June 24, 2009

Galileo's Persecution

From what I read and quote, Galileo published a book supporting the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, and implied that the Church was in error. Galileo stood alone against the power of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and on April 12, 1633, he was brought before the Inquisition to defend himself against charges of heresy. Facing torture and death, that brilliant scientist was forced to read and sign a confession, disavowing his belief that the Earth revolves around the sun. (Sinful Spyglass)

The RCC concluded he was wrong based on the verses Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 104:5, and Ecclesiastes 1:5

Galileo augured that we are not to take every passage literally, particularly when the scripture in question is a book of poetry and songs. I agree. I can refer back to a past post about the earth being flat or sphere, but I never expounded on the Galileo, heliocentrism, and the passages the RCC had issues with so let me try.

Galileo adopted Augustine's position who said, "One does not read in the Gospel that the Lord said: ‘I will send you the Paraclete who will teach you about the course of the sun and moon.’ For he willed to make them Christians, not mathematicians."

So the intent of the Bible is not to explain the facts of the universe but to shed light on mankind's purpose and Salvation. This does not mean that the Bible is not scientifically accurate though, which it is.

I am not sure if time should even be spent on the Psalm verses since they are poems and songs. Although, I will touch on meanings a bit to appease.

Psalm 93:1 "the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved." In the erection of that kingdom of the Messias which can never be moved.

Psalm 96:10 "the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved" That kingdom shall never be destroyed, but shall stand for ever. (Daniel 2:44)

Psalm 104:5 "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever." i.e. upon itself, or its own weight, whereby it stands as fast and unmovable, as if it were built upon the strongest foundations imaginable; which is a stupendous work of Divine power and wisdom.

1 Chronicles 16:30 "Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved" (Strong's H4131) be overthrown or it cannot be removed. (Psa 125:1 "abideth for ever")

Ecclesiastes 1:5 can be understood best in context.

First verse 4 sets it up by saying "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever."

Which states the repetitive nature of life as pointed out in verse 5-8: The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits, All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

Verses 9-11 explains what the prior passages mean. Poole says that the things of this world are so narrow, and the mind of man so vast, that there must be something new to satisfy the mind; and even delightful things, by too frequent repetition or long continuance, are so far from yielding satisfaction, that they grow tedious and troublesome.

By comparing the sun, and wind, and rivers, Poole compared the earth with man, might show that man, considered as mortal, is in a more unhappy condition than these things, because when the earth abides, man goes; and when the sun sets, he riseth again; and so the wind and rivers return to their former place and state, but man, when once he dies, he never returns again to this life. (Job 14:7,12)

So we can easily see that, in context, these passages have nothing to do with a literal sun moving through the skies. In fact, what Atheist has never uttered the terms sunrise or sunset? It is still, to this day, part of our language and vernacular. So we all understand, when an Atheist grumbles through a sunrise, he knows that the sun is in the center of our solar system and his life here on earth is limited.

Subsequently, on October 31, 1992 after 359 years, the Roman Catholic Church admits that it erred in its persecution of Galileo.


  1. So, then where are all the scientific acuracies of the bible that you speek of????????

  2. "This does not mean that the Bible is not scientifically accurate though, which it is."


  3. The Bible is not a science book, yet it is scientifically accurate. Keep in mind that we don't show evidence of the Bible with science because that would render science the authority.

  4. Dan,
    So, you link to your own post where your explanation was soundly debunked. Nice.

    It seems you are grasping at straws lately.

  5. Soundly debunked? You do mean that the people who had presuppositions of the Bible not being true continued in their beliefs and wasn't convinced, then sure. We all have the same data here the difference is interpretations of said data.

  6. Soundly debunked? You do mean that the people who had presuppositions of the Bible not being true continued in their beliefs and wasn't convinced, then sure. We all have the same data here the difference is interpretations of said data.
    You're kidding, right? Did you forget that the site that I linked to was itself a theist site?

  7. Is this meant as a sincere argument that Christians have been wrong in the past, or just another round of blaming Catholics?

    Do you know that Luther, Calvin and Melanchthon were less than enthusiastic about Copernicus?

    How good is the Bible if it took humans 5500 years to interpret it correctly?

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. "We all have the same data here the difference is interpretations of said data."

    Oh shit! I forgot!
    You, Ken Ham and Ray Comfort are now interpreting all the scientific data that has been collected over the last 200 years.

    My bad!
    I'll shotgun an e-mail to all of those ingrate scientists to make sure they get the memo.

    Sorry, Dan. To be sure, I am not worthy of your great intellect.

  10. Dan you said, "We all have the same data here the difference is interpretations of said data."

    You should know that is not true. Over an over we have demonstrated that you only apply the very limited amount of scientific knowledge and understanding you have, and only the scientific evidence that the Sci-Christian Apologist sites you frequent found they could spin doctor.

    In your post on the age of the universe, I easily demonstrated that you are not aware of the quantity and variety of types of evidence that supports its currently concluded age.

    You need to explain all of the evidence Dan, not just one small piece of the overwhelming amount available. This is why you wishful interpretations are not considered scientific in anyway.

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

  11. "Job 38:35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?"

    Oh Yeah! I new the instant that I read that it meant "that light can be sent, and then manifest itself in speech...."

    That is definitely not open to interpretation, just like Nostradomus is not open to interpretation.


