Author Topic: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]  (Read 14267 times)

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Offline DL

Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« on: October 29, 2009, 10:06:55 PM »
WWGHA has been copied on this email chain. The chain will be posted here in Chronological order. All information about the sender (labeled SENDER) and the recipient (labeled RECIPIENT) has been made as anonymous as possible. There are six emails in the chain.

Offline DL

Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2009, 10:18:55 PM »
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2009 8:19 PM
Subject: Evidence for God?

Hello Professor [RECIPIENT],

I walked into your talk yesterday at [university2] curious about what
"evidences" you had for God. As expected, I was left disappointed and
frustrated. As a physics student, I have always wondered how it is
possible for some "physicists" to reconcile a genuine belief in God and
their scientific reasoning. After listening to your lecture, I think I
found how. But first, please allow me to give you some of my thoughts
regarding the scientific basis of your talk, more specifically physics.

Let's start with the fine tuned universe. Despite being vague, you are
correct that the universe will be drastically different and incapable of
sustaining life if some of the fundamental constants were altered by a
tiny fraction. But I was really skeptical about the explanations you
gave, in particular, you mentioned one number: 10^-60. Would you clarify
to me what that number is. It seems that you think it is a fractional
change of one of the fundamental constants (such as the relative
strengths of the forces) that would render our universe incapable of
sustaining life, if so, please give me a credible source.

If I may make a guess, I think that number describes what is called the
vacuum catastrophy. It is the RATIO between the observed energy density
of the universe and the order of magnitude of the vacuum expectation
energy predicted by quantum field theory. And instead of being 10^-60,
it is of the order 10^-120. This is more of an artifact of quantum field
theory than something that is "fine tuned".

You also mentioned how the cosmological constant seem to be fine tuned,
and the universe would either shrink or expand too rapidly if the
cosmological constant shifts a TINY amount. I would like you to back up
that claim, with at least a qualitative demonstration that you
understand: a) what is the cosmological constant. b) How it affects the
dynamics of the universe through the Einstein Field Equations. Again, I
think (and I could be wrong) what you really meant is the fact that the
observed cosmological constant is extremely close to zero, and that
seems to be too much of a coincidence. To that end I invite you to read
some of the researches that provides a theoretical explanation that
drives the cosmological constant to zero, such as the inflation theory
by Prof. Alan Guth at MIT. This theory not only explains why the
cosmological constant is so small. it also explains the uniformity of
the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. For a list of observational
data that supports this theory:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29#Observational_status

Perhaps instead of saying "God made it zero", a more reasonable and
intelligent response is to actually understand why.

Alright, now to Anthropic principle. I am not sure if it is intentional,
but you completely flipped what that principle says. According to you,
the principle states that the universe is fine tuned FOR us. Thus
concluding God must have prepared it carefully, drawing various
analogies involving a tornado and 747. What the principle actually says
is that BECAUSE we exist as intelligent life forms capable of observing
our surroundings, the universe must have had the right parameters for
the formation of galaxies, stars, and life. Therefore it should be no
surprise that when we observe what's around us, it seems specifically
tuned for us. If the universe were not fine tuned, there would be
nothing to observe it. Here is an excerpt from the wikipedia article on
this topic:

"The argument can be used to explain why the conditions happen to be
just right for the existence of (intelligent) life on the earth at the
present time. For if they were not just right, then we should not have
found ourselves to be here now"

Some people believe that there are many parallel universes, perhaps with
a wide range of parameters, many of which will not support life. In your
presentation, you discredited the multiple universe viewpoint as being
ridiculous and unsupported by evidence, therefore claiming instead of
believing in something far-fetched like that, we should believe in an
almighty being that specifically made a fine tuned universe just for us,
because he loves us and wants to be love... Well... that itself sounds
ridiculous and unsupported by evidence to me. Further, the multi-verse
theory is not complete nonsense being a prediction from string theory,
and parallel universes are predicted to interact with each other through
gravitation, one day physicists may actually confirm them
experimentally.

