Author Topic: Call for a discussion about whether science is true/reliable/trustworthy/etc.  (Read 1968 times)

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Online ParkingPlaces

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In a concurrent conversation with Skeptic56789, he states rather clearly that science is a lie. Or at least the parts he doesn't like are a lie. More particularly, that the scientific findings that say that the earth is older, much older, than what the bible says, are a lie.

As a relatively curious person, who of course can't find any particular reason to think that a bevy of geologists, paleontologists, chemists, physicists, biologists, astronomers and other specialists would lie to me, and as an individual who can't figure out any other way to explain so many of the observable features of our planet and even the universe, doubting science so universally seems to be a bit over the top.

My biggest gripe, of course, is that believers in a young earth don't seem able to be specific when they dismiss a theory or evidence inconsistent with their point of view. They casually toss out a generic objection, consider the matter finished, and move on to other matters, preferably others that can also be dismissed in fewer than two sentences.

It appears that they think that science should serve them, in the sense that it should support their preconceived notions, and that it has no other purpose worth discussing.  They, unlike scientists and supporters of science, are unable to let the evidence take us where it may. They want science to take us to their book, or else shut up. For them, scientific findings are only useful if they can be contorted enough to fit their view of the world. Otherwise, they are useless.

What I am interested in doing is picking one or two observable, earth-based phenomenon, that, if true, indicate great age, so that we atheists can explain why we accept the current findings/discoveries/theories involved, while letting the believers give us the particulars as to why they consider the claim impossible.

Alternately, this is also a standing offer from me to debate any theist, past, present or future, on the scientific subject of their choice, as long as, if true, the theist would agree the earth is of great age, and if false, would mean that our planet is indeed only a few thousand years old and therefore quite possibly the result of their god's fine work.

I am going to suggest the geologic record: The plethora of evidence in the rocks that indicate a very old earth. I know that the standard theist complaint, that "carbon dating" (they love that term and want to use it everywhere) is not reliable. Which of course they then restate for other methods when confronted with the reality of science having many, more useful, long term dating systems. There are of course other indicators of age besides isotopes and such, but they love their standard excuses. However there may be other scientific subjects that would be more interesting or easier to discuss. So if anyone else has ideas, I'm all ears.

And this thread will require theists or it won't work. I personally doubt that any of our current fundamentalists have the courage to participate, but I'm wrong about people a lot, and I hope I am right now.
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Online ParkingPlaces

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I forgot to mention in the OP. The "lack" of evidence is a reason often given by theists for not believing things that science says. Those of us who understand structure can't figure out what the heck they are talking about. All we see is evidence. All over the place. So if a theist could enlighten us on what constitutes evidence from their point of view, that would very much be appreciated.

If that is all a theist does in this thread, that will be progress tantamount to the first scaling or Mt. Everest.

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Offline Mrjason

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I would stick with geology but suggest Seafloor spreadingWiki as it is a process that is still happening and you know how much fundies love things that are observable.

Also you can observe Geomagnetic reversalWiki in seafloor spreading. This is one of the major sticking points (for me at least) with young earth theory.
Yes, it could be argued that all geomagnetic reversal happened in the last 6000 years but if the magnetic poles were flipping back and forth at the rate they would have to in order to produce the effects observed...wouldn't anyone who ever used a compass have noticed?
We have records of compassWiki use dating back 1000's of years yet no one commented on north not being where it should be..

Edit to add compass details
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 06:46:25 AM by Mrjason »

Offline Foxy Freedom

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No one remembers this hitting the earth. Meteor Crater 50,000 years old.



What about the forms of extinct eroded volcanoes?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanic_plug

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe on a volcanic core. The volcano has eroded leaving the central magma core.

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Online Graybeard

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The problem is that in the normal course of life, the age of Earth and the universe does not impinge on our lives. What you are trying to have the fundies admit is (a) they are wrong (b) their book is wrong and (c) it is wrong on such a basic point that everything is thrown into doubt.

On the other hand, your vanilla Christian is quite happy with double-think. The Catholic Creed requires you to swear before God that you believe in Adam and Eve but the same Church accepts and teaches an old Earth and evolution and sees Adam and Eve as an important educational tale of morality and obedience.

