This is probably the most honest answer I've seen on here. With the thoughtfulness that she put into it, I feel like we could have some good conversations. The normal thread is filled with diatribe, 4-letter words, blaspheme, and ferocity. Kudos Ashe!
I can see why you'd think Ashe's post was great - it was.
I don't see how anyone else was insincere. I know I was sincere ... my post is in complete agreement with Ashes's, after all.
Those links were some evidences for you to have fun with. The one on Noah's Ark had a video that I saw, but I can't seem to locate it now.
Evidence for Noah's Ark doesn't exist. What I've seen presented is laughable; I wouldn't borrow you ten bucks if I had as much evidence for your intention to pay it back as I have for Noah's Ark.
Also, evidence for Noah's Ark is evidence for Noah's Ark. It wouldn't prove the entirety of the bible.
You know that we could never get into a chemistry lab and cook up a formula to somehow reveal God. Faith and Trust in Him are required.
Then why the OP?
For me, it was quite simple. I had drawn a conclusion that God had to have created the universe years earlier, but that conclusion didn't translate into faith and trust. Quite honestly, it was merely an academic exercise. However, it has to be an academic exercise for a person before it will ever be a heart-felt faith and trust.
Oh, okay. Can we have an exact point-by-point on your premises, methods, and conclusions? Specifics.
Also, having found Ashe's post honest - have you considered that your conclusion may be wrong? Would you believe anything else on faith and trust?
Why did I believe there had to be a God? Our world is too perfectly shaped, chaos does not fill our world (even though it is moving toward chaotic), our systems work too well, singularity doesn't make sense without a cause (and it must be an external force, which I can reconcile as the God of the Bible).
Why a specific god?
Too perfectly shaped compared to what?
Our systems working is a restatment of the perfect shape thing.
Chaos does fill our world at the quantum level.
Why must it be an external force as opposed to, say, just the nature of the universe? Or happenstance?
I recently saw a History Channel special, and it tried to explain that the earth was made by many collisions, then some comets carrying water hit the earth. How ludicrous was that whole thing!
Why? Do you have a model that works better, backed by evidence, making predictions?
And they never even attempt to explain how living organisms could form out of all that.
Well, was the special about planet formation or abiogenesis? Also, a TV documentary is not not not in any way, shape, or form representative of what's going on in science. It's stuff made to sell; if you're lucky it's made by well-meaning people who aren't specialists and/or are trying to simplify stuff for lay audiences.
If you wanna read up on planet formation or abiogenesis, go read scientific magazines that specialize in science and nothing else. Not that you will ever find abiogenesis in the same article as planetary formation.
Also, science being wrong wouldn't make the bible right.
The human body is nothing short of a miracle machine. At the cell level, scientists have shown how each part of a cell must exist at the same time for it to work. Evolution could not gradually make a cell. It's impossible. Darwin even readily admitted that if there was information in the cell, then his concept/theory fails miserably.
Yes, and Darwin was wrong. It can be explained, and has been.
Besides, the complexity of the human body is, again, evidence for nothing more that the complexity of the human body and its ability to work in its environment.
It's actually a prediction of evolutionary theory that systems subject to it (including non-living matter, like prions) will look as if designed.
A miracle machine? I can think of a dozen design flaws easily explained by evolution. If you're curious, I can post them. (In any case, if humans are miracle machines, so is every other complex organism.)
Also, again, science being wrong wouldn't make the bible right.
All these works-based religions are normally centered on a single author who finds himself somehow as part of the main core of the religion. In other words, I could start a new religion today and cite myself in a book as the prophet of that religion. Those had to be ruled out.
Why? Why can't someone claiming to be some god's prophet be, in fact, exactly what he says?
That basically knocked it down to Judaism and Christianity for me.
That leaves hundreds if not thousands of religions dismissed, even though they pass your above criterion.
Realizing Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies of the OT and that He never wrote a book, His humility drew to read more.
That realization being based on what?
As I saw all the shortcomings of each of the Apostles and those that surrounded Jesus in the writings of the NT, I could not help but see the finger of God. No mortal would reveal such fallibilities in a Holy Book.
What? the shortcomings of people are an extremely common theme in every mythology that I'm aware of.
Why should I see this as even an indication for the bible's veracity as opposed to its authors' literary devices and intent?
Everyone's threshold of evidence is different.
True ... to a point.
While I wouldn't begin to say someone was unintelligent if s/he didn't believe that some deity had to create the universe, I wouldn't go the other way either. Faith and beliefs are independent of knowledge and intellect.
Demonstrably untrue, statistically speaking.
For example, for E=mc2, how do we know that it's not LE=mc2Y, where L = 1 at this point in time and within our universe and Y = 1 at this point in time and within our universe? The answer is, we don't. Scientists are continuously having to go back and redo formulas based on new information. The bottom line is that we will never be able to define all the variables.
I don't see the relevance to the topic. Please explain.
Why does the earth not spin off into outer space?
It's either already in the process of spinning into space or toward the gravitational center of the galaxy. Long way to go at a small pace.
Why doesn't the sun burn out?
It's in the process of doing so. Explained by quantum mechanics. Observed in other stars.
Why doesn't the moon come crashing into the earth?
Because its speed exceeds escape velocity. I don't want to sound like an asshole, but this is basic Newtonian mechanics.
Did you know the earth's rotation is slowing down?
Why is that surprising with so many factors around? Explained by science.
What caused it to spin to start with?
Accretion - their own velocity and the influence of gravity. Again, basically Newtonian mechanics.
Going back in time, some sites show that the rate of slowing has been about 2 milliseconds in almost 200 years. If you figure that going backwards for billions of years, nothing would be able to stay on the earth without getting flung off we'd be spinning so fast. It just doesn't make sense.
Why would we assume the rate has been constant? Read up on it, it slows down and speeds up again.
What do all these questions have to do with god's existence?
Why does this make sense at all? Because this parallels the Bible's week. 6 days = 6,000 years, 1 day = 1,000 years. I'm not saying I subscribe to that, but it is plausible. I just know that I need to be ready when it does happen, whenever it might happen.
And use a different mathematical system - say, base 6 (but really anything but ten) and suddenly it looks neither neat nor plausible - but of course you know that if you have a computer science education. (You then get 11 days and 43440 years instead of 6 and 6000. Too lazy to convert into binary.)
Also, highly hypothetical.