Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Case Against God Revisit: Why I Am Not a Christian

In roughly descending order of importance, I endeavor to explain the principal reasons why I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because god is absent or, at the least, silent. In essence, those of the Christian faith proclaim that our universe, and all that is part of it, is in the hands of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator deity who takes a personal interest in human affairs. It is completely inexplicable, then, that this creator deity would be entirely undetectable and utterly absent from day-to-day life. If one reads the Bible, one finds an active, present, immediate god; moreover, one finds copious miracles and prodigies that are unlike anything with which we are familiar.

David Hume writes, “It forms a strong presumption against all supernatural and miraculous relations, that they are observed chiefly to abound among ignorant and barbarous nations…. When we peruse the first histories of all nations, we are apt to imagine ourselves transported into some new world; where the whole frame of nature is disjointed, and every element performs its operations in a different manner, from what it does at present. Battles, revolutions, pestilence, famine and death, are never the effect of those natural causes, which we experience. Prodigies, omens, oracles, judgements, quite obscure the few natural events, that are intermingled with them. But as the former grow thinner every page, in proportion as we advance nearer the enlightened ages, we soon learn, that there is nothing mysterious or supernatural in the case, but that all proceeds from the usual propensity of mankind towards the marvellous….” Hume rightly adds, “It is strange, a judicious reader is apt to say, upon the perusal of these wonderful historians, that such prodigious events never happen in our days.

Why would a god who, in barbarous and ignorant times, was so clear, present and active suddenly, upon the emergence of a scientific understanding of the natural order, become a silent, inert sluggard whose presence could only be discerned in the most obscure, skepticism-baiting ways? Where are the miracles and prodigies for our scientific age? Richard Carrier writes, “For example, only those who believe in the true Christian Gospel [could] be granted…supernatural powers that could be confirmed by science; only true Christian Bibles [could] be indestructible, unalterable, and self-translating; and [a] Divine Voice [could] consistently convey to everyone the will and desires of the Christian message alone.” Because god, if existent, is a do-nothing layabout, I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because the Bible, despite the fact it is purported to be inspired by god himself, wallows in pitiable prescientific primitivism and yawn-inducing mundanity. Certainly, considering its divine inspiration, one might expect the Bible to be full of dazzlingly specific information of which no one had been previously aware. Considering its divine inspiration, one might expect the pinnacle of all intellectual achievement. This is not so. Sam Harris writes, “[The Bible] does not contain a single sentence that could not have been written by a man or woman living in the first century.” There is nothing about the actual age or size of our universe. There is nothing about the germ theory of disease. Earth’s vast geography is shrunk down to claustrophobically local levels. It is not even clear from the Bible whether the creator of our universe is aware of Australia. The Bible is not a product of divine inspiration but, rather, lamentable ancient ignorance.

How, Christopher Hitchens asks, can Genesis be proven the mundane work of ignorant humans in merely a paragraph? “Because,” he writes, “man is given 'dominion' over all beasts, fowl and fish. But no dinosaurs or plesiosaurs or pterodactyls are specified, because the authors did not know of their existence, let alone of their supposedly special and immediate creation. Nor are any marsupials mentioned, because Australia—the next candidate after Mesoamerica for a new 'Eden'—was not on any known map. Most important, in Genesis man is not awarded dominion over germs and bacteria because the existence of these necessary yet dangerous fellow creatures was not known or understood. And if it had been known or understood, it would at once have become apparent that these forms of life had 'dominion' over us, and would continue to enjoy it uncontested until the priests had been elbowed aside and medical research at last given an opportunity.”

Because the Bible’s mundanity belies the claim of divine inspiration, I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because worship of Yahweh as the singular creator deity did not arise independently among numerous geographically isolated populations. Any delusional belief system, if designed cleverly enough, has the potential to “catch fire,” as it were, and spread pervasively throughout our species. Much less likely, however, would be for the same delusional belief system to arise independently in many different places. Imagine if, around 2000 BCE, worship of Yahweh had arisen, nearly simultaneously, in the Middle East, China, the Americas and central Africa. What would have been the odds of an identical god character—with distinctive quirks, commandments, preferences and fetishes—being invented by completely different populations? They seem infinitesimal. However, there is no evidence of Yahweh-worship arising independently. However spiritual they might previously have been, primitive populations began to worship Yahweh specifically when believers in Yahweh arrived at their shores.

Christopher Hitchens writes, “One recalls the question that was asked by the Chinese when the first Christian missionaries made their appearance. If god has revealed himself, how is it that he has allowed so many centuries to elapse before informing the Chinese?” Whatever deities might have haunted Chinese history, none was distinguishably Yahweh. Because god did not independently reveal himself to several geographically isolated populations, I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because the Bible contains palpably nonsensical claims. Matthew attests to a horde of zombies roaming about Jerusalem (Matthew 27:52-53). Lot's luckless wife was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). People attain impossible ages: Adam, 930 years; Noah, 950 years; Abraham, 175 years; Sarah, 127 years (less ludicrous, but still). Jesus is alleged to have been born by what can only be presumed to be parthenogenesis, despite the fact that, as Christopher Hitchens notes, “parthenogenesis is not possible for human mammals.”

When confronted with nonsense, one has no obligation to proffer any counterargument. As David Hume writes, for a just reasoner, “a miracle, supported by any human testimony, [is] more properly a subject of derision than of argument.” Because the Bible testifies to self-evidently ludicrous claims, which justly demand derision, I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because, though archaeological evidence could have substantiated the biblical narrative, it does not. Christopher Hitchens writes, “…much more extensive and objective work was undertaken, presented most notably by Israel Finkelstein of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and his colleague Neil Asher Silberman. These men regard the ‘Hebrew Bible’ or Pentateuch as beautiful, and the story of modern Israel as an all-around inspiration, in which respects I humbly beg to differ. But their conclusion is final, and the more creditable for asserting evidence over self-interest. There was no flight from Egypt, no wandering in the desert (let alone for the incredible four-decade length of time mentioned in the Pentateuch), and no dramatic conquest of the Promised Land. It was all, quite simply and very ineptly, made up at a much later date. No Egyptian chronicle mentions this episode either, even in passing, and Egypt was the garrison power in Canaan as well as the Nilotic region at all the material times. Indeed, much of the evidence is the other way. Archaeology does confirm the presence of Jewish communities in Palestine from many thousands of years ago (this can be deduced, among other things, from the absence of those pig bones in the middens and dumps), and it does show that there was a ‘kingdom of David,’ albeit rather a modest one, but all the Mosaic myths can be safely and easily discarded.” Because archaeological evidence contradicts biblical claims and shows them to be false, I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because prayer is useless and, in its very design, self-deluding. Prayer has been tested in a scientific manner, and failed. The Harvard Medical School Office of Public Affairs issued a news release entitled “Largest Study of Third-Party Prayer Suggests Such Prayer Not Effective In Reducing Complications Following Heart Surgery” on March 31, 2006. The paper appears in the April issue of American Heart Journal.

The release reads: “Researchers in the Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP), the largest study to examine the effects of intercessory prayer—prayer provided by others—evaluated the impact of such prayer on patients recovering from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.”

It continues, “The STEP team, composed of investigators at six academic medical centers, including Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts; Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Florida; Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C; and the Mind/Body Medical Institute, found that intercessory prayer had no effect on recovery from surgery without complications. The study also found that patients who knew they were receiving intercessory prayer fared worse. [Emphasis mine.]”

Prayer could have evidence value in proving Christianity correct. If prayer resulted in amputees’ missing limbs growing back, it would be hard to dispute its efficacy. As things actually are, when people indulge in the folly of prayer, they almost always pray for things that might happen anyway. A husband prays that his wife gets a lucrative job. A mother prays that her son, trapped underground in a mine, gets out safely. Parents-to-be pray that their son is healthy. Grandchildren pray that their grandfather beats his cancer. By contrast, few widows pray that their dead husbands reanimate and come back home. Even though god is supposed to be omnipotent, people have the good sense not to pray for things that are impossible; deep in the subconscious, people very much want to maintain the comforting illusion of prayer’s usefulness. And that is why amputees do not pray for limbs to grow back. It is also why, if they did pray, and their limbs did regrow, there would be evidence value. Because prayer is ineffective and self-deluding, I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because Darwinian evolution by natural selection is true, but any clear-eyed reading of the Bible reveals the text (and not merely Genesis, but also statements by Jesus and Paul) is fundamentally incompatible with common descent. Darwinian evolution reveals that various orders of animal roamed the planet (and, indeed, went extinct) before other orders of animal even came to be. Biblical-literalist Christians argue that all orders of animal were created at about the same time; that is, humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Despite mighty efforts, such Christians have been completely unsuccessful in falsifying Darwin’s brilliant theory, although, theoretically, the geologic strata present a falsification opportunity. A biblical-literalist Christian could find horse fossils in the Silurian (among multitudinous trilobites). Alternatively, as requested by the late J. B. S. Haldane, a Christian could discover fossil rabbits in the Precambrian. Of course, though, as Jerry A. Coyne writes, “Needless to say, no Precambrian rabbits, or any other anachronistic fossils, have ever been found.” Because Darwinian evolution by natural selection is true, whereas the biblical creation narrative is false, I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because it is a solipsistic religion that places humans at our universe's center. There are very possibly 130 billion galaxies in our universe. A dwarf galaxy can be populated with as few as 10 million stars. Spiral galaxies—much more massive than dwarf galaxies—can contain hundreds of billions of stars. The Andromeda galaxy, by itself, has about a trillion stars. The Sun is one star. We are on one planet that orbits it.