  12.      Here is the actual text of Ecclesiastes 1:5. "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose." [Emphasis added] Now, there are a couple reasons why I emphasized that bit. One is that Dan conveniently omitted it, making his entire explanation a lie. Sorry, Dan. The other is that it shows that whoever wrote Ecclesiastes took the rising and setting of the sun to be literal, not metaphorical.
         It is certainly true that modern society uses sunrise and sunset metaphorically. However, the metaphor is a relic that recalls a time when it was taken literally. The bible was written in such a time. That it makes factual errors comes as no surprise -- assuming it is entirely the product of human minds.

  13. Dan (long time no speak),
    You said:
    ” Keep in mind that we don't show evidence of the Bible with science because that would render science the authority.”

    So, hm, I’m wondering, if you say that the bible is (in some cases) scientifically accurate, yet we cannot use science to give us this evidence, then how pray-tell can we determine whether or not it’s scientifically accurate.

    Furthermore, if we cannot (or should not) use science to show biblical evidence, then why even talk about it relative to scientific knowledge in the first place?

    Let me make a definition:
    If something is “scientifically accurate”, then it is (far all practical purposes) scientific. Which is to say that we speak of it (or can speak of it) within a modern day scientific paradigm, using the rules of modern day physics, biology and so on.

    Having said that, Dan, what you’re essentially saying is this:
    We cannot show evidence of the bible using a scientific language game (or paradigm), however in some cases the bible is scientific, simply by default.

    So than, in the cases you mentioned in the main body of your post (the verses that showed a universe that traveled around the earth, with the earth at the center), at what point was it determined that this was not scientific, but rather poetic? And, what idea, notion, discovery led to the realization that these verses were poetic rather than scientific?

    I think you see here that the answer is simple. Once it was determined using scientific evidence that the earth traveled around the sun, it became evident that what was being read in the bible could not be taken literal. Hence, we showed evidence of the bible using science – which (at least in this case), makes it the authority on determining fact from fiction, literal from poetic when it comes to biblical interpretation.

    Now, having said all that, suppose one finds out that evolution is true; of course, not in any absolute sense. Would this be another case where we’d have to consider that perhaps Genesis is also “merely poetic”? Not only that, but perhaps being born of a virgin, coming back to life and walking on water are also poetic (since science cannot prove them) for the same reasons that we shouldn’t accept biblical testimony about the nature of the universe.

    How are the cases I just mentioned different from the case where science discovered the universe was opposite from what the bible states, hence the bible is poetic in that instance? In other words, if you’re not going to use science to asses the truth about creation, virgin births, and being dead for three days than coming back to life, then why use it to asses the accuracy of science relative to the nature of the universe?

  14. Andrew Louis,

    Well stated. That comment will probably result in Dan Posting a new thread which is what he does when he paints himself into a corner. hehe.

  15. Correction on my last sentence which read:
    "In other words, if you’re not going to use science to asses the truth about creation, virgin births, and being dead for three days than coming back to life, then why use it to asses the accuracy of science relative to the nature of the universe?"

    It should state:
    ....then why use it to asses the accuracy of *the stated verses* relative to the nature of the universe?

  16. All that Dan has established here is that even if the bible is true on some level, Christians are notoriously unable to correctly interpret it according to that level of truth. We already knew this, but he seems to conveniently forget it at every opportunity.

    Yes, Christianity -- all of it -- thought that the earth was the center of the universe. Yes, Christianity -- all of it -- thought that the earth was flat. Yes, Christianity -- all of it -- thought Noah's flood event was global. Yes, Christianity -- all of it -- thought that the Creation story took place in six literal days.

    All of these old and/or current beliefs held by Christians have been supported by scripture, one way or the other. How does this help your cause? If the bible is so woefully ambiguous (assuming it is true on some as-yet unappreciated level), then why continue to use it?

    At some point, you have to admit that the text you claim to be "holy" is nothing more than a collection of musings of bronze-age nomads, who spoke with authority on issues for which they were unqualified to do so. We're all waiting for that admission on your part, but I doubt any of us are holding our breath...

    What's more, when the bible is shown to be scientifically false on some point (e.g. geocentric 'interpretation,' water held aloft beyond the sky, the ability to reach heaven by building a tower, etc.), you -- Christians, that is -- immediately seek refuge under the two instant defenses of "poetic ambiguity" or "miracle."

    When pressed about biblical passages which "plainly" state that the earth is flat, or the center of the universe, you cite poetic ambiguity. When confronted with the absurd impossibility of striped rods causing livestock to become striped, you cite miracle. Not once do you admit the truth: bullshit.

    The earth is not a circle, and it is not hung on nothing. It is not fixed, it is not stationary, and it does not have massive amounts of [liquid] water hovering somewhere in space. The authors who wrote this stuff thought it was literally true, and so did Christianity for most of its existence.

    It is instead literally false.

    The moon is not a light, and does not govern the night. When the author of Genesis wrote that god had said, "Let there be light," that author had no concept of light beyond the visible spectrum, and was clearly anthropomorphizing his deity, who should have been able to create just as well without a "work lamp."

    This stuff is false. The bible is wrong. In its opening passages (as currently canonized), it is wrong. Where else, I wonder, is it also wrong? Sure, you'll crawl under your "miricle" defense, and you'll crawl under the poetic ambiguity defense, but that's bullshit and everybody knows it -- even you.

    You Christians are really quite pitiful when it comes to losing the bible as an authority. You're so afraid to admit that you need an external guide in order to live "proper" lives, that you cling to the bible as a life vest, without ever realizing it's full not of air or foam, but of lead. You're so afraid of your inability to define and package your deity that you believe 'all hell will break loose' if the bible isn't absolutely true on some level.

