August 25, 2008

Atheistic Naturalism

(Part 1) To start this quest we must lay the ground and get things defined to understand each point.

I am not attempting to plagiarize, but to highlight and advertise the points made. I originally saw it in a Christian Research "Journal" and subsequently found it online *, I thought there would be quite a bit of typing. The brilliant work here is solely Phillip E. Johnson who is considered the father of the intelligent design movement.

First, Darwinian theory tells us how a certain amount of diversity in life forms can develop once we have various types of complex living organisms already are in existence. When the theory is understood in this limited sense, Darwinian evolution is uncontroversial and has no important philosophical or theological implications.

Evolutionary biologists are not content merely to explain how variation occurs within limits, however. They aspire to answer a much broader question-which is how complex organisms like birds, and flowers, and human beings came into existence in the first place. The Darwinian answer to this second question is that the creative force that produced complex plants and animals from single-celled predecessors over long stretches of geological time is essentially the same as the mechanism that produces variations in flowers, insects, and domestic animals before our very eyes. In the words of Ernst Mayr, the dean of living Darwinists, "transpacific evolution [i.e., macroevolution] is nothing but an extrapolation and magnification of the events that take place within populations and species." Neo-Darwinian evolution in this broad sense is a philosophical doctrine so lacking in empirical support that Mayr's successor at Harvard, Stephen Jay Gould, once pronounced it in a reckless moment to be "effectively dead." Yet neo-Darwinism is far from dead; on the contrary, it is continually proclaimed in the textbooks and the media as unchallengeable fact. How does it happen that so many scientists and intellectuals, who pride themselves on their empiricism and open-mindedness, continue to accept an unempirical theory as scientific fact?

The answer to that question lies in the definition of five key terms. The terms are creationism, evolution, science, religion, and truth. Once we understand how these words are used in evolutionary discourse, the continued ascendancy of neo-Darwinism will be no mystery and we need no longer be deceived by claims that the theory is supported by "overwhelming evidence."

CRI adds: "The debate between creationism and Darwinism is often depicted as a dispute between naive biblical literalists, who ignore the overwhelming evidence for evolution, and scientifically enlightened intellectuals. But this is a caricature that serves the purpose of helping to perpetuate a world view hostile to Christian faith: atheistic naturalism."

(*Copied Source)

40 comments:

  1. Not much content here so far. I'll just mention that Johnson's paper is now dated, and both Mayr and Gould have died in the meantime. One statement deserves quoting:

    Neo-Darwinian evolution in this broad sense is a philosophical doctrine so lacking in empirical support that Mayr's successor at Harvard, Stephen Jay Gould, once pronounced it in a reckless moment to be "effectively dead."

    First- this is a good example of shameless quote-mining from the late Gould, who would be spinning in his grave if he weren't dead. What Gould objected to in Neodarwinism was what he regarded as the excessive reliance on what he called "just-so stories", scenarios made up to explain some adaptation. Whether or not he was justified is beside the point: Gould was given to using colorful language to defend himself, but he most certainly did not doubt macroevolution, and he was a lifelong foe of "creation science".

    Second- Johnson is a professor of law, and knows zilch about evolution. There is a great deal of empirical evidence for macroevolution, as I and others have argued here. Not that all lawyers are dishonest, but they are hired not to get at the truth, but to defend clients. And the originator of the "wedge strategy" is not necessarily the best source for objective analysis of the evidence.

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  2. I've already talked about Philip Johnson here and here.

    That second link itself links to where his strictly religious reasons for ID came about.

    Though any further discussion of him should take place here so as to not confuse things.

    Basically, the man's been refuted and his misquotes have been exposed.

    So I'm not going to be too impressed by what he has to say.

    Neither was this guy.

    He's written a very detailed review of Johnson.

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  3. Reynold,
    I read an article recently where Michael Mednev of the DI has stated that ID is not a theory but merely a "challenge" to evolution.
    I have tried to find the article but I can't seem to locate it.
    Have you seen it?

