Alice Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 1:07 PM : Oh terrific. Yet another reason to leave the country screaming! If you must teach something like creationism, teach it in a religion, ethics, philosophy or even sociology class ... but fo the sake of all that is sensible, please KEEP IT OUT OF OUR SCIENCE CLASSES!!!!!!!!
For anyone who is interested in the issue, I highly recommend watch the episode of Penn & Teller Bullshit! about evolution. It'll piss you off, but it will inform you.
Patriot Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 1:57 PM : Oh Alice, you are so easily lead astray by popular opinion and what you've been told is fact! Evolution IS a theory of natural philosophy and requires more "faith" to believe it is true than creationism.
You scream to keep creationism out of science class, but you are ignorantly calling for the same snowjob of our children's minds as you have fallen victim to.
For the sake of all that is sensible - please stop spewing support for false ideas that you don't have the scientific grounds to defend!
Alice Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 2:01 PM : I don't even know how to being to respond to your horseshit. There are mountains of evidence for evolution that you choose to ignore. There is no evidence for creationism, which I am well aware of.
As to evloution being a theory, do you even know what that word means? Theory doesn't mean a guess, gamble or brainstorm. It's a well though out thing that has made it's way through the scientific method. It's stands up to tests and scrutiny. Creationism is blind faith, and frankly, bullshit.
I have loads of scientifc grounds to defend evolution. Do you have any grounds to back up your childish superstition?
Patriot Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 2:31 PM : Alice- your admonition of ignorance with regards to creationism is the problem with your perception and a stumbling block for debating this idea with others, including myself. How can you call something "horseshit...bullshit....and a childish superstition" when you don't even undestand the concept by your own admonition? This is important, because it sheds light on your process of critiquing ideas you are not familiar with.
You need to understand the other side of the debate before you or I could have a logical, intelligent discourse about this issue.
I am very aware of the arguments for evolution. I am also very aware of the arguments for creationism. After years of studying both, I have choosen to believe creationism is true because it is the only 'rational' alternative.
This is the first concept you must acknowledge when debating scientific issues. The key assumption to science is that reality is rational. If reality is not rational than science is not useful. So far reality is rational, so science works. To believe in an irrational idea like evolution is also to believe that a tornado could blow through a junkyard and assemble a 747. You have the right in our country to hold this irrational belief, but you are going to be defeated in the marketplace of ideas when you try to spout that the rational explantion of creationism should not be taught in public schools.
Now - there are a number of sites referenced in the body of this posted story about creationism. I suggest you familiarize yourself with them, and then after you have considered both sides, we can chat.
You will be better armed and you will be able to avoid looking ignorant in future debates with the religious right you so vehemently hate.
Alice Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 2:42 PM : Wow. Your assumptions are mindboggling. I studdy comparative religion for 6 years. I have listened to lectures and read many books regarding creationism. It was because of all of this that I came to the conclusion that creationsm was a crock. See, perhaps you should assume, because you know nothing about me.
I realise that you regard everyone on this board (specifically me) as a child that needs to be educated. I'm a grown woman with a lot of knowledge under my belt.
Anyway, the point is moot, I do not want to debate you. There is no debate to be had. You aren't worth my time. The only reason I responded to this post was to correct your faulty assumption about me.
Patriot Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 2:49 PM : Alice, can you name a few of the books you've read about creationism?
(btw - I regard your opinions as childish - I don't know if you are childish or not)
btw - I regard your opinions as childish - I don't know if you are childish or not
Patriot. For crying out loud, what a stupid obnoxious remark to make. You realy come over as an arrogant bastard full of the proverbial stuff. Talking about childish remarks. If people like you go to heaven, I'll gladly go somewhere else. (and I was SO FUCKING determined not to get into this argument). Damn. DAMN DAMN
Nony Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 2:56 PM : Patriot. For crying out loud, what a stupid obnoxious remark to make. You realy come over as an arrogant bastard full of the proverbial stuff. Talking about childish remarks. If people like you go to heaven, I'll gladly go somewhere else. (and I was SO FUCKING determined not to get into this argument). Damn.
Nony Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 2:57 PM : Got so worked up posted the bloody thing 4 times .... AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH
Happy now patriot?
Alice Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 2:58 PM : That's just another reason I'm not chatting with patriot anymore. Why on earth would I can to discuss with a person that considers my opinions childish. More to the point why would that person want to talk to me?
Alice Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 3:00 PM : It's okay Nony, I understand that frustration. Your quite the gentleman to come here an defend my honour :)
Patriot Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 3:09 PM : Alice - I'm trying to be a gentlemen and call your bluff, without causing you undue embarresment. But if you insist.....
You've asserted (not my assumption) that you've read "many books regarding creationism". You also hold dear the idea that creationism is "childish superstition" and evolution is scientifically provable. You also assert that "for the sake of all that is sensible, please KEEP IT OUT OF OUR SCIENCE CLASSES!!!!!!!!".
I simply requested a logical explanation of why you believe this idea should be true for others! To assert that the logical implications of your irrational beliefs should be carried out by others in our public school system is childish, especially when you cannot even back up your opinion with a reasoned arguement!
Alice Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 3:19 PM : What do you now understand about that the fact that I no longer wish to debate with you? Don't you have others to speak with.
Patriot Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 3:23 PM : Nony - sorry to get you all worked up, but bullshit is bullshit. CW posts these types of articles because they represent issues that people have different opinions about. In otherwords - it fosters debate. I'm more than willing to listen to your opinion or Alices or Skys or anyone else that wants to post.
