October 14, 2008

Overwhelming Evidence

What would happen if a court of today put the validity of Jesus Christ and the resurrection on trial?

Christ would win. There is plenty of evidence that points to a Creator and that Creator communicated with us through His Word.

Jesus Christ came to die on a cross to take the punishment that we deserved in order to save us. In order to do this he had to be resurrected. So, were the eyewitnesses credible?

Simon Greenleaf, a principal founder of the Harvard Law School, in 1874 wrote a paper, available online, called "The testimony of the evangelists examined by the rules of evidence administrated in courts of justice" where he took Jesus and the Bible to trial.

His postulation was that the Bible follows the 'ancient documents rule' that "Every document, apparently ancient, coming from the proper repository or custody, and bearing on its face no evident marks of forgery, the law presumes to be genuine, and devolves on the opposing party the burden of proving it to be otherwise"

Spoiler alert!

Greenleaf sums up his argument:

"All that Christianity asks of men on this subject, is, that they would be consistent with themselves; that they would treat its evidences as they treat the evidence of other things; and that they would try and judge its actors and witnesses, as they deal with their fellow men, when testifying to human affairs and actions, in human tribunals. Let the witnesses be compared with themselves, with each other, and with the surrounding facts and circumstances; and let their testimony be sifted, as if it were given in a court of justice, on the side of the adverse party, the witnesses being subjected to a rigorous cross-examination. The result,it is confidently believed, will be an undoubting conviction of their integrity, ability and truth ... Either the men of Galilee were men of superlative wisdom, and extensive knowledge and experience, and of deeper skill in the arts of deception, than any and all others, before or after them, or they have truly stated the astonishing things which they saw and heard" (pp. 46 & 53).

Greenleaf came to the conclusion that the witnesses were reliable, and that the resurrection happened.

If you were a jury member would you come to the same conclusion? As an atheist would you put aside your bias and rule properly according to the Law?

UPDATE 1/16/2009:

I took this from a legalese website discussing documents:

[section 491 mandates that the statement be given under oath, affirmation, or some other form of legally binding assertion, such as a statement at the bottom of an income tax return that the answers were given and the signature subscribed "under penalties of perjury." Although it may be morally reprehensible for a person to lie, no legal criminal sanction is imposed for lying until after a person has sworn to tell the truth. Hence, the State must allege and prove that the statement was given under oath or affirmation administered by an authorized person, or under some other form of legally binding assertion.]

In other words assertions are legally binding when said under oath.

I am willing to claim that God exists under oath, would anyone be willing to claim, under oath, that invisible pink hammers exists or the flying spaghetti Monster exists?

Using The Bible in God proofs is not circular reasoning and is the well-established way in which we establish the truth of understanding God. (Thanks, Kaitlyn)

Mere assertion of X (flying spaghetti monster) is not equal to adequate justification of X. (God)

bit.ly/cFCLjp

70 comments:

  1. 1874.

    That document was written in 1874, and I'm assuming you don't own an original copy, or even a reprint. It was written before virtually every current "oldest known manuscript" had been discovered, with the exception of the Codex Sinaiticus, which was discovered and published in the same decade in which the dear Mr. Greenleaf wrote his paper.

    What does this mean? Well, it means, for one thing, that Greenleaf's contentions regarding the ages of the Gospels are unfounded. Greenleaf claims the Gospel of John was the earliest Gospel, yet today we recognize that the Gospel of Mark was the earliest, and that John was in fact the latest.

    What's that? These are some of the cornerstone arguments Greenleaf makes in support of his claims? Huh.

    Now, I didn't manage to read the whole thing -- it's long, and the OCR version is headache-inducing with its understandable errors -- but I [obviously] caught some of Greenleaf's main thrusts, which include not only a clearly outdated view of the authenticity of the manuscripts available in his day, a presumption that god exists, and the absurd notion that because Christianity recommends its adherents take on the mindset of children, then so, too, should we, as we consider the historicity and/or authenticity of the Gospels.

    I suppose that instead of attack this, your latest gaffe, I should instead embrace its spirit -- that we should apply modern principles to our skepticism when considering the veracity of Christianity in general. To begin with, I'd like to apply the modern principles of astronomy, of geology, of biology, and of virtually every other -ology, which all quite clearly point us away from the picture painted in the bible.

    Since you clearly support modern approaches to determining the truth claims of your religion, and since those approaches are so damaging to the same, why do you yet cling to it?

    Let go!

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stan,

    That was a valiant attempt to counter but fell short on many levels.

    "Greenleaf claims the Gospel of John was the earliest Gospel, yet today we recognize that the Gospel of Mark was the earliest, and that John was in fact the latest."

    Can you say then that this is a deal breaker for the Jury? I would say not.

    Currently we have the Dead Sea Scrolls that indeed authenticates the accuracy and validity of the Bible. So it makes his case stronger if anything considering the ancient documents rule.

    I don't believe the 1874 has much relevance either. Has the parameters of Law changed much even since that far back?

    "modern approaches to determining the truth claims of your religion, and since those approaches are so damaging to the same, why do you yet cling to it?"

    I don't believe the jury is in on that one either Stan. There are plenty of discussions still going on.

    Embrace!

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dan asked:
    "As an atheist would you put aside your bias and rule properly according to the Law?"

    As a Christian, would you?

    But really, why bother? Courts find innocent men guilty - and guilty men innocent - on a regular basis. A court of law, as a method of learning the Truth-with-a-capital-T, is rather unreliable and inaccurate, wouldn't you say?

    Furthermore, as we've already discussed, as soon as you prove the Bible true, you seal my fate, Dan. But more importantly, you seal the fate of every man, woman and child who didn't get an opportunity to arrive at faith before you pushed proof into their faces. Why do you wish to see billions go to Hell?

