Christianity’s Unbroken Record of Failure

SChristianity failurehow one scientific truth about nature or new technology that was discovered first in the pages of the Bible.

Show one disease eliminated from the earth or one missing limb restored through prayer.

Show one person who can preach the gospel in every human language.

Show one Bible prophecy or one prediction by a Christian prophet that is accepted as fulfilled by non-Christians.

Show one supernatural event in the Bible that is accepted by historians.

Show one earthquake or volcano that was halted by an incantation or holy relic.

Show one tsunami or plague whose damage was undone by divine action.

Show any supernatural claim within Christianity that is accepted by non-Christians.

An unbroken record of failure

The Bible has stories of people miraculously cured of disease, but so might a book of fairy tales. The Bible has no discussion of how to avoid germs, no advice to boil water, no sanitation rules for the placement of latrines. It doesn’t even have a recipe for soap.

Jesus could have eliminated plague and smallpox and saved the lives of billions, but instead he withers a fig tree and does less curing of disease in his career than a typical doctor does today. The Bible makes clear that every believer will be able to perform the works of Jesus and more, and yet no medical miracle claims are validated by science.

Some in the early days of the Pentecostal movement claimed the Holy Spirit gave missionaries fluency in any language, though that claim is a little too testable. The “gift of tongues” today usually means a gibberish utterance in no human language.

God hasn’t guided his most cherished creation past problems like war, genocide, slavery, prejudice, pogroms, overpopulation, and environmental disasters. Nor has he helped undo the damage from natural disasters. Faith has never moved a mountain, though the Bible says that it will. And prayer doesn’t do anything measurable.

Christian response

Lots of worldviews can encourage you to do good things, and Christianity is one of them. For this post, I’m focused on just the supernatural claims. The Christian may respond with tangible here-and-now contributions of Christianity to society.

  • Majestic cathedrals were built just for Christianity. Show one grand building built by science. How about the Royal Society? Or Scientific American magazine. Or Bell Labs. (And keep in mind that science and engineering put those physical buildings up, not faith.)
  • The Sistine Chapel ceiling is a masterpiece inspired by Christianity. Show one great work of art inspired by science. How about the Large Hadron Collider? Or the Hubble space telescope. Or the Eiffel Tower. Astronomy has given us mind-expanding works of art—photos of a distant galaxy, earthrise from the moon, and the earth caught in Saturn’s rings—that Christianity couldn’t begin to imagine. And it’s not like Christianity has a monopoly on religious art. Consider the ancient Indian, Chinese, Mesoamerican, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art inspired by their religions (see the Egyptian stone relief above).
  • Christianity inspired Michelangelo’s art. Show a Michelangelo of science. How about Richard Feynman? Or Albert Einstein. Or Stephen Hawking.

The Christian may respond to demands for evidence that God doesn’t perform like a monkey on a leash. What we see is nicely explained by God not performing at all.

“Religious truth” bears the same resemblance to “truth”
that “homeopathic medicine” bears to “medicine,”
“creation science” bears to “science,”
or “Fox News” bears to “news.”
— Richard S. Russell

Inspiration credit: the core of this post came from Richard S. Russell.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

About Bob Seidensticker
  • RichardSRussell

    Thanks for the credit, Bob, but you did a terrific job expanding on just a few lines of type from me. It’s the difference between an essayist and a sloganeer.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      :-)

  • Norm Donnan

    Ha, I can see where your coming from here.This so reminds me of evolution “science”.
    You know when the commentator is telling you things like,”232million years ago the stardust dropped in the water and a jelly fish grew,then he started hanging around land so slowly he grew legs and became a crocodile”.
    No one was around but it defiantly happened…..trust me.

    • Fallulah

      Whaaaaa are you talking about? Nobody is asking anybody to believe in evolution based on word of mouth. There is tons of physical evidence for the transitioning of species over time.

      • Norm Donnan

        So give me one example of one kind (as called by Darwin) changing to another kind!!!

        • Kodie
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Wait a minute. That can’t be right. I don’t feel special anymore!

        • MNb

          That will teach you some christian humility.
          Oh wait …..

        • Itarion

          To be fair, that graphic doesn’t include the extinct species.

          That’s right, you’re special because you’re not dead!

        • jonch

          Non-resistant bacteria evolving into resistant bacteria. Let me guess, you’re going to deny this and say it’s not a change of kinds because it doesn’t fit your arbitrary definition of ‘kind’, right? It’s just bacteria remaining bacteria. And a fish evolving into a cow is just an animal remaining an animal, right?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And a bacterium evolving to eat waste from the nylon manufacturing process, which didn’t exist until nylon was invented in 1935.

        • MNb

          Excellent! And humans obviously belong to the “kind” of multicellular animal organisms, so evolution never has happened. Yup – show me a tree evolving into an elephant and then you’re talking!

        • Norm Donnan

          No it doesnt fit into Darwins definition of kind,its still bacteria.
          Now a fish-cow, that def does

        • Itarion

          How about something with legs evolving into something without legs? Like, I dunno, whales?

        • Norm Donnan

          Isnt that devolving?
          Wernt things supposed to grow legs and leave the water ?

        • Itarion

          I’ve already addressed this question, over near the subthread on dogs. Evolution doesn’t have any directionality, it is any change in a species across a positive change in time. There’s nothing that is “supposed to” happen, just things that do happen.

          Also, as I said, if you accept devolution, then you HAVE to accept its opposite, which is evolution, since they are the same thing happening in different “directions”, that is, species complexifying (evolution) versus simplifying (“devolution”, but still evolution).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          ?? There is no “supposed to”!!

          Seriously. You’re embarrassing yourself. Go read an evolution textbook, then check back in with us.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          its still bacteria

          Wow. A new record for Norm stupid.

          Bacteria is a domain of life. Look it up. It’s higher than kingdom, which is higher than phylum.

          And while you’re at it, write grammatically. The contraction of “it is” is “it’s.”

          (Now I’m correcting grammar. That’s how annoying Norm is.)

        • Kodie

          Norm doesn’t use apostrophes at all. (I just noticed it).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Like e e cummings doesn’t use capitals. Creative geniuses are always pushing the boundaries.

        • purr

          This is why women find him irresistible.

        • Kodie

          I’m sorry, but you misspelled ‘irrational’.

        • Norm Donnan

          Sorry that you feel that way Bob,I can imagine when you have put so much effort in great thinking like your spectrum argument or this post and people like me tell you your wrong…totally ,it would be very annoying.
          Look I actually think your doing a good job and Im sure on most things we would get on fine but on these issues,to me,your understanding is so basic to be irrellivent.
          There will be so many things that you would do and know much better than I could hope to achieve but Christianity isnt one of them….not that carnt change.

        • Kodie

          It is very annoying because you just have your doubts, you don’t have a discussion about what you believe and why your beliefs should be persuasive and correct. We’ve asked you and you just evade evade evade. Come back with more ridiculous straw man assertions, you have demonstrated an utter and complete lack of understanding what evolution is, but you keep mouthing off about it. That is annoying, not because you’re wrong, but because you have said nothing.

          But you are wrong. Nobody needs to explain this to you anymore, all we can do is just shut down and say Norm is stupid, Norm is wrong, Norm repeats lies. Do you fucking understand how to hold up your end of an argument? Or are you quite satisfied that you have us on the ropes simply because you disagree with us, disagree that evolution is true, and keep representing evolution in the most ridiculously misunderstood ways possible?

          You’re not holding up your end, dummy. Nobody cares about your opinion.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Annoying? When I get a thumbs-down from you? I’d be more nervous if I got a thumbs-up.

          your understanding is so basic to be irrellivent.

          Yeah, get back to me when you understand the atomic facepalm that “well, yeah, but it’s still a bacteria” is. Then we’ll have a good laugh about problems with understanding.

        • purr

          if you are going to criticize Bob, at least learn to spell ‘irrelevant’ so you look like *less* of a fool.

          (but you’ll still look like a fool)

        • jonch

          Wait, what? I thought fish and cow are both the animal kind, no? It’s nothing but an animal remaining an animal.

          Oh, I get it… _Darwin_ kind… Yup, makes more sense now. Do you mind enlightening me what Darwin’s definition of ‘kind’ actually is?

        • GubbaBumpkin

          So give me one example of one kind (as called by Darwin) changing to another kind!!!

          First, define “kind.”

        • MNb

          Let me give it a try – “kind” means the entire set of animal and plant sets, ie all living and dead species together.

        • Kodie

          It might be helpful, but probably not, to say humans are a kind of ape. A human is not going to become a horse kind or a strawberry kind, and chimpanzees are not giving birth to humans. It was a vast expanse of time and environmental pressures, and once a kind branches off with what someone might call “microevolution,” they are no longer the same species, genetically. Moving forward, they are not likely to change into each other or they may still be close enough to mate.

          Using the word ‘animal’ to represent a “kind” before the split, some of the animals adapted enough to change and we would call them manimals. Animals may be less suited for the environment, or they be adequate, while manimals evolved by adapting to environmental pressures and exploiting some niche. Not all of the animals got the new genetic mutations and stayed animals. Animals don’t give birth to manimals, but their offspring might have this mutation, and some generations later, it is a different species.

          Far into the future, animals can be born with another genetic mutation, and in the same way, the new species we’ll call garanimals. Garanimals look a lot like animals and manimals, but they are 3 different species. You might say they are the same kind, and you might be forced to accept this process by the name “microevolution”.

          Animals, manimals, and garanimals are 3 twigs of the same branch, you might say. What is the branch? The branch was chinchillas, and branched off a larger bough aside another species called scintillas, and together came from a trunk called moosers. So, from moosers, “micro-evolved” chinchillas and scintillas. Chinchillas led eventually to animals, which led then to manimals and garanimals. What happened to the scintilla branch?

          Scintillas eventually mutated (scintillas are extinct because they didn’t carry the advantageous mutation) into umbrellas, cellars, and millers.

          An umbrella can’t change into a manimal. They are on different branches. A manimal probably won’t mutate back into an animal, but animals and manimals may be close enough to mate.

          But animals, manimals garanimals, chinchillas, scintillas, umbrellas, cellars, and millers ALL descended from moosers.

          Moosers didn’t change into umbrellas. Moosers didn’t give birth to manimals.

          If someone is still stuck on kinds turning into other kinds, they have a gross misapprehension of the claims of evolution theory.

        • Itarion

          That is a fantastic explanation, and I give you props.

        • Kodie

          Thanks!

        • Shinjitsu

          What evidence do you have that “a vast expanse of time and environmental pressures” you claim for molecules-to-man evolution are historical fact?

        • Kodie

          Try googling, say talkorigins.org or something. If you don’t know something and you want to find out, look it up, and see what your sources are. Creationist and ID (ID is creationism) sources simplify and misrepresent evolution, so try to find a credible source. What evidence do I have that species adapt to their environments and genetic mutations arise to eventually be considered a new animal? What evidence do I have that, given a long enough time, humans can arise from single-celled organisms? Why do you find that so unbelievable?

          Where do you think we came from, and where is your evidence?

        • Shinjitsu

          If exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate designs and systems present in nature ( Biomimetics ) then much more the original being replicated. Creation is thus proof of a Creator.

          “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” – Soren Kierkegaard

        • Kodie

          There are more than 2 ways to be fooled. One is to trot out quotes that succinctly pose there’s a binary involved here.

          Another way is to trot out a seemingly logical statement that’s word salad and begs the question.

          In summary, the third way is to believe you’re too smart to be fooled.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          A bag of rice tips over due to the wind, and a pile of rice falls on the floor. Simple.

          I call it art and demand that you duplicate it. Complicated.

          No, difficulty in duplicating is no proof of a creator.

        • Shinjitsu

          “It [] dawned on me that I had accepted evolution without really questioning it. For example, I had assumed that evolution was well supported by the fossil record. But it is not. Indeed, the more I examined evolution, the more I became convinced that the theory is more bluster than fact.

          Then I thought about my work with robots. Whose designs was I imitating? I could never design a robot capable of catching a ball as we can. A robot can be programmed to catch a ball, but only in precisely controlled conditions. It cannot do so in circumstances for which it has not been programmed. Our ability to learn is vastly superior to that of a machine—and mere machines have makers! This fact is just one of many that led me to conclude that we must have had a Designer.

          I became deeply interested in the many prophecies, or predictions, in the Bible. My study of those convinced me that the Bible really is from God. In 1992, Barbara and I were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses.” -Professor Massimo Tistarelli, former atheist (http://bit.ly/15xtINp) (Bracket mine.)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          (1) Very interesting quote. Doesn’t have much to do with precisely what we were talking about.

          (2) Because you avoided my rice artwork example, I assume you accept my point?

        • Shinjitsu

          What do you find so interesting about it?

        • Shinjitsu

          I avoided it because it was not germane. If you’ll note, I specifically referenced “designs and systems present in nature”, not subjective arts.

        • Shinjitsu

          “My doubts about evolution began when I was studying synapses. I was deeply impressed by the amazing complexity of these supposedly simple connections between nerve cells. ‘How,’ I wondered, ‘could synapses and the genetic programs underlying them be products of mere blind chance?’ It really made no sense.

          Then, in the early 1970’s, I attended a lecture by a famous Russian scientist and professor. He stated that living organisms cannot be a result of random mutations and natural selection. Someone in the audience then asked where the answer lay. The professor took a small Russian Bible from his jacket, held it up, and said, “Read the Bible—the creation story in Genesis in particular.”

          Later, in the lobby, I asked the professor if he was serious about the Bible. In essence, he replied: “Simple bacteria can divide about every 20 minutes and have many hundreds of different proteins, each containing 20 types of amino acids arranged in chains that might be several hundred long. For bacteria to evolve by beneficial mutations one at a time would take much, much longer than three or four billion years, the time that many scientists believe life has existed on earth.” The Bible book of Genesis, he felt, made much more sense.

          Every good scientist, regardless of his beliefs, must be as objective as possible. But my faith has changed me. For one thing, instead of being overly self-confident, highly competitive, and unduly proud of my scientific skills, I am now grateful to God for any abilities I may have. Also, instead of unfairly attributing the amazing designs manifest in creation to blind chance, I and not a few other scientists ask ourselves, ‘How did God design this?’” – Professor František Vyskočil – Former Atheist (http://bit.ly/K8lEip)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Some random dude rejects evolution, and this is supposed to affect me how, exactly?

          The consensus is clear. Change that, and I change my mind.

        • Shinjitsu

          Do you apprehend why this scientist came to conclude molecules-to-man evolution was untenable?

        • Kodie
        • Shinjitsu

          “Our body is made up of trillions of microscopic cells. Practically all of them must die and be replaced. Each type of cell has a different life span; some are replaced every few weeks, and others every few years. Our body’s system of programmed cell death has to be highly controlled to maintain the delicate balance between cell death and cell formation.

          Some studies indicate that when cells fail to die as they should, rheumatoid arthritis or cancer may result. On the other hand, when cells die before they should, it could cause Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. My research is linked to finding ways to treat these diseases.

          The complexity of the whole process is mind-boggling, yet its elegance displays exceptional wisdom. I believe it’s the wisdom of God. I use powerful microscopes to study the many complex mechanisms that regulate the process. Some mechanisms can trigger the destruction process within seconds if need be. The cells participate in their own self-destruction. The process is so well-designed that it’s absolutely awe-inspiring.” -Dr. Paola Chiozzi, former atheist (http://bit.ly/1bgG30d)

        • Kodie
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          He is kind of a one-trick pony, isn’t he?

        • Kodie

          The problem with him isn’t really any one of the things he believes or says, but that he is engaged in some kind of game like whack-a-mole. People responded to him in good faith, hoping for a discussion or debate, and all he wants is to trap people into conceding their arguments to him by pestering and moving the goal-posts. If he could argue honestly, well, he can’t, that’s the point, I guess.

        • gimpi1

          Exactly, Kodie. I had a discussion about geologic principles earlier, and finally had to cut it off. Shinjitsu was unable or unwilling to understand how the scientific picture of the earth came about, and I ran out of patience with being their google-engine.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Nice detective work. He’s gone.

        • Kodie

          I couldn’t wait for it to simply become more obvious, and I had the time.

        • purr

          Good job Kodie. That guy isn’t exactly in touch with reality.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I hadn’t noticed that he repeats, not the same ideas, but the exact same quotes and phrases, over and over.

          He’s another one where, if he actually put all that energy into scanning atheist arguments for errors, he could help out. But he’d rather be a mosquito.

        • Kodie

          He obviously doesn’t want his activity being followed, but he makes it easy to find him anyway.

        • purr

          I am honestly surprised that he didn’t start linking to his own webpages as ‘proof’ that he is correct.

          Gotta love that trick.

        • MNb

          Good work indeed. Saves me the effort to descend to his miserable level.

        • Kodie
        • Shinjitsu

          Since you’re already defending evolution I’d much rather prefer it if you would continue doing so with some actual evidence of your claims.

        • Kodie

          Since you are disagreeing with evolution, I would much rather you tell me what else you got.

        • Shinjitsu

          Certainly. If exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate designs and systems present in nature ( Biomimetics ) then much more the original being replicated. Creation is thus proof of a Creator.

        • Kodie

          You already posted that response, and I already responded to it. It’s word salad and begging the question; ring any bells for you? Since you’re following all our comments, I thought you might have had it delivered especially in your email.

        • Shinjitsu

          I can explain it but I can’t understand it for you. Which aspects were you unable to understand?

        • RichardSRussell

          The word “creation” itself presumes that the Universe (or nature, or whatever) was created. You’re going to have to do better than that to fool us.

        • Shinjitsu

          Except that it doesn’t presume anything at all . It happens to be a noun identifying the act of making , inventing , producing or simply bringing into existence new things. Scientific research undeniably has no familiarity of stuffs popping into being ex nihilo sine causa.

          The fact is that the arrangements of numerous interrelated constituent parts or elements in a string of steps adhered to in a consistent clear-cut order to effectuate a task , purpose , goal or operation ( ordered complexity ) which always betrays the existence of an intelligent mind . It’s what makes a specific signal, for instance, instantly recognizable from random white noise . (That’s why SETI scours the universe for radio signals.)

          So you see, trying to use “poof” ( amazing chance )% to explain the outrageously tiny compound chance of standalone events giving us a life sustaining universe is simply naked , illogical sophism .

          %“It is our contention that if ‘random’ [chance] is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws, physical, chemical and biological.” -“Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory”, Dr. Murray Eden, MIT

          “There is no chance (<10-1000) to see [evolution based on mutation and natural selection] appear spontaneously and, if it did, even less for it to remain. Thus, to conclude, we believe there is a considerable gap in the Neo-Darwinian Theory of evolution, and we believe this gap to be of such a nature that it cannot be bridged within the current conception of biology.” -“Algorithms and the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution,” Marcel P. Schutzenberger, University of Paris (Bracket mine.)

          This multiplicity of probabilities atop probabilities atop probabilities atop probabilities properly illustrates the staggering probability of our universe winding up with the optimum blend and ratios of life permitting constants by pure chance .

          Your reasoning makes it acceptable for someone who stumbles upon a copy of “Hamlet” to believe it is really the product of an infinite group of monkeys in an infinite assortment of universes banging away duplicates of texts at an infinite group of typewriters generated by yet another infinite group of monkeys in some other group of infinite universes banging away at their infinite bunch of typewriters rather than just simply concluding “Shakespeare .”

          If you hear hoof beats , why think unicorns ?

        • RichardSRussell

          Scientific research undeniably has no familiarity of stuffs popping into being ex nihilo sine causa.

          Read up on quantum mechanics. That’s exactly what it says.

          In fact, during the time it took you to read this, it probably happened several thousand times right within your own body. The fact that you are able to read this at all on a computer screen is made possible by electron tunneling thru the semiconductors inside your CPU. Your Bronze Age understanding of the Universe (and your utterly laffable “command” of statistics) is singularly unpersuasive to anyone not afflicted by your particular brain parasite.

        • Shinjitsu

          Read up on Bohmian mechanics which is completely deterministic and furthermore emphasizes that every indeterminacy is actually conceptual.

          “Being never arises from nonbeing”, “something will not originate from nothing” are putative metaphysical principles, just like cause and effect, unhindered in their application. Hence, we certainly have excellent grounds , both abstractly as well as scientifically, for reasoning that whatsoever begins to exist has a cause and comes from something, not nothing.

        • Shinjitsu

          Argumentum ad hominem. Try again.

        • Shinjitsu

          Yes, yes, I see what you’re saying because a universe from nothing by nothing for nothing is certainly the most logical and plausible explanation …

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Evolution is the scientific consensus. It has become the null hypothesis. No evidence is needed.

          You want to overturn the consensus? Cool–provide the evidence.

        • Shinjitsu

          And just how is this not an argumentum ad populum fallacy?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You really can’t see the difference? Or are you just assigning me busy work?

          The bandwagon fallacy points to a mass of people no wiser than you are about the subject at hand. The scientific consensus is not that.

          We laymen have no option but to accept the scientific consensus. I mean, by what grounds would we reject it?

        • Shinjitsu

          Because we have actual evidence of Creation by God Almighty? Why else would they fabricate the myth of PE?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What is your position? Creationist? Young/old earth?

        • Shinjitsu

          Genesis 1:1 is what I believe. Moreover, YEC has no basis in Scripture.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How can you take Gen. 1 literally but not be a YEC?

        • Shinjitsu

          YEC has no basis in Scripture. Moses wrote his account in Hebrew, and he wrote it from the perspective of a person standing on the surface of the earth. These two facts, combined with the knowledge that the universe existed before the beginning of the creative periods, or “days,” help to defuse much of the controversy surrounding the creation account.

          The Hebrew word translated “day” can mean various lengths of time, not just a 24-hour period. For example, when summarizing God’s creative work, Moses refers to all six creative days as one day. (Genesis 2:4) In addition, on the first creative day, “God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he called Night.” (Genesis 1:5) Here, only a portion of a 24-hour period is defined by the term “day.” Certainly, there is no basis in scripture for arbitrarily stating that each creative day was 24 hours long.

        • Kodie

          Norm, where is your answer to what “kind” means? Why haven’t you answered the question?

        • RichardSRussell

          At last night’s Nye-Ham debate on creationism, Ken Ham said he and his crack team of researchers have figured that “kind” is very approximately what biologists would call an order, within the standard system of taxonomy (which, of course, he doesn’t subscribe to). They’re willing to allow for variation within kinds (given the many different breeds of dogs and cats, they could hardly do otherwise), but remain Biblically convinced that one “kind” can never, ever, ever change into another, for the irrefutable reason that “God said so”.

