Author Topic: What can we do?  (Read 11731 times)

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Offline velkyn

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #319 on: February 07, 2012, 10:32:40 AM »
I’ve reviewed this thread and my impression is that no one here really wants to give ID any serious consideration. I’m not going to make any further comments on it in this thread. Maybe it will come up again somewhere along the way.

provide evidence that it actually exists, BS.  Without that, it's one more baseless claim.  You have been asked repeatedly for evidence and now you run away without providing any at all.  You are a coward and a liar, BS.  I would seroiusly consider creatonism/ID if it had any scientific support whatsoever.  It doesn't, and from your actions, you understand that.

Thank you, BS, for confirming my opinion of creationists and giving me even more evidence for their deceitful actions. 
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Offline Tykster

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #320 on: February 07, 2012, 10:52:42 AM »
I’ve reviewed this thread and my impression is that no one here really wants to give ID any serious consideration. I’m not going to make any further comments on it in this thread. Maybe it will come up again somewhere along the way.

After a cursory read of what the Creationists hypothesize about, it's clear that it isn't scientifically based, and therefore not open to scrutiny...hence it isn't worth ANY consideration, let alone "serious"...
rhocam ~ I guess there are several trillion cells in a man, and one in an amoeba, so to be generous, lets say that there were a billion. That is one every fifteen years. So in my lifetime I should have seen two evolutionary changes.

Offline Historicity

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #321 on: February 07, 2012, 01:12:11 PM »
^^ I wouldn't use "hypothesis".  From my reading and observation there are these steps in the scientific method.

HUNCH.  Lots of bias and silliness allowed here.  A dream, a poetic clue, an analogy that something you-don't-quite-know-what is going on there.  When you say it out loud or in writing you have reached the level of a CONJECTURE.

HYPOTHESIS.  Make a statement of what you are trying to say.  Make it provable or disprovable.

HYPOTHESES.  List all the alternate hypotheses you can think of.

READING.  Has anyone else noticed this?  Has anyone hypothesized?  Has anyone taken it to the level of a theory?  Do you find a previous answer satisfactory?  If so then quit.

RANK THE HYPOTHESES.  Put them in order of likelihood.  There is a lot of bias in this step.  Give (dis)credit where it is due.  Explain briefly why you dismiss the less likely hypotheses.  This step produces a lot of acrimony among scientists.  Even if you don't get sarcastic somebody will get angry that all his work is dismissed in a sentence.

DECLARE WHAT EVIDENCE COULD (DIS)PROVE YOUR HYPOTHESIS.  This evidence may not be available today.  It could be evidence that would be available in the future.

GATHER EVIDENCE.  Internal consistency, mathematical consistency.  Multiple observations of multiple samples.  Arranged artificial observation of samples (= EXPERIMENT). 

PUBLISH.  Wizards and magicians obeyed the rules expressed by Eliphas Levi: To know, to dare, to keep silent.  Renaissance mathematicians still followed that and kept theorems secret and would challenge each other to battles of math solutions like wizards battling it out in Magic: The Gathering (best known as Yu-Gi-Oh).  Publish your conclusive failures as well and tell what can be learned from it.

Note that experiment is only one kind of evidence. 

BTW, there are experiments in geology.  Yes, there are.  Hutton theorized a lot about sedimentary rock and part of his theory was the theory that marble was limestone that had been melted underground by volcanic heat.  By the end of his life his theories had not prospered.  In the next generation someone made a hermetically sealed iron container that could resist great heat and pressure.  It was packed with limestone and heated.  After cooling and opening it had artificial marble in it, lending strength to all of Hutton's theories.  Likewise the dating of the Earth and solar system is based on uranium-lead measurements in tiny zircons.  How do we know about the chemistry of those zircons, that they exclude lead during their formation?  Because we make artificial zircons.  (I recently saw a TV ad telling you to impress your girlfriend and make her friends envious with a ring with a big rock of a "CZ diamond".  I'm guessing that CZ there means cubic zirconium.)

Looking at ID "theory" it doesn't seem to be more than verbosity surrounding something that has not left the stage of CONJECTURE and they don't have any intent on taking it farther.  I looked at a list of their scientific papers and from the titles it appears that when the papers are real science, they are about something other than ID and I guess that somewhere in the paper is some note about the Creator.

I should add one more step to the scientific method.

EDUCATION.  After a theory is well established it has to be communicated from experts (who often speak to fellow experts in jargon) to generalists who are well adept in explaining.  These are the science journalists and teachers.  Teachers use a lot of analogy to explain, particularly in the elementary levels.  This produces a misconception in students' minds that analogies are some sort of proof.  They are only a teaching tool for something that has been established by other, valid methods.  Unfortunately this means the student has to basically trust the teacher.  Note that the ID people have not well established their idea in science but want to go right from conjecture to elementary education.

Offline Tykster

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #322 on: February 07, 2012, 06:17:22 PM »
^^^^^

Great post, and I concur wrt to the rankings of ideas. It seems then, that the ID'ers have less than a hypothesis then ;)
rhocam ~ I guess there are several trillion cells in a man, and one in an amoeba, so to be generous, lets say that there were a billion. That is one every fifteen years. So in my lifetime I should have seen two evolutionary changes.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #323 on: February 07, 2012, 07:56:58 PM »
I’ve reviewed this thread and my impression is that no one here really wants to give ID any serious consideration. I’m not going to make any further comments on it in this thread. Maybe it will come up again somewhere along the way.
We've already seriously considered it.  But nobody, least of all you, has ever been able to provide evidence which would actually be convincing.  Virtually every argument I've ever heard espoused in favor of intelligent design is an argument from incredulityWiki at its core (irreducible complexity comes to mind) - and the ones in this thread are no exception.  Worst of all, these arguments are invariably based on trying to "prove" that evolutionary theory is not correct, thus people can advance whatever pet belief they want in its stead, evidence optional.  Exactly as they would espouse a religious belief.

