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Ivonia
01-15-2006, 07:35 AM
I'm sure this has been debated before, but I was wondering, with all our advances in science and technology, is there room for God anymore?

Humans used to explain things they couldn't understand as a supernatural force acting upon them, such as a thunderstorm. Some things also got pretty scary at times, such as the plagues of Egypt in the Old Testament. Today however, using scientific tools and observation, we know that thunderstorms are caused by freak low pressure systems in the atmosphere, and we know why natural disasters happen, and can sometimes even predict when they will occur, and where they may hit (such as Hurricane Katrina).

It was once believed that the Earth was the center of the universe (I don't think the Bible says this, just that God created everything). Observations made by people back then made this seem logical. Anything claiming otherwise was considered heretical (just look at poor Galileo). However, once again, science steps in and says that the Earth is in fact just another planet orbiting the sun, and later on, our sun isn't even that great, it's just "average" on the scale of stars.

What I'm trying to say here is, as science comes and explains these sorts of things, it seems like the "magical explanation" of "God did it" seems to be less and less acceptable. So, do you think that science is gradually trying to replace God? Or, do you think that God is in fact revealing to us how His universe works, on a slow and gradual basis?

For me, I believe it's the latter. I grew up learning the former, but then, having read the Bible after receiving "secular training" (I suppose what you'd call a public school education hehe), I have come to believe that science is really God's way of explaining to us how the universe works.

There are still some things that science can't fully explain however, such as how old the universe is exactly. While we have a good estimate, it's not exactly precise (if you believe the "13 billion years old" thing, and that our sun is 5 billion years old, doesn't it make you wonder what happened in the first 8 billion years before the earth even existed?). I don't think the Bible ever mentions the age of the universe either, and the closest thing we have is the line "To God, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day" (sorry, I forget where it's located in the Bible, but I believe it's in the New Testament), and this is where the "Earth is 6,000 years old" claim that some Bible people say, taking that quote literally (the six days in the beginning of the Old Testament, although I wonder why they don't count the 7th day when God rested hehe).

However, I myself have trouble believing that. I don't think that God meant for us to literally take that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. To me, that "thousand years" quote was meant to be easy to comprehend to someone living in that day in age. For all we know, a billion years is like a day to God, and the Earth is probably much older than we think, just that we didn't need to know about all that other stuff that occurred back then (yeah, I'm probably going to start falling apart here if I start talking about dinosaurs and cavemen lol). I believe this is one of those things where you either believe God created everything, or you don't. Faith can't be measured the way you can measure water in a cup, which is why science has a hard time observing "acts of God" in this way (and no doubt this stuff gets confusing after a while).

I think I can understand why God spoke in such a way in the Bible, because He wants it to have a timeless feel to it (and it does for the most part. Many of the messages spoken by Jesus over two thousand years ago still ring true today, such as money corrupting people). To someone living in that day, they'd have no way of comprehending how germs invade their bodies and make them sick, or that the nearest star to us takes light 4.3 years to arrive to their eyes and for their brain to process it. And even today, you'd be hard pressed to explain where all the matter in the universe came from (science says you can't create something from nothing. But the Bible says with God, all things are possible).

The laws of science have always been around (such as, water will freeze or ice will melt at 32 degrees fahrenheit, or 0 degrees celsius), and there are no doubt new laws that await our discovery (which God will give to us through some hard working person at an appropiate time. I don't think we're ready for interstellar travel yet, but I believe it's possible, just like people used to think we could never fly, or even go into space, yet we've done both within the last hundred years).

Also, consider the Tower of Babel story in the Old Testament People tried to build a tower to reach into the Heavens, but God knew they weren't ready, and therefore split everyone up and spread them throughout the world. Gradually, although I admit that it's been a terrible path (what with the prejudices and mass killings), we've come to contact other people and in many parts of the world, have begun living together as these people back then once lived, and God hasn't really impeded our progress too much (I wish He'd let us kickstart the space program again though, I'd love to travel in space someday hehe).

I suppose to sum up what I'm saying here is, people sometimes try to hard to find God, or prove that he either exists or doesn't exist. Sometimes people come up with many reasons to prove that God exists, or that God exists in some form, or that God isn't around at all, and never really did exist (the Trinity stuff confuses the heck out of me. I still don't fully understand that concept, but I believe God sent Jesus to save us, which is still a much easier to understand message). God can be found pretty simply, and He shows us how to find him in the Bible, but many people don't seem to want to believe that, thinking that it's gotta be more complex than that, and come up with some pretty interesting ideas on how God works.

But like Jesus said, we should have child-like understanding of these things if we truly want to know God. That's why scholars and prophets have searched high and low and never found God, yet simple people have discovered Him quite easily (I also like how Jesus chose simple folk to spread the Word of God around. Imagine if Jesus explained to them how God worked as if it were a complex mathematical formula. I think it'd be over a lot of people's heads). By loving Him with all our strength (people nowadays really take what they have for granted sadly. Didn't Jesus say "we have nothing, except that which God has given us?"), and loving our fellow humans as we would love ourselves, we can learn about the nature of God (Jesus summed it up pretty nicely I believe).

Sorry if this post seems to go several places. It's something I was debating as I was writing my stories, as I try to take on these sorts of issues. As you can see, it's can be quite complicated, and I wanted to see what you all think about this stuff. At first, it seemed like learning about God was going to be something that you'd need a degree in, but as I read the Bible, I found out that the messages contained in it are pretty simplistic in nature, and really easy to read and follow. I'm hoping that in my own stories, I can reflect those kinds of messages too, easy to read and understand.

veinglory
01-15-2006, 07:39 AM
I have worked with research scientists who were very devout Christians, one a deacon of his church, although I am not one, myself. They saw science as a way of understanding God and his creation in deeper and more profound ways.

But in the end faith and science are different things. Science may show us more and more about what is but it will never reveal why or tell us what should be.

Puddle Jumper
01-15-2006, 09:33 AM
Since God created science I should think the answer would be obvious.

Inspired
01-15-2006, 05:09 PM
I teach science in a Christian school, and to be completely honest, science supports the concept of a Grand Designer more that it proves Evolution. I'm certainly not going to debate it here. Others have done that. Ultimately, it takes faith in what we have not seen to believe either concept of how the Earth began. But, I have not seen any science that goes contrary to the Word of God. (only the theories, not real, concrete scientific proof.)

silentpoet
01-17-2006, 02:03 AM
You can have fanatics on either hand. There was a good short story making this point in the last issue of the big fantasy magazine(the name escapes me, but harry potter was on the cover). Both methods are ways of interpreting reality. I am fairly familiar with both methods and relying on one alone will leave you with an incomplete understanding. However with the human limitations, I don't think a complete understanding of a given aspect of reality is possible.

veinglory
01-17-2006, 02:09 AM
I would say the same thing slightly differently. Science is a way of collecting data. It also suggests that the simplest available explanation of that data should be used.

Deciding what that explanation is and adding ethical and spiritual content occurs at a separate level and any complete understanding will have this level, be it Christian or another tradition (Buddhist, secular humanist etc)

Ralyks
01-17-2006, 11:24 PM
Science is nothing more than a way of understanding what God has already done in creation, and that is why, until the 20th century, so many of the great scientific breakthroughs were accomplished by devout Christians--they wanted to understand what God had done; how He worked. Many scientist still do; others are indifferent to the concept of God; and still others are dead set on disbeliving God, and that prejudice can influence scientific objectivity.

silentpoet
01-18-2006, 01:30 AM
I would say the same thing slightly differently. Science is a way of collecting data. It also suggests that the simplest available explanation of that data should be used.

Deciding what that explanation is and adding ethical and spiritual content occurs at a separate level and any complete understanding will have this level, be it Christian or another tradition (Buddhist, secular humanist etc)

IE one tells the how(science), the other tells the why(religion of whatever stripe). The important thing in science is to be aware of your bias and influences. That is just aside from bad science designed to show what you want, which is fairly easy(stuff like guided writing for autistics being a good example). I know how to design bad science experiments, and I know how to think bad theology.

I think one point you brought up can stand a little expansion. Simplicity. Good science is simple, look at E=mc squared. All matter boiled down to 4-5 characters. Look at the teaching of Jesus, the two greatest commandments. It is in the application and thoughts where it gets complex. Nuclear weapons and what is showing love. Now those debates can get complex, but at the base there is a simplicity that is truly elegant.

loquax
01-18-2006, 01:32 AM
God's omnipotence is the be-all and end-all of arguments. Religion will forever fall back on it, no matter what science discovers.

SeanDSchaffer
01-19-2006, 02:04 PM
Well, let's see....

I think if science is objective and allows for God to be in the picture, then yes, the two can work together. Many scientists in the past have used the Bible as a basis for their beliefs. The idea, for instance, that the Earth is round, came out of the Old Testament. As did the idea that washing one's hands before and after an operation (speaking of doctors, here) can save a patient's life.

Using the Bible as a guide, some scientists have made the argument that the Earth is very young, and that the dinosaurs lived on the Earth at the same time as Humanity, not millions of years before. Some have even come right out and stated that dragon legends came from dinosaurs that lived while mankind was on this Earth.

To me, it's a matter of refusing to be led by popular opinion. As I was taught in General Science back in High School, even a Scientific Law is not set in stone. There is always a chance, no matter how slim, that what was accepted as scientific fact at one time, can someday become complete myth.

So yeah, if Science can be objective, of course God and Science can go hand-in-hand in the world we live in.

Peggy
01-24-2006, 12:36 PM
I think if science is objective and allows for God to be in the picture, then yes, the two can work together.Science involves making observations and then providing an explanation of those observations. The trick is that science cannot determine whether God or any other supernatural force is involved in natural processes. In other words, science can neither prove nor disprove the involvement of an omnipotent God. It seems that some people assume that because science cannot determine God's involvement in the natural world that it necessarily means that God is not involved (and this is an argument made by both some religious people who want "Godless science" out of the classroom, as well as some atheist scientists). Perhaps God moves each and every electron in my computer. Perhaps God simply created the universe such that electrons move in a predictable manner. Perhaps there is no God at all. Science cannot distinguish these possibilities.

