The science desk here at El Reg has long held that creationism belongs in a museum. Now it seems that the creationists agree with us, as they have opened just such an institution. All right, it is in Kentucky, but at least they're trying. The organisers, Answers in Genesis*, say they expect upwards of 250,000 visitors in the …
reason - who needs it.
What y'all need to realise about the folk who created this theme park, and, sadly, most christians, is logic has no room in the headspace.
They can not think about what their hard back fiction books really says, because if they do for just 2 minutes, they'll see all the contradictions and deceits. This causes them to suspend *all* thought in favour of that great catch-all called Faith. They seem entirely ok with deciding which sections of their myth-book to adhere to (or, more importantly, make other people adhere to) and yet be able to ignore other bits that are emphasised as much - think homosexuality and divorce, and how the various churches relate to both those issues.
Lets also not forget that religion came about when man was barbaric and needed a moral code. Sadly, societies own moral code has, by and large, bypassed that of most christians (anyone remember the downright lies propagated during the section 28 debate?, or more recently during the Equality of Services act, or how blatantly US evangelicals lie about pretty much everything).
Most religions are completely ok with an End-Justifies-The-Means approach - hence lying is ok if its for a good cause, its ok that those thugs tied Matthew Sheppard naked to a fence because he was gay, its ok that the catholic church condemns millions to die of AIDS in africa. And lets not forget the child molestation that seem endemic to christian organisations.
No - society, by and large, now own the moral high ground when it comes to real morality. And this, of course, scares the religious folk into a fervour of splendid proportions. My own view is this is the beginning of the end for them. I hope that I'm right.
I'd suggest you don't bother pointing out the glaring inconsistencies to guys like Danny - for all the reasons above, they won't see them and will point you to those self referential bits in their story book.
I reckon it's worth $20
As much as I dislike the notion of making this exhibit profitable, I'm curious to hear what they have to say.
I consider myself to be scientifically minded. I do not dispell the notion of a divine creator entirely; there is the potential, however unlikely, that such a being exists.
I am also wary of anything labeled as 'scientific fact'. The science that I was raised with deals with probabilities and never believes that it has arrived at the final solution. Scientific theories can go for hundreds of years without someone disproving them. We can base great knowledge upon these theories but must not fall into the trap of believing that science can produce irrefutable facts.
I, for one, think that the theories of evolution are the best we've got. They're way way more likely than anything I've read in the Bible (or at answersingenesis.org for that matter).
the folks at www.conservapedia.com have a good resevoir of creationist hilarity. the folks at www.rationalwiki.com have a good index of the highpoints.
Dignity of man
"For the wise one who concluded that God is not omnipotent because of all the evil in the world, My Question is if God true love vanished and every person who lie, steal, lust or cheat “and the list is long” get zapped by a heavenly thunder or whatever would any of us survive including the punch of people who by there own admittance prefer to be mutated monkeys rather than wonderful creatures made by a wonderful maker"
To paraphrase a wise man "The dignity of man lies in his ability to face reality in all of its meaninglessness" - Martin Esslin.
I do believe that I evolved from a monkey and it, from smaller organisms over millions of years, but my dignity lies in the fact that i am not so pious to believe i owe my existence to a deity which has never shown me why i should that is my comfort and my freedom, i owe my existance to evolution which has given me ways to protect myself and survive and also to the planet on which we live.
I do not care to thank anyone without prior reason. Where does your dignity come from?
"Creationism is the lacks logic, is based on written religious dogma and is very definitely not falsifiable."
er, anything that can be written, can also be falsified... that is why all legal documents are on 'headed paper' , and include a signature and date - so it can then be referred back to the person, for verification...
the point is, science is *always* challenged and verified, unlike religious dogma...
and evidence can be falsified, as in the 'missing link' scandal.. it just depends how far you want to go - if you dont mind all your good work being discredited!!
you make a good point about 'space aliens' ... just **how gullible** are some people???
Lions, Tigers, and the Pope, Oh my!
To Pascal Monett,
I'm not Catholic and the Pope is not God.
