Macroevolution & ERVs (Endogenous Retroviruses)

On occasion I will debate with athiests, agnostics, evolutionists, and others.  In one conversation, an atheist asked for proof that God exists.  I asked Him to prove that God does not exist.  Then I asked for proof of macroevolution, he responded with three letters (ERVs).

Here was my response.

So I can’t “prove” God exists to you. You can’t “prove” God doesn’t exist to me. So we’ll just have to see what happens.

I do believe there is plenty of proof that God does exist. The Resurrection is the most important. Jesus died on the cross. The disciples knew that and they were terrified that the Romans were going to hunt them down too.

Then something so powerful happened that these men began going around saying that Jesus rose from the dead, and that we can be saved through Him from God’s wrath. Then they all went on to be killed in the most horrible of ways for proclaiming these things about Jesus. These men knew Jesus died on the cross. I don’t believe they would allow themselves to be tortured and die for a lie.

Some might say the 9/11 highjackers believed they died for the truth. There is a huge differences. The disciples saw, heard, and experienced everything about Jesus first hand. They were witnesses. So when they died for what they knew to be the truth, it was truth they saw for themselves.

As to ERVs, I have not studied them enough to make an intelligent, informed concrete determination on the true relevance if they prove macroevolution or not at this point. That is something I will have to research further.

I doubt its actual “proof” for macroevolution. Just because ERVs exist in other animal’s DNA, doesn’t prove anything. We all live in the same enviroment. The same ERVs that invaded the human body might have simply invaded other animal bodies too.

“The chances of even one ERV landing in the same spot in our genomes (if we weren’t related) is .00000000016% (since our genome is about 3 billion base pairs long). Think of the likelihood that over 60 ERVs would land in the exact same spots.”  Article*

First, I would have to take a scientist’s word that 60 ERVs are in the same exact spots. With all the corruption, lies, and frauds in the science community, I’ve lost my trust in the supposed “scientists” who are nothing but closed minded, arrogant, biased human beings who always make mistakes.

Second, yes, that is a small number, but it isn’t impossible for them to land in the same spot on their own (without us being related). We still do not understand viruses completely. Maybe they are programmed to seek out and land in those exact spots.

I can easily believe that interpretation when I compare it to what evolutionists take on faith about the development of the universe. The chances of the universe developing out of nothing, a little planet developing in this exact spot in the universe in such a way that life forms are so small that the little number there about ERVs is like me trying to avoid paying taxes in comparison.

–End of Conversation–

On a side note, in the midst of our discussion someone attempted to infer that I was just stupid and that was the reason I believed in God.  My response was, “Inferring a person is stupid doesn’t give you an automatic win. It just shows you have to resort to ad hominem attacks. Its like shooting a nerf gun at a tank.”

* This article has some very wrong data!  Examples, “We also have millions of fossils to show transitions and millions of animals to compare DNA.”

1) There are zero fossils to show transitions between “kinds” of animals.  Dogs don’t turn into cats, and cats don’t turn into dogs etc.

2) Millions of animals to compare DNA?  That is laughable its so wrong.

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14 Responses to Macroevolution & ERVs (Endogenous Retroviruses)

  1. agnophilo says:

    How science works is you form a hypothesis (potential explanation for something) then you find a way to test it by making predictions which have the potential to either support or disprove your hypothesis. Every time you test your hypothesis without falsifying it the odds that it is correct increases and the odds that it is wrong shrinks. For instance lets say we have a hypothesis that there is chlorine in a swimming pool. If we know the properties of chlorine we can predict that if the water from the pool is mixed with chemical x it will turn y color. Then we do the test and if it does the odds that there is chlorine in the pool are good. But why stop there? Make more predictions and do more tests. It is after all possible that some other substance might react the same way, right? This is analogous to your assertion that viruses might seek out particular parts in a genome. So you rig up lots more tests, and after lets say ten different tests the odds that all those different tests would turn out precisely the way they must if your hypothesis is correct for some other reason or reasons is very slim. You never prove your hypothesis 100% because we must always allow for the possibility of being wrong, but you can establish it to a ridiculously high degree of certainty. So in science the validity of a claim is directly proportionate to how testable it is. The reason ERV’s are good evidence is not because scientists discovered them and connected the dots to common ancestry, but because scientists predicted what we would find in the genome using evolutionary models before the genome sequencing was performed and before those viruses were detected. And the viruses are often fragmented and heavily modified, so they contain genetic markers accumulated by mutations the same way regular DNA does, and the logic of ERV’s, genetic mutations and common ancestry is the same as that of a paternity test.

    As for some of your other statements:

    “I do believe there is plenty of proof that God does exist. The Resurrection is the most important.”

    People believing something doesn’t make it true, countless messiahs and prophets have had followers, many of whom followed them to their deaths. Nor does people being willing to die for something, people die for falsehoods and every religion has martyrs. The reason someone believing something isn’t compelling is that people don’t just believe true or rational things. And this was especially true thousands of years ago when everything was considered magical.

    “I can easily believe that interpretation when I compare it to what evolutionists take on faith about the development of the universe. The chances of the universe developing out of nothing,”

    Nothing about accepting evolution necessitates believing anything about cosmology or whether the universe was created (darwin believed in a creator and said so in On The Origin Of Species), and I have never in my life met someone who claims “the universe developed out of nothing”. I am honestly so sick of this crap being put into our mouths.

    “a little planet developing in this exact spot in the universe”

    The planet is actually moving very, very fast and is not in the same spot it was five seconds ago, nor is there anything special about it’s location.

    “in such a way that life forms are so small”

    You are not qualified to assess the probability of the formation of life, to do so you would have to know the dynamics that gave rise to it – dynamics you claim do not exist. As for the likelihood that life would evolve a particular way it is equally likely regardless of the outcome so the probability, while interesting, is irrelevant.

    “that the little number there about ERVs is like me trying to avoid paying taxes in comparison.”

    And yet here we are.

    Tell me, what is the probability of an all-knowing, all-loving, omnipotent, infallible god just existing for no reason and then creating such an improbable universe? Care to put a number on that one?

    “There are zero fossils to show transitions between “kinds” of animals.”

    That is because “kind” has no scientific or biblical definition. There are countless intermediate forms in the fossil record. We have pre-sonar bats, we have pre-shell turtles, we have snakes with legs, we have whales with legs. We have birds with claws in their wings (specifically predicted by darwin two years before they were discovered), we have horses with multiple toes, we have intermediates between mammals and reptiles, dinosaurs and birds, and humans and primates. We have intermediates here and there, we have intermediates everywhere. You can google them or go see them in person in museums. And we also have ignorant creationists closing their eyes and saying “Where, I don’t see any!”

    “Dogs don’t turn into cats, and cats don’t turn into dogs etc.”

    That isn’t the way evolution works, there is no mechanism ever proposed that would allow a member of one species to turn into a member of another modern species. This is like claiming that family traits aren’t real because your grandfather hasn’t turned into your grandmother. It’s ignorant, idiotic nonsense and it’s the sort of thing that makes people point and laugh at creationists.

    • Daniel Silas says:

      Hi Agnophilo,

      Thank you for the feedback on my article.

      You wrote: “How science works is you form a hypothesis (potential explanation for something) then you find a way to test it by making predictions which have the potential to either support or disprove your hypothesis.”

      I appreciate the lesson on the scientific theory, but I am very familiar with science and proper scientific investigation. Sadly, there are many scientists who go beyond what is acceptable. For example, many postulate that Evolution is fact. It is a hypothesis, and in reality cannot be proven to be true 100%. No one can go back in time and observe what are only assumptions and guesses. This is fact.

      Now the “evidence” and scientific findings can be used to support such a hypothesis in some ways, but scientific findings can often be interpreted in different ways. Evolutionists will interpret their data one way, and others can interpret it another. Plus, the scientific community is full of corruption, fraud, bias, and oppression of freedom of thought. The freedom of inquiry and new ideas are being crushed under foot. The crazed evolutionists of today are just as bad as the Catholic Church when they persecuted scientists.

      There are plenty of examples of scientific fraud. We can’t trust scientists anymore.

      Here is just one example of recent fraud: http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/206-un-global-warming-fraud-exposed-by-detailed-new-study.html

      Fraud in the field of Evolution “science”: http://www.uark.edu/~cdm/creation/shame.htm

      You wrote: “You never prove your hypothesis 100% because we must always allow for the possibility of being wrong, but you can establish it to a ridiculously high degree of certainty.”

      So the scientific community could be wrong about Evolution. Why not present it in that manner instead of demanding that everyone believe it’s a proven fact when it is not? Then, for those of us who don’t think it’s a fact based on other evidence or interpretation of evidence we are a bunch of stupid, ignorant religious fanatics. The evolutionists go around persecuting, slandering, silencing, and oppressing anyone who doesn’t agree with their version of origins. The hypocrisy and behavior is pathetic.

      When it comes to data and evidence interpretation, watch the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Living Witness”. It illustrates my point perfectly. Wiki Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Witness

      In regard to the discussion on the Resurrection, you wrote:

      “People believing something doesn’t make it true, countless messiahs and prophets have had followers, many of whom followed them to their deaths. Nor does people being willing to die for something, people die for falsehoods and every religion has martyrs. The reason someone believing something isn’t compelling is that people don’t just believe true or rational things. And this was especially true thousands of years ago when everything was considered magical.”

      You absolutely missed my point. The case of Jesus is completely different from what you write. The followers of Jesus didn’t just “believe” the Resurrection happened. They saw Him die on the cross. They saw Him after He rose from the dead. Thomas touched the scars of the nails and scarred spear wound in His side. They talked to Him, ate with Him, and were prepared by Him to be witnesses to share the good news to the world. Of course that good news is that we can be saved from God’s wrath (because of our criminal behavior) by trusting and following Him.

      Again you missed my point about the disciples being tortured and killed for what they were teaching about Jesus. Sure, all those people willing to die for what they believe is true about religions. But, those people believe their religion is true. The disciples on the other hand were tortured and killed for something they knew to be true first hand. They saw it with their own eyes and touched Jesus with their own hands. They knew it was true, and they died horrible deaths because they taught it.

      Now on the flip side, if it was not true (a lie), none of the disciples would have allowed themselves to be brutally tortured and killed for something that they knew first hand was a lie. There is no way all eleven apostles plus over a hundred people who witnessed the ministry of Christ first hand would have been psychotic to the point of believing a lie unto torturous death.

      Another example is the Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb where Jesus’ body had been laid. The penalty for failure in their duty was death (side note: Just like the Roman’s soldiers who executed Jesus. If Jesus would have survived they would have been crucified themselves). After the Resurrection, the Jewish authorities bribed them to lie and assured them that they would speak with the governor so they didn’t get put to death (Matthew 28:11-15). Why would the enemies of Jesus have to bribe soldiers to lie (who guarded the tomb) at the risk of their own deaths if they were so sure Jesus did not rise from the dead? What does the evidence point to? That Jesus really did rise from the dead.

      And it could be said that just because people believe in Evolution, doesn’t mean it’s true. There are a lot of assumptions, guesses, and pieces of the paradigm that has to be taken on faith. You have to trust its true without ever having the ability to prove it.

      You wrote:

      “Nothing about accepting evolution necessitates believing anything about cosmology or whether the universe was created (darwin believed in a creator and said so in On The Origin Of Species), and I have never in my life met someone who claims “the universe developed out of nothing”. I am honestly so sick of this crap being put into our mouths.”

      I understand what you are saying, but I think you are mistaken. Not completely but in part. Sure, people can believe whatever they want about how the universe began. But, science teaches and Evolutionists (maybe not you) link Evolution to the Big Bang in that the universe formed, the solar system formed, the planet formed, life began on Earth all taking place over billions of years (though many admit there really isn’t enough time taking into account the chances [huge massive mind boggling number of its improbability] of life developing). It is one big model that the majority of the scientific community clings too.

      Now, when I say that the universe developed out of nothing, it’s a scientific fact that matter and energy do not just spontaneously create themselves. The Big Bang claims somehow matter and energy (enough for the entire universe) just suddenly erupted out of nothing and the universe was created. That is a general statement and I know there are those scientists that are trying to figure out just what exactly happened because of the contradiction. I believe an Intelligent Designer caused the Big Bang. The First Cause was God.

      You wrote:

      “The planet is actually moving very, very fast and is not in the same spot it was five seconds ago, nor is there anything special about it’s location.”

      Yes I know. Our galaxy is moving through the universe. The sun is moving around the center of the galaxy. The earth is moving around our sun. What I meant was the location of the earth in relation to our sun and galaxy. Not that the earth is literally stationary. I know it is not some “special” singular spot.

      You wrote:
      “You are not qualified to assess the probability of the formation of life, to do so you would have to know the dynamics that gave rise to it – dynamics you claim do not exist. As for the likelihood that life would evolve a particular way it is equally likely regardless of the outcome so the probability, while interesting, is irrelevant.”

      This is a ridiculous statement. I’m not qualified? I’m not the one who assessed the number. It was the scientific community that calculated the probability of life forming on the Earth. Dynamics I claim do not exist? Actually you’d have to tell me what I said doesn’t exist. All I said is there is no evidence for Macroevolution. You don’t know what I think beyond that.

      The probability of life forming on the Earth in relation to all of the variables and “dynamics” involved for such an event to take place is very relevant to this discussion. It is especially relevant to the age of the earth. Some scientists admit that 4.5 billion years is simply not enough time. So they start looking for other explanation like life being seeded on the planet somehow. They say that perhaps by meteors or even aliens. So if I was to compare the probability of life forming to the probability of ERVs landing on their own in particular places of two different animals who share the exact same environment… it would be like me trying to avoid paying taxes.

      It is very possible, however improbable, that 60 ERVs in chimps and humans did land in the exact same places. We have to trust the scientists who claim that are telling the truth, which I really doubt. I don’t believe one word that evolutionary scientists say unless I conduct the expirements and observe the data for myself. And if they did land there on their own, we don’t know everything about viruses. They very well could have purposely landed where they did in two separate animals.

      You wrote:

      “Tell me, what is the probability of an all-knowing, all-loving, omnipotent, infallible god just existing for no reason and then creating such an improbable universe? Care to put a number on that one?”

      I couldn’t put a number on that. But it is much more likely that there was an Intelligent Designer than a universe suddenly coming into existence from nothing… spontaneously… for no reason. And because there is plenty of reliable and historical evidence that Jesus was in fact Resurrected, I’ll be happy to trust His word on the subject of God’s identity and origins of the universe.

      You wrote: “That is because “kind” has no scientific or biblical definition.”

      Actually you are wrong. A “kind” is types of animals in the Biblical definition. You have dogs, cats, humans etc. They all belong to a kind of animal, which is really a group. I’ll explain a bit of what I believe in regard to this. I believe the Adaption Theory. There isn’t an “official” theory, but it is my hypothesis. I believe that God created the animals and humanity. And due to the intelligently designed ability for animals, plants, and humans etc to adapt to our environments that is why there are so many varieties of each kind. The variety also includes breeding/reproduction patterns. Similar to the Evolutionary tree of life (I do understand that concept), but in the Adaption Theory it would be multiple trees. It is one tree for each kind of animal. So the original “cats” would become the variety of cats that we have today big and small. That line of adaption coming down through time would never branch off and become another type of animal. They have been and always will be cat kind. See Genesis 1:11-25.

      You wrote:

      “There are countless intermediate forms in the fossil record. We have pre-sonar bats, we have pre-shell turtles, we have snakes with legs, we have whales with legs. We have birds with claws in their wings (specifically predicted by darwin two years before they were discovered), we have horses with multiple toes, we have intermediates between mammals and reptiles, dinosaurs and birds, and humans and primates. We have intermediates here and there, we have intermediates everywhere.”

      All of those examples fit right into the Adaption theory. I agree that there can definitely be mutations and changes in the animal “kind.” But for Macroevolution there is absolutely nothing in the fossil record. Not to mention how the fossil record is different depending on where you dig. You will never see a turtle rabbit, whale crocodiles, bat hawks, horse cows, so on and so forth.

      What you do have in intermediates for primates and humans is full of fraud, fakes, lies, misidentification, and ridiculous conclusions. I’m sure that is just as true between the others like mammals and reptiles, dinosaurs and birds etc. Not to mention all the work that has been done to hide the truth about other findings that goes against the Evolutionary religion. Of course I am being satirical calling it a religion. It takes a whole lot of blind faith to believe in Evolution. Here is another website that talks about it.

      http://www.nwcreation.net/evolutionfraud.html

      You wrote:

      “That isn’t the way evolution works, there is no mechanism ever proposed that would allow a member of one species to turn into a member of another modern species.”

      Again, I was being satirical. I know saying that makes Evolutionists rage and yell “Idiot! Stupid! Ignorant religious fanatic!” I always get a laugh out of that.

      Let me ask you this. If Macroevolution is true as you claim, then it would be possible (however small) that a cat could eventually evolve into something similar to a dog. It might get so close in appearance and all, you’d have to go to the DNA level to determine if it was or wasn’t a dog. After all, mutations could happen in response to environment and survival of the fittest. Then it would be true what Dr. Peter Venkman said, “…dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” What if dogs became extinct and cats that evolved into their millions of years from now future selves could be mistaken for a dog! Even the words could get changed around due to the evolution of languages.

      I’d like to make one last comment. In Darwin’s day, they thought that a cell was a simple bag of goo with a membrane. They had no idea a single cell was so vastly complex. W. H. Thorpe, an evolutionist scientist, acknowledges that “The most elementary type of cell constitutes a ‘mechanism’ unimaginably more complex than any machine yet thought up, let alone constructed, by man.” If Darwin was alive today I think he would be looking at you believers of Evolution with disapproval. There is no way it “evolved” due to the principle of “irreducible complexity.” I have as yet heard any professor, scientist, or thinker legitimately be able to argue against it. All they can do is insult, ridicule, and show their arrogance. You see, a cell needs all its parts to live. If you take the cell’s systems away a piece/mutation at a time (evolution in the opposite direction) the cell will die. Take one system out of a human, and the human will die. We must have every single system in our body to live in this environment. So the first human must have all his/her parts starting out. You can find countless examples of this. One of the simplest is the mouse trap. Take any one part away and it’s no longer a functioning mouse trap.

      The fully functional adult with all its systems comes first.

      Here is a website you can read: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html

      I respect that you believe in Evolution. I appreciate that you appear to have worked hard studying and all to understand it and make your own conclusions. I enjoy discussing and debating it. But don’t go around ridiculing and laughing at other people just because they believe something different. There have been massive amounts of excellent research and work done by legitimate, extremely intelligent scientists on the subject of Intelligent Design. There is a lot of work done by the same too on the problems with the hypothesis of Evolution. Think about it, you admit, that the conclusions of Evolutionists could be wrong. You could be wrong. I could be wrong.

      • agnophilo says:

        “Hi Agnophilo,
        Thank you for the feedback on my article.”

        You’re welcome, thanks for getting back to me.

        “I appreciate the lesson on the scientific theory, but I am very familiar with science and proper scientific investigation. Sadly, there are many scientists who go beyond what is acceptable. For example, many postulate that Evolution is fact. It is a hypothesis,”

        A hypothesis is an un-tested hypothetical explanation. Whether you accept evolution or not after 150 years of experiments and criticism it is not un-tested. Even the pope said it is not a mere hypothesis. It is a theory, and in science there is nothing higher than theory outside of the realm of mathematics. The term theory and fact are also not incompatible, gravity is a theory, fact (in the everyday sense) and a law. The theory (several theories actually) attempt to explain the fact that things fall toward the earth and other bodies and the law describes the constant property of gravity. That life evolves is a fact. That it has been evolving for a long time is as much a fact as that languages have undergone great changes over time. There are “fossil” remains of both.

        “and in reality cannot be proven to be true 100%.”

        Nothing can be proven 100%.

        “No one can go back in time and observe what are only assumptions and guesses. This is fact.”

        No, it’s a talking point. Something happening in the past does not make it an assumption or a guess, as evidenced by criminal forensic science. You can test a hypothesis about a past event if you know enough about the present and have actual evidence of the event in question. Should only eye witness testimony be used in criminal trials? Should judges say “sure you’ve got all this DNA and fingerprint evidence, blood spatter analysis and you can pinpoint the time of death to within an hour during which my client was unaccounted for – but all those things happened in the past and you can’t support claims about the past.”? Should we adopt your standard in the real world and deal with the consequences, or is it flawed?

        “Now the “evidence” and scientific findings can be used to support such a hypothesis in some ways, but scientific findings can often be interpreted in different ways.”

        Which is why science is based on tests and predictions, not simply interpreting evidence once you have it. Science is not, despite what creationist websites promote, simply a matter of opinion. If that were so then going to a hospital would just as likely kill you as save your life, and airplanes would be falling out of the sky all the time. The scientific method works very well, and it does so because it’s designed to remove bias and opinion from the process. You make your prediction (which has the potential to falsify your theory if wrong), do your test and live with the results.

        “Evolutionists will interpret their data one way, and others can interpret it another. Plus, the scientific community is full of corruption, fraud, bias, and oppression of freedom of thought.”

        It really isn’t. Creationists just have no other way to respond to the global consensus on subjects like evolution than to claim a global conspiracy. The fact is even christian scientists are overwhelmingly against a literal interpretation of genesis. Even in countries that are overwhelmingly christian. Who is persecuting them? The secular minority? It defies simple mathematics. It’s like people in norway claiming that christians are secretly in control of the government. It’s absurd.

        “The freedom of inquiry and new ideas are being crushed under foot. The crazed evolutionists of today are just as bad as the Catholic Church when they persecuted scientists.”

        List for me the scientists in the US who have been imprisoned or threatened with death (by an official institution not by some random nut) for questioning evolution and your comparison is justified. Until you do it is not. Christians tend to think they are persecuted simply because they do not get special priveleges, or equate persecution with not being able to violate other peoples’ rights. Nobody can promote a religious view in public schools? Christians are being persecuted! Ever notice that hindus, muslims, atheists, jews etc never claim they’re persecuted for having to follow the same rules?

        “There are plenty of examples of scientific fraud. We can’t trust scientists anymore.”

        There are like a whopping two examples and a lot of examples creationist websites spin as fraud that aren’t (I will discuss this further below). The level of bias and spin on creationist websites is pretty extreme and is evident in your attitudes. You think that if 5 scientists support x view and 5 support y view that rather than them genuinely agreeing the ones that support x view (assuming it’s the one you agree with) are champions of truth who are being persecuted by the other 5 scientists who are conspiring to promote the lie of y hypothesis which they know is false, but want to promote anyway to be evil and sinister, mwahahaha! Do you honestly think the world is divided up that way? Disagree with evolution all you want, but people who support it are overwhelmingly honest and genuinely agree with the theory. We aren’t batman villains conspiring to conceal the truth.

        “Here is just one example of recent fraud: http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/206-un-global-warming-fraud-exposed-by-detailed-new-study.html

        About 95% of the information there comes from one guy who, while he is a genuine scientist, does not appear to have any background in climate science, meteorology, geology or anything related to these fields. And as far as I read I couldn’t find any example of fraud, it seems like he’s just bitching about some report he doesn’t agree with. People reaching a conclusion you don’t agree with is not the same thing as fraud. The article also refers to the “climategate” email “scandal” which was completely debunked. The “smoking gun” was two quotes taken out of context. The phrases “hide the decline” and “math trick” were used in a highly technical email which were spun as being deceptive. This was the only “evidence” found in hundreds of thousands of hacked emails. Turns out “math trick” just means a solution to a mathematic problem and “hide the decline” was in a technical description of tree rings that had nothing to do with global warming or temperatures.