But the fact of the matter is - Alice is lying. She has never read any books on creationism and any books she names will simply be the titles she was able to find when she clicked on amazon.com.
Alice wants to swim in the big pool, but when confronted with the questions that come from the deep end she takes the easy way out and pees in the water so she can leave without answering fair questions. That's her perogative, but her opinion is still BS.
Creationism is scientifically defendable - evolution is a theory of natural philosophy. You can disagree with this assertion, but you should have a reasoned argument otherwise - let's just agree to disagree and go drink beer!
Alice Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 3:30 PM : See. This is a catch-22. Even if I told you what books I read, you wouldn't believe me. This proves that I cannot have a debate with you. You automatically assume I'm lying. You think I'm a child. You must think I'm one hell of a moron. Which to me begs the point: Why would you want to talk with someone you have so little respect for.
For the record, I have read books by Henry Morris and Stephen Jay gould. Two men at opposite sides of the spectrum. But of course, I'm lying, a lying sack of shit as far as your concerned. You know what? Fuck you! You hateful, nasty person.
Nony Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 3:41 PM : I agree partly, evolution is a theory of natural philosophy, but let me add that it is scientifically defendable. Creationism on the otherhand, I have seen programs where what they call science is called religious doctrine in my dictionary. Sorry, but that is my opinion, and no matter how many scientific articles I read or will read about creationism, I do not think it will change my mind.
This debate has been going on since Darwin wrote his book. Even the Church of Rome accepts the theory now.
My grandmother used to say: never get involved in discussions about religion or politics... so, I try not to get involved ... but occasionally ...
Still no excuse for starting to call people lyers etc. Alice is one of the few people here who doesn't refuse confrontation or makes a mystery of who or what she is and what she does. That is a very basic honesty we both lack at this point in time, so watch out who you call a lyer.
You will have to come here for a beer though! They got some good stuff at prices you wouldn't belief.
Patriot Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 4:42 PM : Nony - I hear ya about quality and price and of beer. I think CW should send out some samples of the stuff he's been brewing!
Sky Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 4:54 PM : It's pathetic isn't it? I hold multiple degrees in science, medicine and make my living managing a huge computing infrastructure. I'm also married to a college professor, who has no issues with my intellect. Yet, I come here and have a wet-behind-the-ears child tell me that I don't know how to think. Nay, worse! Attempts to tell me how to think.
It's pointless to argue about evolution with a Creationists. They don't know what they believe themselves and are all over the board with bizzare and contradictory arguments. Can you believe that anyone in the 21st century would be a flat-Earther or a geocentrist? We want *these* sorts shaping young minds?
Patriot Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 5:08 PM : Darren - You are correct in stating that gravity is a scientific theory. In physics and it's application in engineering it is a theory that has stood the test of rational investigation and observation. That is why this concept which is also a physical force is commonly referred to as the 'law of gravitation'. Evolution theory does not stand up to rational inquiry and is not observable in the same true sense you can observe the natural phenomena called gravity. I'll explain to you what I mean by that, but first I want to be clear about where you're coming from.
You state that you haven't read the bible, because you believe it is fiction. This would indicate you are an atheist. Am I correct?
I'm asking because most atheists don't care to read the bible, because why would you care about what God has to say if you dont' believe in Him? Right?
Yet in the very next paragraph you state "There are numerous bibles in our home from a multitude of religions, all of them read and annotated, bookmarked and cross-referenced." Forgive me, but your statements have me confused. Have you read the old and new testaments....or did someone else read, annotate, bookmark and cross reference them? I'm asking because I'm trying to respect your worldview. Do you consider yourself agnositc or atheist?
Patriot Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 5:30 PM : Darren - I'd be an atheist too if God was forced on me. The Lord doesn't work that way - people do.
codewolf Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 6:36 PM : Let's try to avoid name calling and insults. If you can't express your view without resorting to childish retorts, have a beer and rethink your opinion.
Patriot Wrote the following on 11/30/2004 10:30 PM : Sky, Alice, you misunderstand me. I am against your ideas, but not necessarily you as people. And I'll tell you why. You both strike me as people of priniciple. Which I respect. If I didn't - I wouldn't even respond to your posts. I don't appreciate the insults anymore than you two do...but on the otherhand when they are packaged with wit - it's just funny. I don't take it personal. I hope you don't either. It would be a trajedy to assume I know something of your charachter that I couldn't possibly have dependable knowledge of. It is a natural function of the human mind to fill in the missing elements of a human personaility. I understand this is what is happening here. We naturally evaluate another's charachter by their words and arguments alone and assume the rest of the personality when words and arguments are all we have.
With that said, my passion for this subject should not be misconstrued as declaration that my viewpoint is the only defenseable argument. Quite the contrary, my assertion is that my argument for creationism is the only rational position.
