Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy

Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?

  • Yes

    Votes: 73 16.8%
  • No

    Votes: 163 37.6%
  • both metaphorically and literally

    Votes: 198 45.6%

  • Total voters
    434

Riddikulus

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Science does not proceed by demonstrating that certain theories are irrefutably true.  It demonstrates by repeated testing that they are not false.  The more a theory is confirmed, the stronger the probability that the explanation it offers is correct.  This process produces what amounts to the explanation which best fits the facts we have collected (even if the fit is not always complete).  And how does such confirmation proceed?  There are two main tests.  The first is to make a series of predictions based on the theory and then to explore the validity of those predictions.  If a prediction holds, the theory has been confirmed; if not, then the theory has been challenged, perhaps even disproved.  The second method of confirmation is to see how the theory accounts for new, unexpected discoveries.  Can these be explained in terms of the theory?  If so, then the theory has been confirmed; if not, then the theory has been challenged or disproved.  By these two tests, the theory of evolution is spectacularly successful: it has been confirmed countless times over the past three centuries (at least).  It would take only one discovery to discredit the entire theory (e.g., the existence of a mammal fossil in the lowest rock layers).  That has never occurred. http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/essays/courtenay2.htm

The Scientific Method Made Easy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcavPAFiG14&feature=fvw

 

Asteriktos

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Riddikulus

By these two tests, the theory of evolution is spectacularly successful: it has been confirmed countless times over the past three centuries (at least).
Out of curiosity, do you know why they said the "past three centuries (at least)" when The Origin of Species was only released 150 years ago? I realise that there were other theories of evolution before that of Darwin, but I somehow doubt that that is what is being spoken of. Otherwise, thank you for the quote, I might have to bookmark that for times when I see someone say "it's only a theory!"

EDIT--Nevermind, it occured to me that the answer is rather simple, that they are merely speaking of scientific findings (e.g. fossils) from the last three centuries which confirm Darwin's theory. I'm a bit slow today I guess.
 

Riddikulus

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Asteriktos said:
Riddikulus

By these two tests, the theory of evolution is spectacularly successful: it has been confirmed countless times over the past three centuries (at least).
Out of curiosity, do you know why they said the "past three centuries (at least)" when The Origin of Species was only released 150 years ago? I realise that there were other theories of evolution before that of Darwin, but I somehow doubt that that is what is being spoken of. Otherwise, thank you for the quote, I might have to bookmark that for times when I see someone say "it's only a theory!"

EDIT--Nevermind, it occured to me that the answer is rather simple, that they are merely speaking of scientific findings (e.g. fossils) from the last three centuries which confirm Darwin's theory. I'm a bit slow today I guess.
Being slow every day, I can relate!  :laugh:
 

jnorm888

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minasoliman said:
I think this only proves how trustworthy the scientific system is.  I don't know why you boast about this story.  This actually supports the case of science.  It shows how honest scientists are, and how something falsifiable can be retested and reevaluated and challenged by others in the community.  It's a very good thing that this happened, and it's not something scientists shy away from.

On the other hand, if you, Jnorm, don't trust scientists, how you can trust anything scientists say?  You have to give equal skepticism for those that reject Ida as part of a common ancestry to those that accept it.  You can't pick and choose something because it suits your personal case against evolution.  In fact, they simply moved Ida to another part of the evolutionary tree.

This is why you can't have a discussion about evolution and science.  Because you just don't get it.  You make yourself no different from the media with your hype.

"This type of stuff happens often...but the side of the story is barely heard, let alone told."  I don't see these scientists get stoned for rejected the Ida ancestry hypothesis as you seem to put it.  They make a good case, it becomes heard.  If they had made a bad case, it would have become turd.
I obviously trust "some" scientists, but there is something "inherently" wrong with what's going on. There needs to be another way to do science to avoid all this nonsense.

Something shouldn't be givin to the public "pre-maturely".

A car company makes sure that their product is safe before it goes out to the public.

A company that makes baby food makes sure that their product is safe enough before they allow babies to eat it.