    Isn't your faith enough for you? Dan, why do you doubt so much that you think proof is a good thing? Peter sank for a momentary fear, Dan. Why are you sinking?

    But back to the argument at hand: I doubt that a judge would consider the refusal of the star witness to obey a subpoena a "necessity" as regards the Ancient Document Rule. Nobody gets to substitute hearsay for actual testimony simply because the witness ignores a reasonable court order.

    And the Dead Sea Scrolls, with their failure to mention Jesus or any of His disciples, are very much a legal stretch as evidence in favor of the resurrection.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dave W,

    "Furthermore, as we've already discussed, as soon as you prove the Bible true, you seal my fate, Dan. But more importantly, you seal the fate of every man, woman and child who didn't get an opportunity to arrive at faith before you pushed proof into their faces. Why do you wish to see billions go to Hell?"

    Dude, you are freaking me out. What if you are right? Yuck!

    "And the Dead Sea Scrolls, with their failure to mention Jesus or any of His disciples, are very much a legal stretch as evidence in favor of the resurrection."

    OK another valid point. Yuck now my nose is bleeding.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dan wrote:
    "Dude, you are freaking me out. What if you are right? Yuck!"

    Freaking you out was the point, Dan. Trying to get you to really listen.

    Proof - whether legal or scientific - denies faith. So why would you want any proof of God or the Resurrection when you know that such proof will deny people the ability to have faith?

    Obviously, God has set you up in a Catch-22. You want more people to have faith, yet providing solid evidence or sound logical argument in favor of that faith will destroy it.

    Go figure that one. After you take your BP meds, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dave W,

    "You want more people to have faith, yet providing solid evidence or sound logical argument in favor of that faith will destroy it."

    Oh I get it now. Is that why atheists are always asking for proof? Are you all trying to set us up in a Catch-22?

    Pretty clever. That is almost Satan clever. I will have to watch out for y'all.

    Verby clever, grasshopper.

    Your right proof is the last thing we need and I did that post a while ago, about intellect not necessarily proof.

    Proof bad, faith good.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dan wrote:
    "Proof bad, faith good."

    Then it's simply bizarre that you keep bringing up things like hypothetical court cases, friendly porpoises and economic crashes, all obvious attempts at proof. Had you just not thought this all through?

    Now, obviously, those of us who value empiricism (some of us even feel morally obligated to pursue it) won't be swayed by simple pleas to believe. Oh, well. Your faith says we're damned, and your Bible says there's nothing you can do about it.

    Attempting to "debunk" us, which is little different from a proof that we're wrong and you're right, denies us the ability to have faith. Meaning, of course, that this blog may have the effect that is completely opposed to what you intend.

    But, as it is written, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dan wrote: "His postulation was that the Bible follows the 'ancient documents rule' that "Every document, apparently ancient, coming from the proper repository or custody, and bearing on its face no evident marks of forgery, the law presumes to be genuine, and devolves on the opposing party the burden of proving it to be otherwise"

    What version of the bible do you think Greenleaf was referring to? What would he consider "marks of forgery"?

    The fact that there are different versions of the Bible should tell you that at least some of those must be seen as forgeries. And, I believe, all of them are suspect in their claim that they are the living word of God.

    I don't think the Bible would stand up in court, at all. It's like me trying to make a case against man ever having landed on the moon, using a letter I wrote that was inspired by the great and powerful Queen of Space. Then, to top it all off, I'll also enter into evidence other (sometimes conflicting) versions of the same letter, one suspiciously titled "The Rick James Version".

    So Dan, what version of the Bible do you adhere to? Would it stand up in court?

    ReplyDelete
  9. No, I wouldn't.

    In order to believe in the validity of the Bible, you first have to believe in the validity of the Bible. Anything requiring that kind of faith deserves significant skepticism.

    Let's be honest: earthly rulers will bend over backwards to control the people they're in charge of. A very easy way to achieve this, in part, would be to influence the words added to a Book which people portray as "The Word of The One True Creator".

    Sorry - it requires some faith to believe in the existence of Jesus, but it requires much much more to believe that he did the things claimed by contemprary Christianity.

    Foreman: "Let's see a show of hands: valid or not valid"

    Whateverman: "Not valid"

    ---

    PS. the minute I start seeing contemporary Christiantity being honest about the nature of their faith is the minute I start being more receptive to their beliefs

    ReplyDelete
  10. WHateverman,

    "the minute I start seeing contemporary Christianity being honest about the nature of their faith is the minute I start being more receptive to their beliefs"

    What would it take then? What would be an example of "being honest" in your viewpoint?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dave W,

    "Meaning, of course, that this blog may have the effect that is completely opposed to what you intend."

    So if I debunk something you say or cling to and it helps moves you to go from disbelief to a belief then that would indeed fulfill a reason to do the DA blog. That is not my goal though. Like in sales I am not here to worry about 'not' landing one fish. I keep pressing on. To "Preach the word in season and out of season" is my goal.

    Having a change of heart is between you and God and the last thing I want to do is get in the way of that. I cringe and move aside when I see someone start to be convicted in their heart. God then has their heart, and there is nothing I can do to add to that majesty. God is the closer, not me.

    Unethical Chum Tin asked "So Dan, what version of the Bible do you adhere to?"

    I have no clue as to what you are asking as to what version. You might of meant what translation.

    As far as the different translations, there is a sliding scale so I take all of them into account and not trust any 'one' thing that man has done. I stay close to literal and conservative as possible. The translations start from very conservative and literal translations like Young's Literal, Darby then to KJV then on up to the top of the more modern and liberal translations like NLT, NASB, and the most liberal New Jerusalem Bible (NJB). You might want to read a more conservative translation to understand God's Word, but that is just my advice.

