of faith is a broad one: at its most general ‘faith’ means much the same as ‘trust’.[3]

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Gald yo agree that you put your Faith in What ever the majority of science tells you to.

      I hear you saying, “You’re a foolish sheep who believes what someone else tells you.” Let me know if I got that right.

      I’m not a surgeon. I leave surgery to the experts. When a surgeon says that this way is the best, who am I to contradict him? I’m also not a pilot. I’ll leave flying planes to the experts.

      Similarly, I’m not a scientist. I have absolutely no platform from which to say that these scientists are doing correct science and those are not. I reserve the right to be offended (though I can’t imagine I would ever be), but it would be arrogant of me to imagine that I can judge good science from bad.

      But you feel differently?

      You are no different than a Roman Catholic. Whater the Infallable mageterium tells you , it is so.

      There’s religion, and there’s science. Let’s keep them straight.

      Still have not answered the question, which Evolution do you now hold to ?

      There’s one evolution. If you’re talking about unanswered questions within evolution, I have no opinion on those.

      This argument wasn’t even amusing the first time. Find another one.

      If you want to conflate faith and trust and say that you only go where sufficient evidence leads you, that’s fine with me.

      Religious faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being.

      And there’s sufficient evidence to believe in a transcendent reality? This is really trust, not blind faith? Show me.

      Transcendent reality, in this view, constitutes a realm which is off limits to material measurement and other rigors of scientific inquiry such as falsifiability and reproducibility.

      Yep! That kinda says it all, doesn’t it?

  • Bob Calvan

    Not if you have a absolute truth for your standard ..As the Christian does..We have God’s word. The Trinune God is the precondition for reason and intellegence.The proof of the Chrisitan God is without Him you can not prove anything..The reason is because of the impossibility of the contrary.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Having absolute truth as your standard sounds nice. Why should I believe you or any Christian or any believer in any other religion has it? I’ve seen no evidence.

      There’s a big difference between making a claim (which anyone can do) and delivering. You’ve made no progress in delivering on this claim.

  • RandomFunction2

    Hi BobS,

    Actually, it was Christians that stopped the practice of infanticide in the Roman Empire. Pagans (most of them at least) viewed it as perfectly normal. Tacitus, a Roman historian, even thought that Jews were crazy because they did not practice it. And nowadays we have some “ethicists” that claim that infanticide may be alright.

  • Paul

    Hi Bobs, I have read through your comments and I wonder if I can wade in on the conversation?

    BobS you want proof that the Bible has scientific information that is correct? I am not sure if you have read the Bible. Although it is not a book devoted to science, when it touches on scientific matters it is always correct even the popular views of the day were quite different and since been proved wrong by science, proving I might add the Bible to be true!

    BobC You say the religion has modified over the centuries, and that is true, but BobS is right it is more often that not that what moderates it is what outside forces dictate. Occassionally you will get a faithful man/woman uphold what is stated in the Bible to bring change. Many of these ones have been burned at the stake or strangled by both Catholic and Protestant Reigions. How sads that!

    So you see most Religion and Science are similar in that they don’t like being challenged on there popular theories and practices and yet it is in both cases that often the so called ‘common’ man is the one that has pointed out the errors. Would you like to hear some?

    I am not a Bob by the way, I am a Paul.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      BobS you want proof that the Bible has scientific information that is correct?

      That would indeed be nice.

      I am not sure if you have read the Bible.

      Some but not all. I have read much commentary on it, however.

      Although it is not a book devoted to science, when it touches on scientific matters it is always correct even the popular views of the day were quite different and since been proved wrong by science, proving I might add the Bible to be true!

      This is news to me. Show me some scientific fact, accepted today, that was introduced to science through the Bible that wasn’t simply a record of the beliefs of the time.

      So you see most Religion and Science are similar in that they don’t like being challenged on there popular theories and practices and yet it is in both cases that often the so called ‘common’ man is the one that has pointed out the errors. Would you like to hear some?

      Science doesn’t like to be challenged? Science is built on open inquiry. Proponents of individual theories will push back against challenges (as any person would), but Science changes and improves. It’s part of how it works.

      I can’t think of any cases where the “common man” has corrected science on something substantial.

      • Paul

        Hi BobS, first of all I will pick up on a point you mention…

        The Bible is “simply a record of beliefs of the time.”

        A scholar named James Barr wrote something similar, he wrote it was a book of “…human work. It is man’s statement of his beliefs.”