The fact is that you need evidence to demonstrate that something has validity in any field of science.  Doesn't matter if it's biology, astronomy, chemistry, physics, geology, paleontology, or any other field, if you don't have evidence, then it's speculative.

Offline jetson

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #324 on: February 07, 2012, 11:10:06 PM »
BS - if you are still checking in, please consider this seriously.  You have been pounded on in this, and in other threads here regarding your stance on evolution, as well as your attempts at discussing creationism.  And honestly, I don't like it when that happens (I have pounded on creationists myself, so I am not blameless).  But think about it.  Could it be that you really don't have a good position in either case?

Isn't it possible that the problems you have with evolution have nothing to do with science, or the scientific approach and current understanding of the theory?  Could it be that you cling to creationism for completely non-scientific reasons?  I've seen you at least admit when you're wrong enough times to know that you are capable. 

It is obvious you want to be right, and that is completely natural for humans.  But what can possibly be gained by doing this in these areas of study for you?  You are definitely in need of some additional education on exactly what the theory of evolution states, and the evidence behind it.  And you most definitely need to admit that so far, no actual science has been used to support the creationist ideas.  So you are left with the very uncomfortable fact that your position is not ready for prime-time, so to speak.

Your position is not uncommon.  You just don't see how all of this stuff could have come about as it is currently being explained.  We get that.  We've heard it more than a few times.  But it's based on a non-scientific and fairly unsupported approach to how we figure stuff out.  It's just philosophy, and mostly wishful thinking.  People love their gods, and they love to give them credit for everything - it's been happening forever.  And today, it's no better than it was the first time some ignorant human declared that a god was angry and was throwing lightning bolts at us!

Nobody here wants to just pound on creationists for fun.  We just want them to understand that evolution, and everything science is doing to help us figure things out, is not an affront, or a direct attack on religious beliefs.  It's just science.  And science doesn't care what people believe.  That's why its so effective.  It slaps us upside the head every now and then, and clearly reminds us that things are not always as they seem.  And we adjust.  We've been doing this ever since the dogmatic religious leaders lost their grip, and we were free to explore without fear.

The world is what it is.  And there are more important things for Christians to work on than constantly trying to tear down the very science that gives them the health and lifestyles that the ancient pharaohs would be jealous of - even us middle-class folks!

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #325 on: February 08, 2012, 10:38:27 AM »
BS - if you are still checking in, please consider this seriously.  You have been pounded on in this, and in other threads here regarding your stance on evolution, as well as your attempts at discussing creationism.  And honestly, I don't like it when that happens (I have pounded on creationists myself, so I am not blameless).  But think about it.  Could it be that you really don't have a good position in either case?

Over the past few years, I have endeavored to locate, examine, and critique every piece of evidentiary material I could get my hands on…..both from an evolutionary standpoint and a creationist standpoint. It has been an obsession that consumes hours of thought and contemplation each and every day of my life. I’ve carefully reviewed both sides of the argument with respect to topics such as abiogenesis, speciation, evolution, the methods used to date the earth and the universe, the fossil record, Intelligent Design, etc. I’ve read and listened to countless point and counter-point arguments. Despite what some may think, I have truly approached this as objectively as I can.  I am not afraid of discovering something that would turn my Christian beliefs upside down and leave me with no choice but to abandon them. I do not accept arguments simply because the person making it claims to be a lifelong biologist or an accredited theologian or a high profile geologist or a creationist historian. Those credentials certainly add credibility but the facts are the facts regardless of who is interpreting them.

I was not brought up in the Christian environment that so many believe indoctrinated people like me to the point where we are willing to live a life of self imposed lies and deceit in order to preserve those beliefs. It wasn’t until I was 16 years old that I became a Christian.  My parents were not the devout Christians the non-theists would like to think. Regardless, I did have to admit that if I was going to be fair to myself when approaching the theist vs. non-theist debate that I would have to make a determined effort to shackle my faith for the purpose of seeing if the alleged  ‘gaps’ could be filled.

As it stands, I feel better than I can ever remember feeling about the reality of God that I have encountered through all of this.

To repeat something I have said in another thread, Christianity logically satisfies my need to understand:

How we got here.
Why we’re here.
Where we’re going.
How the universe and ‘life’ came to be.

In a nutshell, for me, the incredible complexity of life and the vastness of the universe point to an Intelligent Designer. The TOE and the various hypotheses about abiogenesis attempts to explain this but comes up way too short to convince me. There are so many assumptions and floating variables behind crucial areas of it. In addition, I see very little, if any, benefit derived from phylogenetics. In fact, it only demonstrates that different species have similar DNA which could point to an Intelligent Designer just as easily as it could to a common ancestor. Convincing evidence of beneficial random mutation is virtually non-existent. Why has evolution not eliminated schizophrenia? Evolution cannot explain ourdesire to create things like art and music. Evolution cannot explain why animals have been known to flee an area just before a tsunami occurs. The TOE cannot account for why or how sexual reproduction evolved.. .and on and on I could go. These may seem like trivial issues but attempts to explain how the processes of evolution would/could account for them does not fit. Also, I could add dozens and dozens of more unanswerable questions to the list. And this says nothing of the BIG blank that alleged abiogenesis creates. Do I think the ToE is a complete farce? No, I do not….and I have said this numerous times. What I do take exception to is the manner in which it is used to convey untruths about various aspects of evolution through the ages.