        • Niemand

          Here’s a fun little evolution occurring in the lab experiment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

          E coli don’t metabolize citrate. But a strain put under selective pressure in the lab now does. Arguably, they are now Samonella.

          Also, Hela cells: they came from a particular human, but they are clearly not H sapiens any more. Yet they’re alive. What are they?

        • Fallulah

          Wolf to dog.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Since one criterion for being a different species is the ability to mate, it’s obvious that a Chihuahua and a Great Dane couldn’t mate in the wild. Norm would probably respond that these are artificial (that is, intelligently designed) breeds, however.

        • Fallulah

          Fair enough. The small, dog-sized, forest-dwelling Eohippus into the modern horse.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Or the well-documented sequence of fossils that became modern whales.

        • Norm Donnan

          Intelligently designed by humans yes

        • Kodie

          How could humans alter genetics if evolution isn’t true?

        • Itarion

          Clearly, there exists something that is fundamentally identical to genes that also don’t support evolutionary theory?

          Looks like, walks like, quacks like a duck… Let’s call it a kcud.

        • Niemand

          Dog to husky, St Bernard, poodle, shibu inu, bull dog…I’m not convinced that matings between some of the more extreme dog subspecies are viable.

        • MNb

          Actually “wolf to dog” is a fine example of half-speciation. Give it another 10 000 years and the dog will be a separate species indeed, ie not capbale of producing fertile off-spring with the wolf anymore.

        • Norm Donnan

          Wrong,its selective breeding pure and simple.De-evolving if anything.

        • Itarion

          Of course, if you have the logical opposite of a thing, then clearly you have the thing as well. Consequently, if there is de-evolution, then there is, by definition, evolution.

          Furthermore, your statement indicates an assumption of directionality to evolution, which is simply not the case. Any change in a species across time in the positive direction is considered evolution, even if it is quite definitively less, be it less large, less complex less intelligent, etc.

        • MNb

          De-evolving isn’t a scientific concept. It’s meaningless. You don’t know what you’re writing about.
          Selective breeding doesn’t contradict evolution; it’s one means to drive it.

        • Norm Donnan

          Why not ,it should be ,everything naturally gets worse not better.

        • Kodie

          Where do you keep coming up with these fallacious ideas? It’s like diarrhea of the creationist around here.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What’s that supposed to mean?

          The environment changes, and species must adapt along with it. Those that do a poor job? Gone from the gene pool.

          (And the space goes after the comma, not before.)

        • Norm Donnan

          So what is it now ? Its still a canine,a dog….. fail.
          (you could have said wolf to poodle at least)

        • MNb
    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      You tell ’em, brother! Do not get me started with those “scientists”! They go on and on about germ theory and quantum physics and chemistry and this interminable list of things that they’ve found out. And the spinoffs: man on the moon, computers, cell phones, internet, GPS, public health.

      Billions of lives saved? Oh, please–I’ve got better things to think about. Well, there’s more to life than understanding reality! Who’ll give me an amen?

      It reminds me of the cartoon where one guy says to another: “New Atheism indeed—it’s just the same old indisputable scientific evidence again.”

      • Norm Donnan

        AMEN brother Bob.
        Hey by the way,science is always saying (and I think you do to) is that science is always open to dispute and change.Ahh those atheists.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yep, science is always open to dispute. Everything is provisional.

          Who says otherwise?

        • Norm Donnan

          The “indisputable new atheist”

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So you’re referring to the cartoon?

          (1) It’s a cartoon.

          (2) It is indisputable–by knuckleheads like you and me. The experts are the ones who can dispute it without getting laughed at.

        • Itarion

          What cartoon is this?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The one I mentioned about 5 comments above.

        • Itarion

          Why yes, how silly of me. *facepalm
          I did notice the mention once i scrolled up a bit, o just read comments rather haphazardly at times.

          I suppose a better question might be, “where can i find this vaunted comic?” though i totally understand if you don’t remember. I can’t find interesting thing x from yesterday at times.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I wish I knew! I saw it during a presentation at the Reason Rally 2 years ago. I searched for the text and couldn’t find it online.

          :-(

        • Kodie

          You would rather be wrong set in stone forever than adapt to new information that might change your mind. Your solid stone mind. Here is an example – judging a situation at first glance, then you know the whole story and unwilling to change your mind. However, later you find out more of the details that might make a difference in how you judged the situation. These don’t matter to you because you already know what happened, since you judged it at first glance.

          You want to put down science for gathering more and more details and clarifying or correcting the original assessment. You want to dismiss piles and piles of additional information that might make things clearer for you, because you already have set in stone a story that gets farther and farther from the truth the more we find out about our scientifically discoverable environment.

          That just makes you more and more wrong. Science gets more and more right.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You would rather be wrong set in stone forever than adapt to new information that might change your mind.

          Not many men have the gift that Norm does.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Since is open to consider the new evidence you consistently fail to provide.

        • MNb

          Hey, Norm, you are right! Yup, science is always open to dispute and change. Give me a cat fossil of 80 million years old and I’ll abandon Evolution Theory immediately (OK, give me a few hours to absorb the shock). I can even tell you what kind of evidence I would accept for a god managing business here on Earth.
          That’s inherent in the scientific method, you see. That’s how science make progress. That’s why religion never progresses.

        • Shinjitsu

          Progress? Science is playing catch up with the Bible:

          Isaiah 40:22 already explicated thousands of years ago that our planet was round, not flat.

          The Mosaic Law code included healthful laws and regulations relating to the quarantining of the contagious , the proper handling of dead bodies , as well as the disposal of fecal matter and other wastes long, long, looooong before Science discovered the benefit of these .—Leviticus 13 :1-5 ; Numbers 19 :1-13 ; Deuteronomy 23 :13 , 14 .

        • Castilliano

          It’s hard for me to accept you’re serious, but I must.

          Other parts of the Bible clearly have a flat Earth, with corners, under a firmament.
          Plus, that passage refers to Earth as a circle, which might work if it weren’t juxtaposed with heaven being a tent over it, an image that does not work with a sphere, only a flat surface.

          Mosaic law had lots of helpful hygiene hints that, oh my goodness, were commonplace around the world.
          As well as some unnecessary ones based on ignorance.
          And therefore it beats science…somehow.

        • Shinjitsu

          Prove it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Prove … what now?

        • Shinjitsu

          His claims.

        • Castilliano

          Flat Earth in Bible:
          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Biblical_flat_earth_claims

          Isiah 40:22 you can look up yourself.
          There’s a tent over Earth. And as Bob mentioned, they did have a word for sphere or ball.

          Yes, Leviticus mentions quarantining, but Leviticus a few chapters later (Lev 15) also suggests giving pigeons as a remedy, how semen is horrible, and how menstruation makes a woman and whatever she touches unclean as well as those who touch those things.
          So, yay, let’s quarantine menstruating women in the red tent because everything they touch is unclean.
          Sound medical advice indeed.
          So, yes, a tribe that thinks everything is icky is bound to get one properly icky thing, disease, included in the mix.
          This doesn’t smack of revelation, it rings of “tribe that’s seen leprosy and learns from it” plus “tribe thinks lots of things are unclean that really aren’t”.
          What would prove your point would be to list all the things they got right next to all the things they got wrong.
          Well, not prove, in fact disprove. It’s pretty imbalanced against them.

          Public sanitation was common.
          Early Jews weren’t privy to special knowledge of the privy.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_water_supply_and_sanitation

          Burying the dead is prehistoric:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burial#History
          Hindus, who generally cremate, had a belief against touching the dead too.

          All it takes is Google, man.
          Cheers

        • Shinjitsu

          So you’re saying the Earth isn’t circular?

        • RichardSRussell

          With all due respect, are you fucking crazy?

        • Shinjitsu
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Uh, we have gotten past the flat earth hypothesis. You know that, right?

        • Shinjitsu

          You’re not making sense again. How does this answer my query?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Because it highlights that circles are flat and that we’ve all gotten past the flat earth model of the cosmos.

          Well, maybe not all of us.

        • Shinjitsu

          So spheres aren’t round, circular?

        • MNb

          So disks don’t exist?
          Shinjitsu, master of the stupid non-sequiturs strikes again.

        • Shinjitsu

          As a cure for what now?

        • Shinjitsu

          “Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is quite clear about the uses of Wikipedia. Asked, “Do you think students and researchers should cite Wikipedia? during an interview with Business Week in 2005, he replied, “No, I don’t think people should cite it.””

          Put in some effort and find credible sources for your peculiar claims. All it takes is Google, man. Cheers.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Put some effort into finding current and relevant quotes. 2005 for Wikipedia? That’s kind of a long time ago.

        • Shinjitsu

          How does that change the fact that Wikipedia is, by the founder’s own admission, an unreliable source of factual information?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Because 8 years have passed and things have changed? Because a test found Wikipedia to be superior to the Encyclopedia Britannica?

          Or is this a trick question?

        • Shinjitsu

          “Wikipedia is not considered a credible or authoritative source.”-Wikipedia – http://bit.ly/1khaOWc

        • Shinjitsu

          Do you honestly believe neither semen nor blood can carry infectious diseases? Ever hear of AIDS or STDs in general?

        • Castilliano

          -The context was semen upon oneself, not others. It didn’t reference spreading disease. And if we caught diseases from our own semen, man would have died out.
          -The blood was menstrual, and while it should be handled properly it certainly doesn’t make the woman and everything she touches unclean.
          -Yes, the earth is not circular because it’s not flat, it’s spherical. Or at the very least, round. And they had those words, but chose the flat version instead.
          -“Cure?” I do not know what you’re referencing here. I do not mention a cure, nor does the Bible.
          At best it mentions cleaning wounds.
          -Wikipedia may not be for researchers, but we aren’t researchers, nor is this a formal debate. Considering you’ve given zero sources comparing the Bible to cultures worldwide, I’ll settle for my mediocre one.

          You ask me to prove my own claims, yet have no backing for your own. Added to that, you’re just cluttering the argument without actually being constructive. This shows a disingenuous, antagonistic nature. No thank you.

          When you get credible sources re: Early Biblical cultures vs. other cultures worldwide, then we might continue.
          When you gather up that list in totality showing how ancient Hebrew cultures were correct about scientific practices more often than not, then we might continue.
          Until then, you’re still at square one with your unfounded claims.

          Cheers.

        • Castilliano

          I’ll also note for our other posters that you have only 23 comments, yet you’re following 25 people?
          Including myself?
          Why?

          (Sorry if you’re just new to this and really like 25 peoples’ comments a whole lot, but that situation smells like professional troll hiding under a new alias to me. Again, apologies if I’m wrong.)

        • Kodie

          Shinitzu or whatever has his activity private – this is a creep.

        • Shinjitsu

          So you affirm the veridicality of Isaiah 40:22, wonderful!

          Next question, how did Isaiah know the Earth was actually round without being a scientist?

        • Itarion

          The Greeks did it. Fairly well, too. See Eratosthenes

        • Shinjitsu

          You lost me. How is that relevant to my question?

        • Itarion

          Well, clearly that would be how he could have figured out that the Earth was spheresque. Simply put, with some time and effort, low technology can be used to discover a vast quantity of information.

          Isaiah’s failure to do such speaks poorly of him as an enlightened figure.

        • Shinjitsu

          Yet he was the very first person in recorded history to report such a basic and elementary truth, sans technology. How did he do it?

        • Itarion

          Reason and a touch of math.

          A light source emitting parallel rays onto the surface of a sphere causes a different shadow pattern than the same source emitting onto a flat surface. Eratosthenes heard about a curiosity – a well where the bottom was visible on a certain day – and wondered why this was not the case everywhere. Then he took some other measurements, calculated some things, and came up with a number for the size of the Earthsphere.

          See more here: http://www.astro.cornell.edu/academics/courses/astro2201/eratosthenes.htm

        • Shinjitsu

          Are you alleging that Isaiah was a mathematician and researcher like Eratosthenes?

        • Itarion

          Nope, merely supposing that not a mathematician/researcher should not be attempting to make uneducated guesses about the nature of the world.

        • Shinjitsu

          I’m always amazed at how much you guys ascribe to mere chance.

          Thing is, chance had nothing to do with Isaiah’s writings since the prevailing idea during his time was that the Earth was flat, not globular. Isaiah, thus, was the Galileo of his era.

          So you’re still faced with the problem, how did Isaiah – a layman – know for certain that the Earth was round?

        • Itarion

          Well… He didn’t. The consensus here is that the text of Isaiah uses the world for round, not the word for globular. Moreover, it seems much more reasonable that the author of Isaiah would have been sticking to established tradition, as per Genesis, in which the world is said to be flat.

        • Shinjitsu

          Where does Genesis explicitly state the world is flat?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Isaiah says that the earth is a circle, and you’re celebrating that? It’s a sphere. Sorry. Isaiah was wrong.

          And no, Isaiah didn’t write Isaiah 40.

        • Shinjitsu

          So a sphere is not round, that is, circular?

        • Shinjitsu

          Do you have any empirical evidence Isaiah didn’t write it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s a popular view among scholars.

        • Shinjitsu

          And just how is this not an argumentum ad populum fallacy?

        • MNb

          Here is a round Earth map for you:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flat_earth.png

          You see? Round. Circular. And flat.
          Here is an ancient one:

          http://www.livius.org/a/1/maps/hecataeus_map.gif

          Nothing special, that Isaiah of yours.

        • Shinjitsu
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Next question: how did Kepler know that there were just 5 planets?

        • Shinjitsu

          You do realize that the Bible is not a text on infectious diseases, right? This, however, does nothing to negate the health benefits of the cleanliness guidelines stipulated in the Mosaic Law – far, far ahead of any scientific discoveries of the same.

        • Kodie

          You’d think a book that was divinely inspired by god himself could have been a little more accurate and helpful though. If that’s not what it set out to be, it has no business being used as a basis for anything scientific.

          And just because some ancient person might have gotten a thing or two “close enough” doesn’t mean it’s a science bible. It was, after all, written by living humans at some point in history. It’s not entirely impossible for humans in the distant past to make some pretty close guesses or assumptions. “Circle” is a shape, it’s flat. Maybe someone made a mistake in word choice or maybe they thought the earth was flat. If they wanted to be understood so they could not be misunderstood, they did a terrible job. But as you say, it’s not trying to be a manual on infectious diseases or science or math. There is nothing in the bible as knowledge that proves they had access to a deity’s clarified explanations.

          You know, the kind that could have saved a lot of lives.

        • Shinjitsu

          Who’s saying it wasn’t or isn’t?

        • Kodie

          Why do you answer all my posts twice? You know you can edit your posts?

        • Shinjitsu

          Because you’re so hard of reading?

        • Shinjitsu

          Strawman. These are more than just happy accidents. The wisdom these ancient people had far exceeded that of their contemporaries and has only fairly recently been attained by Science.

        • Kodie

          I read Lev 15 to find out about the pigeons for you, and that’s what it says.

        • Shinjitsu

          Then why can’t you answer my simple question?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I am seriously missing the scientific knowledge in the Bible that was both accurate and beyond the common knowledge of the time.

          What is the evidence for this? Is it just Lev. 13:1-5, Num. 19:1-13, and Deut. 23:13-14? Or is there more?

          As the post notes, the Bible didn’t even have a recipe for soap.

        • Shinjitsu

          There’s also Isaiah 40:22; Job 26:7; Ecclesiastes 1:7; Amos 5:8; Job 38:33; Jeremiah 31:35; 33:25; Genesis 1; Leviticus 11:27, 28; Psalm 139:16; 1 Tim. 5:23, etc., etc.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Before I track down all your verses, tell me what your point is. I take it that you’re saying that the Bible contains much useful scientific truth about the world unavailable from other surrounding cultures, and it has no falsehoods about reality. Is that right?

          Gen. 1 is a fairy tale, with its Sumerian cosmology. You’re not off to a good start by including that.

        • Shinjitsu

          Prove it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I wrote about that here.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Are you Joseph Polanco?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Bye.

        • Shinjitsu

          Correct.

        • Kodie

          He’s not off to a good start because he’s a sock puppet of Joseph O Polanco, I thought you banned him.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I did sense some similarities. But you’re not saying it’s the same guy, are you?

        • Pofarmer

          If you banned Joseph O. Polanco, then thank you.

        • Kodie

          It’s the same guy. I google searched a phrase from one of his posts leading to another blog where he posted the identical post under the name J Polanco, which he later changed to J. P. so he wouldn’t get caught when I called him out (I was logged out at the time).

        • Kodie

          Edit: His old posts on here are under J.P. now too, so I assume he had to make the alt to post again, but wasn’t banned on another blog.

          J. P. – same quote from this page (twice, in response to me)
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frenchrevolution/2013/08/14/there-is-evidence-god-exists/#comment-1172017844

          J. P. – Joseph O Polanco, similar common non-response
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/07/christianity-needs-promotion-like-soft-drinks/#comment-1073025819

          He blocked his user activity so you can’t find him, and he changed the name of that user from J Polanco to J. P. yesterday after I called him out. He doesn’t want to make it so easy to track his posts or activities, but if you look at the page source find “Polanco” it’s definitely him. If you google patheos and Polanco, you get a lot of activity that is now listed as J. P.

          He’s also following all of our comments, and made a new user account to get through his ban, that’s why his new account doesn’t have that much activity yet.

        • Shinjitsu

          So a sphere is not circular in shape?

        • Kodie

          Not if you’re claiming the bible knew its shit far ahead of scientific discoveries. It is if you’re explaining it to a 5-year-old and you don’t really have a developed vocabulary.

        • Shinjitsu

          Again, you’re not making sense. How does any of this answer my simple, straightforward question?

        • RichardSRussell

          That is correct.
          A sphere is spherical in shape.
          It has 3 dimensions.
          A circle is circular in shape.
          It has 2 dimensions.
          The projection of a sphere onto a planar surface (as with a light source casting a shadow on a wall) can create a circular image from a spherical source. Perhaps that’s what you were thinking of (to use an extremely generous interpretation of the word “thinking”).

        • Shinjitsu

          Hostile much?

        • Kodie

          Don’t have anything else? You don’t like the comments so you remark on the attitude of declining patience with your remarkable idiocy?

        • RichardSRussell

          So you have nothing of substance to say. What a surprise.

        • Shinjitsu

          Oh and I want to thank you for proving, once again, that Atheism is in fact a hate group.

        • Kodie

          You never think that it’s because you’re so hateworthy. We’re all a hate group, and you’re not obnoxious Joseph O Polanco, who was banned several months ago. Bye.

        • RichardSRussell

          Oh, look. Another surprise.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          A circle is circular; a sphere is spherical.

          Should we give you a pass because English isn’t your first language? Or was this just a mental misfire?

        • Shinjitsu

          And then we have Webster:

          “a round [that is, circular] body.” (Bracket mine.)

        • Shinjitsu

          I don’t follow. How did the healthful stipulations found in the ancient Mosaic Law – quarantining of the contagious, the importance of cleanliness, the proper disposal of dead bodies and wastes, etc., etc. – cause preventable deaths instead of preventing them? Can you give me some concrete examples?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Wait–did the Bible have a goal of passing along health information previously unknown to that culture or not?

          far, far ahead of any scientific discoveries of the same.

          Prove it.

        • Shinjitsu

          Jehovah God, like any adoring father, looked after the well being of his people and taught them what they needed to know to stay healthy and safe.

        • adam

          Prove it.
          Fischer’s
          7 rules of thumb for historians:

          1. The burden of proof for a historical claim is always upon the one making the
          assertion.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Dude, you need to read the Old Testament first before you continue. That guy was a nasty piece of work. “Adoring father” is not the phrase that would come to mind for any objective observer.

        • Shinjitsu

          Actually, Jehovah God is “abundant in loving-kindness ,” states the Hebrew Scriptures . ( Exodus 34 :6 ) “Give thanks to Jehovah , you people , for he is good ; for his loving-kindness is to time indefinite ,” we also read . ( Psalm 118 :1 , 29 ) “God is kind toward the unthankful and wicked ,” declares Luke 6 :35 . “He makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous .” ( Matthew 5 :45 ) “Your loving-kindness , O Jehovah ,” sang the psalmist , “has filled the earth .” ( Psalm 119 :64 ) In point of fact , the Scriptures supply a multitude of accounts of precisely how Jehovah has demonstrated his loving-kindness .

          For instance, Jehovah safeguarded and also fed the Israelites during the 40 years they spent in the wilds . In the Promised Land , God Almighty furnished judges to liberate all of them from their enemies and to bring them back to true worship . As a result of Jehovah sticking with them through the good days and bad for hundreds of centuries , he could say to the nation : “With a love to time indefinite I have loved you . That is why I have drawn you with loving-kindness .”—Jeremiah 31 :3 .

          But Jehovah goes beyond just talking about forgiveness . He behaves accordingly . Jehovah employed Jeremiah to exhort : “Do return , O renegade Israel . . . I shall not have my face drop angrily upon you people . . . I shall not stay resentful to time indefinite .” ( Jeremiah 3 :12 ) God will not feel protracted wrath or even acrimony towards any one of his people whom he has forgiven . Much rather , even though a wrong is committed , Jehovah desires to mend the injured relationship . In spite of the sins one commits against him , as long as that sinner honestly repents and also strives for God’s forgiveness , Jehovah will certainly ‘bring him back’ to His favor and blessing . ( Jeremiah 15 :19 )

          Consider the example of King David of ancient Israel , who sang : “Jehovah is forgiving all your error , he is healing all your maladies .” How David must have esteemed being shown forgiveness for his sin with Bath-sheba and for murdering her spouse . He extolled Jehovah , declaring : “As the heavens are higher than the earth , his loving-kindness is superior toward those fearing him .” ( Psalm 103 :3 , 11 )

        • Shinjitsu
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Been there. Slapped that argument silly.

        • Shinjitsu

          Where?

        • Shinjitsu

          You claimed that, “Leviticus [] (Lev 15) also suggests giving pigeons as a remedy.” Hence my question: “As a cure for what?”

        • Kodie

          Are you too lazy to read it yourself?
          In summary it says blah blah discharge, clay pots touched must be broken, everything and everyone the man or woman touches must be bathed, and will be unclean until evening. Counting 7 days from the evening of the ritual bathing, one will be ceremonially clean; then on the 8th day, he or she has to bring two pigeons to a priest, one for a sin offering and one for a burnt offering,

          That doesn’t sound so much as a cure as a superstitious ritual sacrifice to thank god for not killing them within the 7 days. It all sounds pretty superstitious, except that bathing is generally a good idea (if you use soap, especially). They are overly cautious about the spit and not being considered clean until the sun goes down. It doesn’t sound like they have any idea how illnesses spread, but they hit upon a little solution like washing. They don’t know how that works, so they use it for everything, and then give the priest pigeons.