    It won't. You'll be all right. If you still want to believe in a deity, you can, but you'll have to admit that the "personal relationship" you claim must become more substantive. You will have to get your "proper living" information directly from the source, rather than filtered through the inanity of an ancient and scientifically inaccurate mythology.


  17. Andrew!

    Good to read you!


  18. Andrew,

    That was indeed well said. I hope I can explain it satisfactorily to you. My claim is that the Bible is completely accurate and truthful, you do not. I am saying that the data is interpreted by fallible men that may, or may not, get it right. Science, done correctly, could reveal the truth of the Bible. Today that is not the case. The presupposition hostility towards the Bible skews the interpretation of the Bible. We should not even be interpreting the Bible but careful and sensitive discernment.

    Evolution will never be "true" because it is against the Bible's explanation of Created life. Same with life on other planets, they will never find life on other planets because the Bible says so. We can confidently depend on it with our lives. In fact, we are still hearing crickets from the Phoenix Mars Lander's search for life. You hold that science is reliable and so do but in a very limited way. Because as a good science experiment you must eliminate the variables. A huge problem with science is the huge variable of the presuppositions of the secular scientists.

    We have been down this road before but you must understand that science often changes when it is found to be incorrect, that is science. So what makes the interpretation of the Bible different? Nothing, both have people interpreting the data, incorrectly at times. When man is introduced both are merely a controlled hit or miss from a fallible source.

    Now Stan, who must have gotten water on the brain at the park, would just love for us to think that the entire Bible is complete poetry or fantasy stories and shouldn't ever be taken literally but we all see how flawed even his logic is.

    How many remember when this was pointed out?

    Let me show you why you shouldn't read the Bible like Aesop's fables. Look in Hosea 1:1, see the time line, the Bible talks about specific and exacting historical events with details of surroundings and time frame. People say "You can't believe the Bible it has a bunch of stories" Fantasy stories don't include details like the Bible which should be taken as fact.

    The principle point here is that God communicated through prophets and was specific about the details. God inspired the Bible and we know we should take it as truth, not fiction, because it is written plainly as a historical narrative.

    Plus, Stan is fully aware that the the Hebrew TaNaKh aka Scripture, has different books in them for different purposes.

    Torah ("Teaching," also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")

    Torah (The Law), also called the Pentateuch (Greek for "five books" Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)

    Nebiim (The Prophets),
    The Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings) The Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, The Twelve (Minor Prophets) Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zecariah, Malachi

    Ketubim (The Writings), Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles

    One can easily see that the Ketubim has an entirely different purpose, therefor we must have a different approach of understanding it, then the Torah.

    The problem here with you, Stan, et al, is your worldviews about the Bible, not the Bible itself. If you trust the Bible, then you stop trusting yourself as the authority standing skeptically over the Bible and try "harder" to understand it for what it is. Truth.

  19. Dan,
    lets suppose we come at this another way. Suppose that the entire bible “was” literal at some point in time – or should be considered as such. In other words, that the ancients viewed the world as flat and at the center of the universe is understandable enough considering they’re perspective on things. In this way we can consider they’re biblical accounts literal. However, we come at things from a different perspective; our knowledge and language games are conditioned by a greater body of history, and relative to a different set of needs and interests. One could say that it’s not so much that the ancients were wrong, so much as it’s of no use to us to consider their view of things – in other words it’s of no use to science to work off the basis that the world is flat.

    Let me offer a pretty juvenile example of this. Suppose I asked the question, “would a coat of armor be adequate to protect oneself in battle?” Now days we’d of course say no, but the reason doesn’t have to do with the coat of armor being false, wrong, and so on. Rather, the answer is no because (that our needs and interests on the battle field is survival) it can easily be shown that such a device would be statistically inadequate on the modern day battlefield for survival. It’s heavy, cumbersome, you don’t quite have the ability to move as you need to, so on, you get the point.

    Here’s my point, we have a tendency of calling the ancients wrong, or they’re theories false, but we do so relative to our modern day scientific paradigms. The problem is we completely ignore the practical purposes certain forms of thought served at the time they were conceived. In other words, stating that the sun traveled around the earth was a practical way of thinking about it at the time, relative to the perspective that was being held. Of course now days it does us no good to consider such a notion as our needs and interests (think of space travel) are different. We like to think that our view is, “Closer to the Truth”, but I’ll touch on that.

    My point is this (again), take the biblical account for what it is, consider it as a description of reality that was true (as we see true today) relative to the needs and interests people had at the time. Now than, the question becomes (as with the coat of armor example above) what good does it do us to consider, for example, intelligent design, as being factually true in the way we consider truth today? Does the belief work for us in a way that solves modern day problems (as biology with evolution does)? Or does it, rather, merely act to support a fundamentalist view of a world long gone? The key is, ID (like the coat of armor) while serving the needs of they’re time, don’t serve the needs of our time.

    Of course, none if this is to suggest that we can’t talk about God, this is only to suggest that we do so in a way that’s consistent and supporting of the needs and interests of humanity as it exists in the present. Following from the previous paragraph, it does us no good to consider miracles of one sort or another to be in some way factually true; you might think it’s a fancy to the mind, but it does noting to forward the cause of humanity.

    The following is a generalization:
    The basis of my argument is really the neo-pragmatist / post-modern notion that science isn’t so much a progression of getting closer and closer to the Truth, or getting us past appearance to reality, but merely a different description (or tool, as with the coat of armor) which serves the continually shifting and changing needs and interests of mankind. In this way, old ideas aren’t wrong per se, they simply don’t serve a purpose any longer. I would submit to you that most of the problems that exist in our modern time (as it seems to be progressing exponentially) is the result of old forms of thought being inadequate to cope with modern problems. Having said this, how does biblical mythology (and I call it that as the truth of the matter no longer hold) help us?