As for the Intelligent Design argument, all I was trying to convey is that it deserves consideration. I realize the approach being taken is a bit of a different scientific angle but that is a very poor reason to just dismiss it. When someone can demonstrate to me that confining the scientific method to naturalistic causes can provide absolute truths and an irrefutable explanation for our reality, I will stand down. Until then, I will continue to maintain a willingness to seek and find answers with an open mind.


Offline screwtape

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #326 on: February 08, 2012, 11:53:17 AM »
Worst of all, these arguments are invariably based on trying to "prove" that evolutionary theory is not correct, thus people can advance whatever pet belief they want in its stead, evidence optional.  Exactly as they would espouse a religious belief.

This!  Exactly this!  If ID is correct, you must show how it is correct, not how evolution is wrong.  Your hypothesis must be falsifiable and make predictions.  What sort of predictions would ID make?  Evolution makes tons.  Here are some:
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA210.html
http://www.genomicron.evolverzone.com/2009/09/does-evolutionary-biology-make/
http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/evo_science.html

This ID site, as well as others I've seen, doesn't even understand what sort of predictions it should make or that evolution has made.
http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/intelligentdesign.html




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Online jaimehlers

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #327 on: February 08, 2012, 12:31:20 PM »
As for the Intelligent Design argument, all I was trying to convey is that it deserves consideration. I realize the approach being taken is a bit of a different scientific angle but that is a very poor reason to just dismiss it. When someone can demonstrate to me that confining the scientific method to naturalistic causes can provide absolute truths and an irrefutable explanation for our reality, I will stand down. Until then, I will continue to maintain a willingness to seek and find answers with an open mind.
As I said, it isn't that people here haven't considered intelligent design on its own merits.  It's that its proponents have provided nothing but philosophical justifications in support of it.  And that simply isn't convincing, not to people who expect evidence to support an argument.  Intelligent design comes across as a purely speculative argument, based on the premise that evolutionary theory doesn't explain the origins and development of life sufficiently well, thus other ideas which do attempt to explain those things deserve to be considered as explanations alongside evolution, even though there are no facts which solidly support those other ideas the way evolutionary theory is supported.

However, science proceeds from the facts - what we observe - to a theory which explains those facts consistently as far as we know, via testing in order to make sure it fits.  That is the very reason intelligent design doesn't work as a theory, because it started with the idea of deliberate design of life and then looked for facts to support it.  It can't actually be tested to make sure it fits the facts as it stands, because it's not solidly grounded in the facts to begin with.

An example is the concept of FTL travel.  You can be sure that there are lots of people who really, really, really want to think this is possible, but nobody who actually understands the physics involved in space travel will accept it as anything other than fanciful speculation until someone shows that it's not only possible, but can be verified and reproduced independently.  FTL travel is a theory looking for facts, but the facts just aren't there and may never be there.  Intelligent design, for all practical purposes, is in the same boat.

That being said, there's nothing wrong with looking for facts to support a pet idea that someone really wants to believe in.  Nobody ever found anything worthwhile out unless they had a reason to believe it was possible.  But they have to show that it's real in order to convince anyone else, in order for it to be taken as something that is real instead of speculative.  Until then, they have no room to complain about it not being considered, because it has been, and found wanting.

Finally, I need to be really blunt here.  Science does not provide absolute truth and irrefutable explanations.  It never will, no matter how much anyone thinks it does or should.  That is why it's so effective, because it isn't about "absolute" and "irrefutable".  And that is why religion, for all its emotional power, ultimately cannot show us anything meaningful about the world we actually live in.  No religion ever conceived of by humans has ever succeeded in providing absolute truths and irrefutable explanations that could stand up to being questioned in the long run.  All that those "absolute" truths and "irrefutable" explanations do is convince people to stop looking.

By setting the condition that science must provide you with absolute truths and irrefutable explanations for you to accept it, you've set a bar so high that nothing can pass it.  Not even your own religious and philosophical beliefs, if you actually sat down and seriously questioned them instead of accepting them because they seem to give you what you think you want.

Offline velkyn

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #328 on: February 08, 2012, 02:32:08 PM »
Over the past few years, I have endeavored to locate, examine, and critique every piece of evidentiary material I could get my hands on…..both from an evolutionary standpoint and a creationist standpoint. It has been an obsession that consumes hours of thought and contemplation each and every day of my life. I’ve carefully reviewed both sides of the argument with respect to topics such as abiogenesis, speciation, evolution, the methods used to date the earth and the universe, the fossil record, Intelligent Design, etc. I’ve read and listened to countless point and counter-point arguments. Despite what some may think, I have truly approached this as objectively as I can.  I am not afraid of discovering something that would turn my Christian beliefs upside down and leave me with no choice but to abandon them. I do not accept arguments simply because the person making it claims to be a lifelong biologist or an accredited theologian or a high profile geologist or a creationist historian. Those credentials certainly add credibility but the facts are the facts regardless of who is interpreting them.
I call bullshit.  There is nothing in your posts that indicate that this has ever been the case.   You have consistently ignored evidence that is presented that demonstrates that creationism/ID is non-scientific and evidence that demonstrates that evolutionary theory is indeed a fact and a theory with much evidence supporting it.  *If* you have actually put so many hours into studying these issues, one thing you would have noticed is that there is indeed no scientific evidence for creationism/ID.  That you don’t realize this, and *still* use a wrong definition of evolutionary theory, is potent evidence that you have not done as you claim.
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I was not brought up in the Christian environment that so many believe indoctrinated people like me to the point where we are willing to live a life of self imposed lies and deceit in order to preserve those beliefs. It wasn’t until I was 16 years old that I became a Christian.  My parents were not the devout Christians the non-theists would like to think. Regardless, I did have to admit that if I was going to be fair to myself when approaching the theist vs. non-theist debate that I would have to make a determined effort to shackle my faith for the purpose of seeing if the alleged  ‘gaps’ could be filled.
  You were brought up in the US, correct?  Where there is a church on every corner. Your parents were Christians, I’m guessing, since you went out of your way to call them not “devout”.  I suspect that you are using the usual “no true scotsman” argument to determine if you are a Christian. 

