You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
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Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
I’m not surprised he narrowed it down to five, I’m just surprised he kept the video down to five minutes!
Very nice! However the last bit ‘If a new theory replaces evolution we know it won’t be creationism because we know creationism is wrong’ — makes sense when you understand all the variables but I would have preferred a precursor before that launch – something like ” discovering the root cause of gravity is not (as previously thought) the attraction by proportionate mass but rather a distance speed ratio effect – if such new discoveries are made we don’t default to a completely unfounded unscientific belief .. when you jump off a building you still fall… gravity is still very real we’ve merely expanded our understanding of the principles of observable science.. and in the same sense a new theory would not dismiss evolution it would expand our understanding of a phenomenon that we call evolution. Something like that only far more poetic, scientifically sound, articulate and grammatically correct.
He takes on William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith in other videos:
My #1 thing wrong with creationism is that it’s the opposite of science. Science uses evidence to discover the truth, wherever it is. Not always a linear path and lots of dead ends, sure, but it eventually gets there.
Creationism is starting with what is considered to be the unalterable truth, and attempting to find the evidence to confirm that ‘truth’. Evidence that contradicts the truth is just plain considered wrong.
#1 thing wrong with ID is that it doesn’t propose any mechanisms itself. It attempts to discredit evolution, but doesn’t offer any explanations of its own. It’s an anti-theory, and a poor one at that.
Creationism offers an explanation. God did it. They have a mechanism as well. It is declared to be ‘speaking it into existence’.
That this is not science can be seen by the test for falsifiability. No matter where you look in the Bible and find something that can’t be right, like all the ways the Flood and Noah’s Ark couldn’t have happened, God did it and God can bend, break or mutilate any natural rule. It’s magic, also known as a miracle.
What we are seeing now, post Enlightenment is that creationists have tried to pick up the mantle of Science in order to acquire some of its credibility. This is what is called Creation Science and here we see them not just denying evidence which contradicts their story, but also trying to distort or make up evidence so they can claim they are right.
They have lots of explanations for the diversity of life as we observe it, just not valid ones, let alone agreeing on a consensus. YEC, OEC, theistic evolution, there’s lots to choose from.
That’s what so nice about the One and only Truth. There are so many to choose from, and if you still aren’t satisfied, there’s nothing stopping you from making up one of your own.
I should have added
http://www.skepticblog.org/2009/03/17/a-skeptic-in-creation-land/ which solidified my thoughts on Creationism.
It was posted by Anthony Lee http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/08/29/the-creation-museum-responds-to-bill-nye-the-science-guy/#comment-634875789
Creationism isn’t always the opposite of science. I have no problem believing that most things in the universe may have come to be in the way that science describes them. But that doesn’t automatically mean that a creator is not behind them. On a recent PBS special about the origins of the universe, the host explained that at a certain point, the big bang happened; matter “popped” into existense. I can believe that, (although there’s no mechanism for it) and still believe that God caused it to happen.
Same with ID. I can believe that we arose from nothing, and evolved into the beings that we are now, but i cannot accept that it was the result of millions of accidents.
Argument from Incredulity.
I can believe that, (although there’s no mechanism for it) and still believe that God caused it to happen.
Absolutely. There will always be room for God. Even if we have a Godless explanation for something, we’ll never deny that God could be behind it. I disagree on the ‘no mechanism’. I’m only part way through “A Universe From Nothing” but I think we do have a mechanism for the existence of the Universe.
i cannot accept that it was the result of millions of accidents
I don’t think it was millions of accidents either.
I’ve been wanting to read that book, (I will eventually) here’s a link to the times review, which I having a feeling I will agree with
I think the important point is that we learn what we can. God is not an area where we can increase our sphere of knowledge. Some people claim to have divine revelations of their own, but even assuming they’re real, they’re not something you can work towards. They just (it seems) happen.
We can increase our human sphere of knowledge through scientific endeavors. No matter what ‘created’ the laws of quantum physics, we figured them out through science, not prayer. We figured out how old the earth is through science, not reading the bible. We figured out where lightening comes from through science, not ritual.
So even if we think there’s any chance of a rapture, we might as well be doing something useful while we wait. Call it the “God of the gaps wager”
The world would be a much better place if all religious people took this pragmatic approach instead of dedicating their lives to bible-worship and evangelism.
My point is that I can do both – I agree with what Rich said in many ways. I’m not a scientist but I love science and read a lot – I prefer to watch a PBS / Nova science show instead of a sitcom (unless 30 Rock is on).
Although I agree with much of what you said, I feel that I can increase my knowledge of God through study, reflection, reading, and listening.
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