To the rest of you who say that evolution has been observed today you are mistaken. Adadptaion and natural selection can be observed but this does not support molecules to man evolution. Neo-Darwinian molecules-to-man evolution requires genetic information to be added. According to evolutionary thinking, increases in genetic information over time, usually through mutations, leads to new species. However, Darwin's finches do not support this definition of evolution. In fact, they work against it. The finches that recently made headlines have been observed to have shorter beaks and this change has occurred over a very short period of time. The problem is that natural selection does not lead to an increase in genetic information, it leads to a decrease. Organisms that have the ability to adapt to their environment do so by genetic variety. In other words, they already have the genetic information available to make the necessary change. Once an organism adapts to an environment it may lose its genetic ability to change back to its original form. This can be seen in places where a species adapts to the point where it no longer interbreeds with the species it branched off from.
A loss of genetic information works against the idea of evolution. Take dogs for example. All dogs are descended from a wolf-type animal. There are thousands of types of dogs today. The problem for evolutionists is that they are all still dogs. Many breeds that people spend hundreds of dollars for today have serious health problems because they do no not have the genetic variety that their ancestors possessed. This explains why mutts are generally hardier than a pure breed. They have regained some of their genetic information that was lost to specialized breeding.
Natural selection and the loss of genetic information fits better with the biblical idea of the created “kinds”.
"And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:24-25
"mutated monkeys " eh?? another fantastically arrogant statement ...
Is there not a phrase "those who are without sin, throw the first stone" - nevermind what 'sin' is, I dont think many would get thrown!!
and Danny, where are your qualifications as a genetic scientist?? you obviously do not understand the basics... go on, have a look-up on the Copernincus/Galileo thing, and decide whether the earth is at the center of everything, just like the old kings of arrogance! (yes, women had NO say back then...)
they tried to 'explain away' the strange motions of the planets as well - it would move to a point in the sky, and then start moving backwards for a while, and then change direction *again* - it was called 'the dance of the planets' I believe...
As many authors have said, this tiny planet is just a tiny dot, going round a tiny boring sun, in an insignificant outer part of the universe, that no-one really visits, like some of the deepest deserts on earth, where no-one would expect to find anything remotely interesting...
A perfect spot for an experiment.... at the first try, it did not work out, so it was flooded and destroyed...
The second try got a bit further, but still not quite there.... so it was abandoned - waste of time, and the technology and materials needed elsewhere..
No problem, no-one goes there, too far away, and it will most likely self-destruct anyway....
Fon, where are anyones qualifications that are posting here? Do you need them just because I don't agree with your position? First of all, if read my previous posts I have addressed the misinformation concerning Galileo. Go on, have a look:
Maybe I should explain the basics of how to debate a point with someone. I make statement such as the above about natural selection, and then you make a rebuttal. Simply saying that I don't know the basics does not refute my argument.
"As many authors have said, this tiny planet is just a tiny dot, going round a tiny boring sun, in an insignificant outer part of the universe, that no-one really visits, like some of the deepest deserts on earth, where no-one would expect to find anything remotely interesting..."
I find that a planet that is just the right distance from its star with just the right size moon and the exact tilt to be fairly interesting. Looks like were an oasis in a desert.
Adaption and Natural Selection are the drivers for evolution. Eventually resulting in species change as an inevitable result of multiple changes. So, there's no problem to go from molecules to man given sufficient time.
If I understand you correctly, you seem to be missing the point. Natural Selection doesn't have to increase the amount of genetic information. As far as I am aware no one claims it does. Mutation adds information, Natural Selection reduces it to that which proves useful in terms of being more fit for the environment. The loss of information not only doesn't work against the ideal of evolution, it is vitally important to it.
How can one claim that finches with shorter beaks deny evolution rather than support it ? It is a matter of no importance whether a change occurs relatively rapidly or slowly. If a population is capable of creating mutations and if a mutation is sufficiently advantageous, then the change can occur within a few generations.
The fact that dogs are still all dogs is hardly surprising and proves little. To achieve a separate species, even if one wanted to, would need sufficient time for the accumulating mutations to ensure that two groups of resulting creatures are no longer compatible for breeding. No reasonable person would claim that was likely to occur in the short time humans have been guiding animal breeding.
The reason that a pure breed tends to be hardier is that hardiness is not the characteristic usually breed for. It is less important how hardly an species is if the farmer is going to look after it until it is slaughtered anyway.
worth responding to...
. , now here is a post worth responding to. You said, "Adaption and Natural Selection are the drivers for evolution. Eventually resulting in species change as an inevitable result of multiple changes. So, there's no problem to go from molecules to man given sufficient time."