    ReplyDelete
  12.      No, the burden still to show that it was written by a god as you claim. It is stipulated that the bible is an ancient text. But people at the time had motive to pretend it came from a god when it did not. After all, the koran (sp?) is similarly ancient and claims to be the work of a god. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you are not willing to assume that it was until proven otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Pvblivs,

    The Qur'an was believed to be revealed to Muhammad over a period of 23 years and Muhammad spoke the things to his followers orally until he died year 622, but wasn't even compiled until 30 years after Muhammad's death by one of his followers from memory.

    Have you read the Qur'an? You can see, quite clearly, that it wasn't written by any divine influence at all. You can see the recorded events of the Bible in the Qur'an though, like Jesus and Moses. (Bible was available to Muhammad during his time year 622a.d.) With zero prophecies and zero revelations that came true.

    The Bible, on the other hand, was penned by 40 plus men over a period of 1500 years with well over 300 prophecies that came true. Well before Christ, the Qur'an in contrast was 600+ years after Christ and they saw the influence it had on people and I believe the Muslims were scared they would lose the grasp they had on there tribe to the teaching of the Bible.

    The difference between a supernatural Bible and other books proclaiming supernatural influence is the prophecies. The Hebrew Tanakh has a very cohesive message that proclaims we are all wicked in need of a Savior who was to come and when He came the entire world knew it. The world was changed forever.

    A good tree will bring good fruit. Can anyone claim good fruit from the Qur'an?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dan:

         Can you find 5 prophecies that fit the criteria I posted on my blog?

    ReplyDelete
  15. What would it take then? What would be an example of "being honest" in your viewpoint?

    First of all, that the presence of contrary faiths - and the inability of each to show that their faith is superior to any other - means that faith is exactly what it's defined to be.

    Belief.

    Not verifiable proof.

    There is a vast difference between the following 2 statements:

    "God will purge the world of sin"

    "I believe God will purge the world of sin"

    When believers speak the first sentence, they really do mean the second, whether they're willing to admit this to other people or not. It seems to be very popular to portray your belief as fact.

    It's not. It's belief.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Incidentally, adding those two little words before statements of faith make those statements EXTREMELY difficult to disprove, and actually require no proof whatsoever.

    None.

    However, I understand that hubris makes people want to assert that which they believe as fact. It doesn't sound nearly as righteous or powerful or judgemental to say "I believe Jesus was God" as it does to say "Jesus was God"

    The former is honest. The latter is pride (especially when offered without any proof whatsoever).

    ReplyDelete
  17. Whateverman,

    "It seems to be very popular to portray your belief as fact."

    Valid point and in the same breath are you willing to admit that evolution is also a belief?

    "Darwin was right"

    "I believe Darwin was right"

    It after all goes both ways, agree?

    ReplyDelete
  18. criteria? I don't see no stinking criteria.

    Link to it?

    ReplyDelete
  19. dan said: "Darwin was right"

    "I believe Darwin was right"

    It after all goes both ways, agree?


    Yes, obviously.

    The difference between faith in the Bible and faith in science is, of course, that science is verifiable by people who don't necessarily believe in what science says.

    Those who lack faith in the Bible have nowhere to turn to, except to people who say "have faith in the Bible or go directly to Hell (do not pass Go)"

    Science is independently verifiable, and its principles demand that this be done.

    The Bible, not so much.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "The difference between faith in the Bible and faith in science is, of course, that science is verifiable by people who don't necessarily believe in what science says."

    Not so fast, Bucko!

    Science is verifiable by scientists who hold that same worldview otherwise shunned by the scientific community.

    Plus we need to keep in mind anyone who claims science "proves" anything as "true" (like evolution) misunderstands the basic tenets of the scientific method.

    Besides the Bible is also independently verifiable, even by a court with the 'ancient documents rule' and through miracles.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dan said: Science is verifiable by scientists who hold that same worldview otherwise shunned by the scientific community.

    Er, what exactly are you trying to say here? It's not clear (to me).

    Science is independently verifiable, meaning if YOU wanted to find out the truth of an assertion, you are ENCOURAGED to do so. In fact, if you find that "truth" to be questionable, science very nearly demands that you show your evidence for it.

    In reality Dan, when you call "science" into question, you're really only calling the science which fails to validate your beliefs. You certainly don't question mag lev trains, or the quantum mechanics which makes your old CRT tv / monitor work, or the effectiveness os antacid tablets.

    And sadly, instead of actually attempting to show the science to be faulty, you accuse the scientists of anti-Christian world views; you actually ignore the science itself.



    Plus we need to keep in mind anyone who claims science "proves" anything as "true" (like evolution) misunderstands the basic tenets of the scientific method.

    As do those who claim that science proves nothing.

    Proof, in this case, is "all available evidence and data show this theory to be fact".

    That isn't proof in the technical sense. But since science actually wants people to disprove the proposed theories, it is also willing to loudly proclaim a falsified theory as INVALID.

    Thus "proof" is simply "the best evidence that humanity has provided to date"


    Besides the Bible is also independently verifiable, even by a court with the 'ancient documents rule' and through miracles.

    Legal verification is not scientific verification, and you know this.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Whateverman,

    Thus "proof" is simply "the best evidence that humanity has provided to date"

    Good then there is proof of God. I am sure glad we cleared these things up.

    Remember you need to:

    Be loving & openhearted with my emotions.

    Get it?

    ReplyDelete
  23.      Here. You can also find it under the label "prophecy."

