How Young-Earth Creationism Works

I found this image at a site I discovered today, the satirical site The Creation News. It illustrates the method some commenters (and one in particular) have used in advocating young-earth creationism in recent discussions on this blog so precisely, that I thought I should share it.

The illustration with cute bunnies still makes the point much more effectively, though.

  • Anonymous

    James, even though this is true, some will not be convinced, not because of intellectual disabilities but emotional ones!

     Dependency is an emotional attribute of children, but interdependency is the attribute of adults, and an ability to be independent when the need arises. Adults  can separate themselves from themselves, others, and circumstances. That is, can make distinctions between self, other,  circumstances beyond human control, and irreconciable differences without it leading to tragedy of one kind or another! Negotiation is a key element of being able to compromise, which is only an ability for those that have attained the ability to distinguish between themselves and their chosen paths of framing the world.

    Those that defend creationism are defending scripture and their understanding of “faith”, God and the world. Apart from that understanding, they “feel” annilhilated, and or de-valued, because they have identified with such a belief system. There is not an ability to be “objective” as to faith claims. And such people will demand that people conform to their particular belief structure, because it is “the Truth”.

    I believe I remember reading just recently that the subject is still open to debate about whether religious framing is of necessity in understanding “the human”!

  • Anonymous

    My ideas above are developmental, but recently, hasn’t science proven that there is a liberal or conservative bent biologically? Would this mean that those prone to conservatism not leave “the faith” because of their tendency toward Tradition? (while liberals would tend toward objectifying cultural reference points?)

  • Just Sayin’

    Nice!

  • Anonymous

    That chart is so inaccurate on both sides as to be laughable. Maybe good for bar stool humor but hardly good for any kind of intelligent argument.

    Also, what is meant by “evolution”? There are at least eight definitions of it floating around. One of which creationists accept. 

    Maybe we could dispense with the childishness, James? 

    • Kyle Rutherford

      There is only one thing that means biological evolution when people discuss evolution. That is changes in allele frequency over time within a population and because of these changes, great changes occur over long periods of time.

      Creationists don’t even bother looking at the evidence. They just shrug and ignore it all.

      • Anonymous

        That is absolutely not true. There are plenty of Christian scientists that publish scientific papers through the discovery institute.

        You assume that just because someone believes in God means they are not scientists or don’t look at the same same evidence anyone else has to look at.

        That is incorrect logic.

        • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          You mean there are “Christian” “scientists” who “publish” “scientific” papers through the “Discovery” Institute.

          But they are just guesses anyway.

        • http://anumma.com/ Anumma

          The Discovery Institute is not a scientific organization, because it explicitly rejects the scientific method (see Wedge Document). The Discovery Institute is a pseudo-scientific organization.

          • Anonymous

            Anumma, can you provide proof that The Discovery Institute rejects the scientific method?

            Also, can you explain how the scientific method is applied to say evolution of man to molecules or dating rocks and the universe or examining fossils where it is impossible to recreate past conditions, test past conditions or observe past condition? 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Once you grasp that the evidence consistently confirms evolution, and grasp that those who have told you otherwise have lied to you, then you will be ready for an adult discussion. Until then, one cannot but treat you as though you were a stubborn child who refuses to learn and thinks he knows it all already, hindering his education.

    • Anonymous

      Again, that depends on what your definition of “evolution” is. Without that I have no idea what you mean. 

      Creationists accept evolution in the sense that creatures and plants can adapt and change to their environment to a certain extent. It can be seen in the variety of plants, birds and insects for instance. 

      The evidence however does not confirm that molecules can turn into complex life forms or that mammals on land can turn into whales. In fact the reverse is true. The evidence confirms it can’t happen. 

      As on the last entire forum, you have yet to give a mechanism that would be able to order say the leg of a mammal to be transformed to a fin with new blood vessels, new bone structures and new ligament placement. 

      Natural selection, random chance and mutations can’t accomplish that. 

      Let alone how life started in the first place. How simple structures got to extremely high complex ones that rival anything man has invented or made to date. 

      • Beau Quilter

        Actually cdbren,

        There are a few odd scientists (mostly not biologists) publishing at the “Discovery Institute”, an organization with more lawyers than scientists; but the vast majority of publishing scientists (over 97%) believe that life evolved through natural processes, primarily natural selection. In addition the real scientific organizations in our nation actively support evolution theory: the United States National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as many other state societies and over 72 Nobel Prize winners.

        So, gee, whose the authority here? 

        William Dembski, a mathematician who can only get a job at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (last year in a debate with Chris Hitchens, Dembski pathetically complained that no one will hire him)…

        or maybe Michael Behe, a biologist whose entire university department has denounced his work …

        or those who support evolution – virtually the entire scientific community!

        Your claims about evolution theory are not just misguided. They’re wrong.

        • Anonymous

          Oh, I do support evolution. I do believe that natural selection and natural processes are what formed the species we have today.

          What makes you think I don’t?

          • Beau Quilter

            Interesting thought. Because you haven’t presented any evidence. 

            There are thousands of peer-reviewed publications documenting evidence of natural selection. And the latest genetic evidence shows the very same family tree of related species that scientists had earlier proposed through anatomical and other studies. Genetic evidence is a recent development. And it could have falsified evolution. It could have shown that a given mammal is more closely related to a reptile than to other mammals. But it doesn’t. Genetic evidence verifies the predictions of the theory of evolution. The fossil record could falsify evolution theory. Find one fossilized mammal in the Devonian sandstone. But so far, though the fossil record could falsify evolution in a hundred different ways, it doesn’t.
            I believe you’re the one who makes statements like: “The evidence however does not confirm that molecules can turn into complex life forms or that mammals on land can turn into whales. In fact the reverse is true. The evidence confirms it can’t happen. ” 

            What evidence?

            • Anonymous

              Biological and genetic evidence. They have done multiple tests on fruit flies, bacteria and also on breeding animals. Nothing has ever produced a new creature (kind) or totally new features. 

              Scientists have steadily discovered that life is extremely complex and fine tuned. The more fine tuned the more rare and the more impossible it could arise by chance. The idea of an intelligent designer fits the evidence completely. Random chance just seems, well…like magic.
              http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/11/the_finely_tuned_genetic_code052611.html

              I could present the caterpillar that turns into a butterfly as an example as well that disproves evolution. It would die before ever evolving to the butterfly state. 
              http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/11/the_irreducible_complexity_of052461.html

              Richard, the species barrier. It can be seen in say species that have changed but then conditions change back, or they are introduced back with other species. Like the finches with shorter, stronger beaks. When conditions reverted or they were introduced back into normal populations of birds they reverted back.

              Also, junk DNA has been found to contain back up after back up copies of a species DNA. There are obvious constraints on viral evolution as well. 
              http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/05/swine_flu_viruses_and_the_edge020071.html

              So I give you a possible answer: Junk DNA

              http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/11/junk_dna_discovered_to_have_bo027621.html

              • Beau Quilter

                CdbrenYour terminology cripples your argument. Natural selection is not based on “random chance”. Even your sources couldn’t say that a butterfly “disproves evolution” – there is no falsification involved that article. The “reverted back” argument with birds is a nonargument. Some evolutionary processes lead to species changes; some does not. You can’t make an argument from ignorance. And “junk DNA” has always been a strawman. Evolutionary scientists were calling “junk DNA” a misnomer almost as soon as the term was introduced. The idea that most DNA would be found to have functional use in the genome, is something that has been promoted by evolutionary scientists long before the DI decided to lamely call it a “prediction of ID science.”Anyone can play the game of copying sources. Of course, mine have better credentials than yours:http://www.nature.com/nature/newspdf/evolutiongems.pdf

                 

                http://anthro.palomar.edu/evolve/evolve_3.htm

                 

                http://ncse.com/files/pub/evolution/Evidence_combined–fb.pdf

                 

                http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/benton2.html

                 

                http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/tis2/index.php/component/content/category/52.html

                 

                http://www.macroevolution.net/fossil-evidence-for-evolution.html

                 

                http://www.virologyj.com/content/6/1/102

                 

                http://faculty.virginia.edu/evolutionlabs/MossMolecularEvidenceEvolution.pdf

                 

                http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11876

              • Anonymous

                You say that ‘[n]othing has ever produced a new creature (kind) or totally new features. ‘ You might be interested to see an experiment in evolution that did, in fact, produce novel features which have remained stable in subsequent generations.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

                Yes, this is a wikipedia summary of the experiment, but you will notice at the bottom there are links to the articles, which were reviewed by experienced biologists and published in reputable journals. Michael Behe does offer some critique of the interpretation of the experiment ( http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/656902 ), but he seems to be about the only one.

                • Anonymous

                  It has been proven that E.Coli strains already have the ability to live on glucose. So nothing new there. Plus the fact that it was a small controlled group. Larger groups as found in normal natural settings have even less chance of adapting. And by adapting I mean adapting themselves with abilities already inherent in the species. 

                  • Anonymous

                    I presume you meant citrate?

                    Presuming you did, it’s already known that E. coli strains have been found ‘in the wild’ that can assimilate and metabolise citrate. It’s extremely rare though, and only occurs in in anoxic conditions. In fact, the inability of E. coli to absorb citrate in normal conditions is used as part of the standard test to differentiate it from Salmonella when there are food poisoning outbreaks.

                    Except in the case of one particular genetic line in Lenski’s experiment. Lines descended from one particular population which split off at about 20,000 generations from the original population have had the potential to display this new feature.

                    Any of the lines not descended from that particular batch have not been able to develop the feature. Somewhere around that 20,000 generation mark something happened to that section of the gene pool that happened nowhere else.

                    I’m not sure what you mean by your statement about the size of the group. I can see how that might be the case in species that reproduce sexually, but that’s obviously not relevant here. And it’s been well established that the ability wasn’t present in the species, so…

                    • Anonymous

                      Cameron, there are many critiques to Lenki’s experiment that show the change was a decreasing or eliminating of the proteins function. Not an increase in new information. 

                      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/12/michael_behes_quarterly_review041221.html

                      I can’t find the article but one scientist said that a smaller, time controlled population of E. Coli would have more mutations.

                      Interestingly, in a new paper (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7268/full/nature08480.html) they report that the E. coli strain became a “mutator.” That means it lost at least some of its ability to repair its DNA, so mutations are accumulating now at a rate about seventy times faster than normal. Lenski had reported years earlier that a number of other lines of the evolving population (they started with 12 separate cultures) had become mutators, too. So it seems that loss of ability to repair DNA is a common occurrence under these conditions.

                      Loss-of-FCT

                      This is a poor case to prove evolution. It shows degradation instead of an ability to create something complex and new.

                    • Beau Quilter

                      cdbren

                      Perhaps you don’t realize that when Behe refers to “modification of function” and “loss of function”, he’s using terms he invented himself. There is a reason that biologists outside the DI don’t use these terms: they are meaningless. 

                      Mutations cause change. That’s all. Nature has no value judgments. If a change caused by mutation aids in an organism’s survival, it may last to the next generation. You may consider humans the pinnacle of creation, but there are plants and animals with far more “functioning” genes than we have. How well a gene “functions” depends entirely on the environment to which an organism must adapt.

                      You say that there are “many critiques to Lenski’s experiment”. Where? All you cite is Behe; and his critiques have already been thoroughly panned. 

                      Then Behe makes a bizarre observation. He says that Lenski’s E. coli underwent two mutations, and according to his (Behe’s) calculations, “If two mutations have to occur before there is a net beneficial effect — if an intermediate state is harmful, or less fit than the starting state — then there is already a big evolutionary problem.” Behe is contradicting himself of course, because a two mutation beneficial change is what Behe would call a “gain in function” in any other scenario. But that’s not his biggest gaffe…

                      A big evolutionary problem?! Lenski’s experiment demonstrates the opposite! It happened! Behe is basically saying, “see the evolutionary process that took place in Lenski’s lab? This is a good example of what I think is nearly impossible.” ??? Quite a few biologists have already pointed out this silliness. 

                      As for the Nature article you cite, it is one study suggesting that colonial strains of bacteria undergo higher mutation rates, but that -despite the higher mutation rate – fitness increases were only slight (only 1% greater than in non colonial strains). They had predicted initially that the much higher mutation rate would result in much higher increases in fitness, but the experiment proved this prediction wrong.

                      Even if Lenski’s E. coli are mutating “seventy times faster” than in nature, seventy times slower is still quite fast against the billions of years life has had to evolve on this planet. Especially when you compare Lenski’s small sampling to the average 10 quadrillion (that’s 10,000 trillion) bacteria present in every ton of soil on earth.

                      Lenski’s is a terrific case for evolution! It’s making poor Behe lose his grip!

                    • Anonymous

                      If it’s a bad example of evolution you clearly don’t understand what evolution is.

                      Even if Behe is right, there are two salient points: 1) a novel feature developed; and 2) this feature allowed a particular population to survive in an environment in which it otherwise wouldn’t have.

                      I don’t like to use the term ‘Darwinism’ that often, but if the word has any meaning at all, it applies here.

                      Your comment about mutation rates sort of goes to whole point of that paper—they were specifically investigating the relationship between genomic change and organismal adaptation. Over many generations there seem to be periods of rapid change in a phenotype as well as periods of little change. The experiment studied one particular example of an increase in the rate of mutation and looked at the various types of adaptations that resulted.

                      Notice that the population survived. There were deleterious mutations, but they didn’t propagate. There were beneficial (and neutral) changes that did. Under different conditions different adaptations would have proved useful. But the genome mutated and replicated in a way to fit the conditions at hand. The fact that the conditions were designed by humans is quite irrelevant to the E. coli who were too busy reproducing to notice.

                      That is evolution. If a change in a gene gives it a greater chance of being replicated it is beneficial, even if it involves a decrease in function or information.

                    • Anonymous

                      cameron, it was not a novel feature. E. Coli could already do this. It simply reverted back to what it could do in the first place. This is like the smallest scale “evolution” if you want to call it that. You have a long way to go to show this produces new complex structures. 