There is plenty of evidence that people like you are indeed willing and do live lives full of willfully ignored lies and who use that willful ignorance to spread those lies in order to cling to their belief that they know something special about the universe and that the creator of the universe will give them a magical present after they die. 

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As it stands, I feel better than I can ever remember feeling about the reality of God that I have encountered through all of this.
  That’s sad but expected, and more evidence that you have never actually done what you have claimed, since you are in effect saying that no matter what, you will refuse to accept anything that shows that you are wrong.  You have also failed in producing any of the evidence you have promised. 

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To repeat something I have said in another thread, Christianity logically satisfies my need to understand: How we got here. Why we’re here. Where we’re going.
How the universe and ‘life’ came to be.
  Again, you claim logic, but again you have yet to show how this works with real logic, rather than your attempts to redefine that word.  Your reasons are the same as every other theist.  You want to believe you are right, and you have decided that your baseless claims are true, no matter what.  Any Muslim, Hindu, Shintoist, Wicca, etc, makes the same claims; that they *know* how we’re here, why we’re her and where we’re going.  Why aren’t they as right as you if we can go only personal unsupported opinion as the basis of supposed “reality”?

Your “bible” claims are not supported.  There was no “creation” event that made a man out of mud.  There was no flood.  Nothing about your religion is supported by reality.  How we got here isn’t by gods and mud or gods and cosmic eggs or a cow licking giants who created humanity from their armpits.  Why we’re here isn’t that we’re made to give your god love, or to feed gods our hearts, etc.  And where we’re going, well, you Christians have been claiming that your god will be back “real soon now” and failed for millennia.  Zoroasterians claim that we’re here to fight in the last battle, etc.  No evidence that any of you are right and no reason to think you will be in the future. 
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In a nutshell, for me, the incredible complexity of life and the vastness of the universe point to an Intelligent Designer. The TOE and the various hypotheses about abiogenesis attempts to explain this but comes up way too short to convince me. There are so many assumptions and floating variables behind crucial areas of it. In addition, I see very little, if any, benefit derived from phylogenetics. In fact, it only demonstrates that different species have similar DNA which could point to an Intelligent Designer just as easily as it could to a common ancestor. Convincing evidence of beneficial random mutation is virtually non-existent. Why has evolution not eliminated schizophrenia? Evolution cannot explain ourdesire to create things like art and music. Evolution cannot explain why animals have been known to flee an area just before a tsunami occurs. The TOE cannot account for why or how sexual reproduction evolved.. .and on and on I could go. These may seem like trivial issues but attempts to explain how the processes of evolution would/could account for them does not fit. Also, I could add dozens and dozens of more unanswerable questions to the list. And this says nothing of the BIG blank that alleged abiogenesis creates. Do I think the ToE is a complete farce? No, I do not….and I have said this numerous times. What I do take exception to is the manner in which it is used to convey untruths about various aspects of evolution through the ages.
And you don’t even understand them to claim that they “come up to short”.  What willfully ignorant arrogance, BS.  You have been repeatedly asked to show how you understand these supposed “many assumptions and floating variables” and you can’t even show that they exist.  You throw around words like “phylogenetics” but you can’t show any reason why to think tht they are wrong.  And of course, you have yet to show any evidence for creationism.  Where are those aliens, BS?  Oh yes, you don’t actually believe that, it’s your Christian God and it *is* creationism.  Your god, or aliens, must be idiots considering how screwed up organisms can be.

You have lied repeatedly about there not being evidence that there is beneficial random mutation.  I do love how you decide, as ignorant as you are, that you are arbitrator of what is “convincing”.  and again, you show you haven’t a clue about evolutionary theory.  Evolutionary hasn’t yet eliminated schizophrenia.  There could be an advantage that we haven’t found yet, or it simply might have not had enough time.  And ROFL, oooh, animals can react to earthquakes and tsunamis.  Golly, BS, we already know they have better senses than us and we know that earthquakes sent out vibrations that humans can’t sense without equipment.  Oh and quick, BS, hide your eyes from the research that is working out how sexual reproduction evolved.  I do like to see the desperation you show when you bring up such pure ridiculousness.  You could indeed go on and on and I’d be happy to show how pathetic your arguments are everytime.   Poor BS, when we do figure out abiogenesis and it seems just as likely, as oh, JC coming back &), poor thing will have to find something else to claim is wrong.  And BS, with your lack of comprehension about the ToE, who cares what you think of what you’ve made up with the help of your creationist friends? It makes no difference since it doesn’t address the real theory of evolution at all.
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As for the Intelligent Design argument, all I was trying to convey is that it deserves consideration. I realize the approach being taken is a bit of a different scientific angle but that is a very poor reason to just dismiss it. When someone can demonstrate to me that confining the scientific method to naturalistic causes can provide absolute truths and an irrefutable explanation for our reality, I will stand down. Until then, I will continue to maintain a willingness to seek and find answers with an open mind.
Sorry, don’t buy it for a moment.  All I have seen you try to do is to convince us that intelligent design is real and that your religion is the answer on who the designer is, both amazingly poorly.  You have shown no evidence for consideration, BS and you have clung to your lie that it is scientific in any way in the face of evidence to the contrary.  That is a perfect reason to dismiss it, there is nothing to support it at all.  And finally you return to your vomit by trying to claim that the scientific method can be used to show  non-naturalistic causes.  Well, BS, if you can use the scientific method to demonstrate the existence of ID, or your god’s existence, etc, we’re still waiting for someone to do so.  Where is the hypothesis that says your god exists?  Then where is the observation and evidence for this god?  Where is the evidence for a unique creation event?  The flood?  the magical arising of new animals *poof*?   Magical healing from prayer?  That last one would be easy to do with the scientific method but gee, no theist has done so. 

