August 10, 2008

Evolution Exposed! Evolution or Creation Model?

It appears that there are actually many variations within the two Models of Evolution or Creation.

Some people say that it's OK to believe in evolution and the sister theory of millions of years, while still being a Christian. I touched on this a little with a post that I had a while back called the Great Debate. I totally disagree, but that is what some appear to believe. Out of various viewpoints and theories, the ones that matter are the theories that have unbiased evidence. How is that always possible while theorizing about our origins? Residual and circumstantial evidence can be evaluated into different models.

Take for example, theory of plate tectonics. A story could be presented that the earth evolved slowly over billions of years without evidence.



A completely different model explains the event that may have happened an entirely different way with perceived evidence:

video


But we may never know in this life, no one was there. Well, One was there. No one on earth can verify with repeatable experiments that are acceptable, like science requires.

We could all scramble for hundreds of years on these subjects and not get anywhere when, one day, the truth hits us right in the face. We then find out that the Creation model was correct all along and we are all thrusted into Judgment by our Creator. At that time it will be too late. The amount of evidence you may have or the amount of experiments you have going at the time will not matter. If we are personally judged for breaking the Ten Commandments (God's Law) then we will all be held accountable...



Here is more of Ray talking about Evolution on a radio program.

30 comments:

  1. Dan- you might want to look at the first two video links, 'cause they don't work.

    I must admit, you might be right: perhaps the Creation model is correct. We can never know for sure. But science is not about sureties: it is about continually working on our model of the Universe, and checking it against the real world to see how it stacks up. And the plate tectonics model stacks up pretty well.

    I am old enough (58) that my eighth grade science teacher could still tell us that plate tectonics was not universally accepted: there were a few holdouts amongst the earth scientists, because it seemed such a radical idea, and because the evidence was not deemed conclusive.

    Nowadays, to put it bluntly, you have to have your head in the sand to deny plate tectonics. Laser interferometry has directly measured the movement of the plates relative to one another. There's lots of other evidence too: the fit of the coastlines of South America and Africa (noted by Ben Franklin, among others), the occurrence of similar fossils and magnetic strata at corresponding points along the coastlines, and the discovery of the suboceanic plate subduction zones, make the plate tectonics model the only realistic contender.

    The third video did work, but I have to say, I must agree with the atheist who was interviewed: I want evidence, and none is forthcoming.

    As far as listening to Ray Comfort talking about evolution, I have already heard his banana talk, and that was enough. By the way- what makes you think that it was intended as a parody? He sounded perfectly serious, and why would he parodize his own position as a Creationist? Sorry, but I somehow doubt that Ray can teach me anything about evolution.

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  2. Dan,

    Just what part of Plate Techtonics are you trying to refute?

    Also, I am interested in your credentials that would justify you to argue with the most brilliant of earth scientists past and present?

    You have a lot more than plate techtonics to worry about if you are trying to find evidence for a young earth, including astronomy and the geologic column.

    There is no evidence for a global flood- none whatsoever.

    Also, there is no evidence for the Exodus myth or the toewer of babel myth.

    Right at the heart of your premise is your presupposition that there is, in fact, A God. There is not one iota of empirical evidence for that.

    You are fighting a losing battle, lil buddy.

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  3. Dan (how are you?),
    you mentioned in the beginning that some Christians feel it's ok to believe in evolution, you disagree with this. I assume that this is the case because you hold a more literal view of the bible. So in this case you believe that the Genesis account to be factual with respect to objective reality. If I’m wrong, please correct me?

    If it’s true that you’re a literalist (and I’m trying to cast a negative light on that), then does your literal view carry itself throughout the Bible. In other words do you translate the rest of the Bible literally?

    If not, then how do you determine what may perhaps be literal, figurative, metaphorical, hyperbole, so on. What’s “keys” do you use to make such determinations?

    As an afterthought:
    I think it’s safe to say that people living thousands of years ago didn’t understand biology to the degree we do today. People thought the earth was flat, the planets were pushed along by angels, and mental health problems were attributed to demons. This seems perfectly normal in the absence of knowledge about the world. In light of this, would it not seem plausible that man would interpret creation to the limit of his own understanding? Perhaps we can say, in the beginning God didn’t create the heavens and the earth per se, rather he created that which existed at the edge of mans understanding. Thus our interpretations of God generally rest at the fringe of what we know.