The case for creationism requires no more faith in the God of the Christian Bible than faith in the premises of Evolutionary theory. This debate can be approached from a variety of ways, but to stay with the thread of this post, and to strictly stay within a naturalistic framework have either of you ever considered the implication of the fossil record on evolutionary theory? You see, I agree with Darwin when he stated "....(Since) innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? (and) Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely gradulated organic chain; and this perhaps is the most obvvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory". I believe his question is a good one and I understand it as such: if species have descended from other species by minutely fine gradations, why do we not see innumerable transitional forms everywhere?....and more to the point - why do we not see evidence of these transitional forms in the fossil records? Currently there is an estimated 250 million catalouged fossils of some 250,000 fossil species. The record we have today is even more complete then during Darwin's existence some 150 years ago. And the undisputed fact is that the fossil record is composed entirely of gaps - not evidence of evolutionary transitions at all! Whether at the level of orders or of species, you will find - over and over again - not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another in the fossil records. Even evolutionary paleontologist Dr. George Gaylord Simpson of Harvard University (I found this reference for you Sky, since you're stuck on degrees), professor of vertebrate paleontonlogy admitted, ".....it remains true as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families and that nearly all new categories above the level of families appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.....the regular absence of transitional forms is an almost universal phenomenon among all orders of all classes of animals and analogous categories of plants" (ref: The Major Features of Evolution, by Dr. Simpson) I believe this is sufficient evidence to cast doubt on evolutionary theory as undisputed scientific fact. In otherwords, because the fossil records do not support the notion of gradual evolution it cannot explain the origin of developed life forms by recourse to proven methods of evolutionary change. I simply support the teaching of an alternative theory, a more comprehensive explanation to the question of the origin of the universe.
The popular objection, which I think Darren shares is that creationism requires a belief in a supernatural event - a miracle. But consider this - everyone that believes in a materialistic or natural atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe also believes in a miracle.
You see, everyone agrees that matter does exist - so we have to explain its existence somehow. If you want to keep the argument in the natural world and exclude the possiblity of a supernatural explantion for the origin of the universe there are really only two alternatives -
1 matter is infinitely old (eternal)
2 matter appeared out of nothing at a finite point in the past
Even an high school physics course touches on the first and second laws of thermodynamics which provides some of the strongest evidence for a finite universe. So, if matter cannot be infinitely old then our only option is that matter appeared in the universe out of nothing at a finite point in the past. If we begin with the Big Bang theory and an extremely small amount of dense matter which is commonly called the "cosmic egg" - the question of the origin of the universe is not resolved. The origin of the "cosmic egg" then becomes the debate. Where did such an egg come from? Did it exist forever? If not where did it come from? Either it existed forever or it appeared out of nothing at a finite point in the past. Such a belief is not only unscientific and irrational - it is an impossibility. Materialistically, there is no explanation. How could a pinpoint of extremely dense matter produce the billions and trillions of suns and galaxys in our universe, let alone life? And what were the mechanisms that caused the big bang itself? You see, what must be recognized is that whether you begin with a materialistic or a divine origin for the universe, both are miracles.
Simply put, "....the creationist model begins with an infintitely intelligent omnipotent, transcendent Creator who used intellignet design, expertise or know-how to create everything from the sub-atomic particles to giant redwood trees. Was it a miracle - Absolutely!....the atheist's (materialistic) model begins with an even more impressive miracle - the appearance of all matter in the universe from nothing by no one, and for no reason. A supernatural event. A miracle!". However, atheists do not believe in the outside or transcendent "First Cause" (which creationists call God, and I believe points to the God of the Christian bible). Therefore the atheist does not have a natural explantion nor a supernatural explanation for the origin of the universe. This is why I argue that evolution leaves us hanging in a totally irrational position - The origin of the universe begins with a supernatural event, but this supernatural event is accomplished without a supernatural agent to perform it.
Nony Wrote the following on 12/01/2004 06:25 AM : If everything is created by an infinite intelligent omnipotent transcendent etc etc creator, he should have been able to do a much better job. Does not seem very intelligent and omnipotent etc. to create the dog eat dog world all of his creations are (and have been) living in, unless of course your creator is also a sadistic piece of revengeful being that enjoys strive, suffering, pain, death, hunger, illness and... I give up, words do not suffice here.
Sky Wrote the following on 12/01/2004 11:05 AM : Whenever a discussion about evolution occurs, invariably some "non-believer" will say "it's *only* a theory." At this point, one would do well to end the discussion, since the statement indicates that the party does not possess the requisite background to have a rational dissucussion on any topic in science, much less evolution.
People who do not have any science training or have inadequate sceince training, do not know the difference between the everyday, common definitition of the word "theory" and a "scientific theory." They are in no way related. The every day usage is that a theory is an unproven idea. In science, a theory is hypothesis that has been thoroughly tested. What people don't understand about these tests is that they are *always* designed to disprove the hypothesis, not prove it. The "null hypothesis" is always that the research hypothesis is false. If an experiment fails to support the research hypothesis, then the null hypothesis is accepted. Moreover, a hypothesis does not become a theory until it is tested in a number of ways. These tests much be reproducable; other researchers must be able to perform another's experiments and get the exact same results. If it can't the experiment is declared invalid.
No one man can ever declare a theory. Scientists are a skeptical lot by nature. They always approach new ideas with caution. The argue among themselves and they will never accept sloppy thinking or work. The vast majority of hypotheses are rejected. For a theory like evolution to be accepted, there must be consensus among researchers in the field that the theory is indeed correct. This does not imply that the scientists know everything their is to know about the theory in question or that they may not be proceeding on some false assumptions that are the result of a lack of knowledge. They strive to expland their understanding, often, as is the case with the theory of evolution, modifying their original ideas. It is interesting that many people can accept this latter aspect of the scientific method in fields such as chemistry, physics and medicine, but attempt to use it as proof that the theory of evolution is false.