                      You ignore that the changes in the E Coli made the ability of DNA replication worse in the E Coli. 

                    • Beau Quilter

                      No Cdbren

                      The E. Coli did not just “revert”. Even Behe refers in his article to the fact that the E. Coli underwent a two stage mutation. This was not an “old” version of E. Coli coming back. This was a brand new E. Coli.

                    • Anonymous

                      No, it was not a brand new E. Coli. It is the same old E. Coli that developed a mutation to adapt to the situation that broke and degraded genes in order to do so. 

                      Do you think if that same E. coli was left to revert back, that it could in that same enclosed environment? It lost ability to replicate DNA so was that an improvement that will enable it to thrive better or worse?

                      If I concede and call it a brand new E.Coli, it is a rather poor example of evolution and actually shows the pitfalls that evolution would suffer if it did happen. Lenski’s experiment actually strengthens the case for ID. 

                    • Anonymous

                      cdbren, go and read the study. Not what someone else has said about the study. In other words, go and look at the picture that James originally posted. Once you’ve figured out the difference between the two sides, try moving to the left side.

                      If you’re going to insist on relying on second hand information, you might as well rely on mine:

                      The bacteria that went into the experiment could not metabolise citrate in aerobic conditions. The ones that came out could, all because of mutations that were favoured due to selective pressure.

                      In other situations those changes might have been deleterious. Here, they were beneficial.

                      Whether or not information was lost is irrelevant. The bacteria in those particular conditions were better off without it. If it wasn’t for the loss of that information, all the information would have been lost, because the genes wouldn’t have propagated.

                    • Anonymous

                      Cameron, o.k. so I will go with your information. 

                      It is known that wild E. coli can metabolize citrate. The ones put into the experiment could not. Then they reproduced, favoring forced mutations, that returned them to the state of being able to metabolize citrate. 

                      I could see your point clearly if other E .coli could not do that but it is fact that they could.

                      I still don’t see where anything new happened or that E. Coli changed to being not E. Coli.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

        re:
        Creationists accept evolution in the sense that creatures and plants can adapt and change to their environment to a certain extent. 

        the discovernoids could end this discussion now by showing this barrier that stops evolution from crossing some kinds barrier. it should be easy, the barrier ought to be visible everywhere kinds are pushed to their limits of evolution. just show the barrier, how it works and poof, every scientist will be ID, overnight. i’ve even given you an example of a kind barrier exactly like this in another JMcG thread so you can see what i mean.

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  • Anonymous

    James, isn’t it more like starting with “what is”, meaning the natural world, rather than a transcendental view of the natural world? The former doesn’t transpose a “supernatural” story upon what exists in the world, although they can believe that what is discovered in science of whatever kind is “God’s”…. One does not presume “God” but investigates, discovers and expands human knowledge. The other just super-intends “God”, but both are really functioning on the same principles of developing hypothesis, experimentation/observation and theorizing….

    A conservative viewpoint would be reserved, modest and in thier approach to the world. The liberal would be more open in their approaches….

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  • Anonymous

    cdbren, there is much debate about how science and religion intersect or if they do at all. These are models of reality that we believe and people defend them as facts, though they are only ways of understanding reality, life and all that is. 

    The “Bible” is not scientific fact. But, if one hypothesizes on such an assumption, then it will color one’s interpretaton of what one discovers, because it predisposes you to affirm “faith claims”. 

     Some believe that one must choose to believe, then it is by faith, apart from “proof”. Faith does not have to be in opposition to reason as it is “another realm” that addresses different questions. This is a complementary view of science and religion.

    I prefer to say that life is about human needs that manifest themselves in religious formulations. The most basic human need is to explain/understand reality, life and all that is. And many use “God” as an explaination to everything that happens, as well as the creation of the natural world. I don’t believe in this kind of God, if he exists. This is an evangelical view of an interventionist “God”.

    Others believe in a “moral order” to the universe, and they use mathmatics as a proof of such a belief. While still others believe that order is created by man, and men have different formulations which create differences in cultural framing.

    All of these views are at odds with each other in different ways.

  • Anonymous

    Digressing a bit, we have three areas:

    1. A highly complex, ordered and finely tuned universe
    2. A highly complex, ordered and finely tuned planet Earth
    3. A highly complex, ordered and finely tuned group of life on Earth

    If things around us look designed in a complex way, are ordered and finely tuned then the only possible reasonable and logical conclusion is that it was created by an intelligence. 

    If it happened by random chance then it would have needed numerous individual and unique conditions for each listed area. The chances of that happening is infinitely impossible mathematically. Random chance does not finely tune anything nor make it complex.

    If one goes where the evidence leads, it is not to random chance and evolution, but in fact quite the opposite.

    ——
    Also, if all life at one time did not exist, then we could not have gotten something from that, that exists. (Being comes from being). 

    Not existing, or not being has no power, no potential and no properties. 

    To think something comes from nothing, or life came from non-life is worse than believing in magic. 

    • DCP71

      CDbren your approach is not scientific because you are predetermining the answer you want before your ‘research’

      You are starting from the premise that God exists and are looking for an argument to support your religious outlook.

      If you start from the premise that you know nothing (which,, when concerning the origins of the universe counts for all of us) then you will see that ID is nothing more than superstitious speculation.

      • Anonymous

        I am doing nothing of the sort. I am looking at the evidence objectively. If one just examines it, they can make a (rough) determination. I said nothing of God whatsoever. I didn’t even mention God.

        I concluded with no religious outlook. 

        So are you saying that random chance can produce unique, one of a kind conditions over and over thousands of times to produce what we have now? Are you saying that life can arise from non-life? Please answer yes or no.

        No beating around the bush please. If yes, then show proof of the mechanisms responsible for these miraculous conditions and if no, then you have to conclude it was designed by an intelligence. 

        You asked for evidence and I gave it. Regardless of my or your starting premise, the evidence is still right there. 

        • DCP71

          Actually, if you can’t answer the question of why the universe exists, and what started life, then you are left with no more than a big question mark. You do not, as you state, have to conclude that it was created by an intelligence. .
          It may be a nice thought to think that there is a creator, but there is absolutely zero evidence to support this. You appear to be engulfed in starry eyed philosophy and wish thinking rather than honest evaluation.
          And it is a fact that there is more evidence to support evolution (because it’s there) than there is for ID. Your fallback position is that if you can’t explain something complex and great (by your perception) then there MUST be a creator. That position is not scientific, whether you like it or not.
          If you can accept the possibility that there is not a creator (as all possibilities are on the table when discussing the unknown) then you will make some headway. If you are unwilling to do that then you cannot, under any circumstances call your approach scientific.

          • Anonymous

            Just as in finding pottery shards and arrow heads, would there be any possibility that it came there by natural means? Would you intelligently hold the possibility that it had no creator? That seems totally absurd and unscientific to me. 

            What you are doing is eliminating one possibility because you don’t agree with it. I am not dismissing the idea that it came about by chance. I am dismissing that CONCLUSION because it does not fit the evidence.

            You seem to be ignoring the clear evidence and offering no other solution as to how random chance can fine tune things, make things complex (meaning it looks towards the future) and orders things in a way that they work together.

            Please tell me this mechanism. If you don’t have that mechanism then you can’t postulate the idea that it came about by natural processes. Just as you would not be able to tell me why you think pottery shards and arrow heads came to be there without being created by people. 

            Your position is not scientific and illogical if you hold to the notion that nature did it. 

  • Anonymous

    Beau, evaluating the evidence as leading to an intelligent designer that may be a being we are not aware of or don’t fully understand is not superstitious. It’s logical and is not outside the realm of science. 

    If you found buried arrow heads and pottery shards you would naturally conclude they were made by certain peoples. Not knowing the nature of that people or anything about them and not needing to.

    I did that exact same thing and I did not explain the nature of the Intelligent designer because in that step I don’t need to. So therefore there is nothing superstitious about the conclusion. 

  • Anonymous

    Beau, you said the link I posted could not say that a butterfly disproves evolution (single cell to man/one species to a totally new species) when it fact it does say that. Here is a snippit. 

    “Of course, if Darwinism fails to explain metamorphosis, we just have to wait for science to come up with an alternative theory; there is no need to resort to intelligent design, which, we are told, is not scientific. 

    Well, we can define science to exclude intelligent design and wait as long as we want, but intelligence will still be the only force of Nature that can look ahead to see a desired function and keep adding useless lines of computer code until the code can perform that function, and it will still be the only force that can guide the development — gradual or not so gradual — of new organs through their initial useless stages.

    And it will still be the only thing that can imagine a butterfly as the final product and develop a gigantic code for metamorphosis, through intermediate stages that would produce nothing but the destruction of the caterpillar.”

    • Beau Quilter

      Not sure what Darwinism is cdbren? There is no a scientific tool kit called Darwinism.

      So that fact that your quotation calls on “Darwinism” means that it is not a peer-reviewed article. In fact it is making a meaningless claim about a science that does not exist.

      If on the other hand, the quoter means to say natural selection, he has shown no evidence to back up this claim – only an argument from ignorance. He can’t think of a way of a way for natural selection to lead to metamorphosis, so “he” becomes the arbiter. The classic argument from ignorance.

      Now, can you explain how the process of Intelligent Design work? What are the mechanisms by which Intelligent Design explains the the butterfly. Give it to us step by step, so that we understand it as well as we understand natural selection. And remember … this is Intelligent Design we’re talking about, so, according to the Discovery Institute, you shouldn’t mention God or miracles in your explanation. 

      • Anonymous

        A supernatural force created everything since without nature here in the first place, nature has no power, no capabilities to do anything. 

        No one is sure of the exact steps. Why? Because we were not there and past events can’t be found out by the scientific method. That is why scientific theories on these matters are called theories. It is well established in science that one thing out of place and planets would not form. One thing out of place and stars would not form. One thing out of place and the earth would not sustain life as it does. That is a lot of random special events happening that each in itself are extremely beyond probability.The butterfly was created to do what it does in the first place. It could not have evolved so the only other logical alternative is that it was specially created. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

          re:
          past events can’t be found out by the scientific method. 

          dismantle the criminal justice system, people are being sent to jail based on false evidence. sound the alarm, people are being falsely executed. we can not investigate the past only the present.

          your so-called operational science doesn’t exist either because every experiment is in the past and since the past is not accessible to science everything needs to be redone again in the present, but wait as soon as it is done it’s poof in the past again. what a vicious cycle you propose. or maybe you will allow past events that are recorded somehow to be valid, lets say historical documents, that would allow the Bible to be accessible to science. but wait a minute, isn’t tree rings and varves and ice cores like a text in that they record a process? can’t you see the futility you propose by making this false distinction between historical and operational science? no wonder no one but AiG thinks this way.

          everything is in the past, everything you know is memory, this must be reproducible in the present to be real science is nonsense, as soon as you do it, it is a memory in the past.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

          re:
           It is well established in science that one thing out of place and planets would not form. One thing out of place and stars would not form. One thing out of place and the earth would not sustain life as it does. 

          that’s not valid operational science, that is history, our planet formed 4.5B years ago, you don’t believe anything is older than 6Kya, why would you even think of using modern astronomy as an example, it can’t be real operational science. why are you referring to something you don’t believe happened?

          • Anonymous

            Re Richard: “that’s not valid operational science, that is history, our planet formed 4.5B years ago, you don’t believe anything is older than 6Kya, why would you even think of using modern astronomy as an example, it can’t be real operational science. why are you referring to something you don’t believe happened?”

            I am using logic and philosophy to evaluate the claims of the universe forming by random chance, the Earth forming by random chance and life forming by random chance. 

            I am commenting on something that others believed happened and stating why it couldn’t have happened that way. My comment has nothing to do with my personal beliefs. 

        • Beau Quilter

          So you demand scientific evidence for the mechanisms of natural selection (and ignore the tons of evidence offered)…

          But say that intelligent design doesn’t have to show the same evidence? How can intelligent design be a science, if it can’t take the demands of any other discipline? What happened to all the scientific rigor that was so important to you?

          You need to look up the scientific definition of a theory. It applies to both historical sciences and to sciences about processes happening right now. And it does not mean hypothesis. 

          • Beau Quilter

            … and I should add, intelligent design doesn’t even rise to the level of a hypothesis; it describes no mechanisms to replace natural selection. Theories require vast amounts of evidence supporting, over time, an intial hypothesis.

            Intelligent design is about as far from being a theory as a molecule is from being an elephant.

            • Anonymous

              ID does not need to replace natural selection. Natural selection is a part of ID. 

              You seem to think natural selection is the key to evolution. It is not. 

              You seem to think that mutation rates seventy times faster, destroying DNA reproduction and causing less fitness is somehow “good” and an “increase” of something new. It is not.

              Lenski’s experiment only shows a better case for ID, not ET. Mutations do not only cause change. Mutations are destructive. They break or disrupt genes. Most mutations would disrupt a species growth, not enhance it.

              Behe, M. J., 2010 “Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-function Mutations, and ‘The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution.’” Quarterly Review of Biology 85: 1-27.

              If you kicked a climber partly back down a cliff and he climbed back up a different way than before, would you call that some new trait? That is what Lenki’s experiment did. 

              Have you even read the links I posted? The genetic code can’t evolve. Changes in codon assignment would catastrophic to the cell because such a mutation would ultimately lead to changes to the amino acid sequence in every protein produced by the cell. If, say, 80% of the time a particular codon specifies one amino acid and
              20% of the time specifies another, this mapping ambiguity would lead to
              cellular chaos.

              http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/11/the_finely_tuned_genetic_code052611.html

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19117371

              • Beau Quilter

                Natural selection is part of an actual working scientific theory. ID has no significance whatever to the vast majority of the scientific community. Natural selection is the primary mechanism of evolution theory. That’s not my opinion. That’s a fact.

                I understood your point about the faster mutation rate. You don’t seem to understand that seventy times slower is still incredibly fast on geologic time scales, especially with the ridiculously large population of bacteria on the planet.