So, BS, make the claim that you are still “looking”.  You sure still are since you’ve failed to present anything that shows that evolutionary theory is wrong or that your religion is right.  Your open mind is anything but, since you can’t even force the real theory of evolution into it.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #329 on: February 08, 2012, 02:51:33 PM »

To repeat something I have said in another thread, Christianity logically satisfies my need to understand:

How we got here.
Why we’re here.
Where we’re going.
How the universe and ‘life’ came to be.


Actually it doesn't. Since you have no evidence for it, and Christian beliefs are riddled with logical fallacies it clearly isn't possible for Christianity to satisfy your need to understand "logically".

Take the answers to those questions you just showed. No answer that you can give based on your Christian beliefs is logical. Unless you're using some very bizarre definitions of "logic".


In a nutshell, for me, the incredible complexity of life and the vastness of the universe point to an Intelligent Designer. The TOE and the various hypotheses about abiogenesis attempts to explain this but comes up way too short to convince me.

For example, an argument from ignorance.

Actually that entire paragraph is just one long God of the Gaps argument. Clearly logic is not among your notable character traits.


Over the past few years, I have endeavored to locate, examine, and critique every piece of evidentiary material I could get my hands on…..both from an evolutionary standpoint and a creationist standpoint. It has been an obsession that consumes hours of thought and contemplation each and every day of my life.

And yet you still don't understand what a scientific theory is. Nor understand what a scientific paper even looks like (despite the fact that you clearly must have read a lot of them if you're telling the truth). Nor could you figure out that a philosopher has no business making claims about biology.

Oh yes, I'm sure you've done a lot research.

You've made this claim before. Do we need to go back over old threads and cover all the ways in which it was proven to be utter bollocks.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 03:02:26 PM by Alzael »
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #330 on: February 08, 2012, 03:00:24 PM »
Finally, I need to be really blunt here.  Science does not provide absolute truth and irrefutable explanations.  It never will, no matter how much anyone thinks it does or should.  That is why it's so effective, because it isn't about "absolute" and "irrefutable".  And that is why religion, for all its emotional power, ultimately cannot show us anything meaningful about the world we actually live in.  No religion ever conceived of by humans has ever succeeded in providing absolute truths and irrefutable explanations that could stand up to being questioned in the long run.  All that those "absolute" truths and "irrefutable" explanations do is convince people to stop looking.

By setting the condition that science must provide you with absolute truths and irrefutable explanations for you to accept it, you've set a bar so high that nothing can pass it.  Not even your own religious and philosophical beliefs, if you actually sat down and seriously questioned them instead of accepting them because they seem to give you what you think you want.


You are missing the point. My comment was actually a bit of sarcasm. I realize that the scientific method does not set out to objectively determine absolute truth and irrefutable facts.  You are incorrectly asserting that it is I (BibleStudent) who has set the bar here. Quite to the contrary, it is many in the non-theist camp that have set this bar. I think a comment I recently read will sum up what I am getting at here:

I can’t believe we’re even still debating whether skydaddy exists when science has clearly shown that we don’t need a god to explain life.

Not only is this type of strange logic commonly employed, it is clearly fallacious and representative of the dogma that seeks to present the ToE as something other than what it is. A claim such as this clearly implies that science has won the day….that its methods are bulletproof and there are irrefutable facts which obliterate God.

Hoped that help to clarify what I was getting at.

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #331 on: February 08, 2012, 04:06:55 PM »
You are missing the point. My comment was actually a bit of sarcasm. I realize that the scientific method does not set out to objectively determine absolute truth and irrefutable facts.  You are incorrectly asserting that it is I (BibleStudent) who has set the bar here. Quite to the contrary, it is many in the non-theist camp that have set this bar. I think a comment I recently read will sum up what I am getting at here:

I can’t believe we’re even still debating whether skydaddy exists when science has clearly shown that we don’t need a god to explain life.

Not only is this type of strange logic commonly employed, it is clearly fallacious and representative of the dogma that seeks to present the ToE as something other than what it is. A claim such as this clearly implies that science has won the day….that its methods are bulletproof and there are irrefutable facts which obliterate God.

Hoped that help to clarify what I was getting at.
You, personally, may not have set that bar, but I was not just talking about you personally even though I was addressing you directly.  There are a lot of religious folk who do want those "absolute truths" and "irrefutable facts", and they use the fact that science doesn't provide them and never will as an excuse to justify believing whatever they want regardless of the actual evidence, or worse, twisting the evidence that does exist through dogma like "irreducible complexity" - which started life as a creationist creed, long before "intelligent design" was coined - in order to fool people, including themselves, into thinking that the evidence supports their beliefs when it does not.