So something needs to change, their needs to be a variation of the scientific method or some other alternative to avoid such "half-cooked" stuff.

It's not efficient.









ICXC NIKA
 

ytterbiumanalyst

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^ You don't seem to understand how many years of research go into these stories before you ever lay your fingers on them. I for one am glad scientists know more now than they used to; it proves they're doing their job. I would be concerned if no new knowledge ever came from a laboratory; I'd wonder how they were spending their time.
 

Asteriktos

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I obviously trust "some" scientists, but there is something "inherently" wrong with what's going on. There needs to be another way to do science to avoid all this nonsense. Something shouldn't be givin to the public "pre-maturely". A car company makes sure that their product is safe before it goes out to the public. A company that makes baby food makes sure that their product is safe enough before they allow babies to eat it. So something needs to change, their needs to be a variation of the scientific method or some other alternative to avoid such "half-cooked" stuff. It's not efficient.
As though creationists and IDers don't already ridicule scientists as an elitist clique that is trying to create a bottleneck preventing certain information from getting out, you want them to be even more secretive!?
 

minasoliman

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jnorm888 said:
Something shouldn't be givin to the public "pre-maturely".

A car company makes sure that their product is safe before it goes out to the public.
But a car company doesn't hide its future models that are being built and tested.  Media can hype up "promising future cars" like the hopeful mass production of alternative fuel cars.  I'm afraid that could be a failure considering how media is hyping up the hope of such things to occur without realizing all the political issues it's involved with.

Likewise, why should scientists hide discoveries.  It's just a discovery.  I'm glad only scientists are authorized to describe and challenge their findings, and not the public.  The public is like an audience; they just sit there and watch, and they can say whatever they want to say, but the public is not a credible source, just as their hopes that alternative fuel cars that are being built by our greedy car companies are not credible or realistic hopes.

A company that makes baby food makes sure that their product is safe enough before they allow babies to eat it.
Yet, the company doesn't hide the fact that the baby food is being produced and tested.  It's just not as "newsworthy" as a fossil that's apelike.

So something needs to change, their needs to be a variation of the scientific method or some other alternative to avoid such "half-cooked" stuff.

It's not efficient.
No, it's efficient.  You have to differentiate between the public/media reaction verses the scientific studies.  Unless you want science to work like the CIA, I'd rather keep things public.  Let the media say what they want to say.  Smart people can differentiate what's credible from what's not.

Think of all the news that come out of a "promising vaccine against HIV" or "promising cure for cancer," with media hyping in complete disregard of the testing done by scientists.  It's not the scientists' fault, it's the media.  But do you want to hide that at least there's some progress being done, some work being done, instead of feeling that there are people that are lazy?

What do you suggest should be changed in the scientific method?

God bless.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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minasoliman said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
minasoliman said:
I think this only proves how trustworthy the scientific system is.  I don't know why you boast about this story.  This actually supports the case of science.  It shows how honest scientists are, and how something falsifiable can be retested and reevaluated and challenged by others in the community.  It's a very good thing that this happened, and it's not something scientists shy away from.

On the other hand, if you, Jnorm, don't trust scientists, how you can trust anything scientists say?  You have to give equal skepticism for those that reject Ida as part of a common ancestry to those that accept it.  You can't pick and choose something because it suits your personal case against evolution.  In fact, they simply moved Ida to another part of the evolutionary tree.

This is why you can't have a discussion about evolution and science.  Because you just don't get it.  You make yourself no different from the media with your hype.

"This type of stuff happens often...but the side of the story is barely heard, let alone told."  I don't see these scientists get stoned for rejected the Ida ancestry hypothesis as you seem to put it.  They make a good case, it becomes heard.  If they had made a bad case, it would have become turd.

Can you give us a clear explanation of the "scientific system?"