And really, science should NOT try to reconcile itself with religious beliefs. Trying to fit more and more accumulated data into a particular religious framework would be a losing battle, resulting in pretty useless hypotheses. Instead, science tries to make the best interpretation independent of religion. That is why there isn't Hindu geology and Baptist geology and Catholic geology and Mormon geology and Buddhist geology and Muslim geology etc. - there is just geology.

Flapdoodle
01-25-2006, 07:03 PM
I teach science in a Christian school, and to be completely honest, science supports the concept of a Grand Designer more that it proves Evolution. I'm certainly not going to debate it here. Others have done that. Ultimately, it takes faith in what we have not seen to believe either concept of how the Earth began. But, I have not seen any science that goes contrary to the Word of God. (only the theories, not real, concrete scientific proof.)

No it doesn't. Science proves evolution. There is not a single published scientific paper that demonstrates there is a "Grand Designer". The typical argument used by Intelligent Design apologists is that "there are gaps in the theory, therefore that proves there is a designer." This is a nonsense argument.

Inspired
01-25-2006, 08:20 PM
Sorry. I don't agree. I haven't seen anything that proves evolution, just changes WITHIN species over time. Nothing indicates a change in species.

You have to have faith in evolution to believe that. Just as I have faith in Creation to believe all the connections. How did the human eye evolve anyway? I don't believe it can work without the parts.

Never mind. I don't want to argue. But, I won't agree.

Flapdoodle
01-25-2006, 09:01 PM
Sorry. I don't agree. I haven't seen anything that proves evolution, just changes WITHIN species over time. Nothing indicates a change in species.

You have to have faith in evolution to believe that. Just as I have faith in Creation to believe all the connections. How did the human eye evolve anyway? I don't believe it can work without the parts.

Never mind. I don't want to argue. But, I won't agree.

If you haven't seen it, then read it - the evidence is out there, in over 150 years worth of work in this field. Your ignorance is utterly staggering for someone who claims to be a teacher - there _are_ examples of species diverging, including humans! Have you never wondered why species are divided into families?

Many species have different types of eyes - human eyes are actually quite badly "designed" and are prone to being damaged quite easily due to the positioning of the blood vessels. Other species have better eyes than ours, but we have not evolved in the same way due to our environment.

How did eyes evolve? Evolution takes places over a long period of time with small changes. It's quite possible that a species of creature with a light sensitive cell may have been given an advantage over those without. From here on... Well, you get the picture. The thing is, there is _evidence_ in nature of an evolutionary chain from this point up to the development of human like eyes. It's been, ahem, seen. Try [Nilsson and Pelger, 1994, Proc Biol Sci)] for a start.

Your notion of "it won't work without the parts" is based on Behe's highly dubious theory of "irreducible complexity" which is a flawed argument from a microbiologist - not an evolutionary scientist.

The fact is that a simple light sensitive cell cluster can act as a primitive eye. A cell cluster in a pitt with a small hole in front is better, etc. That it has improved over time is an example of evolution and survival of the fittest.

You don't need "faith" to believe the evidence in front of your - ah, eyes.

Peggy
01-26-2006, 02:03 AM
Sorry. I don't agree. I haven't seen anything that proves evolution, just changes WITHIN species over time. Nothing indicates a change in species.Formation of new species has indeed been observed. The simple explanation is that if there enough changes within a population of a particular species, given enough time they will eventually diverge enough from the original population to form a separate species. Over millions and millions of years, it is not surprising that life is very diverse. (If you don't "believe" that the earth is millions of years old, I could understand your skepticism, but that is a different issue.) Evolution isn't a matter of "faith" or "belief". There is absolutely no scientific controversy on whether evolution takes place or not.

If you are interested in discussing it, we could resurrect the old evolution/creationism/intelligent design thread.

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19412

Inspired
01-26-2006, 07:48 AM
Of course I don't believe the Earth is millions or billions of years old. Sorry, I didn't mention that before.

I don't believe that Evolution happened.

I never joined in the original discussion, because I knew it would become a Creation-bashing party.

I figured there would be a little protection from that here in the Christian forum.

I could've been wrong about that.

We can disagree without degrading one another, can't we?

reph
01-26-2006, 12:02 PM
I never joined in the original discussion, because I knew it would become a Creation-bashing party.

I figured there would be a little protection from that here in the Christian forum.
That's probably an unrealistic expectation, if you mean you thought people would suppress their opinions. Many Christians believe the earth is old and life forms appeared gradually. It isn't un-Christian to believe in evolution.

Unique
01-26-2006, 02:57 PM
Of course I don't believe the Earth is millions or billions of years old. Sorry, I didn't mention that before.
I don't believe that Evolution happened.
I never joined in the original discussion, because I knew it would become a Creation-bashing party.
I figured there would be a little protection from that here in the Christian forum.
I could've been wrong about that.

We can disagree without degrading one another, can't we?

We can most certainly agree to disagree.

Evolution - my take is that evolution happens in that things change over time but I don't believe we crawled up out of the slime.

Whether creation took place in 6 twenty-four hour days or 6 ten thousand year days just. doesn't. matter. to. me. I can't change it and I can't prove it and I have to live with the world as it is now. There are so many other more important things - things I can change - who cares ????

I believe God exists; I believe He has the power to have made the world in 6 twenty-four hour days - if He wanted to - but He didn't ask for my opinion then and He isn't asking now. I think there are other things He'd rather I focus my attention on. (And a bunch of other folks, too) If He'd been asking, I'd have told Him, 'God, you have a good thing going on here. When you get finished with the animals - stop. Just stop. You'll save Yourself a whole lot of trouble if You do.'

But like I said, He wasn't asking.....;)

Inspired
01-26-2006, 03:17 PM
That's probably an unrealistic expectation, if you mean you thought people would suppress their opinions. Many Christians believe the earth is old and life forms appeared gradually. It isn't un-Christian to believe in evolution.

No, I meant that in a Christian forum one would think that others would realize that many Christians do not support the evolutionary theory. I would expect that it would be more accepted here than in a "secular" forum.

Inspired
01-26-2006, 03:22 PM
I know I can't change others' opinions and that many people refuse to believe you can be interested or schooled in science and still be a strong Christian who believes in a 6 day Creation just 1000s of years ago by a Triune God.

That is my position. I'm not going to argue it. (Defend it a little, yes, but not get into a gritty debate.)

I just got a heavy writing assignment, so I should let this subject drop. Better to use my words and energy on something I get paid for!

Unique
01-26-2006, 04:25 PM
I just got a heavy writing assignment, so I should let this subject drop. Better to use my words and energy on something I get paid for!

Good luck and congratulations. Come back when you're finished and we can agree to disagree some more. :D I like hearing other people's opinions whether I agree with them or not. As long as they don't tell me I'm an ignorant poopiehead for believing as I do, I promise not to do the same.

Peggy
02-01-2006, 12:40 AM
I never joined in the original discussion, because I knew it would become a Creation-bashing party.

I figured there would be a little protection from that here in the Christian forum.

I could've been wrong about that. As reph has pointed out, being Christian doesn't mean you don't accept evolutionary theory. I am obviously biased, but I don't think the original discussion was at all a "Creation-bashing party". It might be reasonable to call it a "twist science until it says what I already believe-bashing" party though.

I have no problem with people believing in a literal interpretation of Genesis and a 6000 year old earth, as long as they don't take the next step and say "and science proves it". Unfotunately, there are some charismatic and convincing people out there who make scientific-sounding arguments along the lines that science fully supports their interpretation of the Bible. Most Americans know little about science (a recent poll had something like a third of Americans not knowing that the earth goes around the sun), so the arguments are never questioned. This unfortunately results people who become even more ignorant about science, something that makes me rather upset. I've seen the argument that "evolution breaks the second law of thermodynamics" a number of times, for example. If you know any physics that is just bizarre.

The truth is that a huge body of evidence points to an earth that is millions of years old and evolutionary processes that created all current species, including Homo sapiens. Whether you believe that that is what really happened, or whether God simply made it look as if that is what happened is up to you.
I just got a heavy writing assignment, so I should let this subject drop. Better to use my words and energy on something I get paid for!Congrats! I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to come back and discuss before you got caught up in doing something productive.:)

Flapdoodle
02-01-2006, 12:58 AM
Americans know little about science (a recent poll had something like a third of Americans not knowing that the earth goes around the sun),



Sadly, it's not only the US.

The biggest fraud is the "evolution is only a theory" argument. For a scientist, fact and theory go hand in had. A scientific theory itself is based on factual evidence and observations. There's nothing "only" about a scientific theory. It's a clever attempt to somehow put some doubt into evolution for those who weren't listening in science.

As Richard Dawkins says - no other branch of science has the "yapping terriers of faith" constantly at its heels. Evolution poses a big problem for some religions. As you say, there's a huge body of evidence and it is a FACT that species diverge (This has been studied and _seen_ to happen.). The sooner religion gets used to the idea, the better.

SeanDSchaffer
02-01-2006, 03:31 AM
Science proves evolution.



Just like Science proves that a bumble bee can't fly.

Peggy
02-01-2006, 03:56 AM
Just like Science proves that a bumble bee can't fly.Yeah, just like that (http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20040911/mathtrek.asp). The difference between science and religion is that scientists take it as a challenge (http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/5/10/9), and religion simply says "God did it" and leaves it at that.

SeanDSchaffer
02-01-2006, 04:08 AM
Yeah, just like that (http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20040911/mathtrek.asp). The difference between science and religion is that scientists take it as a challenge (http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/5/10/9), and religion simply says "God did it" and leaves it at that.


Well, I can't argue with that. Good point, Peggy. Many religions do indeed have that problem, I'm sorry to say.

So I guess the statement in my first post, about Scientists being willing to put God into the picture, may have been somewhat biased on my own part. Maybe a better way of putting it would be if Scientists and Clergy were willing to admit the possibility that opposing viewpoints have at least some merit, God and Science would be able to work together.