                Saying that Lenski’s experiment shows a better case for ID doesn’t make it true. There were destructive mutations taking place in Lenski’s experiment; that’s why they didn’t survive. The beneficial mutations did survive. That’s called natural selection, and Lenski’s experiment demonstrates that it works.

                Thanks for the reference to Behe’s Quarterly Review article. You proved my point that “Loss-of-function” is Behe’s term.

                Yes, if climbing back up the cliff required an adaptive mutation, then yes, that’s a new trait – that’s absolutely Lenski’s experiment.

                It’s hilarious that you and your ID links keep repeating that the genetic code can’t evolve … and we’re watching it evolve – in the laboratory!

  • Anonymous

    Many scientists believed that there was an order that could be understood, and proceeded to investigate “the order of the universe”. “God” was the Creator of the order, whatever the scientists discovered.

    Today, there are so many theories in science, that it is impossible to describe the world in one way. What was assumed becomes a question of definition. Physicalists wonder about consciousness/”mind”. Neuroscientists question if our brains determine “the whole person”. Computor/AI scientists wonder about how a machine can respond and “feel”. Are there real differences in a computor and a human being?  And, then, there are the questions of what to do with the informaton we discover.

    Human society is stretched beyond the scope of “ole time religious” teaching, such that we are struggling to understand what is best for the human condition/society and how do we arrive at that conclusion. These are not questions about “God” primarily, but about human flourishing. Is religion of necessity for human flourishing or development? that is also a question that is being investigated!

    The times they are a-changing, and yet, as our Founding Fathers understood, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”!

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    “If you don’t have that mechanism then you can’t postulate the idea that it came about by natural processes.”

    That’s a great argument for intelligent falling rather than gravity, too.

    But more seriously, Cdbren, you have been presented with evidence on multiple occasions and you either misunderstand it or deliberately misconstrue it. You are either dishonest, or unwilling to educate yourself about biology, or both. And so the question is how one could get through to you. Your heart is hard and your ears are closed, and there seems to be no way for God to get through to you, no matter how clearly his handiwork points in a particular direction.

    • Anonymous

      James M. Your God is not my God so trying to appeal to your God getting through to me is a faith issue. Not a scientific one. 

      Lets leave God at the door at just look at the evidence. You have not provided evidence on multiple occasions. You have presented INTERPRETATIONS of said evidence usually based on presumptions about the past that are in themselves guesses or interpretations. 

      You are right. I am unwilling to accept the first interpretation someone jumps to and to someone using guesses about past conditions that aren’t able to be repeated or observed or tested again.

      That is an open heart and open ears and open mind. Trusting in a certain world view, as you are doing is a hard heart and closed ears. Not trusting in the God of the bible and saying that you do is dishonest.

      Where we came from, how life evolved, how the world formed, how the universe formed are not operational science. They can’t be observed or recreated to test and past conditions can’t be known for sure. So they do not fall into the realm of science where you can simply produce a few bits of evidence and say you know this is what happened. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PJ6PZMYZVJL4CGQBUYBVMQSDPQ james Harrison

    Creationism has long been irrelevant to the sciences, but studying it does provide a way of exploring how a great many people, probably the majority of mankind, actually think. That’s an interesting and humanly important question in itself and also a difficult one to approach directly. It’s the anthropological version of figuring out whether the light stays on when you close the refrigerator door.

    Note I’m talking about how people think rather than what they think. After all, many people embrace a folk version of evolution which doesn’t have much to do with the scientific theory of the same name. What they believe, essentially on authority, is a sort of alternative Genesis story. (Years ago, I asked a large number of educated nonscientists to explain evolution to me. None of these people were creationists; but very few of them, even the PhDs, understood what Darwin, let alone modern biologists, were saying.)

    In this line, a couple of observations:

    1. Both Creationists and their non-scientific opponents have trouble imaging that evolution is anything but a process, i.e. a mechanism for producing complicated beings from simple ones. They thereby import teleology into a way of thinking that is a comprehensive denial of teleology.* Evolution can certainly be viewed as an explanation of how you get from simple chemicals to very complicated arrangements of chemicals, but it isn’t like anything one would call a chemical process. Ammonia is produced from atmospheric Nitrogen by the Haber process, for example; but the yield of this process is somewhere North of 50% and it doesn’t take all day. If you insist on thinking of evolution as a chemical process analogous to the Haber process, you’ve got to admit, it’s a damned bad one since it takes 4.5 billion years to wind up with the likes of me and the percentage yield is beyond negligible. Natural selection, gene drift, et. al. explain how it is that complex beings can come to be despite the fact that nothing is set up to create them. It evidently requires a considerable feat of imagination, though a negative one, to grasp that the modern theory of evolution is not an alternative explanation of how nature works her ends but a way of showing that nobody and nothing is trying to do anything.

    2. Creationists, as witness cdbren’s way of appealing to the thesaurus and the dictionary, have a particular view of how language works. Words are not matters of convention but have fixed meanings, much as natural kinds are fixed and immutable. I remember the very first argument I ever had about evolution. I was talking to my neighbor, who was a very conservative Lutheran, and said something about some feature of human biology as being shared with the other animals. Mr. Soman was offended with the expression “other animals.” I said,
    well, if we aren’t animals, are we vegetables or minerals?” He wasn’t amused.

    * I think of this as the asparagus effect as in the old joke. “I’m glad I
    don’t like asparagus because if I did, I’d eat it and I can’t stand the
    stuff!”

    • Anonymous

      James H., you are beating around the bush again. Lets forget creationism and just look at the evidence with an open mind. You have yet to explain how everything came to be in an ordered, complex and finely tuned way. Randomness will not produce that, even given long ages.

      Natural selection and gene drift only uses what is already there. So you have not explained how complex features come about nor how those things you listed predict the future to make changes here and there to end up with a working part later. I would assume evolution works the other way around. If part of a system is not beneficial it is not selected as making the organism have better fitness. 

      So again, if you found arrow heads made of stone and pottery shards at at archeological dig, what would be your logical conclusion? Or conclusions? Then what best conclusion fits the evidence?

      In regards to the last statement I would have no problem with you saying a human is an animal because a human fits the scientific definition of an animal. (Mammal specifically). However you act as though man’s definition is somehow the only definition. I would assume your neighbor was not amused because God specifically said we were created apart from animals and with a different soul than animals. 

      To test that we can see if we act and think as other mammals. The evidence clearly shows animals do not have higher thinking. They do not think about higher things as we do. So therefore I would say the definition that we are classified as animals is not entirely correct. Whether you believe in evolution or creation, the logical conclusion is still that we are clearly not the same. 

      A. Humans do not generally think and act like animals.
      b. Animals all generally think and act like other animals.
      c. Humans are not animals.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PJ6PZMYZVJL4CGQBUYBVMQSDPQ james Harrison

    Cdbren,

    I don’t wish to irritate you, and I’m certainly not denying you your right to believe what ever you damn well want to. But my other comments were not addressed to you. I wasn’t speaking to you, though sometimes I was speaking about you.

    As I believe I wrote before, I don’t argue about the truth of evolution with Creationists for the same reason I’ve given up devising new arguments for the proposition that anvils don’t float. It’s pointless.

    • Anonymous

      I am not trying to make you argue. I am asking questions, which from your lack of response, you can’t or won’t answer.

      On a side note, isn’t it equally pointless that life can arise from non-life and natural processes can somehow created fine tuning and complex, working systems? That would require planning, lots of information and looking towards the future. I don’t think nature does that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

      re:
      As I believe I wrote before, I don’t argue about the truth of evolution with Creationists for the same reason I’ve given up devising new arguments for the proposition that anvils don’t float. It’s pointless. 

      but there are lots of lurkers, not just today but for months perhaps years to come googling into this thread and reading what you’all have written. polite careful considered replies to YECists ignorance, misinformation and outright lies should go a long ways towards educating people just dropping by. i don’t think that the truth always wins, it obviously doesn’t, but if someone doesn’t speak the truth then ignorance seems to grow by default.

      if people read the threads here, i’m sure they will see the difference between the way YECists handle the evidence and how others do. i hope some find that incentive to do their own research.

      perhaps that is why i just can’t seem to leave these threads alone. i don’t discuss these issues at church so this is my only outlet for the frustration i have with the conservative church’s wrong stand on evolution.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, you are once again showing off either your dishonesty or your ignorance, or both. Are you unaware of all the studies illustrating similarities between humans and our closest non-human relatives, or are you just pretending they don’t exist?

    But then again, since you object to what you perceive to be a “molecules to men” scenario, you presumably deny that we are made of molecules, too.

    As for having an open mind, do you really believe that you have one, or is that just a rhetorical ploy on your part?

    • Anonymous

      James, there are similarities across all species. I am full aware of those studies and they clearly show evidence of a common designer. Those studies are also not even close to complete. If you are talking about the 98% issue, that was already discussed and it was really only 2% of the DNA genome that was similar. 

      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/10/the_latest_on_chimp_and_human052291.html

      Some may suppose that shows common decent and that would be another conclusion but when you look at it mathematically and biologically the evidence more closely fits with a common designer. 

      See also: According to Science Daily:”Researchers
      at the Georgia Institute of Technology have now determined that the
      insertion and deletion of large pieces of DNA near genes are highly
      variable between humans and chimpanzees and may account for major
      differences between the two species.”

      As for being made of molecules, is the line of thinking now “we are made of molecules, thus we had to have come from random or natural processes.” ?

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, your unwillingness to look honestly at the evidence is an issue whether you approach this as a purely scientific inquiry or as a matter of faith. The dishonesty and ignorance you continue to demonstrate are antithetical to both the practice of science and the Christian faith. 

  • Beau Quilter

    cdbren

    You say:

    “You seem to be ignoring the clear evidence and offering no other solution as to how random chance can fine tune things, make things complex (meaning it looks towards the future) and orders things in a way that they work together.

    Please tell me this mechanism. If you don’t have that mechanism then you can’t postulate the idea that it came about by natural processes. Just as you would not be able to tell me why you think pottery shards and arrow heads came to be there without being created by people. ”

    Your bias is obvious, as you continue to ignore the “clear evidence” that is overwhelmingly in favor of common descent through natural selection.

    When you ask how “random chance can fine tune things”, you’re either showing your ignorance or your insincerity, because natural selection is not “random chance”. Even ID “scientists” know this.

    You ask for a mechanism. You already know the answer: natural selection. You may not like the mechanism, but you (and the trickle of ID scientists with little to no publication) are simply rejecting the huge amount of evidence supported by 97% of the scientific community (and recent polls show that this percentage may be a bit low!). 

    The reason we know that humans designed pottery shards and arrow heads? Because humans still design pottery and arrows! We connect the past with the present. How many humans do you know who can design a frog? Or a tree? 

    And archeologists never stop at the conclusion that a human made a pottery shard – that would be pointless archeology! Only amateurs collect arrowheads without searching for the source. The real science is to figure out all that we can about ancient humans: how they made the shard, what their society was like, how they lived. That’s the point of archeology! Not to say, “a human made this. Done.”

    Now let’s turn your own nonsense back on your own questions:

    You say intelligent design explains life. By what mechanism? Please tell me this mechanism. If you don’t have that mechanism then you can’t postulate the idea that it came about by intelligent design. 

    • Anonymous

      Beau, you are being incoherent and jumping all over the place.

      I didn’t say you find pottery shards and conclude a human made them. There is your and other scientists mistake. I said you find them and come to the conclusion they were made/designed by someone. 

      If humans are part of the designed creatures then you can’t ask “how many humans do you know that can design a frog?”

      I don’t know of any humans that can design a frog. But anyone can clearly see that it has complex design. Without knowing what created it, you can still see it has evidence of being created. 

      I also never said you stop at that and say “a human made this. Done!”. How would you go about finding out about those people who made the pottery shards if you didn’t first come to the conclusion that is was made? 

      BTW, natural selections only selects. It does not plan for future systems or make something new. Natural selection can act on any heritable phenotypic trait. (A phenotypic trait is an obvious and observable trait like hair color or eye color). I am sorry but that is not the mechanism.

  • Anonymous

    In light of facts such as in the attached article, it is becoming increasingly clear that the genome is bidirectional, multifaceted and interleaved at every
    tie. Unguided chance/necessity mechanisms are demonstrably inadequate in
    accounting for this engineering marvel. 

    Such delicately balanced and finely tuned parameters are routinely associated with purposive agents. Agents are uniquely endowed with the capacity of foresight, and have the ability to visualize and subsequently actualize a complex end point. In every other realm of human experience, such features are routinely associated with intelligent causes.

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/11/the_finely_tuned_genetic_code052611.html

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, what is one to do when your claims are shown to be lies and yet you keep repeating them?

    If you are willing to sacrifice honesty merely in the hope that someone might believe your false claims, then you end up fitting well something Jesus is purported to have said. To paraphrase, “You roam the internet in the hope of making a single convert, and when you do, you make him twice a son of perdition as yourself.”

    Are you willing to be honest? If so, can you please show that you have understood from comments here and things that were linked to why the “common designer” claim is not going to be persuasive to those who know something about biology? You do not have to agree, obviously, but it seems as though you either are not listening or are deliberately ignoring what others say, and surely you do not expect someone to continue to try to persuade you if you are just going to ignore them, do you?

    And if you are not willing to do that, them how about you discuss my favorite example of “evidence of a common designer”? Do you view the creation of the mole with skin and fur over its useless eyes as an example of common design? Why, in your viewpoint, would an “intelligent” designer give a creature useless eyes of this sort at all?

    Do keep in mind, of course, that you were not there, and since you reject deduction and inference, any answer you give will only be a guess.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

      James, you might as well invite the author/s of evolutionnews to the discussion here. Presumably they understand what they have written over there, a distinctive advantage over the current cast. 