  20. Andrew,

    First read what I just wrote and second the Bible is relevant even more today then the days of the past. The people back then only read about the future that was written in the Bible. Today we are living the events in that Bible and we see things unfold before us. Make no mistake of the Bible relevance today.

    Why would the Bible want to save people from a period of time and not now anyway? Your logic, once again, is flawed. God and His Word is Sanctifying people every minute of everyday for thousands of years. Entire nations, like ours, are built on the guiding principles of the Bible. No you are grossly mistaken about the Bible and its relevance today. BTW The only armor you need, even to this day, is the body of Christ. (Isaiah 41:10,Isaiah 43:2)

  21. Now Stan, who must have gotten water on the brain at the park, would just love for us to think that the entire Bible is complete poetry or fantasy stories and shouldn't ever be taken literally but we all see how flawed even his logic is. 

    I really have no idea whose position you're seeking to destroy, but it's certainly not mine.

    I'm not arguing that the whole bible is literal, or figurative, or anything of the sort. I am arguing that certain elements of it were written from a literal perspective (by the authors), yet are entirely inaccurate. You, on the other hand, claim that the entire bible is true and accurate, albeit through some as-yet unappreciated interpretation.

    I note, with due helpings of sarcasm, how quickly Christians hide behind their two basic defenses: 'poetic ambiguity' and 'miracle.' This has been unaddressed by your ramblings on the different aspects of the Hebrew bible, and more the worse.

    You don't even appear to have attempted to answer Andrew's questions, other than to say, 'Science is wrong if/when it doesn't agree with the bible.' That's hardly a damning charge, and it's hardly worth comment. Try again.

    God inspired the Bible and we know we should take it as truth, not fiction, because it is written plainly as a historical narrative. 

    So you assert. Without argument.

    In fact, you beg the question in a couple different ways -- the one I shall pick on most here is in the fact that you note incorrect interpretation as being the result of "fallible [humans]," yet you refuse to admit that the bible was also written by "fallible [humans]." Sure, you'll pay lip service to the fact that even the authors were 'sinners,' or that they made mistakes in life, but you'll still claim that what they wrote is infallible.

    So what we have is an impossible standard, onto which you have built your question-begging premises. If it can be interpreted fallibly, then it can also be written fallibly. Since the early readers of the incomplete bible had to interpret it themselves, and since some of those readers necessarily became writers of later canonized books, it must be possible that their own interpretations may also have been fallible. Really, you're just the king of trying to have your cake and eat it, too.

    If biblical interpretation can be fallible, which you evidently admit, then your own interpretation is necessarily suspect. Also, if interpretations can be fallible, then so, too, can memoirs, or written transcriptions. The authors of the bible, necessarily, interpreted, recalled, and transcribed the various events which you claim were infallibly 'inspired,' and thus, by your own admission, they could very well be fallible -- you know, like every other book written by a human.

    You cannot place the bible into some special category without special pleading, and the only way you manage even that is through question-begging. In any event, my original statements are unaffected by your "history" lesson -- the bible is wrong when interpreted literally, in the very sections you claim require a literal interpretation, and the fact that 'poetic ambiguity' or "miricle" defenses must be erected weakens any claim you make. If it is so ambiguous, or if "goddidit" is the only alternative answer, then why bother?

    As I said, you are afraid to admit the bible contains fiction (which was considered as fact to its very authors), for fear of losing some tangible guide for 'proper' living. I guess that "personal relationship" with god isn't all that useful after all, eh?


  22. Pvb,

    I nearly forgot to address your "and hasteth to his place where he arose" point. Are you claiming that you believe that the person who penned that thought the sun "actually" ran to the other side of the earth to begin the task of rising sun again? Does that make sense? Or is that a clever way to describe a repetitive motion? Common sense and logic should help you with it.

  23. Dan:

         "Are you claiming that you believe that the person who penned that thought the sun 'actually' ran to the other side of the earth to begin the task of rising sun again?"
         I am claiming that the person who penned that thought the sun actually moved to the other side of the earth to begin again. I also note that the text says "hasteth," not "runneth." So, it only implies fast movement not running.

  24. Well said, Stan & Andrew! You guys explained much of what I was thinking and more, and presented it in a clear and concise way.

    So Dan, I'm still waiting for a response. You claim we are each interpreting the scientific evidence in a different way, yet I clearly pointed out you only explained a minor points while ignoring all of the rest. Please show us your interpretation of all of the knowledge and evidence available for each of your claims. Show that can equally or better support your biblical view as it can the current scientific claim. Lets start with the age of the universe. I mentioned a few details you missed and know of others, but I'll wait until you're all caught up!

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

  25. Ok, Dan, let me parse this down a bit perhaps, and go about it another way. You said:

    “My claim is that the Bible is completely accurate and truthful…”

    Now, the rest of what you say after this (or get into) is a trailing off into wonderland I’m afraid – and I don’t mean any offense by that.

    You say that the bible is completely true and accurate (you’ve created an absolute), but then turn around and point out the fallibility of man to interpret it.

    So than, let us suppose that you’re correct; what method do you use to determine whether the bible is speaking poetically (metaphorically) vs. the method you use to determine whether the bible is consistent with science?