    ReplyDelete
  24. Whateverman said: Thus "proof" is simply "the best evidence that humanity has provided to date"

    Dan said: Good then there is proof of God. I am sure glad we cleared these things up.

    The Bible? Yes, I concede that it's evidence. Unfortunately, in order to grant that evidence any credibility, we are required to first believe in it.

    Then, once we believe in it, the real evidence for it's validity makes itself known to us.

    In other words, it's not independently verifiable, nor is it credible evidence.

    In order for me to believe that Russel's teapot is floating around Jupiter, I must read the idea from his book, and then believe the idea.

    At that point, the evidence for its existence is overwhelming...

    Summary: faith is not evidence

    ReplyDelete
  25. Pvblivs wrote: Here. You can also find it under the label "prophecy."

    And also this: 2> The prophecy must not be vague or cover a wide range of possible events.

    Looks like the Bible wont even make it to number 3...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Whateverman,

    "Unfortunately, in order to grant that evidence any credibility, we are required to first believe in it."

    Not true. Your bias is showing.

    In order for it to be admissible we must follow the guidelines of the fair Law.

    Is the document, apparently ancient, coming from the proper repository or custody, and bearing on its face no evident marks of forgery, the law presumes to be genuine, and devolves on the opposing party the burden of proving it to be otherwise.

    If so it fits the 'ancient documents rule' and no matter how your bias shows otherwise the LAW considers it admissible.

    Nothing would get accomplished if the opinions of the trial Lawyers are taken into consideration.

    You are not the judge or Jury but only a Lawyer so live with it. If you can prove, without a shadow of doubt, that the Bible is a forgery then you could plead your case otherwise it's hearsay and would be overruled.

    Evidence is evidence, no matter what your faith or belief is. God's Word in a court of Law is admissible. Move on or be in contempt of court.

    ReplyDelete
  27. the proper repository or custody

    The Bible has no such location or responsible agent.

    ReplyDelete
  28. If you can prove, without a shadow of doubt, that the Vedas are forgeries, then you could plead your case otherwise it's hearsay and would be overruled.

    Evidence is evidence, no matter what your faith or belief is. The Hindu gods' words in a court of law are admissible. Move on or be in contempt of court.

    Or...

    If you can prove, without a shadow of doubt, that the Lord of the Rings is a forgery then you could plead your case otherwise it's hearsay and would be overruled.

    Evidence is evidence, no matter what your faith or belief is. Sauron's Word in a court of law is admissible. Move on or be in contempt of court.

    I like this rule. I'm going to write a book to support my views and, unless you can prove it's a forgery, it's admissible as truth.

    Yes, I realize The Lord of the Rings doesn't meet the ancient criteria, but really, how does the age of a document have anything to do with whether or not it's admissible in a court of law?

    If age is what separates truth from fiction, then we must look not to the Bible, but to something like the Vedas.

    If the document is a myth that was written down thousands of years ago, it's still a myth. Why should your myth be admitted a truth?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Correction: Why should your myth be admitted AS truth.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dan- no disrespect meant, but this whole argument about whether the Bible is "genuine" or a "forgery" is ridiculous. In the first place, despite what Simon Greenleaf says, there's no reason to suppose that any document, ancient or not, must be accepted as being true if it cannot be proven to be untrue. If that's a principle in law, so much the worse for the truth-finding power of law: we could just as well invoke this "ancient documents rule" for any and all religions, fairy tales, and heroic epics. Can you prove to me that Gilgamesh and Enkidu did not slay the Bull of Heaven? Or that Beowulf did not slay Grendel? If you can't, we must presume that they did.

    This assumption that the Bible, or any document, is either "genuine" or a "forgery" is also simple-minded. While some documents are out-and-out forgeries, for instance The Protocols of the Elder of Zion, and some are knowingly fictional, such as Scientology (although L. Ron Hubbard was allegedly so whacked out on drugs that he might have half-believed himself), I suspect that the Bible, and most other religious works, are at least largely sincere. But that does not mean that they are true.

    I see that unethical chum tin has similar ideas. Let a thousand flowers bloom...

    ReplyDelete
  31. Dan:

         The bible is indeed an old text. However, in a pursuit of truth, it is as useful as Aesop's fables or the Greek and Roman stories about their gods. (Incidentally, these fit your criterion as well.) In a court of law, the bible would be recognized as an ancient document, authors unknown (names were attatched after the fact and are not likely to be correct.) It only puts it on par with other books of legends.

    ReplyDelete
  32. It only puts it on par with other books of legends.

    And certainly doesn't present the overwhelming evidence claimed in the OP.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Heh. I just read Pvblivs' rules on acceptable prophecies, and Dan's "criticism" (I like the fact that comments are so dubbed -- the quotes here are a reflection on Dan's reply), and I find it interesting to note the rules to which Dan objected, and the implications that follow from his rejection:

    2> The prophecy must not be vague or cover a wide range of possible events.

    3> The prophecy must not be indefinitely postponeable. There must be a point (assuming the prophecy does not come to pass) when we can declare that it has failed.

    5> The prophecy must not have been fulfilled by people who knew about the prophecy and had an interest in fulfilling it.

    6> The prophecy must have been understood as a prophecy before fulfillment.

    7> The prophecy must not be something that would be expected anyway. (E.g. it will rain this year.)


    Because of Dan's denial of these rules, Dan is implying that he supports Astrology. What's my horoscope, Dan? I'm a Gemini.

    Why Dan objects to rule #7 is beyond me -- perhaps he feels that meteorologists are prophets? Perhaps he thinks that everyone is a prophet? If the prophecy describes an expected event, Dan, how can it be considered a prophecy at all?

    My prophecy: The Philadelphia Phillies will face an opponent from the AL in the World Series.

    Awesome! I'm a prophet!

