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Thread: A civil conversation...

  1. -21
    spydertl79's Avatar
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    Oh, and DNA/ addition of genetic information:

    A mechanism that is likely to be particularly common for adding information is gene duplication, in which a long stretch of DNA is copied, followed by point mutations that change one or both of the copies. Genetic sequencing has revealed several instances in which this is likely the origin of some proteins. For example:
    Two enzymes in the histidine biosynthesis pathway that are barrel-shaped, structural and sequence evidence suggests, were formed via gene duplication and fusion of two half-barrel ancestors (Lang et al. 2000).
    RNASE1, a gene for a pancreatic enzyme, was duplicated, and in langur monkeys one of the copies mutated into RNASE1B, which works better in the more acidic small intestine of the langur. (Zhang et al. 2002)
    Yeast was put in a medium with very little sugar. After 450 generations, hexose transport genes had duplicated several times, and some of the duplicated versions had mutated further. (Brown et al. 1998)
    The biological literature is full of additional examples. A PubMed search (at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi) on "gene duplication" gives more than 3000 references.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spydertl79 View Post
    I'm going to try to merge some of these subjects since we're going in so many different directions here.


    Sounds good!

    Theists believe in the existence of god, Atheists do not. Any views that an atheist holds beyond that are personal, but not a requirement to be an atheist.


    That doesn’t matter, atheism is still a type of worldview, there are numerous atheistic worldviews and theistic worldviews, but my point is that only the Christian theist’s worldview is logically coherent and internally consistent.

    Existence of god can be proven. Non existence of God can not be proven, because it is not an assertion but rather the lack of an assertion. For example, you can not disprove the existence of an alien planet named Kolob where Abraham Lincoln's soul rules over heaven even though there is a zero percent chance of it existing.


    This is actually a bit of a misconception, a person can prove “non-existence claims” by proving the truth of a different claim that negates the possibility of the first claim, for example, “God says He is the only god that exists, God cannot lie, and therefore no other gods exist.” I know you don’t agree with my example, but that’s just an example of how someone can prove non-existence. Now with regards to the non-existence of God, you are right nobody can prove that because you’d have to have revelation from an all-knowing source in order to do so. That doesn’t change the fact that atheism has always been defined as positive belief in the non-existence of God, I never said it was a defensible position, but that’s how it’s defined.

    “Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.” - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1998

    You've completely lost me on the whole "there wouldn't be science without God" thing. Since I do not believe in said God, this has no meaning to me at all and I am unable to accept or decline your assertion here.


    Ok, allow me to elaborate. Science requires induction in order to be possible; so if induction were not possible then science would not be possible. Induction would not be possible in a purely natural world because there is no reason to believe that the future will resemble the past. If I drop a ball and it falls to the earth, as a Christian I have confidence that if I do that same test under the same conditions tomorrow the ball will fall to the earth again because God has promise to uphold His creation in a uniform manner (Genesis 8). Now if I lived in a purely natural world, I have zero confidence that the ball will do the same thing tomorrow as it did today because I have no way of proving there is any uniformity in nature without invoking a circular argument.

    That's not something that can be proven or disproven without first establishing the existence of God, which will never be established.


    I think you are missing my point, that argument does establish the existence of God, namely the Christian God. If only the Christian God’s existence can make knowledge possible, and knowledge is possible then the Christian God has to exist. Its proof through the impossibility of the contrary, If “B” requires “A” in order to be true, and we can establish that “B” is true, then “A” also has to be true.

    If we're arguing about the validity of scripture (implied) then it's really not fair to use scripture to tell me what my views are. I was raised Catholic and was also exposed to evolution. Indoctrination in the sense that Im using it would more closely resemble brainwashing then a mere exposure to an idea. I would argue that every normal person is exposed to both views eventually, but you don't have thousands of people worshipping at the altar of Darwin every Sunday, drinking Darwin's blood, sending their kids to evolution study or evolution school. Surely you understand he difference in methodologies and why that would be concerning not just to someone who doubts the validity of Christianity, but even to someone who simply questions certain parts of Christianity.


    I was using scripture in order to prove that you were not starting at a neutral place because you were starting with the position that scripture was false. It is impossible to start at a neutral position when it comes to the validity of scripture, you either assume it is false a priori or you assume it is true a priori.