Michael Shermer writes, “What science tells us is that we are but one among hundreds of millions of species that evolved over the course of three and a half billion years on one tiny planet among many orbiting an ordinary star, itself one of possibly billions of solar systems in an ordinary galaxy that contains hundreds of billions of stars, itself located in a cluster of galaxies not so different from millions of other galaxy clusters, themselves whirling away from one another in an expanding cosmic bubble universe that very possibly is only one among a near infinite number of bubble universes. Is it really possible that this entire cosmological multiverse was designed and exists for one tiny subgroup of a single species on one planet in a lone galaxy in that solitary bubble universe? It seems unlikely.”

Remember, too, human evolutionary history on our planet. Earth is approximately 4.54 billion years old. By contrast, Homo sapiens, in more modern forms, first made their appearance about 195,000 years ago. This, of course, means human-like creatures have been around less than one-hundredth of one percent of Earth’s natural history. And yet, for Christians, humans are central not only to Earth, but to our unimaginably vast universe. We, essentially, are what all of this is “for.” Talk about a prodigal god….

When one considers the size and age of our universe—and the inescapable fact of our ultimate cosmic insignificance—Christianity seems yet sillier for its stern moral proscriptions. Our universe has been in existence for between 13.5 and 14 billion years. Its enormity exceeds the mind’s ability to conceive properly. And, yet, the creator of this natural reality—the artist behind cosmic beauty and wonder—is perturbed…is rather miffed…about what humans on Earth are doing while naked?

Because Christianity ludicrously inflates humanity’s importance and centrality, both to Earth and to our universe, I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because the god of Christianity is too statistically improbable. Some Christians accept the truth of Darwinian evolution by natural selection (despite common descent’s incompatibility with the Bible), but believe god must be invoked to explain the appearance of that first life form, on which Darwinian evolution acted. That is, to these people, god is not required to explain biodiversity—Darwinian evolution does that—but, rather, is required to explain the origin of simple life. The problem with this is one of simplicity versus extravagance. In order to explain the appearance of monocellular life… we must appeal to an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator deity who has the ability to monitor the thoughts, deeds and desires of every human who has ever existed while, simultaneously, listening to billions of prayers and, if so moved, answering them (while also, of course, reigning over heaven)?

Appealing to a god is laughably extravagant as an explanation for monocellular life and, indeed, completely unhelpful when seeking an explanation for our universe. Richard Dawkins writes, “Making the universe is the one thing no intelligence, however superhuman, could do, because an intelligence is complex—statistically improbable—and therefore had to emerge, by gradual degrees, from simpler beginnings: from a lifeless universe—the miracle-free zone that is physics.”

Dawkins continues, “To midwife such emergence is the singular achievement of Darwinian evolution. It starts with primeval simplicity and fosters, by slow, explicable degrees, the emergence of complexity: seemingly limitless complexity—certainly up to our human level of complexity and very probably way beyond. There may be worlds on which superhuman life thrives, superhuman to a level that our imaginations cannot grasp. But superhuman does not mean supernatural. Darwinian evolution is the only process we know that is ultimately capable of generating anything as complicated as creative intelligences. Once it has done so, of course, those intelligences can create other complex things: works of art and music, advanced technology, computers, the Internet and who knows what in the future? Darwinian evolution may not be the only such generative process in the universe. There may be other ‘cranes’ (Daniel Dennett's term, which he opposes to ‘skyhooks’) that we have not yet discovered or imagined. But, however wonderful and however different from Darwinian evolution those putative cranes may be, they cannot be magic. They will share with Darwinian evolution the facility to raise up complexity, as an emergent property, out of simplicity, while never violating natural law.”

Because god is too statistically improbable, and serves as no kind of explanation for either monocellular life or our universe, I am not a Christian.

I am not a Christian because religion all too often tends to be an accident of geography. Frequently, I pose a question to my theist friends who still follow the religion into which their parents indoctrinated them: Do you feel fortunate to have been born into the correct religion? Researchers have concluded 19 major world religious groupings exist on this planet. Those groupings are subdivided into roughly 10,000 distinct religions (which is not to mention all the belief systems that have gone extinct over the millennia). Leaf through the list of religions, and ponder just how different your life would have been had a different superstition been inculcated into you during your youth.

I would suggest that if a devout Christian, who was born in Topeka, Kansas, had instead been born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he would have been a devout Muslim. If Osama bin Laden, who is a devout Muslim, had instead been born in Athens, Alabama, he would have been a devout Christian. Religion spreads, passively, by the coincidental geography of one’s place of birth and, actively, by parents’ talent for inculcating their defenseless, trusting offspring. Some people seemingly have a predisposition to religious zeal; the religion to which they wed themselves has nothing to do with evidence and everything to do with inculcative history. The Christian apologetics that is utterly convincing to a person born in Hendersonville, Tennessee, would be infidelic venom to that very person, had he instead been born in Tehran, Iran.

Because a fundamentalist Christian, in an alternate reality, would be just another mujahid, I am not a Christian.

71 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Its simple...lol mans logic is the exact opposite of gods divine logic so of coure we would thing it to be strange and WRONG! but no u see te bible may not mention the existance of germs or KANGAROOS!! but he point is who sed god HAD to relvele everything to us?? especialy at tht time period if god told man o by the way there r little things inside yu calld germs tht can make yu sick and kill yu and giant lizards that walked around but i killed then???? they wouldnt understand so go slowly reveled it to us over time and on top of that was it really important i mean do yu think THE BOOK OF ALL CREATION shud mention whether or not Australia exsisted???!?!?!?! its not important! and on top of all this here is 2 true statements in this bible it mentions that the world is round not FLAT wich up until the time of columbus most were sure it was it also gives a name to the things that god used to make up our planet the bible calls them the ELEMENTS..the name ELEMENTS wasnt giving to them until they were discover or rediscoverd as this situation prefers CEBTURYS LATER it also mentions how god suspended the world on THIN AIR (GRAVITY) wich no1 at tht time could even comprehend so no my frend i must disagree yu shud study the bible for what its worth not just to go right in and attack it open up yur mind first then it may make sence to yu....

3:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Astreja said...

Nick: "mans logic is the exact opposite of gods divine logic..."

Unsupported assertion and execrable punctuation.

"...f god told man o by the way there r little things inside yu calld germs tht can make yu sick and kill yu and giant lizards that walked around but i killed then???? they wouldnt understand..."

'Wouldn't understand'? Then what's the point of this supposed god saying anything to anyone, ever?

"...it also mentions how god suspended the world on THIN AIR (GRAVITY)..."

(marks a big red "F" on Nick's Introduction to Science paper) Aaaugh! The stupid, it burns...

11:19 PM EDT  
Blogger John said...

Where did Nick go to school?

3:30 PM EDT  
Blogger godofpie said...

Nick went to school?

7:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Gordon Freeman said...

I think you presented good arguments.

4:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Joseph said...

What about the prophecies of Daniel, whose ancient authorship was verified by the Dead Sea Scrolls? How could anyone have known which kingdoms would rule the known world in the precise order that it was prophesied? Also, what of the 490 day prophecy which so perfectly points to Jesus' ministry and crucifixion?

What about the health loaws in Leviticus which preceded our current scientific and medical advances in a culture that had no formal knowledge of microbiological activity?

2:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Astreja said...

Joseph, despite their lack of formal knowledge regarding the microscopic world, I assure you that our ancestors were quite capable of observing cause and effect in their daily lives. Eat undercooked pork, contract trichinosis. Eat shrimp or clams at the wrong time of year, contract shellfish poisoning. Muck out the stables and sit down to dinner without washing your hands... Well, you get the idea.

As for the Daniel "prophesy", there is evidence that suggests that it was written after -- Not before! -- the events that it supposedly "predicted".

If Jesus actually existed, and was not merely a hyper-fictionalized version of a real person such as Hillel the Elder, who's to say that he didn't deliberately set out to perform various tasks to match the 'messiah' job description?

And personally, I don't consider prophesies -- Even genuine ones -- as evidence for the existence of omnipotent supernatural beings. An extraterrestrial with a time machine would fill the bill just as well.

11:41 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Joseph,

For all the reasons Astreja helpfully articulated, we can be secure in the knowledge that the Bible--both the Old and New Testaments--betrays its solely human authorship through its yawn-inducing mundanity.

It need not have been the germ theory of disease, but, using that as an example, why, in his act of divine authorship, did god not reveal some brand new information about the natural order?

Instead of infantile stories about demons being cast out, why does the Bible not discuss viruses and bacteria?

Why does it not discuss the number of continents and their location?

From reading the Bible, nobody would learn that the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old; neither would anybody learn our universe is between 13.5 and 14 billion years old. Why would the Bible omit this?

Where is the Bible's thoroughgoing discussion of Mendelian genetics?

Where is the Bible's concise summary of common descent, which has now been proved as a fact? (Yes, evolution is a fact. That, of course, means Genesis is factually wrong. And Jesus and Paul were factually wrong in any statements alluding to special creation of humans or any other species.)

The Bible could have boasted brand new information... information to which no ancient commoner would have had access. It contains nothing of the sort. Nothing about the natural order. Nothing at all.

12:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Lvka said...