Then you said, "Natural Selection doesn't have to increase the amount of genetic information. As far as I am aware no one claims it does. Mutation adds information..."
So we are both claiming that natural selection supports our opposing theories. The difference is that I believe we started with more information and are slowly ending up with less. You believe (if I may make the assumption) that life started with no information and eventually mutations led to the genetic information we have today. First of all, information can not come from non-information but I suppose that is another debate. The biggest difference between us is our belief in mutations ability to add useful genetic information. Certainly, mutations have been observed, but most are not helpful to an organism. There are few (and I stress few) situations where you could argue that a mutation has been helpful. But, as far as a mechanism to progress from a single celled organism to a human that seems like a stretch. Either way, natural selection and speciation are not exclusive to evolution and do not conflict with my view.
What happend to the other 8 planets?
If God created earth then what happened to the other 8 plants? Or maybe earth is the mistake? If God in fact created life why is there not life everywhere? Why is our planet so special? And exactly where does it say that earth is special in any version of the bible? Also, I'm just asking here so don't bite my f**King head off, is there anyway to submit amendments to this book called the bible cause it sure needs a serious upgrade to reality.
As to the origins of the Bible as the word of god see below....
"I find it easier to believe in a Creator."
Hmm, so you're argument is 'I don't get it, the big bang's too difficult for me to get my head around, so God must have done it?" That's weak man, weak. Who says the formation of the universe has to be a simple concept? In any case, believing goddidit simply difers the complexity back a level - who did God? You're just dodging the complexity. Weak.
why do you conclude that I hate you if I disagree
I need to understand why it is concluded that Christians hate homosexuals just because they disapprove this kind of behaviour. I love my kids , my friends and my colleagues and yet I do not agree on a lot and disapprove a lot as well of what they do. Disapproving a behaviour and hating someone who does this behaviour is entirely different issues and the lines should not be blurred, since it is a simple way to justify hating anyone who object on anything?
I hope the museum will be able to answer some questions for me, and I'll focus only on the idea that man co-existed with dinosaurs :
1) if man co-existed with dinos, where is the evidence? I'm talking human bones in with dino bones, or the remains of dinos in old human settlements, dino bones with obvious human activity marks (cutting, scraping etc), artifacts made of dino bones. And, dont bother me with a single dubious "footprint" in sediments for which there are other credible explanations.
2) How did Noah fit all the dinos on the ark? It must have been massive by any standards, and it was supposed to have been built of wood.
3) What wiped out the dinos? If it was so catastrophic to them why not to humans? Perhaps it was because Noah didn't get them onto the ark at all, so the Bible is wrong?
4) What happened to the water dwelling dinos during the great flood? If other water dwelling animals survived, why did they not?
5)Why does none of the ancient rock art anywhere in the world feature dinosaurs? Some of it is easily old enough to have been done by Adam and Eve's close relatives.
6) How did humans cope with animals that the evidence suggests, were fast moving carnivores that lived and hunted in packs?
7) Why were none of the dinosaur species domesticated for food, protection, transport etc.
As soon as someone comes up with substantial credible evidence that humans co-existed with dinosaurs, I'll believe it.
You see, Science is about first collecting evidence, and then formulating theories that explain what the evidence means and how the pieces of evidence are connected. ( ever heard of alternative theories as to why giraffes have long necks? ) Then, when further evidence is collected, the theory is modified to accomodate it. The key here is the word THEORY. The THOERY of evolution fits the evdience best.
ID is not a science, it is much more as it is based on faith. ID starts with an assumption that the Bible is the absolute source of all truth. Then evidence is collected to support that belief. This is not the way the scientific method works.
So, I challenge ID'ers to answer my questions coherently and without referring to the Bible, God, Jesus or any other deity or religious tome.
There are probably plenty of further questions other posters will think of.
Happy Accident Theory
Rather than Creationism or Intelligent Design I ascribe to the Happy Accident theory.