The fundie takes the “La-la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you” approach, whereas the Catholic (and Anglican and other accepting sects) take the “don’t-get-hung-up-on-that, there are more important things” approach. Both are very good defences to the ingress of reality.

Recalling my days in the Mental Welfare Service, I know that ordinary people have an overwhelming desire in the first instance to reassure the mentally ill that all the latter need to do is “think about it” and they will see the truth of the matter and all will be well - often in the form of “Pull yourself together!” Unfortunately, this does not work otherwise there would be no bipolar disorder, narcolepsy, autism, depression etc. and no psychiatric hospitals. It is similar to telling someone who has measles to “stop being ill.” The whole thing is beyond their control.

In your mind as a rational human being, you have a wooden ruler by which you measure things as to their likelihood – the fundie has a ruler but it is made of the elastic found on a Biff-bat: the measurements are completely random but make sense to them. The Catholic/Anglian has a wooden ruler but in various parts it is soft, pliable, and a little difficult to read: a bit like well chewed gum with printed instructions on it. They can be OK but on some things they are shaky but nevertheless  it make sense to them.

Back in the day, I did have the idea of interviewing a mentally disturbed person in front of a blackboard upon which I would write down each true axiom that I had argued them into. At the end, I would say, “There! You can see that you have been concluding the wrong things! You are cured!” but the truth was that, if I had done it and left the room in triumph, five minutes later, the old delusion would have been back unaltered.

The religious have spent years training their neurons to think in a certain way. The only cure is within themselves: self-questioning. That will only come when doubts are formed in their own mind.

Perhaps this thread will do that.






« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 08:46:43 AM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Hatter23

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When you mention the age of things...they question said age. When you present evidence and their answer is "Magic Man done it to fool us" there is really no answer to people who come up with magic using answers.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline SevenPatch

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S.P.A.A.S

Self Projection as a Scientist

All those tests showing that the United States is ranked reletively low in education among first world nations are based on unscientific questions.  The United States should perform their own test based on it's own version of science which results in the United States placing in first in every catigory.  Problem solved.

We're number 1, were number 1, were umber un, ere ber un, re ber n, ber n, er n, n, n ... ... ...(grunts and moaning sounds)

In a concurrent conversation with Skeptic56789, ...

This was your first mistake.  (moaning sound).

Hehe
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

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Thanks for the input everyone. This probably won't go anywhere because, at least for now, we don't have any believers willing to challenge their own thinking. I was just frustrated by the Skeptic experience, something I get to suffer every few months as theists try taking their turn at converting us.

As a person who loves science and enjoys reading new in the field on various web sites (which beats the crap out of having to wait three or four months to hear new things, like we had to do back in the magazine subscription days), it astonishes me that believers want to keep themselves in the dark, and that they insist that there is some sort of conspiracy to get bad information out to the public. They apparently think that we spend billions on science each year just to make up crap. In an effort to disprove their god.

Somewhere around 300 years ago Newton came up with his theory of gravity. Science built upon the foundation he laid, and when we sent Curiosity on a 352 million mile long mission, we were able, using our knowledge of gravity (even though we don't understand how it works) to land the rover within 1.5 miles of the spot we aimed at.  That is not the work of evil people.

If we were out to disprove a god via science, and without moral standards, we would have pretended that we found life on Mars, which would put doubt in the minds of some believers. If we can fake millions of years of dinosaurs and such (like they assume) then we can fake life on Mars too. But we don't. Because we haven't found any yet. And scientists, for the most part (and just like other people) are honest.

About once a year here on WWGHA I go all naïve and hope for something that isn't available. Honest, sincere discussions about science with fundamentalist theists are far more than unavailable. They are impossible. To remain a fundamentalist christian, all curiosity has to be thrown out the window. Along with all knowledge. Except for the made up stuff. That, they have to be experts in. Or at least have a passing knowledge. Or think they know something. Or be ignorant there but without the qualms they have about science.

It doesn't matter how well they know their myths. It does matter how little they know about the truth.

We'll probably find something else to talk about though.



Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Traveler

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Back in college I lost a ton of weight until I was close to, if not actually, anorexic. It didn't matter how often my brother told me I had to eat, or friends said I was too skinny, or that I was way too thin for the blood bank to take my blood. In my mind, I was fat. In the mirror, I saw fat. Other friends who were heavier? "Oh, but they look cute chubby ... I don't."

My mind was incapable of acknowledging reality. Evidence was meaningless. In my own mind I KNEW that everyone else was wrong.

Its very odd to look back at that time, and to see the photos of myself. I try to remember those feelings when I can't fathom a theists inability to hear evidence that contradicts their world view. I was lucky. I seemed to "grow out of" my body disphoria within a year or so. Honestly, I'm not even sure why or how it happened. But that kind of disconnect with reality, if my experience is any indication, is very, very persistent.
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Offline MadBunny

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For the avid YEC types any form of science not based on an unbroken record of time is casually and contemptuously dismissed.  As a rule they tend to deny the very idea of a steady state.  The idea that things happen with relative predictability now does not, to them imply that they used to be predictable.  Ice for example may have melted at different rates 'back then'.

Luckily there was supposed to have been a fairly major event about 4-6,000 years ago that occured in the bible.  This event of course being the big flood.  Rather than address the physical problem with the whole ark concept, it's reasonable to look for evidence of this big flood.  After all it supposedly covered the entire earth, right?

What we find instead is a stunning lack of evidence for this event, AND many forms of unbroken records that go back past that period chronologically.

1) Dendrochronology.  Counting rings on trees.  We have rings on some trees in CA that go back past 10k years.
2) Ancient cultures: turns out that nobody clued China, Egypt or South America in on this big flood as they all had thriving civilizations which somehow managed to miss a mile tall ocean of water killing everyone.

There is a plethora of stuff that they like to use to point out their YEC screed, pictures of what look like dinosaurs, the whole grand canyon problem, and so on, but also, again categorically, ignore pictures of aliens and blackhawk helicopters on Egyptian carvings.

The nutshell of YEC is that it isn't science.  Even when they try to use sciencey sounding terminology it's all working to confirm an existing conclusion rather than disprove it; the exact opposite of science in other words. 

Ultimately trying to convince irrational people to think rationally is kind of a waste of time.  At best you can make them understand their position is irrational.

Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

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One of the many points no theist will touch with a ten foot stripped pole, (normally used to put in front of a mating pair of goats so that they'll have stripped little kids, because theists know their science) is the fact that dinosaurs are buried in a very specific order. When I tell them that it impossible to find a Triceritops fossilized next to, or even in the same formation as, a T. Rex, they ignore it completely and instead comment on the color of my socks or something. If there was a flood, if all the dinosaurs died at the same time, there should be not specific order in which the various species are fossilized. But paleontologists have said specifically that dinosaurs A, B and C are old and always found in Triassic period geologic formation,s and D, E and F are always found in Cretaceous formations, and that they existed many, many millions of years apart. If this is a lie, creationists should be able to ask paleontologists the age of any given fossil bearing formation and then just go out and dig up some of the wrong fossils from those rocks and poof, all of paleontology is down the drain. But we don't have to worry about that because it is impossible to find dinosaurs or plants that are indigenous only to one age in the rocks from another age.

And they can deny this. Well, what they do is ignore this. But I have a to ask how. I just don't get it.

If I couldn't face such realities, living in the alternate one I'd have to invent wouldn't be worth the effort.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

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Apparently god is quite a little trickster, making order out of the bones as a giggle.
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Offline MadBunny

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One of the many points no theist will touch with a ten foot stripped pole, (normally used to put in front of a mating pair of goats so that they'll have stripped little kids, because theists know their science) is the fact that dinosaurs are buried in a very specific order. When I tell them that it impossible to find a Triceritops fossilized next to, or even in the same formation as, a T. Rex, they ignore it completely and instead comment on the color of my socks or something. If there was a flood, if all the dinosaurs died at the same time, there should be not specific order in which the various species are fossilized. But paleontologists have said specifically that dinosaurs A, B and C are old and always found in Triassic period geologic formation,s and D, E and F are always found in Cretaceous formations, and that they existed many, many millions of years apart. If this is a lie, creationists should be able to ask paleontologists the age of any given fossil bearing formation and then just go out and dig up some of the wrong fossils from those rocks and poof, all of paleontology is down the drain. But we don't have to worry about that because it is impossible to find dinosaurs or plants that are indigenous only to one age in the rocks from another age.