        • Shinjitsu

          Hostile much?

        • Kodie

          Nope. Why do you answer all my comments in 2-3 new comments? Why can’t you right-click Lev 15 and google the whole chapter instead of asking what the pigeons are for? So far, you haven’t earned any respect from me, and my patience for you is declining sharply.

        • Shinjitsu

          As far as I can recall, I didn’t ask you for anything so you’re free to leave this topic to others better suited for it.

        • Kodie

          If you’re not interested in reading my responses and just calling them nonsense, I suggest you unfollow me then. You act like I came here to give you a hard time, when you’re the one who’s obviously trolling to get a response. I have flagged your comments, as they are not contributing to the conversation. All you do is respond to each of my comments 3 times with a short comment that does not make any sense or relevance to the topic or the comment I’ve made. You are incredulous about evolution but you have offered nothing, plus you’re arrogant about how little you know. On a school break or did you get expelled?

        • Shinjitsu

          You’re not making sense. How does any of that answer my simple query?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Science is playing catch up with the Bible:

          Isaiah 40:22 already explicated thousands of years ago that our planet was round, not flat.

          You’re funny! Thanks for lightening the mood.

          Nope, Is. 40:22 talks about a circle. Like a flat thing.

          You say that they meant a sphere? Wrong again. Look at Is. 22:18: “He will roll you up tightly like a ball.” Yes, they had a word for sphere.

        • Shinjitsu

          So you’re saying the Earth isn’t circular?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Uh, yes. Is this a trick question?

        • Shinjitsu

          Hence:

          “It is he that sitteth upon the globe of the earth.” -Isaiah 40:22 (Douay-Rheims Bible)

          “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,…. Or, “the globe (z)” of it; for the earth is spherical or globular: not a flat plain, but round, hung as a ball in the air.” -Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

        • adam

          Let’s move to a bigger failure

          Isaiah 45
          7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. KJV

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You just have a lot of time on your hands? Anxious about being alone so you want some company?

          They had a word for circle and for sphere, and the author of that part of Isaiah used the word for “circle.”

          Not much cause to brag about your book’s scientific accuracy, I’m afraid.

        • Shinjitsu

          Projecting much?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Frustrated much.

        • Shinjitsu
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          As for the Bible being ahead of science about health, guess again. The Bible has weird superstitions about what causes disease, how to prevent it, and so on.

          The last one is particularly hilarious–God is grossed out by poop?

          I hear you. It is pretty gross. But you’d think that God being enlightened would be above such things. I mean, that’s what we do. He oughta know–he made us that way.

        • Shinjitsu

          Prove it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Snap! You make the claim and then you spin things around so that I have the burden of proof!

          Nicely played, sir.

        • Shinjitsu

          Does that mean you have no empirical evidence for your claim that, “The Bible has weird superstitions about what causes disease, how to prevent it, and so on”?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No, it means that I’d like to see you back up your claim.

          Sorry–I thought my meaning came through the sarcasm quite clearly.

        • Shinjitsu

          Then what is your evidence?

        • MNb

          Thus asks woomeister Shinjitsu who doesn’t think it necessary to provide evidence for the interaction between his personal immaterial not-so-Intelligent Designer and the material world – here he is satisfied with oogity-boogity.

        • Shinjitsu

          Do you honestly believe feces does not transmit infectious diseases? You mean to say you don’t use a toilet or wash your hands after relieving yourself?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, it transmits disease. Yes, I wash my hands.

          Too bad the Bible didn’t give the same advice.

          The point I was making (as you know, since it came from a verse you cited) is not that feces is a disease vector but that “God is grossed out by poop.”

          From your own verse: “Your camp must be holy, so that [God] will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.”

          Nothing about disease. Lots about being grossed out.

        • Shinjitsu

          Yet the result was the same. God required his people to be clean which protected them from disease and infection.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Oh, so God was grossed out, just like I said, but that this happened to have a beneficial effect. Like drinking tea just happens to be a way to get clean water. What luck! Too bad God couldn’t actually give some good advice (recipe for soap, advice for siting latrines, etc.).

        • Shinjitsu

          Based on what evidence do you claim he didn’t?

        • Shinjitsu

          Examine Numbers 19 . A variety of lye-soap formulas demonstrate that , to get lye , water was poured through cinders . The water reclaimed incorporated a dilution of lye . Lye , in higher strengths , is extremely caustic as well as irritating to the epidermis . In more watered down levels , however , it is actually utilized as a superb scrub and cleaning agent . Many manufacturers nowadays still make lye cleansers . Astoundingly , via God’s inspiration , Moses directed the Israelites to make a combination which would have contained lye combined in a diluted emulsion .

          On top of that , take into account that hyssop was also included in the “water of purification .” Hyssop consist of the antibacterial and antiviral thymol . The essential oil from the cedar timber in the concoction also furnished a small skin irritant which would have encouraged scrubbing . While the scarlet wool added in wool strands thus rendering it soap . (cf. Hebrews 9 :19 )

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You didn’t read my post on soap, did you?

          And why the odd spacing in your writing now? Is your humanoid form having a hard time staying in control of your reptoid nature?

        • Shinjitsu

          “From the ancient medical papyri which have been preserved, the largest of which is the Papyrus Ebers, we know that the medical knowledge of these physicians was purely empirical, largely magical and wholly unscientific. In spite of their ample opportunities they knew next to nothing of human anatomy.”—The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Vol. IV, p. 2393.

          Apart from nearly all of the indications present in the Papyrus Ebers being absolutely worthless , a majority were actually downright lethal . This is particularly true of treatments that involved the utilization of human or even animal feces . To cure the lesions lingering after scabs had fallen off , excrement from a human , a scribe , integrated completely with fresh milk , was to be applied as a poultice . One particular treatment for removing splinters involved : “Worms’ blood , cook and crush in Oil ; Mole , kill , cook , and drain in Oil ; Ass’s dung , mix in Fresh Milk . Apply to the opening .” The application of dung in this manner , instead of providing relief , would trigger an assortment of severe infections , such as tetanus or lockjaw .

          This is certainly noteworthy due to the fact Moses was brought up in Egypt and was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians .” ( Acts 7 :22 ) Yet the information he outlined at Deuteronomy 23 :12 , 13 , by way of example , are absolutely free from the mistaken—in fact , harmful—medical routines of Egypt . In accordance with divine guidance , in ancient Israel human excrement was to be regarded as unhygienic , to be interned faraway from populous regions as well as drinking water supplies . This strategy , needless to say , is actually endorsed by the medical field as an extremely important prophylactic measure in the fight against infectious diseases.

          But the Bible was first and, as you’ve already seen, way, way ahead of its time.

        • Norm Donnan

          Ha progress,you mean catching up on fact is progress.
          Why dont you ask me for a 65mil yo fly and moth in amber for an example of “evolution”,guess what,thay look just like a fly and moth.Thats evolution for you.

        • Kodie

          You have no idea what evolution is.

        • MNb

          Correction: he doesn’t want to have any idea what evolution is. I should know better than giving him links – he won’t read them for sure.

        • Itarion

          Have you heard of the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? The same applies to evolution. If a given species has no trouble with survival, there is no evolutionary pressure, and so no specieswide change will occur. Thus, a 65 myo fly can look exactly like a modern fly because, lets face it, shit is pretty much shit, and you can find that shit anywhere.

          Alternatively, while the gross appearance of a fly might be unchanged, the physical capabilities of the species as a whole may have increased dramatically, in terms of top speed, twitch-reflex reaction times, digestion efficiency, and similar. Again, without changing the overall appearance and structure of the organism.

          Finally, as an exercise, I would like for you to explain to me dog breeding, without recourse to the basic tenets of evolutionary theory.

        • Shinjitsu

          You are engaging in equivocation, a deceitful rhetorical tactic since The General Theory of Evolution is “The theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.”- Gerald Kerkut – ”Implications of Evolution” (Oxford: Pergamon)

        • Itarion

          Excellent. Umm. There’s so much wrong there that I don’t even know where to start, so let’s start with the book that you have chosen to quote. I suppose is should approve that at the very least you have gotten a book by a biologist, so thanks for that. However, a book published in 1960 no longer has any sort of relevance in the modern world. This book is old enough to be considered a collector’s item, rated at age “vintage”.

          Second, let’s consider the definition of evolution that you have selected. As far as I know and can find with a quick Google search, this idea appears to have not caught on in major scientific circles, though it has been used verbatim on quite a few Creationist sites. Probably because a biologist once said that it hasn’t been proven, so it’s easier to attack. However, one man naming it doesn’t make it sound science, and further, it has been some 50 odd years since Kerkut said that what he named the “General Theory of Evolution” has yet to be supported. Beyond that, this “Greater Theory” is currently called abiogenesis, and is a different problem from evolution proper, the change of species into new species, which Kerkut names “The special Theory of Evolution”, and of which he goes on to say “[it] can be demonstrated in certain cases by experiments.” [Kerkut, Implications of Evolution, p157]

          My adherence to proper scientific terminology of modern times is not equivocation in the case that you fail to do so, and thus misunderstand what it is that I am saying. The [incorrect] definition that you choose to utilize sets you at a disadvantage by your own selection, rather than my intentionally putting you at a disadvantage by selection of verbiage with various definitions which are made unclear by the surrounding context of the argument.

          In summary, [or TL;DR] Your book is too old to be meaningful, your book accepts evolution proper, but you have intentionally selected a different definition of “evolution” that the author is unsure of, and thinks that further research must be done on. Thirdly, you didn’t read this comment in which I explain myself. And finally, your accusation of equivocation is fundamentally flawed, because you, and you only, are working with outdated and incorrect terminology.

        • Shinjitsu

          So your claim is that evolution is NOT “The theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form”? In other words, are you saying molecule-to-man evolution is false?

        • Itarion

          No. What I am saying is that “molecule to man” evolution is an unavoidable result of current evolutionary theory, which is that species undergo changes due to environmental pressures, which causes them to gradually separate from other species. Run in reverse, it becomes clear that this model predicts that all life originated from one or more point sources, but that origination is NOT the heart of the theory itself.

        • Shinjitsu

          So it is evolution … but it isn’t … clear as mud, thanks!

        • Itarion

          If you can’t follow the argument, don’t get involved.

          1)Evolutionary theory states that species are becoming more numerous and on average more complex as time progresses.

          2) Since they are getting more complex as time moves foreward, as time is moved in reverse, species will generally simplify.

          3)Since there is a finite quantity of complexity in the biological world, there is a limitation to the historical simplicity of life, meaning that life had to have a start.

          Thus, abiogenesis is predicted by evolutionary theory, in that the generally accepted model of evolution requires that there be an originating point for life.

        • Shinjitsu

          Great! Has it been proven?

        • Itarion

          Define “it”, and also “proven”.

          For it, the current evolutionary theory, it has held usable as an explanatory and predictive model for a vast quantity of data, and meshes well explanatory and predictive models from other fields, which is the highest test that a scientific theory can be given.

          For it, abiogenesis, yes and no. It had to have happened, because there was a time when Earth had no life, and now it does. That said, biologists have no working model for how life first arose on the planet.

        • Shinjitsu

          It: Your claim.

          Proven: Shown to be a factual and true description of reality.

        • Shinjitsu

          How do you and/or biologists know conclusively, then, that life did not arise on our planet through the actions of a Creator?

        • Itarion

          The definitions of “Creator” used variously throughout history have been vague and generally conflicting, which leads me to believe that there is no single creator. Since every creator claims to be the only, they cannot exist together, and so cannot exist.

          Moreover, “Creator” is defied by Ockham’s Razor, which states something like the more complex a theory, the better it’s explanatory power had better be. Religions have generally been shown to have very little explanatory or predictive power in the physical world, despite the infinite complexity required by the infinite Creatorbeing that they require.

        • Shinjitsu

          To what “vague and generally conflicting” definitions are you referring to? Can you give me some concrete examples?

        • Itarion

          No, I really can’t, because there ARE no concrete definitions of your god.

          Let me put it to you this way. There are tens of thousands of Christian denominations, all of which have some disagreeance over some facet of what is or isn’t God. And ALL of them claim that they are right, and the others are all wrong. Rather than pick, or choose, or toss a dart at a list, I think that they’re all right about the others being wrong. I also think that they’re all wrong about being right.

        • Shinjitsu

          “The vulgar modern argument used against religion, and lately against common decency, would be absolutely fatal to any idea of liberty. It is perpetually said that because there are a hundred religions claiming to be true, it is therefore impossible that one of them should really be true.

          The argument would appear on the face of it to be illogical, if anyone nowadays troubled about logic. It would be as reasonable to say that because some people thought the earth was flat, and others (rather less incorrectly) imagined it was round, and because anybody is free to say that it is triangular or hexagonal, or a rhomboid, therefore it has no shape at all; or its shape can never be discovered; and, anyhow, modern science must be wrong in saying it is an oblate spheroid. The world must be some shape, and it must be that shape and no other; and it is not self-evident that nobody can possibly hit on the right one.

          What so obviously applies to the material shape of the world equally applies to the moral shape of the universe. The man who describes it may not be right, but it is no argument against his rightness that a number of other people must be wrong.”

          ― G.K. Chesterton

        • Itarion

          I would have sworn that we were going to knock it off with the quotes. If you won’t bother with setting YOUR thoughts on the table, I see no reason to field any of my own.

        • Shinjitsu
        • Itarion

          I suppose you will here attempt to convince me that there is one god, and you have the truth of him?

        • Shinjitsu

          What if, like Galileo and his position on the correct arrangement of our solar system, this were true?

        • Itarion

          Then, like Galileo, you would have to offer support to your argument in order for me to believe it.

        • Shinjitsu

          But see, while Science can sometimes explain how it cannot explain why. For that we need the Holy Bible.By way of example , only God Almighty can satisfy such nagging uncertainties as the following : Precisely why is there a universe to begin with? Exactly why does our world possess a profusion of life , among them intelligent life? If God Almighty truly is almighty , for what reason does he allow evil as well as suffering to exist? And is there hope beyond the tomb?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Seriously? You’re asking if a scientific theory has been proven?

          Scientific theories are never proven. Get a clue.

        • Shinjitsu

          Then why have faith in them or the scientific process if they’re bereft of proof?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s the best we’ve got. Proof would be great. Don’t have it. We’ll have to make do with very good evidence.

          I have no faith in anything. Trust, however, I have.

        • Shinjitsu

          You could always think for yourself …

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You mix two different disciplines, and it’ll get muddy.

        • Shinjitsu

          Small problem:

          “We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality.” -Eric Bapteste

          “The tree of life is being politely buried, we all know that. What’s less accepted is that our whole fundamental view of biology needs to change.” -Michael Rose

          “Life appears to have had many origins. The base of the universal tree of life appears not to have been a single root. [] The traditional version of the theory of common descent apparently does not apply to kingdoms as presently recognized. It probably does not apply to many, if not all, phyla, and possibly also not to many classes within the phyla.” -Malcolm S. Gordon

        • Kodie

          I think you overstate your confidence in overturning evolution – these are, from what I can tell, concepts currently being hypothesized and researched that will expand our understanding of evolution, not undermine or overthrow it – IF they turn out to be correct.

          http://ncse.com/creationism/analysis/malcolm-gordon-1

          Scientists can be skeptical about a single universal common ancestor and accept universal common ancestry.

          From what I can tell from the other two proposals, this may be a small concession by ID cdesign proponentsists. It resembles evolution but threatens strongly to overturn perceived “dogma”. If evolution the way we understand it is straight up not true, actual biologists will be eager to be the one to break through with a new idea – IF it is true.

          By portraying evolutionary science or theory as “dogma,” it loses points in its favor, so I remain skeptical. It’s a “small problem” for whom that some people are coming up with different ideas? So far, no evidence. It’s not a problem either way if it turns out to be more correct than evolution, or if it is bullshit like ID. I am not the one to read a few articles and decide, but it is not a problem of any size for science either way.

        • Shinjitsu

          But see there’s nothing to overturn. The myth of molecules-to-man evolution is just that, myth. It certainly isn’t demonstrable , quantifiable , empirical , falsifiable , testable , replicable Science.

        • Kodie

          Prove it.

        • Shinjitsu

          The myth “that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form” is shorn of any demonstrable , quantifiable , empirical , testable or replicable evidence . The reasoning here is this requires millions upon millions of years – which absolutely no one has actually observed since , well , it needs millions upon millions of years. Nevertheless the fossil record , which ought to demonstrate a string of infinitesimally progressive adjustments from one being to another over a course of millions of years , reveals the complete opposite . . . but it’s anticipated that ( one day , someday ) the “missing” fossils of those intermediate species are going to eventually be discovered . In short , the only evidence for evolution is the presumption of evolution . If that’s not lunatic fringe circular thinking , just what is ?

        • Kodie

          Ok, gotcha. You’re too stupid to understand how we can know such a thing, so you call it crazy. Thank you for demonstrating confirmation bias to the rest of the class.

        • Shinjitsu

          And thank you for proving, once again, that Atheism is in fact a hate group.

        • Kodie

          Is that why you came here with a chip on your shoulder and a sack full of nonsense?

          Bye.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You know that Michael Behe has no problem with common descent, right?

        • Shinjitsu

          And I am a Christian, not a Beheian. Christ Jesus has a problem with the myth of common descent and, thus, so do I.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Where did Jesus reject evolution?

        • Shinjitsu

          See Matthew 19:4-6; cf. Genesis 1:27; 5:2.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Random verses. Nope, evolution isn’t mentioned there.

        • Shinjitsu

          Wait. So you believe in God Almighty’s existence? I thought you were a rabid Atheist …

        • Shinjitsu

          How are Christ’s declarations, then, compatible with the TOE?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’d do yourself a big favor if you got your information from sources other than Creationist sites. Trotting that stuff out here just kinda makes you look like an idiot, sorry. Go back and get proper ammunition.

        • Shinjitsu

          You’re not making sense. How does any of this dispel the arguments presented or the facts that support them?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Not at all. It was a metacomment. Just advice. Sounds like you want to leave it rather than take it.

        • MNb

          You’re wrong. Here are some candidates for you:

          http://www.provingthenegative.com/2008/09/current-theories-of-abiogenesis.html

          Give it enough time and the scientific method will weed it out.

          “If that’s not lunatic fringe circular thinking , just what is ?”
          The answer is simple: either you’re a liar or your ignorant or you’re both.
          Never heard of Tiktaalik? The lung fish? The fossil record of the whale and the horse? There is an abundance of transitional fossils.

        • Shinjitsu

          Actually, as many, many reputed scientists in many, many different fields have confirmed through evidence, gradualism is a canard. That it has no support in the fossil record is the fundamental reason why they had to invent PE (a really, really bad euphemism for special creation by God Almighty). It’s all apophenia inbred with confirmation bias. That you somnambulistically gloss over this fact doesn’t change it or make it go away.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          noctambulantly

          Dear Lord–it is Joseph Q. Polanco!

        • purr

          JOP inspired two of my nyms. “Jejune” and “osiote”. My current m.o. is to take the hilarious misspellings of pretentious posters and use them for my nyms.

          I won’t be honoring norm in this way however. He’s just *too* dumb.

        • Kodie

          It was ‘veridicality’ that made me suspicious and ‘effectuate’ that blew his cover. Repeating posts, answering posts with more than one answer quickly, and squirming out of answering direct questions by answering them with irrelevant and repetitive questions, and mostly being a prick if you can’t “keep up” with his tangential comments, general avoidance of confronting what’s been told to him by going back around past it, and then complaining about people getting impatient with his slimy tricks. Google search something kind of wordy and pat, and you find identical posts on other pages under the name J Polanco (found in the page source now), later changed to J. P.

          It definitely is him.

          Edit: Google search “It’s all apophenia inbred with confirmation bias.”

          http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/foundational-falsehoods-of-creationism/#comment-919236644

          Screenshots also taken.

        • MNb

          ” as many, many reputed scientists in many, many different fields”
          Yeah – you need this antidote as well.

          http://ncse.com/taking-action/project-steve
          You’re sucking those “many, many reputed scientists” straight out of your big fat thumb.

        • Shinjitsu

          “Instead of finding the gradual unfolding of life,” say evolutionary paleontologists like David M. Raup, “what geologists of Darwin’s time, and geologists of the present day actually find is a highly uneven or jerky record; that is, species appear in the sequence very suddenly, show little or no change during their existence in the record, then abruptly go out of the record.”

        • Shinjitsu

          “The fossil record – in defiance of Darwin’s whole idea of gradual change – often makes great leaps from one form to the next. Far from the display of intermediates to be expected from slow advance through natural selection many species appear without warning, persist in fixed form and disappear, leaving no descendants. Geology assuredly does not reveal any finely graduated organic chain, and this is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against the theory of evolution.” (Almost Like a Whale, p. 252)

        • Shinjitsu

          “If life had evolved into its wondrous profusion of creatures little by little, Dr. Eldredge argues, then one would expect to find fossils of transitional creatures which were a bit like what went before them and a bit like what came after. But no one has yet found any evidence of such transitional creatures. This oddity has been attributed to gaps in the fossil record which gradualists expected to fill when rock strata of the proper age had been found. In the last decade, however, geologists have found rock layers of all divisions of the last 500 million years and ** no transitional forms ** were contained in them. If it is not the fossil record which is incomplete then it must be the theory.” (The Guardian Weekly)

        • Shinjitsu

          “”Gradualism” when implied to mean a constant rate of evolutionary change, is indeed false.” – Dr. Andy Schueler, Molecular Evolutionary Biologist.

        • Kodie

          http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/foundational-falsehoods-of-creationism/#comment-919236644

          Don’t think I didn’t take screenshots of all the links to compare with your posts on this page (also screenshot), and page sources next to those posts that were all authored by Joseph O Polanco, aka J Polanco, aka J. P.

        • Kodie
        • Pofarmer

          You sir, are a misseducated moron. I feel better now.

        • Shinjitsu

          Oh and I want to thank you for proving, once again, that Atheism is in fact a hate group.

        • Kodie
        • Itarion

          Steven Schafersman, Ph.D. on your quotes:

          On Eric Baptiste: “Absolutely false. The tree of life is a metaphor for an underlying reality: the common ancestry of all life.”

          On Michael Rose: “False and an exaggeration. The tree of life is being modified, not buried. Our fundamental view of biology does not need to change any more than it has changed over the decades. It has always been changing and will continue to change gradually as new information appears.”