During your presentation, you mocked atheists who claim the Bible is
scientifically flawed without actually reading the Bible. I find it
really ironic how you discredited the multi-verse theory without any
real understanding. The same can be said for your discussion on
anthropic principle, and the fine tuning of the universe. Personally, I
have no right to say whether the multi-verse theory is ridiculous or
not, and If you think your degree in CHEMICAL physics gives you any more
authority than me, you are horribly wrong.

Physics aside, the other evidences you put forth in support of a
Christian God remain questionable and unscientific. Let me just focus on
one thing in particular: circumcision of babies on the 8th day is
optimal.

You presented a graph of the prothrombin level in newborns versus time,
showing a minimum at day 3 and a maximum at day 8, in particular, a
decrease from day 8 to day 9, and your graph is cut off after day 9.
Well, to verify your claim I actually did some research. I did not find
much information except in the following link:
http://www.trosch.org/the/circumcision-cancer.pdf
This is taken from a Christian website, and on page 3 they sited a graph
supposedly taken from a paper by Owen, Hoffman, Ziffren, and Smith. If
you do a google search on these names and add in prothrombin, you find
that their paper was published on Journal of Pediatrics, and you cannot
get the actual paper unless you pay.

Well, here is the interesting bit: That graph is cut off at the 8th day,
therefore we cannot conclude that the prothrombin level is the highest
on that day (perhaps on day 9 it is even higher). Whereas on your graph,
a clear decrease is shown. Therefore I have to conclude you got your
graph from another source, I challenge you to give me that source. I am
not looking for qualitative explanations of how it decreases after day
8, I ONLY want the source of your graph. I don't know how you do things
at [college], but at MIT and anywhere else, you cannot
alter a graph based on your own interpretation. I certainly hope that as
a scientist, you at least have the honesty to not fudge graphs.

To be frank, and excuse me for being bold, I believe that your
scientific ignorance is the reason for your beliefs. I think I made a
gross understatement yesterday by saying "you don't know much in
physics". In defense, you waved your PhD in chemical physics at me, but
really (please do correct me if I am wrong), I would be very surprised
if you have rigorously done anything beyond basic molecular quantum
mechanics for that degree. Extrapolating from what I currently know, you
are at best a chemist with a mediocre understanding of physics. That
gives you no right to talk about other areas of physics which you have
no expertise at. And ultimately, your attempt as an apologist to justify
the existence of a God based on your shallow grasp of these physical
concepts is futile.

To reiterate, I hope you can provide the following:
1. Elaborate on 10^-60 involved in fine tuning.
2. Explain how the universe would shrink or expand too rapidly.
3. Provide the source where you obtained the prothrombin level graph.

[SENDER]
Department of Physics
[University]

« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 10:38:15 PM by DL »

Offline DL

Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2009, 10:23:57 PM »
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 09:38:42 -0700
Subject: RE: Evidence for God?


[SENDER]

Normally I answer ALL e-mails which come it to me.  Your letter is so
arrogant and disrespectful I was very tempted to not answer.  I felt
your tone on Friday PM was extremely disrespectful.   It was angry and
combative and even somewhat insulting.  However, I thought about it a
while and realized that I should give your behavior another spin.   I
think you are a very passionate person who really cares about the
pursuit of truth, which can cause you to behave a bit badly at times.
I will answer your request in that spirit.  However, I would like to
give you some advice from an older man who has been around the block.
When you are discussing and debating with people, you should not take an
attack mode.  You should do your best to treat your "opponent" with
respect and not put him or her into a defensive mode by attacking them.
When I was younger, I tended to make the same mistake, although perhaps
not so blatantly.

Anyway, please forgive the attempt of an older, and perhaps wiser
pursuer of truth.

As for your critiques, I will address them one at a time!