    To put it another way, the idea of evolution didn’t exist 2000 years ago. It made sense to the historical mind to simply think of things created from nothing after it’s own kind. Considering all this, why is it not plausible that they (man) got it wrong because of his limited understanding? I’m not even trying to suggest evolution is correct here, only that man does not understand such things.

    Understand that, no matter what the literal translation of creation is, it doesn’t change in the least the meaning of Genesis. Whether it’s creation, evolution, or some yet to be thought up theory, these facts do not effect the message. Yes/no?

    What’s more important, facts, or the meaning of those facts?

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  4. I believe the issue here is this Dan:

    If one hangs his hat on such literal ideas in spite of the meaning, then you run the risk of the Bible being totally bunk. If just one fact in the Bible is found at odds with objective truth, then the whole thing is suspect.

    What I'd like to suggest is, fighting against evolution is simply the wrong fight. The bible is clearly not scientific, if it were, then it should evolve along with the rest of science. Why treat the Bible in this way, or any religious text for that matter? Salvation (and I'm not a Christian per se) doesn't lie in the belief of arbitrary facts does it? By fighting the way you do, you leave the Bible to rot and your salvation becomes dependent upon theories and not the path to truth.

    Words are for meaning? Nothing more.

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  5. Okay, the first two videos work now. The second one is a new idea to me: is someone seriously proposing that a meteorite impact caused the continental plates to break apart? If so, that's hilarious. The continental plates are a thin skin of solidified rock floating on liquid rock (magma). The only way they can be moved is by currents in the magma- they are simply not stiff enough for the whole plate to be pushed by a point impact. What big meteors do is make big holes in the ground.

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  6. RE: The Impact Hypothesis to explain plate techtonics

    Hahahahahahaha! What tool thought that up, and what ignorant fools accept any aspect of it as remotely plausible?

    Pshaw.

    RE: The interview with a dumb atheist

    First, and obviously, the interview was taped, and later edited. Without access to the entire, uncut interview, we must recognize that what we see is what the editors intend for us to see, and nothing more.

    Assuming nonetheless that they were honest in their editing process, the subject of this particular interview was a bit of a patsy. The fellow giving the interview would not have had such an easy go of things were he interviewing virtually any of the atheist participants on this blog.

    Of course, we don't know how many professing atheists were in fact interviewed, before they found one whose overall knowledge and experience was so lacking that he could appear to have been pushed around so easily. Presumably, the producers interviewed more than just the man we saw. Again, without access to the all of the interviews, uncut, we cannot say how successful this endeavor really was, and we must recognize that we see only what we are shown. Since the target audience is (obviously) Christians, extending possibly into weak agnostics or perhaps incredibly weak atheists, we can safely assume that the piece has the intended affect -- when viewed by that audience.

    Against knowledgeable and educated persons, however, the piece doesn't fare so well.

    First, the subject failed to ask the begged question, "Why your version of god?", which the interviewer was all to happy to have avoided (perhaps in an uncut interview this question was in fact raised?).

    Second, the subject failed to highlight the misrepresentation of the process of evolution via the car analogy. The interviewers would have been much better suited by pointing to origins (read: abiogenesis) rather than mechanisms. Of course, doing so would only further highlight the begged question concerning doctrine/dogma.

    Third, the subject failed to pounce on the fumbled football when asked about testing Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation (a.k.a. "Gravity"). Like most laypersons, the interviewer (and subject) seemed oblivious to the facts that a) Newton's Gravitation is false, and b) true or false, "Gravity" is repeatedly testable -- we are free to examine the results of these tests over and over.

    Indeed, the subject could have nicely unraveled the presuppositions made by the interviewer by attacking that specific line of questioning, to the point that he reminded the interviewer that "Gravity" was, in fact, a Theory, just like Evolution.

