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Author Topic: Christian Literalist Question
steven
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
I'm trying to figure out how a soul would gain individual/personal qualities without having life experience. Does your religion believe that souls have a pre-life, where they have a life and have experiences as a soul before incarnating?
Newborn babies very often have distinctive personalities, which they retain through out their lives. How do you suppose they gain those personalities, having no life experience?
Was that rhetorical?

If not, then let me say I'd point to genetics and the prenatal environment as some pretty powerful correlating factors or causes.

If there are such things as souls, I think it's possible that they shape a newborn's personality, to a measurable extent, even, perhaps, in some cases.

I'm betting, though, that if there are souls, then there is also reincarnation (or some process that allows transfer of memory). I also would bet that very few souls start out as human. I would imagine that most souls work their way up the chain, from germ to invertebrate to vertebrate to human. That's all guesswork and speculation, though. Seriously, though, why wouldn't souls evolve, just like species do?

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MattP
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quote:
Because, if you were shown a course on bone morphology, and you were actually shown the difference, and it did not fit your theory that snakes originally flew with wings, would you give up that theory, or just state that the ones who have spent collectively thousands of years in man-hours studying these things are wrong, because your theory has to be correct?
quote:
By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith

I'd be curious to know if Ron agrees with this statement.

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shadowland
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
The animals, so often now characterized as "red in tooth and claw," serve to demonstrate to us the true nature of sin's selfish striving, and where self-exaltation ultimately leads. Thus they are an object lesson God has given to us to encourage us to see through Satan's sophistries and return to God in our loyalties.

I don't think it makes sense that the current condition of the animals is merely a demonstration for us. After all, it wasn't human sin itself that caused the animals to be that way, it was specifically God. So if it's supposed to be an object lesson for us, it seems the object lesson is this: The effects of sin's selfish striving may be bad, but they're nothing compared to what I'm going to do to you.

If the negative effects of self-exaltation where so clearly self evident, I hardly think a global demonstration on all the creatures on earth would be necessary as well.

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Ron Lambert
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MattP, I prefer not to allow anyone to put words in my mouth. That's a debating technique for suckers. There are some people I have encountered in this forum who are too keen on being in control, and when I resist them, they accuse me doing what they in fact are the ones doing.

0Megabyte, I have a right to disagree with those who think their evolution-dominated scientific worldview is "the truth." I do not have to defer to them in the slightest. The fact that I always back up my positions with evidence and logical arguments, just seems to make them more incensed. They seem to studiously ignore my examples, evidences, and reasoned arguments based on them.

For example, instead of ignoring my counter-arguments to rivka's argument (which was basically an assertion of an opinion, no proof was presented), why don't you explain why the example of bats I gave (where a bat's wings are also legs) does not answer rivka's argument? Why do you just ignore the point I made that the Hebrew of the first five books of the Bible did include the word for "lizard," so if the serpent of Eden were actually a lizard, the text would have said so? Do you think that ignoring my arguments refutes them?

Of course, I do not accept that modern snakes "evolved" from the serpents of Eden. Evolution is impossible. Complexity cannot be increased by genetic damage. After the curse on the land because of human sin, the nature of many animals and plants was changed. Things were lost. DNA was damaged as God's protection was partly withdrawn from the earth. So if rivka or anyone else is trying to present an argument about skeletal structure in modern snakes precluding wings on serpents in Eden which is in fact based on the idea of evolution, it is flawed reasoning.