Peggy
02-01-2006, 04:09 AM
Yoiks, my last response came of as completely humorless. Sorry about that Sean, didn't mean to sound so snarky.
Science proves evolution. That isn't quite right either. Science doesn't "prove" anything. Evolutionary theory is the best explanation for what has been observed to date. It's a very robust theory in that it is consistent with data from genetics, taxonomy, paleontology, geology and a number of other subfields (my understanding is that it is much more solid, than, for example, gravitational theory). If, contradictory evidence were uncovered, the theory would have to be modified.
Sadly, it's not only the US.There was a recent poll that showed that only 1/3 of British adults understand the Earth rotates around the sun once a year, while 1/2 of American adults know that. Woo hoo - we aren't the most ignorant!

Inspired
02-01-2006, 04:10 AM
As Richard Dawkins says - no other branch of science has the "yapping terriers of faith" constantly at its heels.

I guess I'm going to have to find a yapping terrier for my avatar.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
02-01-2006, 04:16 AM
The biggest fraud is the "evolution is only a theory" argument.And on that note, here's a little primer on the scientific method and what the term "theory" means in that context (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=338079&postcount=153).

I sympathize with Inspired's plea for tolerance of all forms of Christian belief on the Christian forum. However, it would be remiss of the rest of everyone to let a Demonstrably False Factual Statement stand. Everyone is free to believe what they want, but it's unreasonble to expect a statement like "science proves Intellectual Design more than Evolution" not to meet with vehement disagreement from those who are well enough versed in the current body of scientific knowledge to know that it just ain't so.

Inspired
02-01-2006, 04:18 AM
Well, I can't argue with that. Good point, Peggy. Many religions do indeed have that problem, I'm sorry to say.

So I guess the statement in my first post, about Scientists being willing to put God into the picture, may have been somewhat biased on my own part. Maybe a better way of putting it would be if Scientists and Clergy were willing to admit the possibility that opposing viewpoints have at least some merit, God and Science would be able to work together.

I'm using this quote, but not addressing Sean, or anybody in particular:

But, from what I've seen, the Creation scientists DO understand where evolutionists come from and why they believe what they believe. They admit to the science, but not the foundation for the science. They don't call the other side names (like yapping dogs,) and don't think they're a bunch of idiots. Maybe I just hang around with nice Christians, but I know I don't hang around with nice evolutionists. It's one thing to debate. It's another thing to debase - especially in a forum that's supposed to be for Christian writers.

Sorry. It just bothers me that you say (not just think) I'm an idiot because I believe God created the world in 6 days about 6000 years ago. I happen to believe, with all my heart, that the Bible is the true Word of God.

It's a difference we have - not a reason to insult people.

(btw, I have gotten a lot of writing done lately. It's for a Christian publication. That's why I hang out here.)

Peggy
02-01-2006, 04:19 AM
So I guess the statement in my first post, about Scientists being willing to put God into the picture, may have been somewhat biased on my own part. Maybe a better way of putting it would be if Scientists and Clergy were willing to admit the possibility that opposing viewpoints have at least some merit, God and Science would be able to work together.I think that many scientists do believe that God plays a role in the universe. However, they don't really have a pulpit (so to speak) to discuss that. It would be inappropriate to put that in a scientific paper, and many scientists aren't very good at writing popular science type of articles (or public speaking). It seems that the people with the most extreme views - on both the science and the religion sides - are the ones that get the press. It's not fair to think that Richard Dawkins speaks for all scientists any more than Pat Robertson speaks for all Christians.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
02-01-2006, 04:21 AM
Yeah, just like that (http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20040911/mathtrek.asp). The difference between science and religion is that scientists take it as a challenge (http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/5/10/9), and religion simply says "God did it" and leaves it at that.Exactically!

It wasn't so much that science proved the bumble bee couldn't fly. It was simply that the current scientific understanding of insect flight couldn't accomodate the bumble bee's wings.

And, yes, where Intellectual Design proponents would say, "Hah! Therefore science is WRONG! God did it and that's that!", scientists said, "Hmm, obviously our current understanding of insect flight is incomplete. This requires further study."

I was very excited to read the article late last year announcing that scientists had finally figured it out. It had been quite the enigma.

SeanDSchaffer
02-01-2006, 04:22 AM
Yoiks, my last response came of as completely humorless. Sorry about that Sean, didn't mean to sound so snarky.

....Snipped.


Not a problem, Peggy. I did get the gist of your point, and I find that too many religions indeed do have the issue you mentioned. Especially with Christians, I think, because of many Christians' belief (I used to hold to this belief myself at one time) that God somehow requires us to believe Him blindly.

Or, for that matter, many people of my faith think we have to defend God, which I think He, as God, is quite capable of doing for Himself.

I think the desire to defend God is where the majority of the heated arguments between Christians and non-Christians comes from. If many Christians were willing to step back and let God defend Himself, I believe the cooperation between God and Science would be unprecedented.

Flapdoodle
02-01-2006, 04:25 AM
Just like Science proves that a bumble bee can't fly.

This story is actually a *myth*. Science doesn't prove bumble-bees can't fly. It's a fact that bumble-bees CAN fly. No scientist would waste his/her time trying to prove something that's a fact. There are various scientific models to explain bumblebee flight (And for that matter, any other insect). This saying is something that entered popular culture in the 20th century, and is often used (By scientists) and people who think scientists are stupid people who try to prove things that they've seen.

Scientists don't prove a bumble-bee can't fly. They PROVE a model describing that a bumble bee can't fly is in-adequate. Insect wings are complex, and the maths behind them is complex with a lot of variables. Models take these into account.

In a theory of "Bumble Bee Flight", the FACT would be that Bumble-bees would fly. That is an indisputable fact. Theory would be the model describing that flight.

Funnily enough, folk like Behe and the ID crowd are in effect trying to prove that a bumble-bee doesn't fly.

Inspired
02-01-2006, 04:25 AM
And on that note, here's a little primer on the scientific method and what the term "theory" means in that context (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=338079&postcount=153).

I sympathize with Inspired's plea for tolerance of all forms of Christian belief on the Christian forum. However, it would be remiss of the rest of everyone to let a Demonstrably False Factual Statement stand. Everyone is free to believe what they want, but it's unreasonble to expect a statement like "science proves Intellectual Design more than Evolution" not to meet with vehement disagreement from those who are well enough versed in the current body of scientific knowledge to know that it just ain't so.

I understand that "proof" and "theory" can be misused - and I probably did do that.

However, I believe that Creation is an equal theory to evolution. Most scientific evidence can go either way. Some of the evolution proof that is still being used has been disproven or exaggerated (Lucy, for example.) I really, truly think that if scientists spent as much time, effort, and money on Creation as they have on Evolution, they would see how both theories can be supported by science. If you believe there is no God, or He didn't create the world in 6 days, then you've ruled out Creation. If you believe there is a God who created the world in 6 days a mere 6000 years ago, you rule out Evolution. I can totally see how both side works. I just don't understand how others won't allow it.

Peggy
02-01-2006, 04:31 AM
And, yes, where Intellectual Design proponents would say, "Hah! Therefore science is WRONG! God did it and that's that!", scientists said, "Hmm, obviously our current understanding of insect flight is incomplete. This requires further study."And that is the danger of touting "Intelligent Design" as "science". It actually encourages people to stop looking for a natural explanation - why bother if it was a miracle?

Flapdoodle
02-01-2006, 04:35 AM
I understand that "proof" and "theory" can be misused - and I probably did do that.

However, I believe that Creation is an equal theory to evolution. Most scientific evidence can go either way. Some of the evolution proof that is still being used has been disproven (Lucy, for example.) I really, truly think that if scientists spent as much time, effort, and money on Creation as they have on Evolution, they would see how both theories can be supported by science. If you believe there is no God, or He didn't create the world in 6 days, then you've ruled out Creation. If you believe there is a God who created the world in 6 days a mere 6000 years ago, you rule out Evolution. I can totally see how both side works. I just don't understand how others won't allow it.

Creationism isn't a scientific theory. It's a story.

SeanDSchaffer
02-01-2006, 04:40 AM
I understand that "proof" and "theory" can be misused - and I probably did do that.

However, I believe that Creation is an equal theory to evolution. Most scientific evidence can go either way. Some of the evolution proof that is still being used has been disproven (Lucy, for example.) I really, truly think that if scientists spent as much time, effort, and money on Creation as they have on Evolution, they would see how both theories can be supported by science. If you believe there is no God, or He didn't create the world in 6 days, then you've ruled out Creation. If you believe there is a God who created the world in 6 days a mere 6000 years ago, you rule out Evolution. I can totally see how both side works. I just don't understand how others won't allow it.


I agree with Inspired. I also believe that Creation and Evolution are "equal theories." I think if I believe in one theory, I shouldn't be treated like an imbecile (as I have been in the past, here and elsewhere, though thankfully not by the majority of people whom I disagree with) who obviously has no knowledge because I simply state that I disagree with one Scientific Theory.

If I'm going to be 'won' to the 'other side,' as some might say, I as an intelligent human being, prefer to be given evidence to the contrary of what I believe, without being told I'm that my ignorance astounds the person giving that evidence to the contrary of what I believe.

Calling people names and otherwise insulting and intimidating them, in order to get people to either believe differently than they already do--or to get them to keep their mouth shut--almost always leads to heated arguments that get neither side anywhere. Further, I've seen that in a flame war, generally two posters will post over an extended period of time, and no one else will dare until both posters leave the thread.

Such a heated argument, in my opinion, is a lose/lose situation.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
02-01-2006, 04:57 AM
I understand that "proof" and "theory" can be misused - and I probably did do that.

However, I believe that Creation is an equal theory to evolution.I'm sorry. If you believe the two are equal theories, than you are continuing to misuse the term "theory."

I really, truly think that if scientists spent as much time, effort, and money on Creation as they have on Evolution, they would see how both theories can be supported by science.But until that time and effort is spent, it is not a theory.