And they can deny this. Well, what they do is ignore this. But I have a to ask how. I just don't get it.

If I couldn't face such realities, living in the alternate one I'd have to invent wouldn't be worth the effort.

{YEC mode = ON}
Animals are buried in reverse order to how well they could swim.  More advanced creatures like humans and monkeys (so not related!) were much better swimmers those those big stupid T-Rex' with their stupid short little arms.  This is clearly evidence of the great flood, particularly since we see this evidence presented all over the world over and over.  Paleontologists just hate god and can't admit it so they keep coming up with ever changing stories.

*of course* after the flood you would expect to see greatly restricted baramins, this is naturally expected given time it would take to repopulate the various kinds.  This explains naturally why we only see some animals in some areas of the fossil record.

{YEC mode}
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Offline SevenPatch

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Why can't YECers just say Dinosours and prehistoric creatures were killed by humans before the flood?  Maybe that was one of the reasons for the flood?
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Online nogodsforme

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The other thing that boggles my mind about "the earth being less than 10,000 years old" is the fact that we do have written records for many ancient societies that go thousands of years back. Boring, long lists of taxes paid and river depths and grain prices and who married who and how the gods must be crazy.

Kind of an ancient almanac plus the National Enquirer.  And none of those records document all the different bible events. Nobody anywhere outside the Middle East noticed the great flood or Noah's ark. Nobody afterward notice that the baramins were all changing into different species again and traveling to their correct ecosystems. No drawings of extinct fossilized animals--dinosaurs, hell, what happened to the trilobytes? When Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE and killed an entire city, it left all kinds of signs and evidence, including written accounts--that is how we know it really happened. Bible catastrophes, not so much.

And all the amazing knowledge about the world that only started once people started ignoring religions and documenting what they actually saw instead. How do they account for all the disease cures and treatments that actually work, since the mid 1800's. They say that science is afraid of or in opposition to religion. No, it is only that science works, beeyatches, so religion, along with alchemy, astrology, witchcraft and ESP can safely be ignored.
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.

Offline Hatter23

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1) Dendrochronology.  Counting rings on trees.  We have rings on some trees in CA that go back past 10k years.


I'm sorry, I thought the oldest one Ca was 4200 to 6700 depending on who you ask, but the oldest tree colony was 80,000 years. I think you may be mistaken, even though I also may be so.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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There is a Bristlecone pine core dated at just over 5,000 years. That's the oldest single individual tree I've heard of. The grove of Aspens may be as much as 80,000 years old. It counts because they are genetically identical, having grown from the same root system. Based on its size (106 acres the last I heard) and known growth rates of such trees, they have come up with that 80,000 years old figure, though the individual trees live perhaps 200 years.

This is the best info I've got. If there are older things out there, I'd love to know. (There are lots of clonal plants that are old. The Aspen are the champs, but many other long-lived clonal groups have been identified and dated. The second oldest one I could fine is in Australia, and about 35,000 years old.

But, we do have ice cores a million years old. We have identified mud layers that are 52,000 years old. And of course we have radiometric dating that can help us determine the age of some older things. Like me.  :)

Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Mooby

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The Catholic Creed requires you to swear before God that you believe in Adam and Eve
Which line of the Nicene and/or Apostles Creed are you referring to?
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline MadBunny

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https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/787

Quote
Dendrochronological studies of bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva, in the White Mountains of California have resulted in the establishment of a continuous tree-ring sequence back to 6700 B.C., a total of 8681 years.

Add in petrified samples and the number can go back a bit more.