        “Fraud in the field of Evolution “science”: http://www.uark.edu/~cdm/creation/shame.htm

        Haeckel’s embryos – some of them were accurate, the ones he couldn’t obtain examples for he fudged which was, yes, a genuine scandal. Creationists often lie and claim that haeckel’s embryos were used in darwin’s On The Origin Of Species which is not true – while there was a section on embryology darwin published well before haeckel did. What creationists also ignore is that while the idea that species go through every past evolutionary transition in the womb is not correct the principle that “Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny” has proven overwhelmingly true. Whales start to grow four limbs in the womb and the hind limbs absorb back in to the body – many species (probably all of them) exhibit traits in the womb that they lack in adulthood. Humans for instance have tails in the womb and body-wide fur (even girls) called lanugo.

        Piltdown man was also a genuine fraud – it was perpetuated by a non-scientist and kept in a private collection however, something conspiracy theorists often fail to mention.

        The rest of the examples don’t contain a single example of fraud or deception. While it turns out vestigial organs perform some other function this makes perfect sense with regards to why the animal still has them. But who would deny that an absorbed limb is a vestige of a… well, limb? Who would deny that a bat’s wing is a modified arm when it has the same skeletal structures as a human arm including claws at the end of the fingers? That they ended up not being useless does not falsify evolution and was an honest misconception, not a lie. Do you think there is shame in being wrong and admitting it? The peppered moth section does not even make a single specific claim and simply implies dishonesty, which is pathetic. Micheal denton bypassed the peer review process altogether and is largely considered a quack scientist, and many of his claims about biology have been thoroughly eviscerated, including both his claim that species aren’t homologous on the genetic level and “irreducible complexity”. Here’s an old blog of mine if you want more info:

        http://agnophilo.xanga.com/728670894/evolution-and-irreducible-complexity/

        Miller-urey – That this experiment did not produce life is not surprising since the number of variables on earth is mind-boggling, and other experiments have shown that amino acids form readily in countless environments from freezing cold temperatures to boiling hot temperatures under pressure ranges from the bottom of the ocean to outer space, and caused by heat, eletricity, radiation etc. But to suppose that our inability to produce life easily means it did not occur naturally is simply unreasonable. For instance we know what chemicals RNA is made of and it still took us decades to figure out how to produce 2 of the 4 chemical components and when we did it turned out to be as simple as evaporation, rehydration and exposure to sunlight. The number of combinations and sequences of conditions is like a password, it has an almost infinite number of possible combinations. So yes, abiogenesis research is slow going. But it is going. I also like how they point out that miller’s experiment was based on flawed assumptions about the early conditions of earth then interpret his findings as being damning evidence against abiogenesis at the same time – this itself is the exact kind of intellectual dishonesty they claim to be against.
        Nebraska man – an amateur paleontologist found a tooth and sent it to a museum and asked if it could be a primate tooth and the curator concluded it could *possibly* be a primate tooth (pig and primate teeth are similar and vary widely). Then a non-scientific publication writes an article about it with a picture of a cave man family and says both in the article and in the picture’s caption that the picture is simply a nice picture their art department came up with and probably looks nothing like the species the tooth came from – after which creationists for decades go around claiming that scientists lie and fabricate entire skeletons based on a single bone. Nothing of the sort happened. Again where is the scandal? As for the website in general if I gave a list of examples of religious fraud would that discredit all religious beliefs? If I gave a list of examples of christian fraud and christian con-men would it discredit christianity? I could easily generate thousands of examples, not a handful. I have personally had religious organizations attempt to con me with manufactured miracles, that is how pervasive christian fraud is. Should we therefore dismiss the bible? If not, why should I dismiss vast amounts of genuine evidence and real fossils and complete skeletons based on one or two examples of dishonesty?

        “So the scientific community could be wrong about Evolution.”

        It’s possible, but highly unlikely.

        “Why not present it in that manner instead of demanding that everyone believe it’s a proven fact when it is not?”

        It is presented in that manner, which creationists exploit with their “just a theory” rhetoric. Any well-written textbook explains upfront how science works and what theories are. Creationists demand that evolution be singled out and students be told that evolution specifically can’t be 100% proven, but that is deceptive – as one biologist pointed out that says to a 15 year old “we’re 100% sure about everything in this book except evolution”.

        “Then, for those of us who don’t think it’s a fact based on other evidence or interpretation of evidence we are a bunch of stupid, ignorant religious fanatics.”

        To be fair the vast, overwhelming majority of people and organizations who reject ideas like evolution and the big bang do so for religious reasons, and creationist organizations actively promote ignorance with their “if evolution were valid it would be a law by now” type of misleading spin.

        “The evolutionists go around persecuting, slandering, silencing, and oppressing anyone who doesn’t agree with their version of origins.”

        I’ll give you the occasional slandering, but everything else is hogwash. And it’s not like creationists don’t slander people who accept evolution, they routinely equate us with nazis and re-write history so that evolution is singularly to blame for the holocaust and slavery, which is of course ridiculous, and go further than that to assert that anyone who accepts evolution is liable to go do evil things. You just in your response have made many charges that people you disagree with aren’t just wrong but deliberately perpetrating a fraud. Isn’t that slander?

        “The hypocrisy and behavior is pathetic.”

        I recommend looking into the accounts of “persecution” critically.

        “When it comes to data and evidence interpretation, watch the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Living Witness”. It illustrates my point perfectly. Wiki Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Witness

        I haven’t seen it but yes reconstructing anything historic is going to be prone to error and must be done with care. However scientists aren’t in the habit of making claims they can’t support, and when they do they catch hell for it.

        “You absolutely missed my point. The case of Jesus is completely different from what you write. The followers of Jesus didn’t just “believe” the Resurrection happened.”

        Yes they did. Belief is subjective, knowledge is demonstrable. In other words if I experience being abducted by aliens I will believe aliens are real and abduct people. But I only “know” I was abducted by aliens if I can prove it to someone else. If I have documentation or evidence of some sort. If I die for my belief that proves I believe it, not that it is true. People die for things all the time, and not nearly all of it is true or valid. Look into “miracle men” in india, there are countless examples of them. Sathya Sai Baba was one of the more popular ones, he had hundreds of thousands of witnesses to his “miracles”. If some of them are willing to die for him does it prove they were miracles?

        “They saw Him die on the cross. They saw Him after He rose from the dead.”

        At least that’s how the story goes. Harry potter saw that voldemort had risen from the death with his own eyes and told others despite facing ridicule and losing all of his friends. Why would he stick to his story if it wasn’t true? Therefore it must have really happened. See the flaw in reasoning here? It assumes the text which recounts the story is itself accurate, then tries to conclude other things are true based on common sense and plot consistency. Isn’t it possible that the apostles were executed regardless and were turned into martyrs posthumously? Or that they believed based on a misconception? Or that the whole thing was made up? You believe that all of scientists everywhere are conspiring to keep the falsehood of evolution a secret, why not believe that a handful of people conspired to keep the falsehood of the claims about jesus a secret?

        “Thomas touched the scars of the nails and scarred spear wound in His side. They talked to Him, ate with Him, and were prepared by Him to be witnesses to share the good news to the world. Of course that good news is that we can be saved from God’s wrath (because of our criminal behavior) by trusting and following Him.”

        Again according to the story. Why doesn’t your star trek voyager analogy apply to events that happened 2,000 years ago? Your argument seems to assert that if x is true then y must logically be true. But x might not be true.

        “Again you missed my point about the disciples being tortured and killed for what they were teaching about Jesus. Sure, all those people willing to die for what they believe is true about religions. But, those people believe their religion is true. The disciples on the other hand were tortured and killed for something they knew to be true first hand. They saw it with their own eyes and touched Jesus with their own hands. They knew it was true, and they died horrible deaths because they taught it.”

        Depends what you mean by belief and knowledge. I don’t know how someone could know that somebody ascended bodily into heaven – and don’t the people who wrote about mohammad “know” that he flew off into the sky? It boils down to something is true because people said it was true.

        “Now on the flip side, if it was not true (a lie),”

        It could just as simply be an error or the equivalent of an urban legend which is repeated by honest people who simply think it is compelling or important.

        “none of the disciples would have allowed themselves to be brutally tortured and killed for something that they knew first hand was a lie.”

        You aren’t allowing for any middle-ground where they simply believed he was the messiah and it wasn’t so. Bear in mind jesus could’ve been raised to think he was the messiah and, like many believers of many faiths felt connected to what he called god or the holy spirit but what atheists simply call their conscience or intuition or some aspect or aspects of their inner workings. Jesus could have in other words been himself a genuine believer. It’s not the “messiah or con man” dichotomy evangelists promote (usually to guilt people brought up in a christian system into not saying anything bad about jesus and therefore going along with their position)

        “There is no way all eleven apostles plus over a hundred people who witnessed the ministry of Christ first hand would have been psychotic to the point of believing a lie unto torturous death.”

        You don’t have to be a psychopath to believe something in error, everyone believes something in error, and whatever religious position is true 3/4ths of the world are in error. The position that they simply couldn’t have been wrong is not compelling to me.

        “Another example is the Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb where Jesus’ body had been laid. The penalty for failure in their duty was death (side note: Just like the Roman’s soldiers who executed Jesus. If Jesus would have survived they would have been crucified themselves).”

        Yes, no one ever does anything punishable by death, especially soldiers.

        “After the Resurrection, the Jewish authorities bribed them to lie and assured them that they would speak with the governor so they didn’t get put to death (Matthew 28:11-15). Why would the enemies of Jesus have to bribe soldiers to lie (who guarded the tomb) at the risk of their own deaths if they were so sure Jesus did not rise from the dead?”

        Why would they bribe them? They didn’t want to give credence to what they viewed as dangerous heresy. That doesn’t mean it’s true any more than the censorship of the catholic church over other sects proves the doctrine of those other sects.

        “What does the evidence point to? That Jesus really did rise from the dead.”

        None of that logically points to jesus rising from the dead. If we went to dig up thomas jefferson and his body wasn’ there would that prove he was a vampire? That is the same sort of leap of logic.

        “And it could be said that just because people believe in Evolution, doesn’t mean it’s true.”

        The popularity of an idea has nothing to do with it’s legitimacy.

        “There are a lot of assumptions, guesses, and pieces of the paradigm that has to be taken on faith. You have to trust its true without ever having the ability to prove it.”

        This is not the case, it’s creationist rhetoric. While some ideas are speculation, ie “maybe this fish species is getting smaller due to natural selection favoring ones small enough to slip through fishermen’s nets”, the reason scientists feel comfortable making such speculations in specific cases is that the underlying mechanisms and principles have been so thoroughly proven.

        “I understand what you are saying, but I think you are mistaken. Not completely but in part. Sure, people can believe whatever they want about how the universe began. But, science teaches and Evolutionists (maybe not you) link Evolution to the Big Bang
        in that the universe formed, the solar system formed, the planet formed,”

        These are different ideas developed independently by different scientists using completely independent lines of evidence. Creationists lump them all together and call them “evolutionism” and claim they are one unified ideology simply to avoid dealing with the fact that they are not. That what christian physicists and christian biologists and christian geneticists and christian geologists and christians in many other fields have discovered over the last several centuries all converges and paints the same picture of natural history. To quote the previous pope:

        “Today, almost half a century after publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.”

        “life began on Earth all taking place over billions of years (though many admit there really isn’t enough time taking into account the chances [huge massive mind boggling number of its improbability] of life developing).”

        See the bias in how you describe it? The scientists who agree with you “admit” the truth while the rest continue to lie about it. As for the probability of life arising we don’t know what early life would’ve been like, so to assess it’s probability is impossible.

        “It is one big model that the majority of the scientific community clings too.”

        Your depiction of scientists huddling together desperately trying to prop up abiogenesis is a fiction. The reality is the it is only creationists who place special emphasis on abiogenesis, to the rest of the world it’s just a “maybe”.

        “Now, when I say that the universe developed out of nothing, it’s a scientific fact that matter and energy do not just spontaneously create themselves.”

        Actually it was a law, and “laws” of science get “broken” all the time. New vacuum experiments suggest that emptiness is actually quite unstable and that it spontaneously produces measurable particles and energy. Whether these particles are somehow being produced from somewhere else by quantum wormholes or bleeding through from another dimension or whatever is yet to be seen, but the idea that you cannot get something out of nothing or that you can’t produce matter/energy is not as certain as it once was. And no, scientists are not clinging to this in hopes that it will destroy christianity so they can finally burn all the bibles and gay marry the pope to justin beiber, or whatever caricature you want to spin. It’s just a new discovery.

        “The Big Bang claims somehow matter and energy (enough for the entire universe) just suddenly erupted out of nothing and the universe was created.”

        No, it claims that the matter we already know exists was once closer together and spread (and is spreading) apart. It makes no claims about whether the matter came from or if it even came from anywhere or anything.

        “That is a general statement and I know there are those scientists that are trying to figure out just what exactly happened because of the contradiction.”

        What contradiction?

        “I believe an Intelligent Designer caused the Big Bang. The First Cause was God.”

        So the big bang is bad science and ridiculous and unfounded and god caused it? As for myself the big bang very well could’ve been caused by an intelligent being. Or several. Maybe there’s an entire species in another universe that created our universe through mastery of science. Or maybe the universe itself is intelligent in a way we cannot comprehend. Maybe that is what is really “god”. But this is speculation, so I make no claims about it.

        “Yes I know. Our galaxy is moving through the universe. The sun is moving around the center of the galaxy. The earth is moving around our sun. What I meant was the location of the earth in relation to our sun and galaxy. Not that the earth is literally stationary. I know it is not some “special” singular spot.”

        Our planet is in a wonky elliptical orbit that varies in terms of it’s distance from the sun by around 10 million kilometers in a given year (roughly a thousand times the width of the earth). Hardly a razor’s edge we’re sitting on in terms of distance.

        “This is a ridiculous statement. I’m not qualified? I’m not the one who assessed the number.”

        I should have been more specific – no one is qualified.

        “It was the scientific community that calculated the probability of life forming on the Earth.”

        These calculations are highly speculative and I’ve never found one that is impossible when you consider the number of galaxies/solar systems. What figure are you referring to? One famous one estimate suggests roughly 30,000 earth-like planets in our galaxy alone (one of around 10-100 billion observable galaxies) simply based on random configuration of planets.

        “Dynamics I claim do not exist? Actually you’d have to tell me what I said doesn’t exist.”

        You are making claims about the dynamics of the origins of life, a process you claim never happened and is impossible.

        “All I said is there is no evidence for Macroevolution. You don’t know what I think beyond that.”

        If I get your views wrong it is not deliberate, please correct me. And of course there is plenty of evidence for macro-evolution, but we’ve been over that.

        “The probability of life forming on the Earth in relation to all of the variables and “dynamics” involved for such an event to take place is very relevant to this discussion.”

        Relevant, but impossible to know. And it’s not relevant to evolution, which is not in any way dependent on abiogenesis or in conflict with special creation (in and of itself).

        “It is especially relevant to the age of the earth. Some scientists admit that 4.5 billion years is simply not enough time.”

        They don’t “admit” it isn’t enough time, are of that opinion.

        “So they start looking for other explanation like life being seeded on the planet somehow. They say that perhaps by meteors or even aliens.”

        Ideas like panspermia are not rationalizations of other ideas, they are simply explored because they are possibly true. Meteors fall to earth with in-tact organic material inside them, microbes can survive long term exposure to the hazards of space and all meteors impacting the earth are traveling faster than the escape velocity required break loose of earth’s gravity and could propel debris to other planets. It’s a legitimate field of inquiry.

        “So if I was to compare the probability of life forming to the probability of ERVs landing on their own in particular places of two different animals who share the exact same environment… it would be like me trying to avoid paying taxes.”

        I still don’t get the tax analogy but something we know the nature and dynamics of and something we don’t are simply not comparable. You have to know something about a thing to assess any kind of probability.

        “It is very possible, however improbable, that 60 ERVs in chimps and humans did land
        in the exact same places.”

        So because anything is technically possible anything is therefore believable – except for evolution or common ancestry or anything you don’t want to accept.

        “We have to trust the scientists who claim that are telling the truth, which I really doubt.”

        But people who made claims about jesus in the iron age they’re totally credible. Except the ones who said he wasn’t the messiah, they’re all liars. I’m sorry but to me supernatural claims in the era of greek mythology are a little less credible than peer reviewed experiments in the age of curing diseases and putting men on the moon.

        “I don’t believe one word that evolutionary scientists say unless I conduct the expirements and observe the data for myself.”

        And of course you won’t bother doing that, so evolution is false.

        “And if they did land there on their own, we don’t know everything about viruses. They very well could have purposely landed where they did in two separate animals.”

        I already responded to this.

        “I couldn’t put a number on that.”

        Why not?

        “But it is much more likely that there was an Intelligent Designer than”

        You can’t assess the probability of thing A or thing B, but you know one is more probable than the other. You see no error in this thinking?

        “a universe suddenly coming into existence from nothing… spontaneously… for no reason.”

        Again, this is a strawman. I do not make any claims about where the universe or matter or energy came from, I don’t think anyone understands these things (including you). You are putting words in my mouth that neither I nor anyone I’ve ever heard of would ever say. I’ve told you this, you ignore me and do it anyway.

        If we were having this conversation 2,000 years ago and you believed in zeus, my not knowing where lightning came from would not justify your belief that zeus makes it. Nor would simply saying “zeus makes it” explain lightning since you would have to explain how zeus makes it, what zeus is, where zeus came from and how zeus got the ability to make lightning to begin with. Attributing something to a deity does not explain it. And saying “well you believe lightning flies out of a monkey’s butt and that’s stupid!” would also not justify the zeus hypothesis. Not understanding something does not give us license to make stuff up about it.

        “And because there is plenty of reliable and historical evidence that Jesus was in fact Resurrected, I’ll be happy to trust His word on the subject of God’s identity and origins of the universe.”

        The number of miracle claims from the age of zeus and thor and jesus is astonishing. I don’t believe the ones about jesus for the same reasons you don’t believe the ones about zeus and thor and the thousands of other gods. That someone died for their beliefs to me just proves they believed it, not that it is true. And people believe all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons. It is astonishing to me how much trust you put in apostles you never met, and how much sinister intent you assume about scientists you’ve never met. You’re loaded with so much bias and don’t see it.

        “Actually you are wrong. A “kind” is types of animals in the Biblical definition.”

        That’s not a definition, it’s a synonym. And it is not specific enough to mean anything.

        “You have dogs, cats, humans etc. They all belong to a kind of animal, which is really a group. I’ll explain a bit of what I believe in regard to this. I believe the Adaption Theory. There isn’t an “official” theory, but it is my hypothesis. I believe that God created the animals and humanity. And due to the intelligently designed ability for animals, plants, and humans etc to adapt to our environments that is why there are so many varieties of each kind. The variety also includes breeding/reproduction patterns. Similar to the Evolutionary tree of life (I do understand that concept), but in the Adaption Theory it would be multiple trees. It is one tree for each kind of animal. So the original “cats” would become the variety of cats that we have today big and small. That line of adaption coming down through time would never branch off and become another type of animal. They have been and always will be cat kind. See Genesis 1:11-25.”

        First of all there is a lot of hypocrisy in being hyper-critical of science while then turning around and making up a bunch of things off of the top of your head and accepting them with no experiments or tests of any kind. The bar for science is impossibly high and the bar for theology is incredibly low. This is bias. Second, the bible does not say what the “kinds” are, they could be cats and dogs or they could be mammals (which includes both cats and dogs) and reptiles. Or they could be vertibrates and invertibrates. Or they could be plants and animals. Or they could be eukaryotes and prokaryotes and the third one I don’t care to look up. The bible doesn’t say, and your decision that the bible means x and not y is arbitrary. You are deciding for god what he means to say.

        [“There are countless intermediate forms in the fossil record. We have pre-sonar bats, we have pre-shell turtles, we have snakes with legs, we have whales with legs. We have birds with claws in their wings (specifically predicted by darwin two years before they were discovered), we have horses with multiple toes, we have intermediates between mammals and reptiles, dinosaurs and birds, and humans and primates. We have intermediates here and there, we have intermediates everywhere.”]

        “All of those examples fit right into the Adaption theory.”

        Intermediates between birds and dinosaurs and mammals and reptiles fit in with adaptation theory? And by the way it’s not a scientific theory.

        “I agree that there can definitely be mutations and changes in the animal “kind.”
        It’s worth mentioning that creationists vehemently denied this was possible until very recently. I’m sure you’ve seen the “all mutations are harmful” and “tornado in a junkyard” type rhetoric.

        “But for Macroevolution there is absolutely nothing in the fossil record.”

        That is simply not true.

        “Not to mention how the fossil record is different depending on where you dig.”

        And different areas have different animals. This matters why? What species live in an area changes over time, this is not the same thing as the fossil record contradicting itself.

        “You will never see a turtle rabbit, whale crocodiles, bat hawks, horse cows, so on and so forth.”

        Nor should you. This is like saying that heredity is a lie because I haven’t seen someone that is half one famous actor and half another famous actor. It statements like this that make people call creationists ignorant and stupid.

        “What you do have in intermediates for primates and humans is full of fraud, fakes, lies, misidentification, and ridiculous conclusions.”

        You’ve listed one hominid fraud (which was debunked by scientists by the way, not creationists). Show me the rest. As for misidentification yes scientists make errors. The evidence is still there and plentiful. Do you honestly think every fossil is a forgery? Do you think that little of your fellow man? Or is it just non-believers? Do you believe I am conspiring to hurt you?

        “I’m sure that is just as true between the others like mammals and reptiles, dinosaurs and birds etc.”

        Well if you’re just going to make shit up why not make it interesting and believe that fossils were brought here by aliens or something.

        “Not to mention all the work that has been done to hide the truth about other findings that goes against the Evolutionary religion.”

        The notion of millions of creationists freely exchanging information over the internet without a single threat of violence or imprisonment are being “suppressed” is absurd. You wouldn’t know actual persecution from a hole in the ground. Ironically organizations like the discovery institute claim that nazi germany was built around the ideas of darwin and freud when in reality both of their writings were burned in the streets and darwin’s writings are to this day on the lists of banned books. Darwin’s ideas were suppressed. Yours are not. At least not in any western democracy.

        “Of course I am being satirical calling it a religion. It takes a whole lot of blind faith to believe in Evolution. Here is another website that talks about it.”

        I’ve addressed this, you just keep repeating it.

        “http://www.nwcreation.net/evolutionfraud.html”

        Same junk as your other link with the exception of archeoraptor (which had been called into question and not accepted anywhere by paleontologists before it was promoted by National Geographic, a non-expert, non-peer reviewed publication meant for the general public). A magazine not run by experts got something wrong, big whup. And a museum filled in some missing parts to a skeleton. OMG the conspiracy runs as high as museum curators!

        “Again, I was being satirical. I know saying that makes Evolutionists rage and yell “Idiot! Stupid! Ignorant religious fanatic!” I always get a laugh out of that.”

        Yes, when creationists say ignorant and stupid things and espouse extreme religious views they get called ignorant, stupid and fanatic. Weird, huh?

        “Let me ask you this. If Macroevolution is true as you claim, then it would be possible (however small) that a cat could eventually evolve into something similar to a dog.”