[ January 05, 2011, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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Ron Lambert
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shadowland, again you impute to God things of which He is not guilty, even though He takes responsibility for allowing them. God did not punish the creatures of earth. He did allow the natural consequences to follow, from Him partly backing off from protecting earth from the damaging effects of radiation, etc., as a consequence of humans making a separation between themselves and God. Since humans are the stewards of earth, and earth was subordinated to us, we are responsible for any damage in the realm of nature resulting in fear, pain, and death. God allows it. But it is not His fault.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
God did not punish the creatures of earth. He did allow the natural consequences to follow, from Him partly backing off from protecting earth from the damaging effects of radiation,

I'm not trying to be a smartass or anything, but are you saying that radiation caused animals to grow fangs and claws and start eating each other? Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting.
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Ron Lambert
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quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
Have you ever in your life met the kind of person who, for example, tells their group of friends an urban legend they've heard, and once someone in that group points out the factual impossibility of that urban legend, or that it's been debunked or whatever, the person fights it, refusing to admit they were wrong, and disputing the actual world itself if that's what it takes?

....when rivka of all people doubts you'd care about the actual facts known about the way bones work, it might mean something not on her, but on you. Act with humility. Instead of throwing things back on others, try to see your own faults and work on them.

First of all, I must object--I feel it is very offensive for you to liken the Creation narratives in Genesis to an "urban legend." You would lecture me on being respectful of other's views?

It appears to me that you are saying that your real complaint against me is that I have the effrontery to argue back. Once an evolutionist has presented his or her arguments, I have to meekly submit, and if I dare to refute those arguments and show WHY any evidences that may have been cited are invalid, I am doing something wrong?

You need to examine your own heart a lot more closely before you presume to lecture me about humility and open-mindedness.

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just_me
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
It appears to me that you are saying that your real complaint against me is that I have the effrontery to argue back.

I can't speak for anyone else, but it's the close-minded asinine way you "argue" back that gets me.

You don't argue - you insist that you are 100% right and back it up with "evidence" that is only acceptable as evidences to someone who agrees with you. Real arguments/debates use evidence that can be agreed upon and deals with the proper interpretation or meaning of that evidence. You CAN'T use scripture to try and prove something to someone unless they agree that scripture is true. Otherwise you might as well try to convince them using urban legends or fairy tales.

If you can't understand that and adjust to it you you aren't nearly as smart as you seem to think you are.

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TomDavidson
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It amuses me to no end, Ron, that your fallback positions are:
1) "I'm rubber; you're glue!"
2) "No, you're wrong."

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MattP
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quote:
I prefer not to allow anyone to put words in my mouth.
What then, in your words, are the implications of evidence which appears to contradict your interpretation if scripture. Is it possible that your interpretation of scripture is incorrect, or must that interpretation of such evidence be incorrect?

quote:
Complexity cannot be increased by genetic damage.
Please provide an objective definition of complexity by which this claim can be tested. I'll provide a contrived and obviously incorrect example to demonstrate to you what I mean by an objective definition:

"Genetic complexity can be determined by counting the number of base pairs in a species genome. A species that has more base pairs in its genome is more complex than a species with fewer base pairs."

With such a definition we can come to a conclusion about whether complexity can be increased without resorting to arguing our individual world views - we merely have to count base pairs.

What is your worldview-independent definition of genetic complexity?

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Ron Lambert
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MattP, complexity of the great extent needed to convert a simple lifeform into a more advanced species requires that some natural processes are capable of writing new information on the order of millions of new meaningful steps into the genetic code. There are no such natural processes. That requires an Intelligent Designer.

just_me, there is nothing asinine or close-minded about any of my arguments. Such insults and sneering ridicule do not gain you any debate points, no matter how loudly people of similar low standards of debate may applaud you for your snide cleverness. I only quote the Bible to show where my concepts are based, that I didn't just make them up out of thin air. You know good and well that I provide solid, concrete evidence, and scientifically valid arguments. Why are you denying this? That does not constitute refutation.