God's miracles weren't overwhelmingly present. Nor were there more of them in the distant past than there are today. They tend to follow holy men, or to occur in holy places. The Bible contains the lives of such holy men, whether pious God-fearing patriarchs, or faithful and religious kings, or God-inspired prophets. And there's no shortage of either such men, or of such miracles, today. Our God is living God. Of course, just like there were so many which disregarded God's works in the past, there are still such people today: whether unrepentant sinners, or unbelievers. The Sodomites didn't repent after being first struck by blindness; the Israelites build the golden calf exactly during the time that God's glory was present on the mountain; they began to murmur against God and Moses not long after they were wondrously delivered from the pharaoh's army, and so on.

11:37 AM EDT  
OpenID zilba said...

Lvka says: "...And there's no shortage of either such men, or of such miracles, today...."

Yeah? Throw me a bone. Why don't you name a few?

10:02 PM EST  
Blogger Lvka said...

Well, Zilba,

let's just say that if all that would remain from all history-books of the 20th century would be those religious books detailing the lives of certain Eastern-European monks or priests, one might get the extremely distorted view or idea that miracles happened then & there on a daily basis, and that you could find one at every corner: which of course is simply not true.

2:19 PM EST  
Blogger bryane said...

Christopher Hitchens

How can Genesis be proven the mundane work of ignorant humans in merely a paragraph?

“Because man is given 'dominion' over all beasts, fowl and fish...
... Most important, in Genesis man is not awarded dominion over germs and bacteria because the existence of these necessary yet dangerous fellow creatures was not known or understood. And if it had been known or understood, it would at once have become apparent that these forms of life had 'dominion' over us, and would continue to enjoy it uncontested until the priests had been elbowed aside and medical research at last given an opportunity.”

[In Genesis man is not awarded dominion over germs and bacteria because... ...these forms of life had 'dominion' over us...”]

If these forms of life have dominion over us, there is no reason for them to be mentioned when discussing lifeforms man has dominion over.

6:21 AM EST  
Blogger Lvka said...

Why would a god who, in barbarous and ignorant times, was so clear, present and active suddenly, upon the emergence of a scientific understanding of the natural order, become a silent, inert sluggard whose presence could only be discerned in the most obscure, skepticism-baiting ways? Where are the miracles and prodigies for our scientific age?


He & they didn't go anywhere. Read the Lives of the Saints, including contemporary ones.

5:58 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Lvka,

Provide a good, well-evidenced example--from the last decade--of a miracle or prodigy on the scale of Matthew's attestation to the graves of the saints emptying and their resuscitated corpses entering into Jerusalem.

2:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

JN,

Provide a good, well-evidenced example of a miracle or prodigy on the scale of evolution's wild guess that life evolved on the backs of crystals, that birds evolved from reptiles (or was it the other way 'round?), that nonorganic matter spontaneously became life, or that nothing magically becomes something. Forget the last decade; I'll give you the last 100 years. Knock yourself out.

Here's one piece of advice - don't expect anyone who has a modicum of education on this topic to take seriously an article that heavily cites Harris and Hitchens.

Peace,
Rhology

2:38 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Rhology,

Good to hear from you. I hope you are having a nice summer.

I think, in your comments, you mistakenly conflate a theory of evolution with a theory of abiogenesis. Your statements pertaining to "life evolved on the backs of crystals," "nonorganic matter spontaneously became life" and "nothing magically becomes something" all seem to betray this misguided conflation. Darwin's theory of evolution thoroughly explains biodiversity. Darwinian evolutionary theory does not require a well-formed theory of abiogenesis. We do not know how simple life originated; for Darwinian evolutionary theory, though, all we need is simple life's presence - not a thoroughgoing explanation from whence it came.

What seems clear, though, is that, in order to explain the appearance of monocellular life, we probably do not have to appeal to an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator deity who has the ability to monitor the thoughts, deeds and desires of every human who has ever existed while, simultaneously, listening to billions of prayers and, if so moved, answering them (while also, of course, reigning over heaven).

With respect to Harris and Hitchens, I think, in large measure, I have cited them in support of my “Argument From Mundanity” line of reasoning. That is, if the bible is purported to be inspired by a divine omniscient deity, one is reasonable in expecting the bible to contain brand new information about the natural order, which, prior to the divine inspiration, had not been available to people of biblical times. The bible's utter mundanity, and lack of revelatory information about the natural order (say, Australia's mere existence), seem to argue against any divine inspiration whatsoever.

9:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

hi JN,

And happy summer to you as well!

First I note that you didn't answer my questions.

I am aware that TOE and origin-of-life questions are not identical. They're merely close, and that's partly the fault of evolutionists who like to bluff and hem and haw, using their authority as biologists and riffing off all that alleged evidence for evolution, about their hypotheses wrt origin of life. Y'all need to be more consistent about clearly expressing the limits of your knowledge, but of course that's never been scientismists' strong suit. And it shows clearly in this post too - you have numerous times made assertions that logical argumentation can't bear out.

For example:
we probably do not have to appeal to an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator deity

You have no idea whether you probably have to appeal to it or not. You just make the assertion and move on with your life. I'm here calling you to back up.


I have cited them in support of my “Argument From Mundanity”

Yes, and it's a stupid argument. Sorry.
Here's why:

The bible's utter mundanity, and lack of revelatory information about the natural order (say, Australia's mere existence), seem to argue against any divine inspiration whatsoever.

Now provide an objective basis by which you can identify mundanity and by which you know that mundanity precludes or makes improbable divine inspiration. Be specific.

My questions here are meant to show you and anyone reading that you talk a big game but you have nothing behind it. You are a faithful acolyte of naturalistic nihilism, but not a follower of evidence.

Peace,
Rhology

9:54 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

**PART ONE**

I am aware that TOE and origin-of-life questions are not identical. They're merely close, and that's partly the fault of evolutionists who like to bluff and hem and haw, using their authority as biologists and riffing off all that alleged evidence for evolution, about their hypotheses wrt origin of life. Y'all need to be more consistent about clearly expressing the limits of your knowledge, but of course that's never been scientismists' strong suit.

As I noted earlier, for Darwinian evolution theory to operate, all we needed was the appearance of ultimately simple life on which Darwinian principles (such as natural selection) could act. By whatever means that ultimately simple life came into existence, life did, indeed, appear on this planet. With Earthly life an actuality, Darwinian evolution thoroughly explains biodiversity. I do not know how ultimately simple life appeared, and its origins, with respect to Darwinian theory, are irrelevant.


[Y]ou have numerous times made assertions that logical argumentation can't bear out.

For example:
we probably do not have to appeal to an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator deity

You have no idea whether you probably have to appeal to it or not. You just make the assertion and move on with your life. I'm here calling you to back up.


On this point, I will quote scientifically savvy philosopher Daniel Dennett:

“Darwin made a great inversion of reasoning when he realized that you can have a bottom-up theory of creativity: that all the wonderful design that we see in the biosphere could be the products, direct and indirect, of a mindless, purposeless process. This simply inverts an idea that I think is as old as our species. It's what you might call a top-down theory of creativity: that it takes a big fancy thing to make a less fancy thing.”

In my comment yesterday, I was appealing to my Darwinian consciousness raising. The appearance of monocellular life on Earth is a considerable puzzle, which I would love to see solved. The solution, however, is not to posit an infinitely more complex entity and claim it as the explanation for the ultimately simple one. One does not solve puzzles by confecting infinitely more complex ones and calling them solutions.

12:09 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

[I]t's a stupid argument. Sorry.
Here's why:

“The bible's utter mundanity, and lack of revelatory information about the natural order (say, Australia's mere existence), seem to argue against any divine inspiration whatsoever.”

Now provide an objective basis by which you can identify mundanity and by which you know that mundanity precludes or makes improbable divine inspiration. Be specific.


First, let me reiterate my First Principle, upon which the entirety of my reasoning is predicated: “Evidence is the best, most reliable way for humans to approximate truth as we interrogate the world of experience.”

By appealing to that First Principle, I have come to recognize the truth of an oft-quoted maxim: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” I stand fully behind that maxim when “extraordinary claims” are defined as meeting one of two criteria: They either are contrary to (although not necessarily opposed by) an existing body of evidence or, while not contrary to the existing evidence, are of vanishingly small statistical likelihood.

Omniscience is contrary to an existing body of evidence, inasmuch as an omniscient entity has never been identified as operating within our world. A book whose content reveals an omniscient deity’s plenary verbal inspiration is also contrary to an existing body of evidence, inasmuch as the existence of such a book has never been confirmed, despite there being millions of books. To say, “The bible’s words reveal an omniscient deity’s plenary verbal inspiration” is to make an extraordinary claim, for which extraordinary evidence can be sought reasonably.

Mundanity, in the context of The Argument From Mundanity, refers to any knowledge of the natural order that, prior to the bible’s compilation, was already accessible to people in the material regions at the material times. I look for brand new information about the natural order - the antithesis of mundanity, as defined - to substantiate the extraordinary claim that the bible’s words reveal an omniscient deity’s plenary verbal inspiration. It is as simple as this: If a book aspires to be recognized as a product of divine, omniscient inspiration, that book should be able to reveal brand new information about the natural order - information that previously was inaccessible to people. Such information would qualify as the extraordinary evidence that extraordinary claims require to be taken seriously.

12:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

all we needed was the appearance of ultimately simple life on which Darwinian principles (such as natural selection) could act

Evidence that such principles do act?
Evidence that they act when you're not looking?
Evidence that they actED before you were looking?
Evidence that they can turn pond scum into giraffes?