But, we do have ice cores a million years old. We have identified mud layers that are 52,000 years old. And of course we have radiometric dating that can help us determine the age of some older things. Like me.  :)

As a rule Creationist types generally like to nitpick at science.  My speculation is that they somehow feel that elevates their own ideas.  That's why tree rings are so great: they're really, really easy to understand.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 01:31:36 AM by MadBunny »
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Online nogodsforme

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I read an article where a creationist disputed dendrochronology by saying that some years trees produce more rings and some years they produce fewer. So you can't just count the rings and assume they add up to an accurate total of years.
[1]

Fair enough to bring that up. Scientists actually do take that into account. Scientists know what kind of trees produce more rings in a year and which produce fewer. For example, oak trees almost never miss a year, with only one year on record without a ring--1816 CE. (See "The year without a summer".)

But the guy was, first of all, agreeing that the tree rings did have a relationship to a specific number of years. This was a fact that people figured out by scientific investigation, but was somehow missing from the bible. And, if people had just accepted the bible, they never would have looked at the tree rings to begin with.

Secondly, as has been pointed out here before, scientists have cross-checked the measurements in several different ways, getting more and more refined with computers. It's not based on one guy eyeballing the rings on one tree and saying, "That's it, proved our case, no need to look any further!" Or more likely, have people keep counting tree rings until they get the count you want, and ignore all the others.[2]

Even still, if the tree ring counts were all over the place, and did not make sense in light of ice cores, carbon dating and other measures, scientists would discard them. But data has been collected and cross-checked, over about a century, on thousands of trees in locations all over the world, revealing evidence of 26,000 years of tree growth. Since the tree rings, the ice cores and other measures all say many more years than creationists can handle, the creationists want to discredit all of them. But they cannot, because besides their ancient texts, they have no data. And besides, dendrochronology is used to accurately date European church buildings and religious art with wooden panels-- and religious leaders accept those dates as true. So, there.

It's like a crazy hoarder family swearing that everyone lives the way they do, but adamantly refusing to go into any other homes to check and see:
"The way we live is the only way to live. Everyone lives this way. Nobody can survive without lots and lots of stuff packed into your house."
 
"Many people don't have homes packed full of belongings from floor to ceiling in in every room," you say. "Here are some photos. You can also see how other people live on the internet and on tv."

"Lies, all lies. You can fake photos. You can make up anything on the internet. The way we live is the only way to live. Everyone lives this way."

"Okay, then, come out and visit my home next door, your other neighbor's home and then look into some houses across the street and see for yourself. We can go into all the homes you want, anywhere in town."
 
"We don't need to visit any other homes.  The way we live is the only way to live. Everyone lives this way. Case closed."  Door slams shut.

Imagine if creationists tried what scientists do, cross-checking their ideas about the world with other religions and throwing out what did not match with Santeria, Hinduism and Islam. Instead, they assume they are correct from the start and only accept data that confirms what they have already assumed is true. That ain't science.
 1. Therefore, tree ring data is lies, all lies! And that means the bible is true. &)
 2. That would be what creationists do. Find one piece of evidence--no matter how tiny or sketchy-- that fits your argument, and then, don't keep looking to see if you are right or not. Just stop.
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.

Offline MadBunny

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Totally correct.

The problem lies with trying to use reasonable arguments to convince unreasonable people.

One could for example simply show stars that are more than XX number of light years away, as measured through simple geometry (parallax) and they'll try to discount it somehow.

The problem lies not in that they are morons, some are actually quite intelligent, though in odd ways.  The problem lies in that we have to educate them on every single area until they understand it just to explain it to them.  Think how many arguments you've seen about evolution.

Then when you finally, at last get them to at a minimum understand the argument... they throw more random bullshit out.  Ice cores, tree rings, parallax, carbon dating, geological strata, fossils, heck *OIL*.  They'll just come up with something else, numerology or some such nonsense. 

I'm convinced that the only way to deal with theists is to show them what they look like from outside their bubble. 

That's why I usually start, if I can with the simple stuff.  I know they have no idea what telomeres are, or what they do.  They just want me to come up with a refutation they can google answer to, in effect parroting others.  By starting with the simple stuff: tree rings, parallax etc.. it's probably on a level they're willing to logically parse out themselves.
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Science would have to be one huge frickin' conspiracy to come up with so many claims that fly in the face of religion. Science would have to be a global cabal to pull off all the trickery if none of it were true.