Obviously I do not expect atheists or agnostics to accept the Bible as authority. But I do like to show them what good, consistent sense the Bible makes when it is not deliberately misrepresented.

steven, I was merely suggesting that increased radiation may have been one factor in producing the genetic disruption that caused distortions and harmful mutations in nature. The main cause of the general deterioration of nature (including the human genome) is God backing off, and not excercising as close control and protection as He did before mankind fell and caused a separation from God. Now, whether radiation is the whole explanation, I would say probably not. Though through the damage it causes, it may have produced many of the "lethal genes" now known to be part of the human genome. It could be that Satan was permitted to do a little genetic engineering, like a sort of genetic hacker desiring to mar God's creation further. He is certainly capable of it. His scientific knowledge after thousands of years of life here on earth must greatly exceed ours--and we are capable of genetic engineering. (Satan is the ultimate terrorist!) I suspect that this could be where most or all diseases come from, especially the modern new strains of harmful viruses that seem to show up every year. But this is my own speculation. The Bible merely indicates that all creation "was made subject to vanity" and to "the bondage of corruption" because God allowed it. I get that from Romans 8:20, 21. And see right here, I am not referencing that as proof, but as demonstration of where I get the idea.

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0Megabyte
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Ron, no matter how much you talk of my failures, the fact of the matter is that within your own post you prove my point.

You have stated without ambiguity that you will refuse to consider any evidence that is based on evolutionary theory, which, incidentally, is the basis of biology as it's currently known.

Why on earth do you think rivka would go into detail, when you reject whatever she's going to say before she gets to say it?

Why do you have the gall to ask me to back up my claims, when you've already said that you will reject it, whatever it is?

As I said, human beings are not hard to understand. When you tell a human being you are not going to listen to what they say, and have done so in the past, acting all offended that they don't go and take the time out of their lives -and take the effort- to do so is cruel and petty.

You are not dumb. You have to be aware of this. So how can you lambaste rivka for this, when it's easy to see why she'd react the way she did? To then go and say she's just caviling you is not merely irresponsible, it's asinine. Where is your empathy? Where is your ability to see things from the perspective of others? Do you truly, in your heart of hearts, believe that all those who disagree with you are enemies here to attack you? Do you truly imagine they're all just waiting in the wings with malice in their hearts, trying to stop you from telling God's Own Truth due to their wickedness?

Stop shrouding yourself in self-righteousness for one second and take a look at yourself. If you could see yourself, just see yourself, without the bias of the person being you, you'd see the way you treat people, and the way your attitude carries, for what it truly is.

Incidentally, and here I acknowledge I am being somewhat nasty, and beg your forgiveness for this instance of it, but you clearly don't understand the concept of an analogy.

I did not say that religion was equivalent of an urban legend. What I said is that you are the equivalent of the kind of person who, when shown they are shown factually wrong, act out like a child and insist instead that you are right regardless, and thus drive people away.

That is, yes, a critique. It is not a critique of religion, however. It is a critique of you, as an individual.

You have the gall to impinge my motives, and in the same breath of claiming righteousness, read things into me that have no basis in the facts. For I do not fit into the category you are trying to place me into. I have not the motive you claim for me. I don't honestly care what you believe. I care about how you treat people. I ask you to use the empathy that is a common human trait, and which I refuse to believe you do not possess, and see things from rivka's point of view, the point of view of one who you have already told you will disregard whatever evidence she'll give, and see why she would doubt your claims of wanting evidence. To see why she would say what she said, not as "one of those people who are against me" but as a human being no different from you, and as worthy of love and understanding as you yourself are. Do this for me, please, show the humility and grace and love needed for this, and you will prove me wrong and show yourself as the man of righteousness you claim yourself to be.

I am prepared to give you as detailed an account of evidence I can, and I am in fact listening to your claims, regardless of what you think. Disagreement is not equal to disregard, you must know that as a human being. But I will give you a reasoned point, as I continue trying in matters of fact, but if you are just going to disparage any efforts I take in either explaining my view, trying to explain possible misunderstandings, or in showing why I don't agree with your view, then I won't bother either, for the post I have planned is extensive, will take quite a bit of time and numerous cited sources, and I am not going to do it if you will act like a swine before a pearl. That is not stating that if you do not agree with me, it won't be worth it. Disagreement is not equivalent to disrespect or disregard. But if you will automatically disregard the actual physical observations of the world around us, and the best interpretations we can give them, before even seeing them, then once again you prove your righteousness as hollow as that of the pharisees Christ disliked so intensely.