      The extraordinary asymmetry of someone taking 5 min to post a link from evolutionnews and the several hours necessary to actually read the various scientific articles cited and understand why they don’t actually support the conclusion quoted here from evolutionnews, then to find out that the poster doesn’t really understand the issue even at a primary level and doesn’t have the background mobio to integrate what is being discussed. Then another evolutionnews article is posted, with the last paragraph again quoted, with no new evidence that it was actually understood, this time.

      for example:
      “In light of facts such as in the attached article, it is becoming increasingly clear that the genome is bidirectional, multifaceted and interleaved at every
      tie. Unguided chance/necessity mechanisms are demonstrably inadequate in
      accounting for this engineering marvel. ”
      what exactly is a “tie”? the genome is “bidirectional”, “multifaceted” and “interleaved” with what exactly?

      i suspect/wonder that cdbren is actually a turing test program propagated by evolutionnews.

      • Anonymous

        Obviously tie would mean a structural connector. 

        Without knowing the field or being able to ask the author of the article I maybe would assume they mean angiopoietin receptors. They are receptors that bind angiopoietin. Called tie’s. TEI-1 and TIE-2. 

        But otherwise I would say they were being general with the term. It would have helped if you had reposted the link. I think it was Jonathan W. who has experience in biology. He has a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

    • Anonymous

      Moles appear to have adapted to a subterranean life style and are closely related to shrews who have eyes.

      Many creatures have lost features since exiting the ark. That seems to be the track record of what you want to call “evolution”.If you think God created them that way, you have a lot more exploring and researching to do. 

      • Beau Quilter

        cdbren

        Take a look at:http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/08/creationism_the_phantom_menace037351.htmlYou'll see David Klinghoffer’s argument that ID is not creationism:”But as a thought experiment, imagine that ID really did identify the “intelligent cause” as a deity, a creator. Would that make it “creationism”?No, not unless you are in the habit of buying lame arguments based on tenuous verbal comparisons. Words have meanings. “Creationism” is a useful word to designate the claim of scientific evidence for a literal reading of Genesis, from the creation story to Noah’s flood. ID not only does not provide proof for a literalist Biblical theology; it goes head-on against such a theology on major points.”See … ID goes head-on against the silly creationist belief in a literal Noah’s Ark.Or how about Michael Egnor’s response to Jerry Coyne’s criticism of flood theology:http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/01/reviewing_jerry_coyne016301.html“Dr. Coyne misunderstands the history of this issue. Regardless of whether or not creationism has undergone an “evolutionary” process, ID isn’t on the historical continuum with creationism. Creationism is the opinion that Genesis is more or less literally true as science. Many Christians hold to that view, and they have my respect, but I (and the vast majority of I.D. advocates) disagree.”Just wanted to let you know that even the vast majority I.D. advocates disagree with you about Noah’s Ark and the flood.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    I suppose I have an unfair advantage interacting with Cdbren and other young-earth creationists like him, who regurgitate propaganda from YEC web sites. As a professor, I have a lot of experience in detecting when students are presenting material they have found somewhere but have not really understood. :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

      You might write a blog article on that and how you detect students who disagree with you but are worth working with because they care enough to study what you say. 

      I really don’t know how to detect if people i’m talking to online are really interested in learning or are there primarily to preach to me, plus it’s hard to see the small changes from post to post that would indicate that person is on a learning curve and therefore interesting and worth the time to talk to. 

      I had really hoped that my question to cdbren about what was driving the study of HERVs would help him integrate what he was reading. o’well, it really is for the lurkers. thanks for allowing comments here, i notice that evolutionnews has no commenting system setup, i guess it would be too difficult and type consuming for them to actually defend what they preach so publically.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

        i did find some comments there 
        http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/following_the_evidence_where_i047161.html

        i don’t remember seeing any comments before on all the links we’ve read as references in the discussion here. it’s not obvious how the commenting sections work there. but at least this article on evolutionnews allows comments. 

        anyone who is more knowledge about that website know about their comment system? in any case, i need to modify my previous comment, at least one article allows comments.mea culpa.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    One giveaway in the case of Cdbren is the fact that whenever a question is asked of him, he either provides a link to a young-earth creationist website, or he says things that were clearly derived from such a source. When he had to ad lib in response to specific questions, he always became incoherent. And so it quickly became evident that he is here not to learn something, but because even though he didn’t know that whales are mammals, he persists in believing that he has something to teach those better informed about biology than himself.

    Arrogance of that sort is the biggest hindrance to learning that one can encounter. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    I love it when young-earth creationists say “evolution didn’t happen” and then in order to shoehorn their view into the Bible, say that dogs and moles evolved in a manner more rapid than what mainstream science posits.

    There is nothing that illustrates duplicity more clearly than this sort of high level of unconcerned inconsistency.

    The young-earth creationist view ends up not being “evolution can’t happen” or “evolution didn’t happen” but “evolution only happens when we say it happened, and only did what we say it did.”

  • Beau Quilter

    Umm Cdbren

    Check your precious ID website. I don’t think that any of your favorite ID scientists actually believe the ark story literally.

  • Gary

    Cdbren is an example of “does not understand the concept”. He should never use the words “random chance”, since he does not understand it. The mutations are random chance, but there is nothing involving random chance in the process of natural selection and evolution. Also mutation rates are irrelevant in his discussions of bacteria. “Only a Theory”, Kenneth R. Miller, discusses bacteria that evolve the capability to “eat” nylon, by evolving an enzyme called “nylonase”. This was discovered in the waste ponds of nylon plants. Given a large supply of potential food to eat (nylon), which bacteria previously could not eat, natural selection drove the process of the bacteria evolution toward nylonase capability, NOT in a random fashion, but by a directed process. The mutations are random, the national selection is not. The book also states the process was repeated in a lab in Osaka, where evolution appears “before our very eyes” (the book subheading). “They took a culture of Pseudomonas bacteria that had no ability at all to metabolize nylon compounds and grew it on a medium containing small fragments of the nylon molecules as the sole source of food. After just nine days they found colonies of “hypergrowing” bacteria that had begun to master the trick of using nylon fragments as food.”….other interesting facts, but he concludes with… “In short, they evolved the ability right before our very eyes.” Page 83 in the hard cover book.

    • Anonymous

      Gary, the original DNA sequence was preadapted for frame-shift mutations to occur without destroying the protein-coding potential of the original gene. (no stop codons). This protein sequence seems designed to be specifically adaptable to novel functions. In other words, it already had the ability to adapt to feed on numerous things. Like oil or crude sulfur. 

      That it could adapt to eat nylon is no surprise to me.

      It’s hardy an example of what you want evolution to mean. The bacteria are still bacteria, are they not?

      • Gary

        “The bacteria are still bacteria, are they not?” Micro vs macro evolution, there is no destinction. That’s because variation is variation. Since you cannot define a species, there is no dividing line to say when so-called micro-evolution becomes macro-evolution. It is all the same. I assume you believe in microevolution. By doing so, you also believe in macroevolution, as in Darwinism. By saying you believe in micro, but not macro, you have arbitrarily placed a dividing line where there is no division. Change is change. Given enough time, a new species is created, by man’s rather arbitrary definition of species, however each man may define it.

        • Anonymous

          There is a distinction. It is between simple and complex. Where evolution naturally selects single, simple traits like what a bacteria can eat, longer or shorter beaks, longer or shorter hair, etc. it does not look to the future and select something like a new bone structure for a fin but without the nerves and blood vessels in the right place as well. It acts mainly on features that are already there. 

          When you are talking large, complex organs, they mathematically and biologically can’t stay fixed to later all come together. Natural selection would filter them out as not being fit for the species. 

          What you are really doing is taking a species natural ability to adapt up to a certain extent to environmental changes and then postulating that enough little changes will mean a new species with totally new features. Not realizing that the exact mechanism you say causes macro-evolution would in turn stop macro-evolution in it’s tracks. 

          Tell me why a species genetic structure would expend unnecessary energy and haul around information that is meaningless until the whole structure eventually comes together and becomes fixed in the generations. Tell me how natural selection and mutations can foretell the future. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

            re:
             It is between simple and complex. 

            the complex is just lots of simple pieces. reduction works in biology because there is no élan vital to deal with. the decomposible machine as a model for the investigation of living things works because of this idea: complex=*simple

            re:
            Tell me why a species genetic structure would expend unnecessary energy and haul around information that is meaningless  

            that is a good question. we don’t appear to have a good mechanism for removing unneeded dna in eukaroytes.  we don’t know the cost of unneeded dna.

            re:
            Tell me how natural selection and mutations can foretell the future. 

            they apparently can’t, most of the species who ever lived are extinct.

            re:
            It acts mainly on features that are already there.  

            evolution always acts on what is there hence the nested hierarchical structure, even an example of syncytin needs the viral dna there before mutation and NS can operate on it. evolution doesn’t produce chimeras or swapped modules like the sphinx or griffin. these things are how designers work not nature.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

              maybe 
              complex=+simple
              i’m not sure which.

            • Anonymous

              re: “evolution always acts on what is there hence the nested hierarchical structure, even an example of syncytin needs the viral dna there before mutation and NS can operate on it. evolution doesn’t produce chimeras or swapped modules like the sphinx or griffin. these things are how designers work not nature.”

              You’ve never heard of a Platypus???? 

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

                show how a platypus is a chimera. from what other different creatures is it a product of? actually i’d be pleased if you would just explain the platypus sexual determination system, i’ve spent several days working on it and am still rather confused. 

                • Anonymous

                  Richard, I think you would be better off looking into that yourself. Mainly start with Nature May 8th edition, 2008.

                  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

                    which article are you referring to
                    http://tinyurl.com/82v7osc 

                    so you’re not going to try to explain platypus sexual determination system to us? sad. i’d love to understand it.  or explain how a platypus is a chimera of distinct creatures WWW + XXX + YYY + ZZZ? *grin* 

                  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

                    re:
                    Nature does not generate information. 

                    wow.
                    after us showing you the details of (1)syncytin a co-opted HERV-W, (2)the nylon bug an indel open reading frame, you are still repeating this mantra. either you don’t understand the examples or you are willfully ignoring the fact that they are brand new information, each a new protein. period. in either case your reaction to both facts demonstrate the creationist method as pictured above, rather well. QED.

                    • Anonymous

                      Richard, You seem to be unwilling to accept that a loss of information is not generating anything. Your examples (1) and (2). 

                      What is the name of this new protein?

                    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

                      (1)syncytin (2)6-Aminohexanoic-Acid-Oligomer Hydrolase of Flavobacterium sp. K172, how can they be a loss of information? here are 2 proteins, new, #2 has never existed before, it is a frame shift mutation, syncytin is a viral protein now co-opted to join cells in the placenta. sure, i’m unwilling to accept a lie, they are NEW PROTEINS. read the papers, strive to understand how God really operates in this world, not how you desire. play what if, allow yourself an hour of willing suspension of disbelief and listen to what people are really saying about the world. its there in front of you–NEW INFORMATION, produced by 2 very different mechanisms, neither of which are a loss of anything but a gain.

                    • Anonymous

                      Richard, yes I understand. What they had a loss of was DNA replication ability. The ability to reproduce was hindered, I think the one study showed. I am not saying the protein change itself was a loss. But the process that led to that destroyed or hindered other functions. 

                      Proteins help do a lot of different things. This does not equate to “information” per say, I don’t think. You asked me to read so I am reading.

                      Proteins do a lot of things but they are not genetic code. It appears they participate but they don’t hold code. 

                      I would agree that a new protein appeared in the E Coli, a new feature appeared that helped them adapt to a situation. I would not, however, call it new “information”. 

                    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

                      re:
                      yes I understand 

                      i don’t see any evidence that you do. but ….

                      one of the interesting mantras we hear from the YECists is same data but different conclusions. i ran across an excellent discussion of this idea and a new word to use-blik
                      quote:”Philosopher R. M. Hare called this phenomenon of seemingly incorrigible perspective as a “blik.” Two people look at exactly the same evidence and see very different things and are often radically committed to their own perspective and tempted to think that others looking at the same datum while seeing something else must be either crazy or stupid or blind.”
                      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2011/11/bewildered-by-seeing-as/ 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, please stop making unsubstantiated assertions about what is or is not the case. Your saying so doesn’t determine reality. Provide evidence and argument, and not just guesses and wishes.

    • Anonymous

      James, you should use that rationale towards scientists. Evolutionists usually do make unsubstantiated assertions, guesses and wishes.  Twisting the evidence to fit their world view. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Scientists have to show actual results. You can keep claiming otherwise, but your willingness to slander the Christians and others who actually work in the relevant fields says something about your willingness to malign, not about them. 

  • Anonymous

    Please don’t move the goal posts. I never said anything about new species.

    I was countering your assertion that new features don’t arise. I pointed out an instance where that has happened—a strain of bacteria gained an ability it didn’t previously have, through the processes of random mutation and the course of natural selection.

    Again, I’ll point you to the picture that James posted and ask why you prefer the methodology on the right.

    • Anonymous

      Cameron, You called it evolution back on one of your posts. Now are you backpedalling and calling it just change within a species? 

      It seems to me that you are trying to convince yourself that minute changes within a species somehow miraculously equates to new complex features and structures that create a new form of that species. 

      All the E. Coli experiment shows is that species can adapt and it usually means losing something, not gaining it. And the E. Coli did have that ability. You keep saying it didn’t when it did. 

      It’s like taking a strain of fleas that can jump and a strain that can’t jump. Then putting the ones that can’t jump into a controlled environment where they have to jump a certain distance to get to a food source. They start feeding on themselves to survive and eventually produce ones that can jump. LOOK! you say. A new feature arose! 

      • Anonymous

        re: Cameron, You called it evolution back on one of your posts. Now are you
        backpedalling and calling it just change within a species?

        I’m not backpedalling. Change within a species is an important part of evolution.

        re: It
        seems to me that you are trying to convince yourself that minute changes
        within a species somehow miraculously equates to new complex features
        and structures that create a new form of that species.

        No, I became convinced of that years ago. Although I wouldn’t call a series of small adaptations leading to new complex structures miraculous. Or perhaps I would. It certainly appears to be natural.

        re: All the
        E. Coli experiment shows is that species can adapt and it usually means
        losing something, not gaining it. And the E. Coli did have that ability.
        You keep saying it didn’t when it did.