        However what do the writers of the Bible claim? First of all there were some 40 individuals who wrote the Bible and time and again the the writers made the same claim; that they were writing not their own thoughts but God’s. If you have a Bible handy read 2 Samuel 23:2; Isaiah 22:15 and 2 Timothy 3:16,17. In part they say, “The spirit of Jehovah (God’s personal name) it was that spoke by me, and his word was upon my tongue” or “This is what the Sovereign Lord, Jehovah of armies, has said.” and “All scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight,”

        Knowing this helps us understand some of the information they wrote was absolutely scientifically accurate but unknown at the time to the populous even the writer. He could not have possibly checked to verify the accuracy at the time but what they wrote was accurate scientifically. Which meant they were very good guessers or someone who knew the facts told them, like God.

        I will give you one example just now as I have to go out, but I will be back. Example one; 1473 years before Jesus Christ Moses (who was a shepherd), he wrote the book of Job. He said and I quote Job 26:7 “God is stretching out the north over the empty place, hanging the earth upon nothing.” Also 732 years before Jesus Christ, Isaiah (married with three sons, and a historian of his day) I quote Isaiah 40:22 “There is one who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” The word circle can also be translated “sphere”. Now how did these men know such accurate details about our planet. Scientifically accurate which our astronauts have verified.

        Now I must go, but there are some more interesting details of scientific fact the Bible touches on. I will catch you later.

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        1473 years before Jesus Christ Moses (who was a shepherd), he wrote the book of Job.

        Moses wrote the book of Job? I think you’ll find that to be a minority opinion among religious scholars.

        I quote Isaiah 40:22 “There is one who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” The word circle can also be translated “sphere”. Now how did these men know such accurate details about our planet. Scientifically accurate which our astronauts have verified.

        Isaiah uses the word sphere in 22:18 and circle in 40:22. Hebrew used two different words with two different meanings, just like we do.

        The earth is certainly not a circle.

        Anyway, science didn’t learn that the earth was a sphere from Isaiah. That’s what I’m looking for–examples of science that we learned from the Bible.

        • Paul

          Put aside who actually wrote the book of Job for now. However you cannot discredit the accuracy of the words recorded over 1400 years before Jesus. Scientifically the words are accurate.

          Isaiah 40:22 was recorded from the point of view of God looking down on the earth. From his position the the earth certainly appears as a circle, just as the full moon appears to us as a circle.

          Now if the scientist had looked into the Bible they would have found the truth about the shape of the earth, there is no question of that. The Hubble has proved that for all to see. Maybe you could quote a scientist who wrote an accurate discription of the shape of the earth over 3500 years ago.
          What I am saying is if the scientists had cared to look into the Bible they would have learnt the truth. The more they discover in our earth and the universe, the more convincing it is of a great designer.
          The Bible says in Hebrews that, “every house is constructed by someone,” I don’t think we are about to question that. But then it says, “he that constucted all things is God.” It is a simple truth that design needs a designer, or are you going to argue that the house I live in just happened, or maybe developed over a long time of itself?

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Isaiah 40:22 was recorded from the point of view of God looking down on the earth. From his position the the earth certainly appears as a circle, just as the full moon appears to us as a circle.

        You’re simply taking modern science and then going back through the Bible to find plausible examples of modern science in it. No one is interested in this (except people with an agenda). Instead, you need to show examples of science that came first from the Bible. You’re point to examples that came first from Science! Then you find “examples” after the fact in the Bible. This doesn’t support your claim.

        Now if the scientist had looked into the Bible they would have found the truth about the shape of the earth, there is no question of that.

        You’re saying that European scientists were unfamiliar with the Bible?? Not likely.

        Maybe you could quote a scientist who wrote an accurate discription of the shape of the earth over 3500 years ago.

        What part of the Bible was written 3500 years ago??

        Pythagoras was said to have originated the idea of a spherical earth in the 6th century BCE, which isn’t much later than the first books of the Bible.

        And you’re saying that Israelites from the time of the Canaanite conquest knew that the earth was spherical? I doubt that.

        It is a simple truth that design needs a designer, or are you going to argue that the house I live in just happened, or maybe developed over a long time of itself?

        I find a rock in my yard. You just gonna tell me that that has no designer?

        The Big Bang and evolution give excellent explanations for how our universe came to be. No supernatural anything required. There are unanswered questions, but why imagine that science won’t be able to answer them?

        • Paul

          The book of Job was written during the time of of the israelites trek through the wilderness, before they took over the promised land. But you will doubt that!

          This was 1473 BCE. But you will doubt that!

          Yes a rock does show design, it comes from the earth we live on. Beautifully designed for us. But you will doubt that!

          There is not much you don’t doubt Bob. Except your own intelligence and the ability to know better than your creator! You do not have an open mind Bob but are a critic. The Pastor you quote isw full of it too.

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        The book of Job was written during the time of of the israelites trek through the wilderness, before they took over the promised land. But you will doubt that!