Where we stand now is that Darwin and Wallace, two men working completely independantly of one another, and studying for years, came to the same conclusion. What people who haven't studied Darwin don't know is that he was a deeply religious man, who was deeply disturbed by the implications of his work. He was reluctant to publish Origin of Species and had to be convinced by friends and collegues that he must. What tipped the scales was that Russell was about to publish his work. The two men, out of respect for one another, decided that they would present their papers to the Royal Academy of Sciences on the same evening. Since that time, the theory itself has evolved, as advances in science and technology have allowed new approaches to answering questions. But in all cases, every experiment, every new finding, every new technique supports the theory. Evolution is fact. It is how life on this planet came to be what it is today. It does not and has never attempted to deny the existence of God, though there are those who have used the theory for this purpose.
Many anti-evolutionists look only to Origin of Species, ignoring the rest of the massive amount of scientific evidence, and try to pick it apart, pointing out fallicies and errors. While the treatis is a seminal work and a remarkably good piece of scientific literature, it must be viewed as version one of the theory. To look only to the work of Darwin to draw conlusions on the theory is as inadequate as reading only Gregor Mendel's work on inheritance or Newton's Principia and drawing conclusions about modern genetics and physics.
I have recommended Origin of Species to a number of people who had a problem with evolution. I don't recommend it to the rabid anti-evolutionists, since they harbor such an irrational bias and are usually so poorly educated that they would have difficulty following even Darwin's simple language (he deliberatelty wrote the book to be very readable). Rather, I recommend it to those who either know nothing about evolution or who have been misinformed about it. Without exception, they make statements along the lines of "it wasn't what I'd expected. It makes perfect sense. Now I understand."
The problem I have with "Creationism" is that it is religion that many try to pass off as "science." It isn't science, though, and no amount of disguise will evere make it so. Hence it has no place in a science classroom or textbook. Moreover, it is an attempt to transform the Judeo-Christian creation myth into irrefutable fact. But it isn't fact. It's mythology. Every religion has its creation myth. Creationism, as we debate it in the U.S. is only one religion's creation myth. Can not everyone see that teaching Creationism to a Hindu or an American Indian violates their right not to have other's religious beliefs imposed upon them in the guise of education? Our constitution prohibits this. I have stated that I have no difficulty with Creationism being taught alongside other religions' creation myths as a part of a comparative religion course. This seems a practical compromise to me. But religious zealots have never been interested in compromise. We have only to pick up a history book to know that Christianity has long attempted to crush any new idea and destroy those who put those ideas if those ideas run counter to their very narrow view of reality. Incomprehisbably, too many Christians still consider the advancement of mankind's knowledge of of the world to be threatening. It astonishes me that in the modern world, Christians still tell me that everything I need to know about the world can be found in my Bible. I find it particularly ironic when they posit this point of view - yes, you guessed it - here on the Internet.
Alice Wrote the following on 12/01/2004 11:12 AM : I have two short comments for "Patriot"
Please look at the archaeopteryx. It is a transitional fossil.
The reason there are so few fossils for your persual is down to the very nature of fossils. It takes very special conditions for a fossil to form. That's why there are bloody loads of them under foot. Frankly, I'm delighted that we have the ones we do. The evidence is conclusive.
Sky Wrote the following on 12/01/2004 12:39 AM : The Fossil Record: another of the Creationists flawed arguments. That the fossil record does not fully support the theory of evolution is patently false. It supports it in every way. Actually there are many, many rich fossil deposits around the world. What the Creationists fail to understand or recognize is that most of the animals that have ever inhabited this planet are soft-bodied. The will not fossilize. It takes a hard, boney or calcareous exoskeleton or endoskeleton in order for a fossil to form.
When combined with other techniques, the fossil record usually serves to "ground truth" an laboratory observation. One modern technique is to examine the mitochondrial DNA of two organisms to determine if they are related, how closely they are related and how long ago they shared a common ancestor. Mitochontrial DNA is like a chemical history book. If for example a scientist wants to know how two marine mollusks are related, he can examine specific gene sequences that will show precisely how they are related at the genetic level. Moreover, by comparing multiple allels, and feeding these data into very sophisticated computerized analytical programs, he can how long ago the two shared a common ancestor. Doing further cross comparisons with other mollusks, this can be confirmed without a doubt.
A fossil deposit is also a history book. The farther down in it one goes, the farther back in time. So if a paleogeneticist finds that the two creatures shared a common ancestor 30 million years ago, a paleontologist knows that he needs to start looking at fossil deposits at the 30 million year level to see if he can find the fossilized remains of the ancestor. It's remarkable how many times they have found exactly what they are looking for exactly where it should be found using this methodology.
The important point is that the fossil record is only one very small part of the body of evidence for evolution. If it is taken out of context, it's the same as removing a tree from the forest and then saying you can't use the tree as evidence that the forest itself exists.
Alice Wrote the following on 12/01/2004 12:56 AM : whoops ... meant to say in my last post that there AREN'T bloody loads of them ... my mistake!
Nony Wrote the following on 12/01/2004 1:01 PM : Sky, your posts are an absolute treat!
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 00:30 AM : Sky's posts calls to mind the famous quote - "In the corner of the minds of bright men, lies a fool".