I will quote scientifically savvy philosopher Daniel Dennett:

Allegedly-savvy. And your quote is merely a naked assertion.



The solution, however, is not to posit an infinitely more complex entity and claim it as the explanation for the ultimately simple one

1) God is not "infinitely more complex". He's actually fairly simple.
2) Your "solution" posits quadrillions of coincidences. That's waaaaaayyyyyy more complex.
3) God provides all the explanatory power we'd need. Up to you to show why He's not sufficiently explanatory.



“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

1) And your evidence for that?
2) I happen to find the atheistic story that everything magically exploded out of nothing a bit extraordinary. Care to provide some evidence?
3) I also find the "solution" of evolution extraordinary, and assuming that fossils we have represent at least some organisms that had children. What is your evidence that these fossilised organisms had children?


Omniscience is contrary to an existing body of evidenc

Sorry, this is a silly statement. I have no idea what you could even be talking about.


inasmuch as an omniscient entity has never been identified as operating within our world.

Oh, you just wanted to beg the very question at hand! I see.
Problem is, way more people have identified the deity than haven't, in the course of human history.


I look for brand new information about the natural order - the antithesis of mundanity, as defined

Oh, I see, like "God exists, has a law, you've broken it, you deserve death, but Jesus was God incarnate and died in your place and rose again from the dead to provide forgiveness and eternal life"?
Or something else, that you've arbitrarily decided?

Seems like your post was very aptly titled. This is why YOU are not a Christian, but so far it has zero bearing on anyone outside of yourself.

Peace,
Rhology

1:38 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Evidence that such principles do act?
Evidence that they act when you're not looking?
Evidence that they actED before you were looking?
Evidence that they can turn pond scum into giraffes?


As you know, Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection has a veritable constellation of evidence supporting it, ranging from fossils to embryology to biogeography to genetics. In other articles, I have explicated some of these details, into which I feel no need to delve right now. Your example of pond scum turning into giraffes, of course, is meant to provoke personal incredulity in the reader. All one needs to remember is that Earth is 4.54 billion years old, life has been evolving on Earth for more than 3.5 billion years and the first mammals appeared around 200 million years ago. That is a lot of time for evolution to act.


1) God is not "infinitely more complex". He's actually fairly simple.
2) Your "solution" posits quadrillions of coincidences. That's waaaaaayyyyyy more complex.


Whatever your god might be, “simple” is not the word for it. “Simple” is not an adjective to describe an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator deity who has the ability to monitor the thoughts, deeds and desires of every human who has ever existed while, simultaneously, listening to billions of prayers and, if so moved, answering them (while also, of course, reigning over heaven). The human brain is astonishingly complex - probably the most complex thing that has ever evolved - and it, by comparison with your god, is as robust as a termite.

To what solution do you refer when you mention quadrillions of coincidences? Are you talking about the appearance of monocellular life? If so, I have posited no solution to the question of its origins. I have no idea how monocellular life developed.


1) And your evidence for that?

My evidence for the maxim that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence is that extraordinary claims, while fairly frequently made, are rarely confirmed as true, forcing us to use some kind of tool to separate those claims worthy of attention from those unworthy of consideration. Looking at extraordinary claims that have historically been advanced, those most worthy of attention (and most likely to be true) are those with the most supporting evidence (either evidence of an extraordinarily convincing nature or in extraordinarily large quantity).

7:35 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

2) I happen to find the atheistic story that everything magically exploded out of nothing a bit extraordinary. Care to provide some evidence?

I do not know what you mean when you say “everything magically exploded out of nothing.” Are you talking about the Big Bang here, and the birth of our universe? If so, I do not know what preceded the Big Bang. I am somewhat inclined toward hypotheses having to do with a multiverse, of which our universe is a small part, but, as far as I am concerned, what preceded the Big Bang remains a puzzle.


Sorry, this is a silly statement. I have no idea what you could even be talking about.

Omniscience is contrary to an existing body of evidence because, in the world within which we live, there is no such thing as an unlimited attribute. We are aware of beings that are knowledgeable. We are aware of beings that are powerful. We are even aware of beings that are hairy. However, we have had no experience with a being that is “infinitely knowledgeable” or “infinitely powerful.” And, I would argue, talking about “infinite knowledgeability” or “infinite powerfulness” makes no more sense than discussing “infinite hairiness.” Certainly, none of this makes any sense to our material-world-evolved human brains.


Oh, I see, like "God exists, has a law, you've broken it, you deserve death, but Jesus was God incarnate and died in your place and rose again from the dead to provide forgiveness and eternal life"?
Or something else, that you've arbitrarily decided?


There is nothing arbitrary about my standard; it has to do with verifiability, particularly verifying information contained within the bible several centuries after its original compilation.

It would be astounding if the bible had said, “The typical number of chromosomes in a human cell is 46 - two pairs of 23 - holding an estimated 25,000 genes. One set of 23 chromosomes is inherited from the biological mother (from the egg), and the other set is inherited from the biological father (from the sperm).”

Imagine if the bible had said, “Earth, the planet on which humans live, and merely one among many planets, revolves around the Sun, the center of our solar system, which itself is merely one among many solar systems in the cosmos.”

If the bible contained text like this, my jaw would drop and then we would have something to discuss.

7:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

It would be astounding if the bible had said, “The typical number of chromosomes in a human cell is 46 - two pairs of 23 - holding an estimated 25,000 genes. One set of 23 chromosomes is inherited from the biological mother (from the egg), and the other set is inherited from the biological father (from the sperm).”

That's all a matter of perspective. I kinda prefer the Bible like it is.
Who are you, again, to correct God? Why should it bother anyone that you don't like it, that you claim you'd believe if it were different (a claim which I don't believe, BTW)?
Here's an analogy - "modern science" claimed a long time that the Hittites, who are mentioned in the Bible, never existed, that they were basically the equivalent of the Book of Mormon's Lamanites and Nephites. That the biblical author just made 'em up. Then after some decades, extensive evidence of their existence was discovered. So what did most skeptics do? They just started whining about sthg else they didn't like in the Bible. It never ends.
Even if the Bible said what you said, you'd just find sthg else so you wouldn't have to repent and submit to Jesus. I know this pattern b/c it was my own for years, before Jesus graciously saved me.



There is nothing arbitrary about my standard; it has to do with verifiability, particularly verifying information contained within the bible several centuries after its original compilation.

But you can't provide evidence for your standard, so yes it is entirely arbitrary. But we've been over all this before.

Peace,
Rhology

10:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Hi JN,

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection has a veritable constellation of evidence supporting it

All of which works just as well in the biblical framework. I've yet to see you bring anythg fwd that would militate against it.
And a great deal of which is far, far better in a Creator/Designer framework than an atheistic framework.


All one needs to remember is that Earth is 4.54 billion years old

I'd ask you to prove it, but it's become clear you can't. All you can do is beg questions over and over.



“Simple” is not an adjective to describe an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator deity who has the ability to monitor the thoughts, deeds and desires of every huma

Watch this - yes it is. He needs only a few attributes assigned to Him to be able to do all that.
Naked assertions work just as well the opposite direction.


To what solution do you refer when you mention quadrillions of coincidences?

To a lesser extent, I refer to the evolution of life as we know it.
To a greater extent, I refer to the Anthropic Principle.



I do not know what you mean when you say “everything magically exploded out of nothing.” Are you talking about the Big Bang here, and the birth of our universe? If so, I do not know what preceded the Big Bang.

Strictly speaking, nothing preceded it since it was the beginning of time.
Notice, however, your faith - you don't know, and you don't know of any way you could possibly access it or find out about it, but somehow you know that the evidence is insufficient to lead you to believe in a Creator God. How does that work, if not blind faith?


I am somewhat inclined toward hypotheses having to do with a multiverse

For which there is no evidence, and for which I doubt anyone could even conceive of a way to find evidence.


Omniscience is contrary to an existing body of evidence because, in the world within which we live, there is no such thing as an unlimited attribute.

How did you observe that "there is no such thing as an unlimited attribute"?


Certainly, none of this makes any sense to our material-world-evolved human brains.

And where did I claim that it had to make sense to our limited brains? That's kind of the point!

10:05 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

All of which works just as well in the biblical framework. I've yet to see you bring anythg fwd that would militate against it.
And a great deal of which is far, far better in a Creator/Designer framework than an atheistic framework.


The evidence we find in the world does not equally support Darwinian evolution by natural selection and biblical creationism: imperfections, outstanding questions and still-to-be-solved puzzles aside, the lines of evidence all converge on Darwinian theory. That said, a rational discussion could be had pitting Darwinian theory against some kind of progressive, gradual, Old Earth creationism wherein god created Australopithecus afarensis, then created Homo ergaster, then created Homo neanderthalensis.

What must be renounced, though, is Youth Earth creationism, which is not merely unsupported but actively disproven and demonstrably false. In addition to radioactive dating (with radioisotopes crosschecked against each other), we have dendrochronological records stretching back about 11,500 years. Gondwana, an ancient supercontinent encompassing our present South America, Africa, Arabia, Madagascar, India, Australia and Antarctica, broke up in stages. South America and Africa are now separated by a few thousand miles, with the speed of separation being a couple of inches per year. And just look up into the night sky. Proxima Centauri, the star nearest to our Sun, is 4.3 light years away, meaning that light from it takes 4.3 years to reach us. Our galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years across, meaning that it can take tens of thousands of years for light from some stars in our galaxy to reach us. For stars that we can see in nearby galaxies, it can take millions of years. The farthest objects we can see are quasars, which are so distant that the light we see from them today left billions of years ago. To the extent that the bible demands a young Earth (and universe), the bible is proven incorrect.