    Well if by indoctrination you mean “brainwashing” then I disagree that the majority of Christians have been indoctrinated. I think what we are seeing is that Christian teachings are just far more persuasive than Darwinian teachings. Is it really concerning that parents teach their children what’s true from an early age? I really don’t see a problem with that at all. I was never taught that 2+2 may or may not equal 4, that 8 may or may not be a larger number than 7, so I don’t see why parents have to teach their children that God may or may not exist.

    Sick kids. Again, you're misunderstanding Atheism. Most of us are not *******s. There are exceptions on both sides but when I see or hear of a kid stricken with a disability like that, I feel sadness and compassion. I donate money and participate in charity events to try to raise money for research for (atheist) scientists to try to prevent or cure those diseases.


    Why only donate to atheistic scientists? If your goal is to cure the disease I wouldn’t think you’d care who cured the disease. Be that as it may, how is anything I said incorrect? How is a child experiencing cancer not an animal experiencing a selective pressure? I think I accurately portrayed the naturalistic teachings on such matters, and they are rather terrible if you ask me.

    You know that some people actually use the bible to justify not treating children for sickness, right? They interpret it to say that God's will is going to determine whether they live. Ill stick with the atheists on this one... I've never been one for feeling helpless.


    What people teach that? The Bible doesn’t teach that, so if someone teaches that then they are abusing scripture which doesn’t prove anything. If evolution were true, wouldn’t saving those children actually hamper the progression of the species because you are saving and allowing an “unfit” individual to pass on their genes? I think you are being inconsistent on this one, I am glad you are being inconsistent because it means we can save children, but still inconsistent.

    Islam/ FSM vs Jesus re: contradictions
    Well that’s a bit of “elephant hurling” on your part, how about you pick the best three alleged contradictions in the Bible and I will show you how they actually do not fit the definition of a logical contradiction? Fair enough?

    Scripture can be interpreted in any way that people want it to be. The bible is only consistent on a few things.


    Fallible humans disagreeing on what an infallible source means doesn’t surprise me in the least, it does not prove that the Bible is fallible though.

    Intermediate forms: here's a few thousand, enjoy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils
    Again, fossilization is extraordinarily rare in nature, especially amongst microscopic organisms, but we've done a pretty good job over the last 50 years in finding some of these intermediate species.
    Well there’s actually only a little bit more than a hundred listed in that article, most of which I have seen disputed. If all life on earth came from one single ancestor there’d have to be billions of intermediate species (estimates suggest over 50,000 just to get from a land mammal to whale), so you have maybe a few hundred examples and you are trying to use that to justify your belief that billions of these things existed? Isn’t that a bit of a leap of faith? How do you know that a few thousand different kinds of animals were not created and then natural selection took it from there to explain the diversity we see within each kind of animal? I think that is far more consistent with the number of intermediate forms we find today.

    Reality- The physical universe and all things that can be experienced? That's a really broad term and I know you're just trying to lay some kind of evangelical trap. I bit...


    Trap? : ) Not really, I am just trying to get a better grasp on your epistemology, that’s all. So if we defined reality differently would that change reality?
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    Quote Originally Posted by spydertl79 View Post
    Oh, and DNA/ addition of genetic information:
    Quote Originally Posted by spydertl79 View Post

    A mechanism that is likely to be particularly common for adding information is gene duplication, in which a long stretch of DNA is copied, followed by point mutations that change one or both of the copies. Genetic sequencing has revealed several instances in which this is likely the origin of some proteins. For example:
    Two enzymes in the histidine biosynthesis pathway that are barrel-shaped, structural and sequence evidence suggests, were formed via gene duplication and fusion of two half-barrel ancestors (Lang et al. 2000).
    RNASE1, a gene for a pancreatic enzyme, was duplicated, and in langur monkeys one of the copies mutated into RNASE1B, which works better in the more acidic small intestine of the langur. (Zhang et al. 2002)
    Yeast was put in a medium with very little sugar. After 450 generations, hexose transport genes had duplicated several times, and some of the duplicated versions had mutated further. (Brown et al. 1998)
    The biological literature is full of additional examples. A PubMed search (at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi) on "gene duplication" gives more than 3000 references.