Selam
Gebre,

What exactly don't you understand about it?  I thought you know something about the scientific method and how the community works.  Part of the system is how these experiments are falsifiable, testable, and other scientists will challenge the ideas of others, putting the hypothesis to the test.  If there is inconsistency, as they show, then there is room for rejection.
I asked the question because earlier in this thread I asserted that the scientific method involves very rigid criteria by which the theory of macro evolution remains unverifiable. I pointed to Carl Hempel's scientific method that has been widely accepted by secular science http://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Natural-Science-Foundations/dp/0136638236, but you seemed to indicate that the scientific method is not set in stone (If I am mischaracterizing your position, please correct me). My point is that if there is no obejctive and inflexible scientific method (and I think there is, i.e. Hempel's definition of the scientific method), then any theory under the sun can be supported by simply adjusting the criteria of the scientific method to suit the particular theory.

Selam
 

minasoliman

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I'm not sure what you mean by "not set in stone."  In very simple terms, it seems that the scientific method would make sense.  You ask a question, you answer that question, you test the answer through experimentation, you report your data, which leads you to a conclusion and discussion of further questions.  This isn't over however, as other scientists will repeat your experiment, and will challenge the answer to your first question.  This is a way of checks and balances.  It's a good thing that scientists did not jump gun to say that Ida is an ancestor of man, and that other scientists were able to challenge that idea successfully.

With macroevolution, or evolution in general, it was challenged again and again, many many times, and yet it all lead to the same conclusion, which is why evolution is widely and strongly accepted among the scientific community.  Believe it or not, scientists are the most skeptical of people.  They challenge each other, and that is good.  There's a sincere effort in almost every scientist to try to debunk other scientists, and when they can't, then they must accept the hypothesis as theory.

So the scientific method actually verified evolution, no matter how many challenges was brought against it, and it stood the test of time.  One can only accept therefore the ideas brought forth to us by Jetavan earlier on how nature is deceptive, how things aren't what they seem, in order to reject evolution.  This hypothesis however, has not been tested, and there is no experimentation to show how it can be tested so far.  Therefore, it only remains a speculation, not a theory like evolution.

Is it set in stone?  I don't know what you mean by this, but in my opinion, this seems to be the best way of understanding and verifying truth in nature.
 

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Is it set in stone?  I don't know what you mean by this, but in my opinion, this seems to be the best way of understanding and verifying truth in nature.
I know Khun has his detractors, but fwiw, when I think of "set in stone" in this context, I think of something he said in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He pointed out that many scientists will hold tenaciously to certain positions. Until absolutely and overwhelmingly proven wrong, it can be difficult to switch from one position to another, especially if you've devoted a significant portion of your life to demonstrating that position. This is not to say that scientists are not open-minded, or open to the possibility of being proven wrong, of course. As an example of what I'm talking about, consider the theory of evolution. In principle scientists are open to it being falsified. Yet because of the evidence in support of the theory, scientists accept it as fact, and treat it as such in their work. The same may be true of the scientific method in general. While scientists are probably in principle open to changing their methodology should it become necessary, the scientific method might nonetheless be used with such certitude that some would describe it as being a methodology that is "set in stone". If that is the case, then I would say that the scientific method is indeed not "set in stone".
 

Asteriktos

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I just found out that Ray Comfort has a new book out: Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution. If anyone has read it, I'd love to hear about it, either here or in the Reviews section. :)
 

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Asteriktos said:
I just found out that Ray Comfort has a new book out: Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution. If anyone has read it, I'd love to hear about it, either here or in the Reviews section. :)
Ah yes...... Ray Comfort.  ::) Haven't read his book, but he gives himself a 5 star rating at Amazon. Kind of sad, really.

My last book, "You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence But You Can't Make Him Think" knocked Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion" off the number one spot in the atheism division. Then atheists (God bless them) swarmed in and gave it hundreds of stinging reviews. It was interesting to see one review saying that the book was the best thing since sliced bread, while the next said it was far worse than the worst mold on rotting bread. Let's see what happens with this book. http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Created-Everything-Scientific-Impossibility/dp/1935071238

One thing about the man; he is good for a laugh. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z-OLG0KyR4&feature=related
 

ytterbiumanalyst

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You know what's even more sad? Ray's also the only one who found his review helpful. But now a second person has given his book a one-star rating, "just to balance out Ray's review," saying, "This book having a 5-star rating because the author is the only one to review it doesn't seem very honest." 100% found that review helpful.