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  34. Keep in mind what the case is about. These other things you are all considering admissible is just ridiculous.

    It's like bringing a cook book to court to prove the murder of your neighbor. It just doesn't make sence

    IF there were an ancient book that contradicts the resurrection of Christ, with eye witnesses that observed the body being removed by Matthew and Peter then absolutely they would be admissible in this case.

    But to say the Lord of the Rings, Vedas, or cookbook any other irrelevant document is admissible is wasting the courts time.

    OVER RULED

    Stan,

    "Why Dan objects to rule #7 is beyond me"

    Actually you found another mistake of mine. I misread #7 as: 7> The prophecy must be something that would be expected.

    So I will go correct that one.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "Greenleaf came to the conclusion that the witnesses were reliable, and that the resurrection happened."

    That's pretty normal fundy mindset;
    So-and-so said something so it is correct.
    That is one of the most eggregious logical fallacies.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Froggie,

    "That's pretty normal fundy mindset;
    So-and-so said something so it is correct.

    That is one of the most [egregious] logical fallacies."


    I fully understand because people that believe in evolution say, "so-and-so said something so it is correct", all the time. Atheists treat fallible scientists as gods these days that is for sure.

    So if a judge (or supreme court) came to the same conclusion you would say the same thing?

    ReplyDelete
  37. No, Dan, No.

    I have been studying science since I was a kid, and I look at the prepoderance of the evidence, not any one individual. But.....

    I will tell you from the bottom of my brain- I could see the bible was a collection of pre-scientific man trying to understand his existence long before I heard of evolution.

    You can throw out evolution is you want to, but you still have to deal with physics, astronomy, and geology.

    There is no way to justify a young earth. Even Ken Ham is coming to that conclusion.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Froggie,

    There is no way to justify a young earth. Even Ken Ham is coming to that conclusion.

    You are cracking me up. Do you know something I don't? Please, with sugar, share.

    ReplyDelete
  39. @ Dave W.
    //And the Dead Sea Scrolls, with their failure to mention Jesus or any of His disciples, are very much a legal stretch as evidence in favor of the resurrection.//
    You guys do know that most of those scrolls came from a community far away from galilee that live centuries BEFORE Jesus right.

    ReplyDelete
  40. And a discussion on faith you guys might like here
    http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatfaith.html

    ReplyDelete
  41. Dan +†+ said...

    "Keep in mind what the case is about. These other things you are all considering admissible is just ridiculous.

    It's like bringing a cook book to court to prove the murder of your neighbor. It just doesn't make [sense]

    IF there were an ancient book that contradicts the resurrection of Christ, with eye witnesses that observed the body being removed by Matthew and Peter then absolutely they would be admissible in this case.

    But to say the Lord of the Rings, Vedas, or cookbook any other irrelevant document is admissible is wasting the courts time.

    OVER RULED"

    My point is that if you use these rules to prove a case for the Bible, you must THEN apply the very same rules to, not just every other religious text and claims therein, but EVERY text ever written.

    The fact that something is old doesn't make it true. And the fact that something is not a forgery (like the Lord of the Rings), also, doesn't make it any less a work of fiction.

    So go ahead and use these rules to prove the Bible true...and then please concede that Zeus is lord of the universe and that Shiva is the destroyer and that Thor is the god of thunder and so on and so on and son on.

    Also, exactly how much of a document needs to be proven false before it is found to be inadmissible?

    ReplyDelete
  42. mrfreethinker: sorry, I don't do J.P. Holding. His arrogance, poor scholarship, constant recourse to childish insults, and use of sock puppets render him uninteresting, except perhaps as a case study.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dan,
    You asked,
    "You are cracking me up. Do you know something I don't? Please, with sugar, share."

    Cracks have been showing up in Ham's young earth policy for a while now.

    One of his "scientists" had written an article that stated the flood sorted the fossils from non-complex at the bottom of the geologic column to most-complex at the top but never even tried to explain how this occured. Ham got heat on that and the post disappeared.

    Then about three weeks ago, Ham posted an article with a title something like: Exploring a New Model?

    In that article the writer stated that AIG was working on a new model that would allow time before the flood to have the geologic record establish itself.

    I read the article and when I went back to retrieve it, it was also gone from his archives.

    It is probably cached somewhere out in net land but I don't know how to find it.

    I do wish that someone would find the article becauwse it was a vast change in AIG's view.

    ReplyDelete
  44. There's something I don't understand about this young earth hypothesis (<--- note: not worthy of being called a Theory).

    Why would God want or need to deceive us into believing the Earth is much older than it actually is? What's the reason?

    ReplyDelete
  45. Dan,

    I had forgotten that I posted about the AIG article on another site so I got the address from there.


    From the article:
    "One of the important lessons I’ve learned from this process is the need for Christians to exercise humility in our search for the truth. We don’t have all the answers, and our scientific hypotheses may be wrong. So we ought to be ready to concede our models as the evidence demands.

    We must continually seek a better understanding of the Bible and the scientific data, even if it means revising or rejecting our cherished ideas. Scientific theories—even creationist ones—are tentative, and we should learn to hold onto them loosely."

    The actual name of the article is:
    "Time for an Upgrade?"

    Here is the link.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v3/n4/upgrade-time

    ReplyDelete
  46. WEM,
    I agree. God is acting like some unsrupulous antique dealer.......

    ReplyDelete
  47. Froggie posted a link to the article named "Time for an Upgrade?"

    Wow...

    How scary is it that the presence of intellectual honesty actually impresses me?

    Says an awful lot about how much it's absent amongst creationists...

    ReplyDelete
  48. Dan wrote: the proper repository or custody

    The Bible has no such location or responsible agent.