Perhaps the potential for a theory is there. But first what you need is the research. You need hypotheses proposed about the 6-day creation and 6,000 year old planet that can be tested. You need those hypotheses to withstand that testing. Then you need those tests independently corroborated.

Intellegent Design proponents have not produced a single testable hypothesis. Thus they have not even begun on the road that would take their claim into the realm of "scientific theory." Perhaps there is a potential theory there, waiting to be devised, but first ID proponents need to stop acting like political pundits and start acting like scientists.

As for young earth creationism, I'm sorry, but that hypothesis has already been disproven. There is no body of research supporting it, because all the evidence is against it.

I do sympathize with the frustration felt by those who believe there is a viable theory there if only people would take the time to research it. But it's hard to find support for research of a concept that has either already been disproven to scientists' satisfaction ("the earth is 6,000 years old"), or seems on the face of it to lead to a dead end ("God did it").

Flapdoodle
02-01-2006, 04:59 AM
I agree with Inspired. I also believe that Creation and Evolution are "equal theories." I think if I believe in one theory, I shouldn't be treated like an imbecile (as I have been in the past, here and elsewhere, though thankfully not by the majority of people whom I disagree with) who obviously has no knowledge because I simply state that I disagree with one Scientific Theory.

If I'm going to be 'won' to the 'other side,' as some might say, I as an intelligent human being, prefer to be given evidence to the contrary of what I believe, without being told I'm that my ignorance astounds the person giving that evidence to the contrary of what I believe.

Calling people names and otherwise insulting and intimidating them, in order to get people to either believe differently than they already do--or to get them to keep their mouth shut--almost always leads to heated arguments that get neither side anywhere. Further, I've seen that in a flame war, generally two posters will post over an extended period of time, and no one else will dare until both posters leave the thread.

Such a heated argument, in my opinion, is a lose/lose situation.


There's a good reason why they shouldn't be treated as theories. Because ID/Creationism isn't a theory.

If you want to disagree with a theory, you use its falsifiable hypothesis to prove that it is wrong. ID/Creationism doesn't have such a hypothesis - it's a conclusion (Supernatural entity created the Universe) that is looking for a theory.

I was quoting Richard Dawkins on a British TV show broadcast this week about ID/Creationism.

SeanDSchaffer
02-01-2006, 05:17 AM
And that is the danger of touting "Intelligent Design" as "science". It actually encourages people to stop looking for a natural explanation - why bother if it was a miracle?


I would have to disagree with this statement, Peggy, but only to a point. The theory of Intelligent Design does not always encourage people to stop looking for answers as to how certain things may have taken place. For instance, I've seen programs, on television, which try to explain Scientifically whether or not a specific Biblical Text has Scientific merit. For example, the question is raised, "Is it possible that the Red Sea actually parted for the Israelites?" Then, studies are done on the Red Sea itself and the weather phenomena that occur in that area; a model is built of the Red Sea and it is found that the parting of the Red Sea is a possibility. This does not say that the Red Sea did part for Moses and the Israelites; it simply tries to figure out whether or not such a thing is even possible.

In other words, if God claims to have done a particular thing, we humans want to know 1) is it physically possible for this miracle to have occured at all?, and 2) is it possible it could have taken place in the particular way that the Bible seems to describe?


But you will note that I disagreed only in part with what you said. I do agree with you to a small extent, in that touting Intelligent Design as Science can be dangerous. Such a touting presupposes the existence of God. In the same way, how many Evolutionists (not all, but many) presuppose the non-existence of God is just as dangerous as presupposing there is a God. If Science is an objective thing, it must by its nature start out without presupposition for or against any particular idea. The presupposition for or against any particular thought or idea goes against what even Grade Schoolers are taught so far as Science is concerned.

The point I'm making is, that presupposition on either side for either idea (God or no God) will most certainly have a negative effect on the way Science is perceived and practiced. Presupposition is, so far as I've seen, the bane of any real Scientific practice.

SeanDSchaffer
02-01-2006, 05:25 AM
I'm sorry. If you believe the two are equal theories, than you are continuing to misuse the term "theory."
But until that time and effort is spent, it is not a theory.

Perhaps the potential for a theory is there. But first what you need is the research. You need hypotheses proposed about the 6-day creation and 6,000 year old planet that can be tested. You need those hypotheses to withstand that testing. Then you need those tests independently corroborated.

Intellegent Design proponents have not produced a single testable hypothesis. Thus they have not even begun on the road that would take their claim into the realm of "scientific theory." Perhaps there is a potential theory there, waiting to be devised, but first ID proponents need to stop acting like political pundits and start acting like scientists.

As for young earth creationism, I'm sorry, but that hypothesis has already been disproven. There is no body of research supporting it, because all the evidence is against it.

I do sympathize with the frustration felt by those who believe there is a viable theory there if only people would take the time to research it. But it's hard to find support for research of a concept that has either already been disproven to scientists' satisfaction ("the earth is 6,000 years old"), or seems on the face of it to lead to a dead end ("God did it").


I think I see what you're saying. For something to be a Scientific Theory, it first has to be studied properly. If it is not studied properly, then by the Scientific Method, it cannot be considered a Scientific Theory....simply because Science has not properly studied the idea.

I think I understand now, why the argument is so heated. Creationists, for the most part, are not willing to give anything more than emotional or faith-based evidence, whereas Science demands factual evidence to be studied. It requires hard evidence that can be studied thoroughly.

You make a very good point.

Flapdoodle
02-01-2006, 05:37 AM
I would have to disagree with this statement, Peggy, but only to a point. The theory of Intelligent Design does not always encourage people to stop looking for answers as to how certain things may have taken place. For instance, I've seen programs, on television, which try to explain Scientifically whether or not a specific Biblical Text has Scientific merit. For example, the question is raised, "Is it possible that the Red Sea actually parted for the Israelites?" Then, studies are done on the Red Sea itself and the weather phenomena that occur in that area; a model is built of the Red Sea and it is found that the parting of the Red Sea is a possibility. This does not say that the Red Sea did part for Moses and the Israelites; it simply tries to figure out whether or not such a thing is even possible.

In other words, if God claims to have done a particular thing, we humans want to know 1) is it physically possible for this miracle to have occured at all?, and 2) is it possible it could have taken place in the particular way that the Bible seems to describe?


But you will note that I disagreed only in part with what you said. I do agree with you to a small extent, in that touting Intelligent Design as Science can be dangerous. Such a touting presupposes the existence of God. In the same way, how many Evolutionists (not all, but many) presuppose the non-existence of God is just as dangerous as presupposing there is a God. If Science is an objective thing, it must by its nature start out without presupposition for or against any particular idea. The presupposition for or against any particular thought or idea goes against what even Grade Schoolers are taught so far as Science is concerned.

The point I'm making is, that presupposition on either side for either idea (God or no God) will most certainly have a negative effect on the way Science is perceived and practiced. Presupposition is, so far as I've seen, the bane of any real Scientific practice.

Nice post.

I'm a bit baffled by what you are trying to say at the start.

The bible says the red sea parted.
Scientists produce a model showing that weather patterns can cause this to happen.

Surely what has been proved is that it's not a miracle - intervention by God(s) is not required to explain what the bible is describing. This leads towards a theory that the biblical texts are using events passed down in folklore as a setting for their story (I believe there's a Q source.)

SeanDSchaffer
02-01-2006, 06:02 AM
Nice post.

I'm a bit baffled by what you are trying to say at the start.

The bible says the red sea parted.
Scientists produce a model showing that weather patterns can cause this to happen.

Surely what has been proved is that it's not a miracle - intervention by God(s) is not required to explain what the bible is describing. This leads towards a theory that the biblical texts are using events passed down in folklore as a setting for their story (I believe there's a Q source.)


First, thank you for the compliment on the post. I appreciate it.

Second, that you have given your opinion of the example I provided in my post that you quoted, is the point, I believe, to Science.

I hold to the idea that Science is an objective thing, that is willing to look at both sides of the spectrum--what is accepted as fact by Science and what is not accepted as fact by Science--without using a preconceived idea to cloud a Scientist's judgment.

I believe it is not the place of the Scientist to preach that 'My way is right; your way is wrong.' Rather, I believe it is the place of the Scientist to say, "This is what my studies have shown me about [insert idea here]." Nothing more, nothing less.

The reason I believe what I do about Science is that if a Scientist preaches their view as God-given Fact, then that preachiness takes away from their credibility. Many people will no longer look upon the preachy Scientist as a trustworthy source of information, for the same reason many people will not listen to a door-to-door preacher. Many people feel that their right as an intelligent human being, to make their own decision, is somehow being violated.

That's why I look at God and Science working together as a possibility. If the religious people and the non-religious would both look into the mere possibility that they can learn from the other side in a profitable manner, I believe Science and Faith in God will both be able to thrive in a way that they never have before.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
02-01-2006, 07:35 AM
I think I see what you're saying. For something to be a Scientific Theory, it first has to be studied properly. If it is not studied properly, then by the Scientific Method, it cannot be considered a Scientific Theory....simply because Science has not properly studied the idea.That's the right idea. To be precise, for something to be a scientific theory, it has to conform to the definition of a scientific theory. That sounds circular, but really, you don't call a thing an apple unless it's the fruit of the apple tree, and you don't call any old proposition a scientific theory unless it is supported by all the research needed to merit the term "scientific theory."

If you click the link I provided in my earlier post, you'll not only see links to various explanations of what the scientific terms "hypothesis," "theory," and "law" actually mean, but you'll get to reread that long thread about Epicman's book. The reason people got so annoyed with Epicman is he insisted on calling his concept a scientific theory even though 1) he had conducted no primary research (instead of performing experiments to test hypotheses, he just read a lot), and 2) he could cite no instances of others corroborating his research. He kept saying, "I came up with this theory," as if it were as simple as one person coming out of a laboratory and yelling "Eureka! I've discovered the Theory of Intelligent Design!"