    Second; you made the statement that the bible says there is no life on other planets, and you take that as an absolute truth. You back this up by the fact that science hasn’t found any other humans yet. But, and this is a big but, I asked you the question, at what point (relative to the bibles perspective on the universe) did this position change from being literal, to being poetic? You have to understand the importance of this question as it undermines your position and suggests that your above interpretation (“no life on other planets”) is flawed for the same reasons. It also contradicts your original claim that you cannot use science as evidence for the bible – because in this case, you are relying on the fact that, since we have yet to find life out there, then the bible must be true – likewise the ancients thought, since there is no evidence that the world is round and the earth goes around the sun, the bible must be true.

  26. Here’s the deal, Dan:

    You accept that fact that in the case of the earth (its position and the motion of the sun), that science showed the bible was being (on the one hand) either poetic, or truthful to the perspective at the time. This being the case, you’ve contradicted yourself, and have to accept the possibility that the Genesis account (ID), along with anything else in the bible, may also be poetic. However, lacking the existence of scientific evidence (to your liking) you take the bible as an authority, which is pretty much the same position the Catholic Church took, in which case they were ultimately proven wrong.

  27. If I may, Andrew...

    Science, done correctly, could reveal the truth of the Bible. Today that is not the case. The presupposition hostility towards the Bible skews the interpretation of the Bible. 

    If science reveals the truth of the bible, then science is needed to expose this suspiciously hidden truth. If the "truth" of the bible regarding the earth as being spherical and revolving about the sun was unknown through the use of "science" as practiced by pre-Copernican society, despite the "clear" guide provided in the bible, then just how do you sit here and tell us that current science -- equally rigorous, if not more so -- is somehow wrong when it continues to challenge the dogmatic views of biblical thought?

    Are you seriously suggesting that today's science is somehow less grounded in reality, or in a pursuit of truth, than the science practiced by Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, et al?

    Your audacity meter just tilted.

    Clearly, the bible can be, and has been, used to justify scientifically incorrect, or morally reprehensible, positions (note the two are not necessarily mutually inclusive), and clearly science, or a greater recognition of individual equality (again, the two are not necessarily mutually inclusive), has corrected these incorrect and/or reprehensible positions.

    Andrew's primary point, then, is that science is used to adjust the paradigm with respect to biblical interpretation (as only one example), not the other way 'round. The bible is far older than any current forms of the scientific process -- a fact which you often cite as an advantage, but which in this case is disadvantageous, since you cannot justify your implied claim that the bible corrects science.

    Now, this is, of course, not to say that science doesn't occasionally get things wrong. It does! It is also unafraid of admitting its errors (read: science is unafraid. Scientists are quite often afraid of losing a pet theory), and is perfectly capable of admitting its imperfection. Just because science (in its 'modern' form) came after the bible does not mean it is necessarily better, but, as Dan loves to harp on, its fruit is evident for all to see.

    Science, not any interpretation of the bible, showed that the earth is roughly spherical, and that it rotates on its axis to produce the perception of the sun's motion. Science, not any interpretation of the bible, showed that the earth rotates about the sun, and that so, too, do the other planets in this system. Science, not any interpretation of the bible, showed that many of the other planets have their own satellites.

  28. This is all much ado about nothing, however, as I doubt any camp will truly dispute the above. In fact, I wonder just how Dannus Marvinus, the Roman Christian from c. 400 CE, would have argued for the shape of the earth and/or the relative position of the earth in our solar system. If he would have argued in favor of a geocentric solar system, then his modern persona should be forced to admit that the bible is virtually useless as a scientific guide, and that science, not direct biblical interpretation, guides our understanding of the universe.

    When Copernicus formulated his theory of the solar system, he did so just because it "made sense." He had no means of actually observing geocentric orbits, and the accepted system (the Ptolemaic model, with circular orbits, including epicycles) worked equally well to his own -- in fact, it worked better, if memory serves, regarding predictive power.

    Of course, he was wrong. The planets do not orbit the sun in circular orbits. Kepler introduced elliptical orbits, and yet he was wrong, too. Newton showed why orbits were generally elliptical, but it took Einstein to show why certain orbits (namely, Mercury's) behaved much like a spirograph, but, that's right, he was wrong.

    We're still working on gravity, but we know now a lot more than we could possibly have gleaned from the writings in Genesis, Psalms, or anywhere else in the bible. As far as a science text goes, the bible is, then, completely worthless.

    What about the "miricles" Dan talks about? Those are just hand-waving exercises to explain away the unlikeliest of phenomena depicted in the bible. Since we already know they were full of shit when describing the formation of the universe, or of the diversity of life on the earth, we can pretty easily recognize that they were probably full of shit when it came to these otherwise unexplainable "miricles," too.

    Nobody blames them, of course (the authors of the bible, that is) -- how could they have known any better? Sure, they could've honestly said "We don't have any clue how the universe was formed," but where's the fun in that? After all, all the other cultures had similar ethnocentric creation myths; why should the Hebrews be any different?

    No, the blame is laid upon those who, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, refuse to admit that the bible is fictional -- in whole or in part -- and that even if "completely accurate and truthful," it is also completely impossible to interpret in a manner illustrative of this 'complete accuracy and truth.'

    Ergo, it is of no practical value. No more, anyway, than any other "holy book" is, with respect only to moral values. Even considering the realm of morality, the bible is as valuable as a paperback whose cover is graced by Fabio.


  29. Andrew,

    However, lacking the existence of scientific evidence (to your liking) you take the bible as an authority, which is pretty much the same position the Catholic Church took, in which case they were ultimately proven wrong. 