Watch this - yes it is. He needs only a few attributes assigned to Him to be able to do all that.
Naked assertions work just as well the opposite direction.


No god who could do all those things could possibly be simple. Inasmuch as Christians offer no explanation for god’s existence, it is all but ruled out simply because of the statistical improbability of unexplained organized complexity. We can explain the human brain’s evolution; Christians cannot explain the organized complexity of god.


To a lesser extent, I refer to the evolution of life as we know it.
To a greater extent, I refer to the Anthropic Principle.


Words such as “coincidences,” or the oft-repeated “chance,” have no place in a proper understanding of Darwinian theory. Darwinian natural selection is the non-random survival of randomly varying coded instructions for building bodies. You also must recognize, of course, that none of the species that exists today, or that existed in the past, was “bound” to evolve, and many potential evolutionary paths were never explored. When people make probabilistic arguments vis-à-vis evolution, there always seems to be an underlying assumption that all roads must lead to our current biodiversity. (Think about shuffling a standard deck of playing cards. The odds of shuffling those cards into any particular order are vanishingly small. However, merely through the act of shuffling, the cards are bound to end up in some order, whatever that particular order's a priori likelihood might have been.)

On the cosmic scale, god solves nothing with respect to ultimate origins. Surely, any god who is sufficiently complex to fine-tune universal fundamental physical constants must be very, very fine-tuned himself. That leads us back to unexplained organized complexity.

6:58 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

How did you observe that "there is no such thing as an unlimited attribute"?

This is the reason I mentioned “infinite hairiness” in the same breath as “infinite knowledgeability” and “infinite powerfulness.” Although I am not quite ready to commit to this, I lean toward concluding that unlimited attributes are absurd.


And where did I claim that it had to make sense to our limited brains? That's kind of the point!

It is “kind of the point” for god’s attributes and characteristics not to make sense? That is, it is “kind of the point” for god’s characteristics and attributes to be systematically incomprehensible? Is this not a bit like saying, “An unie is characteristically blooey”?


That's all a matter of perspective. I kinda prefer the Bible like it is.
Who are you, again, to correct God? Why should it bother anyone that you don't like it, that you claim you'd believe if it were different (a claim which I don't believe, BTW)?


I follow the evidence where it leads me, Rhology. Quotes such as those I provided would substantiate the extraordinary claim that the bible’s words reveal an omniscient deity’s plenary verbal inspiration. As written, though, the bible contains no brand new information about the natural order. Lacking revelatory information about the natural order, one has no cause to entertain seriously the extraordinary claim of plenary verbal inspiration by divine omniscience.


Then after some decades, extensive evidence of [the Hittites’] existence was discovered. So what did most skeptics do? They just started whining about sthg else they didn't like in the Bible. It never ends.

I am unfamiliar with the Hittites, but I do know the bible has made numerous “predictions,” and they are continually falsified: that is, not confirmed. What about the Mosaic myths dealing with the flight from Egypt and subsequent four-decade period of wandering in the desert, followed by the conquest of the Promised Land? Israel Finkelstein, of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and his colleague Neil Asher Silberman seem to have fatally exposed that episode to the light of objective investigation.

7:14 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Please excuse the "Youth Earth" typo in the first part.

Of course, I meant to say "Young Earth."

And I'm an editor! 8-I

1:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

However, merely through the act of shuffling, the cards are bound to end up in some order

And usually a chaotic, nonsensical "order" that tells you nothing.
Have you read Meyer's "Signature in the Cell"?



On the cosmic scale, god solves nothing with respect to ultimate origins.

That's just a silly thing to say. God creates everything - that's an explanation!
"Nothing magically turns into everything spontaneously" is...um... far less of an explanation.



It is “kind of the point” for god’s attributes and characteristics not to make sense?

To go beyond human reason.
Go ahead, give a rational explanation for Hilbert's Hotel.



I follow the evidence where it leads me, Rhology.

Except when it comes to asking about whether evidence exists. But we've been over all that before.
You rule out the supernatural a priori and so DON'T follow the evidence where it leads.



I am unfamiliar with the Hittites, but I do know the bible has made numerous “predictions,” and they are continually falsified: that is, not confirmed.

Um, do you think that history is complete now, or sthg? What makes you think that "hasn't happened yet" = "will never happen"? On what basis?



What about the Mosaic myths dealing with the flight from Egypt and subsequent four-decade period of wandering in the desert, followed by the conquest of the Promised Land? Israel Finkelstein, of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and his colleague Neil Asher Silberman seem to have fatally exposed that episode to the light of objective investigation.

How will an archaeologist prove a negative, in the shifting sands of a desert, 6000 yrs afterward? Explain that to me, please.



I'm an editor!

Oh, I didn't know that. So am I! Maybe that's one reason we get along so well, actually - we like to use correct grammar, sppeeeellinggg and punctuation. :-D

Peace,
Rhology

11:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Hi JN,

imperfections, outstanding questions and still-to-be-solved puzzles aside, the lines of evidence all converge on Darwinian theory.

Imperfections? Darwinism can't account for those! YEC certainly can - the Fall, and no one claims God made stuff perfect.
The Darwinist has to answer how he knows a telos against which to compare his alleged "imperfections". And he can't.
Anyway, I'd like to know specifically what YEC can't acct for that Darwinism can.


In addition to radioactive dating (with radioisotopes crosschecked against each other),

Ah, so you just appeal to LOTS of begged questions and assumptions rather than just one. Good move.


dendrochronological records stretching back about 11,500 years.

Which you know by the aforementioned question-begging dating methods.
Which the Christian has no reason to accept when contrasted to the Word of the God Who was there.



Gondwana, an ancient supercontinent encompassing our present South America, Africa, Arabia, Madagascar, India, Australia and Antarctica, broke up in stages.

Yes, I know the story. I want to know why you think it's true.



Our galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years across, meaning that it can take tens of thousands of years for light from some stars in our galaxy to reach us.

And you know God didn't create the stars AND the light beams...how? This is one of the funniest Darwinian arguments I've ever seen. It's also, strangely, quite popular.



No god who could do all those things could possibly be simple.

Oh, well b/c of your naked assertion, I will change my mind.



We can explain the human brain’s evolution; Christians cannot explain the organized complexity of god.

OK, so go for it. Explain the human brain's evolution.
Which came first - the neurons, the synapses, the rest of the nerves in the body, the spinal cord to the brain, or self-awareness and consciousness? How do you know that? Why is self-awareness better than brute instinct, evolutionarily? How do you know that?
Besides, your just-so story about the EVOLUTION of the brain is not the same category as explaining the ESSENCE of God. It's not as if you can explain the essence of Self either, of consciousness.


Words such as “coincidences,” or the oft-repeated “chance,” have no place in a proper understanding of Darwinian theory.

1) Then tell your fellow Darwinians to stop using them.
2) Um, sure they do. The odds were stacked against life's continuance, but somehow thru total luck, it happened anyway. Slight modifications for the better don't ensure survival; sometimes you're just at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong predator inches away.


instructions for building bodies.

Instructions? Um, where did those come from?

11:51 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Imperfections? Darwinism can't account for those! YEC certainly can - the Fall, and no one claims God made stuff perfect.
The Darwinist has to answer how he knows a telos against which to compare his alleged "imperfections". And he can't.
Anyway, I'd like to know specifically what YEC can't acct for that Darwinism can.


You seemingly misapprehended my point. I was not referring to physical imperfections manifest in evolved life but, rather, theoretical imperfections in Darwinian thought. Darwinian theory, itself, is evolving. For instance, Darwinians disagree on the degree to which natural selection should be emphasized as the principal engine. Look at any of the many feuds in which Stephen Jay Gould was engaged for additional insight.

Young Earth creationism cannot account for the fact that no Precambrian rabbits, or any other anachronistic fossils, have ever been found. YEC cannot explain, as per Richard Dawkins, why “…literally nothing that you could remotely call a mammal has ever been found in Devonian rock or in any older stratum. They are not just statistically rarer in Devonian than in later rocks. They literally never occur in rocks older than a certain date.” How many dinosaur fossils have we found in the same rocks as Australopithecine fossils? Zero. YEC cannot explain neatly ordered geologic strata.


Ah, so you just appeal to LOTS of begged questions and assumptions rather than just one. Good move.

You are considerably distant from the mark. What begged questions and assumptions? Carbon-14 decays to Nitrogen-14; its half-life is 5730 years. Uranium-238 decays to Lead-206; its half-life is 4.5 billion years. Uranium-235 decays to Lead-207; its half-life is 704 million years. When multiple radioisotopes occur together, which is typical, and the dates are cross-checked, the ages invariably agree. Cross-checking radioactive dating, across the orders of magnitude, when different radioisotopes exist in a single hunk of igneous rock, is checking your work.


Which you know by the aforementioned question-begging dating methods.
Which the Christian has no reason to accept when contrasted to the Word of the God Who was there.


I mentioned dendrochronology because that line of evidence exists independently from radioactive dating. The pattern of wide and narrow rings in any single region, caused by a particular trademark sequence of good and bad years, is sufficiently characteristic to be recognizable from tree to tree. Starting with recently felled trees and working backwards (identifying a “fingerprint” from the older rings of modern trees and seeking the same “fingerprint” from the younger rings of long-dead trees), dendrochronologists construct a ring-pattern reference collection. The 11,500-year dendrochronological record was achieved through a daisy-chaining process having to do with characteristic tree-ring sequences.