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  4. All,
    I found the Medved quote.
    You can find a discussion of the Medved quote at the Panda's Thumb.

    "The important thing about Intelligent Design is that it is not a theory - which is something I think they need to make more clear. Nor is Intelligent Design an explanation. Intelligent Design is a challenge. It's a challenge to evolution. It does not replace evolution with something else."

    It looks like the Discovery Institute is changing direction again.

    Since they have been embarrased with the release of the "Wedge Document," and more recently, the dishonesty of Behe (Judge Jones said this, not me,) at the Dover Trial, it is obvious that their direction and concept are wrong, and they can see this.
    They have been back in their corner brooding since the Dover Trial and I have been waiting to see where they are going next.

    The only thing they have done revently is back the initiatives to alter science classes in Florida and Texas.

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  5. Dan,
    Who is the "CSI" you referred to?

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  6. Dale,

    I appreciate that but I made a mistake and have since changed it.

    I was referring to CRI

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  7. Zilch:

         So, what is this question you say you politely asked but I never answered? Oh, that's right. There wasn't one. That's why you said this isn't a dialog. I asked you to "repeat your question." But I hypothesize that there was none. The test is simple. If there was one, you will repeat it. If, as I suspect, you were only trying to get me to "toe the line" and have decided that I am truly an independent thinker instead, you will not.
         I invite you to dialog, rather than the brow-beating session that you were trying to have before. I shall endeavor to be polite, but I must confess that I get rather emotional when you tell me that the fact that I am skeptical means I "obviously don't know what [I am] talking about."
         I predict you will not take me up on my invitation. I think you are only really comfortable dealing with the people that agree with you or who are claiming evolution is not true and presenting a straw man of it. You are playing to your supporters. Of course, I could be wrong. I hope I am. I really do. I had higher hopes for you.
         If you refuse the dialog (which I expect you will) don't bother giving me your "reasons." I already have a reason in mind. And it is consistent with your giving any "reason" to please your supporters. So the only purpose you can have in such a refusal is to please your supporters.

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  8. pvblivs- you are obviously not really interested in my question, because it's easy enough to look it up: it's the one I asked three times now about plate tectonics, starting about a week ago. The third time I said "please".

    And no, I've pretty much lost interest, because you are too knowledgeable about scientific protocols in general, and evolution in particular, to be amenable to Darwinian mind control. So it's time to refuse to go on, for my own good.

    You say:
    "So the only purpose you can have in such a refusal is to please your supporters."

    You don't know me: how can you have any idea what my purpose would be in refusing? That kind of arrogance doesn't merit a reply. Or are you simply trying to tease me into refuting this claim? Either way, it's diddling around, and I don't have the time or inclination to diddle around.

    This is exactly why I've lost interest: because your whole skepticism about evolution, and your frequent impugning of our motives, seems to be based only on your feeling that you've psyched us out: we are all followers of a religion, and accept Darwinism uncritically because we've been indoctrinated.

    If you had factual criticisms, or alternative hypotheses, we could talk. But simply accusing us of blindness, brow-beating, bias, and claiming you know our motives better than we do ourselves, is a waste of time for all concerned.

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  9. Please Stan,

    Respect the blasphemy at least for me. Yes I am picky. That first word is considered blasphemy in my house.

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  10. Zilch:

         It would be easier for you to repeat the question than for me to hunt it down. That assumes it exists. If it doesn't exist, it is potentially a great way to keep me busy looking for it. So, could you please repeat the question that I didn't see which you say I didn't answer. It would save me a wild-goose chase.
         My critisms are rather plain. And they are factual. The things that I have seen presented as tests are such that any result could have been reconciled with large scale evolution. And yes, I do think that scientists are blind to this. The alternative would be that they were making sure that there was an "out" for evolution at every stage.
         You (collectively) have claimed to know my mind when you claimed a conspiracty theory. A conspiracy theory would imply that they had evidence and were, in fact, suppressing it. I state that the only purpose you could have in giving a "reason" not to engage in dialog is to please your supporters because you know in advance that you cannot convince me of said reason. I suppose you could be talking into the wind. But my purpose was to save you the trouble of stating a reason that I cannot believe anyway. It is your only purpose because it is all you can accomplish, not because it is all you might want to accomplish.
         My skepticism of evolution is based the fact that I have not seen any test that could, in principle, falsify it. The fact that you cannot (could not) repeat that back to me shows that you haven't noticed what I actually said, because I've said that many times. Now, maybe it just got lost in the shuffle. Maybe you didn't notice it. Maybe you didn't care. But, apparently unlike you, I am willing to repeat myself.
         Perhaps you would rather argue against Ray. After all, you must consider thinking evolution means puppies hatch out of chicken eggs to be knowing what he is talking about. Or maybe I touched a nerve because those test (no matter how strong the confirming evidence, and I have granted the strength of the confirming evidence) are such that failure to find the confirmation would be inconclusive. After all, if I am wrong and the going another way would not be inconclusive, but would have ended evolution, you could how a contrary result would be inconsistent with evolution. But with fossil digs, a contrary result means finding nothing; and that happens all the time. With cytochrome-c a contrary result would be no correlation (between cytochrome-c forms and species.) High variation in supposedly neutral genes would account for that.
         So, no, as I said in advance, I don't believe your reason choosing not to engage in dialog. Please note that I did not say "to continue dialog." I do not consider what you did before dizlog. I do think it was a brow-beating. While I see a lot of lip-service paid to free-thinking, this is the result I see.

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  11. Dan,

    "...Phillip E. Johnson who is considered the father of the intelligent design movement."

    He is considered the father of the intelligent design movement, which criticizes the theory of evolution, and promotes intelligent design, as an alternative. However, he is a lawyer with no scientific expertise.

    Now Michael Medved, a senior fellow at the discovery institute and brought in by Johnson states:
    "The important thing about Intelligent Design is that it is not a theory - which is something I think they need to make more clear. Nor is Intelligent Design an explanation. Intelligent Design is a challenge. It's a challenge to evolution. It does not replace evolution with something else."

    What do you have to say about that, Dan?

    It looks like all you do is copy pasta and then ignore most questions/ statements.

    What say you?

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  12. Dale,

    "he is a lawyer with no scientific expertise."

    It was a priest who introduced the Big Bang so what's your point?

    Sounds a little elitist don't you agree?

    Besides that 'lawyer' nailed it on the head like it or not.

    "It's a challenge to evolution"

    Oops sorry buddy you (or he) got it backwards.

    "It looks like all you do is copy pasta and then ignore most questions/ statements."

    Getting snippy? Most of the points people are raising will be addressed later in the article.

    I explained the C/P part saying:

    "I am not attempting to plagiarize, but to highlight and advertise the points made."

    and

    "I am not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I am not trying to write a book or take credit for anything. I want to get atheists to understand they are absolutely wrong."

    Please forgive me for not answering everyone about everything. I am doing quite a juggling act these days schooling three kids and an infant. I am doing my best to keep up, insistence gets my attention though.

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  13. Sounds a little elitist don't you agree?
    No. He's merely pointing out that that lawyer is speaking about something that he's had no training or expertise in. If one of us were to criticize some aspect of law and basically saw that all lawyers are wrong and Johnson came along and refuted us and said that we were not lawyers and had no knowledge of law, that would also not be elitist.

    Besides that 'lawyer' nailed it on the head like it or not.
    That lawyer got nailed six ways from Sunday, like it or not, if you've bothered to read what I had posted about those who've reviewed his works. One of whom is a christian theist.

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  14. Reynold,

    "something that he's had no training or expertise in"

    Oh, you mean like the priest that came up with the Big Bang Theory. OK I get it. Besides you know this how? How do you know Johnson didn't self educate or was roommates with Stephen Hawkins for 20 years? Are you judging?