    Anyway, the interview was clearly nothing more than Creationist propaganda (what more should we expect from a seven minute clip?), and nothing in it came remotely close to actually proving anything. It could only have been viewed as profound by someone who already shared the interviewer's position, or who was so infatuated with Christianity as to ignore the many competing religions -- or to ignore the various versions of Christianity itself, for that matter.

    It was a steaming pile of Fail.

    In the future, Dan, I'd recommend some more intellectually stimulating videos than these. The only interesting one was the one which was the most accurate -- the one you'd wish to refute.

    --
    Stan

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  7.      The videos of Ray witnessing always remind me of the "fast-talking salesman." They are good at keeping the sucke-- the mar-- the prospective customer from thinking clearly. You can just see him hammering the guy with question, not really letting him answer or collect his thoughts. Dan, you need a better example.

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  8. Dan- I just thought of an analogy that might help you see why a meteorite impact could not trigger continental breakup, unless it was of the order of the collision that created the Moon.

    When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading comics, especially Superman. In one episode, some evil villain had somehow deflected the Moon to crash into the Earth. Superman came to the rescue, of course, and pushed the Moon back into its correct orbit. Even back then I can remember feeling that something about the picture of Superman pushing straight down against the surface of the Moon with his two hands didn't look like it would work.

    Later, of course, I realized that if Superman had pushed with the force necessary to get the Moon back into place in a reasonable amount of time (say, before the bedtime of the Universe), he would have simply bored a Superman-shaped hole through the Moon and not deflected it enough to be measurable. Rock is not hard enough by many orders of magnitude that one could move a whole planet, or even a continental plate, by pushing on a small part of it.

    The same argument applies to the meteorite-impact hypothesis: the continental plates are simply too large, and not stiff enough, to be moved by anything that is not large enough to take a big (say, Moon-sized) chunk out of the Earth, and that has certainly not happened since the Moon formed- it would not have merely wiped out the dinosaurs, but would have rendered the entire surface of the Earth into molten rock again and destroyed all life.

    So, Dan, while this kind of model might be superficially appealing to those who don't want their cherished beliefs threatened, it doesn't stand up to reason.

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  9. [W]hile this kind of model might be superficially appealing to those who don't want their cherished beliefs threatened, it doesn't stand up to reason.

    [Cough] You mean everything about religion in general? [Cough]

    Something Dan and his ilk don't appreciate, or at least something they conveniently ignore, is the fact that the rational atheist (indeed, any rational person) is not afraid of having their current model destroyed in the face of a newer, leaner, more powerful model. Instead, we find our ability to accept a better model to be a strength, and something to be welcomed.

    This is not to say that there is not argument when a new model is proposed, and it is not to say that there is no reluctance to accept new models (see the arguments surrounding String Theory for an example of this), but the rational, scientific community is nowhere near as rigid in its [Cough] thinking [Cough] as the religious community.

    Dan, we've heard you before, and you may deny it all you want, but the fact remains that throughout the years (centuries), students of the bible have adjusted their interpretations of scripture so that they can claim scripture to have been correct all along. The various references to a flat earth are obvious examples -- when a flat earth was the prevailing theory, Christians claimed the bible told us the earth's shape. When the spheroid nature of the earth was finally proven, Christians instead clamoured and made a stink about how no, the bible was right all along (which stink you continually raise in this blog), despite the clear fact that the authors of the scriptures in question clearly envisioned a flat earth (surrounded by water, beyond the sky, no less).

    Your abject denial of the history of your religion, and of the evolution of biblical interpretations, is really only an example of the disingenuous nature of your (lack of) integrity. You are free to claim that you don't believe as they did back then, but to be honest, you must accept the fact that biblical interpretations reflect the scientific era in which they are made. You are no different. In a few dozen years (or less), people like you will argue that the bible accurately described evolution the whole time (this is happening already), that the bible alludes to the actual age of the universe, and that certain of the major stories in the bible are mere legend, perhaps based loosely on fact, but decisively not-literal.

    Sure, you will deny this, but listen to yourself a hundred years ago, and listen to yourself in a hundred years -- the points of contention will change, but the meat of the "argument" will remain the same: the bible was right all along, we were just misguided in our interpretations.