    Thanks for the article, however I think you’ll find the gene duplication theory has many problems from a common descent standpoint (the number of genes and amount of DNA information seems to be found in those organisms least likely to evolve, and natural selection appears to select against gene duplication just for example). I think gene duplication is a great explanation for why we see such diversity within the Biblical kinds but cannot explain how all life on earth could originate from one single celled organism.
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  4. -24
    spydertl79's Avatar
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    Sorry for the delay- I've been working my butt off lately AND I just bought a new truck (A Raptor, it's the best purchase I've ever made). This is the first chance I've had to sit down and relax at home in a while!
    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    That doesn’t matter, atheism is still a type of worldview, there are numerous atheistic worldviews and theistic worldviews, but my point is that only the Christian theist’s worldview is logically coherent and internally consistent.
    Atheists do not hold any kind of consistent worldview! How could we POSSIBLY when we are only able to base our morality off of what is culturally acceptable and on the way we were raised? It's not like WE have ten commandments or seven deadly sins.

    And no, Atheists do not have a "belief" system... we are non-believers. I don't believe in any God but I am always open to learning about things and have by no means closed myself off to the possible existence of a creator. I will say that I am reasonably sure that none of the modern religions are right about this as they have all been contradicted by observations.



    This is actually a bit of a misconception, a person can prove “non-existence claims” by proving the truth of a different claim that negates the possibility of the first claim, for example, “God says He is the only god that exists, God cannot lie, and therefore no other gods exist.” I know you don’t agree with my example, but that’s just an example of how someone can prove non-existence. Now with regards to the non-existence of God, you are right nobody can prove that because you’d have to have revelation from an all-knowing source in order to do so. That doesn’t change the fact that atheism has always been defined as positive belief in the non-existence of God, I never said it was a defensible position, but that’s how it’s defined.

    “Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.” - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1998
    I don't care what that book says. Please stop trying to tell me what I believe or what Atheists believe just because it makes your point easier to prove. You're just going to have to trust that I have a better idea of what it means to be Atheist, just as I trust that you have a better idea of what it's like to be Christian.

    Ok, allow me to elaborate. Science requires induction in order to be possible; so if induction were not possible then science would not be possible. Induction would not be possible in a purely natural world because there is no reason to believe that the future will resemble the past.

    This is the first untrue statement. The existence of an orderly universe is the only logical result... I would say that your cause would be helped more if the laws of the universe were less consistent and therefore you could argue that the variance is caused by God.

    If I drop a ball and it falls to the earth, as a Christian I have confidence that if I do that same test under the same conditions tomorrow the ball will fall to the earth again because God has promise to uphold His creation in a uniform manner (Genesis 8). Now if I lived in a purely natural world, I have zero confidence that the ball will do the same thing tomorrow as it did today because I have no way of proving there is any uniformity in nature without invoking a circular argument.
    This is much easier to explain with the physics of gravity... and if you want to be technical, the ball would fall to the earth at slightly different speeds depending on your elevation, barometric pressure, etc. This is a purely natural world... and things may seem calm and orderly but they are in fact completely chaotic. If they were orderly, however, that still would not provide any evidence in favor of or against the existence of god.

    You continue making the same logical fallacy in asserting that x would not be possible without God, therefore he must exist. The first part of your assertion is incorrect.

    Unless you can prove that without God, the laws of physics wouldn't exist?
    I think you are missing my point, that argument does establish the existence of God, namely the Christian God. If only the Christian God’s existence can make knowledge possible, and knowledge is possible then the Christian God has to exist. Its proof through the impossibility of the contrary, If “B” requires “A” in order to be true, and we can establish that “B” is true, then “A” also has to be true.
    You'll have to start over then, because I haven't seen you lay out anything in this format where there wasn't some kind of assumption that isn't a proven fact thrown in there.

    I was using scripture in order to prove that you were not starting at a neutral place because you were starting with the position that scripture was false. It is impossible to start at a neutral position when it comes to the validity of scripture, you either assume it is false a priori or you assume it is true a priori.
    This isn't true. If you mean that most people will immediately "guess" at the validity of something subconsciously prior to evaluating a claim then I will agree with that. However, this is not all people and I know that I did not automatically doubt the validity of scripture the first time I read it. In fact, I actually (truly) believed it up until the age of about 15 or 16.