BTW - I think it's interesting to mention that Sky has also debated this subject as "Scientist" before. I'm not sure why chooses to switch his "handle", but like I said before, I think it's because it allows him to switch identies, and provides some dignity when he tucks his tail in defeat and retreats to Sky or NeoCenter or Scientist.....can't wait to see what "new" member name pops up on this site, with the same opinion. I must ask - Sky, do you really have no intention of being genuine?....I won't hold my breath for an answer. Anyhow - on to your false ideas.....
To believe that the transitional forms of mammals, birds and other vertebrae that are missing from the fossil records are not present because they morphed into "soft bodies" is silly. It's beyond absurd, but so is the slavish devotion to the religion of evolution exhibited by not only hack science buffs like Sky, but by the majority of the scientific community. Hence the constant mantra repeated almost everywhere, but broadcast most loudly here - "evolution is an undisputed scientific fact".
Sky is confusing science with materialism, but he is not alone. Evolutionary philosohpy has become a state of mind. It is a mental prison rather than a scientific attitude. I'll go so far as to say - the theory of evolution is detrimental to intelligence and warps judgement. Let me explain....
All the hard data in the life sciences show that evolution is not occuring today, all the real data in the earth sciences show it did not occur in the past and all the genuine data in the physical sciences show it is not possible at all. Nevertheless, evolution is almost universally accepted as a fact in all the natural sciences. Could it be that scientists are wrong?
The history of science reveals many instances where the majority of scientists have been convinced as to a particular theory and yet been later proved wrong. The perceptual grid of scientific materialism forces data to be interpreted in a very specific way that may not be correct. For example, the geocentric theory of the sun orbiting the earth dominated science for several hundred years. Although a heliocentric alternative was considered as early as the Greek astronomers, the geocentric theory was, by the late middle ages, "a self-evident truth, the one and only sacred and unalterable picture of cosmological reality". But, as with all false theories and ideas, there were innumerable facts that got in the way. With the theory of evolution, the fact of the gaps in the fossil records shows that history does indeed repeat itself. Human beings do not change.
The principal reason evolution "must" be a scientific fact is because of the materialistic bias that pervades the scientific world - a bias which, in the end, is really unnecessary and in ways even harmful to the cause of science.
If Sky is truly the educated "scientist" or Scientist he claims to be, he is being disingenuous when he talks about his definition of science as though it is the only one to be considered. There are many definitions of science. It depends on what book you look to - College Physics, Biological Science, or Websters. Even the judge, William R. Overton's definition of Science in the decision against creationism in the famous creation science trial differs from all of the other definitions listed in the textbooks noted above.
It is not my intent to debate the various definitions of science. What we do need to know is that the interaction of science and philosophy is a complex one and that there is no universally accepted, clear cut definition of what science is. Sky would prefer you do not know this.
Clearer thinking dictates that we define science in a general way, and acknowledging the scientific method which is commonly described in 7 steps.
1. Natural phenomena observed
2. Observations complied and data studied
3. Scientific hypothesis formulated
4. Further observation (at this point if further observation conflict with the hypothesis, the hypothesis is re-formulated)...otherwise on to step #5.
5. Theory formulated
6. Observations Consistently confirming the Theory.
7. Theory is considered Law.
To the extent that the findings of science hinge upon demonstrated truths and observed facts, evolutionary theory has little to do with the findings of science. That is why evolution is more properly considered a naturalistic philosophy or worldview that seeks to explain the origin of life materiallistically. As A. E. Wilder-Smith, (Sky will be happy to know this gentlemen holds three doctorates in science) states "....evolutionary thought teaches seven main postulates. Not one of these seven theses can be proved or even tested experimentally. If they are not supported by experimental evidence, the whole theory can scarcely be considered to be a scientific one. If the seven main postulates of NeoDarwinism are experimentally untestable, than evolutionary theory must be considered to be a philosophy rather than a science, for science is concerned solely with experimentally testable evidence. " (ref: his book - The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution - page 133)
The components of science itself - classification, theory, experiment, conclusion - reflect a framework of concepts that transcend scientific data. All attempts to explain or interpret data are to some degree impositions on the data. Because the data does not arrange itself, interpretive structures, which themselves transcend the data, must be imposed upon it. A materialistic structure has proved inadequate. An approach that attempts to look at data without a bias against larger theological implications is more close to the practice of science than the slavish commitment to evolutionary religion demonstrated by Sky and many others around the globe.
To the degree that the unvarnished truth is valued in our culture and our public schools, to insist that evolutionary theory continue to be taught as "science" to our children, is absurd and a great disservice to them and the future of humanity.
codewolf Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:04 AM : Patriot, respectively, I have read everything you have written here, but I do not agree.
Let me reduce what you just said to facts, ignoring your opinion:
...I got nothing.
Patriot, your beliefs are based upon just that, beliefs, your theories on science are fabrications. Honestly I think that you are forming a belief upon a false pretense. You have chosen to believe in something that does not exist to bolster a crutch for your own trait deficiencies.
Sorry, I don't buy it.
codewolf Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:05 AM : but, keep posting, it's amusing
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:11 AM : Nony, I couldn't agree with you more. The very fact that the world we live in today, is so infected with "..suffering, pain, death, hunger, (and) illness.." is only evidence that evil exists in the world. Is it irrational to consider that a house can become rundown under the neglect of it's inhabitants and not be considered anymore of a reflection on the architect than the fact that the state of creation is a reflection on the Creator? Logically - No. But this line of reasoning does not get to the heart of the question you're getting at.
I say that I couldn't agree with you more, because you touch on my own personal struggle with God and more specifically the God of the Christian Bible.