    Good point, I will fully concede that I have no idea how I would respond to things back then. The Dannus Marvinus in me probably would be one of the people that trusted my own view of those Bible verses instead of Galileo.

    Evolution is an entirely different animal though since the theory directly counters what God claims in the Bible. The contradiction are too great for me and I would have a difficult time with the mental gymnastics but the "faith" would be much lower then it is today.

    Until undeniable and overwhelming evidence transpires, quite like atheists position about God, that intelligent life is indeed on other planets, for example, then I will trust the Bible's claims.

    The difference here is that it never ever effects my Sanctification and Salvation. I am a YEC believer and play with thought experiments because of how I "interpret" the Bible. I could be wrong. At least I would have eternity to figure out where I went wrong. Atheists don't have that luxury I will have. They believe ALL OF the Bible is false, not just misinterpreted. Howard Huge difference.

    Show me life on other planets and undeniable overwhelming evidence of evolution, so much that gets even ICR backpedaling, and we will talk. Until then...Amazing Grace how sweet the sound...

    After all, are you all not asking for the same thing from God? the difference is that God already showed all the evidence needed to reveal Himself. Also, His plan requires, no demands, a certain amount of faith. Same what scientists are asking from you.

  30. Evolution is an entirely different animal though since the theory directly counters what God claims in the Bible. 

    ...and another Christian denomination is formed.

    This is exactly the same argument Dannus Marvinus, and all of the possible historical personas since, will have made with respect to whatever new scientific finding challenged the current biblical interpretive paradigm.

    If any one of them was wrong, then so, too, might you be. If none of them could determine without the aid of "undeniable overwhelming [scientific] evidence" that their position was fallacious, then neither can you.

    ...[God's] plan requires -- no, demands -- a certain amount of faith. Same what scientists are asking from you.  (Punctuation edited for clarity)

    Not in the slightest. I can test each and every scientific claim ever made (in theory; my level of understanding coupled with my academic prowess make this impractical in practice). With your god, however, I can test nothing. I have, already, evidence and explanation showing how and why various natural phenomena occur, yet only a woefully inaccurate book from a scientifically ignorant culture to "support" the grand claims found in the bible. In the scientific evidence and explanation, I also have ample humility, including an up-front admission that the answers are not all in, and an honest internal criticism designed to weed out false conjecture, and to flunk the wrong-headed theories and hypotheses.

    In your religion, I have an arrogant claim of access to omniscience, and a stubborn refusal to admit possible error.

    What was Satan's sin? I hereby accuse theism of exactly the same.


  31. Oh, yeah...

    Evolution is an entirely different animal though since the theory directly counters what God claims in the Bible. 

    This doesn't stop you from conveniently claiming 'poetic ambiguity' on other subjects, so why should it with this one?

    If Christians such as Francis Collins or Kenneth Miller can harmonize science with religion, including an acceptance of the Theory of Evolution as the reigning biological model, then why couldn't you?

    I'm not saying you should follow them off any bridges, but if you're unafraid of hiding being 'poetic ambiguity,' especially when it is clear that the author took himself literally (e.g. the sun hastening away), even if we are not bound to interpret the writing(s) literally, then why are you so afraid of altering your interpretation of Genesis?

    It smacks of double-standard, and it reeks of fear. I don't think you can offer a rational defense of yourself here, but I'm interested in hearing your attempt.


  32. According to your Bibile, who created language?

  33. What do you do Stan, what do you do?

  34. Off topic:
    I see that the secret homosexual agenda has ruined the marriage of Mark Sanford.

  35. Let me try putting this in yet another way, Dan:

    Suppose the Bible makes the following claims, which take a form as follows:

    1.) X is Y
    2.) D is H
    3.) F is Q
    4.) Z exists
    5.) C exists and is G
    6.) W is miraculous (in that it defies modern physics)
    7.) A is true

    I could go on, but you get the point. Rather than say the bible says the universe is this way or that way, or that ID is true, or that Jesus walked on water, just plug in the propositions where you want.

    Suppose then, for the sake of example, that the above 1-7 are the claims made by the bible. You have the following stance about them, explicit from what you’ve stated thus far:

    A.) They are absolutely true
    B.) You cannot use science to evaluate their veracity

    Next, suppose somewhere along the line the great scientist “Dr. Know” determines that F is actually not Q, but rather it’s J. Of course, this claim is not accepted off hand, however over time scientific evidence is compiled which suggests that Know is correct. As a result you now accept this claim and make the statement that in the case of “3”, the bible got it wrong, and/or was speaking poetically.

    Because this is so, it renders propositions “A” and “B” untrue. It violates “A” because the claim is no longer absolute, and it violates “B” because you “used science to evaluate the veracity of a biblical claim”. As a result of this you perform the mental gymnastics which take the following form.

    A.) Withstanding claim “3”, all biblical truths are absolutely true.
    B.) Withstanding claim “3”, you cannot use science to evaluate the veracity of biblical truths.

    However, you add the qualification:
    If in fact science provides significant evidence that the other propositions, 1, 2, 4-7, are false, then I (you) will re-evaluate the veracity of the biblical claim. So in effect, you submit that in fact “A” and “B” are not true, but relative to some amount of scientific discovery.

    What you’re left with, Dan, are these propositions:
    A.) The bible is absolutely true with those claims where science hasn’t shown otherwise
    B.) Where science is shown to contradict a biblical truth, the scientific truth is necessarily true.
    C.) You ultimately accept scientific truth over biblical truth. Your belief in God goes only so far as scientific evidence allows. Science is an authority after all. I knew you were an atheist in disguise, I just knew it.