About my credentials.   I have  a PhD in chemistry/physics from [university3].   
I have many peer-reviewed publications in both chemistry and
chemical physics journals.   I am sure that in your very young career
there are areas of physics you know more about than I.   I am sure that
there are areas of physics I know more about than you, but given that I
have been a professor of physics for many years, I think your public
attempt to chastise me comes off rather badly, to be honest.  I am not
going to take the "bait" to prove to you my knowledge of the principles
of the cosmological constant.   I have taught the Guth theory a number
of times and am not ignorant of any of these concepts you bring up.   As
to the presentation, I am speaking to a general audience.  Even at
[university2], the vast majority of those in the audience do not know what a
cosmological constant is and they would not get much out of me using
fancy vocabulary about the Einstein Field equation.   I put things in
very simple terms, talking about gravity and energy because that way the
audience can connect at least on some level with what I am talking
about.  A teacher learns that it is not useful to throw out terms to
impress the audience, but uses simpler concepts that the audience can
grasp, at least on some level.   As to the level of precision of the
fine tuning, in the past I used the number you quote (10-120), but in my
research I have found that there is debate over this number.   I am not
the expert here, but I have chosen to use the most conservative number I
have seen.   In other words, I do not want to overstate my case, so even
though I believe the level of fine tuning may in fact be much larger
than I claimed publicly on Friday, I choose to be conservative and use,
among the numbers I have heard from those I trust, the most conservative
number.   If you do not agree with this approach, that is certainly your
privilege.

About the anthropic principle, I am well aware of these issues.   You
are mentioning the weak anthropic principle.   I mentioned the strong
anthropic principle.   Now, when I have a couple of hours to cover the
topic, I define both the WAP and the SAP, discuss the underlying
assumptions and the implications of both and then state why I believe
the SAP is a perfectly reasonable approach.   In the 90 seconds of so I
had to cover the topic on Friday, I did  not make this distinction for
obvious reasons.   If you want to do a public lecture some time at
[university2], perhaps you can take the time to explain this distinction to
your audience, but I simply did not have time.

Of course, I am fully aware that many cosmologists enlist the string
theory to support the multiverse idea.   Personally I believe this is
speculative on the highest order.   I like to call it the string
speculation or the string philosophy.   By definition (at least by my
definition) a theory is "scientific" if it is supported by experiment
and is disprovable by experiment.   To date, string theory meets neither
criteria and I believe it is so speculative that using it to refute the
SAP is questionable at best.   You do not have to agree with me, but as
a philosopher of science, that is my view of the thing.

If I mocked atheists during the talk, I apologize and ask for your
forgiveness.   I believe it is never appropriate to mock anyone.   I
certainly did not intend to mock atheists.  I try to be respectful of
all, including atheists.

If you think your degree in CHEMICAL physics gives you any more
authority than me, you are horribly wrong.

This arrogant statement does not deserve a response.  I will leave it at
that.

I stand by my claim that the eight day (or thereabouts) is the safest
day to circumcise a male child.   If you disagree, that is up to you.

Anyway, I have lots of students here to teach at lowly [college]
needing my help, so I will go.

Humbly,

[RECIPIENT]

Offline DL

Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2009, 10:30:14 PM »
Sent:** Mon 10/19/2009 9:06 PM
Subject: Re: Evidence for God?

Hello Professor [RECIPIENT],

I really appreciate that you took time to address my questions in detail.
Frankly, I thought it was quite likely for you to avoid my email completely,
I was wrong. I agree with you that I was being disrespectful, especially
when I felt strongly about something, please accept my apologies. I tend to
speak directly and will probably continue doing so in this email, if you
feel this is in anyway disrespectful, please take my apologies in advance.

That being said, I remain skeptical about your understanding of physical
concepts, as I will illustrate in detail later. More importantly, I will
again bring into focus the "graph" that you showed during your presentation.

> I am not going to take the "bait" to prove to you my knowledge of the
> principles
> of the cosmological constant.   I have taught the Guth theory a number
> of times and am not ignorant of any of these concepts you bring up.
>

That is a very...interesting...way of avoiding one of my requests right off
the bat. I wonder why you would considered that a bait if you are "not
unfamiliar with any of these concepts".

Plus, I am unaware of any "principles" associated with the cosmological
constant. For the record, it is just a number (denoted by capital Lambda)
which is close to zero, have you ever heard of "principles of the Planck
constant"? I certainly hope you shared your knowledge about these principles
during the Guth talks you gave.