And theists make no effort to learn about what they consider to be the enemy. I'm not afraid to look at the bible and read a story I'm told about, but they can't make the effort to pick up a science book for love nor money. Oh, they'll look at web sites that have already told them to discount various ideas and stuff, but not at anything of value.

They ask us to open our hearts to let in Jesus while they would not more open their minds and let in information than they would cavort with the devil on a Saturday night. Heck, they'd do that first, because they know they have their free get out of jail card for doing that. They have no way to get out of learning something.

So I fear that no matter how simple we make it for them, we can't make it simple enough. Excuses know no bounds if it is bounds you are trying to get around.

If fundamentalists had a leg to stand on, the evidence ratio between science/fundies wouldn't be 10,000,000,000:1. They have something to go on that would make us call our own truths into question.

Theists are afraid, I guess. At least the fundy ones for whom there is no support in any of reality. The Catholics can handle information, even though they have to put asterisks all over the place and say that god started it all, etc. At least they don't haul out discredited dinosaur/human footprint examples as a final proof of their being right.

People like Skep claim that they have the truth, and they are confused when their endless series of 30 word posts are called deficient. I guess this is because in their simple world, they don't need detail, they don't need formulas, they don't need results, they don't need explanations. They only need five or six words that ostensibly back up their POV, and that seem, to them, to crush we dreaded atheists in our tracks.

When the only evidence for a young earth you have is an immature mind, there is no hope. The target audience I was hoping to reach (amongst believers) in this thread does not exist. They are too busy hoping that none of reality is real so that they can enjoy whatever is real for an eternity. Screw 'em if they can't take a fact.


Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Online jdawg70

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The Catholic Creed requires you to swear before God that you believe in Adam and Eve
Which line of the Nicene and/or Apostles Creed are you referring to?
As far as I know, there are no lines in either the Nicene Creed or the Apostle's Creed that explicitly state anything about Adam and Eve.

Graybeard may be referring to some of the catechisms of the church though:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm

Adam is explicitly called out as the source of sin in this doctrine.  The implication is that affirmation of the Catholic church is necessarily an affirmation of the reality of Adam and Eve.  But I know of no creed that Catholics recite within a profession of faith that is explicit.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline Mooby

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As far as I know, there are no lines in either the Nicene Creed or the Apostle's Creed that explicitly state anything about Adam and Eve.

Graybeard may be referring to some of the catechisms of the church though:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm

Adam is explicitly called out as the source of sin in this doctrine.  The implication is that affirmation of the Catholic church is necessarily an affirmation of the reality of Adam and Eve.
Per the link you provided:

How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265


In other words, they are explicitly referencing Adam and Eve as the archetypical first humans rather than as historical figures.

Quote
But I know of no creed that Catholics recite within a profession of faith that is explicit.
Ah, ok.  Hence my initial confusion.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Juuust a bookmark.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Online jdawg70

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Per the link you provided:

How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265


In other words, they are explicitly referencing Adam and Eve as the archetypical first humans rather than as historical figures.
That's all good and well I suppose, but all that really does is remove the requirement that these first two sinners were named Adam and Eve.  Maybe they were Bob and Alice or something.  Or maybe even two dudes.  I dunno.  And even that more generic 'first humans who caused the Fall' kinda language is, again, not something that is part of a regular Catholic profession of faith[1].

Reforming Graybeard's initial charge of Catholic double-think:

Quote
On the other hand, your vanilla Christian is quite happy with double-think. The Catholic Creed Catechisms of the Catholic Church requires you to swear before God that you believe in Adam and Eve the first archetypal humans but the same Church accepts and teaches an old Earth and evolution and sees Adam and Eve the first archetypal humans as an important educational tale of morality and obedience.
The resolution is fairly simple - the first humans did cause the fall, and the origins of these first humans is best explained by the theory of evolution.  The biblical account is merely allegorical[2].  So I don't agree that this instance is an example of double-think.  Within Catholicism, certainly as practiced and accepted by the laity, the whole doctrine of the Fall is pretty...hand-waved.  However it occurred, via 'the first archetypal humans' or an actual Adam/Eve - whatever - the source and rationale of why humans are scum in need of salvation is not at all focused on.  Twelve years of Catholic school and no discussion on the nature of the Fall was ever really brought up.
 1. I tend to use the Nicene Creed as the primary profession of faith, but there may be other specific prayers that are out there that I simply do not recall
 2. Why the whole 'god sent his only son to die for your salvation' bit isn't considered allegorical...meh, mysterious ways
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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http://deepaksducttape.wordpress.com/