    I still reject your claim that nobody can start on neutral ground... this is almost in the same category as asserting that atheists hold a positive disbelief in the existence of God. Sorry, you can keep trying to take the "logical high ground" and you're going to keep failing to do so.

    Well if by indoctrination you mean “brainwashing” then I disagree that the majority of Christians have been indoctrinated. I think what we are seeing is that Christian teachings are just far more persuasive than Darwinian teachings. Is it really concerning that parents teach their children what’s true from an early age? I really don’t see a problem with that at all. I was never taught that 2+2 may or may not equal 4, that 8 may or may not be a larger number than 7, so I don’t see why parents have to teach their children that God may or may not exist.
    Well of course YOU don't think it's "brainwashing," but I'm sure that if someone taught their child Darwinism and ONLY Darwinism while actively keeping them from hearing dissenting opinions, you would view that differently.

    Yes, in my opinion it is WRONG to teach your kid that the Bible is right and that science is evil or a tool of the devil (as many do). However, as an American I respect people's right to screw up their kids in any way that they see fit, as long as it isn't abusive. Where I draw the line is when people push to have ID taught in public school classrooms. I do not know how I will decide to raise my kids but this topic is certainly something that needs to be discussed with your partner at length before deciding to have a kid.

    Why only donate to atheistic scientists? If your goal is to cure the disease I wouldn’t think you’d care who cured the disease. Be that as it may, how is anything I said incorrect? How is a child experiencing cancer not an animal experiencing a selective pressure? I think I accurately portrayed the naturalistic teachings on such matters, and they are rather terrible if you ask me.
    First- I don't only donate to atheist scientists, I was simply remarking upon the fact that most biologists are atheist.

    Second- NO. Just because I acknowledge that Humans can be classified as primates such doesn't mean that it is any less tragic when a person, especially a child gets cancer. And cancer is not a form of natural selection for the same reasons I laid out previously- it is often caused by environmental or recessive genetic factors.

    Third- I'll take this a step further- shouldn't Christians celebrate when a child gets cancer because it means that they could die and get a chance to meet God?

    What people teach that? The Bible doesn’t teach that, so if someone teaches that then they are abusing scripture which doesn’t prove anything. If evolution were true, wouldn’t saving those children actually hamper the progression of the species because you are saving and allowing an “unfit” individual to pass on their genes? I think you are being inconsistent on this one, I am glad you are being inconsistent because it means we can save children, but still inconsistent.
    No- If a person were to make a determination of which genes should be passed on and which shouldn't, it would no longer be "natural" selection by definition. And my determination of this doesn't mean "we can save the children" as I have no power in that field.

    Back to my belief that YOLO- we have to savor every minute and we have to fight hard to prolong and save every life.'

    None of this is relevant because no Atheist would ever argue that death is "a good thing" unless you're talking about the death of a very evil person such as Bin Laden.

    Well that’s a bit of “elephant hurling” on your part, how about you pick the best three alleged contradictions in the Bible and I will show you how they actually do not fit the definition of a logical contradiction? Fair enough?
    It's pointless because, as I've said before, any Bible verse can be interpreted to mean different things. The same verse can be interpreted in completely different directions by a single person. The post with a few hundred of these examples was just to show this point.

    Fallible humans disagreeing on what an infallible source means doesn’t surprise me in the least, it does not prove that the Bible is fallible though.
    I would argue that a truly infallible scripture would have been written clearly enough that there is no room for these people to misinterpret it. Otherwise, what's the point of writing infallible scripture?

    Well there’s actually only a little bit more than a hundred listed in that article, most of which I have seen disputed. If all life on earth came from one single ancestor there’d have to be billions of intermediate species (estimates suggest over 50,000 just to get from a land mammal to whale), so you have maybe a few hundred examples and you are trying to use that to justify your belief that billions of these things existed? Isn’t that a bit of a leap of faith? How do you know that a few thousand different kinds of animals were not created and then natural selection took it from there to explain the diversity we see within each kind of animal? I think that is far more consistent with the number of intermediate forms we find today.
    I don't claim to know exactly how everything happened, nobody does. I just say that given the extensive record of fossils and the fact that we do have a good idea of how many families and genuses evolved, it is likely that most or all of the species on Earth evolved from common ancestors. The certainty increases as you start looking at more specific evolutionary chains such as our evolution from apes.