At one instant of time some magic had leaked into the set of dimensions we call the Universe. The magic was unstable so flashed off into energy and matter. In this instant called the Big Shazam trillions of life bearing world were fully formed each with an ecosystem and all the rudiments of civilisation. Almost all where, as is the way with random events, unworkable and quickly died out. Only one proved to be sustainable and survived. No one knows where the magic had come from. Some say it leaked in from a better universe with more dimensions, some say it was always there gathering together in the nothingness like a bubble in a glass of beer until it had sufficient mass to break free. Other say it was left over from the end of the universe and as time ceased to exist it had no-where to go and so was reflected back to the beginning. Still other believe the great creator was gathering his powers for something big when he accidentally knocked over his jar of magic and a little bit got between the floorboards before he could mop it up.
One thing is sure: even if creations disprove evolution it still doesn't prove god created us and even if he did it doesn't mean he did it on purpose.
If our species is slowly eroding the information it has to define it, then the future is not bright for our descendents :-)
RE information from nothing. There is an often quoted phrase about an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of typewriters coming up with the complete works of Shakespeare. It's just random keypresses, but make enough of them and the odd word will come into existence.
Of course the analogy isn't perfect as accidentally creating one word on a typewriter doesn't make it more likely to create two together next try. New sequences of keypresses are not based on those already made, nor is there any process to weed out the less readable sequences from the more.
There are many many occasions when a mutation has been helpful. For example it is the method by which bacteria develop immunity to antibiotics. This sort of adaption is commonplace.
Granted any particular mutation is considerably more likely to be detrimental than helpful, but nature has no conscience regarding the problems of an individual life form. If there are any helpful mutations, they must tend to accumulate.
The change from a single celled organism to a human may initially appear unacceptably large, but at any moment there are a massive number of different mutations being tested against the environment. And there has been a massive number of generations since single celled organisms were the most sophisticated life form here, and when human beings arrived. That's a lot of resource on the job.
To be honest if you are ok with Natural Selection and speciation, I'm unsure what the disagreement is, save that you find it difficult to believe the transformation happened so look for some other reason we are here; while I believe it is inevitable that it did.
Re. I See
Indeed. I must be too simple to understand how something comes from nothing by chance.
Everyone on here should know that thinking in science has always "evolved" and been proved both correct and incorrect in the past. So I fails to understand how so many people are certain that evolution is fact and the final answer.
Credit to those who have said that it is the best in current thinking in their opinion.
I am sure of my view due to my faith and events in my life.
I hope that scientifically minded people can look objectively at their own belief and others objectively.
Never mind dinosaurs -- what about rainbows?
Forget dinosaurs, and think for a moment about rainbows.
According to Jewish mythology, God caused the first rainbow to mark the end of Noah's flood. If we are meant to accept that one or other of the two mutually-contradictory accounts of the Creation in Genesis is literally correct, then there were no such things as rainbows before the flood. So how did God prevent anything from casting a rainbow until then?
* Was sunlight monochromatic before the Flood? But then, one would expect all species' eyes to have the same peak spectral response. This is not the case. Plants require different wavelengths of light for different growth phases.
* Was there no chromatic dispersion before the Flood? But then, if God could intervene on such a precise level as to be able to change permanently the fundamental properties of matter, why would he have had to resort to such a Heath-Robinson method of dealing with an errant population rather than performing a simple selective cull of just the most unsatisfactory individuals?
Or is there some other mechanism I haven't thought of, which would explain the absence of rainbows before the Flood?
Information content of DNA and something from nothing
The thesis that adaptation through natural selection only decreases the amount of genetic information is based on the idea that "genetic information" is the same kind of "information" as, say, the text contained in a book. Ergo it had to come from someone who thought of it first. To use Pratchett's terminology, it ASSUMES that genetic information contains Narrativium, has a guiding story. Not so - and the lack or presence of this element seems to be the test of weather a system evolved or was designed. It has been shown again and again that chaos - noise in information terms - has a natural tendency to produce patterns (e.g. any finite number series can be found somewhere in the decimal expression of Pi). Some of these patterns happen to be self-sustaining and/or self-replicating. Simple patterns will combine to form more complex ones. Biochemists have found relatively simple self-replicating molecules that could appear spontaneously from a soup of their building blocks (not DNA or even the more simple RNA however. Even some simple microorganisms alive today don't have such "advanced technology". It is theorized that RNA was a relatively late addition to the mechanisms of life).