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So, if A and E are symbolic figures, then what the heck is the point of sending Jesus? Seems to me all of Christianity is at risk if you lose A and E. For Jesus to have any meaning at all[1] you have to have some big deal cosmic mistake that has to be corrected.

If there was no actual garden of Eden and no Adam and Eve, then there was no original sin, no fall from grace, no disobedience, no separation from god or whatever you want to call it. No need for Jesus or the crucifixion. No need to get up early on Sunday unless you want to get to the funnies first.

Without a real A and E, Christianity is just another set of primitive myths that try to explain why life is so effed up and give us advice (mostly worthless) about how we can fix it-- like Krishna (or Prometheus) bringing sacred knowledge (or fire) to humans, Pandora's box introducing trouble to the world, or Anansi the Spider trying to keep wisdom from humans. In other words, if all the bible stories are symbolic, than the Christian religion is nothing special, just happened to luck into some really powerful empires with good armies and navies backing it up.

Noah's Ark is another kettle of fish that is pretty messed up, any way you look at it. If the flood washed away all the wicked sinful people, again, what is the point of Jesus? If the flood did not wash away all the wicked sinful people, what was the point of the flood? If again, it was just symbolic and nothing special, then maybe we have found yet another ancient myth where people are trying--with very little knowledge-- to explain the big bad world....

And that means that there is no ultimate reason for the world to be the way it is, at least if we are looking at Christianity. We just have to try to understand reality, because, well, that is the way the universe rolls. Lucky for us we have found something that actually does explain the universe and helps us understand reality way better than ancient myths.....it's called science, and it works, beeyatches. ;D

ps Anyone else find it terribly ironic to discuss whether science has validity on the freaking internet? 
 1. other than as a charismatic Jewish leader who made waves and gathered a following--a  Gandhi or a Mandela
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.

Online Graybeard

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Somewhere around 300 years ago Newton came up with his theory of gravity.

And that is all it is - a theory. We know form the Bible that things come down. This is known as "Intelligent Falling" it is a gift from God in all things and from the start. Everything He created knows "up" and "down" and they naturally go down when the fall. I mean, even the word "fall" means "to go down" - how more obvious can it be? We do not need a so-called "scientist" to reinterpret God's Word. Would you want Shakespeare translated into Ghetto-speak? Would it be any more helpful? Even those who speak Ghetto can't read it and write it - so what's the point? Why reinvent the wheel and make Baby Jesus cry?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Mooby

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So, if A and E are symbolic figures, then what the heck is the point of sending Jesus? Seems to me all of Christianity is at risk if you lose A and E. For Jesus to have any meaning at all[1] you have to have some big deal cosmic mistake that has to be corrected.

If there was no actual garden of Eden and no Adam and Eve, then there was no original sin, no fall from grace, no disobedience, no separation from god or whatever you want to call it.
 1. other than as a charismatic Jewish leader who made waves and gathered a following--a  Gandhi or a Mandela
Of course there was.  1 billion years ago there was no sin.  Today, there is sin.  Therefore, at some point in the middle there must have been an original sin.

Quote
Without a real A and E, Christianity is just another set of primitive myths that try to explain why life is so effed up and give us advice (mostly worthless) about how we can fix it-- like Krishna (or Prometheus) bringing sacred knowledge (or fire) to humans, Pandora's box introducing trouble to the world, or Anansi the Spider trying to keep wisdom from humans. In other words, if all the bible stories are symbolic, than the Christian religion is nothing special, just happened to luck into some really powerful empires with good armies and navies backing it up.
Either-or fallacy.  It is possible for Genesis 3 to not be 100% literal and yet have at least some of the other 1200+ chapters in the Bible be describing historical events.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.