        A cat already is something similar to a dog.

        “It might get so close in appearance and all, you’d have to go to the DNA level to determine if it was or wasn’t a dog. After all, mutations could happen in response to environment and survival of the fittest. Then it would be true what Dr. Peter Venkman said, “…dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” What if dogs became extinct and cats that evolved into their millions of years from now future selves could be mistaken for a dog! Even the words could get changed around due to the evolution of languages.”

        I know you think you’re being clever but you’re proposing something absurd that is absurd according to what you are arguing against.

        “I’d like to make one last comment. In Darwin’s day, they thought that a cell was a simple bag of goo with a membrane. They had no idea a single cell was so vastly complex. W. H. Thorpe, an evolutionist scientist, acknowledges that “The most elementary type of cell constitutes a ‘mechanism’ unimaginably more complex than any machine yet thought up, let alone constructed, by man.”

        There are supercomputers that can perform more calculations per second than there are atoms in the most complex cell in nature. The statement about being more complex than any machine is a bit outdated and depends largely on what you mean by complexity.

        “If Darwin was alive today I think he would be looking at you believers of Evolution with disapproval.”

        I doubt it.

        “There is no way it “evolved” due to the principle of “irreducible complexity.”

        See my above link. Irreducible complexity by the way comes from a book written for a lay religious audience containing false claims and ideas that had not been subject to any kind of peer review or empirical tests before they were bandied about as fact. He claimed the bacteria flagellum could not be reduced and still function – turns out you can take away almost all of it’s parts and it still functions. But then until you get your PhD in molecular biology and perform the experiment yourself this is just a coverup by the evil atheist biology consortium, right?

        “I have as yet heard any professor, scientist, or thinker legitimately be able to argue against it.”

        You need to get out more.

        “All they can do is insult, ridicule, and show their arrogance. You see, a cell needs all its parts to live. If you take the cell’s systems away a piece/mutation at a time (evolution in the opposite direction) the cell will die. Take one system out of a human, and the human will die. We must have every single system in our body to live in this environment.”

        Except for our appendix, tonsils, one lung, one kidney, half of our liver, our gall bladder etc, etc. If you read the blog I linked to you know the logical problem with irreducible complexity but if you want more concrete examples by all means do what I did when I heard this argument and google “lung evolution”, “heart evolution” etc. You will be amazed at the stuff we know about how these organs evolved, largely by the fact that primitive versions (of all kinds of varieties) often still exist in other organisms. Here is an especially elegant example of the fallacy of irreducible complexity using the eye, an example often heralded by ID advocates as unevolvable (based on distorting a quote by darwin).

        “So the first human must have all his/her parts starting out.”

        A human has a four chambered heart. If no ancestor could survive with a 3 chambered heart why do reptiles and amphibians do just fine with one? And fish thrive with a two-chambered heart. And jellyfish thrive with no heart at all. Me thinks there’s a problem in your logic. Also to use a technological example something that is not necessary to a system can become necessary. For instance in computers 30 years ago there were no hard drives. Now no modern computer could function without one. Computers were designed by gradual, incremental modifications of precursor designs which similarly lead to irreducibly complex structures. Now modern versions of computers that needed disk drives to read the operating system don’t even have disk drives, relying on USB ports instead. So too the fact that modern mammals need a heart to survive doesn’t mean some more primitive organism did, and many organisms don’t have hearts and get by just fine. And the lymph system is analogous to what an early circulatory system might have been. Lymph is the fluid in your body that isn’t blood, and it circulates just like your blood but has no central pump. It’s a circulatory system without a heart. So how does it circulate? As a byproduct of our musculature. When you flex a muscle it shifts some of your lymph fluid around. The first heart in a primitive fish may have been an elongated blood vessel that circulated blood when muscles pressed on it – the faster the fish swims the faster it’s “heart” beats. Then natural selection can modify and specialize it and make it more complex to meet the needs of organisms in changing environments, as evidenced by the differences in hearts between different “kinds”, which are of course in one sense the same “kind”.

        “You can find countless examples of this. One of the simplest is the mouse trap. Take any one part away and it’s no longer a functioning mouse trap.”

        Remember that article you linked to bashing homology and pointing out that even a crappy remnant of a limb can perform some function in the organism? Don’t you see how that flies in the face of this “all or nothing” anti-evolution argument that everything must be fully formed to be useful?

        “The fully functional adult with all its systems comes first.”

        Where does the fully functional god come from?

        “Here is a website you can read: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html

        You realize that’s a pro-evolution site critical of him, right?

        “I respect that you believe in Evolution. I appreciate that you appear to have worked hard studying and all to understand it and make your own conclusions. I enjoy discussing and debating it.”

        Likewise, though your sources appear to be heavily one-sided.

        “But don’t go around ridiculing and laughing at other people just because they believe something different.”

        I don’t do this. I will occasionally lose my temper with someone but that’s usually due to low blood sugar and/or that person being a total douchebag. I do reserve the right to criticize anything someone says, but I try very hard not to resort to generalizations and ad hominems. I realize you take all kinds of crap from people on the other side of the debate but you wouldn’t believe the crap we get from fundamentalists. Here’s an example.

        We also have to put up with a steady stream of lies from evangelists and evangelical websites like the ones you linked to, and people who repeat the same lies after they’re shown that they are lies. The same way you told me what I believe after I told you I don’t.

        “There have been massive amounts of excellent research and work done by legitimate, extremely intelligent scientists on the subject of Intelligent Design.”

        There are lots of religious scientists and scientists who believe in an intelligent designer who have done good scientific work, but intelligent design is not a scientific concept and cannot be empirically tested. Even arguments like irreducible complexity have nothing to do with proving intelligent design and are simply attacks on evolution. You can’t prove x by disproving y, that’s not how science works. There may be an intelligent designer, but the idea can’t be tested because it has no parameters. An intelligent designer could design life or the universe any way it wanted, so what could possibly be inconsistent with it? It can’t be tested and is widely considered, even by christian scientists, to be a philosophical issue, not a scientific one. And organizations like the discovery institute have done a poor job of hiding their real reasons for promoting ID.

        “There is a lot of work done by the same too on the problems with the hypothesis of Evolution. Think about it, you admit, that the conclusions of Evolutionists could be wrong. You could be wrong. I could be wrong.”

        I’m glad you said you could be wrong too. And yes, it could be wrong. But I don’t think it is. And criticisms of evolution are welcome, it’s how the theory has improved so much since darwin’s day. Creationists like to quote people criticizing this or that part of evolution as if it’s damning proof that evolution is wrong when in reality that’s just science. Everything in science is continually picked apart and scrutinized. Religion is organized belief, science is organized doubt.

      • Daniel Silas says:

        Hi Agnophilo,

        I hope you are having a good evening. Thanks for your feedback.

        You wrote: “A hypothesis is an un-tested hypothetical explanation…”

        Yes I know. There are multiple definitions for theory, one of those being a hypothesis. You can see for yourself in a dictionary. With that said, I will use it aligned with your definitions of terms. That way we can try to stay on the same page.

        So a hypothesis is an untested explanation. Agreed.

        A theory is a hypothesis that scientists are researching using the scientific method to gather data and evidence to support said hypothesis. When there is data and evidence available to support the hypothesis it moves to being a theory. Yet, it is not 100% proven, and there is always the possibility it is wrong. Correct me if you see it differently.

        “Laws differ from scientific theories in that they do not posit a mechanism or explanation of phenomena: they are merely distillations of the results of repeated observation.” This qoute is off Wikipedia, and I believe its sufficient to define a scientific law despite the source.

        I think it would be best that we should separate ourselves from the stereotyping and general statements that are being made about scientists, evolutionists, creationists, and intelligent design and stop applying that to one another. That was not my intention, and I do want to point out that some of my general statements are not directed toward you personally.

        Also, science is not the enemy, and I do not think that way at all. Science is a neutral method of systematic observation and investigation of the natural world/universe, and by gathering data and evidence drawing practical and applicable conclusions. I am not anti-science. I actually love science, and I am and will always be a student forever learning.

        You wrote: “Something happening in the past does not make it an assumption or a guess…”

        I see what you are saying, but even in your own example, the person accused of the crime can not be proven 100% guilty. Verdicts are handed down by juries who do so by opinion based on the evidence. There have been plenty of people convicted that were innocent of the accused crimes. Thus, in reality the jury assumes that the evidence proves the accusations true. So indeed it is an assumption in the end. In the same way, when people look at the evidence and data for evolution, they have a choice to assume it is true. Some others may believe that assumption is incorrect by interpreting the evidence differently.

        So let’s break down evolution by looking at Darwin for a moment. He had a hypothesis that all life evolved from a single creature (whatever that may be). There are a number of assumptions within that hypothesis that scientists have gone about testing, researching, and gathering evidence interpreted to support the hypothetical claim. My point is that based on his observations Darwin had an idea. It was the idea that all creatures on earth evolved from a single creature.

        In the same way, I believe God created everything. My hypothesis (separate from the first cause and abiogenesis) is that all creatures were designed to adapt to their environments. Therefore, the animals adapted and changed based on the environment. In addition, breeding patterns and “survival of the fittest” caused the animals to further change. Hence we have the variety of life that we can observe in the natural world. Many of my conclusions could be supported by a lot of work that scientists have done to prove evolution. I prefer to call it adaption. Evolution is defined/loaded word so I have to use something different. So in a way the Adaption hypothesis could be an actual theory based on existing scientific discoveries if applied and accepted.

        Now, the differences are obvious and it begins with the initial “idea” or hypothesis. A thesis if you will. Darwin’s idea was that life evolved from a single creature. My idea is that life adapted from designed, fully formed creatures. Darwin has a single tree of life. I have multiple trees for the different kinds of creatures designed. Both ideas result in the variety of life that we observe. Darwin’s idea can not be proven 100% because no one can go back in time to observe the process. You can’t separate Darwin’s idea from including abiogenesis. In the same way, my idea of an intelligent designer can not be proven 100% because no one can go back in time to observe the process. So call it evolution or adaption, we agree life changes based on environment etc. We disagree on abiogenesis. Remember, this is my own personal view based on what I have studied and observed. So it very much is the interpretation of data and evidence.

        Of course there are disagreements over details. I have not observed anything that would lead me to accept transitional creatures between species. Hopefully, I am using the scientific terms in the same way you would define them. I have not seen any of my trees merge into the one that Evolutionists believe. Yes, there are plenty of fossils that Evolutionists point to as a transitional specimen, but I have not seen any that are convincing in the slightest. I’ll leave the fraud and all out it.

        Let’s take for example the Tiktaalik. I watched a terrible Nova documentary and they talked about it. It can be interpreted differently. The scientists were saying it proves the transition of fish to amphibians. First, it was a very partial, badly damaged fossil. What it looked like to me was that an amphibian was walking along and was squashed by a heavy bolder or something. That is why the head is flat and all. Go look at some road kill and you’ll see what I mean. Or it could have simply been a different animal that we have never observed. Scientists are still discovering new forms of life. No reason to claim it is a transitional creature. Its the Evolution scientists that are attempting to prove Darwin’s idea of macroevolution. That is why they claim its a transition despite having any evidence to prove their assumption. They trust the Darwin’s idea is true and draw conclusions based on the idea.

        You wrote: “Science is not, despite what creationist websites promote, simply a matter of opinion.”

        Yes, I agree that science includes testing and making predictions, but if you have an assumption as the foundation that guides your conclusions… it is a matter of opinion if the evidence can be interpreted in multiple ways. Plenty of people die all the time when they go to the hospital. Planes do crash. The scientific method is great, and we would like it to remove bias and opinion, but in the end human beings are biased and are motivated by opinion. I have yet to meet someone who is truly unbiased or unopionated. Darwin’s idea is very much a prediction, but it has yet to be proven conclusively even after 150 years. Many of the findings and observations could very well support the idea of adaption as I have described.

        The statement that you don’t believe the scientific community is corrupt is surprising. The scientific community is made of human beings. Of course its corrupt. Sure, you have noble scientists who are really trying to hold to the principles that we have discussed, but there are plenty out there who are just as corrupt as anyone else. They will lie, cheat, falsify findings, and commit fraud if it will serve their selfish desires. That is the motivation, not to hurt religion, but I’m sure there are some out there who wouldn’t hesitate. One thing this life has taught me is to not be naive and believe everyone has good intentions or motives.

        You wrote, “The fact is even christian scientists are overwhelmingly against a literal interpretation of genesis.”

        I really believe that is supposition unless you have data, but it really isn’t relevant since we are talking at a more individual level.

        You wrote: “List for me the scientists in the US who have been imprisoned or threatened with death (by an official institution not by some random nut) for questioning evolution and your comparison is justified.”

        That is to the extreme, and I was using hyperbole to make a point. You really can’t deny that there is a culture of rejection when it comes to the scientific community majority and those scientists who believe in Intelligent Design. There are plenty of examples to provide evidence for my point.

        You wrote: “Christians tend to think they are persecuted simply because they do not get special priveleges, or equate persecution with not being able to violate other peoples’ rights. ”

        That is opinion and ad hominem. You can’t stereotype all Christians like that. I don’t know any Christians who feel that way, and I know a lot. The evidence proves that Christianity is the #1 persecuted faith in the world. The other religions are persecuted as well, but more Christians have died over the last 2000 years than anyone else. How do Christians in our day violate other people’s rights with our faith?

        On the scientific community being wrong about Evolution you wrote, “It’s possible, but highly unlikely.” I would personally leave it at being possible. Yes, there are many Evolutionists who do act like the theory is completely true. Sure, there are some scientists who don’t present it that way, but there are many who do. You might disagree with them. Plus, there are people out there who use Evolution to attack religious people and their faith in God. That is why there is a large amount of back lash against Evolution from that community of people.

        You wrote: “I’ll give you the occasional slandering, but everything else is hogwash.”

        You probably have already watched Expelled with Ben Stein, but I think that is plenty of evidence to support the silencing and academic oppression.

        You wrote: “You just in your response have made many charges that people you disagree with aren’t just wrong but deliberately perpetrating a fraud. Isn’t that slander?”

        No, its not that they disagree with me. I only point to the legitimate examples of fraud in the scientific community. Yes, I agree there are people of faith out there that do things they shouldn’t do. And I believe we both agree that those people on both sides of the line do not represent the whole of the opposing sides or the subject matter.

        You wrote: “Yes they did. Belief is subjective, knowledge is demonstrable.”

        Again you missed my point. I do agree with you about subjective and demonstration, and I was pointing out that the disciples had first hand knowledge of Christ’s death and resurrection. They were eye witnesses, so they would have known it was a lie or really true. If they applied the scientific method they observed and tested Christ in a number of ways after His resurrection. Their conclusions about Him were grounded in first hand, eye witness, demonstrated knowledge.

        The difference between you and I is I believe that the Bible is eye witness testimony and recorded history. You believe its a book of made up stories. Therefore, you and I will simply have to disagree. The Bible has been proven to be true in many, many ways by the sciences and non-Biblical historical sources. Just one example is that genetics proves that the entire human race descended from one man and one woman. They even put a non-religious documentary on PBS talking about our first mother. I’m also part of the DNA genealogy project. I believe the Bible because of the mountain of evidence and logical conclusions. Don’t bother responding with liberal dogma (extremely poor excuse for academic research) against the Bible, I’ve heard it and researched it for myself.

        God could very well communicate with humanity by having witnesses who interacted with Him write it down. He reveals Himself how He chooses. At Mt Sinai, He revealed Himself to millions. Jesus confirmed everything all the way back to Genesis 1. He proved His words were true by being resurrected from the dead. I believe what He says about origins. The synoptic gospels (written before 70 AD) record Jesus’ prophecy about the Temple and Jerusalem being destroyed. It happened exactly like He said including the Temple being taken apart stone-by-stone. The Romans did so to get the gold that had melted from the fires. Not to mention all of the personal things I have seen in my life, or the spiritual experiences I have witnessed first hand. I’ve seriously researched my faith for at least 20 years.

        You wrote: “I don’t know how someone could know that somebody ascended bodily into heaven.”

        The disciples watched Him ascend up into Heaven from the Mount of Olives to the east of Jerusalem. They were eyewitnesses of the event. See Acts 1.

        You wrote: “None of that logically points to jesus rising from the dead.”

        That is because you believe the Bible is nothing but made up stories. If you reject the Bible as a source of information then there is nothing I can write to change your mind. If you were to apply the liberal theologian’s standard they use for the Bible to every document from antiquity, we wouldn’t have anything left. Compare the Bible manuscript evidence to that of the Greek philosophers like Plato. Everyone believes Plato’s work is authentic, why not the Bible? The manuscript evidence for Plato’s work being authentic is like the size of a mouse. The manuscript evidence for the Bible is like the size of an elephant in comparison.

        You wrote: “This is not the case, it’s creationist rhetoric. While some ideas are speculation…”

        That is really funny. I wrote, “There are a lot of assumptions, guesses, and pieces of the paradigm that has to be taken on faith.” Then you turn around and say some ideas are speculation. You just confirmed the point. I’ve demonstrated that in this response though no where near any level of exhaustion. Yes, I do understand the example of the fish and the scientist’s underlying belief that the mechanisms and principles have been thoroughly “proven.” Sure… adaption, not macroevolution. A single tree of life can not be proven at all outside of some bare minimum scraps of data that could be interpreted multiple ways. Let me go dig up some bones and postulate how its a transitional animal. Then I’ll go tell everyone. That is about the same thing “scientists” do.

        People complain that religious people believe things that people tell them without proof. People who study Evolution do the same exact thing. Tell me… have you gone to every single “transitional” animal that has supposedly been found and examined the data for yourself? No? Why are you believing something people just tell you? How about all the other supposed evidences for macroevolution? Do you believe the news? Ever believe anything that someone told you that you didn’t have proof it was true? Those questions are not necessarily spoken to you. It goes for anyone. When it comes down to it, we all believe things people tell us without demanding absolute proof for ever little thing. You have to decide who you are going to trust. I trust Jesus and His followers who wrote down what they saw first hand as eye witnesses, heard with their own ears, and touched with their own hands. It was true and they laid down their lives proclaiming it.

        You wrote, “Creationists lump them all together and call them “evolutionism” and claim they are one unified ideology simply to avoid dealing with the fact that they are not.”

        This is simple rhetoric and does not apply to ever single Christian. I am very aware of the different sciences, and I don’t lump them together. Its scientists that links cosmology, abiogenesis, and evolution together as parts of a greater whole. You can’t expect me to believe that the scientific community doesn’t logically link them together. Separate sciences yes, but linked together logically into a unified ideology (to use your words). Then its presented as the truth, perhaps not scientists, but a whole lot of people including academia, media, and entertainment. Just sit down and watch a scientific documentary on the development of life on the earth. It will include all three sciences as well as others.

        You wrote: “…To quote the previous pope…”

        I’m protestant, the words of the Pope hold no importance to me. I read this in the news when it happened. I’m not surprised that he would support evolution as true after the way the Catholics have corrupted Christian teachings with massive amounts of false doctrines. Macroevolution is false, and he simply piled that on top of all the other false doctrines they hold to.

        He said, “The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.”

        I agree that the theory draws on various fields of knowledge. That doesn’t mean its true. “Neither sought nor fabricated…” That is laughable. That is saying that scientists have always worked completely independent of one another, never influenced by anyone else, and that they never sought to work collaboratively. Not fabricated… wow, that is such an error. There is plenty of fraud and fabrication. Yes, scientists are perfect human beings who have never done anything wrong, never make mistakes, have no biases, are always objective, and are never in error. Let’s all just go and kneel at their feet so they can enlighten us with their perfect knowledge and simply tell us what to believe! Those two statements are satirical.

        You wrote: “Actually it was a law, and “laws” of science get “broken” all the time. New vacuum experiments suggest that emptiness is actually quite unstable and that it spontaneously produces measurable particles and energy.”

        Pardon me for not using your defined terms in our discussion. What? You mean scientists are wrong all the time?

        Vacuum? That is not what I’m talking about. I have no doubts that vacuum is full of energy and matter. I’m talking about complete non-existence. No fabric of space, no vacuum, no energy, no matter, absolutely nothing in existence. Then matter and energy spontaneously came into existence (no cause, no reason) along with all the other elements that make up our universe. It would take more faith for me to believe in that to believe in a first cause.

        You wrote: ” It makes no claims about whether the matter came from or if it even came from anywhere or anything.”

        You say that, but there are plenty of scientists that speculate. There are numerous hypotheses about how it started. I believe there was a first cause and that is God. It is a legitimate conclusion. Just because people say “There is no god” doesn’t mean that my conclusion is false. There is no reason to not believe God was the first cause. Then logic takes over linking fields of knowledge around that central thesis. God was the first cause, He created the universe, the vast reaches of space, all of the stars, solar systems, planets, and life on said planets. God chose this planet to create us for His own purpose and according to His own will for His own reasons. He designed everything on this planet to adapt hence the reason for all the variety that we see. They reproduce their own kind (genetics). Pulling all the sciences into it, there is plenty of data to support adaption as I have hypothesized. Hence it can be a theory.

        You wrote: “So the big bang is bad science and ridiculous and unfounded and god caused it? ”

        No. I never said the Big Bang was bad science. I said that for the entire universe to suddenly explode into existence for no reason without a cause is ridiculous. I’m pleased to see that you allow that an intelligent being could be the First Cause. I believe that the First Cause is intimately involved in everything that has been created (side note: DNA is a digital code, but its far more complex and advanced that our understanding of digital information. Information proclaims a designer.) He revealed Himself to humanity and those who witnessed the events wrote it down for others to preserve the knowledge of what happened. Don’t we preserve our knowledge in writing and digitally now? Beyond that I believe the First Cause revealed Himself to humanity through Christ. He revealed Himself to thousands in the land of Israel at that time, and sent out over a hundred as witnesses to tell everyone the Good News. That God is just, we are criminals, and we can be saved from God’s wrath by trusting in Him. He took our punishment on Himself to demonstrate His eternal, perfect love and grace. Why? We will be the examples of His grace for the ages to come.

        You wrote: “These calculations are highly speculative and I’ve never found one that is impossible when you consider the number of galaxies/solar systems.”

        I didn’t say it was impossible, but its so unlikely based on the numbers I’ve seen, I don’t have any problem in believing God is the First Cause and created life here on the Earth.

        You wrote: “You are making claims about the dynamics of the origins of life, a process you claim never happened and is impossible.”

        I say the process is so unlikely its nearly impossible. God as the First Cause is just as plausible, and in my mind much more likely. Especially based on the complexity that we see in the universe. It shouts “Designer.” The fact we are thinking, self aware, intelligent beings is proof to me that God exists. You say proteins formed by themselves, and then linked together etc so on and so forth… but science can not test the origins of emotions and consciousness by natural means. I believe God created us in His image and that is why we have emotions, consciousness etc.

        You wrote: “Ideas like panspermia are not rationalizations of other ideas, they are simply explored because they are possibly true.”

        The idea that there is an Intelligent Designer is possibly true. Why not explore it since it meets the same criteria? Perhaps there could be scientific data and evidence available if it was actually studied and not dismissed.

        You wrote: “I still don’t get the tax analogy but something we know the nature and dynamics of and something we don’t are simply not comparable.”