    Indeed, this problem of misguided interpretation is thematic, and illustrates yet another problem with religion (specifically, with "holy" texts): the fact that no two religionists interpret the same scripture in the same way. The further the two religionists are from one another in terms of time, space, and culture, the further they are from one another in their interpretations of the same text. Even if the text is truly divinely inspired, it cannot be argued that it is unambiguous. If our eternal fate is to be decided based on a correct interpretation of such an ambiguous set of documents, then the deity in question is a whimsical asshole, and, as I've argued based on entirely different criteria, it is therefore unworthy of worship.

    Whatever. Deny the relative nature of your biblical interpretation all you want -- we can all see through the lie. I just hope you can.

    --
    Stan

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  10. Stan,

    Sure, you will deny this, but listen to yourself a hundred years ago, and listen to yourself in a hundred years -- the points of contention will change, but the meat of the "argument" will remain the same: scientists was right all along, we were just misguided in our interpretations.

    Now isn't that a true statement also?

    Also,truth is truth and we all will find that out very soon, there is not one single scientific claim in the Bible that can be debunked today. We all understand that God's Word wasn't intended to be a scientific explanation but you cannot deny of it's scientific accuracy and also claiming the earth being round

    Misinterpretation by a false religion like the RCC shouldn't be held against God's Word. Agree?

    Pvblivs,

    I have always claimed that I enjoy Ray's salesmanship. It's not a bad thing without sales there would be no economy. There is not one business on earth that hasn't started with a man shaking another mans hand saying "I'll take it"

    I just got a flash of the book I read long ago called "The Greatest Salesman in the World" I will add it to the DA bookstore. It was a great read.

    Andrew Louis,

    I don't read the Bible literally, I read the Bible plainly. It is quite clear when the Bible is using a Parable, Hyperbole or literal. How can I tell you ask? There is a scientific approach called Hermeneutics that will be quite helpful. I stay clear of an eisegesis approach because that just makes a God to suite myself. It is best to use a exegesis method of interpretation to be consistent. I am not a literalist contrary to popular belief.

    Dale,

    "Just what part of Plate [Tectonics] are you trying to refute?" No side at all. I am just posing the question that if there are so many variations that we could guess for ever. What matters is what is truth. The truth is that God is coming very soon to Judge the World and I want all of you prepared for it. That's all.

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  11. Correction:

    "that just makes a [god] to suite myself."

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  12.      There is nothing wrong with sales. However, an honest salesman doesn't need to keep the customer from thinking clearly. If he gets his information out there, there will be people who want his product. The dishonest salesman or "fast talker" seeks to disorient his target because he knows that what he sells is not useful to them.

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  13. Dan, you say:

    I don't read the Bible literally, I read the Bible plainly. It is quite clear when the Bible is using a Parable, Hyperbole or literal. How can I tell you ask? There is a scientific approach called Hermeneutics that will be quite helpful. I stay clear of an eisegesis approach because that just makes a God to suite myself.

    If it's so clear when the Bible is being literal, and when it's not, why are there so many arguments about it amongst Christians? I don't see how hermeneutics helps at all. It is obvious to me that the Bible is anything but clear in many places (for instance, in Revelations), and any interpretation must necessarily be subjective.

    As far as I can see, the terms "exegesis" (getting the meaning out of the text) and "eisegesis" (reading one's own ideas into the text) mean nothing more than this: what I do is exegesis, and if you do not agree with my interpretation, then you are practicing eisegesis. There's nothing remotely "scientific" about it at all: it's just a way of saying "I'm right and you're wrong" in Greek.

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  14. Thanks Dan,
    but you didn't really answer my question.

    How is it plain to see that the Genesis account is factual? Would you suggest that a talking snake is also plain reality? Or that Adam was acually missing a rib? Is it plain that mans downfall was really due to an apple?

    Is it possible that the account is mataphrical, and that you're wrong?

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  15. [S]cientists was right all along, we were just misguided in our interpretations.

    Now isn't that a true statement also?


    Ummm. No.

    Actually, quite the contrary.

    Scientists have been wrong many times, and will continue to be wrong many times hence -- that's the beauty of it. We are not so far above everyone else that we cannot make mistakes, and the expectation that we will again make more is the grounding for the Scientific Method.