Well, I guess it is rather unfair for me to pick on your diction, for now I
will just assume you made a typo. However, in the same paragraph you
avoided another question posed by me regarding the number 10^-60. I do not
understand why you explained in detail the reason for you to use 10^-60 or
10^-120, my question was concerning its physical meaning. I guess I should
probably put it in multiple choice form:
You claimed, during the lecture, that the universe was fine tuned to 10^-60
in order to sustain life, and what does this number mean?
1) A fractional change in one of the physical parameters (such as the
relative strengths of the forces) that would render the universe incapable
of sustaining life
2) The ratio between the observed energy density of the universe to that
predicted by quantum field theory
3) Other, please explain

At this point I may as well tell you, I would like to challenge your claim
that the universe was fine tuned to 10^-60 to be life bearing, this
precision is greatly exaggerated, and it is a clear demonstration that you
do not understand what you are talking about.

> To date, string theory meets neither criteria and I believe it is so
> speculative that using it to refute the SAP is questionable at best.   You
> do not have to agree with me, but as a philosopher of science, that is my
> view of the thing.
>

I agree, you are free to believe the SAP in favor of String Theory, and you
are free to believe it follows that God exists, because you are certainly
entitled to your opinions. If your talk was titled "My Opinions about God",
I would have no problem with it. But as far as I recall, you titled your
lecture "Evidence for God". This makes it unacceptable for you to exaggerate
the fine tuning, ignore the WAP, and discredit the multi-verse theory in
order to convince your audience, who are, admittedly, not well versed in
these concepts.


> If you think your degree in CHEMICAL physics gives you any more
> authority than me, you are horribly wrong.
>
> This arrogant statement does not deserve a response.  I will leave it at
> that.
>

Come on... do not take my quote out of context. For future reference,
whenever you are truncating a sentence after "and", you are probably making
a blatant attempt to misquote someone. My complete quote is as follow:


"Personally, I have no right to say whether the multi-verse theory is
ridiculous or not, and If you think your degree in CHEMICAL physics gives
you any more authority than me, you are horribly wrong."

My point is that neither of us is in a position to criticize a conclusion
from String Theory because we are both amateurs, your degree in chemical
physics gives you no credibility either. Perhaps you should reconsider about
arrogantly calling it ridiculous.

Finally, this brings us to the last but by far not the least point that I
want to make.
In my last email I asked:

"I have to conclude you got your graph from another source, I challenge you
to give me that source. I am not looking for qualitative explanations of how
it decreases after day 8, I ONLY want the source of your graph."

To which you responded:

> I stand by my claim that the eight day (or thereabouts) is the safest
> day to circumcise a male child.   If you disagree, that is up to you.
>

Eighth day...or THEREABOUTS? And up to me?

First of all, I would like to give you some advice from a debater who has
been around the block. When you are debating with people, you should not
"shift the goal post" in a futile attempt to defend your argument, which
only makes you look even worse. When I was younger, I tended to make the
same mistake, although perhaps not so blatantly.

Let me remind you what you said in your lecture. This is an exact quote as I
took the liberty to record your lecture with a camera.

"So I am gonna show you a graph of ... this scientific data of prothrombin
level versus time, for ... children. And ... I didn't make this up, okay?
And! .. Guess what the safest day ... to ... to ... circumcise a male child
is?  The day from the book is the day to do that! By the way 9th day.. 9th
day would be just as good, 7th will be fine, probably the 10th day would be
okay, but again how ... how did Abraham knew this [8th day is the best], I
mean ... where did Abraham get this ... knowledge?"

By the way, I have also attached your graph (which is aptly titled "Clotting
Protein Peaks on Day Eight") to this email.

Now, if you choose to ignore all my other points in this email, or if you
are overwhelmed with other responsibilities, I would hope you can at least
address this issue. Let me remind you what I said in my first email. Your
graph shows a CLEAR decrease on day 9 and day 10, which I cannot find
anywhere else on the internet. I would like you to show me where you got
this "scientific" graph from.

Thank you.