    I'm reiterating this as I think it drives one Mack truck sized whole through your premise.

    As an ancient document, the Bible was changed by many governing bodies; additionally, there wasn't a single place such as a museum or private collection where it was stored to protect it from forgery or malicious tampering.

    Ignoring the fact that it's actually made up of multiple documents, it can hardly be compared to a document like the US Constitution for example. On that basis alone, its credibility as a source of information is questionable at best (laughable in reality)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Whateverman:

         I agree that "young earth" is not worthy of being called a theory. Frankly, I don't think any postulated history of the planet warrants the term "theory."

    ReplyDelete
  50. Froggie,

    I really appreciate the article and I do enjoy the magazine also. I read this article and found it interesting. It is a very beautiful magazine written superbly and I recommend it for all people of all beliefs.

    I agree with:

    "One of the important lessons I’ve learned from this process is the need for Christians to exercise humility in our search for the truth. We don’t have all the answers, and our scientific hypotheses may be wrong. So we ought to be ready to concede our models as the evidence demands."

    I have said in the past, the closer to truth the closer we get to God. As scientists don't have enough evidence to call evolution fact, Christians also don't have enough evidence to prove Biblical claims. I am for now relying on the authority of God's Word in the claim of a young earth. The greatest part is that we are all trying very hard to search for truth. For that we all should all 'exercise humility' and keep searching.

    But this goes back to your first claim of: "There is no way to justify a young earth. Even Ken Ham is coming to that conclusion."

    This claim has yet to be proved. This article was written by Paul Garner, researcher and lecturer with Biblical Creation Ministries in the UK.

    Please show proof of your claim that Mr. Ham has come to a different conclusion then young earth.

    I would like to point you to another article that I read that I found interesting. It shows the math behind the young earth conclusion provided in Genesis. How Young Is the Earth?

    Keep in mind that what Ken Ham said long ago "Believing in a relatively ‘young Earth’ (i.e., only a few thousands of years old, which we accept) is a consequence of accepting the authority of the Word of God as an infallible revelation from our omniscient Creator."

    He also proclaimed: "When someone says to me, ‘Oh, so you’re one of those fundamentalist, young-Earth creationists,’ I reply, ‘Actually, I’m a revelationist, no-death-before-Adam redemptionist!’ (which means I’m a young-Earth creationist!)."

    Please provide contrary proof. Otherwise we will consider this one just another example of Debunking Atheists™

    ReplyDelete
  51. Zilch said "sorry, I don't do J.P. Holding."

    and I said I don't do Talk Origins

    Fair enough?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Zilch said:

    Sorry, I don't do J.P. Holding.

    Dan said:
    I don't do Talk Origins

    Fair enough?


    Not exactly -- Zilch doesn't accept J.P. Holding because of his mannerisms:

    [Holding's turnoffs include his] arrogance, poor scholarship, constant recourse to childish insults, and use of sock puppets...

    Dan's objection to Talk Origins is based purely on a dogmatic rejection of evolution.

    Dan, you cry about Talk Origins, but you have surely noticed that virtually all of us here are perfectly willing to link to, or read from, entire groups of sites which either support or oppose our own personal positions. How many times have I linked to Biblegateway? How many times have I read and/or linked to AiG? What of your other readers?

    I agree here with Whateverman -- it is embarrassingly impressive that AiG seems to be promoting a semblance of intellectual honesty. It is quite rare for Creationists to take this sort of stance, and rarer still for this site to do so.

    Talk Origins may promote conclusions which oppose your worldview, but the methods employed are fair, and the process involved is science -- not presuppositional religion clothed in garments the likes of which Gene Roddenberry would be proud.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  53. Froggie- another quote from the AiG page you linked impressed me:

    Creationists want to reclaim the natural sciences for Christ, and that means constructing new theories in biology, geology, and astronomy that are founded on the Bible and consistent with the scientific data, and then fitting those theories together in a coherent creation model. This is no easy task. It’s much simpler to criticize evolution than to build positive alternatives that can withstand rigorous examination.

    The last sentence is the understatement of the year, in my book. I'm still waiting, but I'm not holding my breath, for the coherent creation model.

    Dan- about J.P. Holding: what Stan said. I've read a fair amount at tektonics, and posted there, and I can corroborate my links: anyone who disagrees with Holding ends up being called an "idiot" or worse. He is undoubtedly intelligent, but poisons discussions with his supercilious arrogance. Have you seen anything like this kind of treatment at TalkOrigins?

    Whateverman: you ask

    Why would God want or need to deceive us into believing the Earth is much older than it actually is? What's the reason?

    While I don't know what God's reason might be, you might want to check out Phillip Henry Gosse's Omphalos, published in 1857, and available online here. Gosse reasons that since living things have cycles of reproduction and development, they had to be created in the middle of this development, which meant that they looked as though they had a past which they actually didn't have. He extends this reasoning to the creation of mountains and so forth. It's a fascinating read, although it didn't convince me: you could just as well say that the world was created five minutes ago.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Wow - a coherent argument being used to justify the unreal.

    Proof again that logic doesn't come from a divine source :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. [In Omphalos,] Gosse reasons that since living things have cycles of reproduction and development, they had to be created in the middle of this development, which meant that they looked as though they had a past which they actually didn't have.

    That is a fascinating hypothesis, which I'd neither heard nor considered, and it's all the more fascinating because, from what I gather, Gosse is actually arguing in favor of the biblical creation account(s).

    I'll have to read that book, but if the premise above is true, then it seems to me that Gosse's argument is actually damaging to the creation "model" -- it requires that at some level, god must be deceiving us. It also doesn't explain the "need" for things like distant starlight, fossils, geological columns, etc. -- all of which point to an age of the earth, solar system, and universe, which is orders of magnitude greater than ~6000 years.