I think I understand now, why the argument is so heated. Creationists, for the most part, are not willing to give anything more than emotional or faith-based evidence, whereas Science demands factual evidence to be studied. It requires hard evidence that can be studied thoroughly.Yes, exactly. Those who want to "prove Evolution wrong" want to dignify their claims with a term it has not earned. Imagine how people who'd earned Ph.D.s would react if you just started calling yourself a doctor because you felt like it!

It gets even more obnoxious when they want their faith-based claims taken on faith simply because they are matters of faith. They want them treated as science, but they don't want to subject them to scientific inquiry. I totally respect that God's existence is a matter of faith that ought not to be subject to the laboratory, sure, but if the goal is to have science proclaim God's existence, then the sacred cow attitude has to be discarded and the testable hypotheses need to hit the table.

Peggy
02-01-2006, 08:16 AM
The reason I believe what I do about Science is that if a Scientist preaches their view as God-given Fact, then that preachiness takes away from their credibility. Many people will no longer look upon the preachy Scientist as a trustworthy source of information, for the same reason many people will not listen to a door-to-door preacher. Many people feel that their right as an intelligent human being, to make their own decision, is somehow being violated.I think sometimes scientists end up sounding "preachy" without necessarily intending to. Sometimes it's because they are trying to explain a complex idea to an audience that simply doesn't have the background to understand the details. Sometimes it's because the scientist thinks, fairly or unfairly, the audience would be unable to undertand the evidence. Sometimes it is out of frustration, when the scientist is trying to explain to someone who has made up his mind without even trying to understand the evidence. For example, modern population genetics is a complicated mixture of genetics, molecular biology and statistics. Most people aren't really willing to sit through a lecture on how it all works, and really do have to take the scientists' word that it shows what they say it does.
SeanDSchaffer[/b]]I would have to disagree with this statement, Peggy, but only to a point. The theory of Intelligent Design does not always encourage people to stop looking for answers as to how certain things may have taken place. For instance, I've seen programs, on television, which try to explain Scientifically whether or not a specific Biblical Text has Scientific merit. For example, the question is raised, "Is it possible that the Red Sea actually parted for the Israelites?" Then, studies are done on the Red Sea itself and the weather phenomena that occur in that area; a model is built of the Red Sea and it is found that the parting of the Red Sea is a possibility. This does not say that the Red Sea did part for Moses and the Israelites; it simply tries to figure out whether or not such a thing is even possible.There is a major difference between Intelligent Design, and your example of the parting of the Red Sea. As Nicole has pointed out, Intelligent Design "theory" does not actually make any testable predictions. In its present state it simply says "anything not adequately explained by evolutionary theory is due to divine intervention". In contrast, your Red Sea example makes a specific prediction that can be tested.
Surely what has been proved is that it's not a miracle - intervention by God(s) is not required to explain what the bible is describing. This leads towards a theory that the biblical texts are using events passed down in folklore as a setting for their story (I believe there's a Q source.)Flapdoodle makes a good point. If you can show that the miraculous events in the Bible could have be caused by ordinary natural forces, it actually takes away from the divine nature of those events.

Peggy
02-01-2006, 08:23 AM
Imagine how people who'd earned Ph.D.s would react if you just started calling yourself a doctor because you felt like it!There is no need for people to falsely call themselves a Ph.D. when the degree can be purchased from a prestigious non-accredited university for a mere few hundred dollars.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
02-01-2006, 08:49 AM
There is no need for people to falsely call themselves a Ph.D. when the degree can be purchased from a prestigious non-accredited university for a mere few hundred dollars.Yeeeeeesh. So, yeah. Buy one of them For Sale Ph.D.s, and try to say that makes you a doctor, and it's pretty much like just cogitatin' really hard about the creation of life on earth and calling your conclusions a scientific theory.

(You can also purchase the title "Reverend", too. I know some people who have, just because they could and they thought it was funny.)

So now what I wanna know is, who on this thread done sicced Opinions Outpost onto me? I hadn't but hit Submit on that post five minutes ago, but the phone rings and it's some guy wanting to ask me a survey about teaching Intelligent Design in public schools. Like, what the hell?

Peggy
02-01-2006, 08:56 AM
So now what I wanna know is, who on this thread done sicced Opinions Outpost onto me? I hadn't but hit Submit on that post five minutes ago, but the phone rings and it's some guy wanting to ask me a survey about teaching Intelligent Design in public schools. Like, what the hell?They obviously monitor Absolute Write to see who has an informed opinion. (The only time I had a pollster call, the first 5 questions were about household income and investment, which I found intrusive, so I hung up.)

SeanDSchaffer
02-01-2006, 09:39 AM
I think sometimes scientists end up sounding "preachy" without necessarily intending to. Sometimes it's because they are trying to explain a complex idea to an audience that simply doesn't have the background to understand the details. Sometimes it's because the scientist thinks, fairly or unfairly, the audience would be unable to undertand the evidence. Sometimes it is out of frustration, when the scientist is trying to explain to someone who has made up his mind without even trying to understand the evidence. For example, modern population genetics is a complicated mixture of genetics, molecular biology and statistics. Most people aren't really willing to sit through a lecture on how it all works, and really do have to take the scientists' word that it shows what they say it does.
....Snipped.


I think I can understand, to a point, the issue you're referring to. In a simplified sense, it would be like trying to explain High School Geometry to a toddler. The toddler is barely learning how to walk and talk, so High School Geometry would be beyond their comprehension at that particular point in their lives.

And the constant question of 'Why?' that young toddlers have a tendency to ask would not help the teacher in such an already frustrating situation.

I think I understand the situation much better now.


Also, I can see where average people saying, "I read somewhere that this could be possible; therefore I expect Scientists who've studied [insert subject here] to accept everything I say as equally feasible to what they believe," would be quite problematic and even insulting to those who've dedicated their lives to their particular subject of study.

Kind of like someone telling Henry Ford how to build a Model T.

reph
02-01-2006, 10:24 AM
In the same way, how many Evolutionists (not all, but many) presuppose the non-existence of God is just as dangerous as presupposing there is a God. If Science is an objective thing, it must by its nature start out without presupposition for or against any particular idea....

The point I'm making is, that presupposition on either side for either idea (God or no God) will most certainly have a negative effect on the way Science is perceived and practiced.
Sean, don't think I'm picking on you if I add some corrections to the ones already posted. I see evidence of misunderstanding in the quoted part of your post.

First of all, there aren't any "evolutionists." There are geneticists and palaeontologists and other scientists with various specialties. We don't call people who study car engines combustionists. But that's only a point about terminology.

The more important point has to do with presuppositions about God. Scientists don't start from a belief that there's no God. Their religious beliefs are irrelevant to their scientific work. (The religious beliefs of so-called creation scientists should be irrelevant, too, but in reality they aren't. These investigators start with the purpose of proving what the Bible says. I say "so-called" because their methods don't qualify as solid science.)

The history of life on earth, as scientists try to trace it, isn't a religious subject; it's a scientific one. Research on that subject can never lead to a proof or disproof of God's existence. That's not what it's for. In valid research, believing in God or not doesn't influence a scientist's conclusions any more than drinking coffee or not does. Personally, I'd give more weight to the influence of coffee, particularly when the scientist works against a deadline.

You spoke of the influence of presuppositions on the way science is "perceived and practiced." About the "perceived" part, I agree that presuppositions are influential. But it isn't scientists' presuppositions about God that have an influence. It's the presupposition by members of the public that scientists are atheists or that they have an antireligion agenda.

Peggy
02-01-2006, 10:29 AM
I think I can understand, to a point, the issue you're referring to. In a simplified sense, it would be like trying to explain High School Geometry to a toddler. The toddler is barely learning how to walk and talk, so High School Geometry would be beyond their comprehension at that particular point in their lives. I didn't mean it quite like that. A toddler doesn't have the cognitive skills to learn geometry even if he wanted to. Most adults do have the ability to learn the basics of science if they are truly interested . It's just that most people find their eyes glazing over when it gets down to the nitty gritty details.
And the constant question of 'Why?' that young toddlers have a tendency to ask would not help the teacher in such an already frustrating situation.It's not so much asking "Why" - finding members of the general public who are truly interested in understanding the "why" are few and far between. The annoying ones are those who say "nuh uh you're wrong" without really even trying to understand what they don't agree with.
Also, I can see where average people saying, "I read somewhere that this could be possible; therefore I expect Scientists who've studied [insert subject here] to accept everything I say as equally feasible to what they believe," would be quite problematic and even insulting to those who've dedicated their lives to their particular subject of study. Yeah, more like that.

Also, many scientists have a definite lack of "people skills" which is no problem when spending long days at the lab, but definitely a drawback when trying to explain the science to a general audience.

SeanDSchaffer
02-01-2006, 01:44 PM
Snipped....
It's not so much asking "Why" - finding members of the general public who are truly interested in understanding the "why" are few and far between. The annoying ones are those who say "nuh uh you're wrong" without really even trying to understand what they don't agree with.
....Snipped.


You know? This subject brought me to a point earlier today where I wanted to find out what my Bible had to say about its purpose in the scientific world. What I found surprised me, and was quite liberating at the same time.

An old Scripture came to my mind that I used to quote regularly. It says that "All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (II Timothy 3:16)

One thing it does not say it is profitable for, or even meant for, is the figuring out of how God created the Universe. Sure, in the book of Genesis it says "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth," but what it does not say is how everything came together, how old the Earth is, or the science behind God's Creation. It simply says He spoke and it happened.

This, of course, was only one Scripture, so I looked up another one (I Timothy 6:20) to see if it also backed up what was being said. Sure enough, where the Bible is concerned, the arguments of whether the world evolved or was created is not the main goal, nor is considered profitable toward one's faith or faithfulness toward God. The Bible is not a scientific textbook and is not intended to be one. Rather, it is meant, if I understand it correctly, to instruct people in the ways of right and good and how we can be right with God.

That is what is so liberating to me as a Christian. The fact that I can look into other viewpoints with an open mind as to how the world came into being without fear of the punishment of God coming down upon me, gives me a great sense of joy. That He won't send me to Hell for believing other than what I was taught by the Church about Creation versus Evolution, is indeed very liberating.