(P.S. You have every right to state your view. This is a free country. I would never try to silence you, and I never have. But, just as you have every right to state your view, I have equal right to disagree, and challenge you. I have no gun to your head. I am a person on the freaking internet, and you can ignore me at your leisure. I will criticize you, I will point out where you are not what you think you are, I will state the evidence of this world as best I can, and you will say whatever you want, and perhaps neither of us are correct, but we are both allowed to say it. Do not imagine yourself gaining any points by claiming the same right that we have both been using all along, as though I am trying to take it away, merely by using the same right myself.)

To sum it up, be the man you claim to be. Apologize to rivka, for you have wronged her with your words and actions.

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MattP
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quote:
complexity of the great extent needed to convert a simple lifeform into a more advanced species requires that some natural processes are capable of writing new information on the order of millions of new meaningful steps into the genetic code.
You're getting ahead of the discussion. For now let's just pin down what "complexity" means in this context. I get that you don't think natural processes can produce millions of "steps" in the genetic code. But that's a different claim than your previous one -
"Complexity cannot be increased by genetic damage."

Do you believe that even one "meaningful step" is impossible (your first claim), or just that natural processes cannot account the number of such "steps" necessary for natural speciation (your second claim)?

I ask because your first claim is pretty easy to disprove for any meaningful definition I can think of for "complexity." The latter claim probably goes much further into areas where our ideological differences will be obstacles than I care to tread at this time.

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Ron Lambert
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0Megabyte, you are misrepresenting me when you say that I "refuse to listen to any evidence based on evolution theory." How could I put together cogent and reasonable refutations if I refused to listen? What you are really complaining about is that I am not convinced by the arguments put forward by the evolutionists. I believe evolution theory is not the truth, and I argue against it, and show solid and concrete evidence why Creationism is a better explanation for the origin of life. I have done so repeatedly in this and other forums, for years. What I object to is your insistence that I do not have a RIGHT to dispute evolution theory. You imply that if I am not bowled over and bow to the evolution gospel you and others belive in so implicitly, there must be something wrong with me. But you have failed to persuade me, because your arguments and evidence are deficient, and are not persuasive. That is not because there is something wrong with me (as you want to believe), but because there is very much wrong with your arguments and use of evidence.
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Ron Lambert
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MattP, I believe I have explained what I mean with perfect clarity already. You know what I am talking about. Deal with what I am actually saying, don't try to make up things, as if you could trap me with some sophomoric gambit.

Tell me what natural processes could turn a mouse into a man. Or else quit pretending that you can defend evolution theory.

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MattP
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quote:
You know what I am talking about. Deal with what I am actually saying, don't try to make up things, as if you could trap me with some sophomoric gambit.
Quite the opposite. I'm trying very hard to practice a bit of "active listening" here by asking you to define your terms and, in some cases, attempting to restate what I believe your position to be in order to verify that I understand it correctly.

You made a very specific claim - "Complexity cannot be increased by genetic damage". I feel fairly confident that when you say "genetic damage" that you are referring to mutation - any change in genetic sequence. Since mutation is well defined I don't need any clarification there unless I have made an incorrect assumption about what you mean by "genetic damage" in which case I would appreciate a correction.

Assuming I got that bit right, we now have the claim "complexity cannot be increased by mutation." This is the point at which I must pause and ask for clarification. Because you use the word "increased" it's apparent you are talking about a quantitative measure when you use the word "complexity." To make a statement about whether a value can be increased, you would need a method by which to measure that value. For the few rigorous definitions of complexity that I am aware of, it's trivially easy to demonstrate that mutation does increase complexity.

Given all of that, I must assume either that you are unfamiliar with this fact or that you are using a different definition of complexity than those I'm familiar with.

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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
For the few rigorous definitions of complexity that I am aware of, it's trivially easy to demonstrate that mutation does increase complexity.