The problem of evil, simply put, is this:
"Either God wants to abolish evil and cannot, or he can but does no want to, or he cannot and does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, and does not want to, he is wicked. But if God both can and wants to abolish evil, then how come evil is in the world?"
If I told you that I had found a entirely satisfatory explantion in Christianity, I would be commiting an act of intellectual dishonesty. I struggle with this question myself and believe it to be the most serious challenge to theism. Clearly if God is impotent, or wicked he is not worthy of our worship or the sacrifice required of Christians.
I do not have all the answers but let me offer you this, the twelfth chapter of Hebrews instructs us that God disciplines those whom He loves.
"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined, than you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
God knows precisely what kinds of circumstances to allow into our lives to discipline us. I like to think in the end, I will reflect on the prescence of pain and evil in my own human journey in the same way as a child views his trip to the dentist. When considering the implications of the promises in the Christian bible, the short time spent here on earth in the prescence of evil, is a small period indeed compared to the vast reach of eternity.
codewolf Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:15 AM : Patriot - how do you reconcile your views with the fact that the pope himself has labeled George W. Bush as the antichrist?
codewolf Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:18 AM : http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0MKY/is_9_27/ai_108881880
codewolf Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:19 AM : oh, and it's nice that you ignore my comments Patriot, answer them, please.
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:24 AM : CW - no offense taken. Everyone should make up their own mind with respect to the answer to the question of the origin of the universe. You choose to believe a materialistic worldview, because you deny the existence of God, which denies you the logical position of believing in a theistic explantion of the begining of the world. The sad part is the undisputed data (the facts you're referring to, but I did not list in my opinion) points towards the conclusion that the Universe came into existence at a point in time. A completely natural or mateialisic framework cannot explain this fact rationally. I just find it incredibly dishonest and hypocritical for people to claim to be objective and scientific, when they are clearly as slavishly devoted to their own perceptive grid of naturalism as they claim theistic people to be commited to their faith. It's sad really.
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:34 AM : CW - not ignoring you, just busy posting, while you're doing the same. I don't agree with the pope. I was raised catholic, but couldn't wait to turn and run from everything the religion stood for when I got out of high school. Actually I wasn't a very good catholic in high school either...so I wasn't really being a catholic anyhow. To me catholicism is closer to true christianity, than mormonism but it still emphasizes doctorine more than the relationship. True christianity is about a relationship. At it's essence it is a response. My view of most catholics (not all, by any stretch) is that they practice worship on Sunday and then go on their merry way the rest of the week. Being a christian really means that anything you do can be an act of worship and honor to the Lord. God wants all of you - not just your ass in a pew on Sunday.
codewolf Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:43 AM : This argument should really be taken to the message board so it can be regulated to some extent.
Not for censure, just for a more controlled area for discussion.
I understand your viewpoint, but I think it is ignorant. You seem to ignore the "facts" as you please to suit your beliefs, I do not want to stand here and discredit your beliefs, but I find your arguments silly, honestly. My statement here may just allow you to discredit everything I say as a evil non-believer, but as far as your belief in god, I think it's silly and a crutch to bolster your own inner insecurities. A belief in a man in the sky is just ridiculous. I find it laughable. but No, I do not have any proof that your god does not exist, and as you know as well as I arguing that fact is ridiculous. Belief can not be proved.
I do respect your belief, but I don't follow it, what bothers me is your willingness to push your belief into the world of where my child will learn science, I don't understand why you think your belief is science, it's not. Explain that.
codewolf Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 01:50 AM : and, I'm going to catch a bit of sleep in a bit, so if I don't respond, I'm sleeping, not ignoring you...
Sky Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 07:05 AM : Actually, the point is rather moot. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that public schools may not teach creationism as science, when it struck down a 1981 Louisiana law. They didn't ban the teaching of creationism altogether, but they set strict limits on how it could be taught.
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 11:55 AM : CW - It seems we are talking past each other, because you're point is exactly the point I make in my previous post. A belief in Evolutionary theory ignores scientific "facts", or morphs it to fit into the materialistic/atheistic bias of the scientific community.
Perhaps I could better answer your question if you clarrified for me what "facts" you believe I'm ignoring. The scientific "facts" I believe you (or more to the point - Sky) is ignoring is the issue of the complete abscence of transitional forms in the fossil records. This is an undisputed scientific fact. How do you explain it?
....and I think you're missing my 'global' point of contention with respect to this post. My argument is not that science or even creationism proves the existence of God, - (because I believe this is impossible and not the realm of science). My argument is that if you put aside your materialistic/naturalistic/atheistic bias and look at the "facts"...the data that our collective knowledge of science has compiled, you will be faced with the rational alternative that their is a 'Mind', a Designer, that has designed the world we live in.
You're making way too many assumptions on behalf of the Christian worldview if you argue that the "facts" points to the God of the Christian Bible. They don't. Science in insufficient at proving the existence of God on the basic philosophical understanding that empirical data cannot be used to explain itself.
Alice Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 11:57 AM : I posted this before, but apparently need to repost
Please look at the archaeopteryx. It is a transitional fossil.
Sky Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 12:15 AM : And archaeopteryx is only one of many, many transitional fossil of this kind. It proves beyond doubt that the birds did, in fact, derive from the dinosaurs. This had been hypothesized for years before archaeopteryx was discovered.