I found this out just a few minutes ago, and thought it would be cool to tell you guys.


I'll talk to you all later.
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

Mac H.
02-01-2006, 03:27 PM
Sorry. I don't agree. I haven't seen anything that proves evolution, just changes WITHIN species over time. Nothing indicates a change in species.Surely we can all agree that the influenza virus is constantly mutating, and that natural selection is determining which mutations survive to mutate next season.

That's evolution. Evolution isn't just large changes (across species), it is also small changes (within species). Surely as a science teacher you understand that !

We know for a fact that new species are being created all the time. (Even in the last century alone we have examples like Primula kewensis and Phylloscopus trochiloides) That last example is particularly interesting, because we even have all the intermediate forms with only minor changes between them - but at the two ends they are distinct species. That's living proof that minor genetic changes DO accumulate to create new species. And since we know that mutations are a source of minor genetic change, what is so unbelievable about that being a cause of speciation ?

If you don't belief that mutation and natural selection is the explanation for new species being generated, then what is the alternative explanation?

An interesting thought - if you did find evidence that new species can be created via mutation and selection, would it make a difference to your faith?

If not, then why is it so important ?

Mac

Inspired
02-01-2006, 03:41 PM
If you don't belief that mutation and natural selection is the explanation for new species being generated, then what is the alternative explanation?

An interesting thought - if you did find evidence that new species can be created via mutation and selection, would it make a difference to your faith?

If not, then why is it so important ?

Mac

First, I don't think there are new species, only new variations of old species - over thousands of years, not millions.

I certainly believe that God is powerful enough to have started evolution - that's why I understand that side of it.

However, it is important to me, because I believe the Word of God is true - every word. So, if the Bible says God created it in six days, and the time line of the Bible indicates the Earth is about 6000 years ago, and there was a global flood - I do believe it. To say otherwise, would mean that there are errors in the Bible. I will never believe that.

Here's one thing I don't do. I don't look at science and try to make the Bible fit. I do look at the Bible and say "Hmmm. I wonder how science looks at that issue." I see both sides, I truly do.

To me, the Creation theory (I still maintain it's a theory - and I know the secular scientists will never fund the study of it) has validity. Not just because the Bible said so. That doesn't work for people who don't believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.

From a scientific viewpoint, the more I explore, the more connections I make to a living, loving, complex God who has done things Mankind can never understand or accept.

Through this discussion, I found I don't like debating. Do you mind if I drop this? I do feel the need to defend God because that is one of my responsibilities as a disciple, but it's more stress than I need right now. I have a curriculum project due in 3 weeks and still am in rough draft stage. And, I've got stress at my full-time job. Please don't think I'm "wimping out" because I'm dropping out of this. It's an important topic to me, but I don't have time (nor the personality!) to fully devote to a debate.

reph
02-02-2006, 12:00 AM
The Bible is not a scientific textbook and is not intended to be one. Rather, it is meant, if I understand it correctly, to instruct people in the ways of right and good and how we can be right with God.

That is what is so liberating to me as a Christian. The fact that I can look into other viewpoints with an open mind as to how the world came into being without fear of the punishment of God coming down upon me, gives me a great sense of joy.
Sean, it sounds like good news to me. There are many ways to understand the Bible. All along, I've been thinking that if I want an answer to a scientific question, I look in a scientific document, not a religious document.

I suppose some Christians will regard your liberation as a step onto a wrong path. If they think God punishes people for open-mindedness, no wonder. And no wonder.

Peggy
02-02-2006, 12:17 AM
This, of course, was only one Scripture, so I looked up another one (I Timothy 6:20) to see if it also backed up what was being said. Sure enough, where the Bible is concerned, the arguments of whether the world evolved or was created is not the main goal, nor is considered profitable toward one's faith or faithfulness toward God. The Bible is not a scientific textbook and is not intended to be one. Rather, it is meant, if I understand it correctly, to instruct people in the ways of right and good and how we can be right with God. That is my own personal belief, and, I suspect, the belief of most Christian scientists. Thanks for sharing that.

SeanDSchaffer
02-02-2006, 12:24 AM
Sean, it sounds like good news to me. There are many ways to understand the Bible. All along, I've been thinking that if I want an answer to a scientific question, I look in a scientific document, not a religious document.

I suppose some Christians will regard your liberation as a step onto a wrong path. If they think God punishes people for open-mindedness, no wonder. And no wonder.


I really do think it is good news, Reph, because when I read my Bible on the issue of Creation, God says, "I said, and it happened." He does not, however, say, "I said, it happened, and here are the mechanics behind how it happened."

This opens a door, in my opinion, to free study among Humanity, as well as the freedom to say, "I think the world may have come into being through these mechanics instead of those over there."

I remember something C.B. DeMille said in the opening to his movie The Ten Commandments, that I think would be important and profitable to this discussion.

He referred to the story of Moses as, "The story of the birth of freedom."

I look back at Exodus Chapter 20, in which is the first list of the Ten Commandments in the Bible, and nowhere in those Ten Commandments do I find anything prohibiting free thought or speculation. They are laws concerning the Spiritual and Moral issues of the Human Race, which to God (at least it would seem to me) are the most important issues of all.

So now, though I have changed my view on the reasons God and Science can work together, I believe more so than I did before, that God and Science can work together because of the freedom God (not religion, but God Himself) allows Science to practice. In the case of how the Earth came into being, he gives a few basics and then gives us the ability to speculate and theorize to our hearts' content.


And to your statement about many Christians' attitudes toward my liberation, I think you're right. Any time someone has questioned the status quo of the day, many people of many faiths have been there to call that someone 'heretic' or 'wrong thinker.'

But the liberation I found last night through prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, and listening to what the words actually mean instead of what people tell me they should mean, is well worth the name-calling I am pretty sure I am going to endure now at the hands of, most likely, other Christians.

SeanDSchaffer
02-02-2006, 12:26 AM
That is my own personal belief, and, I suspect, the belief of most Christian scientists. Thanks for sharing that.


You're very welcome.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

NicoleJLeBoeuf
02-02-2006, 12:31 AM
This argument reminds me of a quote from one of Sheri Tepper's novels, in which the main character receives a knock on the noggin and, while unconscious, dreams herself conversing with God. And Tepper's version of God says,

"I put My Word into every rock and stone of My Creation. And then men come along and write books, and they say the books are true and the rocks are lying!"

If, as some Biblical Literalists say, the scientific evidence that disproves young earth creationism was actually fabricated by God to test our faith, what does that say about God? I mean, that He'd lie to us (via the fabricated evidence) to see if our faith in Him is strong enough to allow us to not be taken in by His own lies?

Or for that matter, what does it say about God that he'd give us eyes and a brain and then require us to prove our faith by disbelieving what our eyes and brain are telling us?

A God like that isn't anyone I'd consider worthy of worship, and that's the truth.

SeanDSchaffer
02-02-2006, 01:04 AM
Snipped....

If, as some Biblical Literalists say, the scientific evidence that disproves young earth creationism was actually fabricated by God to test our faith, what does that say about God? I mean, that He'd lie to us (via the fabricated evidence) to see if our faith in Him is strong enough to allow us to not be taken in by His own lies?

....Snipped.


Something comes to my mind when I read this. It's a Bible verse that says, "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man." The lengths some people will go to in order to make their beliefs legitimate (such as this idea that God fabricated evidence to test our faith) proves how little faith many people have in the God they claim to worship. It saddens me as a Christian, because it hurts the cause of my faith to say that God would do something He specifically said He wouldn't do.

It just irks me that people who believe in a perfect, sinless God would even suggest that he would lie to get people to believe the truths He tells. Yet, I'm sad to say, there are people like that.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
02-04-2006, 12:42 AM
I can imagine, however, that if this describes Inspired's beliefs, then this is why Inspired felt that everyone was demanding a defense of God (rather than just of Inspired's own beliefs). Of course, the actions of a God so described would be (by my lights and yours) indefensible.

Peggy
02-04-2006, 02:38 AM
Something comes to my mind when I read this. It's a Bible verse that says, "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man." The lengths some people will go to in order to make their beliefs legitimate (such as this idea that God fabricated evidence to test our faith) proves how little faith many people have in the God they claim to worship. It saddens me as a Christian, because it hurts the cause of my faith to say that God would do something He specifically said He wouldn't do.

It just irks me that people who believe in a perfect, sinless God would even suggest that he would lie to get people to believe the truths He tells. Yet, I'm sad to say, there are people like that.I think that is why some people are so insistant that there is scientific evidence for a young earth. The alternatives - either God planted false evidence or that their own beliefs are wrong - are unthinkable.

Contrary to the notion that "the evidence would be there if scientists would just try to prove a young earth", people have been trying to do that ever since idea of an ancient earth was formulated by James Hutton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hutton), more than 200 years ago (poor Hutton, Darwin gets all the credit). The attempts that I have seen seem to require some major assumptions: the scientific methods in use today are grossly inaccurate, the laws of nature were different a few thousand years ago, and/or the existing data is simply wrong. As more and more data is collected, there is more and more that needs to be explained away. As we discussed in the old creationism vs. evolution thread, this can set people up to lose their faith entirely when they begin to learn about real science.

SeanDSchaffer
02-04-2006, 05:18 AM
I think that is why some people are so insistant that there is scientific evidence for a young earth. The alternatives - either God planted false evidence or that their own beliefs are wrong - are unthinkable.

The thing is, that the Bible itself says that God's thoughts are not our thoughts, and our ways are not His ways. I guess it's hard for many Christians--as it was for me for some time until I realized what I mentioned a few posts up about the Bible not being a Scientific textbook--to change their beliefs that, many times, were taught them by a pastor or priest who him- or her-self is only human and therefore fallible. And I don't think many people like the idea of their early teachers being wrong. It's somehow almost a sacrilege to us to listen to someone who believes differently than what we were taught as young children.