Hmm. Things aren't looking so good for Ray, if he wants to sell some books on Amazon.

Oh, and re: the video: That is hilarious. Perhaps he should sell that script; I'm sure he could get more money for it than for any of his books.
 

Asteriktos

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Ah yes...... Ray Comfort.  Haven't read his book, but he gives himself a 5 star rating at Amazon. Kind of sad, really.
Yeah, I noticed, lol. I've seen authors who use something like lulu.com review themselves, but I don't think I've ever seen a person who has an actual publisher review themselves.
 

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Asteriktos said:
Ah yes...... Ray Comfort.   Haven't read his book, but he gives himself a 5 star rating at Amazon. Kind of sad, really.
Yeah, I noticed, lol. I've seen authors who use something like lulu.com review themselves, but I don't think I've ever seen a person who has an actual publisher review themselves.
Yeah, that should be the publisher's job. In theory, a published book could be counted on to have at least a decent level of quality. Unfortunately, most publishers are really only concerned that a book will sell. From sales of books like Left Behind and The Da Vinci Code, I can say with certainty there is a market for badly written books, if the subject is controversial enough. Unfortunately for Ray's wallet, this subject isn't one of them.
 

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Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
I'm no longer a Young Earth Creationist. At least not in the strict sense, to be honest I don't know what kind of creationist I am now, but I have been thinking about this for years. And my speculation would be ....and I know that a number of YEC reject the big bang, while others accept the idea.

But I would say:

1.) If it is true that the initial expansion of the universe was faster than the speed of light(A YEC came up with this idea first, but was laughed at, now that a noncreationist advocated the idea it's acceptable to believe in....well at least for a few nano seconds or seconds or whatever)

Then it really shouldn't matter if you have a different cosmological modal. Instead of Stars, Black Holes......etc. forming slowly over billions of years, they can form quickly from the speed and power of the initial expansion. Don't forget that Energy equals mater times light squared, and so..........why couldn't that light turn into energy and matter? Why can't all the elements we have on our chemistry chart be formed by the light from the initial expansion of the universe?

And if light was there "initially", then why should it matter if the light of some star is now 13 or 14 billion light years away when both came from the same source? At one time that star wasn't 13 or 14 billion light years away. At one time......the stuff that eventually formed that star was an "inch" or less away of what would eventually form our planet.









ICXC NIKA
 

AlexanderOfBergamo

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jnorm888 said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
I'm no longer a Young Earth Creationist. At least not in the strict sense, to be honest I don't know what kind of creationist I am now, but I have been thinking about this for years. And my speculation would be ....and I know that a number of YEC reject the big bang, while others accept the idea.

But I would say:

1.) If it is true that the initial expansion of the universe was faster than the speed of light(A YEC came up with this idea first, but was laughed at, now that a noncreationist advocated the idea it's acceptable to believe in....well at least for a few nano seconds or seconds or whatever)

Then it really shouldn't matter if you have a different cosmological modal. Instead of Stars, Black Holes......etc. forming slowly over billions of years, they can form quickly from the speed and power of the initial expansion. Don't forget that Energy equals mater times light squared, and so..........why couldn't that light turn into energy and matter? Why can't all the elements we have on our chemistry chart be formed by the light from the initial expansion of the universe?

And if light was there "initially", then why should it matter if the light of some star is now 13 or 14 billion light years away when both came from the same source? At one time that star wasn't 13 or 14 billion light years away. At one time......the stuff that eventually formed that star was an "inch" or less away of what would eventually form our planet.
This is an approach I really never considered.
As for your "I don't know what kind of creationist I am now" dilemma, just a suggestion: don't classify yourself. As for me, I look into history and nature and try to 'see' the Bible events in them, and I know that some events (the Genesis 1 narration) are "philosophy of nature in poetry", some others (the Adam and Eve story) are allegories for now lost historical events of the past, and that others (such as the Battle of the Vale of Siddim) are so well set in an historical context (the Bible gives the 'corrupted' names of Hammurabi, Kudur-Mabuk, Rim-Sin I and Tidhaliya in the text, from a 1770s BCE period) that it would be useless to deny their reality. Every word of the Bible has been chosen by its human authors to convey spiritual teachings that a literal historical narration wouldn't have been able to do by itself, and they did so under divine inspiration. For this reason I deny none of the events of the Bible, but I try to see if there's a possible allegorization or poetry behind before saying "it must be literal".