          More of his statements, and the statements of a variety of evolutionary scientists can be found here

          The Malcolm S Gordon quote appears to merely misleading to you. As I said, “This model predicts that all life originates from one or more point sources.” Emphasis here added to make the point that multiple origin sources of life does not render evolution false.

          Finally, a statement about the nature of science. Inaccurate theories are not useless. They can be and often are refined when new information comes forth, but the old models are not then absolutely wrong and useless, just overly simple, but still useful within the right context.

        • Shinjitsu

          Do you have anything more than just hearsay?

        • Itarion

          I have as much more than hearsay as you do. You give me quotes, I give you quotes, I see no problems here.

        • Shinjitsu

          Which gets us nowhere. If you want to refute the views of the scientists I presented you’re gonna have to do better than quote dissenting scientists. You’re gonna have to actually present some evidence refuting their views.

        • Itarion

          Then give me your ideas, so that I can explain to you if, how, where, and why they are wrong as per my experience, and you can do the same for my ideas, and we leave quoting to quotables out entirely.

        • Shinjitsu

          Except that neither of us hold PhDs in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, cosmology, quantum mechanics, etc., etc., which is why we have to rely on the scientific findings of said researchers.

          At the very least, the fact that reputable, mainstream scientists contest the TOE should make it obvious that it’s not as ironclad as you seem to think it is.

        • Itarion

          Alternatively, there is a difference between the Theory of Evolution and the related concept of the Tree of Life, which is merely a map of all species. One group, of course, seems to think that the Tree is no longer useful, because it is an inaccurate depiction of the world. On the other hand, it is still fairly accurate, and certainly MORE accurate than what is put out by the Creationist “side” of the “argument”.

        • Shinjitsu

          So the TOL is not part and parcel of the TOE?

        • Itarion

          No, the TOL is an attraction at Disneyworld.

          Also, the Tree of Life is a construct created by Darwin to describe speciation, and is one representation of the results of the Theory within the bounds of Planet Earth.

        • Shinjitsu

          So if it was created by Darwin how is it not part and parcel of the TOE?

        • Kodie

          You are the banned Joseph Polanco.

        • Itarion

          Due to an absence of ancestor worship. All scientists who have ever lived on Earth have been human, and thus fallible. Even Einstein made mistakes, due to incomplete knowledge.

          The Tree of Life is a representation of evolution theory, and as such is not the same as evolution theory, in the same way that a rock is not a picture of a rock. In the same was as abiogenesis, the Tree of Life is an apparent result of the Theory of Evolution. The theory itself is merely a statement about how the world works.

        • Shinjitsu

          You lost me. How does this answer my query?

        • Itarion

          Created by Darwin =/= Evolution.

          It’s rather a bit like squares and rectangles. Squares are all rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. All of evolutionary theory was originated by Darwin, but not all things originated by Darwin are evolutionary theory. Although to say that evolution is all Darwin’s is to neglect such people as Gregor Mendel.

          The point, more generally, is that theories can and do get adjusted over time, so what used to fit might not anymore. If the ToL is one of them, it doesn’t render evolution moot. Beyond even THAT, tools that are inaccurate rather than actually wrong can STILL be used and work, if the work being done is general enough.

        • Shinjitsu

          Huh? I don’t follow since a quadrilateral whose sides are orthogonal and equidimensional is NEVER a rectangle but always a square.

        • Itarion

          Not true. A quadrilateral with orthogonal sides is always a rectangle, regardless of the dimensionality of its edges. The definition of rectangle is unconcerned with the length of its edges, in the same way that a rhombus is unconcerned with the angle between sides. A square is a shape that is both a rectangle and a rhombus, and so is always both, though neither a rectangle or a rhombus is always a square.

          https://www.math.okstate.edu/geoset/Projects/Ideas/Images/BonnieYX.gif

        • Shinjitsu

          So what you’re saying is that all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares?

        • Itarion

          Precisely. In the same manner as this, all of Evolutionary Theory stems from Darwin, but not all of what stems from Darwin is Evolutionary Theory. Bringing it back around, there is a lot of the material in On the Origin of Species that is inaccurate and generally wrong, but near enough to the point to have been applicable at one time. Thus, the ToL, while part of what Darwin wrote, is not an integral and necessary part of evolutionary theory, but an attempt at demonstrating such.

        • Shinjitsu

          You lost me again. How is an accurate portrayal of evolutionary theory not part and parcel of the TOE?

        • Itarion

          I really don’t know how else to explain this.

          It has to do with the difference between a representation of a thing, and the thing itself. This is tough enough to distinguish for physical objects, but mental constructs just makes the whole mess that much worse.

          I have attached an image. The text translates to “This is not a pipe.” When you understand what the artist meant by that, you will understand why the Tree of Life is not the Theory of Evolution.

          http://uploads7.wikipaintings.org/images/rene-magritte/the-treachery-of-images-this-is-not-a-pipe-1948(2).jpg

        • Shinjitsu

          And just what advancements would we never have attained if not for the molecules-to-man theory of evolution? Can you give some specific examples?

        • Itarion

          Genetic engineering is a field of advancement that follows from evolutionary theory.

        • Shinjitsu

          How so?

        • Itarion

          The genes. The change in the genes resulting in a change in the animal, plant, or other. Genetics is an integral part of evolution – not necessarily as DNA, but as a biological data storage – and the manipulation of genes to change the resultant organism stems directly from an understanding of the mechanism of evolution.

        • Shinjitsu

          But how does this fit with molecules-to-man evolutionary theory?

        • Itarion

          “molecules-to-man” is a very specific track of evolutionary history, and I fail to see why it is so much more important that evolution taken as a whole.

          Beyond that, molecules to man is a very large step, and smacks of buzzwords that intentionally cloud the conversation.

        • Shinjitsu

          I don’t follow. How does this answer my query?

        • Itarion

          It doesn’t, it is an attempt to explain why your query is wrong.

          Molecules-to-man is not evolutionary theory. It is a result of evolutionary processes and explained by theory. Theory explains how it happened, and also has explanations and applications in all of the fields I named.

          This question you asked shows your flawed understanding of what evolutionary theory is, a flaw which I am attempting to address.

        • Shinjitsu

          Do you have any other examples or just the one?

        • Itarion

          “Is that it?” Really? Have you no idea the scale of what “genetic engineering” encompasses? But even so.

          There are applications of ET in physiology, in animal breeding, epidemiology, and treatment of infectious diseases. Vaccines and antibiotics. It has real-world applications, if that’s what you mean to ask.

        • Shinjitsu

          No, it’s not. I’m referring to molecules-to-man evolutionary theory. None of the fields you mentioned are contingent on it and, yet, have progressed noticeably.

        • Itarion

          Molecules-to-man is just a small part of evolution. The whole, which is gradual change in successive generations, has repercussions in all of the fields I mentioned. These fields have progressed because people understand these relationships between fields.

          That you do not is more telling of yourself than the connections you do not see.

        • Shinjitsu

          How is the “molecules-to-man” denomination not synonymous with “gradual change in successive generations”?

        • Itarion

          Because it is a subset. See rectangles and squares.

        • Shinjitsu

          And just what is it you think Creationists are putting out as their side of the argument?

        • Itarion

          Umm… Creationism. The idea that it was a supernatural godfigure that created the world and all life, rather than all-natural processes.

        • Shinjitsu

          And what empirical evidence proved to you that God Almighty does not nor cannot exist?

        • Itarion

          And this is why I fall under the category of agnostic, besides being atheist. I don’t know, but I don’t think that it’s worth my time. It is not that there is direct evidence for the absence of a god, but more that reality is adequately explained without recourse to the divine.

        • Shinjitsu

          Does this mean, then, that you’ve found factual answers to questions like: Precisely why is there a universe to begin with? Exactly why does our world possess a profusion of life , among them intelligent life? If God Almighty truly is almighty , for what reason does he allow evil as well as suffering to exist? And is there hope beyond the tomb?

        • Itarion

          Agnostic, from a- meaning without and gnosis meaning knowledge. Lit. without knowing, or one who does not know.

          Perhaps my phrasing could better suit my intent as “reality can be adequately explained without recourse to the divine.”

          Of course, this is all beside the point, since “I don’t know” or “that question is meaningless” are both acceptable answers.

        • Shinjitsu

          Why do you feel these transcendental questions are so meaningless?

        • Itarion

          Because having or not having an answer does not change the way I live my life.

        • MNb

          Goddidid. Because the creationist wears blinkers. There is nothing more to it.

        • Shinjitsu

          Actually, if exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate designs and systems present in nature ( Biomimetics ) then much more the original being replicated. Creation is thus proof of a Creator.

        • MNb

          Here we go again. Those “reputable mainstream scientists” are fringe. Few have studied biology. You can’t bring up more than this list:

          http://ncse.com/taking-action/project-steve
          None of your fringe scientists has brought up any empirical evidence against Evolution Theory.

        • Shinjitsu

          And no evolutionary scientist has ever brought up any empirical evidence for molecules-to-man evolution.

        • Shinjitsu

          How does “multiple origin sources of life does not render evolution false”? That is to say, how do multiple, mindbogglingly impossible happy accidents not utterly refute molecules-to-man evolutionary theory?

        • Kodie

          How do they utterly refute evolution?

        • Shinjitsu

          Because multiple, mindbogglingly impossible happy accidents are the stuff of fiction, not reality.

        • Itarion

          “We don’t have mistakes, we have happy accidents.” -Bob Ross

          Non-sequitur aside, I would like to introduce to you a couple of concepts.

          First, there is the infinitesimal: a quantity which, on it’s own is so unbelievably small as to be essentially equal to zero.

          Second, there is infinitude: When something is present in such vast numbers as to be literally innumerable.

          Third, there is multiplication. I’m fairly certain that you already know multiplication, but have never thought about multiplying very nearly zero by an incomprehensible scale.

          When you multiply a small, nonzero – even one in a quintillion chance – probability by an incomprehensibly large number, you are left with a finite, real, quantity.

          To the point, then. Multiple mindbogglingly impossible events render evolution NO MORE impossible than one of said events.

          Of course, chemical reactions are NOT impossible. If it can be written by the standard rules for chemical equations, then it can happen in the real world. That not all events happen follows from the probability of chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, but virtually all reactions can happen, and under the right circumstances, WILL happen. It would just take a lot of time, and a lot of energy. Maybe a couple billion years, and a massive thermonuclear furnace.

        • Shinjitsu

          It appears you missed the thrust of my rejoinder. The arrangements of numerous interrelated constituent parts or elements in a string of steps adhered to in a consistent clear-cut order to effectuate a task , purpose , goal or operation ( ordered complexity ) always betrays the existence of an intelligent mind . It’s what makes a specific signal, for instance, instantly recognizable from random white noise . (That’s why SETI scours the universe for radio signals.)

          So you see, trying to use “poof” ( amazing chance )% to explain the outrageously tiny compound chance of standalone events giving us a life sustaining universe is simply naked , illogical sophism .

          %“It is our contention that if ‘random’ [chance] is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws, physical, chemical and biological.” -“Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory”, Dr. Murray Eden, MIT

          “There is no chance (<10-1000) to see [evolution based on mutation and natural selection] appear spontaneously and, if it did, even less for it to remain. Thus, to conclude, we believe there is a considerable gap in the Neo-Darwinian Theory of evolution, and we believe this gap to be of such a nature that it cannot be bridged within the current conception of biology.” -“Algorithms and the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution,” Marcel P. Schutzenberger, University of Paris (Bracket mine.)

          This multiplicity of probabilities atop probabilities atop probabilities atop probabilities properly illustrates the staggering probability of our universe winding up with the optimum blend and ratios of life permitting constants by pure chance .

          Your reasoning makes it acceptable for someone who stumbles upon a copy of “Hamlet” to believe it is really the product of an infinite group of monkeys in an infinite assortment of universes banging away duplicates of texts at an infinite group of typewriters generated by yet another infinite group of monkeys in some other group of infinite universes banging away at their infinite bunch of typewriters rather than just simply concluding “Shakespeare .”

          If you hear hoof beats , why think unicorns ?

        • Itarion

          The very fact that the “no chance” claimed is a nonzero number rather leads credence to precisely the argument that I made. This infinitesimal, combined with an arbitrarily large number of worlds upon which life could have evolved means that one or more are LIKELY to have formed life. The problem of it being Earth is solved neatly by the anthropic principle, says that we would not observe worlds we cannot have evolved on, and so as long as they are there, it is reasonable that we are on this world.

          I think Shakespeare over an infinite group of monkeys because Shakespeare is a simpler explanation, and one for which we have a historical record. Of course, if you look at it a different way, both explanations are accurate, substituting apes for monkeys, and it took far less than an infinite number, but rather something on the order of 100 billion (see # of people who have ever lived). Fewer than that if you think about how many of those people couldn’t read or write.

        • Shinjitsu

          Even if veridical, your metaphysically extravagant Anthropic Philosophy, that is, “if the Universe contains an exhaustively random and infinite number of universes, then anything that can occur with non-vanishing probability will occur somewhere,” does nothing to answer the question why there is anything instead of just nothing. It just punts it further down the line.

          The existence of this supposed multiverse still cries out for an objective explanation.

          To borrow from an illustration by Philosopher Richard Taylor, “Imagine you are walking through the woods on a hike and you come across a translucent ball lying on the forest floor. You would naturally wonder where that ball came from – what is the explanation of its existence? If your hiking buddy said to you, “Don’t worry about it – it just exists, inexplicably!,” you would think either that he was crazy or that he wanted you to keep on moving. But you wouldn’t take seriously the idea that this ball just exists without any explanation of its existence.

          Now suppose that the ball, instead of being the size of a basketball, were the size of an automobile. Merely increasing the size of the ball would not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence, would it? Suppose it were the size of a house? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of a planet or a galaxy? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of the entire universe? Same problem! Merely increasing the size of the object does not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence. And so I think it is very plausible to think that everything that exists has an explanation of why it exists.” (http://bit.ly/Pm4s92)

          “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” -C.S. Lewis

          That is to say, when compared to the metaphysically extravagant Anthropic Philosophy, Theism is by far much more modest.

        • Itarion

          The point of apologetics is that you’re supposed to disguise the fact that you need help in thinking.

          First, you misunderstand the Anthropic Principle. It does not say that anything which can happen does happen, which would indeed be truly silly. Instead, we can look at the whole galaxy and say, “Is it reasonable that there is a life supporting planet here?” If there is, then there is no need to worry about why we are on the life supporting planet, because clearly we would not exist in the first place if we were not on the life supporting planet.

          That enormous quote you have is in support of the premise “Everything that exists must have an explanation for its existence.” I do not doubt that there is, in fact, an explanation for the universe, but neither is knowing why the universe exists important for existing within the universe. Moreover, I do doubt that the Universal Cause is a god of active interventions in the world, as such an entity would be
          -vast without measure, and yet also dimensionless, because it exists outside of space
          -unable to interact within time, because it exists outside of time
          -incomprehensible to humans, and as unable to comprehend humans as we are to comprehend it.

          Worshiping an entity from outside space and time might seem modest, but there are clear marks of request and demand within the Christian world, requests that would simply not be understood by such an alien entity, presuming that it is even intelligent. Thus, praying to and making demands of an entity that cannot even perceive your existence is the very height of egoism and folly.

        • Shinjitsu

          Argumentum ad hominem. Try again.

        • Itarion

          The first line, yes. But I thought it was funny.

        • Shinjitsu

          My apprehension of SAP is actually spot on: “Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP): the Universe must have those properties which allow life to develop within it at some stage in it’s history.” (The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, p. 21)

        • Itarion

          That being the Barrow and Tipler strong principle. I find that to be rather silly, unless the fundamental forces vary in strength across space.

          My apologies for not clarifying. I was referring to the Carter WAP, which states that we will observe the Universe is such that we will be able to exist, as if it did not we would not exists to know it. Furthermore, the Barrow and Tipler classifies more as a philosophical point than as a scientific one, and I tend to avoid ungrounded philosophy.

        • Shinjitsu

          Why do you feel that “knowing why the universe exists important for existing within the universe”?

        • Itarion

          Umm… Syntax, please.

        • Shinjitsu

          Based on what evidence do you conclude that “such an entity would be
          -vast without measure, and yet also dimensionless, because it exists outside of space
          -unable to interact within time, because it exists outside of time
          -incomprehensible to humans, and as unable to comprehend humans as we are to comprehend it”?

        • Itarion

          1) Based upon the definition of space. Without a set matrix in which things can exist stably, anything that does exist exists with no concrete limitations on its dimensions.

          2) This one, I’m sketchy on, but it follows from the same argument as that of space. If you exist outside of time, then you cannot move on the inside of time, because you are not within time to move.

          3) The human experience is fundamentally set within 4 dimensions, three of space, and one of time, and is thus shaped enormously by this experience. This hypothetical entity exists outside of dimensions, so it’s “experience” is “shaped” by this, assuming that there is an analog for shaping and experience.

        • Shinjitsu

          In your opinion, just what requests “would simply not be understood by such an alien entity”?

        • Itarion

          Any and all. From the most basic level, you and your needs are alien to it, as it and its needs are alien to you. there is nothing common between you for understanding to begin to happen.

        • MNb

          “The existence of this supposed multiverse still cries out for an objective explanation.”
          Which the oogity-boogity of your favourite deity doesn’t provide anyway. Non-sequiturs produced by CSL don’t change a bit here. More immodest than a god of the gaps (“Science cant’ explain this! Hence god!) s not imaginable. In the end you’re just a sophisticated Bill O’Reilly.

        • Shinjitsu

          Instead of delusions of omniscience, then, shouldn’t the fact that the sciences are not infallible nor omniscient lead you to humility rather than contemptuousness and openness rather than bigotry?

        • Itarion

          Okay, fine. But, there is a limit to how much openness that should be considered reasonable. You are welcome to your notions and are welcome to attempt to disabuse me of mine, IF I am welcome to my notions and am welcome to attempt to disabuse you of yours.

          Being not omniscient doesn’t mean that I know nothing. I know quite a bit, and can quite easily look up more. My contempt is for people who have an idea, and feel that it is automatically worth the same as all other ideas, when this is simply not the case. Explain to me why your ideas are worthwhile. I am willing to listen.

          I will explain to you why I think that MY ideas are worthwhile as well. I’m willing to talk.

        • Shinjitsu

          I accept your noble proposal :)

          To commence, if exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate designs and systems present in nature ( Biomimetics ) then much more the original being replicated. Creation is thus proof of a Creator.

        • Guest
        • Itarion

          Self-assembling machines has rendered that point fairly moot, don’t you think?

          I suppose you also have a way of explaining why there are aspects of the design that result in unintentional self-destruction of the construct? Idiotic creation is thus proof of an idiotic creator. If you want to go down that route.

          Also, let’s look for a moment at a knife. Would you say that making a sharp edged knife requires intelligence?

        • Shinjitsu

          Actually it emphasizes it. After all, did these robots program themselves or did their coded instructions originate with an intelligent mind?

        • Itarion

          Or perhaps they were given tools and a task, and the process of the task was allowed to be invented by the robots themselves. See artificial intelligence.

          Intelligence has been shown to be an emergent characteristic. An ant swarm is intelligent, after a fashion, in that it can complete complex tasks that a bunch of individuals would be unable to accomplish, and not just by size/strength considerations. Any one brain cell is not intelligent, but the sum of several billion is.

        • Shinjitsu

          Perhaps?

          Do you really think that is a persuasive and convincing argument? :)

        • Itarion

          No less persuasive than yours.

        • MNb

          Your analogy is false for an obvious reason all creationists prefer to neglect.
          The intelligent mind which originated those coded instructions were humans, ie material beings. We know who did it, which procedures they followed and which means they used.
          You are defending an immaterial being creating stuff. You haven’t any idea who he was/they were (God? Allah? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? Some Hindu gods? etc. etc.), which procedures he/they followed and which means he/they used.

        • Shinjitsu

          So just because you don’t know how something is done that means it isn’t real? How is this not an argumentum ex incredulitátem fallacy? I mean, do you honestly believe reality is at the mercy of your apprehension or lack thereof?

        • MNb

          You’re not addressing my point, stupid who thinks we are stupid. Read again. Your analogy is false for the indisputable reasons I gave above and your questions are irrelevant for this. Hence your analogy proves exactly zilch. It’s based on oogity-boogity, nothing better than Harry Potter with his magic wand.

        • Shinjitsu

          You’re not making any sense. How does any of this answer my simple queries?

        • MNb

          You’re the one who’s not making any sense, woomeister. How does anything what you write repair your false analogy?

        • Shinjitsu

          Can you give me some examples of purported “idiotic creation”?

        • Itarion

          Certainly!
          Central nervous system: Having distributed intelligence removes the possibility of severe damage completely destroying an entity.

          The heart: While fairly powerful, it being a solitary component leaves it vulnerable. The circulatory could use the same muscular motions that allow you to swallow while upside down. Peristalsis is the word.

          The throat: Why do we breath through the same hole we eat through?

          The lungs: The distributed breathing apparatus of insects is much better at preventing suffocation than our own mammalian system.

          Locomotion: Two legs is inherently unstable in 3D. At the very least 3 points of contact is required for stability.

          Obesity: Why are there systems in place that absorb fat, but none that regulate the maximum, when there are health risks involved with having too much fat on the body?

          And Neil deGrasse Tyson’s favorite example of this, a sewage line running right next to a recreational area.

          Shall I go on?

        • Shinjitsu

          You speak as if you have done better. Have you actually created a human being with a superior body plan?

        • Itarion

          I don’t think that’s a worthwhile question, since the presumed creator is much more than his hypothetical creations.

          A better question would be, “If I were to be a Creator, would I do better?” Or perhaps, “Why are there these flaws in the human body plan, if the crafter was all knowing?” For surely an all knowing creator would know of the flaws in his creation.

          My point in showing these flaws is to display the flaws that must be in any creator of these bodies. However, since your Creator is unflawed, He cannot have created us flawed individuals, as we are “in his image.”

        • Shinjitsu

          So you’re just armchair quaterbacking, huh. :)

          What’s more, while Science cannot explain why we our bodies are susceptible to genetic defects, certain illnesses and other anomalies when we have systems in place to prevent and/or defend against them, the Bible does. Would you care to learn what the Bible teaches?

        • Kodie

          Jehovah is a crock, Joseph O Polanco.

        • Itarion

          Science can and does explain this. Whole of modern medicine is based entirely in solid science, and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you bullshit.