I'd agree with you.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
You have the gall to impinge my motives...
I've seen this malapropism a lot very recently, for some reason. I believe you mean "impugn."
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The Rabbit
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There are no Biblical literalists, at least I have never met of interacted with one. There are only "cafeteria" biblical literalists, who pick a few parts that support their agenda and ignore the rest.

Until I find someone who believes that the earth and atmosphere are sandwiched between two infinite expanses of water (which is what it literally says in Genesis), I will maintain that BIblical literalism is total hogwash, a misnomer.

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Flying Fish
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Rabbit, submitted for your perusal. If you have never encountered this fellow and his school of "thought" before, then prepare to have your mind boggled.

http://www.timecube.com/

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Flying Fish:
Rabbit, submitted for your perusal. If you have never encountered this fellow and his school of "thought" before, then prepare to have your mind boggled.

http://www.timecube.com/

I've seen this before. It is truly mind boggling, but easy to dismiss as the ravings of a lunatic. There are far too many highly functioning people who call themselves biblical literalists for me to be able to dismiss it the same way.
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TomDavidson
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From my particular atheist POV, the distinction between "highly functioning" delusional people and "raving lunatics" is one of degree. [Wink]
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
From my particular atheist POV, the distinction between "highly functioning" delusional people and "raving lunatics" is one of degree. [Wink]

Do you have any scientific, psychological or medical data that support that opinion? If not, what differentiates you from religious people who hold opinions that are not supported by scientific data?
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Rakeesh
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quote:
For the few rigorous definitions of complexity that I am aware of, it's trivially easy to demonstrate that mutation does increase complexity.
One of the many odd things about painting one's self into a corner with a belief system like this is that you've effectively hamstrung God's own creation, Ron. It's a pretty strange thing to believe that a thing that occurs naturally in the universe couldn't increase the complexity of an organism, as though God either could not or would not design a system which wouldn't grow in intricacy sometimes as time passes.

But you're compelled to refuse to acknowledge it. If you did acknowledge it, well. Too many other unpleasant questions. It's just strange and a bit sad to me because one of my personal outlooks on God is that God certainly designed things in such a way as to 'self-manage', that if left alone they would for example increase in complexity over time. One reason why we've got such a cool planet.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
If not, what differentiates you from religious people who hold opinions that are not supported by scientific data?
Not all opinions are created equal. Someone who holds the "opinion" that he is Napoleon is not equivalent to someone who holds the "opinion" that Fergie is a talented singer, even though both are wrong.

In fact, what you're actually saying is that you share my position on this: you believe people who think the Bible is the literal word of an actual being we call God must be raving lunatics, whereas people who think the Bible is a collection of stories -- some true, some metaphorical -- about an actual being we call God are frequently "high functioning" enough to not be loony.

From my perspective, again, both groups are full of high-functioning delusional people.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
In fact, what you're actually saying is that you share my position on this: you believe people who think the Bible is the literal word of an actual being we call God must be raving lunatics, whereas people who think the Bible is a collection of stories -- some true, some metaphorical -- about an actual being we call God are frequently "high functioning" enough to not be loony.
No, not all. I do not share your opinion that people who believe the Bible is the literal word of an actual being are raving lunatics or even mildly ill.

I have expressed the opinion that who ever created the time cube website, is a raving lunatic. That is a long long way from what you have said.

What you have said, is that you view diseases like paranoid schizophenia and any belief in anything supernatural to be part of the same disease spectrum. That is as absurd as suggesting that a mosquito bite is a minor form of chicken pocks because a mosquito bite itches and looks a lot like a pock. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that the typical belief in God is caused by the same kind of biomolecular processes as mental illness. Belief that the are the same, in the absence of supporting evidence is not only irrational, it is arrogant, condescending, and insulting.

In all the years that we have interacted on Hatrack, I have seen no evidence that you warrant this overly inflated image of yourself that allows you to look down on anyone who is religious. If you are going to claim atheism actually makes you smart, more rational, more ethical, more successful, happier, or better in any way, start producing some evidence to back it up or loose the condescending cocky attitude.