        I’m sorry you don’t get it. Let me put it this way. The chances of ERVs landing in the same exact spots in two separate animals that share the same environment is very small (if we are not distant relatives of the same single tree of life). I’m comparing that tiny number to the even more tiny number of life starting on its own in abiogenesis thought. If the latter is possible, its much easier to believe the former with such a massive difference in the probabilities. So it is possible the ERVs landed on their own in the same exact spots. I don’t have to believe it was a result of evolving from a common ancestor. Again, interpretation of data can be different. For one person it supports evolution, and to me it does not prove anything about evolution. I believe in Adaption not Evolution. The virus could have adapted to its environment and those particular places in DNA are the perfect locations for them. Or they were designed to land there for the benefit of the host.

        You wrote: “But people who made claims about jesus in the iron age they’re totally credible.”

        They are just as credible as any other human being including scientists that are alive today. There is no reason to doubt the eyewitness testimony we find in the pages of the Bible.

        You wrote: “And of course you won’t bother doing that, so evolution is false.”

        That is a funny assertion. Who says I haven’t done some experimentation on my own? I’ve studied a lot in my life including different sciences and fields of knowledge including biology. If I had the time I would probably spend a lot of it in the science field, but alas I must make a living full time to feed my family. So my time is limited.

        You wrote: “You can’t assess the probability of thing A or thing B, but you know one is more probable than the other.”

        Yes, by looking at the complexity of the universe. God is more probable by far. There would never be anything designed on the earth if humanity was not here. And the complexity of what we have designed is no where near the complexity of a single cell. It demands the explanation of a Designer.

        You wrote: “You are putting words in my mouth that neither I nor anyone I’ve ever heard of would ever say. I’ve told you this, you ignore me and do it anyway.”

        No, I didn’t say you said that. Nor anyone else.

        You wrote: “The number of miracle claims from the age of zeus and thor and jesus is astonishing.”

        Simply because people made up false gods and stories about Zeus and Thor, does not mean that the miracles of Jesus and the Bible are not true. Something happened 2000 years ago in the land of Israel that sent shock waves outward impacting vast amounts of people across tribes, tongues, nations, and peoples. Eye witnesses who saw Jesus and all He did including His resurrection, shared the knowledge with others. The eye witnesses performed miracles in the presence of hundreds if not thousands as well confirming their words. All the disciples were put to death for something they knew was the truth from first hand, eye witness experience.

        You wrote: “First of all there is a lot of hypocrisy in being hyper-critical of science while then turning around and making up a bunch of things off of the top of your head and accepting them with no experiments or tests of any kind.”

        You claim they are made up. I believe God told those He revealed Himself to the truth about what happened. I can’t go back in time and test it scientifically just like Evolutionists can’t go back in time and prove their assertions about abiogenesis. Darwin discussed it, so you can’t say its not part of the ideology.

        You wrote: “Intermediates between birds and dinosaurs and mammals and reptiles fit in with adaptation theory? And by the way it’s not a scientific theory.”

        Sure, but I wouldn’t call them intermediates. They are just varieties of animals. It can be a theory if I apply a lot of what science has said about Evolution. The few problems I have with Evolution deal mainly with the Macro concepts.

        You wrote: “And different areas have different animals. This matters why? What species live in an area changes over time, this is not the same thing as the fossil record contradicting itself.”

        It matters because in different areas the animals in the layers are not in the same order, so it contradicts itself.

        You wrote: “The evidence is still there and plentiful. Do you honestly think every fossil is a forgery? Do you think that little of your fellow man?”

        You say its there and plentiful. I’ll apply the same standard you put on the people who wrote the Bible. I can’t just “believe” what you write. No, I don’t think every fossil is a forgery, but I have yet to see any convincing transitional intermediate forms. Humanity has proven itself to be fraudulent and liars. Humans are prone to arrogance, mistakes, and errors. I’m human so I know its true.

        You wrote: “Well if you’re just going to make shit up why not make it interesting and believe that fossils were brought here by aliens or something.”

        Some scientists speculate aliens seeded the planet with life, so the fossils would be from aliens indirectly. Since they don’t have a good answer for abiogenesis, it is at least interesting as you say.

        You wrote: “I know you think you’re being clever but you’re proposing something absurd that is absurd according to what you are arguing against.”

        It was meant to be humorous. Yes, it was absurd to make a point.

        You wrote: “There are supercomputers that can perform more calculations per second than there are atoms in the most complex cell in nature. The statement about being more complex than any machine is a bit outdated and depends largely on what you mean by complexity.”

        The point is their understanding of a cell was completely wrong in Darwin’s time. They thought it was very simple, and in truth it is extremely complex. So the idea that a cell could form on its own is extremely improbable if not nearly impossible. You mention supercomputers… it is a designed machine and would never be built on its own. I would say it would be impossible for a super computer to be built outside of a designer. In the same way, a single cell is so complex it points to a designer. The game Spore makes me chuckle. It supposedly follows something akin to the evolution of life, but the whole time a designer is sitting at the keyboard.

        As to irreducible complexity I have studied the opposing side, and I still don’t see anything that convinces me its not legitimate. Everyone I have heard misses the point. Its about specific function, not taking pieces apart and pointing to different functions. That does not disprove it at all. I will continue to study it and look over the links you have provided.

        You wrote: “He claimed the bacteria flagellum could not be reduced and still function – turns out you can take away almost all of it’s parts and it still functions.”

        That is simply not true. The observed specific function of the bacteria flagellum is broken if you take any of the pieces away. The most common rebuttal is that it works with pieces taken away as a type of hypodermic needle. That is the exact point. If you take pieces away it breaks the original function and takes on a different function (or none at all), but it will not work as the original, specific function without all its pieces. Its the same with the mouse trap. The trap has a specific function. Take a piece away and the function is broken. I saw a guy use a disassembled mouse trap as a tie clip, which is a different function. That is the whole point. Its about specific function, not possible functions with the various pieces or elements. The people who argue against irreducible complexity like that don’t even understand the principle. They really make themselves look foolish to people who do understand it. Michael Behe is a genius, and I respect him.

        You wrote: “…Me thinks there’s a problem in your logic… Then natural selection can modify and specialize it and make it more complex to meet the needs of organisms in changing environments…”

        I think my logic is just fine. There is no evidence that our environment has changed so drastically that our hearts would change like you speculate… developing from no heart to a 4 chambered heart. The human heart’s specific function is perfect for our current environment and bodies. Change that environment or the heart in any way and the human dies. That doesn’t quite work out for survival of the fittest. I’d suggest one of the problems with macroevolution is that mutations (at times) lead to death not to improving an animal over many generations. If a mutation produced a fully formed specific function then it might be more reasonable. I don’t have a problem with mutations that create the variety that we see from Adaption, but some mutations would kill the organism.

        And this brings up another extremely important point. Where is the evidence for soft tissue evolution? There is none. Show me a human heart that has transitioned like you suggest. So much of macroevolution is speculation, far fetched, so improbable that designed Adaption is much more plausible.

        You wrote: “Where does the fully functional god come from?”

        I am not sure since He hasn’t told us yet.

        You wrote: “You realize that’s a pro-evolution site critical of him, right?”

        Yes I know, but it has lots of useful links to study the subject. Something wrong with that?

        You wrote: “Likewise, though your sources appear to be heavily one-sided.”

        Those are by no means an exhaustive list of my sources. That’s funny that you imply that.

        You wrote: “I don’t do this. I will occasionally lose my temper with someone…”

        That statement was general, not specifically aimed at you.

        You wrote: “I realize you take all kinds of crap from people on the other side of the debate but you wouldn’t believe the crap we get from fundamentalists.”

        I have no doubts that it goes both ways. People are passionate on both sides.

        You wrote: “We also have to put up with a steady stream of lies from evangelists and evangelical websites like the ones you linked to.”

        No source is perfect, and I leave those things that I know are incorrect and contemplate and research those points I find interesting.

        You wrote: “There are lots of religious scientists and scientists who believe in an intelligent designer who have done good scientific work…”

        I’m glad you have seen that.

        You wrote: “…but intelligent design is not a scientific concept and cannot be empirically tested.”

        The underlying thesis or idea can’t be empirically tested, but it can be a starting point to guide (a framework) the study of Adaption. Its the same with with Darwin’s underlying thesis of abiogenesis and a single common ancestor (a framework), but its a starting point to guide the study of Evolution.

        You wrote: “But I don’t think it is.”

        Same here, concerning my own position.

        You wrote: “Everything in science is continually picked apart and scrutinized.”

        In a perfect scientific community everything would be, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

        P.S. Perhaps we can keep our comments a tad shorter, that way we can respond quicker. :-)

        Update #1: I watched the video, “The Human Eye is NOT Irreducibly Complex.” Its a video about how an eye “might” have formed according to the narrator. There is zero evidence or data proving any of the speculation presented. Its funny because as he is building an example it is a designer that is building it. If the original creature did not have eyes why would it develop at all? There is no plausible explanation. The video doesn’t even address irreducible complexity. As Kenneth Miller said, natural selection is blind and cannot plan a complex structure, and I would add on ‘that has a specific function.’

        Update #2: I watched the video “The Collapse of Intelligent Design” with Kenneth Miller. The video was about teaching ID in public schools and the various legal cases. Not sure how that would apply to me believing ID. As to teaching ID in schools I believe that should be placed in a philosophy class along with Darwin’s abiogenesis ideas to be debated. Neither one can be proven through observation and testing.

        I appreciated Dr. Miller’s talk and points. I’ve addressed the Bacteria Flagellum. Its about the complexity that results in specific function. I will go on to say that the building blocks (proteins etc) can be designed in different ways for different functions. No argument there. There is no reason why an Intelligent Designer would need to have absolutely unique building blocks for each structure within a cell. If I was a designer I’d use those parts that were already available unless I needed a unique part for a specific function within a complex structure. I wonder if any of those 40 parts Dr. Miller removed would be an example.

        With all due respect to Dr. Miller in regard to Dr. Behe’s work on the human blood clotting system, he passed right over the fact that yes, if one part was removed from the system in humans we would bleed out. Same for the other animals he mentioned. Take one out and you break the specific function. God could have designed each system separately for each animal and not include every single part in every single animal. From what I have observed, God prefers variety in the design work that he has done. But, he uses the same building blocks that are here and available on Earth.

        Likewise, when it comes to DNA, God (I believe) is the one who wrote the extremely complex digital code, and he altered it for each kind of animal. That does not mean that he has to use a unique digital code (built of different components) for every single animal. He chose to use the same building blocks to construct the code, and did so to design all of the life on this planet. It makes perfect sense since we would be living in this environment. He designed a body for us to exist (house) our true selves (spirit/soul) in this material universe, it does not matter if it is close genetically to other primates. Perhaps Chromosome 2 is designed like it is because that is what separates our physical design from those of the great apes. The great apes have a commonality among their body structures. Humans have differences that set us apart. My point is being close in DNA design to other animals in no way nullifies an Intelligent Designer.

        Dr. Miller discussed Dr. Behe’s view on the immune system. The lawyer’s tactic was flawed. Dr. Behe, as a scientist does what every scientist does to come to a conclusion (scientific method etc). For his conclusions to be right doesn’t mean that Dr. Behe would have to read every single piece of published research on the subject. He absolutely has a right to disagree with other scientific work that he deems does not prove the point to him. That is the nature of scientific inquiry, scientists do not always agree based on their findings. The courtroom antics of the lawyer doesn’t make Dr. Behe wrong that was just theatrics to persuade the judge (which is just a lawyer in a black robe). Too bad the judge didn’t see that point.

  2. Daniel Silas says:

    Oh look… more ridicule.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/18/clueless-ct-mainstream-journalists-admission-that-shes-a-creationist-sparks-nasty-response/

    I love the part that reveals Barack Obama is a creationist. *waits for ridicule of the President*

    • agnophilo says:

      The people calling her the c-word are pathetic trolls who should be ignored (I have been called worse things by people on the internet by the way). Also believing in a creator and being a creationist are not the same thing. Creationism is belief in a strict, literal interpretation of genesis, which obama does not do. Creationists are ridiculed for, as one comedian put it, “watching the flintstones as if it were a documentary”, not for simply believing there’s a god.

      • Daniel Silas says:

        Comedians… that is a silly statement designed to get a laugh. It has no value, and it in no way applies to creationists who believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis.

        As to President Obama, his remarks begin at 2:19. I was being satirical. Really the term Creationist can have multiple definitions and could be applied to anyone who believes God created life here on the earth. It depends on how you define it.

  3. agnophilo says:

    Creationism is belief in a strict, literal interpretation of genesis or some other creationist account. Deism, theistic evolution etc are not the same thing. And yes, creationists who believe humans and dinosaurs lived together in peace and harmony are essentially treating the flintstones as though it were a documentary.

    • Daniel Silas says:

      I have to disagree with you. Creationism has multiple definitions. It is not our place to demand that a word have a singular meaning. The best that we can do is agree on definition of words so we can have a proper discourse of ideas.

      The Flintstones comment is an ad hominem attack on people with a different perspective than yourself. I really don’t think it is appropriate. After all they could be right however improbable that it might be from your view.

      • agnophilo says:

        Attacking someone’s position is not ad hominem, attacking them is. You could argue it’s a strawman but it is by definition not ad hominem. As for creationism by that definition darwin was a creationist. Yes you can use the term in that sense but your point relies on it meaning creationism as opposed to acceptance of evolution.

  4. Daniel Silas says:

    The Flintstones comment is an attack on the person. Can’t you see that by writing that it makes them look stupid?

    That is true if Charles Darwin believed God created the heavens and the earth then he could be considered a creationist. So its all in the definition and use.