          And no, I would not care to learn what the Bible teaches. I have no desire to base MY life around the inhibitions, restraints, and knowledge failures of a Bronze age theocracy. I have no desire to worship any god as petty as yours. I do not wish to be required to worship on pain of an eternal dying. I do not want to worship a god which tortures his most faithful servant over a celestial bar bet. I do not wish to worship a god who needs to get himself killed before he can do anything. I do not wish to worship a god who I find, frankly, small. He is small, weak, and far to much like any overpowered human.

          I will not worship such a pathetic and miserable thing as that.

        • smrnda

          Actually, it does. All you have to do to succeed from an evolutionary perspective is pass on your genes. You don’t have to be Superman to do that, you just have to make it through puberty and get a few kids.

        • Shinjitsu

          Absolutely! Masamune, for instance, was a brilliant craftsman!

        • Itarion

          Excellent. Then I shall continue. Sharp edges occur in nature. I do not think that it would be too much of a stretch to say that someone saw a sharp piece of something, say obsidian, and decided that it would make an excellent weapon. From there, knives and all forms of bladed weapons were gradually created.

          In a similar manner, water dripping at regular intervals from a stalactite would make for an excellent timekeeping device, and yet this is no crafted object. All ideas have their roots in something else, and are merely extensions of the natural world.

        • Shinjitsu

          But that wasn’t your question. You asked, “Would you say that making a sharp edged knife requires intelligence?” You’re asking about a tool designed for a specific purpose, not some random sharp thing. The design, construction and usage of tools is a hallmark of intelligence.

        • Itarion

          So, using a pre-existing sharp edge as a tool is not intelligent, but crafting a sharp edge on your own is?

          My point is illustrated poorly, I’ll admit to that, but there are things which appear to be created by intelligence that are equally and more explainable without requiring an intelligence.

        • Shinjitsu

          What systems and designs found in nature can be explained without resorting to an intelligence?

        • Itarion

          All of them.

          The shape of the world, the shape of our solar system and galaxies can be explained without intelligence.

          The ways in which elements and chemicals react with one another can be explained without intelligence.

          The features of animals and plants, fungi and bacteria can be explained without intelligence.

          And here’s the real kicker: Intelligence itself, as an aspect of biological organisms, can be explained without requiring intelligence as an input. The term used is emergent behavior

        • smrnda

          Actually, snowflakes are pretty complicated, and require no intelligence.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And crystals. And thunderstorms. And mountain ranges. And river deltas.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Science indeed isn’t infallible. But we laymen have no choice but to accept the scientific consensus as the best provisional statement of reality.

          You got something better?

        • Shinjitsu

          Why, then, do you behave as if it were in fact infallible and omniscient?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I don’t.

        • Shinjitsu
        • MNb

          Ah – here I have the answer. You are both stupid yourself and think we are stupid.
          BobS doesn’t pretend there his is infallible and omniscient.

        • Shinjitsu

          Oh and I want to thank you for proving, once again, that Atheism is in fact a hate group.

        • Kodie
        • MNb

          It’s at one hand a pity you’re banned. See, I don’t hate you. I think you’re stupid, silly and funny. I was totally ready to descend to your miserable level. It’s something we Dutch specialize at, which makes us incredibly hard to beat when some creacrapper chooses this strategy. Now I don’t have to anymore.
          Fyi: my female counterpart is a muslima. Doesn’t make much sense to hate her, don’t you think?

        • purr

          I learned how to troll from a Dutch guy. He was brilliant. I am not very funny on my own, but we made a great team. We would go around to all of the #philosophy #atheist channels on IRC and talk like Derrida, with more porn.

          Those were the days.

        • MNb

          S**t, I totally would have enjoyed reading that. I’m far from the best Dutch troller. Two tips:
          1. Don’t take things too seriously.
          2. Get politer the more your victim becomes annoyed.

        • purr

          He used to joke about how sex ed in NL involved the hiring of prostitutes to teach the kids all about sex:P

        • MNb

          There is only one way to refute the scientific consensus BobS is talking about underneath.
          Give us empirical evidence.
          You haven’t any, because the first creationist to do some actual digging or to publish on relevant lab research on say mutations still has to be born.
          That’s how science works. It doesn’t give you a free pass to add all kind of unsubstantiated oogity boogity.

        • Shinjitsu

          And “if all you have is a hammer , everything looks like a nail .” -Maslow

          Stated more explicitly , your Scientism or just Radical Positivism is an awfully parochial or small-minded philosophy of knowledge . On this opinion there is certainly absolutely nothing good or evil , right or wrong , exquisite or hideous . Even so, can it be tenable to believe that experimental truth is the one and only truth that exists ? That simply no aesthetic , moral , metaphysical or otherwise putative facts obtain ?

          Abiding by this view , for starters , the Atheist who rapes a little kid to death ( or engages in this: http://bit.ly/1bu2CrY ) is doing absolutely nothing wrong . Exactly why ought we agree to such a conclusion resulting from an epistemological limit ? Isn’t this an indication that you ought to unlock the ambit of your beliefs and incorporate all the other different types of truth that abound?

          Withal , the basic principles of Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem altogether gainsays Radical Positivism’s primary assumption . In fact , Science is suffused with assumptions that can never be scientifically verified . The epistemology of radical positivism , as a result , abrogates science itself . Take for instance , the concept of induction. It simply cannot scientifically defended . Attempting to render a conclusive inductive line of reasoning for radical positivism is ridiculous as this begs the question by presupposing the legitimacy of inductive reasoning to begin with !

          All the more devastating to your beliefs is the fact that radical positivism is self-refuting . At its heart , this pernicious conviction declares that we must not accept any concept that cannot be scientifically tested . Yet what about that very supposition ? It can’t per se be scientifically tested out much less corroborated . As a result we ought not believe it . Your trusty Radical Positivism, as a result, asphyxiates itself .

          Or alternatively , as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem made evident , ‘Whatsoever may be bounded cannot explicate itself without referring to that which is without itself – some postulate whose certainty is unobtainable .’

          This is just what famed Physicist and Mathematician James Clerk Maxwell alluded to when he came to the conclusion , “Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing . We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created .”

          Demonstrably , then , your current opposition to as well as distaste for the idea of God’s presence is not evidentiary, just philosophical . It is actually your ethos – and only your ethos – that occludes your path to your Creator’s truths .

          Having said that , the day you at long last choose to unshackle your epistemology of truth is the day the bounteous ken of God Almighty will finally be within your reach . Only then , but with terrific shock and piercing remorse , will you realize you’ve been needlessly depriving yourself and your family of truly astonishing and precious truths for all this time.

        • MNb

          That small-minded philosophy of knowledge gave you internet amongst others. Your open minded philosophy of oogity-boogity gave you nothing.
          For questions on good or evil we have ethics – outside the scope of the scientific method.
          The rest of your reaction is the usual manure. Yours smells even worse than usual.

        • Shinjitsu

          It’s true, all sound individuals rely on their innate moral awareness, their conscience. This is why, since time immemorial, even the most primitive cultures, regardless of their metaphysical values, enforced laws and regulations against homicide and various other acts of evil.

          But the truth is that, just as with our verbal communication abilities, for instance, our conscience has to be refined, calibrated, made more robust. If not, it could be stunted, or worst, perverted such that evil behavior is deemed good with good ones perceived as evil.

          Because of this, the eternal wellbeing and of course joy of mankind is inextricably bound to the objective moral values and responsibilities lovingly given to us by our Maker. Without these you have absolutely nothing to guard your conscience from becoming disoriented perhaps even corrupted.

          An exceptional instance of this can readily be observed with child soldiers. They are demonstrably much more coldblooded and ruthless when compared with their older counterparts. “More than 300,000 children—some as young as 7—are fighting as soldiers in 41 countries around the world,” said an Associated Press dispatch. Most are between the ages of 15 and 18. “Besides being used as front-line fighters, children are used to detect land mines and also as spies, porters and sex slaves, according to the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.” Drugs are often administered to make children fearless. Those who refuse drugs are killed, said a 14-year-old rebel soldier in Sierra Leone. Regarding his fighting in 1999 when he was 15, a North African youth reported: “They put all the 15- and 16-year-olds in the front line while the army retreated. I was with 40 other kids. I was fighting for 24 hours. When I saw that only three of my friends were alive, I ran back.” The Coalition’s report stated that governments recruit children because of “their very qualities as children—they can be cheap, expendable and easier to condition into fearless killing and unthinking obedience.”

          And so we arrive at the heart of our exchange. Whether or not someone possesses a conscience isn’t truly the issue. It’s if or not an individual possess a reliable one or, more to the point, if he/she honestly obeys it.

          This predicament calls to mind a very old Cherokee lore. It goes, roughly speaking, like this:

          “An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

          “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

          The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

          The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.””

          With that in mind, take into consideration what another equally wise and ancient passage reveals:

          “This is what Jehovah has said [] “I, Jehovah, am your God [Creator], the One teaching you to benefit [yourself], the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk. O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments. Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” – Isaiah 48:17,18 (Brackets mine.)

          As would any caring mother or father, our Creator, Jehovah God, is keenly interested in our well-being. To this end, he instructs us on the best ways to preserve and also make full use of the conscience he produced us with.

          To close, here’s a remarkable example of this loving guidance at work as reported in a well known intercontinental journal:

          “In Liberia, Alex served as an altar boy in the Catholic Church. But at the age of 13, he joined a warring faction and became a notorious child soldier. To make himself brave in battle, he turned to witchcraft. Alex saw many of his companions killed, but he survived. In 1997 he met Jehovah’s Witnesses and found that they did not look down on him. Rather, they helped him to learn what the Bible says about violence. Alex left the army. As his faith began to grow, he followed the Bible command: “Let him turn away from what is bad and do what is good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”—1 Peter 3:11.

          Meanwhile, a former child soldier named Samson came through the town where Alex now lived. He had been a choirboy but in 1993 became a soldier and got involved in drug abuse, spiritism, and immorality. In 1997 he was demobilized. Samson was heading for Monrovia to join a special security force when a friend persuaded him to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and as a result, he developed a Bible-based faith. This gave him the courage to abandon his warlike ways. Both Alex and Samson now live peaceful and moral lives. Could anything but Bible-based faith make changes in lives that had been so brutalized?” – http://bit.ly/18WopZ0

          Has it become apparent to you now exactly why each of us needs to scrutinize and make use of what the Bible teaches?

        • smrnda

          What word salad. Nice to know your busting out all the usual buzzwords. You should have just copied and pasted Lucky’s speech from “Waiting for godot.”

          I don’t believe in god because there is no evidence for god, nor can any evidence be produced. God, particularly as described by Christians, is an unfalsifiable hypothesis which places it totally outside the realm of empirical evidence, which makes it nothing but pure speculation.

          On morality, human beings tend to unite around a desire that our lives not suck, which is the basis for the social contract, human rights, and pretty much everything good.

          You’re also wrong to pull out Godel’s theorem as if it has some bearing on science. Mathematics is the exploration of axiomatic systems; it’s not science, because it’s not empirical at all.

          If my basic assumption is that I’m relying on empirical evidence for making conclusions about reality, that isn’t much of a daring assumption.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Deceit? I’m missing that. Please elaborate.

        • Shinjitsu

          He’s deceptively proffering dog breeding as empirical evidence of molecules-to-man evolution.

        • Kodie

          You’re deceptively Joseph O Polanco, aka J Polanco, who just today changed his “J Polanco” handle to J. P. and was banned. I think when you’re banned it means you’re not supposed to come back. You fucking slimy bastard, you think the mod can’t tell who you are?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frenchrevolution/2013/08/14/there-is-evidence-god-exists/#comment-1168376512
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frenchrevolution/2013/08/14/there-is-evidence-god-exists/#comment-1172017844

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Wrong. He’s giving the familiar example of dog breeding as something that don’t happen with evolution being, to some extent, correct.

        • Shinjitsu

          My point exactly! Thanks :)

        • Kodie
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What passes for cogent thinking and adequate research in your mind is scary. How did you get through life safely?

        • Itarion

          Luck and “caution: dangerous” signs? It worked for me so far.

        • Norm Donnan

          Hey I spend about 30min’s a day on my computer,this isnt my life like it is yours.My wife has taught science at university and she only has derogatory things to say about the thinking here and tells me to stop wasting my time.Me, I find your blog often quite interesting even funny at times so keep up the good work but you have enough supporters telling you that your right all the time that you sometimes need to hear the otherside.

        • MNb

          I’m pretty sure she didn’t teach Evolutionary Biology.

        • Norm Donnan

          No she didnt although if you watch evolution vs God you will see interviews with those who do.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Since you brought it up, let’s revisit that. How many biologists reject evolution? Give me the names.

          The list that MNb showed was scientists who reject evolution. I want biologists.

        • MNb

          There are a couple on that list; no one studied Evolution Theory and precious few published relevant stuff in scientific magazines.
          They are fringe. And kooks.

        • Kodie

          But you don’t listen to your wife because? You are not making a positive contribution here. You provide some entertainment value. If you want to contribute to the discussion, you have to bring your side of the story, and be able to have an intelligent and intelligible conversation – it’s not about whether you agree or not. It’s about what you have to say for your argument or are you just here to stand up for disagreeing? Maybe if your wife taught (what you believe to be) science, let her take over your account and let us know what fools we are with her studied and professional account of evidence to the contrary.

          You are not worth engaging with except to have fun calling you stupid. That’s not really productive or as much fun as it was at the beginning.

        • MNb

          “You provide some entertainment value.”
          Precious few creationists achieve more in my experience.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Hearing the other side is terrific. I just wish you’d step up your game. Give me something that actually makes me thing, that gives me pause.

          When you attack evolution after having learned it from evolution deniers, you do no one any favors.

        • purr

          How do you manage to tie your shoes in the morning!?

          (Or am I giving you too much credit)

        • MNb

          In the first place those flies and moths are quite different from flies and moths today. That’s evolution for you.
          In the second place Evolution Theory doesn’t exclude 65 million years old flies and moth. Then you’ll have to go with say 2 billion years.

        • Norm Donnan

          Ah no they were just the same,now thats evolution

        • Kodie

          You missed the part where environmental pressures didn’t affect flies as much so they don’t need to adapt and change as visibly to the shape of a grasshopper as you’d like. You miss a lot of the discussion just going for the troll award. Why don’t you want to learn? You say you’re open-minded, but you obviously prefer to stick with being stupid and not getting it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I think I’ll go to Norm for my science. He’s a one-stop-shopping destination for all things science.

        • MNb

          Repeatedly displaying your ignorance doesn’t make it true.

        • RichardSRussell

          Science is open to new evidence, not simply new arguments. Speaking of which, all you’ve got are arguments, and they’re not new. I’d say “nice try”, but it really wasn’t. Bring us evidence, and then we’ll take you seriously. Until then, you’re just another troll.

    • MNb

      No one was around either when your god said “Let there be light”. So what’s your problem?

      • Norm Donnan

        Actually there was M,Genesis 1v26,”God said let US make man in OUR image,after OUR likeness.”

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, I’ve cited that verse myself to make the point of early Israelite polytheism. (Christians usually know enough not to bring that one up.)

        • Norm Donnan

          No polytheism here just your misunderstanding if the trinity in particular and spiritual realm as a whole.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Misunderstanding”? Are you saying that you understand the Trinity?

          And are you telling me that the original Israelite hearers of Genesis would have interpreted “us” as the Trinity??

        • Norm Donnan

          Yes I do understand the Trinity.
          What the Israelites understood about the Trinity I dont know they understood the spirit realm.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Cool. Explain the Trinity to me. I don’t understand it.

          And, no, the Israelites had no concept of or belief in the Trinity. Obviously–otherwise, they’d be Christians.

          Genesis shows polytheism. That you want to imagine Genesis showing early clues to Christianity is a rather sad statement of the lengths you go to to ignore what’s inconvenient to prop up your supernatural preconceptions.

        • Norm Donnan

          No you carnt understand it …just yet.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m not sure that it’s me that doesn’t understand it.

        • Robert_Loblaw

          You can’t understand it yet, bob. Not until someone chants some special words and holds your head under water long enough to cause brain damage. At least, I think that’s how it’s done. Let’s ask the expert. Hey norm, Can you still feel the left half of your face?

        • MNb

          Ah – now I get it. It was the god-father who said “Let there be light” and the god-son and holy spirit who witnessed him. But because of the trinity they still are one, so they don’t count as independent witnesses.
          So once again: what’s your problem with “nobody was there to witness evolution”?

        • Norm Donnan

          Your a bit slow M.
          What dont you understand about science?
          It has to be repeatable and observable or its a theory and a poor one at that.

        • Itarion

          Close, but no. For an experiment to be considered good science, it must be clearly shown as methodical and the results must be repeatable.

          The theories of science explain the results of experiments cohesively, and predict the outcomes of future experiments. If a theory fails to do so, then it is a poor theory and gets adjusted or discarded. For examples of poor theories, see the phlogiston theory of combustion, or the four humors of medicine and related four basic elements.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Repeatable and observable? Is that why you favor Creationism?

          Make it repeat so that we can observe it.

        • Norm Donnan

          Ok take a pregnant woman as a good example…wait no thats only potential creation happening isnt it?

        • MNb

          Creation of the Universe, silly.

        • Norm Donnan

          Repeatable universe creation???

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Hey–you’re the one who says that God’s creation of the universe actually happened. Or do you not have to provide repeatable science?

        • MNb

          Of course Norm doesn’t have to. He knows. The Truth. It’s in his Bible and his personal interpretation is by definition the correct one. That gives him the right to use double standards.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yeah, I think I’d try to change the channel as well if I had no argument.

          Here’s a thought: when you say something dumb and this is pointed out, man up and admit it. I’m sure you do that in other situations. Why not here?

        • MNb

          “It has to be repeatable and observable”
          Thanks for confirming my point. Then your crea”theory” isn’t science either as the creation story is neither repeatable nor observable. What’s more there are no empirical data supporting it. What’s more there can’t be empirical data supporting it as it assumes an immaterial being.
          What’s more fossils are found (ie observed) repeatedly so evolution theory according to your own argument is a good theory.
          Finally you use a wrong definition of theory and show you understand zilch of the philosophy of science either.
          Newtonian Mechanics is also a theory, one that unlike Evolution Theory is refuted by observation (namely the Michelson-Morley experiment).
          One other point – Bill Nye made it yesterday: if you’re serious about your bogus you should reject CSI. That’s all about finding about the past based on empirical data now as well.

        • Norm Donnan

          But we are not claiming it is,it HAS been created,end of story,your the one claiming it is happening right now.
          The fossils are observed show usually identical creatures that are still around today.What they are always talking about is the missing link fossils.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Every fossil is a transitional fossil. Yeah, it’d be great if this were a problem … but it’s not. Sorry.

        • MNb

          “it HAS been created”
          Using capitals is a sign of weakness, Norm.
          How do you know? Of course – your Holy Bible says so. It was given to you by your god. Because the Bible says so.
          Irrefutable proof, Norm. Except that it is a circular argument.

          “The fossils are observed show usually identical creatures that are still around today.”
          Read some stuff written by actual evolutionary biologists, not by the fringe kooks you keep linking to. You might learn this is simply incorrect. Two excellent examples – they have been brought up before – are the records leading to the modern horse and to the modern whale.

        • Shinjitsu

          Which style of the Athanasian Creed do you happen to endorse and precisely on what basis have you assessed it as veridical and all the other versions phony ?

          1. Modalism

          2. Latin Trinitarianism
          2.1 Divine Life Stream Theories
          2.2 Relative Identity Theories

          3. Social Trinitarianism
          3.1 Functional Monotheist Social Trinitarianism
          3.2 Trinity Monotheist Social Trinitarianism
          3.3 Perichoretic Monotheist Social Trinitarianism
          3.4 Group Mind Monotheist Social Trinitarianism

          4. Mysterianism
          4.1 Negative Mysterianism
          4.2 Positive Mysterianism

        • Norm Donnan

          3.4

        • Shinjitsu

          And how do you know it to be true and all other stylings false?

        • MNb

          What do you mean with this plural? That there were other entities around besides your god? Are those entities material or immaterial? Do they have names? Where did they come from? How did they come into being? How did you get at your answers, if you have any?
          Or possibly this is an example of the pluralis majestatis, meaning that indeed nobody was there when your god said “Let there be light”?
          So once again: what’s your problem with “nobody around when evolution happened?” Note that speciation totally has been observed directly, the first time possibly by my compatriot Hugo de Vries more than 100 years ago.

    • smrnda

      Norm, I’m a (former) mathematician and a current software developer. Biology (outside of some bioinformatics software that’s in common use) isn’t my field, so I don’t decide that I, as an incompetent amateur who hasn’t taken biology since I was in high school could meaningfully attack a biological theory, and certainly not refute one in a few sentences in which the theory is straw-manned beyond all recognition.

      You might as well go on about how the continuum hypothesis MUST be provable or something.

      • Norm Donnan

        Thats true smrna thats why I trust biologists who do say evolution is not only a fairy tale but impossible scientifically.

        • Pofarmer

          That gives you a pretty short list to work with.

        • Norm Donnan

          You really need to get out more and you all would find out otherwise.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Oh, so you understand this stuff? Cool–fill us in. We sit at the feet of the master.

          Who are the biologists who think that evolution is bullshit?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So you trust the 2 or 3 biologists who say what pleases you and you reject the tens of thousands of others who say the opposite?

          Sounds like you’re looking for a happy story, not a truthful one. Not a good life philosophy, if you’ll accept my input.

        • Norm Donnan

          Thanks Bob but no,all the 10,000 are just broken records repeating what theve heard,google Evolution vs God to see a good example of youre experts.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          This brings up loads of other questions.

          Do these 10,000 “broken records” know that evolution is bullshit? Or are they just idiots? If they know it’s bullshit, why not just pull down the house of cards and get the Nobel Prize that would await such a revolutionary? If they’re idiots, why aren’t there idiots in the other fields?

          Sorry, your hypothesis sounds as stupid as your previous ones.

          And I notice that you (like always) avoided the difficult questions. Why not go back to that comment and respond thoroughly to the question about your epistemology (that is, how you come to know the truth).

        • Norm Donnan

          If I really thought you were wanting to know the truth maybe I would spend the time but youve totally convinced me you have made up your mind and wont listen to the other side, you just enjoy the debate which is fine,thats part of being an intellectual.

        • Kodie

          You’re not a credible source for the truth anyway, so if you don’t have anything substantial to contribute, why do you keep talking? You clearly want to be here, a lot. Bob spends the time every week to post challenges to Christian beliefs, and if you don’t have anything to offer in exchange, I don’t see anything productive or conducive to learning about your input.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m not sure what you’re saying here. If you’re saying, “Well, if you’re just going to be mean to me and challenge what I say, then forget it,” then I guess that’s that. You can take your ball and go home.