    Maybe a few thousand species were created and we evolved from them, maybe one single species was created that we evolved from. I have no way to know for sure- but I do know that evolution is a scientific fact. I also know that there are no competing theories that are even close in terms of evidence.

    Trap? : ) Not really, I am just trying to get a better grasp on your epistemology, that’s all. So if we defined reality differently would that change reality?
    I suppose would have to ask what methodology one would use to change the definition of reality before knowing what I'm answering.
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    just an off topic thought someone mentioned science as being an accumulation of the tree of knowledge. One could argue that science has killed more people than it has saved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildbill3 View Post
    just an off topic thought someone mentioned science as being an accumulation of the tree of knowledge. One could argue that science has killed more people than it has saved.
    In a weird, indirect, roundabout way maybe but probably not. Every weapon is science. Every vehicle is science. Every construction project is science. If you attribute all those deaths to science I guess you could make that argument. The problem is that its impossible to know the lives science has saved with things as simple as penicillin, basic dental hygiene, simple sanitation, advances is child birth, the vehicles that carry you to the hospital quickly, modern surgery, the wheel, a few wars that actually saved lives in the long run, education, and so many other things I could on about. Basically, there wouldnt be all that many people here on Earth to be killed if it werent for science.




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    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by spydertl79 View Post
    Sorry for the delay- I've been working my butt off lately AND I just bought a new truck (A Raptor, it's the best purchase I've ever made). This is the first chance I've had to sit down and relax at home in a while!


    Not a problem! I actually missed your response, that’s why it took me so long to respond. I saw a video review on the Raptor, and I completely agree; it looked rather amazing, congratulations.

    Atheists do not hold any kind of consistent worldview! How could we POSSIBLY when we are only able to base our morality off of what is culturally acceptable and on the way we were raised? It's not like WE have ten commandments or seven deadly sins.


    Well when I said inconsistent, I wasn’t talking about from atheist to atheist, I was talking about each atheist’s view of reality is internally inconsistent. In my experience of debating with atheists (which is actually rather extensive) I have found that atheists actually differ on what they believe far less than most theists. Most of them are materialists, most are empiricists, all are Darwinists, and most of them are moral relativists. Unfortunately for them, these views are not logically defensible.

    And no, Atheists do not have a "belief" system... we are non-believers. I don't believe in any God but I am always open to learning about things and have by no means closed myself off to the possible existence of a creator. I will say that I am reasonably sure that none of the modern religions are right about this as they have all been contradicted by observations.


    Well the Encyclopedia of Philosophy disagrees with your definition of atheism; it considers it a belief system. From the way you describe yourself you’d actually be more of an agnostic than an actual atheist. I’d be interested in hearing about what observations you are referring to.

    I don't care what that book says. Please stop trying to tell me what I believe or what Atheists believe just because it makes your point easier to prove. You're just going to have to trust that I have a better idea of what it means to be Atheist, just as I trust that you have a better idea of what it's like to be Christian.


    Well “that book” just happens to be one of the most prestigious encyclopedias of philosophy in the world, and I was quoting from its article on “atheism” which happened to be written by an atheist. I don’t think he’d wrongfully define his own position, like I said you’re not really an atheist but more just an agnostic (using the actual definitions of these terms). This reminds me of when Mormons try to say they are “Christians”, and then you point out that they don’t accept the deity of Christ, the Trinity, and are not even monotheistic for that matter they simply say, “I know what it means to be a Christian because I am one!”, well according to the definition they aren’t. I am sure if someone said, “I am an atheist, but I do believe in the existence of gods”, I am sure you’d use the Encyclopedia of Philosophy to point out that they really are not an atheist; and I would applaud you for doing so, defining our terms matters.


    This is the first untrue statement. The existence of an orderly universe is the only logical result... I would say that your cause would be helped more if the laws of the universe were less consistent and therefore you could argue that the variance is caused by God.


    God promised that He would uphold His creation in a uniform manner in Genesis 8. As a materialist you have no reason to believe such uniformity will exist one second into the future, even though confidence in that belief is required in order to do science. Atheism undermines our ability to do science because it cannot account for the uniformity we find in natural laws.