  5. agnophilo says:
    “I hope you are having a good evening. Thanks for your feedback.” Likewise. “So a hypothesis is an untested explanation. Agreed.” “A theory is a hypothesis that scientists are researching using the scientific method to gather data and evidence to support said hypothesis. When there is data and evidence available to support the hypothesis it moves to being a theory. Yet, it is not 100% proven, and there is always the possibility it is wrong. Correct me if you see it differently.” A theory is a hypothesis that is supported by tests and evidence. It is never considered 100% proven but out of principle, not lack of evidence. To use this or a theory’s status as a theory to suggest it’s dubious or not well accepted is dishonest. “I think it would be best that we should separate ourselves from the stereotyping and general statements that are being made about scientists, evolutionists, creationists, and intelligent design and stop applying that to one another. That was not my intention, and I do want to point out that some of my general statements are not directed toward you personally.” I appreciate the thought but you continue to do this in this response, for instance using quotation marks around the word “scientist” to suggest that any scientist who doesn’t agree with you isn’t even a scientist. “Also, science is not the enemy, and I do not think that way at all.” Not at all? You have said outright that the over 99% of scientists in earth and life science fields who don’t agree with you are either deliberately defrauding the public or are victims of a nazi-like propaganda effort to threaten and bully their peers into agreeing with them. You describe the scientific establishment not only in the US but around the world as being an ideological dictatorship hostile to everything you believe. How can you then turn around and say you don’t see science as an enemy? Do you not believe all that bad stuff about scientists or do you think evolution is only accepted by a tiny minority of scientists? Or by “science” do you what you read on creationist websites, and everything else you consider non-science? I don’t know how you can hold these seemingly conflicting views. “Science is a neutral method of systematic observation and investigation of the natural world/universe, and by gathering data and evidence drawing practical and applicable conclusions. I am not anti-science. I actually love science, and I am and will always be a student forever learning.” I don’t understand your contempt for so much of science in that case. I see what you are saying, but even in your own example, the person accused of the crime can not be proven 100% guilty. Verdicts are handed down by juries who do so by opinion based on the evidence. There have been plenty of people convicted that were innocent of the accused crimes. Thus, in reality the jury assumes that the evidence proves the accusations true. So indeed it is an assumption in the end.” An assumption is a conclusion based on no evidence. You are saying that because some people are wrongly convicted that therefore all convictions are baseless assumptions with no merit or evidence. You are saying that anything less than 100% is automatically zero, which makes no sense. The point was that claims about past events are testable, not that juries are infallible. Do you accept that you can establish to any high degree of certainty given optimal evidence and conditions that a past event took place a certain way? Such as for instance a paternity test verifying who someone’s parents were without having to have witnessed their conception or forensic analysis verifying the events of a crime scene? “In the same way, when people look at the evidence and data for evolution, they have a choice to assume it is true.” This isn’t how science works, you keep insisting all science is simply a matter of subjective opinion but whether a theory can be used to make accurate predictions and yield tangible benefits is not a matter of opinion. Evolution science is not speculation, it can tell us what’s in the fossil record before we dig it up, what’s in the genomes of species before they’re sequenced, what a virus will look like x years from now so we can make vaccines for a version that doesn’t exist yet etc. That’s not the same thing as looking at a fossil, scratching your head and forming an opinion. The former is science, the latter is pseudoscience. The latter is what creationists engage in. Or can you give me an example of an intelligent design prediction or experiment that had the potential, if wrong, to falsify the intelligent design hypothesis? “Some others may believe that assumption is incorrect by interpreting the evidence differently.” I see this “we have the same evidence, we just interpret it differently” rhetoric on creationist websites, but that’s not how science works. Einstein didn’t watch light bend around the sun in an eclipse and then speculate about what caused it – he predicted it before the eclipse that allowed the observation to be made took place. That and many other predictions are why his theory of relativity is so well accepted today. Astrophysicists didn’t detect cosmic background radiation and come up with the big bang, they predicted it ought to exist if the big bang happened before we could detect it. That is science. What you’re describing is maybe philosophy at best. “So let’s break down evolution by looking at Darwin for a moment. He had a hypothesis that all life evolved from a single creature (whatever that may be).” Actually he thought life arose from “one or several” created organisms. “There are a number of assumptions within that hypothesis that scientists have gone about testing, researching, and gathering evidence interpreted to support the hypothetical claim.” Even before darwin there was evidence supporting most of the ideas we now attribute to him. I can’t think of any claim he made that he did not have a significant amount of evidence to support. “My point is that based on his observations Darwin had an idea. It was the idea that all creatures on earth evolved from a single creature.” One or several. “In the same way, I believe God created everything. My hypothesis (separate from the first cause and abiogenesis) is that all creatures were designed to adapt to their environments. Therefore, the animals adapted and changed based on the environment. In addition, breeding patterns and “survival of the fittest” caused the animals to further change.” So you are saying living things were designed to adapt in addition to natural selection and various evolutionary mechanisms? How so? And the intelligent design part can’t be tested as it is not specific enough to make predictions and test them and the supposed designer cannot be observed in any way. So while it could be correct it isn’t science. “Hence we have the variety of life that we can observe in the natural world. Many of my conclusions could be supported by a lot of work that scientists have done to prove evolution.” If you’d used your idea to make their predictions maybe. But you can’t just take modern science, add a twist and then say that the findings of scientists support your twist when they don’t. Reminds me of this: [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKGp5ZjlMmE&w=640&h=390] “I prefer to call it adaption. Evolution is defined/loaded word so I have to use something different.” Creationists have spent decades loading the term. It’s hard to accept something you’ve spent decades vilifying. In the past few years creationists have gone from claiming that natural selection is impossible and all mutations are harmful (when these claims were never based on evidence and were based on “what would make evolution wrong if it were true” thinking) and just in the past 3 or 4 years they’ve suddenly gone from “natural selection is absurd and ridiculous and impossible” to “of course natural selection happens, who ever said it didn’t?” They just insist that that’s not evolution and then say “real” evolution is a dog giving birth to a cat or some nonsense, or macro-evolution, which they ignore is actually well supported and well observed. “So in a way the Adaption hypothesis could be an actual theory based on existing scientific discoveries if applied and accepted.” The initial design claim is unsupportable. We can assert that a person was responsible for something (like a homicide) only because we know a lot about people. We know they leave fingerprints and DNA and what they look like and how strong they are and a thousand other things so we can build a case that x person was murdered rather than dying in a freak accident. But I don’t know how we could empirically test the idea that a flower was designed by a conscious mind. If we had the kind of access to deities that we have to people then maybe we could form a similar framework but of course that’s not how it is. It’s like trying to prove aliens from the andromeda galaxy killed x person without knowing anything about them. And all of the “a building needs a builder” type arguments use examples of things we know by direct experience are built by people and pretends we know them by inference and that the intelligent design inference is therefore justified. But that’s comparing apples and oranges. “Now, the differences are obvious and it begins with the initial “idea” or hypothesis. A thesis if you will. Darwin’s idea was that life evolved from a single creature. My idea is that life adapted from designed, fully formed creatures. Darwin has a single tree of life. I have multiple trees for the different kinds of creatures designed. Both ideas result in the variety of life that we observe.” The difference is that the single “tree of life” was arrived at objectively before darwin and then verified again through genetics. The 1 tree or several idea can actually be tested and it fails the test. Just as if someone claimed (as many have) that blacks and whites and asians etc are all separately created and were not initially related to one another – that idea can and has been tested and is simply not true. Or the claim in the book of mormon that native americans are a lost tribe of israel, that they were related to jews within the past few thousand years – that has also been debunked. “Darwin’s idea can not be proven 100% because no one can go back in time to observe the process.” We’ve been over this, and nothing can be proven 100% even if it happens right in front of you. There is always the possibility of a hallucination or mass-delusion or optical illusion or that we’re all plugged into the matrix or that david copperfield made it look like it happened when it didn’t etc, etc. “You can’t separate Darwin’s idea from including abiogenesis.” He believed in special creation, his idea never included abiogenesis to begin with. And his theory is not in any way dependent on abiogenesis and has nothing to do with the origins of life. “In the same way, my idea of an intelligent designer can not be proven 100% because no one can go back in time to observe the process.” This is the logical path evangelists try to take people down. Evolution is based on faith, science can’t be substantiated – therefore all ideas about origins are equally valid… and now that you’ve accepted that let me convince you that are ideas are better by scaring you with hell or bribing you with heaven or guilt tripping you or throwing some logic at you or mocking science some more etc… All ideas are not equally valid, and those are not sound reasons to believe or disbelieve something. “So call it evolution or adaption, we agree life changes based on environment etc. We disagree on abiogenesis.” I don’t think you even asked me what my view on abiogenesis is. I think it’s the philosophically simpler and more logical explanation for the origins of complexity (intelligent design simply ignores the problem and engages in special pleading) and I think that there is some compelling evidence for it, but that it’s far from being established as fact. I also think that not understanding something like the origins of life or matter or the universe means we don’t understand it, and nothing more. It doesn’t point to yahweh being real any more than not understanding lightning points to zeus being real. “Remember, this is my own personal view based on what I have studied and observed. So it very much is the interpretation of data and evidence.” It’s philosophical speculation though, not science. Which is fine, just don’t confuse the two though. Especially not in a science classroom. “Of course there are disagreements over details. I have not observed anything that would lead me to accept transitional creatures between species.” When I listed a huge list of transitional forms you gladly accepted them… as proof of “adaptation”. The fact is there are countless intermediate forms and we can see literally every skeletal feature in our bodies gradually arise in the fossil record. But let me ask you, if hundreds of thousands of transitional fossils aren’t enough for you, what are you waiting for? What specific thing could we find in the fossil record that you would find compelling? If you can’t answer that then the problem isn’t a lack of evidence, it’s you simply not being open to any possible evidence. “Hopefully, I am using the scientific terms in the same way you would define them. I have not seen any of my trees merge into the one that Evolutionists believe.” We share a great deal of our DNA with bananas. How are our “trees” not even merged with other primates that have nearly idential DNA, skeletons and physiology? Point out for me the differences in the anatomy of a chimpanzee with ours that make you think we started out on separate trees. Actually no I’ll make it easier, tell me five anatomical traits that your dog has that you don’t have some version of. “Yes, there are plenty of fossils that Evolutionists point to as a transitional specimen, but I have not seen any that are convincing in the slightest.” It takes a fair amount of learning to even tell the difference between a male and female human skeleton, let alone understand what makes a fossil transitional or not. I think people who see evolution as the enemy of a worldview they are heavily invested in are not very likely to learn all they need to to understand things like comparative anatomy or genetics, or if they do study them it will be with an eye toward attacking them. Like johnathan wells, a creationist you’d probably recognize from ID material – he is a “moony” (believes tsun myung moon is jesus on earth right now) and he admits publicly that he got his PhD in biology specifically to attack evolution with more credibility. I don’t think he went into it with an open and curious mind. “I’ll leave the fraud and all out it.” Best to do so, since nearly all of it is imaginary. “Let’s take for example the Tiktaalik. I watched a terrible Nova documentary and they talked about it. It can be interpreted differently. The scientists were saying it proves the transition of fish to amphibians. First, it was a very partial, badly damaged fossil. What it looked like to me was that an amphibian was walking along and was squashed by a heavy bolder or something. That is why the head is flat and all. Go look at some road kill and you’ll see what I mean.” So a boulder fell on it and gave it ankle and wrist bones and digits in it’s fins? Again scientists didn’t dig up tiktaalik and then speculate about it’s origins, they were specifically looking for it in that specific region and geological period for decades before they found it. They had predicted what traits it would have, where it would be, how old it would be etc long beforehand. That is why it matters for evolution. “Or it could have simply been a different animal that we have never observed.” I don’t know what you mean by this statement. “Scientists are still discovering new forms of life. No reason to claim it is a transitional creature.” Again, predicting what’s in the fossil record before we find it. Like in the video I sent you about whale evolution, they predicted the fossils of ambulocetus should exist and have x, y and z traits, then when they found it they predicted all kinds of other stuff about it’s inner ear structures and tooth enamel etc. The power to make such predictions is what is compelling, not any one fossil. And you dismiss each piece of evidence individually and ignore that collectively there is an overwhelming amount of it. You look at every intermediate form and scoff as if it’s the only one we’ve ever found. “Its the Evolution scientists that are attempting to prove Darwin’s idea of macroevolution.” Macro-evolution is overwhelmingly accepted in earth and life sciences, nobody’s trying to prove it. “That is why they claim its a transition despite having any evidence to prove their assumption. They trust the Darwin’s idea is true and draw conclusions based on the idea.” Again they predicted it’s existence and where it should be then went out and found it, which was a test of darwin’s idea. “Yes, I agree that science includes testing and making predictions, but if you have an assumption as the foundation that guides your conclusions… it is a matter of opinion if the evidence can be interpreted in multiple ways.” So there is no evidence for any aspect of evolution, it’s a pure 100% assumption? Countless transitional forms predicted and discovered, some by darwin. Countless genetic predictions and tests. Still not a shred of evidence, right? “Plenty of people die all the time when they go to the hospital. Planes do crash.” The scientific method has everything to do with medicines curing people and planes being able to fly and nothing to do with people dying in hospitals and planes crashing. An airline mechanic forgetting to tighten a bolt has nothing to do with the scientific method. “The scientific method is great, and we would like it to remove bias and opinion, but in the end human beings are biased and are motivated by opinion. I have yet to meet someone who is truly unbiased or unopionated.” A doctor can be as biased as he wants, a double-blind peer reviewed study on the effectiveness of a medication isn’t. Either the medicine works or it doesn’t regardless of how the doctor doing the study feels about it or wants it to be. “Darwin’s idea is very much a prediction, but it has yet to be proven conclusively even after 150 years.” It’s not “a” prediction, he made many and so did many other scientists. And I’ve given you examples of at least one prediction made by darwin that you turned your nose up at. Now you predict he’s not made a single successful prediction. That’s dishonest. “Many of the findings and observations could very well support the idea of adaption as I have described.” Go make your own predictions and do your own tests. “The statement that you don’t believe the scientific community is corrupt is surprising. The scientific community is made of human beings. Of course its corrupt.” I meant I don’t think it’s the organized crime syndicate you make it out to be with leg breakers going around intimidating scientists who dare to question evolution. “Sure, you have noble scientists who are really trying to hold to the principles that we have discussed, but there are plenty out there who are just as corrupt as anyone else. They will lie, cheat, falsify findings, and commit fraud if it will serve their selfish desires. That is the motivation, not to hurt religion, but I’m sure there are some out there who wouldn’t hesitate. One thing this life has taught me is to not be naive and believe everyone has good intentions or motives.” The reason science works is not that people are perfect, but that lies and falsified data cannot survive peer review for long if at all. If you falsify your experiment someone else is just going to do your experiment over again and find out you faked it. The reason piltdown man was such a big deal is that it’s one of the incredibly rare scientific hoaxes that took many years to be discovered. And even that was not perpetrated by an actual scientist. [“You wrote, “The fact is even christian scientists are overwhelmingly against a literal interpretation of genesis.”] “I really believe that is supposition unless you have data,” It’s a very well known fact outside of creationist websites which lie and claim that there is some growing tide of scientists who reject evolution. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA111.html Click the link for “project steve” for further illustration. “but it really isn’t relevant since we are talking at a more individual level.” Meaning? [“You wrote: “List for me the scientists in the US who have been imprisoned or threatened with death (by an official institution not by some random nut) for questioning evolution and your comparison is justified.”] “That is to the extreme, and I was using hyperbole to make a point.” You were lying to vilify your opponents. “You really can’t deny that there is a culture of rejection when it comes to the scientific community majority and those scientists who believe in Intelligent Design. There are plenty of examples to provide evidence for my point.” The reason ID gets a hostile backlash has nothing to do with evolution or belief in god (most scientists in the US are christian after all). The reason ID is disliked is that it is an attempt to replace science with religious pseudoscience. If atheists were trying to get the “god doesn’t exist theory” taught in science class it would be just as strongly rejected, probably moreso. ID proponents do not test their “theory”, they don’t even have one in the scientific sense. Then when other people test their claims and debunk them they just keep repeating them. It’s this dishonesty and the thinly veiled ideological motivation for their actions that tends to rub scientists of all faiths and philosophies the wrong way. Read the “wedge document” which lists the motives and beliefs of the organization leading the ID movement and tell me the discovery institute is interested in science and tests and data. [“You wrote: “Christians tend to think they are persecuted simply because they do not get special priveleges, or equate persecution with not being able to violate other peoples’ rights. ”] “That is opinion and ad hominem. You can’t stereotype all Christians like that.” I didn’t stereotype all christians, I said christians tend to do those things. Though not all. “I don’t know any Christians who feel that way, and I know a lot.” You don’t know any christians who see gay people having equal rights as a threat to themselves? Or see public school teachers not being able to force one religious view on everyone else’s children as a threat to christianity? You must not know many christians, because these are pretty hot button topics. The “defense of marriage” (ie “your rights are persecuting us”) act just got struck down by the supreme court – you didn’t hear any christians being upset about it? “The evidence proves that Christianity is the #1 persecuted faith in the world.” If that is true it is only because christians are simply more numerous and all groups are persecuted. I was talking about christians in the US however, not christians living under communist dictatorships or sharia law. “The other religions are persecuted as well, but more Christians have died over the last 2000 years than anyone else.” Again, more christians and everybody dies. As for statistics on persecution going back 2,000 years that’s baloney. That data simply does not exist. And christians spent most of that time conquering the western world and doing a lot of persecuting, so I’m skeptical of your claim to say the least. I doubt the only religion people were legally allowed to have in the west since ancient rome experienced a great deal of persecution in the west – barring of course christians who persecuted other christians. “How do Christians in our day violate other people’s rights with our faith?” I can’t think of a downtrodden minority that hasn’t had the bible invoked against their struggle for equality, blacks, jews, gays, women etc. Gays are the biggest example today probably, though christians like trampling over separation of church and state too. “On the scientific community being wrong about Evolution you wrote, “It’s possible, but highly unlikely.” I would personally leave it at being possible. Yes, there are many Evolutionists who do act like the theory is completely true. Sure, there are some scientists who don’t present it that way, but there are many who do. You might disagree with them.” That life evolves and has for a long time is in the everyday sense, a fact. Science never closes the book on anything, nor do I. All facts are subject to revision. This attitude freaks some people out, they can’t live with uncertainty. I’m not saying this applies to any particular group, just some people. “Plus, there are people out there who use Evolution to attack religious people and their faith in God.” They are just as ignorant as the creationists who equate evolution with atheism. I hear creationists saying that evolution makes people not believe in god but I’ve talked to a lot of people about why they lost faith and evolution virtually never comes up. “That is why there is a large amount of back lash against Evolution from that community of people.” From my perspective it looks like the animosity is generated by fundamentalists who equate their theology with god and see evolution as therefore conflicting with belief in god, when in reality all it contradicts is a literal interpretation of genesis, which is contradicted by a great deal of science. So they teach kids evolution is evil and ridiculous and they grow up promoting this idea. As someone said there is no history whatsoever of scientists knocking on the sunday school door or picketing outside of the church telling people what to believe. Fundamentalists are coming after science, not the other way around. They feel persecuted because in their mind atheism is being taught in the science classrooms, but that misconception is caused by the culture of fundamentalism itself which falsely equates cosmology, biology etc with atheism and sees public schools not being overtly christian as being a threat to christianity. “You probably have already watched Expelled with Ben Stein, but I think that is plenty of evidence to support the silencing and academic oppression.” http://www.expelledexposed.com/ Fact check that garbage. Remember the quote the movie gave from darwin when stein was standing in the ovens at the death camp somberly looking at a candle he lit for the victims of darwin’s forced eugenics programs? The quote they gave was edited in several parts to distort it’s original meaning (without using elipses or brackets to indicate it had been changed), the original quote described forced eugenics as “an overwhelmingly present evil”. Ben stein is a professional sleaze, nothing more. The interviews were heavily edited and the interviewees were lied to regarding what they were interviewing for. And of course the claims made in the flim were basically universally untrue, including the so-called persecution. “No, its not that they disagree with me. I only point to the legitimate examples of fraud in the scientific community.” You make claims of widespread persecution by scientists, that isn’t pointing to just legitimate individual claims. “Yes, I agree there are people of faith out there that do things they shouldn’t do. And I believe we both agree that those people on both sides of the line do not represent the whole of the opposing sides or the subject matter.” I think this is all just a red herring. “Again you missed my point. I do agree with you about subjective and demonstration, and I was pointing out that the disciples had first hand knowledge of Christ’s death and resurrection. They were eye witnesses, so they would have known it was a lie or really true. If they applied the scientific method they observed and tested Christ in a number of ways after His resurrection. Their conclusions about Him were grounded in first hand, eye witness, demonstrated knowledge.” Knowledge and belief are not the same thing. Being convinced of something is believing it, being able to prove it to someone else is knowledge. We can experience things that aren’t real, do people who hallucinate being abducted by aliens “know” aliens abduct people because they are convinced? Facts are objective and can be verified by anyone, beliefs are subjective and cannot be verified. That the earth is round is a fact, we can be said to know that it’s true. That chocolate tastes good is an opinion or belief. I am 100% convinced of it, but it doesn’t make it a fact. “The difference between you and I is I believe that the Bible is eye witness testimony and recorded history. You believe its a book of made up stories.” Actually I think it’s dozens of books that are all sorts of things. And if you assume everything in any compilation is true and historically accurate then you’re going to agree with it, but that is circular reasoning. “Therefore, you and I will simply have to disagree. The Bible has been proven to be true in many, many ways by the sciences and non-Biblical historical sources.” Yeah, science doesn’t contradict the view that genesis is a literal history at all. A global flood, six day creation, young earth, tower of babel origins of language etc are all right there in our science textbooks. “Just one example is that genetics proves that the entire human race descended from one man and one woman.” No it didn’t. It proves that the lineage of everyone alive today ultimately intersect at some point, which is not the same thing as the human race starting with a single man and woman. But it’s interesting how once again when you think it supports your view suddenly you can prove past events with genetics. You can prove that you and I are related but the same exact science can’t prove that you and a chimpanzee or a dog are related. This is just bias, nothing more. “They even put a non-religious documentary on PBS talking about our first mother.” Which was undoubtedly a metaphorical way of saying most recent common ancestor. “I’m also part of the DNA genealogy project.” But I thought past things can’t be tested based on current evidence… “I believe the Bible because of the mountain of evidence and logical conclusions.” You dont “believe the bible”, you believe in a particular theology. And one which is rejected by almost every expert in almost every field of science there is. You talk about mountains of evidence but you are engaging in special pleading, also known as stacking the deck. You focus on one forged fossil and in your mind that cancels out trillions of genuine ones. You focus on a few sketchy accounts of people supposedly being dicks to ID proponents and that means every scientist who accepts evolution is just a jack-booted thug. You repeatedly fixate on one aspect of something and use it to ignore the bigger picture. Evolution is one of the most widely supported, widely accepted ideas in all of human history and you’ve twisted it in your mind to where the opposite is true – it’s not popular among scientists and those who accept it are all liars and there are only a few fossils and none of them are impressive etc. And you talk to me about “mountains” of evidence when it is undoubtedly a few molehills. “Don’t bother responding with liberal dogma (extremely poor excuse for academic research) against the Bible, I’ve heard it and researched it for myself.” The bible’s real meaning is far more nebulous than fundamentalists pretend. I don’t know if it is accurate or not, but I know the simplistic way you take it is dead wrong. “God could very well communicate with humanity by having witnesses who interacted with Him write it down.” So could aliens hypothetically. Or vishnu. Until someone shows me these things are real to me it’s just a what-if. “He reveals Himself how He chooses. At Mt Sinai, He revealed Himself to millions.” There is a great deal of difference between a million eye witnesses attesting to something and one person claiming a million people saw something. Also as far as seeing god: (Exodus 33:20) – “But He [God] said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live !” (John 1:18) – “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” (John 5:37) – “”And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form.” (John 6:46) – “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.” (1 Tim. 6:15-16) – “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.” “Jesus confirmed everything all the way back to Genesis 1. He proved His words were true by being resurrected from the dead. I believe what He says about origins. The synoptic gospels (written before 70 AD) record Jesus’ prophecy about the Temple and Jerusalem being destroyed.” He was explicitly predicting the end of the world and said it would happen within one generation. When it didn’t christians interpreted it differently and ignored all of the clearly apocalyptic language. Ironically christians still believe that the world will end only when the gospels are taught in all nations in the world, which comes from those passages and which jesus said would happen within one generation. “It happened exactly like He said including the Temple being taken apart stone-by-stone. The Romans did so to get the gold that had melted from the fires. Not to mention all of the personal things I have seen in my life, or the spiritual experiences I have witnessed first hand. I’ve seriously researched my faith for at least 20 years.” A golden temple of a persecuted minority that was occupied by a foreign dictatorship being torn down isn’t exactly a crazy prediction, even assuming the prophecy was written down before the events took place. The other prophecies and the many that did not come true are of course ignored. “The disciples watched Him ascend up into Heaven from the Mount of Olives to the east of Jerusalem. They were eyewitnesses of the event. See Acts 1.” Let me put it another way. If I walk out of a room and you don’t follow me, how can you know where I went? Is heaven in outer space somewhere? How did the apostles know where he went? Even assuming the event took place. [“You wrote: “None of that logically points to jesus rising from the dead.”] “That is because you believe the Bible is nothing but made up stories. If you reject the Bible as a source of information then there is nothing I can write to change your mind.” No, I am talking about logic. A dead body not being in a tomb does not logically support the claim that the person rose from the dead any more than it would prove they were a vampire, which is why I gave another example to illustrate the flaw in the logic. The logic is flawed regardless of my beliefs or biases. “If you were to apply the liberal theologian’s standard they use for the Bible to every document from antiquity, we wouldn’t have anything left. Compare the Bible manuscript evidence to that of the Greek philosophers like Plato. Everyone believes Plato’s work is authentic, why not the Bible? The manuscript evidence for Plato’s work being authentic is like the size of a mouse. The manuscript evidence for the Bible is like the size of an elephant in comparison.” First of all there are literary ways to tell if a text is all from the same author or if it’s derived from other sources etc and the gospels are very widely considered to be derivative. Secondly ancient texts that make claims of the sort that the bible makes are universally not taken seriously by historians unless the historian happens to belong to the religion the text is based on. I remember hearing an early form of this “if we just treated jesus as fairly as x person from antiquity” argument that used alexander the great as an example instead of plato. So I looked up alexander the great and found out that in his day he was said to be the son of god, immaculately conceived, born of a virgin and was said to have fulfilled prophecies including some from the bible. Why don’t we believe this? Because he was said to be the son of zeus, immaculately conceived by a lightning bolt. These kinds of claims are extremely common in antiquity and we certainly do not hold jesus to a stricter standard than we do people like alexander. We accept plato’s claims mainly because they’re mundane and inconsequential. [“You wrote: “This is not the case, it’s creationist rhetoric. While some ideas are speculation…”] “That is really funny. I wrote, “There are a lot of assumptions, guesses, and pieces of the paradigm that has to be taken on faith.” Then you turn around and say some ideas are speculation. You just confirmed the point. I’ve demonstrated that in this response though no where near any level of exhaustion.” There you go again, you fixate on one word and ignore what I was actually saying. “Yes, I do understand the example of the fish and the scientist’s underlying belief that the mechanisms and principles have been thoroughly “proven.” Sure… adaption, not macroevolution.” I wasn’t talking about macro-evolution. And stop pretending “adaptation” is a scientific idea that’s been tested. “A single tree of life can not be proven at all outside of some bare minimum scraps of data that could be interpreted multiple ways.” I’ve already pointed out how this view is hypocritical. “Let me go dig up some bones and postulate how its a transitional animal. Then I’ll go tell everyone. That is about the same thing “scientists” do.” No, that’s what scientists do in reverse. They predict the fossil and many details about it then go find it. And their prediction, if wrong, would falsify their hypothesis. “People complain that religious people believe things that people tell them without proof. People who study Evolution do the same exact thing.” No, they don’t. “Tell me… have you gone to every single “transitional” animal that has supposedly been found and examined the data for yourself?” No, I have not examined every one of the billions of species of extinct organisms that have been unearthed. Stop being a baby. And it’s worth mentioning that you’re attacking me personally to justify your position, as though my being ignorant on the subject would prove anything. “No? Why are you believing something people just tell you? “How about all the other supposed evidences for macroevolution?” That is laughable from someone whose entire worldview is based on believing the claims of people you’ve never met. The difference is with science the evidence is there for any and all who want to look at it. “Do you believe the news?” Not particularly. I tend to fact-check it, or at least I did when I had time. “Ever believe anything that someone told you that you didn’t have proof it was true? Those questions are not necessarily spoken to you. It goes for anyone. When it comes down to it, we all believe things people tell us without demanding absolute proof for ever little thing.” If you tell me you ate an omlet for breakfast I will believe you because I have no reason to think you might be lying, but mostly because I don’t care. It doesn’t matter what you had for breakfast. If you claim that someone murdered somebody on the other hand I am going to weigh your words much more seriously and demand a great deal of evidence, especially if I am on the jury or personally connected to the situation somehow. I pursue truth, not one version or another, not belief or trust or a “personal relationship”, just the truth. And trusting one book and ignoring all the rest does not seem to me like a very good method of finding it. It’s simpler than trying to understand everything, but I don’t think it works. And I can see many areas where if we did that it would get people killed, so I’m glad we don’t. Even fundamentalists do so only selectively. “You have to decide who you are going to trust. I trust Jesus and His followers who wrote down what they saw first hand as eye witnesses, heard with their own ears, and touched with their own hands. It was true and they laid down their lives proclaiming it.” You also have to trust the people who claimed that’s how it all went down. [You wrote, “Creationists lump them all together and call them “evolutionism” and claim they are one unified ideology simply to avoid dealing with the fact that they are not.”] “This is simple rhetoric and does not apply to ever single Christian.” Not nearly all christians are creationists. And yes it’s rhetoric, but not mine. “I am very aware of the different sciences, and I don’t lump them together. Its scientists that links cosmology, abiogenesis, and evolution together as parts of a greater whole. You can’t expect me to believe that the scientific community doesn’t logically link them together.” Quantum physics overlaps with atomic physics which overlaps with chemestry which overlaps with biology which overlaps with geology which overlaps with astronomy which overlaps with cosmology etc, but the conclusions in these fields are based on experiments and observations within those fields. Astrophysicists aren’t basing their views on the “dogma” of atomic physics etc. It’s one worldview only because it’s one world we’re viewing. “Separate sciences yes, but linked together logically into a unified ideology (to use your words).” My words taken out of context. “Then its presented as the truth, perhaps not scientists, but a whole lot of people including academia, media, and entertainment.” It’s observable, testable reality. It’s about as close to truth as we ever get. “Just sit down and watch a scientific documentary on the development of life on the earth. It will include all three sciences as well as others.” Uh huh. It will also included commas, periods and sentences. Does that make grammar a religion? “I’m protestant, the words of the Pope hold no importance to me.” You’re talking to an atheist. “I read this in the news when it happened. I’m not surprised that he