Alice Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 12:52 AM : I quote from "patriot":
"I believe you (or more to the point - Sky) is ignoring is the issue of the complete abscence of transitional forms in the fossil records. This is an undisputed scientific fact."
As both Sky and I have said, there are many transitional fossils.
How long can "patriot" choose to ignore the truth?
Nony Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 12:57 AM : He can ignore the truth as long as he will, his mind is made up, just like set concrete. Pitty.
Sky Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 1:28 PM : Patriot comes in here a spouts things about which he knows nothing. It is quite ovbious that he has never studied biology and certainly not evolution. He just looks a bit of stuff up on the net and does some cutting and pasting. But it's obvious that he has no true understanding.
Most anti-evolutionist can't even accurately state the theory, much less have an intelligent discussion about it. They know only what their preacher, mommy, daddy, or some other benighted soul has told them. They do not care to actually study the issue before they reject it.
And I don't waste the effort in trying to change them. None of my professors in college did either. You either accepted evolution or you couldn't survive in the biology department. My biology courses were all predicated on evolutionary theory. If evolution is wrong then everything we know about modern biology is wrong. If biology is wrong, then medicine is wrong. But we all know that it isn't wrong.
As for transitional fossils, some of the most convincing ones are of the genus Homo, of which we, Homo sapiens sapiens are the latest model. I know creationists who, knowing nothing of phylogeny, won't even acknowledge that the humans are primates, despite the *fact* that the human and chimpanzee genomes are 98.77% identical.
Alice Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 1:30 PM : I suppose it is pointless to try to debate with someone who simply refuses to see the other side of things. Oh well. I had already said that I would stop trying to debate him. I'm going to stick to it now.
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 2:38 PM : Your personal attacks only go to prove how commited you are to your own presuppositions about how the origins of the Universe MUST be explained. I've offerred you the middle ground, and a rational argument. So far in return, all I've received are attacks on me. I'm not interested in a pissing contest. If you want a fight - go pick it with your spouse, or girlfriend, boyfriend, dog - whatever.
I've made it clear - I'm not arguing for the existence of God, simply for a fair, open-minded approach to seeing the world "for what it is" rather than what you believe it MUST be.
Let me give you an example of where most of you are falling short on your end of the debate. The lack of transitional fossils is a fact. The example Alice has presented is one of 6 or 7 of this type. Currently there are 250 million catalouged fossils of some 250,000 fossil species. You are suggesting that 6 or 7 transitional fossils proves that these transitions exist? This is silly and if this is your reasoning, then let's end the conversation now, because I do not wish to contine to argue with the village idiots for fear of a passer by, not being able to distinguish the difference!
Because this is an important question and you folks need some help, let me point you in the right direction. Reference Mr. Gould's book, (that Alice claims she has read) on evolution and his explanation for the abscence of transitional fossils. I have not read his book recently, but my recollection is - he has provided the most widely accepted, (but still irrational) explanation for the lack of this evidence.
His contribution to evolutionary theory was to propose that evolution happens in short "bursts" not in transitions at all. This leaves us in the uncomfortable position of believing that one day for no reason at all a bird hatched out of a dinosaur egg. This is what the evidence suggests, so in keeping with a materialistic worldview - this is the best argument evolutionists have been able to muster.
Your attempts to stick your heads in the sand and spout "the proverbial stuff" (as Nony likes to say), like:
"Whenever a discussion about evolution occurs, invariably some "non-believer" will say "it's *only* a theory." At this point, one would do well to end the discussion".
"And archaeopteryx is only one of many, many transitional fossil of this kind. It proves beyond doubt that the birds did, in fact, derive from the dinosaurs."
These statements only prove you've made up your minds - but they do not provide rational arguments grounded in reality to support your beliefs.
It appears your perception - that it is I who will not examine the "other side" of the argument, would be better off directed at a mirror.
Alice Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 2:43 PM : All you recieved are attacks, huh? You still question what I read, apparently the idea that I am a liar is still implicit.
No one wants to argue with you. We are sick of arguing with you. We give you evidence, you disregard. At the same time, you haven't offered one piece of evidence to consider (although sky and I have researched these things on our own). All you've given us is your personal belief. I cannot take one man's belief as fact. Sorry.
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 2:57 PM : Address the fossil reocords. It's a legitmate point of contention for your theory. We'll move on to other more convincing arguments of why your theory is wrong, after you start with the easy objections.
Why do you always want to sprint to the end? Use reason, instead of blind faith when considering what people tell you. The only way to improve your critical thinking abilities is to exercise them.
Your assertion that "As both Sky and I have said, there are many transitional fossils.", doesn't make your assertion correct - it simply proves you made a statement.
The data collected by the field of paleontology, shows that transitional forms do not exist, with the exception of the 6 or 7 fossils I've already mentioned. Either you're not reading this, or you don't believe me. If you don't believe me than prove me wrong. There are are 250 million catalouged fossils of some 250,000 fossil species. There should be many, many, many transitional forms between species. They do not exist. If you want, just say you agree with Gould's explanation of "magical monsters" and we can move on to the more convincing arguments against your religion of evolution.
Alice Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 3:00 PM : Just because I have read goulds books, doesn't mean I take every word he writes as gospel.
And you are the one sprinting to the end "We'll move on to other more convincing arguments of why your theory is wrong, after you start with the easy objections."
I say we agree to disagree. You think I'm wrong, I think you're wrong.
Let's leave it at that. I will not agree with anything you say, you will not agree with anything I say.