As illustration I offer this true story (http://www.informatics.sussex.ac.uk/users/adrianth/TEC99/paper.html the full read is fascinating to an engineer, maybe less so to a layperson): Researchers wanted to study the possibility of evolving - as opposed to designing - functional electronic circuits. They used an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array - dynamically reconfigurable chip), the configuration of the chip was described by a binary "genome", and this genome used in a Genetic Algorithm (In the first generation the chip was programmed with RANDOM genomes (noise). They then proceeded to test this population and award "fitness" scores (the functionality they were aiming for was a frequency discriminator - a circuit that would output 1 for a 10KHz input and 0 for 1KHz. The fitness scores were determined by a function of the outputs that would max out if this was achieved). In each generation the individuals with the highest fitness were used to create the next generation by combining their genomes (crossover) and mutating randomly. This cycle was repeated several thousand times). There was no individual in the initial population that demonstrated any ability whatsoever to perform the task. The population had formed a genetically converged `species' before fitness began to increase. Eventually they obtained a circuit that functioned. They then analyzed the circuit. They found that it contained many elements that did not contribute to its desired functionality, but that the number of elements _needed_ for it to work was much smaller than that of any previously designed frequency discriminator. They also found it very hard to understand HOW the circuit worked, despite its apparent simplicity. It didn't make sense, from an engineering perspective. It had no Narrativium.
● Hi Danny
Firstly, thanks for coming on here and giving reasoned answers to people's questions. A lot of false assumptions abound when people's beliefs calsh so it's good to get more detail and accuracy - even if I disagree with you, it's amicable and intelligent, rather than an 'us and them' mentality.
I should mention I'd probably be classed as secular humanist, so I'm as unlikely to convert to any faith as you are to renounce yours! :)
But if it's not too much trouble, could you answer a few questions for me? Where relevant, I'll state my position too, but I'm not preaching it to you, don't worry.
●What do you make of the choice of gospels for the bible? Long after the events recounted of the life of Jesus, the growing catholic church decided to use a set number of gospels, excising more than half of the total ones, and gettign rid of the more contraadictory ones (there are still contradictions in thge remining texts). Does choice of what made it into the bible by humans with no divine insight not dilute the accuracy of everything in the bible, requiring religious scholars to weigh each statement?
● Regards state and church, I believe everyone has the right to believe what they want, but that government has the duty to look after it's citizens physical wellbeing. The integration of religious beliefs into a state denies the freedoms of it's citizens. What is the Creationist view on seperation or integration of church and state?
●Regards genetic change, you believe it diminishes (the genome) over time. What do you make of the ability of retroviruses (AIDS is the extreme example) to alter and bed down in the genetic code of the infected? It's been recently discovered that modern humans now have almost 24% of their genetic code that is made up of dead retroviruses that have left their own code imprinted on ours. Aside from the obvious risk that receptors could in theory reactivate one (albeit unlikely), this strongly implies a very long history of viral alteration more in keeping with millions of years, rather than recent history. There doesn't seem to be an easy answer to this with the biblical history model - what do you think?
● We both accept genetic change is possible. You make the point that some drift could happen quickly, but ultimately the origin of the gentic structure is unknown (sorry if I'm unclear). I guess I mean that we don't really know how at some point it goes from proteins and sugars to self replicating genes (I may get told off by more educated readers here). But this is the crux of it, the origin of life. Assuming God kicked it all of, why bother with things like light in motion in space already from faked supernovas, etc? We see pulses that date back further than the biblical model allows - so either God had the universe ready, then dropped human life in much later, or he faked it all, which seems needless. I guess this is nitpicking level now, but hey. Also, the failure of science to prove an answer now doesn't mean it's not possible - wasn't that long ago gravity wasn't known about... :)
thanks for your time.
All the best
as Bill Hicks said
have you ever noticed how the people that believe in creationism look really unevolved? "I believe god created me in one day!" Yeah? Looks like he rushed it!!!
Creationism doesn't make any sense...
Science and creationism don't match. Simple and easy reckoning means that if the universe was no more than 40,000 years old, then the most distant stars wouldn't be seen yet, let alone anything half the distance of the known visible stars and galaxies in the Universe.
ok, at 40,000 light years its a loooong way, and a lot of stars and galaxies exist within this boundary, but beyond that we wouldn't see anything, let alone galaxies such as Andromeda which is 2 million light years away, and that's one of the closer ones that I know of.
Creationism needs a kick up the pants because it doesn't make sense.
whoa, Danny, took the whole bait!! :D tell me, what do you think of the small ants under your feet???