    This is much easier to explain with the physics of gravity... and if you want to be technical, the ball would fall to the earth at slightly different speeds depending on your elevation, barometric pressure, etc. This is a purely natural world... and things may seem calm and orderly but they are in fact completely chaotic. If they were orderly, however, that still would not provide any evidence in favor of or against the existence of god.


    You missed the actual question, the question is how do you know that the “physics of gravity” will be the same the next time you drop the ball? Namely, that the ball will fall to the earth in the exact same direction and at the exact same speed under identical conditions? As a Christian theist I have confidence it will do so because God has promised He will uphold His creation in a uniform and predictable manner, as a naturalist you have no reason to believe it will be this way; yet science requires this belief. Science presupposes Christianity is true.

    You continue making the same logical fallacy in asserting that x would not be possible without God, therefore he must exist. The first part of your assertion is incorrect.


    Simply asserting it is incorrect doesn’t make it so, I have given you an example of how science would be possible if God existed, you have yet to give me an example of how it could be possible if He in fact didn’t exist, so it’s looking like my premise is indeed sound.

    Unless you can prove that without God, the laws of physics wouldn't exist?


    Well that’s a different point, but a very good one. How do you, as a materialist, account for the existence of immaterial, universal, and unchanging “laws” of physics? They make sense in a Christian universe, not so much in a natural one.

    You'll have to start over then, because I haven't seen you lay out anything in this format where there wasn't some kind of assumption that isn't a proven fact thrown in there.


    No, I don’t have to start over, I explained how science would be possible in a Christian universe; you have not explained how it could be possible in a purely natural and material universe, so my premise is looking good.

    This isn't true. If you mean that most people will immediately "guess" at the validity of something subconsciously prior to evaluating a claim then I will agree with that. However, this is not all people and I know that I did not automatically doubt the validity of scripture the first time I read it. In fact, I actually (truly) believed it up until the age of about 15 or 16.


    I don’t think you are following what I am saying, you are asserting that something is possible that scripture says is not possible, by that assertion you are therefore asserting that scripture is wrong.

    1. Scripture says there is no such thing as a neutral starting point.
    2. You are asserting that there is such a thing as a neutral starting point.
    3. Therefore, you are asserting that scripture is wrong about the non-existence of neutrality.
    4. Since you are asserting scripture is wrong (fallible), even before you have even started testing its validity, you are not neutral on the matter, which means scripture’s original claim of no neutrality was actually right.


    I still reject your claim that nobody can start on neutral ground... this is almost in the same category as asserting that atheists hold a positive disbelief in the existence of God. Sorry, you can keep trying to take the "logical high ground" and you're going to keep failing to do so.


    It’s not my claim it’s scripture’s claim, so you are rejecting the claim that scripture makes which means you believe scripture is not infallible and therefore you are not being neutral; which proves my point that it is impossible to be neutral on this matter.


    Well of course YOU don't think it's "brainwashing," but I'm sure that if someone taught their child Darwinism and ONLY Darwinism while actively keeping them from hearing dissenting opinions, you would view that differently.


    …welcome to the public school system, our children are taught Darwinism and only Darwinism in the classroom. You seem to have no issue with that, why is that? Probably because you think it’s true, which puts you in the same boat as me; God exists so therefore I have no issue with teaching children that God exists.

    Yes, in my opinion it is WRONG to teach your kid that the Bible is right and that science is evil or a tool of the devil (as many do). However, as an American I respect people's right to screw up their kids in any way that they see fit, as long as it isn't abusive. Where I draw the line is when people push to have ID taught in public school classrooms. I do not know how I will decide to raise my kids but this topic is certainly something that needs to be discussed with your partner at length before deciding to have a kid.


    And I think it is WRONG to teach your children that elephants, bacteria, sparrows, and humans are all really “blood relatives”. As for intelligent design, we teach our children to detect intelligent causes in Archeology, Forensics, and Engineering; so then why do you object to it being taught in Biology? It’s a perfectly valid scientific inference to make. It seems like you are ruling out possible explanations a priori, I say let students hear all the arguments.