          Alternatively, perhaps you’ve re-evaluated your evidence, now that it’s been asked for, and found that it’s weak.

          But if you’re actually wondering if I care to hear the biologists who actively reject evolution, I do.

          I’ve been to several lectures by Jonathan Wells, one of the prominent ones. He has an asterisk by his name, however, because he has made clear that he has a religious agenda to overthrow evolution. Not much of an objective and reliable source. And, of course I know about Michael Behe. I’ve read some of his Darwin’s Black Box.

          If there are other relevant voices, I want to know about it.

        • Norm Donnan

          There is easy access to scientists who believe in creation If you really did want to know.
          So again I will suggest creation.com
          As another good example of why the ” tens of thousands of biologists” dont know about evolution google evolution vs God and you will see why they are broken records .

        • MNb
        • Norm Donnan

          Yes,Bobs always wondering who these mythical creatures are.

        • MNb

          No, he has been knowing the answer since longe – they are fringe.

        • Ron

          “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
          1 Peter 3:15

        • Norm Donnan

          Your right here Ron with the respect bit although the answer bit is about the hope in Christ not any dumb question.

        • Kodie

          Looks like you found an airtight loophole.. or a plastic bag on your head.

        • Ron
        • Kodie

          Believing fiction is truth is the problem. Why didn’t he take a train? He believes it will create a barrier between him and the cemeteries, isn’t the plane a barrier? Finally, I would like to say to you what I’d like to say to dog-owners in my neighborhood if I could catch them in the act: Dog shit in a plastic bag on the ground is still dog shit on the ground.

        • Ron

          How is a simple request to explain the method used to evaluate the legitimacy of two or more competing claims a dumb question?

          Simply responding that “you have made up your mind and wont listen to the other side” sounds like a cop-out. Defense attorneys who withheld vital evidence that could exonerate their clients because everyone attending the court proceedings has “already made up their mind and wont listen to the other side” would soon be disbarred for malpractice, don’t you think?

          If you have a case, present it for consideration.

        • Norm Donnan

          Except the verse you quoted had nothing to do with justifying an opinion.
          What I realize here is that its the freethinking atheists here that are the closed minded ones who wont listen to the other side.
          If you do want to see what and why creationists believe just google creation.com and if you want a good example of why you would be a fool to believe evolution just google evolution vs God.

        • Kodie

          Except that is all crap. It’s not “the other side”, it’s the make some stuff up to fool Norm because he’s a fool. You have demonstrated your lack of understanding what evolution actually is. Your sources have to get evolution really wrong for you to buy what they’re selling.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’re a waste of time, aren’t you? You’re not a biologist, but you’re happy to set yourself up as the Judge of Science–and you convict biology of being annoying.

          Do you pick all your beliefs based solely on whether they make you feel good? Or just scientific ones?

        • Kodie

          He’s not really choosing the side that feels good. He’s choosing to let creationists tell him what evolution is, and they can’t succeed unless they lie and misrepresent evolution. Notice he has nothing to say for his side, while we’re all trying to explain it to him so he can understand it. He’s just posting links because he can’t even express clearly what it is he believes.

        • MNb

          And that’s why Norm calls us close minded.
          Ain’t creacrap beautiful?

        • MNb

          Don’t worry, Norm. I have read stuff on AIG, ICR, DI and some more. Moreover I have read Dutch creasites, which you obviously haven’t. I am familiar with creacrap as I developed an interest in pseudoscience some 5 years ago.
          Now why don’t you google “observed speciation”?
          Of course – you don’t because you’re not close minded like we, but already know the truth.

        • Norm Donnan

          Actually M I did check out the link you gave Bob with all the examples of species changing.BORING.Everything stayed the same,it was like crossing a Labrador with a poodle and “bazzinga”a smaller dog.Thats evolution for you,or pseudoscience if you like.Sorry.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          http://lmgtfy.com/?q=speciation

          Let me google that for you.

        • MNb

          You’re right Norm – multicellular organisms appeared on Earth about 3 billion years ago. Homo Sapiens is a multicellular organism. Everything stayed the same. Boring. Speciation is meaningless. Ignorance as advocated by your personal interpretation of the Bible (what you call Truth) is everything.
          [/sarcasm]

        • Ron

          to give an answer” or to make a defense. The believer is without excuse to always be prepared to make a careful, logical defense of the Christian faith against the attacks of his enemies, showing the validity of the Gospel. We ought to be able to give a logical explanation about what we believe to the skeptical, abusive or sarcastic inquires of ill-disposed inquirers.” (Source)

          I’ll rephrase Bob’s question:

          By what metric do you evaluate the validity of two or more competing truth claims?

        • smrnda

          I haven’t met any Christians who actually seem happier than atheists that I know, so I guess it means that there’s nothing for it then? All of the Christians I meet sound like broken records.

        • MNb

          Ah yes, that’s always the easy escape route when you’re gobsmacked. At the other quite a few scientists take the effort to point out all the errors creacrappers like you make – again, again, again and again.
          I have another easy escape route for you. BobS will only be able to know and understand the truth if he accepts the truth that there is a god managing the entire shenanigan.

        • smrnda

          You haven’t proven that you’re in any way competent to judge which biologists are credible and which are not.

        • Kodie

          If you’re getting your expertise opinion on evolution from Ray Comfort, no wonder. Why don’t you care to summarize your understanding of what is true? Do you realize that Creationism uses a false representation of evolution to support itself? It relies on pointing at the “problems” of evolution by lying about what evolution is, but doesn’t demonstrate how creationism is correct.

          In the end, “EvG” is nothing but more proof of Comfort and other
          creationists’ erroneous “belief” that science is accomplished by
          producing slick materials aimed at the general public.

          This comes from a site written by a theist! What is making movies but “slick materials aimed at the general public”?

          Scientists do science, and if the computer I’m currently typing on,
          the smartphone in my pocket, the vaccines in my blood that have helped
          me ward off illness and the truck I drove to work today are any
          indication, they do it pretty well.

          The methods of inquiry that have brought us into the digital
          age are exactly the same as the ones that have convinced us of the truth
          of evolution: observation, hypothesis, experimentation and, eventually,
          theory. Comfort cannot separate them, at least he should not, if he hopes to have any kind of a coherent worldview.

          http://www.godofevolution.com/evolution-vs-god-denigrates-science-using-technology-that-science-makes-possible/

          There are other takedowns of “Evolution vs. God” on the internet, I suggest you google what intelligent people who have taken time to watch it have to say about all that’s wrong with it. It’s hardly the smoking gun evidence that we’re all wrong and you are right that you imagine delude yourself.

        • smrnda

          And YOU, apparently, are in a position to determine which biologists are right and wrong?

          You do understand if I ask 10000 people ‘what is the capital of China’ they will all sound like ‘broken records.’ Why on earth will I listen to the few dissenters who say that the capital city of China is Kowloon?

        • Norm Donnan

          If the 10000 had been taught the wrong answer then they would still be wrong,if you watch evolution vs God you will see a good example of broken record syndrome.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I bet the videos on the flat earth are compelling, too. And on geocentrism. Maybe the 4 humours theory of bodily health?

        • Norm Donnan

          Ha you are really pissed arnt you !!
          You should watch it as well,you will see yourself with a clarity you wont see in your fairytales
          So how did the debate with Mr.Nye and Ken Ham go from your perspective.
          Ken gave him a whooping from mine.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You rarely see people cheering on superstition over reality. I guess it takes all kinds.

          Bring back the Dark Ages!

        • MNb

          Wow, Norm. You’re almost a One Percenter!

          http://www.christiantoday.com/article/bill.nye.vs.ken.ham.debate.live.stream.free.watch.online.creation.vs.evolution.debate.here.start.time/35688.htm

          I more and more doubt if your wife taught actual science indeed iso some made up stuff like astrology. You don’t have the faintest idea how science works. To summarize:

          1. The vast majority of scientists accepts Evolution Theory, including the ones who specialized on the subject.
          2. You bring up some fringe guys who dispute it.
          3. You dismiss that vast majority by producing some unsubstantiated blah blah about broken records.

          That’s not nearly enough, Norm.
          How about some empirical evidence? “Flies have remained flies” doesn’t count. Observed speciation does.
          You see, Norm, if you want to play with us you have to obey the rules of science. Or you get this:

          http://sportvizier.nl/wp-content/uploads/md24580.jpg

          And if you repeat you’ll see this:

          http://www.circlesforconnection.be/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/rode-kaart1.jpg

          And then you’re out of the game.

        • Norm Donnan

          So who made you the umpire M ?
          All the scientists who this self proclaimed judge has declared “fringe” Im sure are shaking in their boots because you have shaken the red card at them.
          When someone laughs at something that you hold to be true and sacred like evolution your just going to have to toughen up a bit.
          This whole blog is to hang crap on Christianity under the guise of debate,its not open-minded.
          If you say anything contrary you get freaks like Kodie going into melt down and now your declaring do it my way or else,well gutentag M.

        • MNb

          Consensus, Norm, consensus. They are fringe because there are very few of them. Remember? There are more scientists called “Steve” who do accept Evolution Theory than scientists with all possible names who don’t.

          “sacred like evolution”
          You are lying again, Norm. In my experience that’s where all creationists end: as liars. Evolution is not sacred to me. I repeat: show me a cat fossil of 80 million years old and I’ll drop it.

          “to hang crap on Christianity”
          That’s what christians do themselves, especially Australian (it appears you’re no American) bigots like you. I’ll tell you a little secret; I wrote about the same over at Jason Rosenhouse’s blog. The vast majority of the Dutch are christians. My home country has less than 30% disbelievers. The vast majority of those Dutch christians don’t have any problem with Evolution Theory. How do you see that? Are they “No-true christians”? Are they collectively struck by blindness? Tell me, Norm.

          “now your declaring do it my way”
          Again a lie, Norm. It is not my way. It’s the scientific way.
          Ook goeiedag, Norm.

        • Kodie

          Norm is an Australian bigot.

        • MNb

          Ah – sometimes it’s hard to keep them apart.
          I corrected it. Thanks.

        • Norm Donnan

          Your understanding of the English language is about as good as mine is the Dutch,a lie is something you know not to be true.If you dont believe my wife has taught science at uni,fine ,i dont care,and Im a bigot as well.
          To me ,you being Dutch labels you as a certain personality type(my mother in laws Dutch and a harsh one at that even for a Dutchie)
          Thats why Ive asked Kodie if she has Dutch heritage, your renowned for it.
          My M in L would consider herself “Christian” although she is no more Christian than you and the fact is Creation/evolution isnt a salvation issue,and most church’s never talk about it so it never enters their mind,they just dont care.But they are believing a lie.
          Ook goeiedag Steve

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Are you saying that you’re fluent in Dutch?

        • MNb

          “,a lie is something you know not to be true”
          That’s why you were lying when you wrote

          “sacred like evolution”
          because I personally have told you this is not true and why, so I know you know it’s not true.
          When I call you a liar I prove it. You are just calling names. Because you don’t have arguments left and certainly can’t provide evidence. See the difference, Norm? Still you have the bare guts to call us closeminded. You’re a disgrace for your belief system, Norm.
          My first name is not Steve.
          Toch ook goeiedag.

        • Norm Donnan

          There is volumes of evidence Steve(not to mention common sense) but because your working from a conclusion to a conclusion you dismiss it without consideration.
          It is your belief system,unprovable so totally based on faith that is the disgrace here.
          And because you are to insecure to post under your name Steve will do ook. Goeiedag Steve.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Keep it up, Norm, and maybe with enough repeats we’ll all believe it just like you. (My suggestion: squeeze your eyes tight when you wish. Oh, and if you have any pixie dust, that helps, too.)

        • Kodie

          Volumes of evidence of what? Why don’t you present it?

          Basically all you have said is that creationism is true because evolution has been discredited by creationists. There is no evidence that creationism is true or that creationists aren’t liars and idiots.

          What other evidence do you have that creationism is true instead of evolution?

          Put up or shut up. It’s not about whether or not our minds are already made up, but whether or not you know your subject inside and out enough to make a case. You’ve been graciously presented with multiple sources, explanations, and diagrams to show you what evolution is despite what you’ve been told, and you’ve been a shitty guest about it all. Your mind is made up, why should we bother with you? Do you think how much we think you’re a buffoon is more evidence that we’re scared of what you have brought? You have disrespected the community by letting them work so hard to explain things to you and you have not, in kind, explained your evidence to us so we can have a productive discussion.

          You are just weak. All you have is to “I’m rubber, you’re glue” to people instead of answer or acknowledge their efforts to expose you to new ideas – ideas that creationists will never tell you.

        • MNb

          “There is volumes of evidence”
          How peculiar that you consistently fail to provide any of it. No, those vague links to your favourite creacrap site don’t count. Like I told you before I am familiar with almost all creacrap claims. Do you want to know how?

          http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html
          Has been on internet for eight years as well.
          What’s more – you wrote above that all Evolutionary Biologists believe in a lie. The claim that ten thousands of scholars either delude themselves or are part of a conspiracy is ridiculous, especially when realizing that several of them take the effort to answer creacrap claims – like on that site.

          “(not to mention common sense)”
          Common sense once told that whites like you and me are superior to blacks. Good luck with your delusional common sense.

          “because your working from a conclusion to a conclusion”
          Once a creacrapper begins to lie he (not often a she) sticks to his lies. As I have explained several times before – but unfortunately don’t get tired to repeat – all scientific knowledge (imo the only knowledge there is), including Evolution Theory, is the result of two objective methods: induction and deduction.

          “your belief system”
          Lie after lie after lie. I don’t have any belief system, unlike you. I don’t have faith. I accept provisionally and temporary knowledge, ie when deduction and induction produce the same results. These methods are objective. You rely on a book written by ignorants some 2500 years ago. Feel the difference, Norm?

          “because you are to insecure to post under your name Steve”
          Even your attempts to joke become lame, Norm. My name is not Steve. It’s Mark. MNb – as half internet knows – stands for Mark Nieuweboer. Moreover I’m not a scholar, so I’m not qualified for the Steve list anyway.
          All your poor joking can’t hide the fact that there are more scholars named Steve who accept Evolution Theory than scholars with all kind of names who reject it. You are and remain fringe, Norm, wallowing in the self-delusion you call truth, thus making the word meaningless. It’s the only option left for you, as you don’t have evidence and don’t have understanding of Evolution Theory.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Norm’s other option: cry.

        • Norm Donnan

          Well giday then Mark,how was your weekend ?
          Mark your not looking for evidence,plain and simple.
          What I realized long ago is that you have it all worked out and no matter the argument you will dismiss it as crap,so no I wont be giving you ‘evidence’.
          To creationists we look at the world around us and see nothing but intelligent design that it is just common sense. To you your example of common sense is racism.
          You carnt be serious??

          Talk about making a word meaningless.
          Faith is the word that best describes evolution.
          You think that most of the kids who go to uni and are taught evolution as fact and come out believing it make it true even though the vast majority will never test anything they have been told,they take it in good faith.
          This is like children raised to believe their god is real but never get to know him,they just accept it is true and live out their lives.
          This is religion.Im a Jew or Christian whatever,just religious.
          But when you have a relationship with God only then do you know what your talking about.
          You,youre like the religious person,your just believing it because it seems right to you.
          Thats why a number of times I have suggested that you google evolution vs God as example of why most science students faith is evolution and like most religious folk you wont because you have your belief system and dont want it challenged.
          Ook goeidag Mark

        • Kodie

          Norm, try being worthwhile for once. You’re an insult to intelligence.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          To
          you your example of common sense is racism.

          Don’t forget the baby eating. And that 99% of all people in prisons are atheists. And all the other make-believe stuff that you like to invent.

        • Norm Donnan

          Really Bob you can do better than this.

        • MNb

          But you can’t do any better than repeating pathetic lies over and over again, miserable bigot like you are.

        • Norm Donnan

          Youre a very slow learner thats why,I said your a verrrry sssllooow learner. Sorry Im repeating myself.
          Why do you refer to me as a bigot ?Is it because I wont change my mind even after your compelling evidence?
          If thats right then I will take that as a compliment but hey, I am mostly happy,def not miserable.

        • MNb

          You’re a bigot because you won’t change your mind no matter what evidence, no matter how often your inconsistency and incoherence are shown, no matter how often your lies are pointed out.
          Miserable bigots perfectly can be happy. That’s not the problem. The problem is their desire to make other people unhappy, who have the guts to have deviating views. Preferably you do it by means of governmental monopoly on violence. That makes you a miserable person.
          There are only two ways for reasonable people to deal with people like you. One is to run and not look back; the other is to mock mercilessly.
          Nothing wrong with my learning abilities, don’t worry. Of course the opinion of a miserable bigot like you is worthless here; according to all my teachers and all the tests I have done I learn well. Unlike you they know and knew what they were talking about.
          Prettige dag verder, Norm.

        • Norm Donnan

          LOL you should hook up with Kodie,your a perfect match.
          2 miserable bigots together.
          You could encourage each other about how your so right and educated but your restricted in life by us violent monopolizers.
          So you choose to mock mercilessly then….well for such a high achiever you sure have a lot to learn about character. If you spent a bit more time on that part of yourself you may find some answers to the parts of your life that havent worked out so well.
          Ook Goeiedag Mark

        • Kodie

          You’re a lot of things, Norm, but the most of all, you’re a gullible moron. What purpose do you think you’re serving? What you are not is an intellectual adversary. We could disagree on the mountains of evidence you present and have a productive discussion, but you don’t have any.

        • MNb

          Ah, Norm the Porm doesn’t have anything substantial to tell anymore so takes the moral high ground.

          “the parts of your life that havent worked out so well.”
          Ever the judgmental christian. Go read Mattheus 7:1 again, Norm.
          Vriendelijk de groetjes, Norm, you’re comments have become so pathetic I don’t have to react anymore.

        • Norm Donnan

          So you finally figured 1 thing out,well done.
          Wrong in all the others but oh well,there is hope.
          Ook goeiedag Mark.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          But you can’t, unfortunately.

        • MNb

          My weekend was fine, thank you.

          “your not looking for evidence”
          You’re a liar for Jesus, plain and simple,

          “you have it all worked out”
          who keeps on lying

          “You carnt be serious?”
          and twisting what I write, because your worldview would fall apart if you had the courage to become an honest man.
          Common sense once was that whites are superior to blacks. That’s a fact. It shows that common sense is unreliable and that specifically includes yours.

          “Faith is the word that best describes evolution.”
          Pathetic liar. Scientists use both deduction and induction. Believers use faith.

          “You think that most of the kids who go to uni and are taught evolution as fact”
          In my contintental philosophy of science evolution is not a fact, but an abstract concept (like gravity and electricity) necessary to describe a whole set of facts: speciation, mutation and the fossil record. As such it’s part of a testable theory that makes predictions.
          You don’t have anything comparable. That’s why you rely on lying.

          “they take it in good faith”
          Nope. You’re lying again. They accept the authority of scholars because it’s convenient and practical. If they want to make the effort and the education and have the money they can check it themselves.

          “when you have a relationship with God only then do you know what your talking about”
          A one-direction relationship? Then you don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you hear a voice? You should visit a doctor.

          “your just believing it because it seems right to you.”
          Nope. I rely on deduction and induction, two objective methods, not on talking to an invisible guy high high up the sky who never talks back.

          “I have suggested …”
          That’s why I have answered you several times that I am familiar with almost all creacrap. Give me something concrete, like your fellow creacrappers have done in the past. You even fail in that respect, Norm.
          You’re a liar and a failure.

          “dont want it challenged”
          Again wrong. At least four times had to change my decisions because I got new information. You never had to, because you know the truth. That justifies your lies, your failures, the silly rhetorics and all the other stuff you suck out of your big fat thumb.
          You’re a typical creacrapper, Norm. Nothing substantial to say, no evidence to offer, so no choice than persisting. Alas for you lies remain lies.
          Prettige dag, Norm.

        • Kodie

          You don’t have any evidence for your side. You have Ray Comfort, the propagandist. You don’t understand evolution in the first place, not even elementarily. Your “fact” about evolution come from people who don’t want you to believe it and so twist it to be unrecognizable, and of course, a ridiculous unbelievable account. We don’t believe in the evolution that you don’t believe in. We’re all ALLL talking about something else that you won’t even try to grasp.

          Meanwhile, you don’t have a single argument to support your side. Your side only makes sense because it has to lie about what evolution actually is. But then you don’t explain it to us. It’s just an alternate idea, ONLY based on the bible, and ONLY because it has to misrepresent evolution to you so you believe they’re right.

          What you have is not credible, it doesn’t come from credible sources. You can keep whining about it, that’s all you have, we crap all over Christians because a lot of you are mighty ignorant and proud of it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You seem to imagine some sort of parity when you compare evolution and Creationism (or science and Christianity).

          Sad.

        • Norm Donnan

          It is sad Bob, to me science is simply men trying to figure out how God has done things.
          When they carnt work it out they use an educated guess, with the example of evolution,time is their default button of how things came to be.
          Sad !

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And you give this appraisal of evolution after having studied it to understand thoroughly how it works?

          And here we communicate using computers and the internet and you don’t see the irony in your low valuation of science.

          Sad.

        • smrnda

          All Ken did was argue that he first assumes the Bible is true, and then he thinks from that assumption. Ken Ham has been called an embarrassment even by other Christians. A 6000 year old earth is unsustainable nonsense – we have human artifacts that are older than that.

          You also realize that ‘debates’ are not how science is settled? Idiots who know nothing about science see merit in this format, but if it was useful, scientists would use debates and not the process they do.

        • Norm Donnan

          From the Christian perspective the bible is absolutely true.
          When science talks millions and billions of years,to us it is unprovable speculation used loosely to justify things that carnt be prooved,like evolution.
          The fact that other people criticize Ken Ham is irrelivent.
          We have lots of different denominations because we see things in other ways which is fine,God is creative and so are we.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’ve been corrected many times, and you don’t change. Isn’t it embarrassing to admit that you’re closed minded?

          No, evolution can’t be proved. Nor can the germ theory of disease. Both of them have a mountain of evidence showing them to be good approximations of reality. Proof applies in mathematics, not in science.

          From the Christian perspective the bible is absolutely true. … We have lots of different denominations because we see things in other ways

          Huh? Is there one way (the Bible way) to see things, or can you just make it up yourself?

          … which is fine,God is creative and so are we

          So actually being “right” is overrated. Christians are going to heaven, Hindus are, even atheists are. We’re all “creative.” No worries–it’s all good.