    As I said, if that hypothesis was offered in support of creation, it seems to me that it would backfire immediately. Hell, Lord Kelvin was staunchly opposed to the idea of extreme ages, until nuclear fusion was identified as the process which fueled the sun, at which point he immediately recanted.

    You know, it really baffles me as to why this argument (regarding the age of the earth/solar system/universe) is even necessary. If people like Dan would bother to educate themselves even a little bit on the various diverse sciences which address things like the apparent ages of these objects (or their inhabitants), rather than blithely accepting the presuppositional rhetoric of agenda-ridden tools like Ham & co., they'd see that harboring these ancient beliefs -- one subset of a much larger whole, many of which they already disavow -- is not only foolish, it's asinine.

    Dan, if you want to argue about the age of the earth/solar system/universe or the inhabitants thereof, I respectfully request that you achieve (and demonstrate) a basic understanding of physics, biology, geology, and cosmology. I'm not talking about an undergraduate degree -- just a high school understanding, or possibly a junior college understanding, in half or more of these subjects should be sufficient.

    Sure, you've heard the arguments from both sides, to one degree or another, regarding these subjects, but I highly doubt you've seen or understood any of the math.

    As an example of what awaits you, take a look at Euler's Identity -- the formula which relates the two most important irrational constants ('e' and 'pi') with the two most important integers ('0' and '1'; also their difference, '-1'), by tying them to the imaginary square root of -1: 'i'.

    It has been proven.

    There is undeniable beauty in mathematics, physics, and every other scientific discipline, and as I've mentioned, those which have something to say about the ages of the local denizens of the universe all agree. You would be wise to understand not only the philosophical side of the arguments, but the mathematics.

    Once you do, you may find yourself able to correctly identify Ham's henchmen as the stooges they really are. Sure, you may still be unconvinced, but your ignorance would no longer be the reason -- rather, your willful, informed denial of the science would be the reason. While ignorance is certainly more innocent a defense than informed denial, at least you'd have the knowledge, and perhaps you'd gain a deeper understanding both of our position and of your own.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  56. Stan,

    Talk Origins may promote conclusions which oppose your worldview, but the methods employed are fair, and the process involved is science

    That is a stretch for even you. Methods employed are fair? Process involved is science? How could it be without an open mind and a presuppositional worldview against a Creator?

    Skewed worldview science, isn't science at all.

    "I respectfully request that you achieve (and demonstrate) a basic understanding of physics, biology, geology, and cosmology."

    Gee da ya tink I am capible of such a ting?

    I'd rather leave you to your ad hom judgmental pigeon hole that you have placed me in, as just another dumb Fundy. I can live with that.

    So far my correct hypotheses on various things in this blog is evidence of my understandings. I will give you a good starting point even.

    You sir crack me up, be careful you are acting like an elitist. You must be a Bush supporter if that is the case.

    Keep in mind you need to:

    Be Loving & Openhearted With My Emotions.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Stan- you are absolutely correct: Gosse was a Creationist, and he was jumped on right away by scientists and Christians alike, who said that his argument made God a trickster. But that wasn't Gosse's intention at all: he actually had a better understanding of science than some Creationists do today, and saw his theory as a way to reconcile the apparent age of the Earth with the Bible. While I can't remember his reasoning exactly (I'll have to reread Omphalos), he regarded the apparent past as a logical necessity, of a piece with the necessity for God to provide Adam with a navel (whence the title).

    Dan: scientists, whether they be Christian, Muslim, or atheist, can only deal with material things when they're doing science. If there's material evidence for God, then God becomes part of science. If not, then not, no matter what the scientist does on Sunday. No "presuppositional worldview against a Creator" is necessary to accept evolution: it's got the evidence on its side, and many Christians accept it.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Zilch wrote: No "presuppositional worldview against a Creator" is necessary to accept evolution: it's got the evidence on its side, and many Christians accept it.

    Yup. It's old news, but Ken Miller (a christian biologist) gave a speech about the ID movement and science - a bit long, but very interesting when it comes to debunking this particular flavor of creationism.

    I'd be interested to hear your comments about this, Dan.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Methods employed are fair? Process involved is science? How could it be without an open mind and a presuppositional worldview against a Creator?

    Despite your handwaving, Dan, there is no "presuppositional worldview against a creator". Stop being such a drama queen. As you're well aware, the scientific method presupposes nothing -- it merely states hypotheses, formulates theories, and makes predictions based on what we can measure and observe.

    Skewed worldview science, isn't science at all.

    First, your statement is fallacious for using "skewed worldview" to modify "science" -- your conclusion is effectively correct, but it should read, "Skewed worldviews do not produce science".

    Restated thusly, I absolutely agree with you. Creationism, especially Young-Earth Creationism, is therefore not science.

    Gee da ya tink I am capible of such a ting?

    Yes, I do, and unless you feel differently I'd appreciate a more reasonable reaction than the following:

    I'd rather leave you to your ad hom judgmental pigeon hole that you have placed me in, as just another dumb Fundy. I can live with that.

    I'm sure it's convenient for you to turtle back into your dumb Fundy pigeon hole, but don't pretend I've put you there. You seem perfectly capable of sophisticated enough thought that you should be able to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of these subjects. If you are unafraid of what you might discover, you should actually engage the subjects you so oppose.

    You'll note, Dan, that virtually every one of us is not only well versed on one or more of the topics I've recommended, but we're also very familiar with Christianity. Most of us, for better or for worse, have an insider's perspective, and although you'll deny us as not having been True Christians™, we at the very least understand your position, its claims, its hypotheses, and its method.