    Sorry, but you're just a bit off-base there.

    Sure, a hundred years ago, I may have argued for the then-new Theory of Evolution, or not quite a hundred years ago I may have argued against the Theory of Relativity, but my own personal take on the science is not the question -- science itself is, versus religion.

    Your religion has changed, and will continue to change, and yes, your interpretations of the bible are based in part on your knowledge of the world due to science. I recognize that you will again deny this, but insofar as you have admired my own truth in various posts, please respect me and others by presenting the truth of your own subjective interpretations.

    Among the scientific claims made in the bible which can be debunked are the following:

    1) earth created before sun

    2) all animals as herbivores

    3) humans and dinosaurs coexisting

    4) the sun holding still for Joshua

    5) the Noachian flood

    6) the non-existence of germs

    7) the existence of a layer of water beyond the firmament of the sky


    ...


    Misinterpretation by a false religion like the RCC shouldn't be held against God's Word. Agree?

    No, I don't agree, and here's why:

    Misinterpretation is far too common for the proposed text to have been divinely inspired by even the most intellectually challenged deity. By implication, any religion, including any competing form of Christianity, is considered by you to be a "false religion" -- meaning that misinterpretation is necessarily the rule, rather than the exception.

    If your god were so wise, and this text so holy and unambiguous, there would be little to no argument regarding its meaning today (or ever). The fact that there is such argument is a testament to the fact that your god is imaginary and/or an imbecile -- either way, unworthy of worship.

    --
    Stan

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  16. Hey Dan: I noticed a couple of things in the links on the side that I really want to comment on:

    'Militant Atheists' Criticize Spore's Religion
    1UP.com, USA- Aug 13, 2008
    - 20 hours ago
    It seems that the only religious groups voicing concerns are atheists who are concerned about the inclusion of religion in the game at all (Spore's ...
    clipped from Google - 8/2008


    Will Wright Says Spore Criticized By "Militant Atheists"
    Escapist Magazine, USA
    - Aug 13, 2008
    Describing himself as an atheist, he said, "I see a lot of benefit and danger in religion like anything. I think our bigger fear was that we didn't want to ...

    I'm waiting eagerly for Spore, and I've got a little project in the wings which relates to it.

    But I don't want to distract from the discussions going on, so how about a blog post on your opinion of Spore?

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  17. Stan,

    Among the scientific claims made in the bible which can be debunked are the following:

    1) earth created before sun

    2) all animals as herbivores

    3) humans and dinosaurs coexisting

    4) the sun holding still for Joshua

    5) the Noachian flood

    6) the non-existence of germs

    7) the existence of a layer of water beyond the firmament of the sky


    1. Prove the earth was created before the sun

    2. prove that all animals weren't herbivores

    3. Prove that humans and dinosaurs didn't coexist

    4. ?? no clue

    5. The Noachian flood is evident by many sources including Zilch recently finding ocean fossils in the Alps.

    6. there were no diseases or germs or cancer or tumors before the fall of man true. After yes.

    7. No clue, unless cloud layers. I would have to study more.

    "The fact that there is such argument is a testament to the fact that your god is imaginary and/or an imbecile -- either way, unworthy of worship."

    Narrow is the path...

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  18. correction:

    1. Prove the earth wasn't created before the sun

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  19. Just a minor point: Science is incapable of 'proving' anything.

    It can provide rather compelling evidence, however... for example:

    Dan wrote:
    "2. prove that all animals weren't herbivores"

    Many modern animals, as well as many ancient ones, have mouths and digestive systems which are not only completely incapable of making use of vegetaion, but are specifically designed* to kill prey and digest meat.

    Examples include large cats, wolves, sharks and dinosaurs.


    *Footnote: Don't call me out on using the word "designed": Natural Selection is a force capable of producing design.

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  20. Quasar,

    "Just a minor point: Science is incapable of 'proving' anything."

    I thought of that also but he said scientists not science so I let it go. Anyone who claims science "proves" anything as "true" (like evolution) misunderstands the basic tenets of the scientific method.

    I will address your other points in a new post. It will be more fun that way

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  21. The Noachian flood is evident by many sources including Zilch recently finding ocean fossils in the Alps.