Contrary to the notion that "the evidence would be there if scientists would just try to prove a young earth", people have been trying to do that ever since idea of an ancient earth was formulated by James Hutton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hutton), more than 200 years ago (poor Hutton, Darwin gets all the credit). The attempts that I have seen seem to require some major assumptions: the scientific methods in use today are grossly inaccurate, the laws of nature were different a few thousand years ago, and/or the existing data is simply wrong. As more and more data is collected, there is more and more that needs to be explained away. As we discussed in the old creationism vs. evolution thread, this can set people up to lose their faith entirely when they begin to learn about real science.


That's some interesting reading you linked to. Very educational.

I had a question about Darwin, that has been bothering me ever since I first heard about it in High School.

The class was 'Oral Communications,' and we were learning how to make speeches. One of the speeches had to do with Mr. Darwin and why the speaker believe evolution was wrong.

One of the 'proofs' the student used that Darwin was not fit to compose his theory was that "All he had a degree in was theology."

I was curious if Professor Darwin had any other education aside from that, because his theory is so widely accepted today and I have been told things before in the Name of Christ, though from the pulpit, that were misinformed.

Flapdoodle
02-04-2006, 05:45 AM
The thing is, that the Bible itself says that God's thoughts are not our thoughts, and our ways are not His ways. I guess it's hard for many Christians--as it was for me for some time until I realized what I mentioned a few posts up about the Bible not being a Scientific textbook--to change their beliefs that, many times, were taught them by a pastor or priest who him- or her-self is only human and therefore fallible. And I don't think many people like the idea of their early teachers being wrong. It's somehow almost a sacrilege to us to listen to someone who believes differently than what we were taught as young children.




That's some interesting reading you linked to. Very educational.

I had a question about Darwin, that has been bothering me ever since I first heard about it in High School.

The class was 'Oral Communications,' and we were learning how to make speeches. One of the speeches had to do with Mr. Darwin and why the speaker believe evolution was wrong.

One of the 'proofs' the student used that Darwin was not fit to compose his theory was that "All he had a degree in was theology."

I was curious if Professor Darwin had any other education aside from that, because his theory is so widely accepted today and I have been told things before in the Name of Christ, though from the pulpit, that were misinformed.

Darwin studied Medicine and then,later, theology. Your classmate failed to examine the range of studies peope did at the time Darwin was educated. There were only a handful of UNiversities in the UK, and they were all religious based. Darwin came form a family of freethinkers who did not have religious beliefs.

Theology means nothing in those times - it was simply a good career.

Darwin was given a state funeral.

He believed the old Testament was untrue.

Darwin was a Christian, but lost his faith and became an agnostic. He did not attend church.

The story that he refuted his agnosticism on his deathbed is NOT true. It's a myth that has been spread by Christian groups.

Darwin originally believed that there was a Creator, but quickly realised that this was not true. He was originally a follower of the "intelligent creator" theory, but his own work discredited that.

Darwin questioned. That is how he came up with his ideas. He questioned his theological education, his beliefs, and came up with a theory that goes contrary to religion. He questioned what he saw.

Darwin is credited with the idea, but a lot of other thinkers of the time had an inkling of evolution.

Darwin is considered to be one of the greatest Britons ever.

SeanDSchaffer
02-04-2006, 05:52 AM
Darwin studied Medicine and then,later, theology. Your classmate failed to examine the range of studies peope did at the time Darwin was educated. There were only a handful of UNiversities in the UK, and they were all religious based. Darwin came form a family of freethinkers who did not have religious beliefs.

Theology means nothing in those times - it was simply a good career.

....Snipped for Content.


Thanks, Flapdoodle. The part of your post I quoted above is what I wanted to know. The other details you mentioned, so far as my question goes, were quite irrelevant....and a little preachy, I might add. Nevertheless, I thank you for the information.

Peggy
02-04-2006, 06:39 AM
One of the 'proofs' the student used that Darwin was not fit to compose his theory was that "All he had a degree in was theology."

I was curious if Professor Darwin had any other education aside from that, because his theory is so widely accepted today and I have been told things before in the Name of Christ, though from the pulpit, that were misinformed.While it's true that he only had a degree in theology, as flapdoodle points out, he started out studying medicine. He took a number of courses in the sciences, and apparently had a particular interest in geology and what we would call "natural history" (such as collecting and categorizing beetles). Apparently his father pushed him towards studying for a profession, and the clergy was a respectable choice. Even while he was studying theology, he continued taking courses in the sciences, collecting specimens and other similar activities (There is a wikipedia article that probably has much more information than you are interested in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin's_education )

I believe that "gentleman scientists" such as Darwin were fairly common in the 1800s. Such men read the scientific literature of the day and corresponded with scientists, but didn't have a degree in the sciences themselves. The important thing to note is that Darwin was familiar with the details of latest scientific ideas and research in biology and geology. Today that would be difficult for an interested person without a science degree (and even someone with a degree in biology is unlikely to be very familiar with geology), but in 19th century England it was possible. Darwin wasn't alone - another naturalist by the name of Wallace (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Russel_Wallace) published his own evolutionary hypothesis at about the same time. It was an idea whose time had come.

Darwin's own religious beliefs are a matter of controversy. The problem is, of course, that we simply cannot know what was deep in his heart. What people seem to forget is that Darwin's religious beliefs don't have any bearing on our evaluation of his scientific ideas. If his hypotheses weren't supported by subsequent obsevations and experiments, they would have been discarded long ago. Over the last century his original ideas have been refined and updated, such that modern evolutionary theory has gone far beyond Darwin's original hypotheses (calling it "Darwinism" is about as accurate as calling modern genetics "Mendelism" or modern physics "Newtonism").

Inspired
02-04-2006, 07:07 AM
I can imagine, however, that if this describes Inspired's beliefs, then this is why Inspired felt that everyone was demanding a defense of God (rather than just of Inspired's own beliefs). Of course, the actions of a God so described would be (by my lights and yours) indefensible.

Just want to clarify. I don't believe that God lies to us or is testing our faith by giving us the Earth He has given us. I've never even heard of that theory of Christianity before.

I think some of us misinterpret the evidence.

I know, I know - you think I misinterpret it.

What about this idea? If God created the world in a mere 6 days, and you met Adam on the 7th day, you would've thought he was maybe 20 or 30 (or whatever Earth age he appeared to be) yet, he would've been only one day old. That is the belief of the "young earth creationists." Doesn't God have the power to create an Earth that is fully functioning on Day One?

Here are some verses that come to mind: 1 Cor. 2:5 . . .so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. (Actually, that whole chapter is very good for this discussion.)

Job 12: 7-10


7 "But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea inform you.

9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.

There's also Genesis 2:7, Psalm 19:1

I really, truly believe that God made the heavens and the earth within a week. No deception. No temptation to believe in something else (I believe that was brought about by man, not God.) God made us to be intelligent humans (I know - you think He made an exception with me ;-)) and He made us to have faith. Those who don't have faith, and many of those who do, rely on their intelligence and not on the faith aspect. They separate the two.

Some Christians believe that faith and The Word need to be in every aspect of life - even science.

SeanDSchaffer
02-04-2006, 08:05 AM
Thank you Peggy. I appreciate the way you explained that to me. It's easy sometimes to forget what life was like in the 1800's, because, well, we live in a different era.

I just wanted to find out the truth about Professor Darwin from people who really knew what they were talking about. As all I knew of his educational background was from one or two sources that were quite anti-Darwin, I feared that their observations would have been biased against him personally. This is something I despise when studying a person or event. I want to know the facts, and not people's opinions of what the facts mean.

Plus, I appreciate the links you've been supplying. I believe I've heard of Mr. Wallace somewhere before....back in High School, I think. I knew that evolutionary theory was around before Professor Darwin wrote Origin of Species. And I seem to remember hearing Mr. Wallace's name when I learned about evolution back in High School.

Personally, I agree with you on Professor Darwin's religious beliefs. They are something only he and God knew (and frankly, something only he and God should know). I believe that to judge someone's morality (or in this case faith) by their looks (or in this case beliefs about how the world came into being) is simply ludicrous. It makes no sense to me whatsoever that a Christian cannot believe in Evolution and still be a Christian.

At this present time, I am willing to say that God created the Earth in six literal days, but when that was exactly would be up for debate for me. I find nowhere in my Bible that tells me exactly when this happened. It only says 'In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth.' That's all I have to go on, because all I know is my Bible and a vague remembrance of what I learned in school concerning the Earth's age, how it was formed, etc.

As my Bible does not give an exact date as to when God's original Creation Week was, or an exact amount of time between the Creation itself and the time that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, I am very open to the idea that the Earth is far older than the 6,000 years that many Christians hold to.

reph
02-04-2006, 09:31 AM
Some Christians believe that faith and The Word need to be in every aspect of life - even science.
The problem, though, is that replacing the methods and findings of science with a religious story means that what you're doing is no longer science.

aruna
02-04-2006, 12:05 PM
We can most certainly agree to disagree.

Evolution - my take is that evolution happens in that things change over time but I don't believe we crawled up out of the slime.

Whether creation took place in 6 twenty-four hour days or 6 ten thousand year days just. doesn't. matter. to. me. I can't change it and I can't prove it and I have to live with the world as it is now. There are so many other more important things - things I can change - who cares ????

I believe God exists; I believe He has the power to have made the world in 6 twenty-four hour days - if He wanted to - but He didn't ask for my opinion then and He isn't asking now. I think there are other things He'd rather I focus my attention on. (And a bunch of other folks, too) If He'd been asking, I'd have told Him, 'God, you have a good thing going on here. When you get finished with the animals - stop. Just stop. You'll save Yourself a whole lot of trouble if You do.'

But like I said, He wasn't asking.....;)

What a wonderful post! You get a rep ppoint but I wanted to pat you on the back publicly as well!:Hug2:

aruna
02-04-2006, 12:08 PM
No, I meant that in a Christian forum one would think that others would realize that many Christians do not support the evolutionary theory. I would expect that it would be more accepted here than in a "secular" forum.