would support evolution as true after the way the Catholics have corrupted Christian teachings with massive amounts of false doctrines. Macroevolution is false, and he simply piled that on top of all the other false doctrines they hold to.” Actually the point was that they resisted it for so long (and many catholics still do so) and that the pope admitted the evidence was real. [He said, “The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.”] “I agree that the theory draws on various fields of knowledge. That doesn’t mean its true.” The point was that multiple fields of inquiry all came up with the same answers independently. [“Neither sought nor fabricated…”] “That is laughable. That is saying that scientists have always worked completely independent of one another, never influenced by anyone else, and that they never sought to work collaboratively.” No, it’s not. “Not fabricated… wow, that is such an error. There is plenty of fraud and fabrication.” Yes, the convergence of multiple fields on the matter of evolution is a fabrication. Are aliens controlling the government too? “Yes, scientists are perfect human beings who have never done anything wrong, never make mistakes, have no biases, are always objective, and are never in error. Let’s all just go and kneel at their feet so they can enlighten us with their perfect knowledge and simply tell us what to believe! Those two statements are satirical.” And full of crap. [“You wrote: “Actually it was a law, and “laws” of science get “broken” all the time. New vacuum experiments suggest that emptiness is actually quite unstable and that it spontaneously produces measurable particles and energy.”] “Pardon me for not using your defined terms in our discussion. What? You mean scientists are wrong all the time?” No, “laws” are understood to be perceived constants and that our current observations are not necessarily universally consistent. “Vacuum? That is not what I’m talking about. I have no doubts that vacuum is full of energy and matter.” A vacuum is defined as the absence of matter. “I’m talking about complete non-existence. No fabric of space, no vacuum, no energy, no matter, absolutely nothing in existence. Then matter and energy spontaneously came into existence (no cause, no reason) along with all the other elements that make up our universe. It would take more faith for me to believe in that to believe in a first cause.” Good thing nobody’s asking you to. [“You wrote: ” It makes no claims about whether the matter came from or if it even came from anywhere or anything.”] “You say that, but there are plenty of scientists that speculate.” What’s wrong with that? “There are numerous hypotheses about how it started. I believe there was a first cause and that is God. It is a legitimate conclusion.” Not unless you can substantiate it. “Just because people say “There is no god” doesn’t mean that my conclusion is false.” And just because you say there is one doesn’t mean there is one. “There is no reason to not believe God was the first cause.” There’s no reason to not believe vishnu was the first cause either. Both claims are vague and untestable. “Then logic takes over linking fields of knowledge around that central thesis. God was the first cause, He created the universe, the vast reaches of space, all of the stars, solar systems, planets, and life on said planets. God chose this planet to create us for His own purpose and according to His own will for His own reasons. He designed everything on this planet to adapt hence the reason for all the variety that we see. They reproduce their own kind (genetics). Pulling all the sciences into it, there is plenty of data to support adaption as I have hypothesized. Hence it can be a theory.” Science starts with what we see and comes up with ideas then tests them. It uses what we know to learn more. Religions do the opposite, they take what we don’t know (how the universe began, how life began etc) and use it to justify countless claims, often contradicting things we learn through science, leading to our current dilemmas. “No. I never said the Big Bang was bad science. I said that for the entire universe to suddenly explode into existence for no reason without a cause is ridiculous.” Which you equated with the big bang. “I’m pleased to see that you allow that an intelligent being could be the First Cause. I believe that the First Cause is intimately involved in everything that has been created” I’ve never seen any evidence of an invisible hand at work in creation that made any sense. “(side note: DNA is a digital code, but its far more complex and advanced that our understanding of digital information. Information proclaims a designer.)” Information is a human concept, data is meant to be read by a mind and understood. DNA is just a chemical, not a book or a computer waiting to be read by someone. We call the components “letters” and call it a “code” but these are metaphors, it’s just the human mind grasping for the familiar to try to visualize unfamiliar concepts. “He revealed Himself to humanity and those who witnessed the events wrote it down for others to preserve the knowledge of what happened. Don’t we preserve our knowledge in writing and digitally now?” A lot of gods supposedly revealed themselves to men and a lot of adherents wrote down their supposed revelation. Or are you saying that DNA is a record of the past? Or is but I don’t think we can conclude it is so by design any more than we can that a tree’s rings mark the seasons it’s been alive – it could theoretically be by design or it could be an accidental byproduct of it’s nature. “Beyond that I believe the First Cause revealed Himself to humanity through Christ. He revealed Himself to thousands in the land of Israel at that time, and sent out over a hundred as witnesses to tell everyone the Good News. That God is just, we are criminals, and we can be saved from God’s wrath by trusting in Him. He took our punishment on Himself to demonstrate His eternal, perfect love and grace. Why? We will be the examples of His grace for the ages to come.” To me it’s just an animal sacrifice cult turned into a human sacrifice cult, primitive people assuming that there must be so much suffering and death because the gods want us to suffer, and rationalizing the sickness and deformity of children by concluding they must have inherited the sins of their ancestors (or alternately experienced past lives). It’s a series of primitive misconceptions about a world that our ancestors didn’t understand and were terrified of. Does the existence of so many other religions ever make you wonder if yours is just another mythology? “I didn’t say it was impossible, but its so unlikely based on the numbers I’ve seen, I don’t have any problem in believing God is the First Cause and created life here on the Earth.” What numbers? “I say the process is so unlikely its nearly impossible. God as the First Cause is just as plausible, and in my mind much more likely.” Probability is a funny thing, you can make mathematically “impossible” things happen very easily. This logic is often misapplied. “Especially based on the complexity that we see in the universe. It shouts “Designer.”” It makes sense to me without a designer. And whenever someone says there must be a designer I can never get past the question of why doesn’t the designer need to be designed or the creator need to be created? “The fact we are thinking, self aware, intelligent beings is proof to me that God exists.” If we need to be designed to be able to think why doesn’t god? I think that intelligence is an emergent phenomenon. “You say proteins formed by themselves, and then linked together etc so on and so forth…” I didn’t say that. “but science can not test the origins of emotions and consciousness by natural means.” Consciousness is very poorly understood, I will grant you that. But whenever we try to make claims about things that are poorly understood we are invariably discovered to be wrong later. “I believe God created us in His image and that is why we have emotions, consciousness etc.” Doesn’t that just push the problem of origins back one and ignore it? I think love is no less hard to explain by evolution than the predatory instinct. We would be just as screwed without love and compassion and sympathy and empathy as a predator would be without the predatory instinct. “The idea that there is an Intelligent Designer is possibly true. Why not explore it since it meets the same criteria? Perhaps there could be scientific data and evidence available if it was actually studied and not dismissed.” The notion that life could be blasted by a meteor from one planet to the other can be tested a number of ways. You can test whether microscopic life can survive in space long enough, whether it can survive the heats and pressures of a meteor impact, whether a meteor impact can propel objects into space, etc – and we may even one day find microscopic or fossil cousins on another planet in our solar system. I don’t see how intelligent design is specific enough to test in a similar way. It doesn’t specify any mechanism, which is why it can’t be tested. It’s not even a hypothesis. “I’m sorry you don’t get it. Let me put it this way. The chances of ERVs landing in the same exact spots in two separate animals that share the same environment is very small (if we are not distant relatives of the same single tree of life). I’m comparing that tiny number to the even more tiny number of life starting on its own in abiogenesis thought. If the latter is possible, its much easier to believe the former with such a massive difference in the probabilities. So it is possible the ERVs landed on their own in the same exact spots. I don’t have to believe it was a result of evolving from a common ancestor. Again, interpretation of data can be different. For one person it supports evolution, and to me it does not prove anything about evolution. I believe in Adaption not Evolution.” No I understood all that, I just didn’t understand the tax analogy. And again the reason it’s compelling is because it was predicted by the evolution model along with many, many other things. “The virus could have adapted to its environment and those particular places in DNA are the perfect locations for them. Or they were designed to land there for the benefit of the host.” So develop that theory and test it. [You wrote: “But people who made claims about jesus in the iron age they’re totally credible.”] “They are just as credible as any other human being including scientists that are alive today.” This is ironic since you don’t consider most scientists to be particularly credible. “There is no reason to doubt the eyewitness testimony we find in the pages of the Bible.” Really? If I claimed that I saw someone rise from the dead and do other seemingly impossible things you would have no reason to doubt me? “That is a funny assertion. Who says I haven’t done some experimentation on my own?” Be serious. “I’ve studied a lot in my life including different sciences and fields of knowledge including biology. If I had the time I would probably spend a lot of it in the science field, but alas I must make a living full time to feed my family. So my time is limited.” And your standard is that unless you perform an experiment yourself it’s not valid and since you don’t have the time or resources to perform experiments all experimental evidence is therefore invalid… unless it seems to support your worldview in which case it’s ironclad. [“You wrote: “You can’t assess the probability of thing A or thing B, but you know one is more probable than the other.”] “Yes, by looking at the complexity of the universe. God is more probable by far.” You’re not using the word probable correctly. “There would never be anything designed on the earth if humanity was not here. And the complexity of what we have designed is no where near the complexity of a single cell. It demands the explanation of a Designer.” Depends how you define complexity, and again who designed the designer. “Simply because people made up false gods and stories about Zeus and Thor, does not mean that the miracles of Jesus and the Bible are not true.” You don’t see a problem with picking one series of miracle stories out of tens of thousands of religions and holding it up as true while ignoring the rest as mythology? “Something happened 2000 years ago in the land of Israel that sent shock waves outward impacting vast amounts of people across tribes, tongues, nations, and peoples.” I think it was more what happened after that, when the emperor of rome converted and made it the only legal form of worship in the largest empire in the world, then when his empire collapsed the religion was used as the basis for the legal system of countless monarchies, making heresy not only heresy, but treason as well for most of the last two millenia. Islam sent shockwaves too you know. “Eye witnesses who saw Jesus and all He did including His resurrection, shared the knowledge with others. The eye witnesses performed miracles in the presence of hundreds if not thousands as well confirming their words. All the disciples were put to death for something they knew was the truth from first hand, eye witness experience.” Or so the story goes. “You claim they are made up. I believe God told those He revealed Himself to the truth about what happened.” You are making claims about things that aren’t in their bible either. “I can’t go back in time and test it scientifically just like Evolutionists can’t go back in time and prove their assertions about abiogenesis. Darwin discussed it, so you can’t say its not part of the ideology.” You can test past events as I’ve said many times. “Sure, but I wouldn’t call them intermediates. They are just varieties of animals.” If you have groups A, B, C and D that have specific traits you can say those are four “trees”. If there are extinct species that have traits intermediate between those groups that by definition contradicts your hypothesis. We’re not talking about superficial similarity, those are actual bones in the fins of tektaalik and claws in the wings of archepteryx. It’s not like the similarity of a bird’s wing and a fly’s wing, it’s the same anatomical features. “It matters because in different areas the animals in the layers are not in the same order, so it contradicts itself.” Any geologist can tell where volcanic activity or erosion or some other process has mixed up material from multiple layers. This “problem” isn’t a problem any more than digging a hole in your backyard is a problem for the geological column. [You wrote: “The evidence is still there and plentiful. Do you honestly think every fossil is a forgery? Do you think that little of your fellow man?”] “You say its there and plentiful. I’ll apply the same standard you put on the people who wrote the Bible.” I don’t maintain that every author of the bible was lying. I’m sure they honestly felt inspired. I’ve felt inspired. I just don’t assume inspiration comes from above. “I can’t just “believe” what you write. No, I don’t think every fossil is a forgery, but I have yet to see any convincing transitional intermediate forms.” What would convince you? “Humanity has proven itself to be fraudulent and liars. Humans are prone to arrogance, mistakes, and errors. I’m human so I know its true.” But not the anonymous authors of the gospels? “The point is their understanding of a cell was completely wrong in Darwin’s time. They thought it was very simple, and in truth it is extremely complex. So the idea that a cell could form on its own is extremely improbable if not nearly impossible.” When I learned about the complexity of cells it actually made evolution make more sense to me, since I had read an old book about evolution (and other concepts) that said it was a mystery why evolution seemed to do nothing until the development of multi-cellular creatures. It made no sense why life seemed to be not evolving and then seemed to be evolving rapidly (geologically speaking). When I found out about how complex cells are I thought “oh that makes more sense, cells were evolving all that time”. This, to me, removes a “problem” for evolution. “You mention supercomputers… it is a designed machine and would never be built on its own. I would say it would be impossible for a super computer to be built outside of a designer. In the same way, a single cell is so complex it points to a designer.” This is irrelevant to the point I made. “The game Spore makes me chuckle. It supposedly follows something akin to the evolution of life, but the whole time a designer is sitting at the keyboard.” If you want something more like actual evolution you should check out this (it’s free): http://boxcar2d.com/ Let it run for a few generations and watch the little cars evolve purely by random variation and natural selection. “As to irreducible complexity I have studied the opposing side, and I still don’t see anything that convinces me its not legitimate. Everyone I have heard misses the point. Its about specific function, not taking pieces apart and pointing to different functions.” You seem to be blending behe’s irreducible complexity and dembski’s specified complexity arguments together into one. Behe’s argument is that precursor structures are impossible, not that every precursor would have to perform the same function and equally as well. This is not logically necessary for evolution because something can be useful and later become necessary. One example an article gave that I read years ago is that GPS is useful but not necessary in cars but someday in the not too distant future we might have cars without steering wheels or gas pedals or even windows that navigate entirely by GPS. The removal of precursors makes systems irreducibly complex and there is no reason evolution could not produce an irreducibly complex system. It is not a serious challenge to the theory, nor does it even purport to be a test of intelligent design. “That does not disprove it at all. I will continue to study it and look over the links you have provided.” It really does. Did you read the blogs I linked to? “That is simply not true. The observed specific function of the bacteria flagellum is broken if you take any of the pieces away. The most common rebuttal is that it works with pieces taken away as a type of hypodermic needle. That is the exact point. If you take pieces away it breaks the original function and takes on a different function (or none at all), but it will not work as the original, specific function without all its pieces.” The “specific function” is irrelevant. The argument is that the mechanism is unevolvable by gradual modification since it needs all of it’s parts to be together at the same time to have any function and the odds of all the parts coming together is so small it couldn’t have happened. The response is that biological mechanisms can evolve by modification of precursor structures the way that for instance a hand did not just suddenly appear but the bones and ligaments in it have been evolving for many millions of years (going back to and even before those wrist bones appeared in tiktaalik). You can’t have a wing without an arm or an arm without a fin or a fin without a ridge or a ridge without a bump and so on, so if it doesn’t work at every stage evolution is impossible. But of course it simply has to be functional and useful (and thus something that would be favored by natural selection) it does not have to perform the same consistent function, that makes no sense. “Its the same with the mouse trap. The trap has a specific function. Take a piece away and the function is broken. I saw a guy use a disassembled mouse trap as a tie clip, which is a different function. That is the whole point. Its about specific function, not possible functions with the various pieces or elements. The people who argue against irreducible complexity like that don’t even understand the principle. They really make themselves look foolish to people who do understand it. Michael Behe is a genius, and I respect him.” Micheal behe is a hack and I do not. There is absolutely no reason why the function of a mechanism should not change and a vast amount of evidence that the functions of organs do change, even within species. “I think my logic is just fine. There is no evidence that our environment has changed so drastically that our hearts would change like you speculate… developing from no heart to a 4 chambered heart.” I’m not talking about the world changing, I’m talking about moving from one environment to another. The changes I propose are no different than one breed of bear surviving with brown hair better in the forest and one with white hair surviving better surrounded by snow. As species branch out into different environments they get specialized to those environments. “The human heart’s specific function is perfect for our current environment and bodies.” There is no “the” human heart, peoples’ hearts vary from person to person and country to country. Some people are resistent to heart disease, some people have hearts that beat differently or faster or slower or in different sequences and so on. My best friend (a born-again christian) has a heart that essentially beats three times and has some bleed-through between chambers like a reptile heart. And crocodi
    • Daniel Silas says:
      Hello there Agnophilo, Those items marked in [ ] is what I have written previously. I will put your responses in quotes. [A theory is a hypothesis that scientists are researching using the scientific method …] “A theory is a hypothesis that is supported by tests and evidence. It is never considered 100% proven but out of principle, not lack of evidence. To use this or a theory’s status as a theory to suggest it’s dubious or not well accepted is dishonest.” So we agree. That is good. I haven’t implied that its dubious or not well accepted. [I think it would be best that we should separate ourselves from the stereotyping and general statements…] “I appreciate the thought but you continue to do this in this response, for instance using quotation marks around the word “scientist” to suggest that any scientist who doesn’t agree with you isn’t even a scientist.” You speculate on my motivation, and that was not my intent. [Also, science is not the enemy, and I do not think that way at all.] “Not at all? You have said outright that the over 99% of scientists in earth and life science fields who don’t agree with you are either deliberately defrauding the public or are victims of a nazi-like propaganda effort to threaten and bully their peers into agreeing with them.” First, science is not a person or group of persons. People who work in a scientific field using scientific method are considered scientists. So again, science is not the enemy. I never said 99% of scientists. Plus, I don’t know if they agree with me or not so that is a fallacious assertion. There is evidence that points to scientists who don’t agree with the Evolution framework being ostracized. Michael Behe is just one example. “You describe the scientific establishment not only in the US but around the world as being an ideological dictatorship hostile to everything you believe.” No. Not to everything I believe. And I wouldn’t call it a dictatorship as that denotes one person being in control. I would argue my point is in academia and freedom of thought within the scholarly establishment is a totalitarian majority. “How can you then turn around and say you don’t see science as an enemy?” This question points out to me that you do not understand my viewpoint. “Do you not believe all that bad stuff about scientists or do you think evolution is only accepted by a tiny minority of scientists?” Yes, I do believe there is fraud, corruption, and selfish motives within the scientific community. Of course those motives would very depending on the person. No, I don’t believe it is a minority of scientists. “Or by “science” do you what you read on creationist websites, and everything else you consider non-science? I don’t know how you can hold these seemingly conflicting views.” I’m not sure what you are asking here. You don’t understand my views. [Science is a neutral method of systematic observation and investigation of the natural world/universe, and by gathering data and evidence drawing practical and applicable conclusions. I am not anti-science. I actually love science, and I am and will always be a student forever learning.] “I don’t understand your contempt for so much of science in that case.” I don’t have contempt for science. [I see what you are saying, but even in your own example, the person accused of the crime can not be proven 100% guilty. Verdicts are handed down by juries who do so by opinion based on the evidence. There have been plenty of people convicted that were innocent of the accused crimes. Thus, in reality the jury assumes that the evidence proves the accusations true. So indeed it is an assumption in the end.] “An assumption is a conclusion based on no evidence.” I looked at Webster and that is not the definition. Notice I said, “…the jury assumes that the evidence proves…” If you prefer you can replace assumes with decides. “You are saying that because some people are wrongly convicted that therefore all convictions are baseless assumptions with no merit or evidence.” No. That is not what I am saying. “You are saying that anything less than 100% is automatically zero, which makes no sense.” No, I’m not saying that. “The point was that claims about past events are testable, not that juries are infallible. Do you accept that you can establish to any high degree of certainty given optimal evidence and conditions that a past event took place a certain way?” Yes. Claims about past events are testable, that does not mean the results of the tests are going to be interpreted correctly. A high degree of certainty is opinion of those looking at the data and evidence. [In the same way, when people look at the evidence and data for evolution, they have a choice to *decide* it is true.] “This isn’t how science works, you keep insisting all science is simply a matter of subjective opinion but whether a theory can be used to make accurate predictions and yield tangible benefits is not a matter of opinion.” My point (not yours) is how science works. Tests, results, and other data is gathered to support a hypothetical idea or determination. Then based on those results scientists draw conclusions. Their conclusions could be wrong. People can make predictions then go out and find evidence to fit that prediction. That doesn’t mean their conclusions about the evidence is correct or that it actually supports the prediction. “Evolution science is not speculation, it can tell us what’s in the fossil record before we dig it up, what’s in the genomes of species before they’re sequenced, what a virus will look like x years from now so we can make vaccines for a version that doesn’t exist yet etc.” Parts of the Evolution frame work are speculation and scientists have to assume its true. That is “assume”according to the way you define the word. According to your views as you describe them that is what I conclude. And again you say we have to believe what the scientists tell us just because they find 13% of a skeleton. Not to mention the lack of soft tissue evidence for evolution. Where are all the intermediates of cell evolution? “That’s not the same thing as looking at a fossil, scratching your head and forming an opinion. The former is science, the latter is pseudoscience.” Sure there are some concrete conclusions, but mixed in there is a lot of speculation and assumptions. I think you need to be careful about what you categorize as pseudoscience as your definition labels every scientist that way. “The latter is what creationists engage in.” That is a false, blanket statement. “Or can you give me an example of an intelligent design prediction or experiment that had the potential, if wrong, to falsify the intelligent design hypothesis?” As we have both agreed abiogenesis is a philosophy. No one can prove that life formed on its own, and no one can prove that there was an intelligent designer. I will say that using science we can build a case for a designer just like scientists who believe life formed on its own can build a case for that philosophy using scientific principles. One example from scientific discovery that could support an Intelligent Designer is the “Cambrian Explosion.” That discovery really throws a wrench into the mechanics of Macroevolution. You could even say it was predicted before science observed it. “I see this “we have the same evidence, we just interpret it differently” rhetoric on creationist websites, but that’s not how science works.” Your opinion does not nullify the truth of my point. In some cases, I believe a creationist, an intelligent design person, and a Macroevolution person could come to the same conclusions based on the results of scientific inquiry. And there are other results out there that will be interpreted differently by all three observers. “Actually he thought life arose from “one or several” created organisms.” That does not nullify my point. [There are a number of assumptions within that hypothesis that scientists have gone about testing, researching, and gathering evidence interpreted to support the hypothetical claim.] “Even before darwin there was evidence supporting most of the ideas we now attribute to him. I can’t think of any claim he made that he did not have a significant amount of evidence to support.” Yes, I know that there were other scientists before Darwin who were working on those ideas he expanded on. [My point is that based on his observations Darwin had an idea. It was the idea that all creatures on earth evolved from a single creature.] “One or several.” Either way it doesn’t matter, its still speculation. Nor does it nullify my point. [Hence we have the variety of life that we can observe in the natural world. Many of my conclusions could be supported by a lot of work that scientists have done to prove evolution.] “If you’d used your idea to make their predictions maybe. But you can’t just take modern science, add a twist and then say that the findings of scientists support your twist when they don’t.” You fail to mention that there are many discoveries that scientists did not predict. You portray your claims as if science always predicts its findings. Nor do you mention that many, many times predictions that are made by scientists are wrong. I haven’t gone over any details about what I think and how science coincides with it. I’ll point you to the Cambrian Explosion as a starting point. [I prefer to call it adaption. Evolution is defined/loaded word so I have to use something different.] “Creationists have spent decades loading the term. It’s hard to accept something you’ve spent decades vilifying. In the past few years creationists have gone from claiming…” Sure its all the creationists’ fault. Again blanket statements with no evidence to support your claim. …”And all of the “a building needs a builder” type arguments use examples of things we know by direct experience are built by people and pretends we know them by inference and that the intelligent design inference is therefore justified. But that’s comparing apples and oranges.” Just because you don’t agree with an argument doesn’t mean there is no validity to what is being said. “The difference is that the single “tree of life” was arrived at objectively before darwin and then verified again through genetics. The 1 tree or several idea can actually be tested and it fails the test.” No, the tree of life has not been verified by genetics, nor does it matter who came up with it. Science can not go back far enough to prove that assertion. “He believed in special creation, his idea never included abiogenesis to begin with. And his theory is not in any way dependent on abiogenesis and has nothing to do with the origins of life.” Darwin speculated about the origins of life. He takes his ideas all the way back to the very first creature. Some modern scientists link evolution to abiogenesis and cosmology teaching it as truth when it could be wrong. [In the same way, my idea of an intelligent designer can not be proven 100% because no one can go back in time to observe the process.] “This is the logical path evangelists try to take people down. Evolution is based on faith, science can’t be substantiated – therefore all ideas about origins are equally valid…” Evolution has at its root of life a belief that is speculative that all life on the earth arose from one creature. They trust (have faith) that it is true without evidence. Science in and of itself has nothing to do with it as you can’t test that hypothesis. The philosophy of a designer is just as valid as life started without a cause “…and now that you’ve accepted that let me convince you that are ideas are better by scaring you with hell or bribing you with heaven or guilt tripping you or throwing some logic at you or mocking science some more etc… All ideas are not equally valid, and those are not sound reasons to believe or disbelieve something.” Hell, heaven, morality, and mocking science are completely outside of the points I am making. And those are different ideas from our discussion so it doesn’t invalidate anything I have written. [So call it evolution or adaption, we agree life changes based on environment etc. We disagree on abiogenesis.] “I don’t think you even asked me what my view on abiogenesis is.” Since you say you are an atheist and that you believe in macroevolution I can can only conclude that you believe life arose by chance. But you are right, I haven’t asked. That is a good point. “I think it’s the philosophically simpler and more logical explanation for the origins of complexity (intelligent design simply ignores the problem and engages in special pleading) and I think that there is some compelling evidence for it, but that it’s far from being established as fact. I also think that not understanding something like the origins of life or matter or the universe means we don’t understand it, and nothing more. It doesn’t point to yahweh being real any more than not understanding lightning points to zeus being real.” You can choose to believe anything you want to believe. I’m not trying to force you to believe any particular way. I’ve simply been defending my own beliefs. You approached me, not the other way around. Intelligent Design doesn’t claim that the God of the Bible is the creator. I simply believe my God is the one, and I have my own reasons. “It’s philosophical speculation though, not science. Which is fine, just don’t confuse the two though. Especially not in a science classroom.” I never claimed it was science, and I don’t confuse the two. Education is a different discussion, but I will say if ID can’t be taught in the classroom then any abiogenesis shouldn’t be taught because its all philosophy that can not be tested. [Of course there are disagreements over details. I have not observed anything that would lead me to accept transitional creatures between species.] “When I listed a huge list of transitional forms you gladly accepted them… as proof of “adaptation”. No, I said they could be proof, not that they are without question. And your list was in no way huge. “The fact is there are countless intermediate forms and we can see literally every skeletal feature in our bodies gradually arise in the fossil record. But let me ask you, if hundreds of thousands of transitional fossils aren’t enough for you, what are you waiting for?” Countless? Hundreds of thousands? That is simply not true. There are a number of fossils that people claim are intermediate forms, but there are no where near the numbers you claim. “What specific thing could we find in the fossil record that you would find compelling? If you can’t answer that then the problem isn’t a lack of evidence, it’s you simply not being open to any possible evidence.” The fossil record is only part of the story. Show me a line of complete skeletons showing that man developed from a lower form of life. Let me examine them first hand, run a variety of tests, and draw my conclusions. Then I’ll believe it. Sadly, there is nothing credible in the fossil record for the development of humanity. “We share a great deal of our DNA with bananas. How are our “trees” not even merged with other primates that have nearly idential DNA, skeletons and physiology? Point out for me the differences in the anatomy of a chimpanzee with ours that make you think we started out on separate trees. Actually no I’ll make it easier, tell me five anatomical traits that your dog has that you don’t have some version of.” Your assertions prove nothing, and human understanding of DNA is very limited. Here is a simple analogy. Imagine an art muesuem. There are a number of paintings created in oils on canvases. Just because simliar canvases and paint are used doesn’t mean that the paintings are from the same artist. Likewise the Earth was like an empty canvas when God began His work of creation. He used similiar canvases, medium, and design, but that doesn’t mean we are descended from a common ancestor. “It takes a fair amount of learning to even tell the difference between a male and female human skeleton, let alone understand what makes a fossil transitional or not. I think people who see evolution as the enemy of a worldview they are heavily invested in are not very likely to learn all they need to to understand things like comparative anatomy or genetics, or if they do study them it will be with an eye toward attacking them.” I don’t see a theory as the enemy to my worldview. Again a false, blanket statement about people. [Let’s take for example the Tiktaalik…] “So a boulder fell on it and gave it ankle and wrist bones and digits in it’s fins?” Bones like that found in fins doesn’t convince me of anything. The designer could have made them that way because that was the most efficient structure for them. I don’t agree that bone structure in flippers or fins are evidence of Macroevolution. On the other side of it, I see a common thread of simliarity pointing toward one intelligent designer. “Again scientists didn’t dig up tiktaalik and then speculate about it’s origins, they were specifically looking for it in that specific region and geological period for decades before they found it. They had predicted what traits it would have, where it would be, how old it would be etc long beforehand. That is why it matters for evolution.” Predictions… I could go out in my back yard and dig up a squirrel skeleton. Then I could predict that I can continue digging and find different types of squirrels, cats, dogs, skunks, birds, and other local wildlife. Then I would go out, dig, and find them. Predictions that you are describing are in no way extraordinary or some how provide validation for paleontologists and their findings. [Or it could have simply been a different animal that we have never observed.] “I don’t know what you mean by this statement.” Scientists are still discovering new forms of life they have never observed before. There is no reason to believe a fossil is some kind of transitional creature. There are other possibilities is my point. “Again, predicting what’s in the fossil record before we find it… And you dismiss each piece of evidence individually and ignore that collectively there is an overwhelming amount of it. You look at every intermediate form and scoff as if it’s the only one we’ve ever found.” Again I don’t see an overwhelming amount of anything. I see 5% of a fossilized skeleton here. A piece of a skull here. 13% of this fossil over there. Several bones that may or may not be from the same animal, so on and so forth. Then I see scientists make all kinds of baseless claims and conclusions based on them. To top it off, I have people like you who tell me I should just “believe” what the scientists tell me like its the truth. [Its the Evolution scientists that are attempting to prove Darwin’s idea of macroevolution.] “Macro-evolution is overwhelmingly accepted in earth and life sciences, nobody’s trying to prove it.” The popularity of a particular conclusion doesn’t mean its any more valid than any other conclusion or theory. I thought you said that science tests, researches, observes and all to provide data and evidence to support a hypothesis. Finding proof is the point. Proof is defined as the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact. Plus you said its not proven, and the scientific inquiry continues. [That is why they claim its a transition despite having any evidence to prove their assumption. They trust the Darwin’s idea is true and draw conclusions based on the idea.] “Again they predicted it’s existence and where it should be then went out and found it, which was a test of darwin’s idea.” Prediction… prediction. It doesn’t have any weight in supporting a theory or hypothesis in my opinion. Prediction is an educated guess based on previously observed data. Prediction is often times wrong. If it turns out to be right, then your guess is correct based on the existing data that you used for your prediction. I can go down to the beach and predict I’ll find sand dollars because I know they can be found in the area based on evidence and data that I have observed previously. Then my prediction is proven true when I find one. “So there is no evidence for any aspect of evolution, it’s a pure 100% assumption? Countless transitional forms predicted and discovered, some by darwin. Countless genetic predictions and tests. Still not a shred of evidence, right?” I never said there was no evidence or that it is 100% assumption. I’m saying that the scientific data could have different interpretations, and there are assumptions within the framework of Evolution that can never be proven. For example, what do dinosaurs look like