        This was 1473 BCE. But you will doubt that!

        Yes, the 40 years in the (rather small) desert points to pretty much zero archeological evidence. At least a million people died during that period, and Jews didn’t cremate. Where are the bodies??

        Yes, Job may be the oldest book in the Bible. When was it originally written? When was it edited into the form we have now? Even if we assume 1500 BCE, you still have the Pentateuch well after 1000 BCE. But perhaps we’re on the same page here.

        Beautifully designed for us.

        The rock that I pick up was designed? Intelligence went into putting every molecule where it is? Or was it formed from 100% natural forces?

        The evidence points to the latter.

        There is not much you don’t doubt Bob. Except your own intelligence and the ability to know better than your creator! You do not have an open mind Bob but are a critic. The Pastor you quote isw full of it too.

        Rev. Phineas P. Stopgauge? He’s a parody.

        If you show me that a creator exists, I’ll happily acknowledge it. I’ve seen no more evidence for Yahweh than for any other god of history.

        But I’d like to return to the point you originally made: science from the Bible. I’ve seen none. Do you have anything (in the form that I’d asked for it in)?

        • Paul

          Well Bob, I thought I had showed you that a God exists. But you refuse to aknowledge it, and just call it “nature”. Is that because you don’t want to be held accountable to a superior being.
          Nature itself gives evidence of design, but you refuse to acknowlegde a designer.
          You saying there is not a God does not mean there isn’t one! But you aknowledge “Nature”. So is that your God?
          If there is no God, where did humans get a consience from. The internal judge of right and wrong? On what basis do we judge right and wrong? The fundamental principles are found in Gods Word the Bible. In fact nearly all laws today having their founding principles in Gods Word. Why do you think that is? Humans have a basic need to be guided by higher laws and principles. That’s why when someone rips you off or rapes your wife you appeal to law. You don’t say “oh well, we are evolving to this state, maybe I should rape someone too!”. The teaching of evolution breeds chaos and offers no future for it’s adherents except more chaos. So if something bad happens to you don’t complain, because it is what you believe.
          However your not believing in a God will not change every human being accountable to their designer. Ignore it at your peril, but I wish you wouldn’t.

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Paul:

        Well Bob, I thought I had showed you that a God exists. But you refuse to aknowledge it, and just call it “nature”.

        Anything that can easily be called Nature (like volcanic forces or the process by which sedimentary rock is formed) isn’t the typical definition of “God.”

        Is that because you don’t want to be held accountable to a superior being.

        I’m worried about being accountable to the nonexistent Yahweh just like you’re worried about being accountable to the nonexistent Poseidon. (Kind of a dumb question, wouldn’t you admit?)

        Nature itself gives evidence of design, but you refuse to acknowlegde a designer.

        Any plausible natural explanation trumps the supernatural one.

        You saying there is not a God does not mean there isn’t one!

        You’re right.

        If there is no God, where did humans get a consience from. The internal judge of right and wrong?

        This line of discussion takes us nowhere. I can either explain it (using science) or I can’t. If I can’t explain it, that’s either because I don’t know (but science does) or because science doesn’t know. If science doesn’t know, so what? Is your argument “Anything that science can’t explain, God can, so therefore God exists”?

        If there’s any one thing that you think the naturalist must explain, let me know, but this demand for me to explain everything isn’t helpful.

        The fundamental principles are found in Gods Word the Bible.

        Were people barbarians before the Bible? Are the non-Christians in the world (the majority of the people) barbarians because they don’t read God’s word?

        In fact nearly all laws today having their founding principles in Gods Word.

        Uh, no. Our laws and the subset of rules in the Bible that happen to be moral come from human instinct and reason. That’s why there were morals before the Bible and why non-Christians are moral.

        Pretty easy when you set aside the presupposition of biblical accuracy, no?

        That’s why when someone rips you off or rapes your wife you appeal to law.

        Quite so. I appeal to 100% natural, human-designed law. Nothing supernatural. (Indeed, God does nothing to prevent or correct injustice on our little planet. We’re on our own. Kind of scary, but kind of empowering.)

        The teaching of evolution breeds chaos and offers no future for it’s adherents except more chaos.

        Get out a little more, bro. Stop wallowing in Creationist and Christian literature. Seriously–it’s really not scary out here in the world of reason.

        Evolution is either correct or it’s not. That’s the question at hand. Evolution is descriptive, not prescriptive. No one gets his morals from evolution.

        However your not believing in a God will not change every human being accountable to their designer.

        I’d be an idiot to believe something just because of carrot/stick thinking, right? I believe stuff because it’s true. Isn’t that the way you do it?

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