The process of scientific discovery has not categorically disproven the possible existence of supernatural deities, it is true.  But it progressively leads towards less and less things that can only be explained through the intervention of the supernatural (something inexplicable through natural processes), and more and more things that can be explained by those processes entirely, without any intervention whatsoever.  In the hundreds of years since scientific inquiry and discovery started in earnest, no scientists have discovered anything in the natural universe which requires deliberate intervention in order to function.  It is not impossible that such a thing may be discovered, but until we actually discover it, we cannot proceed with the assumption that anything requires deliberate intervention in order to function.

And that is necessary for the most basic definition of a deity - that it can do things which are otherwise impossible.  Yet scientists have figured out how to do many things which were attributed to deities in the past, such as generate and control lightning (electricity).  As we discover how something works, it moves out of the province of the supernatural and into the natural world.  So why should we assume that other things, which we do not understand yet, will somehow be exempt from this rule?  Especially since everything that we can demonstrate as existing, does so in nature?

Offline JeffPT

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #332 on: February 08, 2012, 05:24:16 PM »
I can’t believe we’re even still debating whether skydaddy exists when science has clearly shown that we don’t need a god to explain life.

Not only is this type of strange logic commonly employed, it is clearly fallacious and representative of the dogma that seeks to present the ToE as something other than what it is. A claim such as this clearly implies that science has won the day….that its methods are bulletproof and there are irrefutable facts which obliterate God.

I would challenge anyone here to think of a question upon which we once had a scientific answer, however inadequate, but for which now the best answer is a religious one.  -  Sam Harris. 

Obliteration is on the horizon BS.  With every passing day, science learns more about our natural universe, and religion lags hopelessly behind like a 3 legged horse at the Kentucky Derby.  The ToE is just one piece in a massive puzzle that's coming together rather nicely showing beyond any reasonable doubt that the universe was not designed at all, but formed due to the natural circumstances of the universe in which we live.  While it may currently be wrong to say with certainty that science has destroyed any need for god, the hiding spots are few and far between now.  And at this point in time, given the immense amount of information that we know, what we CAN say is that it is FAR more reasonable to say that god is a completely useless postulate when it comes to understanding and explaining the universe.  You know that's true.  You can't possibly deny it.  You can keep your death grip on those few questions that science has been unable to answer (yet), and hope for the best, but science keeps moving forward... every day... closer and closer to obliterating any notion of god. 

It's just a matter of time. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #333 on: February 08, 2012, 06:18:58 PM »
"To repeat something I have said in another thread, Christianity logically satisfies my need to understand:

How we got here.
Why we’re here.
Where we’re going.
How the universe and ‘life’ came to be."

Religions have been trying to address those questions forever and have gotten nowhere. That is why people keep inventing new religions! Finally we began to investigate the world with science-- because religion did not work! Religions had their chance and people had to turn elsewhere. You want to act like people--atheists I suppose-- started using science to "prove" that there was no god. But god was not curing disease, explaining earthquakes, building better houses, so people had to use science to make their lives better.

We have gotten partial answers to those questions through science, and we are on the right track. We know this because the partial answers (like the TOE)  give us far more information than we had before. And we can apply that information to solve real world problems and make life measurably better for all of humanity.

Deciding that there is an "intelligent designer" does not give us any new information. Every culture on earth thought, mistakenly, that there was something out there in charge of everything and tried to interact with it. But nobody has found any sign of such a being. Where is it hiding?

All religion has done is hold scientific knowledge back. Maybe you don't think eliminating smallpox and saving the lives of babies in poor countries is a good thing, but I do. Religions did not help cure disease or build better houses or grow more food. What real world problem does ID help us to solve? What would ID help us to understand?

We may never have the complete answers to those big questions. But religion will not help answer them--it hasn't in the past 5000 years. With science, we will know whether we are getting closer or not. Remember, if religion gave the answers we needed, people would not have needed to invent science.

Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #334 on: February 08, 2012, 06:20:05 PM »
BibleStudent, here are a few points for you to think about:

DNA - Hopelessly flawed. Random mutations occur, which have resulted in the painful deaths of millions, if not billions. There are genes shared across species, some of which result in atavism. According to ID, this should not occur because, as its name indicates, we should be intelligently designed, not designed by a bunch of monkeys banging rocks together. According to evolution, it should occur.

The human body - Same thing. Air and food go through the same tube (up to a certain point) which has also resulted in the painful and pointless deaths of millions. Vestigial tails, the appendix, a skeleton that cannot support our weight if we walk upright and becomes deformed if we do not... The list of flaws is enormous. Once again, ID does not explain this. Evolution does.

The brain - It is capable of creating false memories, can't store the real ones, makes us see and hear things, breaks down, doesn't like to be wrong (sometimes resulting in denial which, coincidentally, is what you're doing), is easily damaged, consumes a ridiculous amount of resources... ID offers no explanation for this. Evolution does.

Think about that.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #335 on: February 08, 2012, 06:32:14 PM »
I can’t believe we’re even still debating whether skydaddy exists when science has clearly shown that we don’t need a god to explain life.

Not only is this type of strange logic commonly employed, it is clearly fallacious and representative of the dogma that seeks to present the ToE as something other than what it is. A claim such as this clearly implies that science has won the day….that its methods are bulletproof and there are irrefutable facts which obliterate God.

I would challenge anyone here to think of a question upon which we once had a scientific answer, however inadequate, but for which now the best answer is a religious one.  -  Sam Harris. 