        • Norm Donnan

          As you have as well,the problem is you think youre open minded but because most ppl here encourage you,you dont realize how closed minded you are.
          But hey Ive just found something we agree on… evolution carnt be proved,what you dont acknowledge at this point is that it is your faith,thats why your so offended when I mock what you hold to be sacred.
          I think that is why you find it so confusing when I dont need my “brand” of Christianity to be totally right.
          What I realize is I carnt put God in my box of limited understanding.
          Hey,I think I just figured atheism out,you carnt put God in YOUR box,so youve closed the lid !!!
          Over to you Bob :)

        • MNb

          “at this point is that it is your faith”
          False dichotomy, Norm. You are a christian and need faith. We rely on science and have empirical data. That’s the difference; it can’t be stressed enough.

        • Norm Donnan

          Not at all,your in denial again.

        • Kodie

          You are resistant to learning what evolution really says, you already know because Ray Comfort et al. explained it to you and it is ridiculous.

          FYI, none of us believe the version of evolution you’ve been parroting. You have proven you know nothing on the subject and also proven you are close-minded on the subject because you don’t want to know what evolution is. On the other hand, we all know what you believe. And it doesn’t fit with reality. The evolution you believe isn’t true is not true. The evolution you’ve heard about is invented, exaggerated, misrepresented, and totally wrong because Creationists made up that version for you to doubt and for you to dismiss. We dismiss that version also. That’s another clue that creationism is wrong, if it wasn’t so obviously wrong.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m talking about a simple issue of fact. You have very strong opinions about evolution, a subject about which you know very little. We correct you on your errors (if you’re going to hang around spouting off your various opinions about this and that, they might as well be well-informed opinions). How do you respond? As if you had never been corrected.

          As you have as well,the problem is you think youre open minded but because most ppl here encourage you,you dont realize how closed minded you are.

          On simple matters of fact, I’m delighted to be corrected and have shown that many times. And yet when we try to help you out, you have no use for it.

          And then you wonder why people get annoyed at you. Weird.

          Ive just found something we agree on… evolution carnt be proved,

          You’d think that your lack of basic knowledge about the subject at hand would give you pause … but you’d be wrong.

          what you dont acknowledge at this point is that it is your faith,

          Wrong again. No faith here—rather, trust built up over time in response to science’s continued record of success. Christianity is just make-believe, and faith is necessary because it has no such evidence.

          your so offended when I mock what you hold to be sacred

          Put forward an actual, well-thought-out challenge! Random bloviating isn’t annoying because you’re on target but because it’s bloviating.

          I think that is why you find it so confusing when I dont need my “brand” of Christianity to be totally right.

          What I find surprising is that the consequence of your flexible attitude is that all roads lead to heaven. That’s very open-minded of you, but then what good is Christianity?

        • Norm Donnan

          I have read on a number of sites and postings what you call “rebuttles”.

          To you ,it seems that because you have come up with some sort of reply you feel like you have disproved the point,but when I rebutt your rebuttle you get annoyed because I am supposed to just go,”ahhh thank you I never knew that”.

          What you are at pains to reject is that you do believe in faith because you know to aknowledge that would be the start of your deconversion from atheism,which will happen and like the apostle Paul,you will make an awesome Christian.
          I really dont think that your ready for a well thought out challenge,not that you done have the intellect,you have much more than me.What you dont have is the knowledge of God because you dont know Him.
          Its like writing about someone famous that youve never met,its all hearsay.Your the student telling the teacher they are wrong.He will “bloviate”you off aswell.
          My flexible attitude isnt that flexible,(as you know).
          Jesus IS the only way to heaven,now what that means is what you(and me) are working out.
          Your response is that its to hard so you go with denial.
          Me, because I know the Father more(as opposed to some things about Him which is religion)and I am trying to listen to Him through the Holy Spirit,I know I CAN trust Him despite my lack of understanding.
          So all the other people in the world who are listening to Him through their conscience which is innate in all of us,He will work in their lives aswell.I dont have to have it all figured out because I know He is just and loveing.
          So its not anything to do with interllect or ability but your response to Him.

        • Kodie

          Rebuttals.

          Rebut.

          You didn’t know that, and you refuse to learn.

          acknowledge

          ,[space]word

          ‘ <—this is an apostrophe; apostrophes are used in contractions, for example "cant”, not “carnt”

          Also, youre when you mean “you are”; “your” means it belongs to, in this case, Bob.

          Then we get to the part where you talk about your imaginary friend.

          No evidence.

          Just Norm bloviating.

          You are listening to the voices in your own head, and when you say them out loud or write them, so are we. We have a pretty good window into the fantasy world of Norm by now. Everything he says is correct because he is god. If you claim to know god by listening to him, then you have to give evidence. Without evidence, all we have to go on is what you say that comes out of your head that also believes it hears god. You must be god, and you’re obviously not. Norm exists, and god does not.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’ll add: “it’s” = “it is”

          “its” is possessive (“the cat licked its fur”).

          Easy to remember: his, hers, and its all don’t have apostrophes. You wouldn’t write “her’s,” so don’t write “it’s” for possessive.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I am supposed to just go,”ahhh thank you I never knew that”.

          There is an important asymmetry here. I don’t make that many mistakes when discussing evolution, but you make loads. For a normal person, this wouldn’t be that big a deal. But you combine ignorance with a very odd confidence that evolution is crap. Hence the problem.

          What you are at pains to reject is that you do believe in faith

          I go where the evidence leads. That’s not faith.

          which will happen and like the apostle Paul,you will make an awesome Christian.

          Then we’ve got to start getting to the compelling evidence for Christianity, don’t we?

          What you dont have is the knowledge of God because you dont know Him.

          Now, see, that’s the very complaint that I have about you and Quetzalcoatl. You don’t worship him, but you would if you knew him.

          Jesus IS the only way to heaven

          Do you have evidence for this?

          I know I CAN trust Him despite my lack of understanding.

          With just a little faith, you could be that way with Quetzalcoatl instead. I’m certain you’d be much happier.

          I dont have to have it all figured out because I know He is just and loveing.

          Wait—you’re confusing me here. You don’t have it all figured out. And yet you do have it figured out that he exists, that he’s just, and that he’s loving.

          Which is it? I fear that you switch answers as convenient.

        • Norm Donnan

          Hey ,my wife is loveing,just and she is no figment of my imagination but I dont have her all figured out either.
          Having said that I know her better than I did 30 years ago because I have been in relationship with her,and it work’s the same with God.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Doesn’t answer any of my questions, but OK.

          Your relationship with your wife can’t possibly be the same as that with God. (If it is, then you’ve got an abysmal marriage!)

        • Norm Donnan

          Ha thats true,God is a much better listener.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Sometimes I pick up the phone and talk to the dial tone myself, so I know that can be fun.

          (Nice attempt at putting lipstick on a pig.)

        • Norm Donnan

          That is totally crazy,it’s no wonder you believe in evolution.
          Whats your pet pigs name ?
          We did have a miniature pig called romeo although we never did try the lipstick thing,you yanks are nutty :)
          Oh….what do you talk about on the phone?

        • MNb

          “That is totally crazy”
          Correct – unless they are christians claiming to pray only crazy people talk to invisible entities and hear voices in their heads answering them. You do realize that quite a few serial killers do exactly that? Answering voices in their heads?
          Oh wait – your god perhaps doesn’t talk back. It’s one-directional communication. Then BobS is right – your marriage must be awful if you call that a good relationship. Fortunately I have a relationship with someone – a practicing muslima – who both listens and answers.

        • Norm Donnan

          So your living with a crazy person then….or are they living with the crazy one?
          Thing is most people believe in a spiritual realm.
          We may disagree on the details of what that means but we understand that the there is more to the world as we see it.
          You on the other hand think that everything that happens around us is just chemical reactions.
          All that would be fine except that everybody at some point in their lives has a spiritual experience,for some it is a common occurrence for others it is un common.
          How you respond to this is what I find interesting,some like you dismiss and deny often even strong encounters because it flys in the face of what you want to believe, others who havent been brain washed recognize them straight away.
          That is why children and poor,uneducated people are much more in tune with spiritual forces.
          An interesting side note is that 1 in 4 Muslims who convert to Christianity do so after a divine revelation.
          In a culture where to leave Islam means to be ostracized and even killed,no one would do that lightly unless there experience was compelling.

        • MNb

          “So your living with a crazy person then ….”
          Norm the master of the logical fallacy – this time the non-sequitur.
          For one thing I am not living with her – we are having a LAT-relationship (ask your “Dutch” wife about it).
          In the second place she never made any claim about communication, about hearing voices, about having divine revelations.
          In the third place she cares zilch about conversations like ours. I sometimes tell her about it; smart as she is she has summarized it as “it’s all about having answers ready”. She is not into that game.
          You might say she is a perfect example of the Kierkegaardian believer, totally relying on faith no matter what science says. Unlike you she doesn’t need to contradict science. She is simply not interested.

        • Norm Donnan

          My wife hasnt a clue what sort of relationship your in although her ‘dutch’ mother might.
          So I will assume your relationship is platonic then.
          As a religious person who is uninterested about our conversations(as my wife is as well) and the topics we discuss,and being a religion that doesnt evangelize or has a concern for those going to hell,why would she talk to an atheist who would only mock her if she spoke about her prayer life ?
          She doesnt contradict science,there is no need.

        • MNb

          Quick to assume as always; assuming wrongly as often. No, LAT means Living Apart Together, it doesn’t mean platonic. Our relationship isn’t.
          I don’t mock her prayer life or religious life for that matter; rather I support her, because I know it’s important for her. It helps enormously she is not a bigot like you: no problems with science (including evolution), no problems with LBGT’s, not condemning women who do abortion etc. Oh – and no problem with my atheism either. She just disagrees without ever getting within a lightyear’s distance of being judgmental.
          Totally unlike you. You couldn’t have an atheist wife, close minded as you are.

        • MNb

          “Thing is most people believe in a spiritual realm.”
          Once most people believed the Earth was flat.

          “we understand that the there is more to the world as we see it.”
          Saying there is more to the world as we can observe it is meaningless. Or I begin to dwell on the fairies in my garden, tending flowers so that they blossom beautifully. Are you going to buy that?

          “You on the other hand think that everything that happens around us is just chemical reactions.”
          Well, rather physical interactions as physics is the mother of even chemistry, but apart from this somewhat irrelevant mistake you’re right.

          “everybody at some point in their lives has a spiritual experience”
          That’s correct. I have had several, amongst others Out of Body Experiences. As a result I once was a dualist – until I got educated better.

          “children and poor,uneducated people are much more in tune with spiritual forces”
          While I’m not exactly rich I’m neither a child nor uneducated anymore indeed. It’s part of growing up and getting educated to abandon Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, all gods ever created by men and spirituality as you defined it. It wasn’t hard to find scientific explanations of my OBE’s. I had not read them before I had my first one; still the descriptions perfectly matched my experiences. Ain’t it remarkable what science can predict?

          “1 in 4 Muslims who convert to Christianity do so after a divine revelation.”
          That’s rather a poor score for your (apparently not so) almighty lord. You know what would have impressed me? Heathens living in the Amazone and on New-Guinea having such divine revelations before christian missionaries arrived, before christians (say beginning with Marco Polo) exploring the world ever had known heathens actually lived there. I’d think your (apparently not so) allmighty lord easily could have pulled that off, don’t you?
          See who is open minded? I tell you exactly what kind of things would convince me of theism. You at the other hand wrote that nothing, absolutely nothing can convince you of atheism and/or of evolution, because you hold the truth. Feel the difference, Norm?
          Perhaps it will interest you that the three younger sisters of my female counterpart have deconverted to christianity too. Two have become liberal catholics; the third reconverted from a bigot denomination like yours to a liberal one. Divine love was lacking if I understood correctly – we don’t talk much about these things.

          “to leave Islam means to be ostracized ”
          Excellent argument, Norm! Did you know at least 5% of the Saudi-Arabians are atheists? About as high a percentage as in the USA! Their experience – rather their evidence – must have been compelling indeed.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/23/a-surprising-map-of-where-the-worlds-atheists-live/

          Thanks for bolstering the case of atheism! Though let me predict – you’re using the “compelling experience” as an ad hoc argument.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          An
          interesting side note is that 1 in 4 Muslims who convert to Christianity do so
          after a divine revelation.

          Oh? Show me the study.

          And why would God reveal himself to so many Muslims and not reveal himself to me? Just doesn’t like me, I guess? Just gets his jollies watching atheists roast on a spit?

          That guy’s a nasty piece of work.

        • Norm Donnan

          Google Christian post.
          Why would God reveal Himself to Muslims ? He knows their hearts and knows yours Ide say.
          God doesnt roast anyone,you choose your own destiny.

        • MNb

          Why doesn’t he reveal himself to BobS or me? Why didn’t he reveal himself to the inhabitants of Brazil and Papua-Guinea before christion missionaries arrived?

          “you choose your own destiny”
          Excellent. After my death I’ll chose nothingness. Spending eternity with bigots like you is a torture about as bad as getting roasted on a spit.
          Oh wait – nothingness is not an option, so told me another bigot like you. Then it’s still your god who will send me roasting on a spit.
          I must give you one compliment, Norm. You are a showcase of incoherent and inconsistent arguing. I have met many examples of this on internet and a few in daily life, but nobody was as incoherent and inconsistent as you.

        • Norm Donnan

          Dont worry Mark you will have plenty of bigots and hypocrites to keep you company.
          Oh..the only time you get to choose anything is in this life, once you die nobody will ask you anything, you will be told.

        • MNb

          Plenty of company during nothingness? I don’t think so.

          “you choose your own destiny”
          “you will be told”

          Good job contradicting yourself, Norm, nicely confirming what I wrote just above. You walk with open eyes in every single pitfall, don’t you?

          OK, let’s assume it’s going to be “you will be told”. That I will get roasted of course for being the sincere atheist that I am. Then we’re back at BobS:

          Your god “is a nasty piece of work”.

        • Norm Donnan

          As I said earlier,your English is as good as my Dutch.
          Comprehension is not your strong point here.
          Let me explain it again so you may understand,maybe.
          In this life is when you make the choice to accept Christ into your life or you choose not to.
          If you choose not to as you have,when you die Physically you will in the spiritual realm come to heavens gate and you wont be allowed in.You will be TOLD, depart from Me,I never knew you.
          Your sincere atheism will be shown for what it is worth.
          You will stand outside the gate yelling Gods a nasty piece of work .Only then will you remember the words,’I stand at the door and knock’.Revelation 3 v20.
          You TOLD Him to go away then,thats when you chose your destiny.
          Ook goeiedag Mark

        • Kodie

          The fantasy character you worship is an asshole. It sounds like you are delighted that god can not appear to rational people, and then rational people will suffer after they die. No, we’re suffering right now because you’re so persistently, observably delusional. Are you here to save us? Why would god send a nitwit like you? Think about it.

          (If you can).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Google Christian post.

          Did so. Found nothing.

          God doesnt roast anyone,you choose your own destiny.

          So God builds the torture chamber and makes the rules that say that I am bound to go there, but he is in no way guilty for being the worst moral being ever.

          God certainly does encourage bizarre thinking—praise the Lord!

        • Norm Donnan

          I will have a look for you then.
          Hell on the other hand is easy,there are levels in heaven and hell.
          When you die you actually will come to a gate made of pearl.If your name isnt in the book you dont go in with the words ‘depart from Me I never knew you’,simple,no entry to heaven.
          Thats the first death,of the body.
          After the rule of Christ you will come before the great white throne for the final judgment,this is when you will join Satan and the fallen angles in the lake of fire.
          This is the second death.You choose

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Bypassing my point doesn’t resolve it. Sorry.

        • Norm Donnan

          You made a point?What was it ?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Going up 2 comments it too hard for you? Let me make it easier by copying the relevant part:

          So God builds the torture chamber and makes the rules that say that I am bound to go there, but he is in no way guilty for being the worst moral being ever.

          God certainly does encourage bizarre thinking—praise the Lord!

        • Norm Donnan

          Oh dear Bob,what can I say that you havent already heard but you just dont get.
          Im talking about the whole “hell was for Lucifer and angels” thing.
          Yes He has made the rules and yes you will go there because He wont let you into heaven.
          .
          Your intellect,good looks,nice house or your hot wife wont impress Him
          The good news is He gave you the key to the door,its up to you Bob,you choose.

        • MNb

          You give two options I both don’t want.
          Your god is and remains a nasty piece of work; not surprising that your silly belief in him results in you being a miserable bigot.
          You’re a remarkably bad advertiser for your belief system, Norm. You have been lying, you refuse to learn from your mistakes and now you want us to convert by offering two options which are about equally unattractive.

        • Norm Donnan

          You on the other hand is a remarkably good advertiser for atheism.Gullible ,insecure,arrogant,judgmental
          ,nothing to offer.
          I dont give you any options,your choice will lead you to only 1 conclusion.
          Ook goeiedag Mark

        • MNb

          “insecure”
          BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

          “nothing to offer”
          what bigots like you appreciate, you mean. You don’t appreciate scientific evidence, you don’t appreciate solid philosophical arguments, you are not capable of meaningfully contradicting anything I offer (or Kodie or BobS for that matter). Now you have to save your face and have nothing left than the usual creacrap tactic: accuse the other of what you yourself are guilty of.

          “Gullible ,arrogant,judgmental”
          These are correct.

          “I dont give you any options,your choice will …”
          Even with these few words you manage to contradict yourself. If you don’t give me options I can’t make a choice. The options you give me of course are heaven and hell. Sorry pal, I refuse to choose. That’s why I’m an atheist. ‘Cause your god is a nasty piece of work, not worth worshipping. I rather leave that to bigots like you.
          Prettige dag, Norm. I’ll answer again if you have something substantial to offer. I won’t hold my breath.

        • Norm Donnan

          Oh dear Mark you need a hug,mmmmmmmm.
          There you go dude.
          You do make laugh and I know its just misunderstanding english,mine as well.
          When I said I dont give you options I meant that its not in my power to offer you anything,its God who gives you the option to avoid your destination which is eternity not in heaven.
          One other thing as an atheist,I dont think you can deny Gods existence because you misunderstand the truth about Him,do you?
          1 more thing,lets agree to disagree and move on shall we?

        • MNb

          Thanks, I like hugs. I like tolerance better though and that’s something you seriously lack.

          “its just misunderstanding english”
          Actually not from my side; I expected and wanted your answer.

          “its God who gives you the option to avoid your destination”
          That’s the point. He doesn’t give me the option of my choice: nothingness. Heaven or hell are about equally unattractive; both mean eternal torture. Only the means are different. For not giving me the option of nothingness after my death he’s a nasty piece of work.
          This is not about denying god’s existence; this is about showing your god is not worth worshipping. This means that even if you manage to convert me I won’t convert to christianity. Pastafarianism is way more attractive; or the Olympic gods. And all your arguments pro god apply equally to the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Olympic gods as well.

          “1 more thing,lets agree to disagree and move on shall we?”
          As I don’t suffer from self-delusion like you I have agreed to disagree with you since the first comment of yours I ever read. You wrote yourself that nothing can convince you of the error of your ways and thoughts, so I never have had the intention to impart some wisdom to you. That’s fighting a lost case. You are highly determined to remain as silly and ignorant as you are. We are not moving anywhere anyhow anyway, because you’re hopelessly stuck.
          No, when discussing you my intention is to have fun, preferably at your expense. And that’s going well, I must say. You’re very cooperative showing how silly, ignorant and crappy your version of christianity is. I appreciate that enormously. That’s why I’m eager to hug you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You are highly determined to remain as silly and ignorant as you are.

          “I do believe in spooks! I do believe in spooks! I do I do I do I do I do believe in spooks!”
          — Cowardly Lion in Wizard of Oz

        • katiehippie

          “Oh dear Mark you need a hug,mmmmmmmm.
          There you go dude.”

          Well, that sounded just like my abusive ex husband. Congratulations! And learn how to spell…please.

        • Norm Donnan

          Oh dear Kate,you sound like an annoying,petty complainer.

        • katiehippie

          Thanks! I’ll take that over abusive ex husband any day.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Proper spelling is against Norm’s religion.

          He has Aramaic and Hebrew flowing in his veins! Or something!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’ve got a lot of complaints for someone who offers only theology and never evidence. If I were able to get past your disagreeable attitude, why would I come over to your side of the debate? You never offer a reason to.

        • Norm Donnan

          Hey,what do I complain about ?
          Ok Im in the minority here but the majority else where.
          On other blogs you would have the disagreeable attitude which would rebut your evidence aswell.
          It doesnt mean we carnt have a civil conversation…does it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          ?? OK–so you don’t have a reason to adopt your point of view.

          You should’ve said so from the first.

        • Kodie

          Wow, are you talking to yourself in the mirror again? You know that’s not your twin brother, don’t you? Don’t you???

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes He has made the rules and yes you will go there because He wont let you into heaven.

          Like I said. I will go to hell because God made the rules and made me so that I inherently couldn’t follow them.

          What a nice guy.

          The good news is He gave you the key to the door,its up to you Bob,you choose.

          Wrong again. I can’t choose to believe. Belief doesn’t work that way. (Believe in leprechauns, if you can.)

        • Norm Donnan

          Wrong again Bob,God made you so you can see Him every where and in all creation.Thats why even the most primitive to the best educated can see Him.
          Its just that you have been offered the choice to make you the center of your life and not Him and you chose you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Simply stamping your little feet and repeating your claim doesn’t help show me that it’s correct. Yes, I realize that the Bible says that God is obvious. The Bible is mistaken.

          (How’s it going on your project to believe in leprechauns?)

        • Kodie

          If that is true, 3 out of 4 Muslims who convert to Christianity do not have a divine revelation.

          An interesting side note is that 1 in 4 Muslims who convert to Christianity do so after a divine revelation.
          In
          a culture where to leave Islam means to be ostracized and even
          killed,no one would do that lightly unless there experience was
          compelling.

          Or 75% of those who do switch, do so for no compelling reason.

          But that’s Norm math.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Can’t deal with the subject at hand? Again?

        • smrnda

          I have seen much creationist propaganda and it’s all showmanship over substance – if creationism had any merit, it would be all over the vast amount of peer reviewed literature. Science is not decided by what youtube videos get the most ‘likes’ from non-scientists, but by the consensus of experts who actually know something.

          I know quite a few biologists, and then I’ve got people on the internet who are not scientists at all telling me these people are all wrong. Who am I going to listen to?

        • Norm Donnan

          And Ive seen lots of evolutionist propaganda claiming authority of things that they can never prove with a simple “Im a scientist,believe me”.
          But then i see other scientists challenge them who to me make much more sense,not because they are Christians but because evoultion seems stupid.
          When you watch evolution vs God you will realise why the scientists of today are mostly repeating what they have been told not because they have studied anything for themselves.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Ive seen lots of evolutionist propaganda claiming authority of things that they can never prove

          Darn that overwhelming consensus! It makes it so hard to argue against evolution!