        Fair enough. The only personal experience I’ve had with E. Coli is as a host. There seem to be plenty of scientists around who deal with the critters every day who don’t think E. Coli has that ability except in very specific circumstances, or if they happen to be in the population we’re talking about here.

        re: It’s like taking a
        strain of fleas that can jump and a strain that can’t jump. Then putting
        the ones that can’t jump into a controlled environment where they have
        to jump a certain distance to get to a food source. They start feeding
        on themselves to survive and eventually produce ones that can jump.
        LOOK! you say. A new feature arose!

        Yes, I would say that. I’d be very interested in the series of genetic events that led to the development. (In bacterial genetics the feeding on themselves would also be an important factor, especially if there were other species present.) I’d probably also start using the terms ‘parallel evolution’, ‘convergent evolution’. Whatever happened, I think we’d both agree it was a pretty cool observation.

        re: I think your imagination is running wild and you are missing the details.

        As far as I can tell the only detail you think I’m missing here is reference to a designer. Given that you think believe that natural selection and natural processes are what formed the species we have today, what’s left?

        • Anonymous

          Cameron, from this conversation I think we would agree pretty much. I would agree that species can adapt and change to a certain degree, due to environmental factors.

          The one thing I have the most problem accepting is the idea that with most higher life forms, say most mammals, some sort of gradual change will lead to something completely different. Say for instance a lizard becoming a bird someday. 

          With all that goes on with the body plan design, the embryo not resembling the adult until it goes through several stages, back up DNA information in the genes, that evolution of that kind is highly, highly improbable even given a million or so years. (Each of those items above themselves are another subject.)

          From observation, a bird always gives birth to a bird. Barring minor variations across the 27 orders. I have researched both sides of the issue probably a lot more than the average person on the street.

          Based on that, the amount of mutations and other steps/hurdles the species would have to go through seems on the order of impossible. And that is only ONE creature. The branch chart someone posted on the other site had hundreds or more of branches.

          A change in protein is one thing. A change from a limb to a wing with everything to go along with that new ability in place, is another.

          Just look at the dog breeds. We’ve technically sped up natural selection and only get more dogs. Also, many have undesired side effects. Bad hips, more prone to certain diseases, breathing problems….I know from experience that they all seem non-beneficial. 

          To me the evidence just doesn’t match the “long view” evolution theory.

  • Gary

    “Not realizing that the exact mechanism you say causes macro-evolution would in turn stop macro-evolution in it’s tracks”???? Does not compute. “taking a species natural ability to adapt up to a certain extent” ….you are setting the arbitrary “certain extent”. How you inject “foretell the future” also does not compute. “Tell me why a species genetic structure would expend unnecessary energy and haul around information that is meaningless”….Miller’s book, “Only a Theory”, contains many examples of meaningless genetic data, or additional genetic data being carried around that no longer functions. Vitamin C processing enzymes (or lack thereof) in humans, apes, and some other primates comes to mind. But going back in time, the enzyme worked in OUR common ancestor (the common ancestor of us and our banana friends). I would say to you, to quote a famous commercial, “It’s Miller Time!” Read his book. You can snipe at Beau. I’m done.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, so one day a guy walks up to you and says irreducible complexity is no problem for a random, Darwinian-like evolutionary process. In fact, he can explain how a mousetrap could be made step by step. That’s great, you reply, tell me. Easy, says he. He has just finished a detailed analysis of the standard mechanical mousetrap and discovered that, except for the wooden base, all the parts are made of metal! What’s more, he’s even looked at non-standard
    mechanical traps, and their pieces are all made of metal, too! Also, after much sleuthing he’s noticed that the mousetrap spring has a lot in common with the spring inside his ballpoint pen — both are made of metal, and both are curled into spirals.

    Fascinating, you reply, please go on. Go on? What, are you blind?
    Don’t you see? asks he. The mousetrap spring must have arisen from
    something like the pen’s spring, to make the beginning of the mousetrap.
    Then the spring duplicated to form the other metal parts, which were
    added one by one to make the trap we see today. What more could a reasonable person ask for?

    You point out that it isn’t quite obvious to you how that helps, that the function of the mousetrap would seem to be missing from all those parts, and that while all the parts were being added, the system still wouldn’t work like a trap. In fact, you note that the scenario says nothing at all about how the mouse-trapping function arose.

    IDiot!, he mutters.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

      re:
      mousetrap as IC example.

      human designed objects being used as analogies for ET have a serious problem, design is nothing like evolution’s tinkering. evolution must use what already exists in a creature’s genome, it can’t switch in already debugged modules even from a parasite or another creature living closely nearby. this is completely different from the way human beings design. this vertical transmission only restraint is really important and is poorly represented in mousetrap type examples.

      horizontal transfer is really rare. bacteria swap plasmids, when you get to creatures like mammals there are only a few examples of viral genes like syncytin. but in any case, there are no chimeras like sphinx in the living world, but they fill the imaginations of mankind from a very early date, showing how easily we design by swapping modules.

      linguistics seems to show elements of evolutionary theory ok, but again, it is too easy for languages to borrow words and even grammatical structures from nearby examples (old english and norse for example) 

      until we find a system that really shows the necessity of vertical transmission as ET requires our models deceive and mislead us, as in the mousetrap and 747 in a tornado examples do.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Ken Miller actually addressed precisely that, because one major misunderstanding or deliberate misconstrual by the ID movement is that stages in an evolutionary process need to serve the same function as the end resulting feature. 

    Ken Miller was asked precisely this question about a mousetrap, and he illustrated how a partial mousetrap worked well as a tie clip.  :-)

    More relevant is the research on the function of precursors to the allegedly irreducibly complex bacterial flagellum.

    • Anonymous

      Re: James: “Ken Miller was asked precisely this question about a mousetrap, and he illustrated how a partial mousetrap worked well as a tie clip.  :-)”

      This is a curious response. 

      I have heard Dawkins and others claim that evolution happens in slow steps and that we can’t perceive of that kind of change. In one video he seems to say evolution has stopped now for modern creatures. I guess he was responding to questions about no fossil transitionary forms or why we can’t see changes in the genome today that can be called evolution.

      So in regards to the partial mouse trap being a tie clip….

      Besides a new protein being made by E. Coli, has anyone ever observed new complex information being increased in the genome? (Please give links)

  • Anonymous

    Back to the E Coli. If that new strain were introduced back into the main population what would happen is that it would die out or revert back. The wild population being more fit. 

    This, as I said before, is working against a macro-evolution scenario and does not show increased fitness. It is not even close to the kind of complex change for macro-evolution to occur. 

    • Anonymous

      That depends on the environment they were returned to. They may or may not prove to be able to survive in the original glucose rich environment. You’re assuming the wild population would be more fit, but that’s as much to do with the environment as anything else. If the environment were glucose poor but citrate rich, I’ve got a pretty good idea what might happen.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, when did you do the research demonstrating your claims, and where and when have the results or will the results be published? :-)

    • Anonymous

      I am going by others claims that have been published. They are not my claims. I am merely raising alternate questions.

      Since when does a published paper describing findings suddenly equal fact? Any and all can be equally questioned and countered. That is what science is all about or do you gullibly follow the first thing your favorite scientist comes up with?

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Richard, do keep in mind that Cdbren has already shown himself to be willing to dismiss substantial evidence of homology between species if it suits him to do so, but is happy to go with the mere resemblance of characteristics of the platypus to other organisms if it suits him.

    If you continue to address Cdbren as though he grasped that getting to the truth may involve consistency, rational inference, and investigating beneath surface appearances, you are bound, it would seem, to find yourself frustrated.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

      re:
      If you continue to address Cdbren as though he grasped that getting to the truth may involve consistency, rational inference, and investigating beneath surface appearances, you are bound, it would seem, to find yourself frustrated. 

      i expect Christians to genuinely care about what God hath wrought in this world. i was deeply saddened to listen to Al Mohler say that the creation lies to unbelievers who can’t see that the world is only 6ky old, last week. i expect Christians to take “the truth shall make you free” seriously. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, you are quite right that getting something published in a peer-reviewed setting is not a guarantee of truth.

    But the fact that you are ignoring all the substantial body of research that has been published in such forums is nonetheless telling. You are not interested even in participating in the discussion that seeks after truth, because (in spite of your ignorance becoming manifest time and again) you are convinced that whatever you already think is truth.

    You continue to make assertions that are not backed up by any research that would at least represent a participation in serious discussion, and you dismiss that which has been researched in detail as mere guesswork.

    And you don’t see, or are unwilling to admit, any problem with what you have been saying and doing.

  • Gary

    Just wanted to add one thing. If you are rich, buy books. If you are like everyone else, support your local library. More than likely, they will have
    576.8071 MILLER
    “Only a Theory, Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul”, Kenneth R. Miller

    Includes mousetrap, flagellum motors, irreducible complexity, etc…

  • Pf

    Cdbren, you have spent a lot of time arguing the nuances of evolution, with your case basically boiling down to: “evolution cant be proved because we can’t see it in real time.”

    There is all kinds of evidence for evolution, although we have yet to learn every detail. So answer me this: what is the physical evidence of your belief that god created the everything as described in Genesis?

    Basically there is none. You want to argue against something in which we are missing a few out of a million pieces of tangible evidence, but then you assert something for which you have not a single shred of evidence of any kind.

    Feel free to believe what you want. But be honest that your views are faith and not the slightest but rational.

    • Anonymous

      Pf, actually there is a historical record from eyewitnesses. One that has been proven to be translated accurately and backed up by archeological evidence as far as places and events. 

      Feel free to interpret that as you will but it is indeed evidence. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

        re:
        Pf, actually there is a historical record from eyewitnesses. One that has been proven to be translated accurately and backed up by archeological evidence as far as places and events. the discussion would be about genesis.
        certainly you are not claiming the writers of gen 1-3 were eyewitnesses to creation. you are discussing whether or not raqia is solid, sounds to me there is translation wiggle room as well. afaik Genesis has no archaeological evidence to support it. claiming X about the Bible as a whole does not show evidence for Genesis specifically.

        • Anonymous

          The actual writer claimed in Genesis is God so yes I would claim He was an eyewitness to his own creation. 

          Furthermore Jesus claimed to be God and so was also an eyewitness and it is written that he verified Moses’ writings, the world wide flood and the creation events. 

          With regards to raqia being solid, it may well have been solid and a dome of water but by day 4 it would have been millions of light years away as God placed stars within it. It does not specify anything else about the nature of it. So really no wiggle room there. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    OK, two questions, Cdbren:

    1) Where does Genesis claim that the entire book is authored by God,
    2) Assuming you can find a remotely plausible answer to question 1, why do you believe that claim, as you understand it to be made in Genesis?

    • Anonymous

      James, do you want me to list all the places it says “And God said…” or ” And the Lord said…” or just suffice that it says this throughout Genesis?

      2) I believe that Genesis is true history because the person I put my trust in for salvation and eternal life, who claimed to be God, verified that it is true. I can give those scriptures if you wish. 

      • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Cdbren, that is not evidence that God wrote the book, but that whoever wrote the book wrote about God speaking. Can you understand the difference?

        You do not have evidence that Jesus believed that God wrote these things, but at best, evidence that people wrote stories in which Jesus said such things. Can you understand the difference?

        But apparently you are one of these heretics who denies the Scriptural and historic Christian creedal teaching about Jesus being fully human, as you are happy to deny that Jesus in any way shared in the worldview of his human historical and cultural context. Apparently the young-earth nonsense you promote is more important to you than the historic Christian faith.

        • Anonymous

          Jesus was fully human and fully God. 

          I keep wondering how you are so sure that the entire 66 books are all false writings? That every one of them is a lie. You don’t trust experts that were right there beside Jesus and then are so sure that scientists conclusions are all 100% true. 

          Kind of a double standard I suppose. 

          A young earth is not nonsense. The OT shows it is true and Jesus confirmed it is true. If you choose to not believe the Bible and the God of the bible, again that is your business. Regardless the words are still confirming everything I have said.

  • http://darwinkilledgod.blogspot.com/ Human Ape

    cdbren, there’s no nice way to say this. You’re an idiot.

    darwinkilledgod dot blogspot dot com

  • Pf

    Cdbren, so your evidence for what you believe is that an unidentified person wrote it a book some thousands of years ago? And this is more credible than all the science we know?

    Not to mention that you don’t seem to have any clue as to how the bible was written or how it was compiled.

    And you still have yet to explain how any of what you contend is proof.

    • Anonymous

      Pf: I have no problem at all with the science we know. 

      I have studied how the bible was written and compiled. 

      Just what do you want proof of? 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, why do you find it so hard to treat other people with respect and address their points with honesty? When someone suggests that texts are human writings which reflect human understanding and culture, and you treat that as though it were a claim that the texts in question are lies and completely false, are you deliberately misrepresenting the other person, or are you merely uncomprehending? When someone claims that evolution represents the closest to an accurate history of life on this planet, and you claim that they are certain that scientists’ conclusions are 100% true, is the misrepresentation deliberate on your part, or have you been so deceived by YEC’s false teachers that you cannot even accurately understand those who attempt to communicate with you?

    If you have ‘studied’ the Bible the way you have ‘studied’ biology, then it is likely that there are things that you will either not have covered, will ignore, or will misrepresent.

    • Anonymous

      James, I never denied that the scriptures reflect human understanding and culture. Sure they do. That does not mean God did not guide men to write spiritual truths.

      I know of many credible scientists that would disagree that evolution from molecules to man is the closest accurate history of life on this planet. With the Cambrian explosion evidence and lack of other evidence, the creation by an intelligence is just as close an explanation for life.

      As far as the creation account, I would agree that it was written to fit peoples understanding at that time. I also believe that God could have created any way he wanted. In one day or in five months. 

      But in fact he created just as he explained, otherwise it would be a lie. In other words, since God could create in any way he chose, he chose to create in the exact way he described.