[ January 06, 2011, 11:23 AM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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kmbboots
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Ron, you do understand that evolutionary theory does not claim that mice turn into men, don't you?
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iglee
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quote:
From my particular atheist POV, the distinction between "highly functioning" delusional people and "raving lunatics" is one of degree.
Tom, Iím glad you winked when you said that because, if you hadnít I might have got riled up enough to make a blanket statement about atheists like:

Atheists deny there is a God because there is some abhorrent behavior they donít want to give up, and rationalizing away God makes it easier to live with themselves.

But since you winked I wonít make a statement like that. [Wink]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by iglee:
quote:
From my particular atheist POV, the distinction between "highly functioning" delusional people and "raving lunatics" is one of degree.
Tom, Iím glad you winked when you said that because, if you hadnít I might have got riled up enough to make a blanket statement about atheists like:

Atheists deny there is a God because there is some abhorrent behavior they donít want to give up, and rationalizing away God makes it easier to live with themselves.

But since you winked I wonít make a statement like that. [Wink]

Good. Because that would be pretty obnoxious. [Smile]
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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by iglee:
quote:
From my particular atheist POV, the distinction between "highly functioning" delusional people and "raving lunatics" is one of degree.
Tom, Iím glad you winked when you said that because, if you hadnít I might have got riled up enough to make a blanket statement about atheists like:
Since you took offense at that, I assume you identify either with "delusional people" or "raving lunatics". Which one is it?

Oh yeah, [Wink]

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by iglee:
quote:
From my particular atheist POV, the distinction between "highly functioning" delusional people and "raving lunatics" is one of degree.
Tom, Iím glad you winked ...
Oh, you've met Tom. [Wink]
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Darth_Mauve
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How does a mouse turn into a man due to mutation?

Simple.

Mutation does not mean destruction. A mutated gene is a changed gene, not a defective gene. Sometimes this change is defective. Sometimes it is not.

Here is how it would work. The genes of a mouse are mutated to those of a man.

The odds of that happening are nearly 0, but not quite.

The odds of one mutation happening that brings the mouse closer to man are also very small, but no where near as small as all the cells having all their genes changed at once. (There is also the question of mass. A mouse can not become a man in a moment as there is not enough Mouse to make even a small Man).

Considering the number of cells, the number of mice, and a couple of million years for this to work out--the odds slowly begin to show it as probable.

Mutation is only half the answer. Natural Selection is the other half. That means that any negative mutation is removed from the equation, some times instantly, some times slowly.

Oh, and I have heard Biblical Literalists. I've heard sermons arguing that every word is literally true, and it is proof against Evolution, since how could God use natural selection when Death didn't exist before the fall of man?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
What you have said, is that you view diseases like paranoid schizophenia and any belief in anything supernatural to be part of the same disease spectrum.
No, that's not what I said. Specifically, I think the mental illness that produced TIMECUBE differs in degree from the mental illness that leads people to say they think the Bible is literally, word-for-word, true. I do think people who believe they've spoken to God are delusional, of course -- and believe people who think they've "felt" the presence of God to be not necessarily delusional but certainly mistaken -- but that's neither here nor there.

quote:
If you are going to claim atheism actually makes you smart, more rational, more ethical, more successful, happier, or better in any way...
I haven't claimed any of these things of atheism. Frankly, I think my atheism simply makes me more correct.

quote:
Tom, Iím glad you winked when you said that because, if you hadnít I might have got riled up enough to make a blanket statement about atheists like:

Atheists deny there is a God because there is some abhorrent behavior they donít want to give up, and rationalizing away God makes it easier to live with themselves.