[SENDER]
Department of Physics
[university]

Offline DL

Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2009, 10:31:18 PM »
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 13:29:01 -0700
Subject: RE: Evidence for God?


[SENDER]

Based on your admission, which I heartily agree with, that you do not take part
in respectful interchange, I am not responding to this e-mail.  Sorry.
Perhaps at a later date you will be able to swallow your emotions and engage
in reasonable discussion, rather than angry diatribes.  Good luck in your
intellectual and spiritual pursuits.

[RECIPIENT]

Offline DL

Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 10:31:31 PM »
Date: Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 7:27 PM
Subject: Re: Evidence for God?

Professor [RECIPIENT]

I think we have already reached a mutual understanding about the issues
here. Let's just lay our cards down so we can stop pretending.

Since you have failed yet again to address my concern, I am confident to say
that the real reason why you choose to avoid my email is because you have
fudged that circumcision graph. And, do you really think I can be completely
ignored just by you whining about being disrespected? Come on, stop being
childish.

As a self-proclaimed scientist, as the president of [organization],
and as a Christian who strives to prove God with scientific
evidence, I find it hypocritical to the maximum degree for you to convince
your audience with intentional misinformation. Perhaps not everyone can see
through your hypocrisy when you talk nonsense about physics and cosmology,
but you are a fool to bet your reputation on not having anybody question the
credibility of your made up graph.

With that said, if you are able to present to me a credible, scientific
source for your graph (which you claimed to have), I will give you my most
sincere apologies, and I will write an apology letter to you and your
organization, which you are free to make public.

I ask, a third time, for the source of your "Clotting Protein Peaks on Day
Eight" graph. I will wait until Friday for your response. This is your last
chance.

Good luck.

[SENDER]
Department of Physics
[university]

Offline DL

Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 10:37:39 PM »
Date: Sun, October 25, 2009 2:44 am
Subject: Re: Evidence for God?

Professor [RECIPIENT],

In your first email to me, you identified yourself as a "pursuer of truth",
yet, when confronted with my questions, you choose to avoid them completely.
Coincidentally, I am also persistent in finding out the truth, and you left
me with no choice but to cc this email to a number of parties, hoping to get
a response from you.

For everyone on the cc list unfamiliar with [RECIPIENT], he is an apologetic
Christian who attempts to provide a case for God using science. I attended
his lecture [university2], and was
enraged by the amount of misinformation given during the talk. I emailed
[RECIPIENT] and confronted him with my questions, only to have them avoided or
ignored. I have copy-pasted all email exchanges between us at the end.

[RECIPIENT] made a wildly exaggerated claim on the degree of fine tuning of the
universe to be supportable of life, and demonstrated utter ignorance about
physics and cosmology during his subsequent email response. Moreover, In
order to show that the Bible contains the wisdom of God, he claimed during
his lecture that the clotting protein (prothrombin) level is the highest on
the eighth day after a male child's birth, thus circumcision on the 8th day
(as written in the Bible) is the safest. He showed the audience a
"scientific" graph, which had a peak on day 8 and a clear decrease on day 9
and day 10. This graph can be found on slide 24 from his PowerPoint for the
talk on his website.

I asked [RECIPIENT] to provide the source of his graph, which he avoided. He also
no longer seemed sure about day 8 being the peak, as I quote from his email:
"I stand by my claim that the eight day (or thereabouts) is the safest day
to circumcise a male child.   If you disagree, that is up to you."

This should be contrasted with what he said during his lecture at [university2],
which I recorded on my camera.

"So I am gonna show you a graph of ... this scientific data of prothrombin
level versus time, for ... children. And ... I didn't make this up, okay?
And.. Guess what the safest day ... to ... to ... circumcise a male child
is?  The day from the book is the day to do that! By the way 9th day.. 9th
day would be just as good, 7th will be fine, probably the 10th day would be
okay, but again how ... how did Abraham knew this [prothrombin peaks on day
8], I mean ... where did Abraham get this ... knowledge?" -- [RECIPIENT]

I will gladly provide the audio recording should there be any disagreement
on this quote.