Yes, I know the story. I want to know why you think it's true.

There is strong biogeographical evidence to support the Gondwana account. The Gondwana theory has made testable (and confirmed) predictions, too. It predicted that marsupials, en route from South America to Australia, must have passed through Antarctica. Indeed, more than a dozen species of marsupials (recognized by their distinctive teeth and jaws) were unearthed on Seymour Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula. The fossils are precisely the correct age: between 35 and 40 million years old. And, this area is right on the ancient ice-free pathway between South America and Antarctica. (Hat tip, Jerry Coyne.)


And you know God didn't create the stars AND the light beams...how? This is one of the funniest Darwinian arguments I've ever seen. It's also, strangely, quite popular.

It is deployed frequently because the YEC explanation seems like - nay, is - a frantic harmonization scheme in which the creationist tries to “smooth over” inconvenient facts of which the ancient biblical compilers were ignorant.

8:07 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

OK, so go for it. Explain the human brain's evolution.

I would have to read the relevant peer-reviewed literature on those subjects to be able to answer knowledgeably (an activity of which you are equally capable). I will say this: Looking at the world's species, we find brains of varying complexity and capabilities; the upward slope to human-level capacities is hardly inconceivable. And, in the fossil record, we find just such a slope. Australopithecine species, although bipedal and dentally similar to humans, possessed a brain size not much larger than that of modern apes. As evolution proceeded, away from Australopithecine species and into the Homo genus, brain size became larger and, generally, cognitive capacities advanced. (Note a similar slope, at whose summit, by the way, we do not sit, vis-à-vis eyes.)


Instructions? Um, where did those come from?

That is all genes are: coded instructions for building bodies. (Indeed, the bodies themselves are ultimately digressions. The drive is for genetic information to propagate in subsequent generations. Bodies are digressions in service of furthering gene propagation.)


And usually a chaotic, nonsensical "order" that tells you nothing.
Have you read Meyer's "Signature in the Cell"?


This was a misapprehension. I was referring to how the Tree of Life was not destined or bound to branch out precisely as it did. If you rewound the evolutionary clock by 500 million years, and made a few environmental tweaks fully in line with natural possibilities, our current biodiversity could be dramatically - indeed, unrecognizably - different. Probabilistic assaults on Darwinian theory seldom account for evolutionary paths that, although possible, were not taken.


That's just a silly thing to say. God creates everything - that's an explanation!
"Nothing magically turns into everything spontaneously" is...um... far less of an explanation.


This obfuscates the problem, which, ultimately, is unexplained organized complexity. When you read Michael Behe, he argues, for instance, that the bacterial flagellar motor is so irreducibly complex that intelligent design is necessary to explain it. To Behe, it is an example of unexplained organized complexity. Any god who can fine-tune the universal fundamental physical constants must be very fine-tuned himself: in other words, an example of unexplained organized complexity.

According to the physics with which I am acquainted, our universe began in a state of chaos. When the universe began, its entropy was as high as it could be for an object of that size (Planck scale) because the universe was equivalent to a black hole from which no information could escape. I would rather be forced to explain initial chaos than be forced to explain initial perfect order, in the form of creative intelligence.


Except when it comes to asking about whether evidence exists. But we've been over all that before.
You rule out the supernatural a priori and so DON'T follow the evidence where it leads.


I do not rule out the supernatural a priori, as I am not wedded in my First Principle to metaphysical naturalism. Many conceivable wonders and prodigies would lead me to conclude (at least provisionally) that a supernatural world exists.


How will an archaeologist prove a negative, in the shifting sands of a desert, 6000 yrs afterward? Explain that to me, please.

If Moses and the Israelites were wandering around the desert for a four-decade stretch, it is reasonable to expect some archeological evidence to support that. Plus, if anything happened in Egypt resembling what the bible recorded, we could reasonably expect an Egyptian chronicle to record it. Anyway, Finkelstein has presented evidence that Iron Age Israel has its origins in Canaan, not Egypt (culture, cult objects, pottery, alphabet, etc.). The Exodus story, whatever its symbolic and literary value, has been comprehensively debunked.

8:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Lvka said...

I'm afraid I've got nothing that impressive as far as resurrections from the dead are concerned. One thing which comes to mind (and which I doubt will impress you) is the case of priest's small child, who drowned, and was resuscitated after being declared officially dead (brain-dead, sustained only by machines) in the instant the priest annointed him (or her?) with oil from the church/grave of a well-known Saint, though I don't remember which one. The doctors joked and said that they should hire him to work in the E.R. I guess it's attested since hospitals keep official records. The place was either Romania or the Ukraine. If it didn't happen in the last decade, it probably happened in the last two decades. (Anyway, it was relatively-recent).

5:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Lvka said...

Rho,


would crabs with lungs impress you?

Or the polar bear, who's no older than 20,000 years?

5:38 PM EDT  
Blogger at the edge said...

I'd be curious of your response to this post:
http://hezbos.blogspot.com/2010/07/two-modes-of-proper-conduct.html
Cheers!

2:54 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

My response would be that I reject its premises.

I do not believe that I, as a human, am a guest in god's abode, inasmuch as I recognize that god does not exist. Although I am not certain of that latter fact, all the evidence points in the direction of god's nonexistence.

Where are we, then, if not in god's abode?

We are a species of life, which just happened to evolve, on a small, insignificant planet, in an insignificant corner of the cosmos, which, ultimately, has no meaning or purpose or mission of which to speak.

6:43 PM EDT  
Blogger at the edge said...

To the Joly Nihilist I say;
Thanks for being so truthful.
I don't quite know what "evidence" you're looking for.
Why you accept "evolutionary theory" as evidence, however, puzzles me - for until today it remains nothing more than unsupported THEORY.
You've heard it said, I'm sure, that were you to throw onto a clean paper a bunch of paints of different colors, you'd hardly expect to create a masterpiece. Or, that if you were to take a walk in a desert and find a watch, you'd hardly believe that this watch "evolved".
Yet when presented with the brilliance of such a great masterpiece as this physical world, suddenly it's "evolution" that accounts for it, whereas a G-d to have created it - why that's an anthema to you.

I don't recall all the facts of what I want to say next, but I remember seeing a remarkable powerpoint presentation that showed just how perfect everything is in our world; That we're just the right distance from the star not to be burned and not to be frosted out, and other such amazing facts. If it makes you feel better to believe there's no G-d and it all "evolved", I won't begrudge you - but I do believe your reasoning is quite faulty.

Thanks also for reading my article and commenting on it. I wish you all well.

5:55 AM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

If you genuinely believe that I espouse atheism, and recognize the non-existence of god, as a function of trying to “make myself feel better,” then you have done an exceptionally poor job of reading the articles on this site or, possibly, simply have not actually done so. I traffic in evidence; I go where the evidence leads me.

It is going to take a lot more than a tired Paleyian argument for me to throw aside Darwinian evolution by natural selection, which is the very cornerstone of modern biology. You imply that, at root, Darwinian evolution is a random process, when, in actuality, it is precisely the opposite of that. The key to Darwinian evolution is the non-random propagation of randomly varying genetic materials.

To call Darwinian theory unsupported is laughable, but, yes, a theory it certainly is. Just like the heliocentric theory of the solar system. Just like the germ theory of disease. Just like the atomic theory of matter. “Theory” does not mean wild-ass guess.

Darwinian theory has thrived precisely because all the evidence that we have so far found has fit, more or less beautifully, into its intricate framework.

10:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

I go where the evidence leads me.

...B/c that's how you feel like you prefer to live. You have blind faith in "evidence" as you recognise it, as we've discussed many times. Strangely, though, you prefer evidence except when it comes to the question of whether evidence is a good way to discover truth.


To call Darwinian theory unsupported is laughable

Mmmm, not particularly. All your lab "substantiation" is actually evidence for Intelligent Design, your appeals to the fossil record are illusory, and your appeals to dating and such all beg the very question at hand. So, you know, no, not very laughable.

10:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Tommykey said...

You've heard it said, I'm sure, that were you to throw onto a clean paper a bunch of paints of different colors, you'd hardly expect to create a masterpiece.

That's funny, because some artists actually do stuff like that.

Why you accept "evolutionary theory" as evidence, however, puzzles me - for until today it remains nothing more than unsupported THEORY.

Unsupported? Are you kidding me? There's lots of evidence to support evolutionary theory. The problem is, in order to maintain your faith construct, you're left with basically two options, (1) the apparent evidence was put their by Satan to trick us, or (2) argue that our senses are too unreliable and that our interpretation of the evidence is faulty.

1:01 PM EDT  
Blogger Tommykey said...

I remember seeing a remarkable powerpoint presentation that showed just how perfect everything is in our world; That we're just the right distance from the star not to be burned and not to be frosted out, and other such amazing facts.

Dude, we live in a universe filled with billions of galaxies, each of which is filled with billions of stars and planets. The odds are that at least some of those planets will orbit stars at the "right" distance. We just happen to be on one of those planets.

But it's more than the distance. We owe the oxygen we breathe in our atmosphere today to cyanobacteria that cranked it out as a waste product eons ago, otherwise the air would be toxic for us. A lot of things had to happen over the course of billions of years in order for conditions to be "perfect" for human life on this planet.