  • Anonymous

    James, I must correct one thing. You claim I said God wrote the Bible. My claim is the Bible itself states that it was written THROUGH men. That God used men to write His words. 

    The words of the 66 books of the Bible are God’s words written down by chosen men. One book can be cross checked with any other book. Basically that is how it was compiled into the Bible.  

    • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      They can be cross-checked against one another? Like the genealogies in Matthew and Luke? Like the account of Jesus’ birth in Matthew in which they try to return from Egypt to their homeland Judea and only go to Nazareth out of fear, while in Luke Jesus’ family is originally from Nazareth? Like Mark 13, Matthew 24 and Luke 21? It is precisely as a result of such cross-checking that those who think it is wrong to try to force the Bible to conform to our pre-existing ideologies and stances consistently reach the conclusion that it is not inerrant. 

      Just in case you don’t get it, that doesn’t mean completely false and completely wrong about everything. Just not inerrant.

      • Anonymous

        One is the genealogy of Joseph and the other is of Jesus. 

        Mark 13, Matthew 24 and Luke 21 are accounts of the same incident from three different people. 

        I don’t see any problems there. Perhaps you are a person who just likes to try very hard to discredit the bible for some reason or other. 

        • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Cdbren, Can Mark’s wording about the desolating sacrilege and Luke’s wording about the desolation of Jerusalem both be the sort of precise reporting that you claim the Bible offers? If being precise doesn’t matter, then why insist that not only the affirmation of creation in Genesis 1 but the details must be correct?

          Which of the genealogies does not trace the ancestry of Jesus via Joseph?

          • Anonymous

            They are two different genealogies with different purposes. 

            Matthew’s genealogy is condensed and divided into three groups of 14,
            representing a movement through three time periods. The first group
            lists the patriarchs, the second names the kings, and the third contains
            private citizens. The intent was not to give a strict record, but
            rather, present the historical progression. It begins by highlighting
            the family origin, then the rise to power through the Davidic throne,
            and eventually the decline from royalty to the humble birth of the promised Messiah.

            Luke’s account is unusual in that is begins with Jesus and progresses
            backward through history, rather than following the order of
            chronological succession. Some suggest that Luke’s purpose in presenting
            a “regression” was to magnify attention on Jesus. 

            According to one of the oldest theories, some scholars assign the
            differences in genealogies to the “Levirate marriage” tradition. This
            custom said that if a man died without bearing any sons, his brother
            could then marry his widow, and their sons would carry on the dead man’s
            name. For this theory to hold up, it would mean that Joseph, the father of Jesus,
            had both a legal father (Heli) and a biological father (Jacob), through
            a Levirate marriage. The theory suggests that Joseph’s grandfathers
            (Matthan according to Matthew; Matthat according to Luke) were brothers,
            both married to the same woman, one after the other. This would make
            Matthan’s son (Jacob) Joseph’s biological father, and Matthat’s son
            (Heli) Joseph’s legal father. Matthew’s account would trace Jesus’
            primary (biological) lineage, and Luke’s record would follow Jesus’
            legal lineage.

                   

  • Anonymous

    The Bible explains common design features we find in species, commonality in DNA, source of the information contained in the DNA, the Cambrian explosion, fossils rapidly buried in rock layers, the ice age, mass extinction of dinosaurs and plant species, the beginning of the universe, the formation of the Earth, the formation of life, why bad things happen, where morals come from, the existence of different languages, where we came from, why we are here and where we are going.

    Science can’t explain any of the above with clarity. The evidence for all of that is found in the world. It fits the history described in the bible perfectly. 

    I don’t see how anyone could deny that. Just the mere fact of complex information found in the genome points to an intelligent designer. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

      re:
      The Bible explains common design features we find in species, commonality in DNA, source of the information contained in the DNA, the Cambrian explosion, fossils rapidly buried in rock layers, the ice age, mass extinction of dinosaurs and plant species, the beginning of the universe, the formation of the Earth, the formation of life, why bad things happen, where morals come from, the existence of different languages, where we came from, why we are here and where we are going. 

      gen 30: on genetics
      37 ¶ Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was in the rods.38 He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink.39 So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted.

      • Anonymous

        Science can’t explain it because God did it. Read the next chapter. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Just FYI, there aren’t 14 separate generations in each group. Matthew says there are, but there aren’t. And he leaves some out in the second set to get it down to 14, if you compare his list with Chronicles. The genealogy in Matthew is a great piece of evidence that, while modern readers tend to assume that Biblical numbers are about mathematical precision, narratives are about historical precision, etc., in fact their aims were sometimes symbolic (as in this case the fact that the name David has the numeric value of 14, and his is the 14th name in the genealogy, crafted to highlight him and his connection to Jesus).

    As for the levirite marriage suggestion, it is not impossible, but it might just be an attempt to account for the discrepancy rather than something based on historical recollection. Certainly it is something extrabiblical and not obvious from Matthew, Luke or any other NT source. And so accepting that solution involves accepting church tradition, not simply accepting the Bible for what it is. And I suspect that if a biologist were to offer you an answer as speculative and ill-founded in evidence as the levirate marriage solution to the discrepancies between the NT genealogies, you would reject it as a mere guess, would you not?

    • Anonymous

      James, I would consider any conclusion by any biologist, Christian or not, to be an educated guess. People can be wrong or partially wrong.

      Matthew mentions counting David twice. (Read Matt. 1:17 carefully). That is where you think one is missing. There are 41 generations total.  

      Personally, I would go with the conclusion that Matthew was Josephs line and Luke was Mary’s line. Being virgin born, this would make sense. (They don’t list female names in Jewish genealogies so that is why it is supposed the Heli is named, as he had no sons, only daughters. Also, this is why it names Joseph and not Mary at the end.)

      • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Matthew 1:17 doesn’t say that David is counted twice any more than it says that Jeconiah is counted twice. Read it carefully. And it remains the case that Matthew dropped some generations from Chronicles, does it not?

        Saying that one of the genealogies is Mary’s even though both Gospels trace the line through Joseph is saying that one of the Gospels was wrong, even while trying to harmonize them to have them seem to be right. 

        You are twisting the Bible to say what you want it to. You want it to be an inerrant text that allows you to be right and know you are right about matters of history, science, and of course theology, so that you can find comfort in that certainty. You refuse to accept the Bible that God has given you, and are determined instead to twist the Bible until it seems to be what you suppose it ought to be.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think it is possible to have a normal conversation with you, without having you continuously lash out with a pompous attitude to any thinking that isn’t like your own. 

          The info I offered is from Biblical scholars so it is a study, not a twisting of anything. Why not let the Holy Spirit guide you? You know him, right?

          I offered a couple different takes on why the genealogies are different.

          Obviously they are different in structure, etc. Matthew does indeed count David in his statements on both. Abraham to David are fourteen. And then David to the carrying away in Babylon is fourteen. He never gives a total for all the counts.

          Even if we count in the name carried away to Babylon and take out David, it is still 14 in each. 

          Abraham        David
          Issac             Solomon
          Jacob            Roboam
          Judas            Abia
          Pharas          Asa
          Esrom           Josaphat
          Aram            Joram
          Aminadab      Ozias
          Naasson        Joatham
          Salmon         Achaz
          Boaz             Ezekias
          Obed            Manasses
          Jesse            Amon
          David           Josias

  • aaron

    I remember when I was a YEC and argued like cdbren. The process was long and difficult, and I understand how difficult it is for people to give up YEC but it finally got to the point where I had to be honest and admit that I cannot believe in “Truth” if it has to constantly be backed up by lies and distortions. YEC is dishonest to the biblical text, and it is dishonest to science. It is nice to be on the other side of the discussion, now that I can be honest about facts instead of manipulated them to serve my purposes. And if you disagree, cdbren, you should publish your findings in real academic journals for both science and biblical studies. That is real scholarship.

    • Anonymous

      Aaron, what do you think about the Cambrian explosion, mass extinction of dinosaurs, beginning of the universe, (big bang theory which they now have to reformulate), missing links in the fossil record (I know they try hard to put things in there), origin of different languages, formation of the Earth (ie, planet formation) and the origin of life?

      None of these has been answered by science yet but has been answered by the bible. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    You have yet to cite a Biblical scholar in support of your claims. Of course I am seeking to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit – that is one of the reasons I am so certain you are wrong, although the fact that your claims are verifiably false is additional evidence that confirms the same. Why do you only count either David or Jeconiah, but not both? Does Matthew tell you to do so? If so, where?

    • Anonymous

      That is what Matthew states. Unless you think he can’t count to fourteen….

      “From Abraham to David are fourteen generations…..from David to the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations.” Looks like David is counted in both to the casual viewer.

      As for listening to the Holy Spirit, how would you know him or even believe in him? The bible was only written by men, remember? Creation is suspect, the flood is suspect and even Jesus’ own words are suspect by you so why not the idea of the Holy Spirit?

  • aaron

    You do know James Mcgrath is a real biblical scholar right?
    Unlike Ken Ham, who is not.

     

    Anyways, your claims have been debunked over and over and
    over and over again. I had the honestly to see this and adjust my views
    accordingly. Will you?

     

    1.    
    Cambrian explosion supposedly caused by flood or
    God magically creating a bunch of animals around that period. Debunked here and here.

    2.    
    Mass extinction of dinosaurs caused by flood-
    debunked here

    3.    
    Big bang didn’t happen- debunked here.
    Red-shift, expansion, background radiation must all be coincidences huh?

    4.    
    No missing links debunked here -funny
    thing is that we find a couple transition fossils in the Cambrian Explosion you
    mentioned.

    5.    
    Origin of different languages debunked here –also, the
    Tower of Babel is an etiology- a narrative that describes the origin of
    something. It is not a scientific or historical account and that can be seen
    clearly from the text, unless you believe, as the Genesis writers did, that a
    tower can be built that is high enough to reach into God’s domain. I don’t
    think you fully understand the absurdity of taking Genesis literally, as you do
    not believe the earth is flat, held up by pillars, with sheol underneath us,
    and water above the windows of the heavens (the sun, moon, stars etc). This is
    the world, however, that the Genesis writers (and yes there was multiple
    writers/editors) spoke about in Genesis. That is the “biblical worldview”. If
    you don’t believe that stuff, you don’t have a biblical worldview.

    6.    
    Geez, take an astronomy course. Our sun is a second-generation
    star, our planets consist of the remains of an old star.

    7.    
    Origin of life is impossible debunked here

     

     

    Study science. Study the bible.
    But study them seriously, not to try to manipulate the facts to suit your own
    belief.

    • Anonymous

      aaron, biblical scholars usually hold an unspiritual view of scripture and a person that is unspiritual won’t be able to understand spiritual things. 

      Are you putting links into your post later? 

      I don’t see anywhere that the Cambrian explosion is explained sufficiently.
       
      Dinosaur extinction isn’t answered with any clarification either. 

      The big bang did happen, though it was the creation event. It would have caused red shift, background radiation…everything we see the evidence for.

      A couple of transition fossils??? Do you realize that is evolution were true we’d find millions and millions of them.

      Last I heard they were still studying how language has evolved up till this year and don’t fully understand it.

      No one has seen nor knows how a planet is formed. 

      Origin of life is impossible? I don’t follow. Unless you mean life out of non-life is impossible which I would agree with based on biological evidence.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

        re:
        Last I heard they were still studying how language has evolved up till this year and don’t fully understand it.

        the last few years both genetics and linguistics have made amazing discoveries in tandem here. see the Khoisan peoples and their click languages. consilience is your friend *grin*

  • aaron
  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Actually, Cdbren, you are the one who is making it seem as though Matthew couldn’t count, by insisting that either he was mathematically precise or he couldn’t count. The abundant evidence that ancient Jews were more interested in numbers for their symbolic value than for mathematical precision never enters into your vision, because you insist on reading Matthew as though he were a modern person sharing your modern worldview and concerns.

    If you want to know about my experience of the Holy Spirit, my testimony is on this blog. But your stance that everyone who disagrees with you must be wrong because you have the Holy Spirit, and they must therefore not have the Holy Spirit, is not only unspiritually arrogant on your part, but unbiblical. Did Peter not have the Holy Spirit after Pentecost? What about Paul? Yet Paul rebuked Peter at Antioch. So clearly someone who knew Jesus personally and was commissioned by him and received the Holy Spirit could be wrong. But you think you are above instruction, superior to the apostles.

    • Anonymous

      You don’t disagree with me, James. You disagree with God and His words.

      You are not arguing about my views, you are arguing about God’s word. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    No, you have such an exaggerated sense of your own understanding, that you are sure that anyone who disagrees with your views and interpretations is in fact disagreeing with God’s own view. But that is a testament to your own pride and self-delusion, not to the way things actually are.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

      re:
      But that is a testament to your own pride and self-delusion, not to the way things actually are. 

      afaik the more conservative a viewpoint the easier it is to identify your interpretation as God’s own. part of the problem is that most conservative church teach that there is a single correct interpretation for every verse, and they have it. this arm’s length understanding that the text is not self interpreting but that the ideas in my head are a result of a human effort seems to be far more common towards the liberal end.

    • Anonymous

      Yet you are arguing with me about what Matthew said when it clearly says he counted David each time. It is plainly stated right there yet you can’t seem to see it. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    No it doesn’t say that, any more than it says that he counted the generation of the exile twice. But he either says both, or neither. You are sure that Matthew must have meant that because you can’t conceive of his emphasis on 14 being about anything other than numerical precision.

    • Anonymous

      So you don’t see where he says David twice…..do you have your glasses on?

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    He also mentions the generation of the exile twice, and mentions Jeconiah twice at the end of one group and start of the next, just as he does with David.

    That you can be so snide while ignoring what the text actually says is sad indeed.

    • Anonymous

      That has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

      As anyone can plainly see he repeats ALL the generations names twice when he lists them! 

      “Abraham begat Isaac, and Issac begat jacob”…..(Issac…Issac..)