    "That lawyer got nailed six ways from Sunday, like it or not,"

    I hardly call "spin" as a nailing.

    So If I we to stumble upon the cure for cancer I should keep quiet because I am not credentialed?

    ...and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are (perceived) mighty.

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  15. Dan- Georges Lemaître was a physicist who also happened to be a priest. Phillip Johnson studied English literature and law.

    Now, this alone does not mean that Johnson is wrong about evolution. But judging by his writing, he's got some basic principles wrong, and if you read the link that reynold provided, you will see that Johnson plays fast and loose with his sources: quote-mining, misconstruing, and even just fabricating them. Not someone you want to go to for objective information about evolution.

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  16. Zilch,

    Valid point about Lemaître I was unaware of that point until now.

    Let me ask then, are you claiming that it is "impossible" to solve complex situations in life or science or come up with a correct hypothesis without a formal education?

    "you will see that Johnson plays fast and loose with his sources"

    like you pointed out, that is an irrelevant point. Right is still right and truth is always truth. The points here is exactly what is going on these days. I agree no matter where it comes from.

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  17. I agree no matter where it comes from.

    Heh. That's what Eve said.

    --
    Stan

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  18. Let me ask then, are you claiming that it is "impossible" to solve complex situations in life or science or come up with a correct hypothesis without a formal education?

    Not at all, Dan. But if someone makes claims about a field of science, we may legitimately ask about their education, formal or not. And since Johnson has no formal training in science, and there's no indication that he has much informal education either, given the elementary misconceptions he has published, and since he has been caught misquoting and distorting his sources in the service of his arguments, I personally wouldn't trust him farther than I could throw him in matters of evolution.

    like you pointed out, that is an irrelevant point. Right is still right and truth is always truth. The points here is exactly what is going on these days. I agree no matter where it comes from.

    It is irrelevant if we have independent grounds for knowing what is right and true. But if that's the case, we don't need to quote someone who is a known liar.

    Heh. That's what Eve said.

    Indeed, Stan. You might like this parallel Garden of Eden, by Laurie Anderson, from the album Mister Heartbreak:

    *****

    Let's see ... uh ... it was on an island. There was a snake and this snake had legs. And he could walk all around the island.
    Yes, that's true. A snake with legs.
    And the man and the woman were on the island too. And they were not very smart, but they were happy as clams. Yes.
    Let's see ... uh ... then one evening the snake was walking about in the garden and he was talking to himself and he saw the woman and they started to talk. And they became friends. VERY good friends.
    And the woman liked the snake very much because when he talked he made little noises with his tongue and his long tongue was lightly licking about his lips.
    Like there was a little fire inside his mouth and the flame would come dancing out of his mouth. And the woman liked this- very much.
    And after that she was bored with the man because no matter what happened, he was always as happy as a clam.
    What did the snake say? Yes, what was he saying?
    OK. I will tell you.
    The snake told her things about the world.
    He told her about the time when there was a big typhoon on the island and all the sharks came out of the water.
    Yes, they came out of the water and they walked right into your house with their big white teeth. And the woman heard these things and she was in love.
    And the man came out and said: "We have to go now," and the woman did not want to go because she was a hothead. Because she was a woman in love.
    Anyway, they got into their boat and left the island.
    But they never stayed anywhere very long. Because the woman was restless.
    She was a hothead. She was a woman in love.
    This is not a story my people tell. It's something I know myself.
    And when I do my job I am thinking about these things.
    Because when I do my job, that's what I think about.

    *****

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  19. Well, I guess Zilch did all the work for me here...I'll just note that in the Tricks of the Trade from the article whose link I had posted, it was by a theist who bothered to check up Johnson's claims and found them wanting.

    Check the link above. Johnson's relying on selective use of the data, (ie. lying by omission) to make his case. He also points out that Johnson keeps making unsubstantiated assertions.

    He's the one doing the spinning.