    First- I don't only donate to atheist scientists, I was simply remarking upon the fact that most biologists are atheist.


    I actually doubt that most biologists are atheists and I am unaware of any study to back that up, either way though that point is irrelevant.

    Second- NO. Just because I acknowledge that Humans can be classified as primates such doesn't mean that it is any less tragic when a person, especially a child gets cancer. And cancer is not a form of natural selection for the same reasons I laid out previously- it is often caused by environmental or recessive genetic factors.


    Well I am not sure where you are getting the notion that humans hold some higher dignity than other animals in a purely natural world. That seems to be something that atheists just like to borrow from Christians because it sounds good.

    A selective pressure (aka evolutionary pressure) is simply defined as “Any cause that reduces reproductive success in a proportion of a population.” (Iscid.org). Cancer certainly does do that, so it can be defined as a selective pressure, those people who do not ever die of cancer are seen as “more fit” from that standpoint.

    Third- I'll take this a step further- shouldn't Christians celebrate when a child gets cancer because it means that they could die and get a chance to meet God?


    No because that assumes we know the ordained ends to that means, which only God knows. God could be using the cancer to bring about a greater good later on in their life, we do not know. Should an evolutionist celebrate when a child dies of cancer because those “bad genes” have been weeded out of the gene pool?

    No- If a person were to make a determination of which genes should be passed on and which shouldn't, it would no longer be "natural" selection by definition. And my determination of this doesn't mean "we can save the children" as I have no power in that field.


    Why would it no longer be natural selection? Are you suggesting that humans and their decisions are somehow not natural?

    Back to my belief that YOLO- we have to savor every minute and we have to fight hard to prolong and save every life.'


    You can believe that, but how do you get from that belief, to an actual moral statement? What if someone merely stated, “I disagree with your belief and I don’t believe we should save every life.” How does your belief that we should save lives hold any more value than their belief that we shouldn’t?

    None of this is relevant because no Atheist would ever argue that death is "a good thing" unless you're talking about the death of a very evil person such as Bin Laden.


    That’s actually not quite accurate. Peter Singer is an atheist, and a world famous one at that. He advocates the killing of newborns for the convenience of the mother and also supports involuntary euthanasia.

    jIt's pointless because, as I've said before, any Bible verse can be interpreted to mean different things. The same verse can be interpreted in completely different directions by a single person. The post with a few hundred of these examples was just to show this point.


    Since there is no way to logically resolve or harmonize a real contradiction you are conceding that scripture doesn’t in fact contain any actual logical contradictions?

    I would argue that a truly infallible scripture would have been written clearly enough that there is no room for these people to misinterpret it. Otherwise, what's the point of writing infallible scripture?


    Upon what basis would you argue that? That seems to be assuming the premise that God is desperately trying to save everyone but is failing because scripture is just too vague, which isn’t the Christian view on that matter at all. People will come to different conclusions regarding anything, because people’s minds are fallible, that doesn’t mean scripture is fallible.


    I don't claim to know exactly how everything happened, nobody does. I just say that given the extensive record of fossils and the fact that we do have a good idea of how many families and genuses evolved, it is likely that most or all of the species on Earth evolved from common ancestors. The certainty increases as you start looking at more specific evolutionary chains such as our evolution from apes.


    You are absolutely right, all of the species on Earth did evolve from common ancestors; God created those ancestors during the same week He created man and woman. Creationists do not deny that natural selection occurs, nor do they deny that speciation occurs, they simply reject the claim that all life on earth came from one common ancestor billions of years ago.

    As for man’s evolution from primates, the evidence for that is lacking at best. It’s amazing the logical leaps scientists will make from such ambiguous and incomplete data.

    Maybe a few thousand species were created and we evolved from them, maybe one single species was created that we evolved from. I have no way to know for sure- but I do know that evolution is a scientific fact. I also know that there are no competing theories that are even close in terms of evidence.


    You are far more open-minded than most atheists (kudos), in fact you seem to be willing to even accept the Creationist interpretation of the evidence (descent from a few thousand different kinds of animals), now we just have to work on your timetable a bit :-P


    I suppose would have to ask what methodology one would use to change the definition of reality before knowing what I'm answering.


    I forgot where I was going with that one, so we’ll drop it :-P
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