In Christ,  Alex
 

ytterbiumanalyst

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jnorm888 said:
Asteriktos said:
I'd still like to get some type of information or answer from a young earth creationist on this point:

"Okay, what catastrophe within the last 7000 years caused us to be able to see stars that are billions of light years away?"
1.) If it is true that the initial expansion of the universe was faster than the speed of light(A YEC came up with this idea first, but was laughed at, now that a noncreationist advocated the idea it's acceptable to believe in....well at least for a few nano seconds or seconds or whatever)
I don't think you're really telling the whole story. I'm not sure who is the person to whom you refer, but I would venture to guess, knowing the nature of science and of the scientific community, that if a person came up with this model as a way of proving his existing metaphysical beliefs, then he would be scorned. However, if a person has valid scientific data to back up the claim, it would be hailed as new knowledge. It all depends on whether there is evidence.

Then it really shouldn't matter if you have a different cosmological modal. Instead of Stars, Black Holes......etc. forming slowly over billions of years, they can form quickly from the speed and power of the initial expansion. Don't forget that Energy equals mater times light squared, and so..........why couldn't that light turn into energy and matter? Why can't all the elements we have on our chemistry chart be formed by the light from the initial expansion of the universe?

And if light was there "initially", then why should it matter if the light of some star is now 13 or 14 billion light years away when both came from the same source? At one time that star wasn't 13 or 14 billion light years away. At one time......the stuff that eventually formed that star was an "inch" or less away of what would eventually form our planet.
Now this is an interesting idea, and the type of idea I had hoped for from those who espouse the young-Earth model. Unfortunately, as I suspected, the scientific knowledge of most of those people is rather lacking. I will attempt to address a few of these issues.

First, yes, we theorise that many of the stars were formed rapidly following the Big Bang. Such an event would naturally cause the abundance of energy necessary for star formation (after all, stars are essentially masses of incandescent gas--i.e. gigantic nuclear furnaces ;D). In an expanding universe, it is theoretically possible that the speed of light itself is not, as was previously theorised (as recently as Einstein), a constant. If that is true, then yes, the light from distant stars would in fact reach us much faster than their distance in light-years would suggest. Of course, experimentation is needed to see if this is an accurate physical model.

Second, light actually has nothing to do with Einstein's equation. The speed of light is simply the speed of zero-mass objects (of which light itself is one). Electrons, for example, also travel at the speed of light, because they have essentially no mass. The energy of an object is relative (hence the name of the equation) to its mass times the speed of a zero-mass object squared. Note that I say "essentially" no mass, because there is no object whose mass is actually zero. Even the smallest particles have an infinitessimal mass, and therefore, since the speed of light squared is literally astronomical, they have an enormous amount of energy.

Third, all of the elements on our periodic chart were formed by the Big Bang. They are all just rearrangements of the same parts, bound by strong and weak nuclear forces. So everything that exists is made of the same "stuff." It's quite reasonable to believe that the hydrogen that is involved in our sun's nuclear fusion reactions is the same as the hydrogen that is in the water we drink. In fact, that's the essence of atomic theory.
 

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I have heard a number of Christians, people that I would assume are not young earth creationists, say that Intelligent Design is "bad theology". What exactly is meant by this?
 

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Asteriktos said:
I have heard a number of Christians, people that I would assume are not young earth creationists, say that Intelligent Design is "bad theology". What exactly is meant by this?
Some of them fear that Intelligent Design leads towards deism. I disagree.
 
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