Obliteration is on the horizon BS.  With every passing day, science learns more about our natural universe, and religion lags hopelessly behind like a 3 legged horse at the Kentucky Derby.  The ToE is just one piece in a massive puzzle that's coming together rather nicely showing beyond any reasonable doubt that the universe was not designed at all, but formed due to the natural circumstances of the universe in which we live.  While it may currently be wrong to say with certainty that science has destroyed any need for god, the hiding spots are few and far between now.  And at this point in time, given the immense amount of information that we know, what we CAN say is that it is FAR more reasonable to say that god is a completely useless postulate when it comes to understanding and explaining the universe.  You know that's true.  You can't possibly deny it.  You can keep your death grip on those few questions that science has been unable to answer (yet), and hope for the best, but science keeps moving forward... every day... closer and closer to obliterating any notion of god. 

It's just a matter of time.

I think you're wrong but only time will tell. I sense that many people are starting to gain a better understanding of what the ToE is really all about. As "Intelligent Design" gains ground and people begin to recognize the impossibility for evolution to have produced certain complex biological functions, a new era of skepticism and truth seeking will evolve. But, as I said, only time will tell.

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #336 on: February 08, 2012, 06:41:29 PM »
All religion has done is hold scientific knowledge back. Maybe you don't think eliminating smallpox and saving the lives of babies in poor countries is a good thing, but I do. Religions did not help cure disease or build better houses or grow more food. What real world problem does ID help us to solve? What would ID help us to understand?

This continuous and chronic insistence that theists somehow believe science is "bad" is really perplexing. Where is this claim coming from? Who is saying that science is "bad" ??


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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #337 on: February 08, 2012, 06:54:52 PM »
I think you're wrong but only time will tell. I sense that many people are starting to gain a better understanding of what the ToE is really all about. As "Intelligent Design" gains ground and people begin to recognize the impossibility for evolution to have produced certain complex biological functions, a new era of skepticism and truth seeking will evolve. But, as I said, only time will tell.

This is a very crude definition of the scientific method. By crude I mean that yeah, people will be skeptical (and are now) about the ToE, and it's up to the ToE to back up its claims about how "certain complex biological functions" scientifically. But as everyone has repeated many times if the 'ToID' as you like to call it can't stand up to the scientific method then it should rightfully be discarded are pseudoscience, which is has been, and which it is.

Also, people like us posters who don't believe in your bullshit theory will be skeptical of your theory of ID. If your theory can somehow produce scientific evidence for how complex functions originated through an intelligent being (god, or whatever the fuck you want to call this  being), that holds some weight in the scientific circle, then so be it. But so far, in that circle, it falls flat on its face because there is nothing scientific about it. (as others have said)

But yeah, only time will tell to see how far your theory advances, and what it can bring to the scientific circle. And yeah, only time will tell how far the theory of evolution will go and what it can bring to the scientific circle. But so far there score is too lopsided for ID to even be given a second thought in scientific study because it has nothing to support itself.

Only time will tell, i suppose. But then again, time is a major factor in the scientific method. For example: based on this definition of a scientific theory:

Theory
A scientifically testable general principle or body of principles offered to explain observed phenomena. In scientific usage, a theory is distinct from a hypothesis (or conjecture) that is proposed to explain previously observed phenomena. For a hypothesis to rise to the level of theory, it must predict the existence of new phenomena that are subsequently observed. A theory can be overturned if new phenomena are observed that directly contradict the theory.

the theory of evolution can become completely null in a couple hundred years, or our current understand of the ToE just change according to what new studies find. But still, even if it does become null, or change, your theory there there is some intelligent behind behind out existance will still probably not have a foot to stand on.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 07:13:53 PM by Emily »
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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #338 on: February 08, 2012, 07:11:29 PM »

This continuous and chronic insistence that theists somehow believe science is "bad" is really perplexing. Where is this claim coming from? Who is saying that science is "bad" ??

Claiming that some intelligent being created us is a start. If it did create us then it's completely incompetent and doesn't deserve the title of 'intelligent being'. I don't understand why an intelligent being would create, or allow, diseases like smallpox, AID, cancer, etc, to exist. Even if it does allow those things then I don't understand why someone would be such a fierce advocate for it.

To quote George Carlin:

"Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude."

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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #339 on: February 08, 2012, 07:21:14 PM »
I can’t believe we’re even still debating whether skydaddy exists when science has clearly shown that we don’t need a god to explain life.

Not only is this type of strange logic commonly employed, it is clearly fallacious and representative of the dogma that seeks to present the ToE as something other than what it is. A claim such as this clearly implies that science has won the day….that its methods are bulletproof and there are irrefutable facts which obliterate God.

I would challenge anyone here to think of a question upon which we once had a scientific answer, however inadequate, but for which now the best answer is a religious one.  -  Sam Harris. 

Obliteration is on the horizon BS.  With every passing day, science learns more about our natural universe, and religion lags hopelessly behind like a 3 legged horse at the Kentucky Derby.  The ToE is just one piece in a massive puzzle that's coming together rather nicely showing beyond any reasonable doubt that the universe was not designed at all, but formed due to the natural circumstances of the universe in which we live.  While it may currently be wrong to say with certainty that science has destroyed any need for god, the hiding spots are few and far between now.  And at this point in time, given the immense amount of information that we know, what we CAN say is that it is FAR more reasonable to say that god is a completely useless postulate when it comes to understanding and explaining the universe.  You know that's true.  You can't possibly deny it.  You can keep your death grip on those few questions that science has been unable to answer (yet), and hope for the best, but science keeps moving forward... every day... closer and closer to obliterating any notion of god. 