  36. Thanks Andrew that cleared things up (/sarcasm)


    Science is an attempt to understand the natural world in a natural way. Science then in that sense is restricted to natural explanations for natural phenomena. If a natural explanation is inadequate then science stops.

    I am not an Atheist but I am a skeptic and reasonable logical thinker. If evidence does come to fruition that I cannot deny then I will not. Honesty is closer to God the denial. I will not deny truth.

    I hope Atheists don't either when, let's say the Ark of the Covenant, as an example, is revealed to the world.

  37. Unnecessary correction: Honesty is closer to God then denial

  38. I hope Atheists don't [deny truth] either when, let's say the Ark of the Covenant, as an example, is revealed to the world. 

    Wow, what a coincidental example!

    Really? What would that prove? Shouldn't we already be Christians given the existence of a city called Jerusalem? Isn't that on precisely the same level of "proof" that the Ark would be?

    Are the pyramids at Giza proof that Ra is the Sun-god? Are the Sacred Trusts proof that Allah handed down the Qur'an to Muhammad?

    I'll say more on the thread now dedicated to this topic...

    I think you've missed entirely Andrew's point, which you have nonetheless conceded in your comment; you first claimed that science was wrong unless it supported scripture, and that science couldn't be used to validate scripture, but now you're admitting that which Andrew had pointed out to you: that you do use science as an authority over scripture, when it comes to real, tangible things.

    I don't get how you don't realize how important an admission that is, but then, you surprise me on occasion.


  39. Obviously I am either unconcerned about the claim or slow but God's Word is "now" my authority.

    I will admit that I use to believe in evolution, all the way up until I read and believed the Bible. Science, or mankind, is no longer my compass or authority. Every thought, deed, or action is filtered through God's Word. I do make mistakes though since Christianity is a lifestyle not a goal.

    So please keep explaining the point because I just don't get how you think anything man claims is my authority after all this time knowing each other. Unless these are merely bare assertions and we all know how much those are worth.

  40. Let me remind you...

    You said that your 4th century persona, Dannus Marvinus, would most likely believe the earth as center of the universe.

    Until undeniable and overwhelming evidence transpires, quite like atheists position about God, that intelligent life is indeed on other planets, for example, then I will trust the Bible's claims. 

    That's you, explicitly stating that scientific evidence can usurp biblical claims.

    That's Andrew's point.

    You do accept scientific understanding as authoritative over tangible reality, rather than the bible, and thus, you do not hold the bible in the auspices of authority, at least on subjects for which a scientific explanation exists.

    You merely have erected an arbitrary requirement for "undeniable and overwhelming evidence" before you will accept evolution, but by making such a statement, you tacitly admit that yes, if such evidence were produced, you'd accept it as authoritative over biblical claims.

    The court is yours.


  41. That's you, explicitly stating that scientific evidence can usurp biblical claims.

    It is a huge IF though. IF there were indeed such evidence I would be forced to reevaluate my understanding of the claims in the Bible much like the Catholics back in Galileo's day. I would be wrong, so I missed something in "my" understanding of the Bible much like the Catholics. Does that mean that God doesn't exist, nope, it just means I/we missed something and that something needs to be found or solved. That is a huge reason not to enact God's will because we are fallible and wrong many times.

    So does Science hold an authority over the Bible or myself? No. But my senses, reason and logic does so I would have to reevaluate my failed understanding of such subjects. We do all understand this is merely a thought experiment because I would be more likely to win the lottery then any of that type of evidence to be revealed, and I don't even play the lottery.

    The defense rests. We reserve the right to recall witnesses for cross examining.

  42. The defense rests. We reserve the right to recall witnesses for cross examining. 

    You know, I was afraid you'd go that way with "the court is yours," and I almost changed it, but I was going for a basketball reference, due to the back-and-forth nature...

    Oh, well.

    To clarify, though, and really to reinforce the point you seem to be making, science does hold authority over biblical claims, as evidenced by past changes in "interpreting" the bible, as well as your statements in this thread. To be sure, though, this has no bearing whatsoever on the existence of god, or on the doctrines espoused by such a being if it does indeed exist.

    Galileo was persecuted for challenging the precious beliefs of Christian dogma, and he's lucky it didn't cost him his life. Darwin is today persecuted by Christians for much the same reason, yet each has been vindicated by science. You are merely one of the last hangers-on among the 17th century papacy, who refused to admit their error, or even to admit the possibility that you've gotten it wrong.

    The thing is, Dan, that like the Jovian moons named after Galileo, or like the phases of Venus which proved his case, there is evidence which proves the universe is older than 10,000 years. Lots of it. The Catholic bishops and cardinals (and other dress-wearing mo-fos) who convicted Galileo refused to look through his telescope at the Jovian moons, just like you refuse to look at the evidence which destroys your meager position. They were afraid to have their precious beliefs challenged, and so are you.


  43. Stan,

    You are merely one of the last hangers-on among the 17th century papacy, who refused to admit their error, or even to admit the possibility that you've gotten it wrong. 

    The two cannot compare...yet. You still do not have concrete overwhelming evidence. So comparing me to Galileo, at this point, is wrong. Apples to Oranges.

    IF, and that is a huge if, there is such evidence then I would concede and not "hang on" to my beliefs as the RCC back then. I would accept the evidence in front of me and determine if it directly is against Scripture or not. I am not persecuting science, I am persecuting secular Scientist's presuppositions. If I remember reading right, Galileo wasn't an Atheist (secular). I would accept concrete data and evidence, just not mere interpretations from a secular point of view.