    How am I ever going to live this down- cited as a source of evidence for the Deluge? My atheist friends will rib me about this for a long time...

    Whoa- hold your horses, pardner. The fossils I found in the Alps do not testify to a world-wide flood six thousand years ago, but rather to a local (central European) sea from around 200 to 100 million years ago, which is abundantly dated and mapped. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever of anything like the Flood described in the Bible, although there are lots of comic-book explanations that might be convincing to anyone who has not looked dispassionately at the evidence.

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  22. Zilch wrote:
    How am I ever going to live this down- cited as a source of evidence for the Deluge? My atheist friends will rib me about this for a long time...

    Nah: you're not the first.

    It'd be a waste of good ribbing.

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  23. Zilch,

    I knew you would love the Alps comment I made. I'm sure by now you can tell that I can be considered consistently predictable.

    and Quasar,

    I guess I should of explored the evidence further and asked if salt deposits or evidence of salt can be seen. If the specimens showed evidence of oceanic species instead of fresh water local lake species, etc. Instead I leaped to my conclusions to make my point.

    I wasn't quote mining I don't believe, yet I did take the evidence to suite my presuppositions. Guilty as charged for that.

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  24. That's certainly fair enough Dan, but I'd like you to know that I wouldn't have accused you of quote mining if Zilch hadn't originally been 100% clear as to what he felt the fossils were evidence of.

    But I think you were honest, so I retract my accusation.

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  25. Quasar says:

    Nah: you're not the first.

    At least I'm in good company, just as I expect to be in Hell...
    Actually, here I must leap to Dan's defense: he wasn't really quote-mining me, because he didn't imply that I believed in the Deluge, but rather put his own interpretation on the fossils that I found. A true quote-mine™ requires taking words out of context in order to give the wrong impression.

    A good example is the creationists' favorite quote from Darwin about the difficulty of imagining how the eye could have evolved. They claim this proves that even St. Charles had doubts about evolution. Somehow, though, they always leave out the following sentences where he goes on to say that with small changes over a great period of time the evolution of the eye was obviously possible, even if we can't easily imagine it.

    Nowadays, of course, we have a great deal more evidence for evolution than Darwin did. Darwin's constant self-criticism and presentation of the case against him are the marks of a great scientist. It's been said before, but it bears repeating: Darwin was a genius, but he was also a fallible human, a product of his time, and science has moved on since his day. I find it revealing of the religious mindset that Darwin is continually attacked, both personally and for his scientific shortcomings, as if that would undermine modern evolutionary theory. Science doesn't work that way, but religion does: in science, it's the evidence and the models that best fit the evidence that count, not authority. In religion, it's the other way around.

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  26. Regis,

    This is one of the reasons I don't sign up to ID, it just leaves too much room. I am a very strong believer in 'Biblical Creation' not Intelligent Design and that is what everyone should say that believes in God. We are not to hide God but to glorify Him.

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  27. Here I must say that I agree with Dan: I've always been skeptical of people who promote a watered-down version of the Bible, and that includes the IDers. Either the Bible is the Word of God, or it is not, and if it is, it must all be correct. As it turns out, it is not correct, and thus not the Word of God.

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  28. Zilch,

    You could of left that last part out, I was thinking there was hope for you, which there is.

    "As it turns out, it is not correct,"

    Based on what some website told you? Based on you being there at the time it was written? Based on what? Bias?

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  29. Dan, I say that the Bible is not correct, not because of some website, but because of what I know about the world.

    I should qualify that to be "not correct in parts". There are events and people mentioned in the Bible that are almost certainly real. But there is stuff that is simply false.

    I don't want to get into all the internal contradictions, or the stuff that's plausibly metaphorical, or unclear, or incoherent. I'll just give an example from the beginning: the order of Creation is wrong. For instance, Genesis has grass and fruit trees created before any life in the water, and even before the creation of the Sun.

    This is simply false: it doesn't take a scientist to realize that without the Sun, there could be no grass or fruit trees. And we now know that the Sun is a bit older than the Earth, and that there has been life in the seas for much longer than on land. If you want to contest these findings, good luck.

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