It's just a matter of time.

This looks like it could be an interesting read but I ain't paying $35 to get my hands on it. Interested in hearing some thoughts, though, on what the abstract indicates the paper is claiming.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/845x02v03g3t7002/
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/has_darwinism_p055941.html

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #340 on: February 08, 2012, 07:24:45 PM »
I think you're wrong but only time will tell. I sense that many people are starting to gain a better understanding of what the ToE is really all about. As "Intelligent Design" gains ground and people begin to recognize the impossibility for evolution to have produced certain complex biological functions, a new era of skepticism and truth seeking will evolve. But, as I said, only time will tell.
I find it telling that the ones who believe in this "impossibility" are almost invariably basing it off of the creationist "irreducible complexity" belief (practically every ID advocate brings it up any chance they get) which was part of the creationist creed long before intelligent design was coined to try to sell that religious belief as a scientific theory.  But irreducible complexity is a logical fallacy.  It is an argument from incredulity, that evolutionary theory isn't "true enough", thus something like intelligent design should be taught alongside it in classrooms.  This despite the fact that there isn't any real evidence to support intelligent design in the first place.

You have to prove that intelligent design is supported by the evidence first.  You will not accomplish this by claiming that "irreducible complexity" negates the parts of evolutionary theory that you don't like, or that any of the other mistaken beliefs and assumptions held by intelligent design advocates actually mean something without evidence to back them up.  No evidence has been given of a supposedly "irreducible" biological system which could not be demonstrated to have less complicated variants.  And the theory of facilitated variationWiki firmly rebuts the whole idea of irreducible complexity.  It strongly demonstrates that you don't need very many genes or mutations in order to cause novel changes to occur in an organism.

Offline Alzael

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #341 on: February 08, 2012, 07:38:22 PM »

This continuous and chronic insistence that theists somehow believe science is "bad" is really perplexing. Where is this claim coming from? Who is saying that science is "bad" ??


Perhaps it comes from religions persistence in rejecting science the instant it disagrees with what they believe. Then trying to twist it to their own purposes.

You know, like you do all the time.
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Offline Emily

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #342 on: February 08, 2012, 08:17:26 PM »

This looks like it could be an interesting read but I ain't paying $35 to get my hands on it. Interested in hearing some thoughts, though, on what the abstract indicates the paper is claiming.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/845x02v03g3t7002/
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/has_darwinism_p055941.html

What does it matter what the abstract claims. No where in the abstract does it claim an 'intelligent designer' as you propose. It discusses skepticism, but it doesn't discuss your theory. So to me it seems pretty pointless to even bring up.

If you wish to discuss some alternative to Darwinian evolution then you are free to do so; but the abstract of that paper doesn't claim what you have been advocating all this time. Sure, you can be skeptical of evolution all you wish; and you can link to articles that come of as scientific all you wish[1], but the minute you even inject that an intelligent being is behind our exsitance as opposed to a more natural reason, you'd best have a scientific reason to support it.

Sure, from the abstract it seems to challenge Darwinian evolution, but also from the abstract it doesn't support your claim of 'ToID' scientifically. So try again.

Maybe there is something scientific about that article. But even from the abstract it doesn't support what you are claiming this whole time about ID. It expresses skepticism. That's all.
 1. I didn't read the article, all I read was the abstract
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #343 on: February 08, 2012, 08:22:03 PM »
And the theory of facilitated variationWiki firmly rebuts the whole idea of irreducible complexity.  It strongly demonstrates that you don't need very many genes or mutations in order to cause novel changes to occur in an organism.

Doesn't the title of this theory strike you as odd? "Facilitated" implies something at work directing a process. Hmmm. This theory, based on what I understand about it, seems to kind of support Intelligent Design in that it posits a regulatory and signaling system which anticipates varying environments. Sounds pretty intelligent to me and might even help explain a Genesis account for variation. I need to read more about it, though. There have been a couple of short articles that I recall reading but nothing that provides any detail about the hypothesis and the testing that has been done. Have anything ?

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #344 on: February 08, 2012, 08:28:10 PM »
Sounds pretty intelligent to me and might even help explain a Genesis account for variation.

Except the whole genesis account for variation includes the god of the bible creating us from dirt, and a woman from adam's rib...
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 08:30:29 PM by Emily »
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #345 on: February 08, 2012, 08:30:47 PM »
Maybe there is something scientific about that article. But even from the abstract it doesn't support what you are claiming this whole time about ID. It expresses skepticism. That's all.

Well, if you had read what JeffPT and I were discussing then my sharing it may have made some sense. I attached it to a discussion that we were having about JeffPT's assertion that the ToE was gaining ground and my contention that I felt skepticism was on the rise. It was never my intent to introduce it as a form of evidence to support ID.

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #346 on: February 08, 2012, 08:34:25 PM »
It was never my intent to introduce it as a form of evidence to support ID.

Sorry for thinking it was to support ID. I thought this because the second link, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/has_darwinism_p055941.html, discusses ID as a scientific research: http://www.intelligentdesign.org/whatisid.php (just view the page, and click the first link)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 08:35:56 PM by Emily »
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: What can we do?
« Reply #347 on: February 08, 2012, 08:35:06 PM »
Sounds pretty intelligent to me and might even help explain a Genesis account for variation.

Except the whole genesis account for variation includes the god of the bible creating us from dirt, and a woman from adam's rib...

I don't follow. What's the point you are trying to make ?