          But then i see other scientists challenge them who to me make much more sense,not because they are Christians but because evoultion seems stupid.

          So let me understand this. You can’t even begin to understand the evidence. So you can’t weigh it to make a conclusion. But you still confidently dismiss the overwhelming majority of biologists and declare them all wrong.

          What head-up-your-ass sense does that make? You should know your limitations better than any of us. You should take your ill-informed opinion least seriously.

          When you watch evolution vs God you will realise why the scientists of today are mostly repeating what they have been told not because they have studied anything for themselves.

          But you have? You’ve studied all this stuff? You understand the evidence and can weigh it yourself? All that without a doctorate in biology?

          How does that work?

        • MNb

          “not because they have studied anything for themselves”
          That’s a lie, Norm and so you’re violating your very own ninth commandment. The fact that you’re parroting a creacrap site is not an excuse according to your very own Old Testament. You won’t admit it (and thus will make your sin worse), but you’re excellent anti-propaganda for your own belief system.
          I’m 50 years old. It never ceases to amaze me how much more scientists, including evolutionary biologists, know compared to 30 years ago. If you’d use the few brain cells in your head not affected yet by creacrap rot you would recognize it too.
          At the other hand creacrap largely has stayed the same for about 50 years (YEC) or even 200 years (ID – Pailey’s watchmaker analogy). Thus creacrap largely consists of parroting, not science and certainly not Evolutionary Biology.

        • Norm Donnan

          All that has happened in the last 30 years is evocrap has bee forced down students throats thats what only takes a few brain cell to figure out.
          Creation is right so it doesnt need to change,easy

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Golly–must be great to know that you’re right. And with so little investment of effort!

          Do you reject all science taught in public school science classrooms? Or just the particular bits that offend you personally?

        • Norm Donnan

          Only particular bits of course silly.With a wife who was a science specialist,then ran her own business taking hands on experiments into schools I know how interesting and fun science is.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And do you recommend this approach to everyone? That they set themselves up as judge of all science and pick and choose the stuff they like?

          ‘Cause I want to reject quantum physics. It’s really hard, and it doesn’t make much sense. Am I entitled to do that?

          Not a very objective way to approach things, though.

        • Kodie

          Ok, the problem is you think science is stuff they tell you. Like, they tell you that cloud is called a cumulus cloud, or that tornado is god letting you know it’s time to cool it on the gay stuff. You start with the conclusion and then you observe how it all ties back to the conclusion. But that’s not science. I have every confidence that your wife taught something that might have been called science but wasn’t science. It was more like the scientific categories, but without the explanations or processes discovered and performed by actual scientists. You think it’s all just a big conspiracy and it is: to educate people and not let them stay stupid like you and your wife.

          Yeah, I said it.

        • smrnda

          So you trust a tiny minority of biologists over the vast majority? Exactly WHY? In other words, rather than accepting the conclusions of the experts you just decide to agree with the experts who agree with your bronze age book. How did you decide these biologists are more credible?

          If 98% of doctors say one thing, and 2% disagree, who do you think you should follow.

    • Pofarmer

      Norm, if that was an attempt at sarcasm, it was pretty pathetic. Nicely demonstrates your ignorance though.

      • Norm Donnan

        Your right ,I will try harder in future although sarcasm isnt my strong point.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I suggest clearly stating your point. That’s enough.

        • Norm Donnan

          If it wasnt such common banter I would agree with you

    • Niemand

      If evolution is a fairy tale, how come we can’t just use penicillin for all bacterial infections? Where did HIV come from and why wasn’t it, apparently, anywhere before the mid-20th century? Do you believe in DNA? If so, how do you stop it from mutating and causing evolution?

    • Ron

      Evolution: The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations, which may be caused by natural selection, inbreeding, hybridization, or mutation. (Source)

      Or as Evolution 101 puts it:

      “Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification.”

      Please present the evidence showing this to be false.

      • Norm Donnan

        “which MAY be caused” or may not,sounds like a guess to me.
        “descent with modification”, so we are less than monkeys now?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There ya go, Ron–answer that! Who’s the smart guy now?

          Do not lightly engage Norm’s rapier-like wit. I know from too many close encounters myself.

          Or something.

        • http://pleonast.com/users/closetatheist Mr. Two

          “may be caused by any of the following”, not “may or may not be caused by”. Now go back to school and learn the intricacies of the English language.

        • Kodie

          Holy shit, do you not know what the word “descent” means? Are you descended from your grandfather? He’s descended from monkeys. And Mr. Two pointed out your other mistake in reading comprehension. Where did you get the idea you’re smart enough to have this discussion?

          I have no doubt you are descended from monkeys, in the way you thought it meant.

        • Niemand

          He’s descended from monkeys.

          Technically, he is a monkey. Or, more specifically, an ape. Genus Homo species H sapiens. We didn’t stop being primates when we became H sapiens.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It would be good to try to show Norm that “we’re descended from monkeys” doesn’t make much sense, but that evolution shows how we and modern monkeys have a common ancestor relatively recently. More recently for closer relatives like chimpanzees; less recently for more distant relatives like bananas.

          But that’s just “science” talking. I doubt Norm takes that as much of an authority.

        • Niemand

          We share something like 98% of our genes with our relatives the chimpanzees. A couple of point mutations, a crossover or two, a complex rearrangement…and that’s about it. Either we evolved from a common ancestor or god is very lacking in imagination.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          More damning to the Creationism hypothesis is the junk within human DNA–atavisms, virus fragments, pseudogenes, and so on.

        • Niemand

          Aww…but I like the pseudogene that’s hiding inside factor VIII. Backwards. I’m sure it’s critically important to…something or another.

        • Norm Donnan

          No, thats fairy tales talking there Bob.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That’s your argument? Just an assertion is all you need to give? (Let me know if stamping of feet accompanied it, because that would make a more powerful argument.)

        • Kodie

          I don’t pretend to be a scientist so I’m going to make some monkey/ape mistakes if I get too deep. I was just trying to illustrate what descent means. Norm obviously read it like we’re a couple steps down from monkeys in a hierarchical arrangement, not in the sense of ancestry.

        • Niemand

          The idea of a hierarchy in evolution is a common mistake, even among people who accept evolution and know something about it. There is no “perfect” organism that we’re all striving towards. It’s all about whether or not a particular adaptation works in a particular environment. Something that’s evolutionarily adaptive today may be a disaster tomorrow…(Sorry, I tend to rant on this issue.)

        • katiehippie

          The way people talk about evolution always sounds to me like they are saying it’s done, finished, we are the end product. But maybe religious people are taking that as what we believe. There isn’t an end product. I wish I could see what we evolve into a few million years from now. If we make it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And the trick for those of us who accept reality is to acknowledge that the crazy selection pressures that modern society puts on us might give us traits that don’t sound that great to us today. That is, we might not be big-headed, small-bodied intellectual sages living calm and wise lives.

        • Shawn

          Judging from you, evolution hasn’t proceeded very far at all.

        • Ron

          The first clause (“change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations”) is the definition, while the second describes the mechanisms by which this is achieved — all of which was thoroughly explained in the links provided.

          So with that quibble out of the way, can you now present evidence to demonstrate that such is not the case?

        • Norm Donnan

          So give me one example of one kind of animal (as used by Darwin) evolving into another!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My favorite is the evolution of nylonase. MNb recently gave a link to a long list here.

        • Norm Donnan

          Wow thats amazing,mice becoming….well mice.
          So is a sausage dog an evolved wolf?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yeah, see this is an opportunity for you. You say that speciation doesn’t happen. Then you’re given examples of it. Then you say, “Hey, fellas, thanks for setting me straight on that one. I won’t make that mistake again.”

          See how that works?

        • MNb

          Depends on how you define monkeys. That’s the problem with you christian evolution deniers, isn’t it? You feel too good to be placed in one and the same category with monkeys. But you don’t realize that you’re displaying arrogance, while your beloved hero Jesus preached humility. All creationists are like the Farisees Jesus disliked so much.

        • Norm Donnan

          So how do you define monkey M?As for me I am def too good for monkeys.
          As for pride ,you use it with the same out of context as you interpret all scripture, which is as good as your spelling of Pharisee.

        • MNb

          For questions like these I rely on science.

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

          Of course arrogance isn’t arrogance if you display it Norm, no matter what your superhero Jesus said.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You
          feel too good to be placed in one and the same category with monkeys

          But they have no problem having been made from dust by God in Genesis.

  • wtfwjtd

    The very basis of Christianity depends entirely on the supernatural, and yet its track record of delivering verifiable supernatural events is abysmal. I think this is probably what finally caused me to chuck my faith entirely–I’ve never really believed nor accepted the supernatural, and in all my years involved in Christianity I never once saw anything even remotely resembling a verifiable supernatural event.
    As a side note Bob, I’ve seen some folks here criticize you for taking Christianity to task not only for its supernatural claims, but for its reliance on a 2,500 year-old text from which it extracts its sometimes very dubious moral claims. As a former believer, I would like to say–keep doing it! Although each individual argument isn’t necessarily very convincing, and isn’t likely to de-convert the hard-core faithful, I can say I find it very effective for planting the seeds of doubt and thoughtfulness, and making escape for the believer more possible. Think of it as the death(of religious faith) by a thousand cuts. De-conversion is a process that takes time, and sometimes a little outside help.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, deconversion is a slow process, but it does occasionally happen. It would be a privilege if I could plant a few stones in shoes that (with the help of much additional reading) eventually lead people to live a more honest and reasonable life.

  • MNb

    In addition: internet. I live in Moengo, Suriname – according to my son in the middle of the jungle.

    http://www.maplandia.com/suriname/marowijne/moengo/moengo/
    Still I can and do communicate with people all over the world. I have played chess with opponents living in Taiwan and in Novosibirsk. Miraculous Jesus never pulled that one off.

    • http://pleonast.com/users/closetatheist Mr. Two

      I think maybe Jesus played chess with the Native Americans, and left the rules for the game on some golden tablets.

  • smrnda

    Ever heard of Smith Wiggleswroth? He was (apparently) some faith healer from the UK. All said, anyone can make up nonsense, and I found that Todd Bentley, an evangelist who imitates Wiggleswroth to some extent, has actually hurt people when god told him to kick or punch them to cure their diseases.

    • smrnda

      Great, a downvote for posting a readily verified fact about people known to exist meant to caution people about the dangers of faith healers.

  • Greg G.

    What about the big earthquake when California slid into the Pacific in 2006? After intense prayer, God put it all back the way it was. Then he wiped it from the memory of people who were too stup… Er, how about them Seahawks?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      After intense prayer, God put it all back the way it was.

      and God erased people’s memories of that event!

      Ain’t he fabulous?

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    Believers: Take a couple of minutes and think about all the things you would do if you were God…

    After you have accomplished that task, contemplate the fact you worship a God who hasn’t…
    — Tiger C. Lewis

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Thumbs up for the quote. Is there an online source for this one?

      • Mike De Fleuriot

        Some random fb page I nabbed it from for my quote file

  • öpper

    About the christian responses part, not that they aren´t already full of holes and refuted in your article, but I´d like to add, (not that I am an art historian and therefore fully qualified, but I had some art history lessons) that art, in the times of the artists mentioned, was not art as we today understand it but rather a craft. Therefore, it is not very accurate to say that these artworks were inspired by religion but rather bought by religious persons and the workers painted what was ordered. This only points to churches having lots of money since long ago rather than religion as inspiration for artists.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Helpful clarification, thanks.

  • Ron

    …no rules for the placement of latrines…

    Actually, that one was covered — literally:

    “Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement.”
    Deuteronomy 23:12-13 (NIV)

    Of course, with over two million people in the encampment area, going “outside the camp” becomes a rather lengthy trek.

    For further info see:

    Logistical Improbabilities in the Wilderness-Wandering Tales
    When Nature Called
    by Farrell Till

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Good point. God is grossed out by poop. Well, that’s not too surprising. He’s only human, after all.

      What I meant was sanitary placement of latrines. You probably inferred that, but I wasn’t as clear as I should’ve been.

      I hadn’t thought of the difficulties with 2M people pooping.

      The Qumran (Dead Sea) community had a rule that you had to ritually bathe after using the latrine, which was outside the compound. As I remember it, you returned through a neck-deep ritual bath every time.

      Yeah, that’s a good way to minimize the spread of germs. Not.

      • busterggi

        A latrine used simulataneously by 2M people ought to show up pretty clearly in the archeological record.

        Just sayin.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Even more so, since the people who started the trek were forbidden by God from entering the Promised Land, that’s 2M graves (Jews don’t cremate) that are out there in the nice, dry Sinai. Where are they?

          Absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence.

        • MNb

          Only if you have looked thoroughly, like Israeli archeologists in the Sinai for Moses and physicists for the higgs-boson (before the thing was found there was some speculation what to do if it was not found).

  • Y. A. Warren

    Why waste so much energy on attempting to prove a negative?

    “Show one earthquake or volcano that was halted by an incantation or holy relic.” The religious of the world can show you many of these instances. They pray, and their dreams come true. They don’t usually brag about the things for which they pray that don’t come true, but that’s blind faith for you.

    Without blind faith, I’m afraid many more children would be considered worthless by their parents and many more humans would never have a sexual encounter with any but themselves.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      What’s the negative I’m trying to prove? That God doesn’t exist? There’s a huge amount of harm that comes from believing that he does, so that’s why this belief is an issue.

      If you’re saying that incorrect beliefs can have positive consequences, I can see that. I’d prefer to believe things that are correct and disbelieve things that are false. I don’t have much interest in believing happy things because they make me feel good.

      • Y. A. Warren

        I am with you on the issue of “gods;” however, I do believe their are manifestations of energy that we experience on a personal level not necessarily experienced by, or in the same ways, as others experience these unseen manifestations of energy.

        I object to the concept of deities because I find them to take power and responsibility from people, rather than add any positive energy to others. I believe my spouse loves me because that makes me feel good. Other people believe their pets and children who are fully dependent on them “love” them. I disagree with them on this issue, but I am not invested in correcting what keeps them acting somewhat responsibly compassionate toward these dependents.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          When it comes to truth claims about the universe, I want to know the truth, not the happy story.

          I don’t have much interest in correcting people’s opinions about subjective matters. They’re welcome to them. But supernatural beliefs can cause harm.

          I’m not sure where or if we disagree here.

        • Y. A. Warren

          “When it comes to truth claims about the universe, I want to know the truth, not the happy story.” This is great, and I don’t think there’s much danger that we are going to start accusing you of being a romantic. Romance, however, is what makes life bearable for those not equipped with the brain power and the time that you have for deeper thinking and writing.

          I know from experience and information gathered from others, that many people would not be able to take the pain of life without belief in the supernatural. Many of the people on whom we depend for the worst jobs on earth can only continue to perform them because of their beliefs. These are not the deep thinkers of the universe because of lack of ability and/or lack of leisure time. Our society would collapse if we counted on the most scientific to do cooking, cleaning, ditch digging, childcare, and care of the sick.

          There is much pain that is alleviated by placebos because they give people hope. My issue is not that people create gods, fairies, and genies, but that their fantasy beings have been taken over by those who use their power to frighten and abuse others.

          Nature abhors a vacuum. Animal fear and aggression seem to be what people put in place of their good fairies if they have no access to science.

          Just saying…

        • busterggi

          Sounds as though you prefer to promote ignorance because reality is too tough for some people.

          Do you realize that much of their misery is due to that ignorance and dependence on religious superstition? Have you factored in the pain & guilt religion inflicts?

        • Y. A. Warren

          Promoting ignorance is not the same as acknowledging limitations of what can be done in a short time, if ever, in a given society. There is an adage in business that, for a business to succeed, it is better to improve something by 10% than it is to invent something completely new. Human ability and time to reason still has a long way to go in many people and populations.

          I’m advocating for redefining the gods and good fairies back to what existed before idiots got hold of what I believe is the intelligent Jewish concept of YHWH, which basically equates to the energy (breath) of life manifested in the physical universe.

          I am under the impression that the Jews recognize their own scriptures as simple stories for simple people, and that the ten commandments were a set of guidelines to keep each other in peaceful community. They seem to also be the ones who came up with the concept that humans are manifestations of YHWH (the energy of life), not that YHWH is a manifestation of human traits, as it seems all gods are presented.

          I don’t believe the concept of gods is good for humanity, but I do believe we have to stop scaring people with attempts to take away from them what they use as their free mind-altering medication, religion that bonds them in peaceful community.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So you don’t like the vengeful, jealous god that the ancient Jews invented, or indeed any god. But since they got it so wrong, I’m wondering why you look back to them for anything.

        • Y. A. Warren

          The Jews pulled themselves out of slavery and are some of the most successful scientists in the world. it is not their “god” that I admire; it is their system of discipline within their society that seems to have worked to improve their contributions to human society.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Nothing supernatural there, so that’s hard to disagree with.

        • Y. A. Warren

          Don’t forget how I spell “super-natural.”

        • smrnda

          I suspect that circumstances had a lot to do with this. Jews were often prohibited from many jobs, owing land, so we’ve historically had to be very creative when it came to finding ways to survive. If you might be kicked out of some town for no good reason, you invest in human capital (your mind and your skills) because it’s at least something you can take with you.

          If you want to contrast that, Romans didn’t see the use of steam power and such as useful or worth looking into because they had all those slaves to do work. Who needs a machine when you’ve got slaves? So in a sense, a position of power and privilege can be bad for innovation.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You could be right. But all we know for sure is that there are people in desperate situations who find hope or comfort in false beliefs. A tangential question is, Could people in the developed world be disabused of their false beliefs without harm?

          But back to your point: all we know is that these people find solace in false beliefs. We don’t know for sure what would happen if they overnight changed so that they found solace in true beliefs.

          You’re familiar with Marx’s “religion is the opium of the masses” observation. This wasn’t a criticism of religion–opium is a pretty good thing if you’re in pain. His point was that society had failed these people and that the need for opium was proof. Is religion an opium that masks and even enables the problems within society? If it were gone as a crutch, would people take more action to fix the problems within society?

        • Y. A. Warren

          “Could people in the developed world be disabused of their false beliefs without harm?”
          The advent of telecommunications and internet technology is many huge changes in the ability to educate people who are still living in primitive circumstances. We must respect that their cultures and fears are millions of years in the making.

          Attempts to destroy what people believe incite their fear, and have them cling tighter to their cultures and they want to run away from or destroy the teacher. I prefer to introduce alternatives alongside their beliefs, sort of a few degree twist on what they already believe.

          I know a lot of people who are kept ignorant by religions. I also know many who use religion as a source of courage and commitment.

          Re: Opium: One person’s addiction is another’s much-needed pain killer while they do what they have to do.

        • Kodie

          Many ex-Christians seem pretty happy to be free from wrong thinking. I think what’s holding people back is fear of what being an atheist is really like. They “would not be able to take the pain of life” or they think they can’t? It’s almost like you portray people who know that it’s not real but choose to believe it anyway. And if there is too much pain in life, is religion really the cure for that? Why not address the pain in life by actually confronting it and applying real solutions. I don’t understand why it’s favorable to wallow in inaction for the shabby comfort of prayer.

        • Y. A. Warren

          There are irrevocable life decisions set in motion before many are able to act as adults. Sometimes prayer/meditation is the only freedom one has from the pain that can’t be cured or avoided.

        • Kodie

          Nobody said anything about meditation. It’s not a magical process. People who have gotten out of the oppression of thinking of themselves as a guilty disgusting sinner seem to be happier. It’s a part of religion to scare and threaten people not to leave its grip by making atheism frightening to people, frightening to even consider it. I am sorry that some people are so neurotic and paralyzed and phobic, but that’s wrong! It’s wrong to be made to feel that way! It’s wrong in an unhumanist way to let them suffer by staying that way.

        • Y. A. Warren

          People will seek truth when they are ready. We simply have to be available with our versions of the truth and for the consequences of our actions. It is inhumane to rip off scabs and simply leave people bleeding to death.

          My point about meditation is that many people use religious symbols and chants as meditation tools to call themselves. There are actually religious practices that do not frighten people, though I believe frightening people has been the primary purpose of “gods.” Some, however, can only get up in the morning because they are convinced that gods and angels are looking out for them.

          I am all for whatever helps people achieve a sense of centering, empowerment, and peace. I say this from the standpoint of a person who has lost many relationships by pulling off scabs of denial when I didn’t have sufficient community to heal the wounds that were revealed. I was asked to do this, but it still backfired on me and many in my community for whom I deeply care.

    • MNb

      “many more humans would never have a sexual encounter with any but themselves.”
      Given the overpopulated Earth this wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

      • Y. A. Warren

        I agree, but modern science has given humans many options for birth control other than self-stimulation and celibacy. Now, that’s a blessing I can believe in!

    • Niemand

      Without blind faith, I’m afraid many more children would be considered worthless by their parents

      Why? I’ve heard of sacrificing your child to a god, but never to atheism. Also, fewer children of secular parents are abused to death because the bible says “spare the rod spoil the child” and the Pearls recommend “breaking” the “sinful” child.

      • Y. A. Warren

        The question is not whether people sacrifice their children to Atheism. The issue for me is why people produce and protect their progeny (if they do protect them) regardless of the circumstances of their own lives.

        Animals in the wild often kill their progeny. I fear without the rules of civilization imposed by religion that we would still simply be wild animals. I understand why fear may have had to be a prime motivator in ancient times, and is still so effective in controlling animal )(including human) behavior.

        It seems to me to be time to see what is “sacred” about shared life, rather than spending so much energy sacrificing to anything outside of each other and our shared earth. We must move slowly in doing this because the beasts who rule with fear have had many millenia to learn to stalk and kill those who threaten their supremacy.

        “Gods” are vengeful, jealous beings, across the board, and I believe the “need” for them is still part of our primitive animal brain processing. In modern times, we know about the Stockholm Syndrome, but don’t recognize that religions based on worship of an all-powerful being are simply the Stockholm Syndrome in organized form.

        Perhaps fear of god was necessary to have primitive people agree to cooperate in small tribal communities, but it hasn’t worked, worldwide. I simply think it’s time that we remove as much of the fear formed by religious despots from our discussions on why humans should work together.

  • Itarion

    I’m not exactly sure where to put this, but it needs to go somewhere.

    I apologize, I’ve been writing the tags wrong, such that the hyperlink words I’ve been putting out aren’t clickable. This is fixed now.


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