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  20. "Evolutionary biologists are not content merely to explain how variation occurs within limits, however. They aspire to answer a much broader question - which is how complex organisms like birds, and flowers, and human beings came into existence in the first place."

    I call it novelty Dan, they call it change over time, micro- to macro- et al. But 'gradualism' as I often refer to it is essentially moot, regarding complexity, synergy of systems and aesthetics. Doesn't cut it, never did, and is near retirement.

    I feel that we've reached a point where even credentialed scientists and academics may alter their position regarding random mutations being the source of novelty, body plans, complexity, etc.

    Although perhaps not officially willing to consider the ID hypothesis as valid, the upcoming published consensus from the conference may tend to point others in that direction. At some point, random mutations as a primary source of novelty may be relegated to antiquity.

    Let's name it the Altenberg Enlightenment period ...

    I discuss it at comment #46:
    http://www.getreligion.org/?p=3851

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  21. Thanks for the link, Lee. It is indeed an interesting discussion. But your comment is #47, not #46. I must say, though, that #46 is more convincing.

    Do you have any evidence for your claim that "At some point, random mutations as a primary source of novelty may be relegated to antiquity"? What do you propose as a "primary source of novelty"?

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  22. "Do you have any evidence for your claim that "At some point, random mutations as a primary source of novelty may be relegated to antiquity"?"

    Sure, it's based on the content of the interview. Susan Mazur begins with,

    "Stuart, you were one of the sixteen scientists who met his July in Altenberg at Konrad Lorenz Institute, to talk about reformulating the theory of evolution based on natural selection. Is the 'extended evolutionary synthesis' now a reality, following the Altenberg meeting. Yes, I would say it’s a reality ... "

    My prediction is based on that interview.

    "What do you propose as a "primary source of novelty"?"

    That remains an unanswered question. I posit intervention by a form of genetic engineering, and by unknown agencies. One possibility is by spirit entities, which are non-biologic, and likely predate biologic life forms. It's also possible (and plausible) that the bio forms are vehicles for those (or related) spirits, as a means of engaging in a corporeal earthly experience.

    ID is a broad term that would include the above as a possibility. But my main point is that novelty based on random mutations, and on a selection process based on fitness, is insufficient to explain life.

    The evidences of evolution are there, but subject to varied interpretations. The defining of mechanism(s) to produce novelty is in a state of flux. Stuart mentions 'self assembly' and 'self organization', but without addressing the actual source of 'body plans', a key question.

    It will be interesting to read not only what the A-16 group reports, but of the 'fall out' effects that that may engender.

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  23. Hmmm. Lee, I listened to that interview with Stuart Newman, and I couldn't find anything that would support your thesis that "random mutations as a source of novelty may be relegated to antiquity". What Newman was talking about, and I must admit I haven't listened to the whole thing yet (I will tomorrow), was the role played by self-organization in morphogenesis: in other words, the tendency of certain kinds of structures to appear in organisms, not because they are explicitly determined by the genes, but rather because of constraints and chemical factors.

    This is not a new idea- it goes back at least to D'Arcy Thomson and his classic (still worth reading) On Growth and Form from 1917, to Adolf Seilacher and his Baupläne, or "blueprints" for building organisms, up to Stuart Kauffmann's hypotheses about far-from-equilibrium dynamics.

    None of them, however interesting, offer any comfort for the idea of genetic engineering by unknown agencies. If you have any evidence for such, let me know.

    cheers from sunny Vienna, zilch

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  24. I'm sure it's been pointed out, but there are plenty of Christians who believe the Theory of Evolution to be far more accurate than Biblical Creationism.

    Although it may bolster your argument to portray this issue as one between atheism and Christianity, it is dishonest to do so.

    I believe God exists. I believe Biblical Creationism is allegorical, and not representative of factual history.

    Next?

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  25. Whateverman,

    First welcome and second if you believe in evolution (theory must be based on chance) what do you do with the Bible's account of Creation? Do you disregard part of the Bible to fit mankind's model or do you believe and trust God and understand that mankind doesn't have the answers yet?