Church of pure awesome!
So I was talking to my catholic friend over IM, she was telling me that this church teaches that all animals (including dinosaurs) were vegetarian before Adam's sin ("then T-rex turned into a meatasaurus")
The amusing part?
She started the conversation by saying "T-Rex used to eat planets" before correcting her typo to be "plants"
A universe-roaming planet-eating T-Rex? Sounds awesome! I'm converting religions already!
Why is it that someone who holds a belief will state it is a fact, whilst those who are in possession of facts accept that it is a 'fact' only in the light of present knowledge?
As Bertrand Russell said: "I would never die for my beliefs; I might be wrong."
As the Bible is truth, can someone explain to me how my plants can't survive being submerged for a week or so, yet in Noah's time they were covered for nearly 1.5 months?
Admittedly they had the advantage of being fertilised by the rotting corpses of all the animals and people that God (in his wisdom) killed but still, no oxygen?
On top of that, wouldn't the Ark have been knee-deep in bird-shit being the only roosting place in the world?
In response to a few points.
(Mostly in response to the "Hi Danny" post)
Regarding the choice of canon by the Early Church: It's no secret that there are Apocryphal books (you can even check them out in the Library, if you're so inclined) that were not included in the Bible proper by the Early Church, but their omission doesn't make the Bible any less acceptable for what it is. The issue lies in the fact that the modern day Church as a whole is falling into much the same point that the Church during the days of Jesus was in: the religion was a lot less about Faith in what the big guy upstairs was doing, and a lot more about what was on the paper and what people looking at you thought. As for your statements about the Gospels being internally contradictory-I honestly would like to see examples of these internal contradictions. There seems to be this misconception by a large body of non-believers, when in reality the truth is that the internal lack of consistency in the Bible is about as true as Darwin's conversion. If you can present some of these inconsistencies, I'd be happy to look them over and offer a response.
Regarding Church and State: First off, I hate the phrase "Separation of Church and State", because in the American Constitution, no such phrase exists. The only mandate regarding religion in the founding work of this nation, simply states that The American Government cannot mandate an official religion. (Forgive me for being ignorant about the way that other Nations handle religion and integration with the Government) That said, most mainstream Christians these days aren't upset so much by the fact that there is a growing Secular influence in the public so much as the fact that Christians on many fronts are being told that they cannot voice their views, anymore. A particular example comes to mind from my community of late: A student at a local High School was killed earlier this year in a tragic car accident, and his favorite Hymn was sung at his funeral, as well as a School Gathering in his memory. This month, students in the school choir elected that they'd like to sing the Hymn again, during their Graduation ceremony, during the period where the student would have received his diploma, had he still been alive. The school forbade the students from singing the hymn, for fear of litigation. It's situations like these that tend to lead to the opposite backlash, the "How would you feel if we took away your right to say what you want?", that tends to arise. The truth is that the vast majority of Christians don't even want Creationism taught in schools, especially not the type espoused by this theme park, but rather simply want ANY opposing viewpoint to Evolution to be in the classroom.
Regarding Viral HIstory and it's reaction on the Human Genome: If you look at the original Hebrew in the Pentateuch, you'll find that the concept of "A day" as listed in current English translations is poorly translated. In the original Hebrew, the word that is used can be translated to simply mean "a period of time". Mainstream Christianity honestly tends to find the view of a 2000 year-old universe repulsive, because it doesn't vibe with anything else we know of the world. In essence, the people you're trying to disprove honestly aren't even taken seriously by people in their own side. As for your view that having a large portion of your genetic code altered by retroviruses is an argument to an elongated view of active human genetics, the point could just as easily be argued that having such a significant portion of your genetic code in such a highly altered state shows that at some point in our genetic past, our gene pool was significantly shallowed by a significant event, and the short list of genetic candidates that reproduced were already afflicted by this retrocoding.