I would like to ask [RECIPIENT] yet again to provide me with the source of his
graph. As I said in my first email, I am not looking for any qualitative
explanation. Since the graph contains scientific data, hence not [RECIPIENT]'s own
interpretation of qualitative statements, he must have a credible scientific
source!

I believe it is extremely hypocritical for a self-proclaimed "scientist" and
"pursuer of truth" to deliberately present fraudulent data in order to
convince his audience. [RECIPIENT] has authored a number of books on this subject, if he
cannot even backup a simple claim during a lecture, how could anyone have
faith in his book being free of made-up evidences?

With that said, I still hold up to my promise (which I made in my last
email) that, if [RECIPIENT] is able to provide a scientific source that coincides
with his prothrombin graph, I will write him a public apology letter.

Thank you.

[SENDER]
Department of Physics
[university]

Offline GetMeThere

Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2009, 11:01:37 PM »
WOW! We need to have "sender" here on the forum!

He REALLY nailed him on the prothrombin graph!

My problem is I always ACCEPT these things when somebody makes a slide out of them and puts them up. I think "sender" quite convincingly supported the conclusion that "recipient" MADE THE DATA UP after day 8!

Regarding the "eight day" business and circumcision. It would be no surprise to me that people who performed circumcision as a profession (and who kept it as a tradition) might observe, by the amount of bleeding seen, that simply waiting for about 8 days produced less bleeding**. I don't see any reason to propose divine guidance for that figure. There are many examples of primitive people having keen observational abilities.

**An off the cuff guess would be that the real phenomenon after 8 days would be an asymptotic leveling off to a slightly higher level. Primitive people probably noticed that bleeding got less and less until about 8 days, after which there wasn't much difference to notice.

Offline Tails_155

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2009, 12:13:32 AM »
You know what causes less bleeding than waiting for the eighth day? Not circumcising.
Live! Learn! Laugh! Love! Lead!

I'm not all analysis, I like art, too: See?

mike_h

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2009, 02:35:29 PM »
Is the concentration of prothrombin in blood a standard argument used by Christians? I had not seen that one before. Blood clotting is a complex cascade of reactions between a number of proteins. Has anyone shown that prothrombin is a limiting factor in newborns? What about all the other proteases involved? Or negative regulators of thrombin? It seems to me that the test should be whether the capacity for clotting and wound healing peaks rather than a single protein concentration. And, as was pointed out in the previous post, the whole issue could easily be avoided by not circumcising in the first place. Why did god create the foreskin at all? I'm sure the Christians have an explanation.

I think referring to having a degree in one field or another is beside the point. Science is so specialized now that one can have a successful career in research without knowing much about the wider field of physics/chemistry/biology, whatever it may be. The criticism above could easily and effectively have been made without referring to anyone's background in chemical physics or anything else. If the response from the other side is "I know this, because I have a Ph.D. in the subject", then that's just no argument at all.  (For the record, my Ph.D. is in biochemistry, and I've probably revealed my ignorance of human physiology in this post.)

Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2009, 02:39:10 PM »
You know what causes less bleeding than waiting for the eighth day? Not circumcising.

Perfect response, Tails.

Welcome, mike_h!
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

Offline MonkeyDaddy

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2009, 02:43:00 PM »
Why did god create the foreskin at all? I'm sure the Christians have an explanation.

Apologists state an unemployed moyl prayed to god for a job... jk


You know what causes less bleeding than waiting for the eighth day? Not circumcising.
I agree, I was going to say Amen... Some religions just love the sight of blood, ewww...
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
Thomas Jefferson

FosterFoskin

  • Guest
Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2009, 04:23:54 PM »
You know what causes less bleeding than waiting for the eighth day? Not circumcising.

EXACTLY! There is no medical or scientific evidence that circumcision achieves any benefits. As long as you wash under the prepuce and keep it clean it works exactly as it should.

But more compelling than this is the fact that the Jews circumcised their boys because back 2 and 3 thousand years ago they didn't understand the basic hygiene rules we do today.

As far as I know, there is no compulsion for xtians to circumcise in the new testament. It is a holdover from the old Jewish books. So how on earth can this xtian apologist professor possibly justify his claim based on a book written by ignorant people so long ago?

