We're here. There are no gods. Abiogenesis seems pretty likely. There may be yet other explanations. That is always possible. In the meantime, we're working on it.
Bring your dark ages along and watch.
I am sorry but that is circular logic:
"We're here so it must have started on its own."
How do we know it started on its own? Because we're here.
Why are we here? Because it started on its own.
(Thanks for covering my six on this on Zankuu. But its alright. He's shooting blanks.)
You need to help me out with this. I have never heard any god-based explanation of the universe or earth or life that didn't simply involve a cute little story with many a lesson in it. Not very good lessons, but lessons. And I have never heard any easily measurable consistency from believers about the story; I've heard many variations, but nothing I can call congruous with reality.
Science, on the other hand, tells stories that are amazingly consistent. Science tells stories that match my reality. Science tells stories that are backed up by theories and laws, tests and experiments, and repeatable claims. Science comes up with proofs; ideas that seem solid but that science is willing to modify or even discard if sufficient evidence to do so is found.
The claims of religion, most especially the christian version that says the universe and our planet are only about 6,000 years old, are not nearly as solid. And I'm putting that mildly. Everything we measure indicates that the universe is almost 3,000,000 times older. And you are telling us that even though there appears to be evidence of things that are older than 6,000 years, they really aren't. And the lack of evidence for a worldwide flood should be disregarded. And the failure of DNA analysis to link all humans back to Noah and the gang shouldn't put us off. You are asking us to disregard the order in which dinosaur and other fossil specimens are buried, to disregard the ancient ice cores that we are drilling out of Greenland and the Antarctic, disregard archaeological evidence for much older human cultures, disregard the vast evidence for continental drift, disregard the obvious slowness of current soil and rock erosion, that you instead ask us not to extrapolate back in time past your magic date; you are asking us to ignore countless conclusions from competent human being who are interested in the truth, and instead go with your story, even though the only evidence for it is, like, you know, your story.
There are no fine lines here. It isn't christianity claiming that the earth is 6,000 years old and science saying its more like 6,119 years old. We're talking a huge disparity. Well, bigger than that but I'm trying to use terms that christians can understand.
If we said that each row of pews in your church represents 1,000 years of earths history, you would say that that history only goes back six pews. We would point to the other pews behind and say "Nope, you kind of need to go 1300 miles worth of pews further."
Imagining that scientific knowledge can be corrected to allow for your reality is naïve. If science was that wrong, it would be a cinch to prove it. You shouldn't need outlier scientists working from house trailers labels as "Institutes" or "Universities" be the only ones doing the work. You shouldn't have such a short list of counter arguments that each and ever theist visitor here is forced to use the same ones. You shouldn't have division within christianity about whether or not evolution actually happened. You shouldn't be limited to a few repetitive web sites to back up your claims, as compared to the hundreds of thousand, if not millions, of sources that we can turn to.
If you had anything more than an active imagination and a book, you would have many more tools with which to counter scientific arguments. You wouldn't need a strident tone in your voice, you wouldn't need to sit constantly on the verge of panic because of your few resources. You wouldn't need to fear next weeks science news, which will probably put more nails in the coffin of creationism. You would have a described reality that contained a plethora of evidence for your argument, and you would be able to quote unquestionably legitimate fact-finding studies by the gazillions, instead of the ten or twenty you hope you have now.
To make the world young, you also have to make it tiny. You have to minimize input and maximize excuses. You have to narrow your search for evidence down to those things that at best are oddball, and then you have to pin all of your hopes on those few anomalies that, if you don't look too close or really pay any attention, might just back up your side of the story a tiny little bit.
In the above synopsis, I did leave out one thing. Your incredulity. That is the one thing you have a lot of. It isn't going for you, but you have a lot of it. "Well, it seems to me that this or that could never happen…" is the most common argument we get. "I don't see how…" is a close second. With "There is no way that such a thing could happen!" pulling a distant third. Which means you give more credence to your instincts, which are based on faulty information, then you do to actual evidence. Which fails to impress every time.
Scientists a hundred years ago knew so little compared to what we know today, and had theories we now sort of laugh at. And I've no doubt that a hundred years from now people will shake their heads at how little we knew, and how wrong we were about some aspects of some of the sciences. But they won't be saying "How the f**k did they think the earth was so old! Mostly they will be feeling sorry for us because we didn't have the access to geologic data from other planets so similar to our own. That we didn't have the technical ability to drill a hundred miles into the planet an take rock samples. That our nanotechnology was limited to manipulating only atoms, which they would consider so big.
We have much to learn. We are held up by the tens of thousands, by the millions, that refuse to accept modern information, and hence both oppose progress and insulate themselves from the scientific world, which means that they cannot make contributions. While we fight wars against other religions and other people, we also fight amongst ourselves because we choose to follow different data sources.
So you go ahead and help hold us back. I would expect no less. Your artificially tiny world allows you to do nothing else. As you sit at your keyboard and complain about our ignorance, bask in the glow of your own self-satisfaction and ignore every little doubt you ever have about your stance. Because you've got a world to keep on ruining. Tradition is important and you must do your part.
That'll teach you to put words in my mouth. Read what I wrote next time. Mine is not the strident voice in this conversation. Mine is not the desperate one. Make more stuff up if you have to, but don't also expect us, your opponents, to eventually walk two by two into your ark of ignorance.