    We certainly don't want to get into a eisegesis mindset right?

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  26. Dan said: if you believe in evolution (theory must be based on chance) what do you do with the Bible's account of Creation?

    I'm not sure if I understand the inclusion of "theory must be based on chance". If you're suggesting the ToE's idea of how we came to be involves several factors just happening to combine in such a way as to result in life (ie. chance), then ok, I'll accept that. I'm not an expert, however, and will defer to someone who actively studies it and keeps up on the latest trends/discoveries.

    As for Biblical Creation, I consider it to be allegorical, not a description of what happened.


    Dan said: Do you disregard part of the Bible to fit mankind's model

    I disregard most of the Bible. In my opinion, it clearly tells stories that are meant to illumine ideas (wisdom, morality, the values of the bronze age, etc). Some of the ideas seem to make sense, and some don't. Too much of it is vague and self-contradictory.

    It appears to contain wisdom, but I have grave doubts that it contains the absolute word of God. Assuming I believe that Jesus did actually exist and that the Bible recounts stories involving him and the people connected with him, I think "God's word" is definitely buried by the weight of the very human authors' fallibility (and story telling).



    Dan said: or do you believe and trust God and understand that mankind doesn't have the answers yet?


    Two questions here. First, I'm a cautious deist, so I think that God might exist; I'm certainly not willing to tell other people about this, however (unless they want to know more about my opinions).

    Second, you don't need to love/trust God in order to know that mankind doesn't have all the answers. I'm 101% positive that we don't, and almost equally as positive that some of the things we believe are true are wrong.

    I value logic and the scientific method of finding & establishing "knowledge". As such, I accept that I know very little, and am skpetical of people who do.

    Dan said: We certainly don't want to get into a eisegesis mindset right?

    No danger of that happening. I don't read the Bible enough to base my understanding of life upon it.

    Simply put: the Bible being primarily a human product, its value has diminished with time. The wisdom found within, in a general sense, parallels humanistic values - the latter of which don't come embossed in the trappings of theology and human power struggles.

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  27. Whateverman,

    I value logic and the scientific method of finding & establishing "knowledge".

    Logic is good and I seek it also. That is why logic says the Bible is supernatural

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  28. Logic doesn't say that in any way. Faith does, however.

    Even if the Bible was inspired by supernatural sources (aka. God and/or Jesus), there's plenty of evidence that the authors were very human.

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  29. No one is arguing that it wasn't penned by man. It was written by God though, there is a difference.

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  30. There's no evidence of that.

    Simple logic demonstrates this. I am God, writing through the humble digits of one software developer who's avoiding work on a tuesday afternoon.

    Although believing this requires faith, once that faith is obtained, my postings are divine (per your logic).

    Simply put, a book that claims to be written by God - when there's clear evidence that this is not true (re. New Testament) - should be approached with healthy if not outright skepticism.

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  31. "
    There's no evidence of that."


    Why because you say there isn't? I gave you a link to the evidence. Let's reverse it, there is no evidence to the contrary

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  32. Whateverman,

    Something else I wanted to point out,

    "there are plenty of Christians who believe the Theory of Evolution to be far more accurate than Biblical Creationism."

    From Conclusion:

    "Darwinian evolution is by definition unguided and purposeless, and such evolution cannot in any meaningful sense be theistic."

    They are in fact trusting man instead of God.

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  33. Whateverman said: "There's no evidence of that."

    Dan said: "Why because you say there isn't? I gave you a link to the evidence."

    First of all, an opinion isn't evidence, unless it uses logical formally to contstuct an irrefutable argument. The first sentence of your linked post betrays logical fallibility, however:

    Because a wicked man wouldn't write such a book, a wicked man wouldn't think of themselves as wicked and wretched.

    Let's imagine that Satan had written the book. I know that you believe otherwise, and I'm not seriously suggesting the devil had anything to do with it.

    For the time being, imagine that an infinitely evil being had written it.