      “Josias begat Jechonias…Jechonias begat Salathiel”…(Jechonias…Jechonias)

      That is the way the genealogies are listed. 

      The passage we are discussing is where Matthew counts from Abraham to David, (fourteen generations) then David to Jechonias.  (fourteen generations), then Jechonias to Christ. (fourteen generations).

      There is nothing wrong in Matthew 1 or matthew 1:17. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    And when you count David twice and Jeconiah twice, you get fourteen in all three groups?

    I didn’t realize that this mathematical calculation was going to be so difficult for you…

  • aaron

    Your viewpoint =/= God’s words. Sorry. That is a perfect illustration though how conservatives (as I use to be) commit idolatry with the Bible.

    “biblical scholars usually hold an unspiritual view of scripture and a person that is unspiritual won’t be able to understand spiritual things.” Translation: I agree with viewpoints not based on their validity or the evidence used to support them, but on whether I already agree with who is saying them.”I don’t see anywhere that the Cambrian explosion is explained sufficiently.” Duh, because your news sources are ID websites.
    Explained what? How does a nonexistent flood explain it? You do know that plants and a lot of freshwater aquatic life could not survive a global flood right? Not to mention that a wooden built ark would be completely inadequate. “Dinosaur extinction isn’t answered with any clarification either.” Must… ignore…all… explanations!”The big bang did happen, though it was the creation event. It would have caused red shift, background radiation…everything we see the evidence for.” Are you serious? Where is this in the bible? Which of the two creation stories are you getting this from? Let me remind you that the Hebrew of Genesis 1 can read: In the beginning when God created, or when God began to create, or In the beginning God created. Also note that in the first creation story the earth already exists, and it apparently has water before the light is created. Hmmmmmm”A couple of transition fossils??? Do you realize that is evolution were true we’d find millions and millions of them.” First off; no, we would not find millions of fossils of anything. Most animals that have lived and died on earth have not been fossilized. Only a small minority of them actually get fossilized. But since you asked…
    Hominid transitional fossils: Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Homo habilis, 
    Bird Reptile Transitional species: Sinosauropteryx prima, Ornithomimosaurs, therizinosaurs, and oviraptorosaurs, Deinonychosaurs, Protarchaeopteryx, alvarezsaurids, Yixianosaurus and Avimimus
    Between land mammals and whales: Pakicetus inachus, Ambulocetus natans, Indocetus ramani, Dorudon, Basilosaurus
    Between fish and tetrapods: 
    Kenichthys, Acanthostega, Ichthyostega, Tulerpeton.

    Here’s some more links on the subject: http://www.tim-thompson.com/trans-fossils.html http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Miller.html http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html
    Last one is probably the best.”Last I heard they were still studying how language has evolved up till this year and don’t fully understand it.” God of the gaps. Like when my pastor in high school said that the strong force was just God holding the particles together.”No one has seen nor knows how a planet is formed. ” Wrong. http://discovermagazine.com/1997/dec/planethatchery1304/?searchterm=planetary%20formation Specially about discovering planetary formation in action. Absolutely fascinating. “Origin of life is impossible? I don’t follow. Unless you mean life out of non-life is impossible which I would agree with based on biological evidence.” What evidence. Again, God of the gapes. Submit your evidence to a peer reviewed journal and come back to me.  It can be clearly seen from the above examples that you did not research your previous statements AT ALL as it took me a sum total of around 15 mins to find and read those articles. Therefore, you are either being deliberately ignorant, or lying.

    I really do understand how you feel. I was there. Feeling like I had to constantly defend the faith from the forces of darkness. The thing is that God doesn’t need defending; especially not with lies. All truth is God’s truth.

    • Anonymous

      aaron, all you are giving me is another man’s or scientists idea of what happened or an interpretation of the evidence (that has to fit with their no God ideas or it doesn’t pass peer review). I could give you exactly the same with links of qualified scientists that DO NOT have the same conclusions and conclusions which fit the bible story. 

      There are publications such as the Discovery Institute that have peer reviewed articles published. Christian scientists from there have many, many peer reviewed articles published in other magazines as well.

      You’ve been duped into believing another religions world views. The religion of molecules to man.

      http://www.evolutionnews.org

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, all you are giving me is another man’s or pseudoscientist’s idea of what happened or an interpretation of the evidence (which because it conforms to neither the Biblical nor the scientific evidence, cannot pass peer review in either Biblical studies or biology, unlike the work of many scientists and scholars who are Christians and yet also take the evidence seriously). We have, unlike you, provided links to the work of qualified scientists that not only fit the Biblical and scientific evidence better than your claims, but also show why your claims are not merely less persuasive but bogus. 

    Publications such as those from the Discovery Institute are radically different from peer reviewed scholarly and scientific articles – although they try to give the appearance of “peer review” by sending things to those who already think like they do and calling it “peer review.” The vast majority of Christians who are scientists could explain to you why your claims about science are lies, but you refuse to listen to them, so taken are you with the charlatans that tickle your ears.

    You’ve been duped into believing another religion’s world view. The religion of literal mud to man. The religion of bibliolatry. The religion of treating the Bible selectively while claiming to believe all of it. The religion of deceit, deception and falsehood. The religion of denying what the Bible actually says in order to claim that it is inerrant and says what it does not in fact say.
    The only religion that you have shown yourself to adhere to is the cult of personality, and the god of your own pride. But the good news is that you can know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll stick to God’s word. I know the truth.

      You water God’s word down and make it ineffectual. Your own words betray who you are. Instead of using God’s words and wisdom which you do not accept as His words, you have to resort to the only thing you can. Personal character attacks and vulgar name calling. 

      I have pride in believing God’s words, and not myself. You have the problem with pride, sir and it is a shame you can call yourself a teacher of anything. You exhibit the qualities of a Pharisee, retaining head knowledge only and following the traditions of men.

      I am not giving another man’s idea of what happened. I am giving God’s historical account of what happened written in historical Hebrew format.

      I don’t have any personal claims about science. We all have the same evidence to look at.

  • Anonymous

    This is aaron, I finally remembered my login to discuss. No, I’ve given you scientific evidence that has been through the rigorous test of the scientific method and published in peer reviewed journals. You will give me links of pseudoscientific garage that no scientist in their right mind would ever try to publish.

    As I already pointed out, you do not have a biblical worldview. You don’t believe the earth is flat, held up by pillars, and has a solid dome in the sky to keep the waters out. 

    Let me tell you my story. I was a YEC advocate. I grew up that way. I told my childhood friend in elementary school that birds didn’t evolve from dinosaurs, in middle school my family which to a creationist camp in Colorado for a week and in high school I immersed myself in AiG, ICR, and ID to defend the truth from the evolutionist biology teacher. I even subscribed to AiGs magazines. My mom still gets newsletters from that organization in Colorado (their name escapes me at this moment). In high school I also began studying other apologetics. I remember studying in depth apologetic arguments to Mormonism. Then in college, in my speech and english classes and elsewhere, I began to learn about critical thinking skills, logical fallacies, etc. With those tools, I looked back on how I fervently studying and critiqued Mormonism. Is it not only fair that I also be critical of my own religion? If it is true, then it can surely hold up to critical thought. I began applying those critical thinking skills to what I was taught growing up, and I soon realized that I was going to have to change some beliefs. It was clear to me that answers in genesis’s arguments were riddled with logical fallacies (slippery slope, straw man, ad hominem, circular reasoning, etc). I remember the day I changed my mind; I went on a hike with my mom and I was looking at all the wildlife and asked myself: Is it honest of me to deny the evidence? Can I be a believer and still accept modern scientific claims? I’m proud to say that I stopped lying to myself and others and put my childish ways behind me, and because of that my faith has improved tremendously.

    You can do this too, cdbren. Your faith will not die. I don’t believe you are stupid, I believe you are misguided. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, you wrote “I’ll stick to God’s word. I know the truth.”You need to see the problem here. You believe that you already understand the Bible, and already know the truth, and so are not open to your views being challenged even by what the Bible says. Those of us who have studied the Bible for decades know that the Bible continues to surprise and challenge us.”You water God’s word down and make it ineffectual. Your own words betray who you are. Instead of using God’s words and wisdom which you do not accept as His words, you have to resort to the only thing you can. Personal character attacks and vulgar name calling.”

    Not at all. I am listening to godly men and women who actually know something about the sciences and do not engage in the sort of lies and misrepresentations that you have been exposed as proffering. “I have pride in believing God’s words, and not myself. You have the problem with pride, sir and it is a shame you can call yourself a teacher of anything. You exhibit the qualities of a Pharisee, retaining head knowledge only and following the traditions of men.”

    Not at all. I had the humility to change my mind about young earth creationism because it was misrepresenting both the Bible and science. You take pride in believing God’s words, but are too prideful to admit that you may be mistaking your own interpretation for God’s words. “I am not giving another man’s idea of what happened. I am giving God’s historical account of what happened written in historical Hebrew format.”

    But you deny many clear statements in the Hebrew, which you misrepresent even though you do not know the language. The solid skies, the stationary earth, and so on and so on. You claim to be giving “God’s historical account” but never stop to ask whether God might not have provided humanity with a historical account.”I don’t have any personal claims about science. We all have the same evidence to look at.”

    And if you actually look at that evidence, then it is just possible that you will change your mind and open yourself to the truth. But since you apparently don’t even read the links that you share carefully and fully, there is no surprise that you have yet to actually read, study and comprehend the evidence for mainstream science and mainstream Biblical study.

  • Anonymous

    James, even after I showed that in Israel they still use the word Raqiya to mean skyline, that it still means some sort of solid dome?

    Do you believe that Matt. 4:8 means Satan showed Jesus a flat earth when in fact it does not even say that? How would you describe Satan showing Jesus all the kingdoms of the Earth AND their glory in ancient times? That would be believable and still be the truth.

    I believe God conveyed the Bible to us in a way that a child of 5 to a person who can’t quite grasp math or science to bush tribes to a 90 year old man can understand it. The truth but not all the technical details that are not needed anyway. 

    I don’t believe you or anyone else can go back in time and find out what really happened or prove God did not convey the words as written and claimed. Therefore I have to believe them as literal where they are written in Hebrew that way and are accepted as history by Jesus himself. 

    Either that or no one would know what is true and what is false and what to believe. You might as well chuck the bible or make it all false. In that sense there is no eternal life, no real Jesus, no God, no creation, no world wide flood, no apostles, no nothing. 

    No matter how much you study, you can’t say that Moses did not see a bush that appeared to be burning but was not burning and that God spoke directly to him. You either take it at face value that the writer is being truthful or you don’t believe it at all. Of course then you have record in the NT that Jesus believed Moses and his writings, Adam and Eve, Job and Jonah who was swallowed by a whale. 

    Unless you have proof positive that the OT and NT are not truthful historical accounts? 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, are you suggesting that modern Hebrew speakers use the word in exactly the same way as ancient Hebrew speakers did? Usage changes, and plenty of people who today speak of sunrise and sunset no longer share the assumption that such language is literal.

    You continue to make a mockery of God by insisting that he has provided stories that are factual when the internal and external evidence consistently points in a different direction.

    But I suspect that you are right, most children could grasp the nature and meaning of the creation account in Genesis 1 quite well – assuming they had not been previously indoctrinated by the false teachings of the young-earth creationsts so as to misunderstand it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

      re:

      ancient Hebrew speakers use the word in exactly the same way as ancient Hebrew speakers

      mentally editing first “ancient” to “modern”.

      • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Thanks for spotting that – I’ll fix it!

    • Anonymous

      James, I think you mean that some scientists interpretations of evidence points in a different direction. Plain evidence does not point anywhere. If I were to dig up a bone, it says nothing and points nowhere unless I interpret what it means. 

  • Anonymous

    That is called an either or fallacy. Either every in the bible is literally true, or all of it is false. Please google “Logical fallacies” and read up.

    Cdbren, the bible was not written as a historical account. Sorry, it wasn’t. Yes, we know portions of the bible are non-historical. Some examples include Genesis 1-11, Job, Ester, Jonah, and Daniel. Even many evangelical scholars realize these are not historically true. Some reasons why: There has never been a global flood. Genetically, we could not have all come from two people. There is/was no sea route to Nianevah, and the story isn’t written like the history books. It is not possible for Mordecai to have lived both at the start of the exile and in the time frame the book gives him, and the list goes on. This doesn’t mean that they don’t contain truth; it means that the truth was conveyed in a premodern way, namely, through story telling. The bible has to be interpreted in the genre of the writing that it contains, whether it be poetry (Psalms) literary-fiction (Ester Job) myth (Genesis 1-11) legend (Exodus) or history (Chronicles and Kings). Even when the genre is history, it still doesn’t mean that is literally what we would see if we could go back and video tape it, because history is always interpreted through the viewer, and the writers had a theological interpretation to the story. This is one of the reasons why we have four gospels, not one (The gospels however are a genre of their own). Your presumption that the only way truth can be conveyed is through statement of fact is a presumption that the writers of the bible would not have shared with you. 

    Play with me for a movement. Suppose someone were to act the same way you do about the book of Mormon, insisting despite all evidence that there was a Jewish migration to America despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. What would you tell that person? What if they said that the reason you believe that is because you are listening to “antimormon” sources that cannot be trusted as they do not know the truth? What if they started their own institute for the study of Native Americans in accordance with the truth of the book of Mormon?

    How do you interpret writers from other ANE cultures? Do you presume them to be true too? Like the Epic of Gilgamesh? Why not? Why not take these stories as literal historical truth? Is it because the bible is infallible, and we know that because its God’s word, and we know its God’s word because the bible says so, and we know we can trust what the bible says because the bible is infallible, and we know the bible is infallible because its God’s word, and we know its God’s word because the bible says so, and we know what the bible says is true because the bible is infallible, and we know the bible is infallible because its God’s word, and we know its God’s word because it says so and we know we can trust what the bible says because its infallible, and we know its infallible because… 

    • Anonymous

      Aaron, Genesis was never considered written as myth. It has none of the tell tale marks of being written so. It has all the marks of being written as  real history. This is from Hebrew scholars. not me. 