This is, of course, the whole problem with xtianity. It is based on tenets expounded so long ago that they are w-a-a-a-a-y out of date and unsupported by modern science. It's even worse for the Jews, as they only live according to the ancient books. And there is no excuse for the muslims, because their koran is such a blatant rip off from the bible, which is based on the torah, which was derived from even more ancient religions. The idiocy just doesn't stop.

I really do wish we could eradicate religion completely. The world would be a much better place. But what would those who believe now do with themselves?

Oh! I know.

They would have to face reality and live each day like it is their last. Just imagine how much better they would live their lives if the did.

modesty

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2009, 07:12:42 PM »
it seems like a moot point to argue whether or not the bible correctly predicted the best day after birth for circumcision. i'm sure it was found by trial and error, and then written there.

Offline Dkit

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2009, 07:58:58 PM »
273 guests are currently viewing this topic.     :o     


The number is decreasing. 
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Offline MonkeyDaddy

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2009, 08:01:33 PM »
273 guests are currently viewing this topic.     :o     

The number is decreasing. 

Yes, and there is an increasing number of mailbag postings tonight. Some really good ones (and by good I mean pitiful).
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2009, 08:19:32 PM »
The question in my mind is “What would have caused the Professor to make statements he knew to be untrue, misleading or irrelevant?”

I assume that, in teaching his subject he is accurate and marks his students’ papers accordingly. Yet here, before an audience he believed that he could interpret (and indeed alter) facts. He must have known the facts were inaccurate before he reached the podium. I have to discount that he has done a copy and paste job with inaccurate information, as he does not offer this as a defence. In any case, that explanation is no excuse; one expects a professor to check facts otherwise he is negligent.

As he prepared for his lecture, something inside him was telling him that he urgently needed to convince the world of a god; something so strong that it overtook all other principles that he had and blinded him to the possible consequences.

That, to me, would appear to be an irrational course and delusional.

The professor is now caught out. He mounts his high horse and calls “ad hominem” and “appeal to authority” when, it is not. He pleads justification on the grounds of simplification, when it was not simplification; it was simply wrong.

I cannot believe that his faith in there being a god can now be any less, even though he has been bearing false witness and is a false prophet.

The real advice and warning to the professor was given here by a Saint; pity he did not know it.

Quote
Saint Augustine (A.D. 354-430) in his work The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim) provided excellent advice for all Christians who are faced with the task of interpreting Scripture in the light of scientific knowledge. This translation is by J. H. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience.

Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?

Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]
1Tm:1:7: Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 06:52:47 AM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline GetMeThere

Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2009, 08:46:52 PM »
Is the concentration of prothrombin in blood a standard argument used by Christians?

Some christians (and jews) use the fact of increasing prothrombin levels to argue that the bible must be divinely inspired because it contains information that people living at that time couldn't know. Another example is muslims, the quran, and "iron from the sky."

Such arguments are...very, VERY wishful. "God" could have easily included some concise and choice bits in his "divinely inspired" writings which would, I'm sure, cause modern man's hair to stand up on the back of his neck. "He" didn't.

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2009, 12:04:55 PM »
All this time I thought Prothrombin meant something else entirely when it came to penises.


I have utter disdain for people who use their academic position to push false information on people, and agree that they should be called out on it if they do.
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.

Offline mommykicksbutt

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2009, 06:53:02 PM »
The question in my mind is “What would have caused the Professor to make statements he knew to be untrue, misleading or irrelevant?”

His beleif in his god!  God must have told him to do it.  His irrational belief in a god overrode his rational belief in science.

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Theism: the virus that infects then disables the brain's bullshit detector
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Offline Agga

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2009, 07:33:58 PM »
Wow... 186 guests are reading this topic at the time of writing this post.  :o
I've left WWGHA now, so do everyone else a favour and don't bother replying to my old posts and necromancing my threads.

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Made up evidence for God? [#1999]
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2009, 07:43:31 PM »
Wow... 186 guests are reading this topic at the time of writing this post.  :o
Prothrombin... the new how sex term.
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.