    Wouldn't he, being smart and devious, portray himself as humble yet full of the knowledge of what it takes to be righteous?

    The very first sentence of your linked evidence assumes that the devil did not write the Bible, and yet provides not information as to why this might not be true.

    In other words, your link failed to provide any information as to why the bible should have been written by a divinely righteous being. It could have been written by one or more people seeking to influence society in the Bronze age, it could have been written by Satan, or it it could have been written by a God. You simply don't know.

    Your faith provides you the certainty, of course, but you then argue from this very personal certainty that all conclusions deriven from it are therefore also certain - and that's simply not true.

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  34. Dan said: Something else I wanted to point out,

    "there are plenty of Christians who believe the Theory of Evolution to be far more accurate than Biblical Creationism."

    From Conclusion:

    "Darwinian evolution is by definition unguided and purposeless, and such evolution cannot in any meaningful sense be theistic."

    They are in fact trusting man instead of God."





    So what? Despite the almost 2000 years of study, Christianity can barely provide coherent ideas as to what God wants. Your religion has fractured into multiple branches, each saying something different, and each claiming to be the source of "what God really wants".

    You personally can be claiming to "trust God's message", and yet you easily dismiss the opinions of others who claim the same thing, and yet believe differently than you do.

    Please. Stop portraying your faith as fact. It's not - it's personal opinion elevated to the level of faith. Plenty of other people exactly have the same thing (including those Christians who believe that Evolution is a valid theory), and yet you try to set yourself above them by saying "Their beliefs are false!"

    Sorry, no. There is no logical path to the righteousness of your belief over the fallibility of others.

    Or, if there is, you haven't demonstrated it. All you've done is show what you personally believe, and that's not proof of anything other than your opinions.

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  35. Whateverman,

    Would you bet your life on your view?

    Because you are. Please be absolutely sure you are right...you could be wrong also. Fair?

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  36. Dan, when you consider the plethora of other God models that exist, it seems to me that you're taking just as big a risk as I am.

    The difference between the two of us is that I wont try to convince you my way is the right way, simply because I understand how likely it is that we're both wrong...

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  37. Whateverman,

    "Dan, when you consider the plethora of other God models that exist, it seems to me that you're taking just as big a risk as I am."

    There was a time when I hated to be called religious, then someone wrote to me, which summed it up perhaps better then I could of said.

    "That is, our religion is from the Creator. It is a result of our hope and trust in God. It is the natural fruit. False religions have stolen from God and not the other way around. False religions have a common denominator and that is there assault on the term "Justification." They are working toward their salvation. We are working as a result of our salvation.

    A religion that is pure in the sight of God is a "discipline" which results and originates, from God. We do these things as a result of being justified. We do these things because God has declared us "not guilty" because of the passive/active obedience of the Messiah being given to us as a gift. His works are what save us. In contrast, the religions of the world who deny justification seek to bring their "religious" efforts to God to "save" them.

    Don't let that word religion, be a hindrance. We as believers have a beautiful religion because it is a fruit which comes from God. It starts with him and ends with him. Like I said; the religion we show is a result of what God did. It is an external response. For example, we love because he first loved us right? The false religions out there have a completely different gospel. As a result they bring their filthy rags and present then to God thinking they are working their way to God. We have been made clean by the word. The false religions make themselves clean." (Moshe, carm.org)

    You will either worship God Himself the Creator of all things or something else, even self. One or the other, you will have to make a choice.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Dan said: You will either worship God Himself the Creator of all things or something else, even self. One or the other, you will have to make a choice.

    Most certainly. Once I do, however, I'm not going to be eager to proclaim that I know I've made the right choice. I may actually believe that I have, but that belief is tempered by the fact that millions of people have believed differently than I do - all claiming that they made the right choice.

    I lack a desire to be lumped in with the rest of the self-righteous.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Whateverman,

    "I lack a desire to be lumped in with the rest of the self-righteous."

    At least we can agree on this point.

    ReplyDelete

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