      What you have decided to do is believe scientists decisions about the world and reject God’s word about the world. You can’t believe in both. 

      Jesus believed Moses’ writings. Why would you not do the same? 

      Evolution does happen just not on the scale scientists would lead you to believe. It has not ever been observed on that scale. No positive evidence for it has been presented to date. 

      I assume you still trust in Christ, so why not trust what he has said? After all, you trust in what he has said for your salvation….

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

        Jesus said that physical aliments are caused by demon possession. there are a number of instances where Jesus is clearly teaching the illness is demonic possession. So why do so many Christians go to doctors, who are after all practical scientists? because we are convinced that disease is caused by germs, viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites that with few exceptions we will never see, yet we take the scientific establishment’s authority that they are real and causing our disease. nowhere are germs mentioned of or even conceived of in the Bible, if Jesus knew about them he kept it a secret and taught that casting out demons was the only correct way to cure physical and mental disease.

        so what’s up with all these YECists that go to the doctor when they are sick? what a bunch of hypocrites, reading the Bible literally and casting stones at evolutionary science until they need medical attention. you pick and choose what to read and how, the only real consistent YECist is the crazy guy downtown waving his Bible and trying to cast the demons out of the passer-bys.

        you know why you don’t talk about demon possession like you talk about a worldwide flood? because you want to live healthy and you know people who rely on casting out demons to fix diseases die, it’s that simple, practical and straightforward. you neglect Jesus’s very words when it is convenient to live and use the products of modern science while casting dispersion and nastiness on those who do it. 

        Jesus talks a lot more about demons then he does about Noah’s flood.

        apologies to those Christian Scientists who are consistent on these points.

        • Anonymous

          Some mental illness is demon possession. Some is not. I’ve seen some that are. Friends of mine have had experiences with them. 

          Physicians are mentioned a few times in the NT so they had them back then. I am not going to go look it up but I believe the cases where Jesus removed demons the person was not merely sick or diseased, but had some other sort of thing going on.

          Ever wonder why people do what they do? Shoot people…act strangely…do things not characteristic of themselves? Is it all really just mental illness? 

          Like I said before creationists have no problems with science or scientists. How many times do I have to say it till you get it right? Creationists have no problem with evolution where there is change in a species characteristics. 

          So there you go again throwing around evolution like it doesn’t have several different meanings. 

          Creationists are against the idea that some sort of big bang happened by itself, created molecules which then became all the stars and planets in the universe which randomly created a perfect Earth and then life suddenly arose all by itself. Then that life somehow became complex through randomness to arrive at where we are now.

          There is zero proof of this idea. It is against all the laws that science can teach us. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, analysis and investigation can tell you more than the raw artifact does, but it is not as though all analysis – or so-called analysis – is subjective. Young-earth creationists are like crackpots who say, even though the bone you found looks like a dog’s bone and matches a known species, in fact it is really from an alien and evidence that extraterrestrials walk among us.

    The data points consistently in one direction, and the young-earth creationists tell lies about it. Your choice is whether to follow cranks and dishonor Christ in doing so, or to follow honest Christians who speak the truth about their research in science or the Bible.

  • Anonymous

    James, you got mention at AIG again.

  • Pf

    Cdbren, you asked me what I want proof of. How about any single thing you say? As I said, you argue about proof of science, but you hold your beliefs to a different standard.

    So prove one thing you believe by the same standard you demand of science.

    • Anonymous

      The Cambrian explosion, lack of transitional fossils and the fact that we even have fossils of creatures that died suddenly, as well as the evidence of extinctions like the dinosaurs. 

      Many cultures have world wide flood stories and many detail 8 people surviving.
      That is all evidence of a world wide flood using scientific evidence.

      —–
      The evidence that all creatures have similar design features shows Genesis to be correct that God created every creature according to their kind.

      Again scientific evidence that clearly shows a common designer.
      ——
      Fish that have been isolated in darkness lose their eyes. No evidence of new eyes growing that can see in the dark or any other feature like luminescence. 

      Again scientific evidence that natural selection works against evolution theory. 
      ——

      Well, that is three…..

  • Anonymous

    Tell tale marks of a myth:

    Talking animals
    Anthropomorphic description of God
    Contains tales of origin (etiology)
    Giants and other mythical creatures
    Sexual encounters with divine beings

    hmmmmmmmm That and there are two creation stories and two different flood stories that have been molded together (Hence the two of every animal then the P author adding extra animals for sacrifice) 

    No, you see, God didn’t give us a science/history textbook about the world. I’m sorry you are so surrendered to a modern view of the world that you cannot understand this.

    Jesus didn’t come to earth to teach biology. I’m sorry you think so, and I believe Jesus had intellectual limits because he was fully human. 

    YEC creationist claim macro-evolution has never been observed. Debunked here: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB901.html

    Site your Hebrew scholars. I’ll site mine. Peter Enns. John J. Collins. Jerry Sumney. John Barton. John Goldingay.

    YEC creationist claim that micro evolution happens but not macro debunked here:  http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB902_2.html

    • Anonymous

      Maybe you should expand your horizons and check other sites as well. Talk origins is extremely biased towards Christianity or the idea of a God.
      Plus many things are extremely outdated that they have posted.

      Just an FYI, Jesus was fully God as well. 

      Oh, and there are not two creation stories. There is one generalization/overview in the first chapter and the second chapter of Genesis is clearly a more detailed account of the sixth day of creation. 

      There are not two flood stories. Notice where God said to take 7 pairs of two each of clean animals. Only clean animals were to be sacrificed. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662663242 Richard Williams

        re:
        Talk origins is extremely biased towards Christianity or the idea of a God. 

        i don’t believe you meant to say this as written.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, there are two creation stories. One using anthropomorpic language about God, uses YHWH, and has a lively style. This is the writer for Genesis 2:4b-3:24. The other is the Priestly source who has God majastically call in creation from his mighty power, Genesis 1:1-2:4a. They are clearly written in different styles by different people and where compiled together by a later time. Though I suppose that a god that created light from non-existant to deceive us into thinking we were looking millions of years in the past could deceive us and make the text appear to have two creation stories.

    Yep, there are other flood myths. Which is where our flood myth comes from. The writers not only took from these flood myths, they critiqued them. They critique the much of Atrahasis by making it one God and the problem is wickedness, not that we are being too noisy. Notice that you are perfectly ok calling the other stories from other similar cultures with have similar stories in a similar style at a similar time myths, but Genesis MUST be history. No, there are two flood stories that were woven into one. See John J Collins Introduction to the Hebrew Bible or the NRSV study bible.

    • Anonymous

      There are truths found in other myths. The genesis flood predates any current civilization so you have it backwards. Those other flood myths come from the true story of the Biblical flood when civilizations started new again.

      The Hebrew language had many names for God, depending on what they were talking about, what God was doing. It does not prove there were different writers for Genesis. I think you should read Genesis 2 again. It is a detail of what happened on day 6 of creation and after. It is clearly not a second creation story. The first part is different because it is clearly a genealogy of creation and also says it is in fact a genealogy. (Gen. 2:4) 

      God did not deceive anyone. He clearly details the creation event. He created the universe, the Earth, man and animals as fully formed and fully working and that is what we see from science evidence today. 

      It is the radiometric dating techniques that are deceitful. They have to assume some sort of starting point. 

      Perhaps you are talking about distant starlight? There is a physics explanation for that which they are now trying to use to explain the big bang and why space is still expanding. A reverse white hole.

  • Anonymous

    No the Genesis myth stories do not predate other myths. From http://www.enterthebible.org/oldtestament.aspx?m=3776: “Genesis came into being over the course of more than five hundred years, being completed sometime during or shortly after the Babylonian exile (587-538 B.C.E.).” The authors clearly draw from the myths of Atrahasis and Enuma Elish and from the epic of Gilgamesh. Even the Hebrew language for God (El) was taken from the Canaanite high god.

    You still didn’t explain why it’s a clearly different style of writing of each of the creation stories. Why the verb tenses are different, why they speak about God in different way, etc etc etc.

    Nope, other flood myths are radically different from the Genesis flood. We already gave you the link http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html
    Read it this time.No, radiometric dating isn’t deceitful, you are. Debunked here. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CF/CF210.html
    For radioactive decay to have occurred fast enough for a 6,000 year old earth it would have produced enough heat to melt the earth. 

    You should try publishing that idea of an expanding universe and relativity to try to explain starlight. I took a year of college engineering level physics and astronomy, and I can tell you that it’s a joke. We can easily observe gravitational time dilution, and there is a reason no cosmologist is taking that seriously. Also, if the earth were at the center of a gravity well, light would be blue shifting, not red shifting. Debunked here http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE412.html

    • Gary

      Aaron…I like your responses. I didn’t realize YEC’ists were so desperate they put the earth at a black hole-like gravitational well. You are right, everything would be moving toward us, not away from us, thus a blue shift instead of a red shift. Also, there are two creation stories, as you say,
      Creation order:
      Genesis 1:11 plants
      1:24 animals
      1:26-27 man and woman

      Gen 2:5 no plants, 2:7 man
      2:8-9 plants
      2:19 animals
      2:22 woman

      So much for inerrancy.

    • Anonymous

      You are taking the date of the writing of Genesis to mean that is when the stories were formulated. Yet you don’t know this. You don’t know if they knew of the Genesis account earlier or if Moses already had that in writing earlier and simply copied it. Even directly from Noah. 

      Genesis 28:13. The Lord speaks to Jacob and says: “I am Jehovah (Yahweh), the God (Elohim) of Abraham, the God (Elohim) of Isaac . . . .” Would one argue for the multiple authorship of this single sentence upon the basis of the use of two Hebrew names for the Creator?

      One scholar has pointedly observed:

      “To conclude that differences in style or vocabulary unmistakably indicate different authors is invalid for any body of literature. It is well known that a single author may vary his style and select vocabulary to fit the themes he is developing and the people he is addressing. It goes without saying that a young graduate student’s love letter will vary significantly in vocabulary and style from his research paper” (Davis, p. 23).

      http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/162-critical-theory-attacks-genesis-1-and-2

      So enough heat to melt the Earth? Do you know how much heat the creation of the earth by God generated? The creation of the universe, planets, stars? No, you do not. The conditions at that time can’t be known.

      In regards to blue shift, if a reverse white hole happened we would see red shift, not blue shift. That is why they speculate the big bang was a reverse black hole.

      Blue shift is coming at us, red shift is going away.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Cdbren, it is not impossible that the Bible is based on earlier traditions. But to figure that out, one would need to deduce the past history of traditions based on individual fossils they have left in the form of texts. And thus far you have seemed unwilling to acknowledge the legitimacy of such deduction. So does that make your view of the prehistory of material in Genesis mere illegitimate guesswork? Or does it mean that you need to change your attitude towards scientific deduction to match what you are willing to say about the Bible?

  • Anonymous

    Um, we do accept that the creation myths are oral traditions, but we can also tell when people did not know about these myths by looking at other texts to see if they mention it. We can also examine the literary of Genesis itself to get an idea of when the stories were developed.

    We all know about the combination of YHWH with Elohim. It’s not surprising, as we know that the books were edited, and the Jahowist and the Elohimist are the hardest to differentiate. We are not talking, however, about the Jahowist and the Elohimist. We are discussing the Jahowist and the Priestly source, which has a much greater distinction. Clearly very different, distinct writings styles.

    “So enough heat to melt the Earth? Do you know how much heat the creation of the earth by God generated?”

    Yes, the same amount of heat contained in a unicorns fart.

    I don’t recall heat being mentioned in Genesis 1. Hmm. Guess the NRSV version has been corrupted by the devil just like Jack Chick said it was!

    You ignored my argument. Magma, organic decay, limestone creation, and several other processes we see in the geological record all release heat. According to you, all this happened not over many ages, but all at once. If this had happened, the amount of energy released by these processes would have superheated the earth, boiling all the water and even the atmosphere off of the earth. 

    • Anonymous

      re: You ignored my argument. Magma, organic decay, limestone creation, and several other processes we see in the geological record all release heat. According to you, all this happened not over many ages, but all at once. If this had happened, the amount of energy released by these processes would have superheated the earth, boiling all the water and even the atmosphere off of the earth.

      Yet they are happening today underground and above ground. I don’t feel any obsessive heat. Nope, none. 

      In any case do you have exact figures? Because I don’t really think some of those mentioned produces much heat at all. In fact some mentioned processes were sped up from heat.

      re: It’s not surprising, as we know that the books were edited, 

      Actually no, they were not. From ancient Dead Sea scrolls and other artifacts they have determined that the bible is in fact 99.99% accurate to the most original manuscripts we have found.

  • Anonymous

    Ah but I forgot. The ark had an atomic powered super-cooler on board, when cooled the earth and then transferred the heat via a laser emitter into space, which is what caused the craters we see on the moon!

  • Anonymous

    The books were edited before the dead sea scrolls were written, probably during the exile. Stop getting your information from dishonest apologists. 

    Um yes. They all release heat. The specific heat of magma (Conservatively) is 0.15. The formation of calcite releases 11,290 joules/gram. Radioactive decay obviously releases heat, and remember the YEC claim that radioactive decay was faster before the flood (Completely unproveable btw, and flies in the face of everything we know about atoms. We have done literally everything to try to change the decay rate and nothing has done so. Its one of the most stable processes in the world), and biological decay releases heat as well.
    Which one do you think doesn’t produce heat? Btw, if we assume that only 10% of the current limestone could and was formed in the flood, that would be enough alone to superheat the earth.

    • Anonymous

      From the other blog. heat from the surface is .03% of what heats the Earth. The sun is 300% of the available heat.

      The industrial period increased surface heat 20 times the .03% and nothing boiled away. All those things you mentioned are tiny effects that would not super heat the atmosphere.

      Educate yourself!

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/heatflow.html

  • Anonymous

    The chart

  • Anonymous

    you forgot the unicorn farts

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