Regarding the Stars and their effect on Creationism: To repeat above: Mainstream Christians don't widely accept the concept that the universe is only a few thousand years old. The Creation account in Genesis is admittedly vague, but it should be noted that in that account, the first step of the situation was creating the Stars. What most Mainstream Christians tend to reject from Big Bang/Evolutionary theory is the concept that it all just "happened" with no precursor. If I were to take a giant clump of hydrogen, and stick it in a complete vacuum, and let it sit with no outside influence, it's most probable that nothing at all would happen. Even if something did happen, even if a spark shot up, it's highly improbable that it would never form anything more than an inert gas. I can continue this line of reasoning forever, but I think you follow where I'm going. The ultimate issue that I see with Natural Selection is that you've got a great engine, with no ignition. From what I can see, Natural Selection tends to fail at the start, largely because your basic building blocks of life are simple carbon atomic chains, which have no purpose, nothing to build *towards*, and so they cannot be selected. The primary difference between most hardcore Evolutionists, and most Mainstream Creationists is that Mainstream Creationists believe that someone built the engine, keep it well-oiled and maintained, and turned the key to get it running, whereas most Hardcore Evolutionists tend to think that because they can't see who's in the Driver's seat, the Engine simply started on it's own.
The world is bigger today..
good reasoning, Eric...
The 'story of the Ark' .. While many think this refers to 'the whole planet' , some have realized it refers to 'the whole world' - and at that time this was only a very small area of the planet!!
Need I remind people that in columbus's time, many said that he would 'fall off the edge of the world' , and even the more intelligent just said he was trying to find a quicker way to the Indies by sailing west...
when he landed at what is now Cuba, he was adamant that they had found a part of the Asian mainland...
Even in those times, 'the whole world' was much smaller than we know today...
I am still waiting a reply from Danny, who may be thinking about the many ants he has crushed, without even thinking about it!!
Just like the scientist who incinerates a failed bacterium experiment, that grew in the wrong way...
Who is to say those forms of life are any different from us, in the eyes of some giant, fantastically advanced scientist, whose experiment has just gone wrong??
to Karl Lattimer
It took emule only 2 seconds... ;)
Thanks to all you JFGI warriors
I should probably have mentioned that I was looking at a IRL paper version of the book, not simply a digital version.
Of all the online translations available, there are quite a few variations. The best ones I found still didn't really hold up to unbiased translation of the texts.
To Danny if he's still listening, I think creationism has had its day, 2000 years of it. Now a days I puzzle not on the question of "HOW", because natural selection and evolution are the "HOW", it _CAN_ be reproduced albeit not biologically the essence of the engineering is still valid in software genetic algorithms.
The real answers are in the WHY, and as far as they WHY goes my current thoughts revolve around the complexity of the universe, by laying this off as "It is Gods will" that we exist is a nonsense, and as one commenter put it, dodging the complexity and its a weak argument.
Complexity is after all the center of this argument, with 138billion interacting neurons, where data is fed in and out of the real world, coupled with around 6 billion people on earth there is a great maddening complexity of existence, the HOW is merely a medium, the WHY is the same reason any network will self organise, and more importantly WHY the second law of thermodynamics is more than just "entropy tends to increase" (creationist, bullsh!t), or "entropy in an enclosed system tends to increase" (real science), but it is more like "entropy in an enclosed system will increase until a maximum point, whereupon the rules of the system, coupled with minor variations will allow a complex system to form" (small world theory + science).
I started off by pointing out the modern day reproductions of the bible miss out some very large parts, one of which, the book of Enoch is written to give you knowledge not take it from you, there are many other parts of the bible like this, for the record I'd also like to point out that Jesus was just a man, as written in Romans "Born the seed of David" he was the literal king of the Jews, and people wonder why they pinned him to a cross ;)
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll try to dig up some examples of internal inconsistency for you.
No worries about not knowing other nations' viewpoints. I think it's fair to say that Europe is a lot more secular than the United States, with (mostly) respect for believers. On the one hand, more extreme elements of christian churches fret about the "march of Secularism", and on the other, extreme atheists and agnostics mock beliefs, be it depicting Mohammed or tending to judge religions by their most extremist believers. You make a good point about how they're seen by the majoity of American christians.
Ideally, I'd like to see a secular government as the norm, but one that is sensitive about beliefs, hopefully not restricting simple things like the singing of a hymn to honour the passed! I guess at the moment it's a bit of a tightrope, as there's such tension between opposing religious views (some Eastern religions not being as tolerant of other beliefs), but common sense should prevail.
It's good to see a bit of dialogue here, hopefully then all sides in a debate can realise that the opposing side isn't necessarily of the most extreme or absurd view!
all the best