    If I'm wrong, and your dumb Fundy ass is actually knowledgeable on these topics -- aside from parroting the viewpoints spread by Ham and his pals -- by all means let me know and I'll apologize for assuming otherwise. If not, then sack up and find out why science has drawn the conclusions to which you so loudly object.

    I don't think you're incapable, I just think you're disingenuous, and I hoped you'd appreciate an opportunity to demonstrate otherwise. In fact, because of the manner in which you've responded, I think it safe to say that my assumption was correct. Still, though, you have ample opportunity to show me, and the rest of your readers, otherwise.

    So far my correct hypotheses on various things in this blog is evidence of my understandings.

    Umm. No. Let's try again:

    So far, Dan's failed hypotheses on various things in this blog exist as evidence against his understanding of the subjects involved, or for his use of willful deceit.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  60. Dan,
    You wrote,
    "Please provide contrary proof. Otherwise we will consider this one just another example of Debunking Atheists™"
    You've never debunked anything.

    I have supplied you with the evidence of my claim. The article that Ham allowed to be posted n his site is evidence he is changing his mind on YEC.

    Te writer admits that their past tactic of just criticizing evolution is not working.

    I consider your statement to be intellectually dishonest. You can clearly see what I was referring to.

    You are busted again.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Whateverman,

    "I'd be interested to hear your comments about this, Dan."

    I have seen that before. Debate turned to lecture. It has bee refuted before by our good friends at AIG. (Not the failed insurance

    Speaking of failed

    How To Shut Up Pesky Creationists

    Fail, try again.

    Chimp genome sequence very different from man

    ReplyDelete
  62. You only hear what you want to hear Dan:

    1. Even if we accept the numbers of this "pseudo scientist." The differences would amount to 3.8%. I would not say that is a lot of difference.

    2. If you take a look at the published sequences, they are far from complete. Lots of missing sequence in humans, lots in chimps. So, we can not be sure those "absent" pieces are truly absent.

    3. The most controversial pieces are found in meaningless DNA. Much of it at the places used to differentiate among humans (like for paternity tests). You have to expect lots of differences there since you already observe huge differences there among humans.

    4. Most of those differences, when present in genes, do not make any difference at the protein level. Thus, they are silent mutations.

    And so on and so forth.

    Disingenuous to present those "millions of differences" in a way that looks so spectacular just to convince fundies that they are right. That is called lies and self delusion Dan.

    You did not even try and understand what is presented about the fused chromosome. Pay attention please:

    Why would a designer put evidence in the form of a degraded centromere and of degraded telomeres in the fused chromosome if it is not a fused chromosome?

    Failed? Unless you learn to truly read, you will keep failing, and we will keep wondering what the heck with this Dan guy!?

    What I truly do not understand is why, after being debunked yourself time and again, you ater on "refute" arguments, by linking to those things that lots of people have shown you to be pure failures. Why use a debunked argument again and again. I truly cannot understand how you manage to not feel guilty of that. Perhaps it is just that you do not understand anything, and thus assume that you, and the idiots you copy from, were not debunked?

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  63. G.E.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hey Dan,

    I thought I'd send this to you:

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/legalpost/archive/2008/10/16/god-victorious-in-lawsuit.aspx

    I know how you've pointed to law cases in the past as "proof" that atheism is a religion. Will you accept this as "proof," then, that God is not omnipresent nor omniscient since he could not be notified of the lawsuit?

    - JT

    ReplyDelete
  65. JT,

    Thanks for the link and laugh.

    "The court dismissed the matter on grounds that God had not been properly served."

    Priceless!

    The court is assuming a great deal don't you agree? Would the burden of proof be on the courts to prove that God wasn't properly served? An appeal might be in order with the argument that God is omnipresent and omniscient.

    It sure would be nice to prove God's omnipresence but it's beneficial that there is no proof for now since faith is required. Once there is proof, Judgement Day may be here.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Off topic:

    Ray:

         Does this Jesus of yours command you to lie? I'm serious. You started off admitting that Kaitlyn gave reasons. No matter how much you lie now, it is in the record that you know that people gave reasons and not excuses.
         There is no need for a direct answer. Whether you correct your blog to remove the lie will tell all. If you keep the change to "excuse" everyone will know that you worship a liar and a father of lies -- though I am sure that many will continue to play the game. I will also post this in a couple other conspicuous places in case you decide not to let this through.

    ----------------

    Dan:

         I am only trying to make a post conspicuous so that Ray cannot pretend it was not written. He has a tendency of deleting inconvenient posts. Whether or not you continue to believe in Jesus, I hop you understand that Ray is a fraud

    ReplyDelete
  67. Pvblivs,

    Unfortunately you haven't read what my rules are:

    "Debunk the person logically, but personal attacks is no way to do it. Keep the ad hominems out of the conversation. Personal attacks is unnecessary and wastes our time."

    Why shouldn't I delete your post?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Dan:

         I placed the post in multiple places as a hedge against Ray's tendency to delete inconvenient posts on his own blog. The post itself was meant as a criticism of a direct action. The hope was to get at his conscience so that he could correct his lie.
         By the way, you would be better served if you said you deleted it for being off-topic. Others have noted that you do include ad hominems in your own posts. At this point, it will do me no harm if you delete the post. However, it will bring into stark relief the hypocricy that is christianity. The christian god creates (according to legend) rules for people that he, himself, does not follow.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Dan, one warning. Take that image down off of my book on Amazon now. You have no right to do that and I reported it to Amazon. I call on everyone to report it to Amazon. Take it down of you own volition or you will be banned from DC and I will summarily delete all of your comments.

    ReplyDelete

Bring your "A" game. To link: <a href="url">text</a>