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 3:07 PM : ok then. I will happliy agree to disagree and respect your logical arguments. Unfortunately you or Sky never made any.
Nony had the best objection. How can you believe a 'Mind' made the world, when the state of the world is so fucked up? It logically suggests something about the architect. I, of course counter that the condition of the world (the creation) is no more a reflection on the creator, than the condition of a dilapidated building is on the architect. Of course, this begs the question about omipotence and the goodness of the Creator, which are topics for other threads.
Alice Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 3:09 PM : Right .. whatever makes you feel better about you.
I have made the same point about the existence of god in the forum. If you had bothered to read it, you would have known.
I'm sick of talking with you. You're rude, insulting, arrogant, and generally unkind.
Thanks for the memories.
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 3:28 PM : We all have the capacity of being "rude, insulting, arrogant and generally unkind".
I didn't have to look to far to find examples.
Alice: "For the record, I have read books by Henry Morris and Stephen Jay gould.......You know what? Fuck you!...."
Alice: "...it's adult swim, so we need the kids out of the pool..."
....but this is the one I love most of all:
Alice: "I have loads of scientifc grounds to defend evolution. Do you have any grounds to back up your childish superstition?"
Don't you think it's kind of rude to call something "childish superstition", when you have failed to provide "any" - let alone "loads of scientific grouds" to the contrary?
Alice Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 3:32 PM : What exactly do you want from me? Do I need to personally take you to the burgess shale or kenya or the national history museum? Besides, you say you've studied the evidence and don't believe it. So what would be the point. Why do you desire this exercise in futility?
Yes, I have lost my patience with you. For the last couple of days I have told I no longer wish to chat with you, yet you persist. Why? Why do you want to talk to someone who doesn't want to talk to you???
Sky Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 3:54 PM : Alice, Ignore the little freak. He dosen't know what logic is and he's telling me, a highly trained scientist who's forgotten more about this subject than he will ever know, that I'm not logical. It's a fucking hoot and exceedingly pitiful. It would be astounding that he wopuld come here and argue on this topic when he has absolutley know idea what he's talking about and pits himself against people who do. But that's the way his kind is; they don't ned to be correct, but only want to argue for the sake of arguing. As soon as you get him backed into a corner because his postition indefensible, he lashes out and attempts to discredit his opponent. (He's a well trained Republican.) I've made a decision about Patriot. He is quite obviously mentally ill. He's definitely oppositional, and some of his written behavior indicates borderline personality disorder. You can't reason with people like this. He states that everyone attacks him. It is he, who actually attacks and then he whines whin he gets it back in kind. I bet he doesn't have a lot of friends in real life; I don't know too many people who'd put up with him.
He's a blight on what is otherwise a rather enjoyable website. Even NeoCon isn't so over the top and at least one can tell that he is just having a bit of fum most of the time. Codewolf can't just run him off, of course, since he's trying to make this an open forum for all comers and opinions. It's intersting that CW is giving him the freedom that his precious W and the wacked-out Religious Wrong would take away in a minute if they could do so without starting a civil war.
Alice Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 3:57 PM : You are indeed correct. I suppose I have some difficulty dealing with a fellow like him. Most everyone else I know is reasonable. Oh well ... at least I have you and nony and cw and well, everyone else, heck even NeoCon (who on occasion genuinely makes me laugh).
Patriot Wrote the following on 12/02/2004 5:33 PM : If this site is only for people to sit around and agree with each other - all CW has to do is say the word!
In the meantime, Sky - please, please, please, continue to spout more of your arrogant rhteoric like ".....he's telling me, a highly trained scientist who's forgotten more about this subject than he will ever know, that I'm not logical. It's a fucking hoot and exceedingly pitiful."....and then fail to address the biggest objection from your very own profession to your dearly held religion of Evolution!
I wish I could get a screen shot of all of your posts all at once. They will come in handy the next time I encounter this argument with others and they don't believe that people are biased to evolution.
Never does the truth come under greater opposition than when the implications of it, force you to change your thinking.
To be honest, I'm disappointed in you Sky. You write reasonably well and you know enough buzzwords to make people think you know what you're talking about. But in the end - you just want a pissing contest with others and not a debate. The sign of an educated mind is the ability to consider an idea without accepting it. You have neither shown you properly "considered" evolution before you accepted it as "scientific fact" nor have you demonstrated evidence that you have the maturity to consider other ideas contrary to your beliefs. Disappointing indeed.
And what really pisses me off is that I specifically seek out people like you who believe in evolution, because they usually shed light on an aspect of the theory I've never considered before. You on the other hand are obviously used to people offering you platitudes and agreeing with you because you are either their boss or they don't see the point in arguing with someone who writes things like - "........I hold multiple degrees in science, medicine and make my living managing a huge computing infrastructure. I'm also married to a college professor, who has no issues with my intellect."
Clearly it is an exercise in futility to argue with someone whose wife agrees with him!? I mean come on! Who writes shit like this? Is this your best argument for your beloved religion of evolution?
I assumed that once I let you piss in all four corners of the room and beat your chest, you would get down to the issue. Unfortunately, you have only proved to be a pompus windbag that knows how to write a sentence. I'll do my best to respect you for this in the future and try not to make impositions on your ever complete body of knowledge. If you want to be left alone - no problem. We'll agree to disagree, and in the future, if you post something I do disagree with, I'll do my best to ignore it. Fair enough?