*whew* We dodged a bullet there, then; I'd hate to have been responsible for your saying something phenomenally stupid.
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Ron Lambert
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kmboots, it is the principle of the thing. Of course, evolutionists will try to weasel around the point by saying mice are on on a separate branch of their imaginary evolutionary tree. Ho-hum. But they also say that during the time of the dinosaurs, it was only the little furry, mouselike mammals that kept the genus alive--and then when the dinosaurs mysteriously went kaput, those tiny furry mammals gave rise to all other mammals, including humans. Evolutionists are just trying to be cute and dodge the issue of the obvious absurdity of evolution.

I might be willing to allow that evolutionist propagandists might be evolved from weasels. Though that would be an insult to weasels. And it would be more a matter of devolution, than evolution.

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iglee
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Matt, I didnít take offence at it. I was attempting a little light-headed banter. I think Tom knows as well as I do the folly of making sweeping generalities. I think Tom knows as well as I do that not all atheist have abhorrent habits and that not all God believers are irrational. But if our indictments happen to fit any particular member of the too groups, well . . . If the shoe fits, wear it.
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TomDavidson
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Ron, why not simply admit that, yes, evolutionary theory does not in fact claim that mice evolved into men?

That, rather than trying to be "cute," and "dodge the issue," evolutionists actually have legitimate reasons -- by their own reckoning, at least -- for believing that both mice and humans are descended from a very distant common ancestor, one that was neither mouse nor man?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think Tom knows as well as I do that not all atheist have abhorrent habits and that not all God believers are irrational.
I believe the vast majority of believers are irrational. But I will concede that there are some forms of belief in the divine that are not irrational -- and that a tiny minority of those are not even based on delusion.
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iglee
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Rabbit said

quote:
There are no Biblical literalists, at least I have never met of interacted with one. There are only "cafeteria" biblical literalists, who pick a few parts that support their agenda and ignore the rest.

Until I find someone who believes that the earth and atmosphere are sandwiched between two infinite expanses of water (which is what it literally says in Genesis), I will maintain that BIblical literalism is total hogwash, a misnomer.

I agree. Well stated.

Iíve heard that concept called ďharmony of the gospelsĒ - meaning that one must not only take into consideration a few verses before and after the statement in question, but must also consider the whole canon of scripture to make sure that what you think it means is actually consistent with the rest of the gospel. And that ďcanon of scriptureĒ could be just the Bible if that is what that person considers scripture, or like in the case of Mormons like me, the canon would be the four books and other revelations we consider to be scripture.

That is what I was trying to do earlier in the thread when I expressed my doubts that actual snakes were involved.

Flying Fish, thanks for introducing me to that time cube thing. That made my day. Now I donít feel so irrational. We really need to find out what that guy was smoking so we can avoid it.

Rabbit, I was going to try to warn you not to read it for fear you might think you were back in Wonder Land with Alice, but I was too late. Youíd already read it. Alas. (Sorry! With a name like Rabbit, I just couldnít resist. [Big Grin] )

I actually did think of Lewis Carol when I was reading it. I thought to myself, Wow! At least Carols stuff rhymes and . . . er, ends.

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Ron Lambert
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Tom, I seriously call into question the quality of the "reckoning" of evolutionists.

OK, if you are not willing to get the point of my poetic reference to mice becoming men, name a species evolutionists do regard as a direct, distant ancestor of homo sapiens sapiens, then come up with natural processes that could produce the change from one to the other.

Or, to make it even simpler, tell us about the natural processes that could turn a dinosaur into a bird. And no hand-waving vague generalities. If you want to invoke "natural selection," then explain HOW natural selection could do this. If you want to add in "mutation" (from whatever cause), then show HOW something that is inherently random and destructive could write coherent, meaningful new DNA sequences on the order of the millions of precisely ordered data bits needed to transform dinosaurs into birds.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
tell us about the natural processes that could turn a dinosaur into a bird
quote:
show HOW something that is inherently random and destructive could write coherent, meaningful new DNA sequences on the order of the millions of precisely ordered data bits
It is important to note that these are two different questions. Seriously.