alive? Scientists don’t know because all they find are fossilized skeletons. Then artists draw reptilian pictures based on a skeleton, but they really don’t know. Or I can point you to the artistic expression of a lower primate become a man. Pure speculation, but its presented as being true. [The scientific method is great, and we would like it to remove bias and opinion, but in the end human beings are biased and are motivated by opinion. I have yet to meet someone who is truly unbiased or unopionated.] “A doctor can be as biased as he wants, a double-blind peer reviewed study on the effectiveness of a medication isn’t. Either the medicine works or it doesn’t regardless of how the doctor doing the study feels about it or wants it to be.” You don’t see the fallacy in that arguement? It is not relevant to the subject we are discussing. That is like me cooking a chocolate cake. Then I publish the recipe and others are able to reproduce the same result. Its preexisting elements mixed together to get an end result. Either the cake is chocolate or its not regardless of what I feel or want it to be. [Darwin’s idea is very much a prediction, but it has yet to be proven conclusively even after 150 years.] “It’s not “a” prediction, he made many and so did many other scientists. And I’ve given you examples of at least one prediction made by darwin that you turned your nose up at. Now you predict he’s not made a single successful prediction. That’s dishonest.” That is a strawman, one among many. I was referring to Darwin’s prediction that all life descended from one original ancestor. It’s been 150 years later and that prediction has yet to be realized. “Go make your own predictions and do your own tests.” I have done so, and I will continue to do so. [The statement that you don’t believe the scientific community is corrupt is surprising. The scientific community is made of human beings. Of course its corrupt.] “I meant I don’t think it’s the organized crime syndicate you make it out to be with leg breakers going around intimidating scientists who dare to question evolution.” Another straw man. That is not my position. “The reason science works is not that people are perfect, but that lies and falsified data cannot survive peer review for long if at all. If you falsify your experiment someone else is just going to do your experiment over again and find out you faked it. The reason piltdown man was such a big deal is that it’s one of the incredibly rare scientific hoaxes that took many years to be discovered. And even that was not perpetrated by an actual scientist.” Yes, peer review is very important in science. There are probably a number of scientific hoaxes and frauds that have yet to be discovered. So since it was found to be a hoax the scientists involved are suddenly not actual scientists. Good to know. After all real scientists are nearly perfect in every way who are completely objective, unbiased, and only draw unopiniated conclusions from their findings. “It’s a very well known fact outside of creationist websites which lie and claim that there is some growing tide of scientists who reject evolution.” Oh yes, all of the creationists websites are nothing but lies and false claims. Good to know. There are no real scientists who reject parts of evolutionary theory. “List for me the scientists in the US who have been imprisoned or threatened with death (by an official institution not by some random nut) for questioning evolution and your comparison is justified.” [That is to the extreme, and I was using hyperbole to make a point.] “You were lying to vilify your opponents.” No. I was using hyperbole to make a point. That is a real, literary device. You can research it if you don’t believe me. “The reason ID gets a hostile backlash has nothing to do with evolution or belief in god (most scientists in the US are christian after all). The reason ID is disliked is that it is an attempt to replace science with religious pseudoscience.” The reason Evolution gets a hostile backlash is because there are people who use Evolution to attack the beliefs of those who are religious. As I’ve shown, any kind of speculation according to your definition of pseudoscience is just that, pseudoscience. Abiogenesis is pseudoscience if its taught in the science classroom as is anything else that can’t be measured, tested, or verified by the scientific method. I’m amazed at the hypocrisy of those who believe in the assumptions of Evolution or any other field of scientific inquiry. “ID proponents do not test their “theory”, they don’t even have one in the scientific sense.” You truly do not understand those who think Intelligent Design is a possible explanation for the existence of this material universe and life on this planet. ID scientists don’t test philosophy. They make scientific hypotheses in different fields of scientific inquiry to support their work. If that resides within the framework of ID and builds a case for the philosophy that is no different than those who believe in the philosophy that life began on its own and all life forms descended from one life form. I’m amazed at the hypocrisy. “Then when other people test their claims and debunk them they just keep repeating them.” How can other people test their “claims” that can’t be tested scientifically and debunk something that is a philosophy? Just because a proponent of Evolution or Atheism gives a one hour speech or debates someone for a few hours doesn’t mean they debunk anything. As I’ve listened to a number of people who argue against “Irreducible Complexity,” it has yet to be debunked. Every time, they setup a strawman then knock it down. I could do that too. “Read the “wedge document” which lists the motives and beliefs of the organization leading the ID movement and tell me the discovery institute is interested in science and tests and data.” One organization and its motives doesn’t define an entire area of study. I’ll read the wedge document and see what it has to say. “Christians tend to think they are persecuted simply because they do not get special priveleges, or equate persecution with not being able to violate other peoples’ rights. ” [That is opinion and ad hominem. You can’t stereotype all Christians like that.] “I didn’t stereotype all christians, I said christians tend to do those things. Though not all.” Thank you for clarifying so that the assertion isn’t a stereotype. “You don’t know any christians who see gay people having equal rights as a threat to themselves? Or see public school teachers not being able to force one religious view on everyone else’s children as a threat to christianity… The “defense of marriage” (ie “your rights are persecuting us”) act just got struck down by the supreme court – you didn’t hear any christians being upset about it?” Homosexuality and science education are completely different topics than the ones we are discussing. There are plenty of liberal Christians who support homosexuals, and there are plenty of Christians who don’t want religion taught in the science classroom. I don’t want religion and philosophy taught in the science classroom. They should be taught in different classes. Homosexuality is a sin just like any other sexual sin that God has condemned. I personally don’t care what other people do in their private lives. I’m politically independent. I believe in liberty and equal justice under the law for everyone. I just don’t want other people’s views forced on me, my family, or my liberty infringed. [Persecution of Christians…] “If that is true it is only because christians are simply more numerous and all groups are persecuted. I was talking about christians in the US however, not christians living under communist dictatorships or sharia law.” There are plenty examples of persecution in the United States. People of faith are made fun of, slandered, stereotyped, excluded, made to look stupid, and villified. I had a friend that was stoned by people in Dallas when he was there sharing Jesus. How about if you do some research into the persecution of Christians in the US. [The other religions are persecuted as well, but more Christians have died over the last 2000 years than anyone else.] “Again, more christians and everybody dies. As for statistics on persecution going back 2,000 years that’s baloney. That data simply does not exist. And christians spent most of that time conquering the western world and doing a lot of persecuting, so I’m skeptical of your claim to say the least. I doubt the only religion people were legally allowed to have in the west since ancient rome experienced a great deal of persecution in the west – barring of course christians who persecuted other christians.” Here is a news article you can read. Do a some research on the subject. I don’t expect you to take my word for anything. Christians spent most of that time… ? Talk about a baseless and unverifiable claim. Christianity wasn’t recognized by the Roman state for over 300 years until Constantine. Even then it was only recognized, not made the state religion. It was tolerated and being recognized kept the church from being persecuted. It was the same for other religions too. Conquering the western world, what a poor conclusion. Christians didn’t conquer the western world with the sword. The faith spread peacefully throughout the world and was persecuted. It wasn’t until far, far later that the Church became a political power with governmental authority to wield the sword. Islam is the one that spread by the sword, and the crusades were a political response by a corrupted Roman Church to the violent invasion of Islam into Christian areas and Europe. Also, it was due to Muslim persecution and denial of Christian freedom of worship in the holy land. It was Islam that destroyed 700 years of Christian culture throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. An example is Islamic architecture of domes. That came from the Christian churches they seized in their conquest of the western world. [How do Christians in our day violate other people’s rights with our faith?] “I can’t think of a downtrodden minority that hasn’t had the bible invoked against their struggle for equality, blacks, jews, gays, women etc. Gays are the biggest example today probably, though christians like trampling over separation of church and state too.” I won’t disagree with your point outside of pointing out the blanket statement being applied to “Christians.” I will draw your attention to the fact that all of these minorities have also had Christians who fought for their rights and freedoms. Even the homosexual community has liberal Christians that are standing with them for their rights as I’ve said. I think you should be careful with accusing Christians of trampling over separation of church and state. Some do, I don’t reject that, but a lot of Christians are having their freedom of religion trampled over by government. The 1st amendment protects the Churches/religions from having the government establish a federal church or interfere in their activities. It doesn’t give the government the right to interfere with people’s personal religious activities, nor the people’s personal religious activities even on government property. “All facts are subject to revision. Science never closes the book on anything, nor do I.” Agreed. “From my perspective it looks like the animosity is generated by fundamentalists…” Fundamentalist… another term that stereotypes people. “As someone said there is no history whatsoever of scientists knocking on the sunday school door or picketing outside of the church telling people what to believe. Fundamentalists are coming after science, not the other way around. They feel persecuted because in their mind atheism is being taught in the science classrooms, but that misconception is caused by the culture of fundamentalism itself which falsely equates cosmology, biology etc with atheism and sees public schools not being overtly christian as being a threat to christianity.” I don’t completely disagree with you, but I think that there is a huge issue of teaching abiogenesis philosophy and other scientists’ speculations that are not science in the science classroom. From my perspective it is just as wrong as teaching the ID philosophy in science class. When science classrooms teach them, Christian parents protest because none of that can be answered by the scientific method among other reasons. When scientists and others demand that the ID philosophy can’t be taught then they are hypocrits because their own philosophies are taught in science class. “…eugenics programs…” You can’t deny that people have used Darwinism to support their ideas on eugenics. That is absolutely false if you do. Research it. [Again you missed my point. I do agree with you about subjective and demonstration, and I was pointing out that the disciples had first hand knowledge of Christ’s death and resurrection. They were eye witnesses, so they would have known it was a lie or really true. If they applied the scientific method they observed and tested Christ in a number of ways after His resurrection. Their conclusions about Him were grounded in first hand, eye witness, demonstrated knowledge.] “Knowledge and belief are not the same thing. Being convinced of something is believing it, being able to prove it to someone else is knowledge…Facts are objective and can be verified by anyone, beliefs are subjective and cannot be verified. That the earth is round is a fact, we can be said to know that it’s true. That chocolate tastes good is an opinion or belief. I am 100% convinced of it, but it doesn’t make it a fact.” Again, you miss the point. None of this has any relevance to what I was arguing. The disciples who followed Jesus didn’t just believe, they knew because they were eyewitnesses of Christ. They had the knowledge as direct observers of Christ, His death, and His resurrection. Let’s take the twelve disciples and sit them down on the witness stand in a court. The case for Christ is very, very strong with all of the evidence. The eyewitness testimony in the New Testament is way more likely to be true than Macroevolution. Plus, there were way more witnesses of Jesus than just those twelve. He appeared to at least 500 at one time after His resurrection as Paul records for us in 1 Corinthians 15:6. [The difference between you and I is I believe that the Bible is eye witness testimony and recorded history. You believe its a book of made up stories.] “Actually I think it’s dozens of books that are all sorts of things. And if you assume everything in any compilation is true and historically accurate then you’re going to agree with it, but that is circular reasoning.” Actually there are 66 books written by over 40 authors over a 1500 year period. I don’t assume it is true. I believe it is true based on all of my research and other study that I have done. [Therefore, you and I will simply have to disagree. The Bible has been proven to be true in many, many ways by the sciences and non-Biblical historical sources.] “Yeah, science doesn’t contradict the view that genesis is a literal history at all. A global flood, six day creation, young earth, tower of babel origins of language etc are all right there in our science textbooks.” No, the philosophy of people who reject Genesis as being historical contradict what it says. Remember, science has to be able to measure, observe, and test. I believe in creation as laid out in Genesis 1, the global flood, and what happened at the tower of Babel. You can stereotype me and all if you like, but your strawmen views on these issues are not what I believe. Nor what the Bible teaches when a person studies it carefully instead of dismissing it out-of-hand. Jesus confirmed everything in Genesis that you say didn’t happen. [Just one example is that genetics proves that the entire human race descended from one man and one woman.] “No it didn’t. It proves that the lineage of everyone alive today ultimately intersect at some point, which is not the same thing as the human race starting with a single man and woman… This is just bias, nothing more.” No, it is not bias. Genetics absolutely supports my conclusion. You say it doesn’t, but then you turn right around and say that everyone alive today ultimately intersect at some point with two common ancestors (a man and a woman). What a contradiction. How about if you read my statement again carefully this time. Genetics absolutely supports the truth that everyone alive descended from the same man and woman. I didn’t say anything about what happened before that. And it does support my belief in the Biblical account of creation. You can interpret the scientific data and evidence however you want to support your own philosophy. [I’m also part of the DNA genealogy project.] “But I thought past things can’t be tested based on current evidence…” I never said that. You setup a straw man argument. [I believe the Bible because of the mountain of evidence and logical conclusions.] “You dont “believe the bible”, you believe in a particular theology. And one which is rejected by almost every expert in almost every field of science there is.” Now you are going to tell me what I believe? Good to know. Despite your baseless assertion, I do believe in the Bible from the first word in Genesis all the way to the last word of Revelation. I really don’t care if some “experts” in every field of science there is reject it because they very well may be wrong. I always laugh to myself when someone says “experts!” Plus, I don’t have any data or evidence to support your claims. And there are plenty of other scientists that do believe the Bible is true. “You talk about mountains of evidence but you are engaging in special pleading, also known as stacking the deck.” Nonsense. “You focus on one forged fossil and in your mind that cancels out trillions of genuine ones.” Nonsense. Trillions? That is a ridiculous assertion. “You focus on a few sketchy accounts of people supposedly being dicks to ID proponents and that means every scientist who accepts evolution is just a jack-booted thug.” Poppycock. I never said “every” scientist, nor do I believe that. Another straw man. “You repeatedly fixate on one aspect of something and use it to ignore the bigger picture. Evolution is one of the most widely supported, widely accepted ideas in all of human history and you’ve twisted it in your mind to where the opposite is true – it’s not popular among scientists and those who accept it are all liars and there are only a few fossils and none of them are impressive etc. And you talk to me about “mountains” of evidence when it is undoubtedly a few molehills.” Rubbish. Another series of straw men. Remember you said it yourself, the popularity of an idea doesn’t give it any validity. I never said “all” or “every” or anything of the kind. Intelligent Design is the polar opposite of Macroevolution? Where did you come up with that? Yes, there is a mountain of evidence, but you can interpret the data however you want. You can even call all of it a molehill if you like. Doesn’t mean that you are correct in your conclusions. “The bible’s real meaning is far more nebulous than fundamentalists pretend. I don’t know if it is accurate or not, but I know the simplistic way you take it is dead wrong.” Since we haven’t discussed how I take it, your statements are false. Thanks for stereotyping me. Saying that the Bible’s meaning is vague is a silly statement. That argument is false, unless you have actually read the entire Bible and that is your opinion. And it is just your opinion. [God could very well communicate with humanity by having witnesses who interacted with Him write it down.] “So could aliens hypothetically. Or vishnu. Until someone shows me these things are real to me it’s just a what-if.” Sure, aliens, Vishnu, or any mythologies out there. You can believe its a what-if all you want. That is your opinion. Atheist demand that God be proven. My challenge to you is prove God doesn’t exist. Prove the Bible is not true. Scientific inquiry into the Bible has only proven that it is indeed true in those measurable, testable, observable discoveries that have been made. Just one example is The Shroud of Turin. The shroud has been proven to not be a medevial forgery. Its been clearly proven that the pieces that were carbon dated were from a medevial repair that had been done. All of the other scientific and historical evidence and data points directly to it being authentic taking it all the way back to the time of Jesus as well as Jerusalem itself and time of year. It can’t be proven to be the actual shroud of Jesus, but the man was beaten, crucified, and killed in the same exact manner. Even the whip marks go back to the ones Romans used in the first century. [He reveals Himself how He chooses. At Mt Sinai, He revealed Himself to millions.] “There is a great deal of difference between a million eye witnesses attesting to something and one person claiming a million people saw something. Also as far as seeing god:” It was more likely that it was well over two million people. So you are going to discount every single historical document written by one person even if it is a direct eyewitness record? That means every single historical document we have should be thrown out and burned if we followed your logic. None of them can be trusted! Oh well, I suppose I’m just a smart ape that somehow developed self awareness, consciousness, emotions, and fully functional systems that if broken would kill me. As to your scripture references, if you read the Exodus account in the Bible and others written in Jewish history, they didn’t actually see God’s true form. Being a spirit being He does not have a physical body. Not until Jesus came to the Earth, but that was well after the event at Mt. Sinai. Oh yes, other Jewish written history records that when God spoke they all heard Him with their own ears, and when God spoke the Ten Commandments verbally He spoke in every language on the face of the Earth. [Jesus confirmed everything all the way back to Genesis 1. He proved His words were true by being resurrected from the dead. I believe what He says about origins. The synoptic gospels (written before 70 AD) record Jesus’ prophecy about the Temple and Jerusalem being destroyed.] “He was explicitly predicting the end of the world and said it would happen within one generation. When it didn’t christians interpreted it differently and ignored all of the clearly apocalyptic language. Ironically christians still believe that the world will end only when the gospels are taught in all nations in the world, which comes from those passages and which jesus said would happen within one generation.” Here is a short article I wrote addressing this very argument. Everything Jesus said would happen will occur, and the generation that He was talking to had not passed away. [It happened exactly like He said including the Temple being taken apart stone-by-stone. The Romans did so to get the gold that had melted from the fires. Not to mention all of the personal things I have seen in my life, or the spiritual experiences I have witnessed first hand. I’ve seriously researched my faith for at least 20 years.] “A golden temple of a persecuted minority that was occupied by a foreign dictatorship being torn down isn’t exactly a crazy prediction, even assuming the prophecy was written down before the events took place. The other prophecies and the many that did not come true are of course ignored.” Its a prophecy that came true. You can do your best to down play it, but that is one thing that sets the Bible apart. There are hundreds of prophecies that have all come true. The only ones left have to do with the 2nd coming of Christ. Another example is Jesus said that the Gentiles would control Jerusalem until the times of the Gentiles had been fulfilled (Luke 21:24). The Israelis (Jews) returned and recaptured Jerusalem in 1967. Against all odds, that is a two thousand year old prophecy that came true. Not to mention there are over 300 prophecies about Jesus that were written hundreds of years before His first coming. We know it was at least 200 because the oldest texts that we have from the Old Testament date back that far. [The disciples watched Him ascend up into Heaven from the Mount of Olives to the east of Jerusalem. They were eyewitnesses of the event. See Acts 1.] “Let me put it another way. If I walk out of a room and you don’t follow me, how can you know where I went? Is heaven in outer space somewhere? How did the apostles know where he went? Even assuming the event took place.” All they saw was that He ascended up into the heavens. They don’t know where He went exactly after that, nor do they try to claim they did. The idea of Heaven that most people visualize is simple where God resides. The Heaven that I am looking forward to is the New Jerusalem. It is a massive cube 1500 miles wide, long, and tall. When it arrives here at the Earth it will be in geostationary orbit above Jerusalem. Of course it couldn’t land on the planet, and its interesting that John wrote he only saw it descending down from the heavens, not that it landed. A side note, when the people of Europe thought the world was flat the Bible taught it was a sphere, and that it existed in the midst of nothing (vacuum). Please explain to me how the ancient people at that time knew these things? Especially the latter. Isaiah 40:22 states that God “sits above the circle of the earth.” Job 26:7 says, “He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.” It is interesting how there is a fabric of space that expands and how the Earth is seated in the cosmos in light of these verses. For more on these types of things in the Bible here is a website to read over. “None of that logically points to jesus rising from the dead.” [That is because you believe the Bible is nothing but made up stories. If you reject the Bible as a source of information then there is nothing I can write to change your mind.] “No, I am talking about logic. A dead body not being in a tomb does not logically support the claim that the person rose from the dead any more than it would prove they were a vampire, which is why I gave another example to illustrate the flaw in the logic. The logic is flawed regardless of my beliefs or biases.” Logically, a dead body not being in a tomb does lend support to the claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. This was a tomb that was sealed and guarded by the most powerful military of the day. The logic is not flawed. [If you were to apply the liberal theologian’s standard they use for the Bible to every document from antiquity, we wouldn’t have anything left. Compare the Bible manuscript evidence to that of the Greek philosophers like Plato. Everyone believes Plato’s work is authentic, why not the Bible?] “First of all there are literary ways to tell if a text is all from the same author or if it’s derived from other sources etc and the gospels are very widely considered to be derivative. Secondly ancient texts that make claims of the sort that the bible makes are universally not taken seriously by historians unless the historian happens to belong to the religion the text is based on.” Sure, you can examine the Bible and see that the authors are different, or what writings belong to the same author. Widely considered to be derivatives by a limited group of liberal scholars who reject the Bible to begin with as made up stories. Universally? You mean again not taken seriously by people who reject the Bible as made up stories. The silly part about that is they do so without any kind of proof or evidence that the Bible is a bunch of made up stories. Its all conjecture, speculation, and opinion. It very well may be a historical, accurate record. The possibility exists however improbable you may think it is. [People complain that religious people believe things that people tell them without proof. People who study Evolution do the same exact thing.] “No, they don’t.” Yes they do. [Tell me… have you gone to every single “transitional” animal that has supposedly been found and examined the data for yourself?] “No, I have not examined every one of the billions of species of extinct organisms that have been unearthed. Stop being a baby. And it’s worth mentioning that you’re attacking me personally to justify your position, as though my being ignorant on the subject would prove anything.” Oh, so you can’t argue against my logic so you are going to turn to ad hominem instead and call me a baby? No, I’m not attacking you personally, but you could be an example of people who believe in Evolution believing what people tell them without any proof or evidence. Since you have not examined the “billions” of species of extinct organisms then that shows that you are someone who believes what someone tells you without evidence. So you are exactly like people who believe in the Bible as you define them. [No? Why are you believing something people just tell you? “How about all the other supposed evidences for macroevolution?] “That is laughable from someone whose entire worldview is based on believing the claims of people you’ve never met. The difference is with science the evidence is there for any and all who want to look at it.” No, what is laughable is that you would say that and you are the exact same. Have you personally met every single Evolutionary scientist in the field? Look at it? Yet, you believe it without going to look at it. [Ever believe anything that someone told you that you didn’t have proof it was true? Those questions are not necessarily spoken to you. It goes for anyone. When it comes down to it, we all believe things people tell us without demanding absolute proof for ever little thing.] “If you tell me you ate an omlet for breakfast I will believe you because I have no reason to think you might be lying, but mostly because I don’t care.” I have no reason to believe the people who wrote the books of the Bible were lying. Nor do atheists. Your emotional feelings don’t hold any relevance. “I pursue truth, not one version or another, not belief or trust or a “personal relationship”, just the truth. And trusting one book and ignoring all the rest does not seem to me like a very good method of finding it.” I pursue and want truth as well. I never said I ignore all the rest of the books in the world. That is a silly assertion. [You have to decide who you are going to trust. I trust Jesus and His followers who wrote down what they saw first hand as eye witnesses, heard with their own ears, and touched with their own hands. It was true and they laid down their lives proclaiming it.] “You also have to trust the people who claimed that’s how it all went down.” Yes, I do trust them. I have no reason not to. The fact that they were eyewitnesses and died for teaching their first hand knowledge is a powerful part of the evidence. If all these people who knew first hand that Jesus died on the cross and wasn’t resurrected, why would they allow themselves to be tortured and killed for a lie? Why would they leave everything behind and go traveling into a violent and brutal world to teach their first hand, eye witness testimony that they knew was nothing but a big lie? That makes absolutely no logical sense based on everything we know about human psychology. There is no way all 12 disciples and the other hundreds who witnessed Jesus for themselves were all insane, delusional, or all hallucinated everything that happened to the point they would do die for it. Especially with all the other historical evidence and writings that show Jesus was in fact a real person, that He did in fact die on the cross, and that his followers proclaimed that He was resurrected. No one has ever been able to argue against these points successfully in my opinion. [Separate sciences yes, but linked together logically into a unified ideology (to use your words).] “My words taken out of context.” No, I simply used the term “unified ideology.” [Then its presented as the truth, perhaps not scientists, but a whole lot of people including academia, media, and entertainment.] “It’s observable, testable reality. It’s about as close to truth as we ever get.” That is a biased opinion. [Just sit down and watch a scientific documentary on the development of life on the earth. It will include all three sciences as well as others.] “Uh huh. It will also included commas, periods and sentences. Does that make grammar a religion?” So again you can’t argue against the logic, so you have to turn to a satirical response. “Neither sought nor fabricated…” [That is laughable. That is saying that scientists have always worked completely independent of one another, never influenced by anyone else, and that they never sought to work collaboratively.] “No, it’s not.” Yes it is from my viewpoint. [Not fabricated… wow, that is such an error. There is plenty of fraud and fabrication.] “Yes, the convergence of multiple fields on the matter of evolution is a fabrication. Are aliens controlling the government too?” Straw man once again. And satire, but you’ve already made your thoughts clear on this area. [Yes, scientists are perfect human beings who have never done anything wrong, never make mistakes, have no biases, are always objective, and are never in error. Let’s all just go and kneel at their feet so they can enlighten us with their perfect knowledge and simply tell us what to believe! ] “And full of crap.” I find the sarcasm very humorous from my viewpoint. That is how I feel about the way you portray scientists and the scientific community as if they can do no wrong. And if they do, they are not “real” scientists. [I’m talking about complete non-existence. No fabric of space, no vacuum, no energy, no matter, absolutely nothing in existence. Then matter and energy spontaneously came into existence (no cause, no reason) along with all the other elements that make up our universe. It would take more faith for me to believe in that to believe in a first cause.] “Good thing nobody’s asking you to.” Then what is your point of discussing this with me? You infer I’m a stupid fundamentalist, so I suppose you just want to educate me? Or is it you are trying to enlighten me to see the “truth” of your viewpoint and position. “It makes no claims about whether the matter came from or if it even came from anywhere or anything.” [You say that, but there are plenty of scientists that speculate.] “What’s wrong with that?” There is nothing wrong with it until they try to teach their speculation or philosophy in the science classroom. [There are numerous hypotheses about how it started. I believe there was a first cause and that is God. It is a legitimate conclusion.] “Not unless you can substantiate it.” Well then according to you none of the philosophical positions are legitimate conclusions. Poor scientists who work so hard to be legitimate would probably disagree with you. [There is no reason to not believe God was the first cause.] “There’s no reason to not believe vishnu was the first cause either. Both claims are vague and untestable.” Thank you for conceding my point. “Science starts with what we see and comes up with ideas then tests them. It uses what we know to learn more. Religions do the opposite, they take what we don’t know (how the universe began, how life began etc) and use it to justify countless claims, often contradicting things we learn through science, leading to our current dilemmas.” No, scientists that believe in a Creator use science to investigate and understand the natural world. Their testable findings can support their philosophical viewpoint. Scientists that believe in Evolution do the same exact thing. [No. I never said the Big Bang was bad science. I said that for the entire universe to suddenly explode into existence for no reason without a cause is ridiculous.] “Which you equated with the big bang.” Again you miss the point. I wasn’t criticizing the Big Bang. I was criticizing the philosophical viewpoint that there was no cause. [DNA is a digital code, but its far more complex and advanced that our understanding of digital information. Information proclaims a designer.] “Information is a human concept, data is meant to be read by a mind and understood. DNA is just a chemical, not a book or a computer waiting to be read by someone. We call the components “letters” and call it a “code” but these are metaphors, it’s just the human mind grasping for the familiar to try to visualize unfamiliar concepts.” Chemicals designed as DNA that controls a cell are like 0s and 1s of digital information for biological machines. The chemicals themselves aren’t information, its the organization of the chemicals that is the information. Its the same as the words I’m typing. The letters by themselves are nothing but letters, but I organize them in such a way that expresses information. DNA is the blueprint, the directions, the instruction booklet for the cell’s life processes. [Beyond that I believe the First Cause revealed Himself to humanity through Christ. He revealed Himself to thousands in the land of Israel at that time, and sent out over a hundred as witnesses to tell everyone the Good News. That God is just, we are criminals, and we can be saved from God’s wrath by trusting in Him. He took our punishment on Himself to demonstrate His eternal, perfect love and grace. Why? We will be the examples of His grace for the ages to come.] “Does the existence of so many other religions ever make you wonder if yours is just another mythology?” At first yes, but then No after I researched it on my own. I have researched and studied my faith and most of the others through multiple fields of knowledge for two decades. I’ve studied world mythologies (and taught them by the way) and I see no comparison when it comes to Christ. They are mythologies, Jesus is real. There is a true God. Simply compare the attributes of different gods and you will see that in many cases (at least what I have studied) you can see that made up gods are just like humanity. The God of the Bible is the only one that is not. What it does show me is that humanity has carried the knowledge that a deity exists with them down through time. All of them eventually decided to make up their own gods to worship instead of the true God. And the true God had to reveal Himself to a world that rejected Him. It is interesting that in every mythology around the world there is a flood story. I believe that is because those who survived the Flood (Noah and his family) carried that with them passing it on to each generation as they moved around the world. What the Bible says about humanity is true, the way it describes the world is true, and its based on real history and real people. The Bible has taught the world was a sphere for thousands of years, it was humanity that was wrong. The Bible does not teach that the Earth is the center of the universe, again that was a wrong human conclusion. There are traces of the original “religion” around the world that the children of Adam and Eve carried with them. Did you know that in China thousands of years ago they had a monotheistic religion with a Creator God who spoke the heavens, Earth, and man into existence? Research ShangDi. There are stark similarities between ShangDi and the God of Genesis. That religion goes back for at least 3-4000 years. Here is an article for a brief overview. The Chinese language is ancient. Research the word Garden in Chinese and the smaller symbols that make up the word and what they mean. Its amazing. [Especially based on the complexity that we see in the universe. It shouts “Designer.”] “It makes sense to me without a designer. And whenever someone says there must be a designer I can never get past the question of why doesn’t the designer need to be designed or the creator need to be created?” The God of the Bible is the uncreated one. He has always existed and will continue to do so. He exists outside of time and space. Do I claim to understand that completely? No. I will though when God decides to tell me. I’m looking forward to it. [The fact we are thinking, self aware, intelligent beings is proof to me that God exists.] “If we need to be designed to be able to think why doesn’t god? I think that intelligence is an emergent phenomenon.” The Bible teaches that our physical bodies and everything physical was designed by God. He created our spirits and soul in His image. He breathed life into us. When Jesus came to the Earth and was incarnated into a body, His body was a special creation. It was designed too. He was the 2nd Adam, the only other human whose body was directly created by God (outside of the normal process of reproduction). God is a life form far beyond our understanding. If He is uncreated and has always existed, then He wasn’t designed to think. He designed us in His image to think, like He was the pattern He followed. As I said, I look forward to God explaining these things to me. […but science can not test the origins of emotions and consciousness by natural means.] “Consciousness is very poorly understood, I will grant you that. But whenever we try to make claims about things that are poorly understood we are invariably discovered to be wrong later.” I’m glad you can see my point. I believe intelligence, consciousness, self awareness, and emotion were designed and evolution can’t explain them since they are untestable. They do exist even though they can’t be measured. Then there is also the part of how they mesh with our physical brains too. There is a physical and nonphysical element to it. Another aspect of that is autonomic biological processes that we have in our body. Why would we evolve to not have control over them? It doesn’t make any sense to me especially since not having control over them can eventually harm the body and kill us. Like the storing of fat. *Continued in next reply*
    • Daniel Silas says:

      *Continued from previous reply*

      “Doesn’t that just push the problem of origins back one and ignore it? I think love is no less hard to explain by evolution than the predatory instinct. We would be just as screwed without love and compassion and sympathy and empathy as a predator would be without the predatory instinct.”

      I can understand why the predatory instinct could be explained by evolution, but why did love, compassion, sympathy, empathy, or others? If life evolved from proteins to a single cell, why would two separate life forms (cells) bond to one another like the trillions of cells that we have in our bodies. Not what bonds them, but what logical, natural process of evolution would cause that to happen? We don’t see humans or other animals fuse into one outside of the reproduction system.

      [The idea that there is an Intelligent Designer is possibly true. Why not explore it since it meets the same criteria? Perhaps there could be scientific data and evidence available if it was actually studied and not dismissed.]

      “The notion that life could be blasted by a meteor from one planet to the other can be tested a number of ways. You can test whether microscopic life can survive in space long enough, whether it can survive the heats and pressures of a meteor impact, whether a meteor impact can propel objects into space, etc – and we may even one day find microscopic or fossil cousins on another planet in our solar system.”

      But how did life start on that planet without a cause? And on back, planet to planet, until you come to the first planet that had life on it.

      “But people who made claims about jesus in the iron age they’re totally credible.”

      [They are just as credible as any other human being including scientists that are alive today.]

      “This is ironic since you don’t consider most scientists to be particularly credible.”

      No, I don’t think that. Credibility has nothing to do with whether they are right or not. They could be very credible, but they could be dead wrong on some of their conclusions.

      [There is no reason to doubt the eyewitness testimony we find in the pages of the Bible.]

      “Really? If I claimed that I saw someone rise from the dead and do other seemingly impossible things you would have no reason to doubt me?”

      Of course I would have reason to doubt you, but if you came along saying that and God healed a man who had been crippled and unable to walk his entire life through your prayers, then that might add some weight to your claim. Or if you were given a choice to declare your claim a lie (and you knew it was true first hand) or get tortured, and you chose torture that would add some weight to your claim. Or if they gave you a choice between death and declaring your claim a lie (and you knew it was true first hand) and you chose death that would add some weight to your claim. If there was at least a dozen eyewitnesses to your claim that would add some weight. Or a hundred to five hundred witnesses that would make your claim stronger on the probability of it being true.

      Do you think people were so stupid back in the time of Jesus that they would just believe people because they said it? That is absurd. Ancient peoples were very intelligent, sophisticated, and could do things that we can’t even do today. Like build the pyramids, and build structures out of stones that are hundreds of tons fitting them together where even a sheet of paper can’t be slipped between them. Especially those structures where the stones are cut in all kinds of different angles and all. The reason Jesus performed miracles, was resurrected, and the disciples performed miracles was to prove they were actually sent by God (2 Cor. 12:12). There has to be some reason why so many people would believe Paul, Peter, and the other disciples when they came through teaching about Jesus.

      “And your standard is that unless you perform an experiment yourself it’s not valid and since you don’t have the time or resources to perform experiments all experimental evidence is therefore invalid… unless it seems to support your worldview in which case it’s ironclad.”

      More straw men. I never said that.

      [Yes, by looking at the complexity of the universe. God is more probable by far.]

      “You’re not using the word probable correctly.”

      I am using it correctly. Probable in this context is defined as supported by evidence strong enough to establish presumption but not proof. Look it up for yourself.

      [There would never be anything designed on the earth if humanity was not here. And the complexity of what we have designed is no where near the complexity of a single cell. It demands the explanation of a Designer.]

      “Depends how you define complexity…”

      Let’s define complexity as super computers (designed mechanics) and the human brain (designed biological super computer).

      [Something happened 2000 years ago in the land of Israel that sent shock waves outward impacting vast amounts of people across tribes, tongues, nations, and peoples.]

      “I think it was more what happened after that, when the emperor of rome converted and made it the only legal form of worship in the largest empire in the world, then when his empire collapsed the religion was used as the basis for the legal system of countless monarchies, making heresy not only heresy, but treason as well for most of the last two millenia. Islam sent shockwaves too you know.”

      That was 300 years after the beginning of Christianity. Before that the Church went through tremendous persecution where emperors were using Christians as torches in their garden parties at night or throwing them to the lions or other wild animals for entertainment. Yes, Islam sent shockwaves by the sword, that is not similar to the peaceful words of the early Christians.

      [It matters because in different areas the animals in the layers are not in the same order, so it contradicts itself.]

      “Any geologist can tell where volcanic activity or erosion or some other process has mixed up material from multiple layers. This “problem” isn’t a problem any more than digging a hole in your backyard is a problem for the geological column.”

      Sure, that is why the fossils are mixed up in different layers. I’m sure the volcanoes dug up layers of fossils and moved them around. How does lava do that by the way?

      “The evidence is still there and plentiful. Do you honestly think every fossil is a forgery? Do you think that little of your fellow man?”

      [You say its there and plentiful. I’ll apply the same standard you put on the people who wrote the Bible.]

      “I don’t maintain that every author of the bible was lying. I’m sure they honestly felt inspired. I’ve felt inspired. I just don’t assume inspiration comes from above.”

      Well, when you see Jesus yourself, or miracles, or other incredible things those people saw, then perhaps you can be inspired to their level. I’m glad you don’t maintain that every author was lying.

      [I can’t just “believe” what you write. No, I don’t think every fossil is a forgery, but I have yet to see any convincing transitional intermediate forms.]

      “What would convince you?”

      How about a complete line of full human skeletons that show the progression of our evolution.

      [Humanity has proven itself to be fraudulent and liars. Humans are prone to arrogance, mistakes, and errors. I’m human so I know its true.]

      “But not the anonymous authors of the gospels?”

      They were humans too, so that answers the question. But as I have illustrated, I have reasons why I believe they were telling the truth about what they experienced first hand.

      “When I learned about the complexity of cells it actually made evolution make more sense to me, since I had read an old book about evolution (and other concepts) that said it was a mystery why evolution seemed to do nothing until the development of multi-cellular creatures. It made no sense why life seemed to be not evolving and then seemed to be evolving rapidly (geologically speaking). When I found out about how complex cells are I thought “oh that makes more sense, cells were evolving all that time”. This, to me, removes a “problem” for evolution.”

      That supports my point that evidence and data can be interpreted differently by different people with different philosophical viewpoints.

      [You mention supercomputers… it is a designed machine and would never be built on its own. I would say it would be impossible for a super computer to be built outside of a designer. In the same way, a single cell is so complex it points to a designer.]

      “This is irrelevant to the point I made.”

      I used the example to illustrate my own point as you did for yours.

      [The game Spore makes me chuckle. It supposedly follows something akin to the evolution of life, but the whole time a designer is sitting at the keyboard.]

      “If you want something more like actual evolution you should check out this (it’s free):

      http://boxcar2d.com/

      Let it run for a few generations and watch the little cars evolve purely by random variation and natural selection.”

      I may do that, but I am really loving Kerbal Space Program at the moment.

      [As to irreducible complexity I have studied the opposing side, and I still don’t see anything that convinces me its not legitimate. Everyone I have heard misses the point. Its about specific function, not taking pieces apart and pointing to different functions.]

      “You seem to be blending behe’s irreducible complexity and dembski’s specified complexity arguments together into one.”

      The two do go hand in hand in my opinion. I don’t necessarily agree with every single point or conclusion of both arguments as presented by Behe or Dembski. Really that goes for every scientists, scholar, or philosopher I study.

      [The observed specific function of the bacteria flagellum is broken if you take any of the pieces away. The most common rebuttal is that it works with pieces taken away as a type of hypodermic needle. That is the exact point. If you take pieces away it breaks the original function and takes on a different function (or none at all), but it will not work as the original, specific function without all its pieces.]

      “The “specific function” is irrelevant. The argument is that the mechanism is unevolvable by gradual modification since it needs all of it’s parts to be together at the same time to have any function and the odds of all the parts coming together is so small it couldn’t have happened. The response is that biological mechanisms can evolve by modification of precursor structures the way that for instance a hand did not just suddenly appear but the bones and ligaments in it have been evolving for many millions of years (going back to and even before those wrist bones appeared in tiktaalik). You can’t have a wing without an arm or an arm without a fin or a fin without a ridge or a ridge without a bump and so on, so if it doesn’t work at every stage evolution is impossible. But of course it simply has to be functional and useful (and thus something that would be favored by natural selection) it does not have to perform the same consistent function, that makes no sense.]

      I disagree. Natural selection is blind and can not plan functional components to the degree of complexity that we see in the natural world. There is no evidence. That is one reason why I think parts of evolution are impossible. All life descending from one organism is an example. Think for a moment. There are so many different life forms on the Earth. How can all of them evolve such complexity all at the same time to the point of what we see today? Hypothetically I could see one organism evolving something beneficial, but for 100, 1000, 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000 organisms to all be able to evolve such complexity all at the same time? And what about those life forms on the Earth that exist in completely hostile environments? How did our common ancestors do that without dying in the environment? Hypothetically speaking of course.

      Well, I will stop there. I appreciate and have enjoyed our conversation, but I do not see a reason to continue if its going to continue to be a circular pattern of back and forth on issues and points that we have already discussed so far. We have deep disagreements, and I don’t see the benefit for either of us to rehash point-for-point over-and-over again.

      If you do have some new points you would like to discuss, then please feel welcome to bring those forward one at a time so we can discuss them. So propose a thesis and we can discuss/debate it if you like.

      Though I want it to be more focused if we are to continue. These responses that are taking days to compose on such a vast amount of topics is becoming tedious since they have turned into a circular pattern. Plus, we are pushing WordPress comments beyond the max number of allowed characters.

      Take care, and I hope you have a great day!

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