Mars could conceivably have supported life (and in fact, the jury is still out on whether it did, more study is required) had it been a bit larger and kept its atmosphere.

Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, is well beyond what is dubbed 'the Goldilocks Zone' but the evidence available to us indicates that there is liquid water beneath its icy surface and is thus one of the best candidates for life existing on another body in our solar system.

1:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Hendy said...

Wow. I haven't even read the article -- just the comments. I'm nearly speechless. I had no idea people still doubted evolution.

Rhology and atTheEdge: you have accused JN of being selective with respect to the evidence. Just a question... how do you make the call as to which scientific developments you will trust? All? None? Some?

For example, I presume you are vaccinated or at least use medication when necessity warrants? Travel via airplane? Electricity?

Forgive me for using mundane examples, but there are underlying principles at work. Surely you have taken courses in biology and physics. I guess my question is when looking at a list of things like this:

- F = -1/2 kx^2 (force of a spring in tension or compression)
- PV = nRT (ideal gas law)
- V = IR (ohm's law)
- Half lives of various radioactive isotopes

What makes you accept the first three but reject the last? All have relevant applications to daily life (shocks on a car, how much to pressurize a soda container, anything using electronics and your entire powered dwelling, the precise definition of a second per the half-life of Cesium in atomic clocks...). Surely you can add your own relevant examples.

So... given that you most likely do not distrust countless scientific discoveries and even find them valuable for their predictive nature and the increase in quality-of-life (safety, increases in efficiency, health, etc.)... why toss out something like carbon dating?

If I were to take a stab at the answer and say that things fall into two categories:

1) Useful, seem established and trusted by the world and promoted by people who know better and do not contradict anything in scripture

2) Useful, seem established and trusted by the world and promoted by people who know better and do contradict something in scripture

If this is accurate, will you really toss everything in category #2 simply because you have an ancient source which states that it is god's word?

5:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Hendy,

Short answer: The deductive statements from an infallible being are to be preferred over the inductive statements (which all commit a formal logical fallacy) of ever-changing science.


will you really toss everything in category #2 simply because you have an ancient source which states that it is god's word?


No.
It's b/c it IS in fact God's Word.

10:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Hendy said...

@Rhology:

Thanks for the response. Two questions, one comment.

1) What is your deductive argument establishing the infallibility of god's word (assuming, obviously, that he does actually exist)?

2) Presuming that the answer to #1 is some form of deduction by definition ( a. if god exists, his word is infallible, b. god exists, c. god's word is infallible), would you list (by title/name, not definition) your top arguments for premise b?

Comment: For all the heckling you provide in abundance toward JN and Luis for not providing any evidence (for, say, not proving that light rays haven't "stretched" from stars to the earth from the very beginning), you seem to find no need to defend, essentially, anything you assert. The irony is that you continue to hack at the legs of their arguments by calling them "assertions" while leaving us morsels like these:

"No. It's b/c it IS in fact God's Word."

What makes this more than mere assertion?

9:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

Hello Hendy,

1) What is your deductive argument establishing the infallibility of god's word (assuming, obviously, that he does actually exist)?

If you look back, that's not my claim. I presuppose the existence of the God of the Bible, b/c we all have to start somewhere.
What I said was: The deductive statements from an infallible being are to be preferred over the inductive statements (which all commit a formal logical fallacy) of ever-changing science.



would you list (by title/name, not definition) your top arguments for premise b?

Sure. Here are some of my favorites.
-The impossibility of the contrary. That is, give me some reason to think that atheism does not lead to epistemological absurdity (specifically, into solipsism).
-On how atheism is a big pile of "meh"
-Transcendental Argument
-Proof That God Exists . org
-Peter Pike's argument from logic
-Cosmological Argument


(for, say, not proving that light rays haven't "stretched" from stars to the earth from the very beginning

It's all about the claim, Hendy. They claim that they're the independent thinkers, that they only go where the evidence leads. But it's obvious that one little question, a request for evidence, made them show their true colors. They're more interested in their atheistic creeds than in really following the evidence.
Did you notice that they didn't, in fact, prove it, but instead simply mocked the question (and the questioner)? How freethinking is that?



you seem to find no need to defend, essentially, anything you assert.

1) It's ironic that you don't criticise them for the same. Why is that?
2) Hyperbolic - I've provided numerous supporting arguments.



What makes this more than mere assertion?

B/c of the impossibility of the contrary.
Perhaps you'd be interested in providing an argument to the contrary. Start with letting me know how you know you know anything. Thanks!

Peace,
Rhology

8:21 AM EDT  
Blogger Hendy said...

@Rhology:

Bummer. Had a response and blogger apparently ate it. Here we go again...

>>"1) It's ironic that you don't criticise them for the same. Why is that?"

Are you serious? I'm not about to hunt through 44 comments on this post or the other posts here to cull together all the instances where people have provided their evidence.

>>"2) Hyperbolic - I've provided numerous supporting arguments."

I guess I and others must have missed them. I would say that you've done far more hole-poking-attempts than any efforts at serious refutation.

Start with your evidence that the light "stretched" forth from all stars to earth from the beginning rather than traveling once those stars formed and began to emanate light. That's one I'm quite interested in.

I understand your challenge of providing a source of non-circular evidentialism or induction and I've yet to really dig into that area. I would add that simply positing a hypothetical being to end the infinite regress isn't any better, though. We could both latch on to some form of coherence theory, reformed epistemology or a breed of foundationalism, but that just stops the train cold -- we're right back to discussing evidence for both of our "ground floors" are comprised of "basic beliefs" and that's that.

I'm far more intrigued about the idea of doing away with the idea that we should do away with "truth" altogether (read the actual link before thinking I don't care about "what is"). Were I to adopt that, I don't see that I'm obligated to stop any regress. I don't assert anything as certain -- only provisional on the grounds that logic and my senses/cognition line up with the evidential data feed.

In other words, use induction because induction works, not because it guarantees some "supreme" form of capital T Truth. Hope that makes sense. To put it another way, when gravity stops working... I'll give up "belief" in it.

To put it even another way, I'll let xkcd say it for me.

12:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Tommykey said...

Hendy, your comment did not get "eaten". Jolly has comment moderation enabled, so your comment does not appear until he approves it.

7:15 PM EDT  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Quite right.

I have been having problems with spam comments; thus, I enabled comment moderation.

Typically, comments are moderated within 24 hours of original posting.

I do not censor comments with which I disagree or in which my views are attacked.

3:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Rhology said...

hi Hendy,

And I'll second what the others have said. Obviously the JN and I are not in very much agreement, but he has never censored any of my comments, nor I his. He's very much into open communication, which is commendable and more than can be said for numerous other atheist bloggers.
I'll also second the motion that the new Blogger spam setting is a lot of trouble.


Are you serious? I'm not about to hunt through 44 comments

OK, but please take that into acct in the future when you criticise people. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, but if you've never seen the gander, well...


all the instances where people have provided their evidence.

I think it should be obvious that my point is that they haven't provided any.



Start with your evidence that the light "stretched" forth from all stars to earth from the beginning rather than traveling once those stars formed and began to emanate light.

How could someone possibly bring fwd evidence of this? It's a historical question, and no historian was around to record it. My point is that the JN and other mock the creationist position for not being able to account for this light and the length of time it'd take to get to Earth. I point out that I don't see why it's unreasonable to think God created the light beams as well as the stars. What possible evidence could prove their criticism wrong OR right?
That's right - there is no way. Therefore, they should give up on the criticism and find some other argument.



a source of non-circular evidentialism or induction and I've yet to really dig into that area

I strongly encourage you to do so.
I encourage you to start here and then see if you can answer of these questions. If you can't, I commend Jesus to you.


we're right back to discussing evidence for both of our "ground floors"

Not EVIDENCE. Logical argumentation. There's a difference.
Which position has to resort to self-inconsistent argumentation to formulate its position?
For example, if the materialist says "all that exists is matter" and then appeals to immaterial laws of logic which he expects to be applicable beyond just himself (and applicable to prove others wrong when they disagree, thus showing he doesn't think it's just a matter of consent on how humans think), he's just shown that materialism is full of horsemanure.



Were I to adopt that, I don't see that I'm obligated to stop any regress.

And of course, if we doubt that "truth" can be found, then it's equally fair to say that you ARE obligated to stop any regress. Right?


use induction because induction works, not because it guarantees some "supreme" form of capital T Truth.

Is it true that induction works?

Peace,
Rhology

10:17 AM EDT  
Blogger Hendy said...

@Tommykey & JN:

I got that now. I saw a double post and thus deleted one of them. I think what threw me off was not seeing the "your comment will be available after blog owner approval" message that I usually do. When I still didn't see the post a bit later (I thought it was quite a few hours), I figured it was eaten :)

Thanks for clarifying. I'll wait at least a day before reposting next time.

11:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Lvka said...

I just found the other days, completely coincidentally, over the web, the wonder I was talking about in one of my earlier posts on this comment-thread:

youtube.com/watch?v=9icGo9yl94w

Use this site to translate the file-description from below the video from Romanian into English. You might also want to do the same with these two as well:

youtube.com/watch?v=ztq8-Foit-c
youtube.com/watch?v=J06plu_aauw


So, you see, if our history-books would be based (focused) on these sorts of things, there would be no difference between the Bible [OT & NT], the Lives of the Christian Saints, and current history... so it's all just a matter of optics, and the discrepancy you noticed is due to a simple change in focus (comparing things diagonal-wise, as it were). -- That's what I was trying to tell you.