The second question is "how is it possible for new physical traits to be expressed as a consequence of genetic mutation?" And when you word the question that way, it's almost self-answering -- assuming, of course, that you are willing to understand (or already understand) what mutation actually is, and what it does.

The first question is: "can you give me a complete list of all the genetic mutations necessary to produce a sparrow from a therapod?" Sadly, we don't yet have a complete genome for any early therapods (although I believe we're working on it), so it's not possible to simply do a straight comparison. But I don't think that's the question you want to ask.

I think the question you're really asking is: "in what important ways does a bird differ from a therapod, and what genetic changes do we believe must have happened to permit this differentiation."

Is that a correct restatement?

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kmbboots
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Time, Ron. Lots and lots of time. Time enough for billions upon billions of tiny changes, some of which "took" and some of which didn't.
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Darth_Mauve
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Ron, it doesn't write a whole new DNA sequence. It changes the existing sequence one small bit. Over generations those small bits add up to a new change.

Take the Argos question. Jason had the Argo's built and went on his great voyage. He wanted to keep it around so he kept maintaining it. Every year some of the boards rotted and had to be replaced. It took about seven years, but eventually all the boards were replaced by new boards. Is this a new boat or still the Argo?

Same situation on the DNA. Due to radiation and natural causes every generation had a slight change in the DNA of a couple of their offspring. Some of these changes were negative, and the animals died out. A few of these changes were positive, and the animals procreated and continued to pass on these changes to their children--except for a small few that were effected by mutations.

So what was the path from Dino to Bird? Basically the lightening of the skeleton and the transformation of arms to wings. It makes sense that animals that lived in the tree tops would survive better with lighter bones--they could climb higher to get food their heavier cousins couldn't reach. Gliding was useful for both falls, and for escaping (or being) prey. Longer Arms become useful again for reaching food or moving along the tree tops.

Is that simple enough or do you want it spelled out in a more basic format?

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iglee
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Tom, Iíve never met the vast majority of atheists so I donít know what to believe. I have had dear friends who are atheists who are nicer than I am and better fathers and better citizens and who are way smarter than me. But Iíve also had dealings with others who are . . . well, letís just say that I wouldnít turn my back on them.
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Flying Fish
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Sadly, Iglee, I don't think the timecube man was actually smoking anything. Buried in one of those long screeds is a sentence in which he states that some "evil bastard" doctors have told him he's schizophrenic (a fact which, by his logic, only serves to prove his theories).
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iglee
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Egad! I guess I better stop joking about there being a voice in my head that forces me to make pun once in a while.
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Ron Lambert
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kmboots, no amount of time could be sufficient. Furthermore, there is solid, concrete evidence that there was not billions of years.

Darth, your reasoning is not convincing. I know you evolutionists try to camoflage the basic impossibility of evolution by saying it all took place one little step at a time. But the impossible is still impossible.

As for your Argos analogy--birds are substantially different from dinosaurs, even though some common traits can be observed. Changing one basic genus to another requires that whole new genetic information structures be added to the genome. You do not get that merely by piecemeal editing of the existing genome. Does that actually seem reasonable to your mind?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Changing one basic genus to another requires that whole new genetic information structures be added to the genome. You do not get that merely by piecemeal editing of the existing genome.
Why not?
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
kmboots, no amount of time could be sufficient. Furthermore, there is solid, concrete evidence that there was not billions of years.


Why not? Just stating that doesn't make it so. And what solid evidence are you talking about?
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natural_mystic
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Watching this thread is very reminiscent of watching an old episode of Seinfeld.

Spoiler alert: a challenge will be issued, and someone will call into question the speed of light.

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TomDavidson
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What I'm hoping is that Ron will eventually realize that all of his arguments are, at bottom, "because I believe the Bible says so" -- and, more importantly, that the conclusions drawn by researchers who do not start from the primary assumption that the Biblical account is correct are very different from the conclusions of researchers who do, not for reasons of vapidity or cupidity or idiocy but rather because the claims of the Bible are not on the face of it the best match for the observable evidence.
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