On a global basis, only a very tiny minority of Christians are Creationists. I live in Europe and most Christians here would totally ridicule the idea. Not trying to bash - just stating that believing in a 6-day creation is not something intrinsically Christian, or a part of the Christian belief system or Christian message per se.

Pat~
02-05-2006, 01:44 AM
I do believe Christianity and Science can work together, though it will take both sides admitting they do not know all the answers.

This little bit of science, by the way, is one reason why I believe in Intelligent Design: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/index.html

Flapdoodle
02-05-2006, 01:55 AM
I do believe Christianity and Science can work together, though it will take both sides admitting they do not know all the answers.

This little bit of science, by the way, is one reason why I believe in Intelligent Design: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/index.html

What's that page got to do with ID?

Science doesn't admit it knows all the answers. If science knew all the answers, there would be no need for science.

It is Creationists/ID people who claim to know all the answers by producing a "theory" that has no falsifiable hypothesis.

Flapdoodle
02-05-2006, 01:57 AM
On a global basis, only a very tiny minority of Christians are Creationists. I live in Europe and most Christians here would totally ridicule the idea. Not trying to bash - just stating that believing in a 6-day creation is not something intrinsically Christian, or a part of the Christian belief system or Christian message per se.

I went to a Catholic school in the UK, and we were taught that Genesis and the Old Testament are not to be taken literally.

Peggy
02-05-2006, 02:45 AM
I do believe Christianity and Science can work together, though it will take both sides admitting they do not know all the answers.

This little bit of science, by the way, is one reason why I believe in Intelligent Design: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/index.htmlThat's a cool page, thanks for pointing it out. There are many wonders in the universe. The idea that God (or other supernatural being) is involved in the design of the universe is not at odds with science.

Science doesn't claim to have all the answers. The problem is the assumption that science can either prove or disprove God's involvement. That is the basis of the outcry against the currently touted "Intelligent Design Theory" - it essentially says that anything that science cannot fully explain at this time MUST be due to an "intelligent designer". This simply isn't science - the involvement of God can't be studied, or tested, and the gaps in knowledge that "proove design" necessarily change as science progresses. 60 years ago, one of those "gaps" would have been how genetic information was passed from parent to child, 30 years ago one of those "gaps" would have been how a molcule that is neither a virus nor a bacterium can cause disease, and many more "gaps" are being filled in all the time. None of these new discoveries eliminates the involvement of God; they simply cannot comment on God's involvement one way or another.

SeanDSchaffer
02-05-2006, 02:57 AM
What's that page got to do with ID?

Science doesn't admit it knows all the answers. If science knew all the answers, there would be no need for science.

It is Creationists/ID people who claim to know all the answers by producing a "theory" that has no falsifiable hypothesis.


(Raises hand)

I believe that God created the Earth, and admit that I don't have all the answers. And I'm not sure, but I believe Pat was inferring that she admits she doesn't have them all either.

You'll find more Creationists that believe they don't have all the answers than you might think. You just don't recognize them because the majority of them aren't vocal about it.

Many of them--myself included, up until I began responding to the religious threads a couple weeks ago--equate those who are vocal about their beliefs with fanaticism. In my case it was because I was raised in a Church that was full of fanatics* who were very vocal about it. They made themselves look like idiots, and I, for one, did not want to be equated with people like that.

I think you'll find a great many people who are firm in the idea that God created the Earth, simply don't tell anyone what they believe because they're afraid of looking like the fanatics* they may have been raised around.


*By fanatics I mean people who proclaim that God will send you to Hell, etc., etc., etc., if you don't believe everything they tell you.

SeanDSchaffer
02-05-2006, 03:15 AM
Snipped....

Science doesn't claim to have all the answers. The problem is the assumption that science can either prove or disprove God's involvement. That is the basis of the outcry against the currently touted "Intelligent Design Theory" - it essentially says that anything that science cannot fully explain at this time MUST be due to an "intelligent designer". This simply isn't science - the involvement of God can't be studied, or tested, and the gaps in knowledge that "proove design" necessarily change as science progresses. 60 years ago, one of those "gaps" would have been how genetic information was passed from parent to child, 30 years ago one of those "gaps" would have been how a molcule that is neither a virus nor a bacterium can cause disease, and many more "gaps" are being filled in all the time. None of these new discoveries eliminates the involvement of God; they simply cannot comment on God's involvement one way or another.


When I was in Elementary School, I watched a movie that tried to explain this idea by using a self-portrait on glass and a mirror.

First, the self-portrait on glass was shattered, showing shards of the picture.

It explained that current Scientific Practice (circa 1979 or so) looked at each piece of that picture separately via the different sciences in an attempt to figure out the entire subject of the picture. But because the picture had been shattered, the Scientists could only look at part of the entire picture at a time.

Second, the movie gave itself seven years of bad luck by shattering the mirror.

But the explanation here was that with the mirror, one could still study their face in full, because the mirror shard gave a reflection of the entire subject that was being studied.

Basically what the movie was trying to explain was how Science works now (the self-portrait on glass), and how Science hopes to work sometime in the future (the mirror).

I thought it was a very educational story even at the time, and today I look at it and try to remember that each division within the scientific community has a different shard of the portrait to examine, but does not have the ability as of yet to study the subject in all its entirety because it's only studying a part of it at one time. The idea of studying it all at once with the mirror shard is there, but how to accomplish that idea is the mystery.

The movie ended on a very positive "Someday we hope" note, as in someday we hope to be able to study the whole picture all at one time.

aruna
02-05-2006, 10:26 AM
(Raises hand)


I think you'll find a great many people who are firm in the idea that God created the Earth, simply don't tell anyone what they believe because they're afraid of looking like the fanatics* they may have been raised around.



Sean, believing that God - ie, a superior intelligence, a single cosmic power - created the earth is not the problem; the question is HOW... whether slowly, over billions of years, or quickly, in a week. THAT is the issue at hand!

Though my respect for that power is such that I believe it could, if it so wanted, do it in seven days, I don't see why it shouldn't follow its own rules, and do things slowly!!! My own experience of how God works is that He's NEVER in a rush!:)

Anyway, I'd like to thank you for your sensible and calm contributions to this debate.

SeanDSchaffer
02-05-2006, 10:43 AM
Sean, believing that God - ie, a superior intelligence, a single cosmic power - created the earth is not the problem; the question is HOW... whether slowly, over billions of years, or quickly, in a week. THAT is the issue at hand!

That makes sense. Right on.


Though my respect for that power is such that I believe it could, if it so wanted, do it in seven days, I don't see why it shouldn't follow its own rules, and do things slowly!!! My own experience of how God works is that He's NEVER in a rush!http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

Good point! I never thought about it quite that way before. But judging by how God normally works in my own life, I'd have to say it definitely makes sense.


Anyway, I'd like to thank you for your sensible and calm contributions to this debate.

You're very welcome. I'm finding it so much easier to debate when I do so with a good, calm, open attitude toward it.

theengel
02-10-2006, 05:38 AM
I just saw this thread...It reminded me of an article I recently published in my newsletter:



The Knowledge We Find in Faith

The ultimate question in every society is the question of why we’re here. It stems from the deep rooted part of our nature that tells us we were put here by someone (or something) and that this creator deserves some sort of homage.

We can assume that this is part of our nature on the basis that so many people are devoted to disproving the concept. Just as we can see evidence of a natural conscience by looking at the enemies of society who have ignored their own conscience. It is in the exception that we see the rules. We would never call Hitler an outrage if we couldn’t differentiate between right and wrong. And Darwin’s theories would never have rocked the world if it wasn’t contradicting what the world already recognized as truth.

And as Darwin first gave us a troubling theory that was so contrary to our nature, there then proceeded an avalanche of evidence to support it…but in all the evidence, never came closer to answering that original question…why are we here?

We hear about selective breeding, and giant monster theories (there to support the theories of evolution, but based on the same theories that they support). And each theory leaves more open ended questions. Not the way understanding leads to deeper meditation. Not the way we find God more mysterious with every revelation. But the way a lie will snowball as it rolls downhill.

The rolling theories of atheism are nearing the bottom of the hill; and for all its enormity, the ball still hasn’t answered anything. Instead of asking ‘why are we here’ they asked ‘how are we here’, and then assumed we would all be satisfied with the distraction. Sadly, a lot of people were satisfied…even though they haven’t even answered that question.

They replaced ‘God put us here’ with ‘Time put us here’. As if the only objection to a world creating itself was that there wouldn’t be enough time to do it. And while Time becomes the new god for a godless age, the atheist is left trying to answer the trivial questions that the Christian never bothered to ask. Questions like, “Where are the genes and chemicals that make a man and a woman want to be together?” Or, “What is the physical link between a man’s passion and his intellect?” The Christian never asked these questions because they were answered in his acceptance of the faith.

It was in accepting the answer to that ultimate question of our existence that confusion disappeared. While the Darwinist is still contemplating the mystery of life, the Christian is off enjoying the fullness of life.

The ones opposed to traditional marriage are searching for proofs that love stems from hormones or societal expectations. And while they try to conform society with their studies, statistics, and scientific research, the Christian has given in to these natural inclinations. The Christian is enjoying love, while the skeptic is trying to disprove it.

While the scientist looks for a formula to control passion and enhance (or subdue) intellect, the Christian discovers the self inflicted will power that allows passion and intellect to enhance each other.

This is what it means to believe in Christ. Not in accepting the unexplainable, but in enjoying the explained. The only real leap of faith was in believing something that seemed too good to be true. That we’re here to serve our creator, and that through this we can find perfect happiness.

This is the answer to everything. This one simple truth is the key to all others. Without it, we can only chase mysteries that have no end…like a dog chasing its tail, when all he has to do is stop turning.

mdin
02-10-2006, 08:53 AM
Yes. Atheists are so miserable.

Puddle Jumper
02-15-2006, 04:54 AM
Yes. Atheists are so miserable.
The ones I've met sure seem to be. And it's like their on this crusade to make everyone an atheist which seems rather odd to me. Spread the disbelief.