4:39 PM EST  
Blogger in the vanguard said...

Despite the above, I still stand by this thesis:
http://hezbos.blogspot.com/2010/07/two-modes-of-proper-conduct.html

5:11 PM EST  
Blogger Tommykey said...

I point out that I don't see why it's unreasonable to think God created the light beams as well as the stars. What possible evidence could prove their criticism wrong OR right?

Events like Supernova 1987A? It occurred 168,000 light years from Earth but was not observed until 1987, hence the name.

With your approximate 6,000 year time frame, the progenitor star Sanduleak 69 should have been created in a state of supernova, with the light beams manifesting a state of supernova reaching the Earth at the moment of creation. However, since that did not happen, you will need to identify for us at exactly what point in the last 6,000 or so years the star went supernova and then the light of the supernova traveled at a greater than light speed in order for us to observe it in the year 1987.

But to take the matter further, with the more powerful telescopes at our disposal, such as Hubble, we are able to see the birth of stars in places such as the Carina Nebula. The story you're advocating is one of a creator poofing things into existence, whereas what we observe all around us are processes and objects at different stages in those processes, such as stars being formed, mature stars, and stars that have died. If God created the stars some 6,000 years ago to provide us with light in the night sky, then why do new stars continue to form?

12:57 PM EST  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Tommy,

For the record, I think that last argument you put forth is well-nigh impossible to refute.

Nice work!

1:50 PM EST  
Blogger Rhology said...

Sad to hear you think so highly of just another argumentum ad incredulum.

1:58 PM EST  
Blogger Tommykey said...

It's not an argument ad incredulum.

When it is pointed out to you that the light of stars more than 6,000 light years away would not yet have reach the Earth, you claim it is possible God created the light beams reaching the Earth at creation.

I presented you with an event that to me appears to disrupt that timeline. So I am curious as to how you explain that.

8:22 AM EST  
Blogger Rhology said...

Yes, it is most definitely an argument ad incredulum.
And you used another one.
Here you go.

8:42 AM EST  
Blogger in the vanguard said...

Tommykey, and others.

When you read the Bible (the Torah, of course), even at its superficial, translated layer, it says God created Adam. Then it says how Adam named the animals, etc.

Adam was reated already at an age - already in his 30's. Eve too never underwent the typical ontogenesis from embryo to adult.

The point is simple: God created this world as you know it 5,771 years ago. All the phenomena that you ascribe to billions of years of existence were created to appear that way and then "Nature" began and took over - in the sense that God concealed Himself - to give man free choice in his thought processes.

The 5,771 figure shouldn't consternate you. In fat, the billions and bilions of so-called years of existence of this earth should, instead, consternate you. Has man undergone any big changes over a thousand years, in terms of intelligence, you think. Then why does literature, pens, ink, lead, and WRITING STUFF only go back at most a few thousand years.

I know, we were monkeys before that, right?

10:17 AM EST  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Was the “monkeys” thing meant facetiously?

Modern humans and modern chimps diverged from a (now-extinct) common ancestor around 7 million years ago. Modern humans and modern monkeys diverged from a (now-extinct) common ancestor considerably farther back. (And, for further context, modern humans and modern swordfishes diverged from a (now-extinct) common ancestor yet farther back.)

Humans resembling those of modern times first emerged on the scene about 200,000 years ago, although, certainly, evolution has continued to act in the intervening period.

For reference, it should be noted that humans, in something approaching modern forms, have been around less than one-hundredth of one percent of Earth’s natural history.

10:37 AM EST  
Blogger in the vanguard said...

OF COURSE I meant it facetiously!

Your university taught you rubbish, ... "around 7 million years ago" and you buy into it.

Real simply, if A lead to B, that lead to C, that evolved to D, then B and C survived because they were the FITTEST, right? Well how come they never find the bones of B's and C's if they were the predominant species; Why only on the New York Times "Science" section to they jump up for joy once every few years because somewhere in Antartica they found what they think is that missing "link" - when they should be ALL OVER the place?

That's just one - of MANY - disproofs of this pseudo-science. Don't forget - it's THEORY, not FACT. It's really just a crock - that you bought into.

You have your doubts? Better doubt those foolish professors than doubt God!

10:49 AM EST  
Blogger Tommykey said...

Then why does literature, pens, ink, lead, and WRITING STUFF only go back at most a few thousand years.

Well gee, there was this thing called the Ice Age that lasted many thousands of years. After that, the Earth got warmer and agriculture became possible, which led to greater population densities. Governments formed, and it became necessary to have written records to determine tax obligations, property boundaries et cetera.

But art goes back further than that, such as the cave paintings at Lascaux.

1:14 PM EST  
Blogger Tommykey said...

Rhology, how is asking you a question an argument from incredulity?

1:15 PM EST  
Blogger Rhology said...

OK, Tommykey, prove me wrong by accepting the rebuttal as fatal to your challenge and withdrawing the objection.

1:35 PM EST  
Blogger in the vanguard said...

"Gee" you say, ICE AGE, for "many thousands of years". Is that a scientific fact too?And if humans live on ice, like eskimos, they can't figure out how to communicate with ink? When did the ice age change everything, you say? I have a better answer than yours. Exactly 4,115 years ago there was a full year where THE GREAT FLOOD, with its hot waters, destroyed EVERYTHING but Noah's ark off the face of the earth.

But gee - that doesn't jive with evolutionary THEORY.

1:38 PM EST  
Blogger Tommykey said...

OK, Tommykey, prove me wrong by accepting the rebuttal as fatal to your challenge and withdrawing the objection.

Oh, I read your post and in the next day or so will respond as to why your attempt at a rebuttal is an epic fail. Happy Thanksgiving!

1:43 PM EST  
Blogger Tommykey said...

In The Vanguard, thank you for the entertainment.

1:45 PM EST  
Blogger in the vanguard said...

Don't forget to get ready for the future, as you watch the Global Warning age debut.

2:28 PM EST  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Your university taught you rubbish, ... "around 7 million years ago" and you buy into it.

I prefer to stick to the latest, most well evidenced conclusions derived from meticulous scientific study. If you prefer to defer to an ancient holy text, go right ahead.


Real simply, if A lead to B, that lead to C, that evolved to D, then B and C survived because they were the FITTEST, right? Well how come they never find the bones of B's and C's if they were the predominant species; Why only on the New York Times "Science" section to they jump up for joy once every few years because somewhere in Antartica they found what they think is that missing "link" - when they should be ALL OVER the place?

To start, I think your word choice of “lead to” is a bit misleading. Take the well known evolutionary path involving reptiles and birds as an example. At a certain point in the distant past, the ancient reptile line split, with one branch leading to modern-day lizards and snakes. Continuing down the originating line (as opposed to the branch), another branch breaks off, leading to sauropods. Later, another branch breaks off the originating line, leading to theropods. Once again, continuing down the originating line, a further splitting leads to emus and ostriches on one side and perching birds on the other. This kind of splitting and branching over long periods of time is not really one thing “leading to” another in the lineal fashion you imply.

Second, if you mean intermediate forms when you say “Bs” and “Cs,” we have many of them. The fossil record is doomed to be sparse, since the conditions to make fossils are so particular and relatively rare. Nevertheless, we have many intermediates in the record, including those separating modern humans from our chimp-like ancestors and those that exhibit a strange blend of reptilian and birdlike features on the path to bird evolution.

Also, since natural selection is predicated entirely on populations adapting to be well suited to their environments, and environments are dramatically different in various parts of the world, why should the Darwinian predict any species would be “all over the place”?


That's just one - of MANY - disproofs of this pseudo-science. Don't forget - it's THEORY, not FACT. It's really just a crock - that you bought into.

You do not understand what scientists mean when they say “theory,” or you do understand the meaning but choose to stick to the colloquial definition because it suits your purposes.

Darwin's theory of evolution is on the same firm footing as the germ theory of disease, the heliocentric theory of the solar system and the atomic theory of matter are.

3:52 PM EST  
Blogger Reconzfury said...

Who are you to say what is on the same playing feild. Common sense: Darwin's theory is loseing followers everyday due to how stupid the theory really is "oh they look similar" so we "must" be related please show PROOF and then talk to me how caan you argue back at god with evidence from a theory we dont beleive in? you cant just like you wont accept the bible as evidence to are belief its a stalemate.

10:54 PM EST  
Blogger Reconzfury said...

Who are you to say what is on the same playing feild. Common sense: Darwin's theory is loseing followers everyday due to how stupid the theory really is "oh they look similar" so we "must" be related please show PROOF and then talk to me how caan you argue back at god with evidence from a theory we dont beleive in? you cant just like you wont accept the bible as evidence to are belief its a stalemate.

10:55 PM EST  
Blogger Reconzfury said...

Human's are just pride full who are we to question the creator? us filthy little beings who barely no ourselces yet we try to explain the world. People say oh well why doesnt the bible say this or that about science? well because its not a science book its supernatural so you cant disprove it with natural evidence. The book teaches us about are creator, the darkness of the human heart, and a book of logic. It doesnt explain science because natural science in certain aspects doesnt matter when your trying to teach someone on supernatural subjects.

11:07 PM EST  
Blogger Tommykey said...

Rho, sorry for the delay in further replying. Life's been busy lately. Hope to get back to you by week's end. Best regards.

12:35 PM EST  

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