    Slam debunked (b-ball ref)

  44. From AIG:

    We need to realize that:

    a) all humans are fallen and fallible;

    b) science itself is a wonderful, but fallible human tool;

    c) all the hypotheses and speculations which one uses to explain things within the framework of Biblical history can only be tentative, since humanity will never have all knowledge, and new data is constantly becoming available. For the same reason, hypotheses and submodels within evolutionary theory are constantly changing. So the same thing will inevitably be true in the creationist scientific world.

    Slam dunk

  45. The two cannot compare...yet. You still do not have concrete overwhelming evidence. So comparing me to Galileo, at this point, is wrong. Apples to Oranges. 

    You're kidding, right?

    When, do you think, "concrete overwhelming evidence" existed that Galileo was correct in promoting Copernicus' heliocentric solar system?

    (Hint: it wasn't when Galileo saw the Jovian moons now named after him, nor when he saw the phases of Venus.)

    That's right! Galileo's telescopic sightings took place in the 17th century, some 300 years before Sputnik. There were several competing theories at the time (e.g. Tycho Brahe's theory), many of which could explain Venus' phases and Jupiter's moons.

    Technically, all Galileo did (in this specific case) was to disprove the Ptolemaic system, which the Catholic church endorsed.

    So yeah, you are the Catholics, who refused to accept the available evidence as proof that their precious beliefs were wrong. Sure, in another hundred years, you'll finally admit your error, and perhaps a hundred years still further, you'll officially apologize to Darwin, but I forget -- how does that make you different from the Catholics with respect to 'the Galileo problem'?

    Don't you see? There was no "concrete overwhelming evidence" that the Copernican system was correct when Galileo made his observations. It was just evidence that readily explained the phenomena far more easily than the competing models, and which showed that the Ptolemaic model as it was formulated was incorrect. It took scientists willing to take a chance -- against the church -- and pursue science, rather than dogmatic acceptance, before real "concrete overwhelming evidence" was found.

    Seriously -- what "evidence" of the Copernican system have you actually observed? What "evidence" of the Keplerian model (of elliptical orbits) have you actually observed? What "evidence" of Newton's laws, apart from terrestrial familiarity, have you actually observed? What "evidence" of Einsteinian relativity have you actually observed? What "evidence" of Quantum Mechanics have you actually observed?

    If you accept any of these models as more accurate than the Ptolemaic model, then you admit that "concrete overwhelming evidence" is completely unnecessary, and that instead, as Andrew and I have shown, you rely on science as the authority on which you really rely [when it comes to tangible reality].

    So no, I'm not comparing you to Galileo, I'm comparing you to the Catholic church in the time of Galileo. Not only does it fit, but it fits perfectly. You've even resorted to unwittingly quoting them (paraphrasing, I suppose) when you demand "concrete overwhelming evidence" to overturn your primitive view of the age of the universe.

    Again and lastly, then, you really don't understand the very topic under discussion. Galileo did not prove the Copernican system, he merely provided direct evidence against the Ptolemaic model. There was no "concrete overwhelming evidence" that Copernicus was right -- he wasn't -- but rather, the evidence showed that the Ptolemaic model failed.

    You know, just like your YEC model fails to explain distant starlight. In order to explain the phases of Venus, the Ptolemaic model would have had to adjust itself in an ad hoc manner, not unlike the way in which you and Ken Ham's minions seek to "explain" distant starlight in an ad hoc manner.

    Evolution as currently understood is not completely correct. Big Bang cosmology as currently understood is not completely correct either. Both, however, are far closer to being correct than your YEC drollery. Until you recognize this, and quit actually start seeking truth, rather than claiming already to have found it, you are the dogmatic Catholic contemporaries of Galileo.


  46. Dan,
    I hate to keep pounding this angle, but, what use is there in holding a particular belief if it has no “cash value”?

    If you’re going to hold and preach a given belief, you can’t expect people to hold to it unless it has some use, even if it’s true. For example, it may be completely true that the hypothesis of string theorists are completely accurate, but since its all hypothesis at this point (i.e. there isn’t any hard science backing any of the claims) and there isn’t yet any practical uses for it relative to human needs and interests, then why (as a lay person who has kids, wife and a 9 to 5), should I bother running around making statements that anything like M-theory is true? Sure, I might find it an interesting hobby to read scientific literature on this or that subject and have armchair philosophical discussions about it with my buddies, but so what. Some folks like to fish, some folks like to garden, some folks like debating the arts, some like to meditate – but these aspects of our lives stay within the private sphere where they belong.

    Ultimately when it comes down to what we believe, what dogmas and/or final language we have and share with our human community at large (outside of our personal interests), I would think it necessary for those such beliefs to be those that have some value in supporting a common purpose or goal (freedom and equality for example). This is to say, if in private you want to hold to a given belief (however ridiculous) than by all means do so (far be it for me to tell you what gives you peace of mind), but what good does it do us as a community of people to hold to a belief that doesn’t do anything for us as a whole?

    In other words, you take your beliefs to be those which apply across the board for everyone (not just personal convictions), but since your beliefs seem to hold no practical advantage over any other, than just what is it that you’re offering? What practical advantage does theism have over atheism, Christianity over Islam, ID over evolution, etc. etc. etc..

    Here’s what I think everything boils down to for you, and most semi-fundamental Christians; you will ultimately have to argue (and/or use as a justification) that maintaining such beliefs (however ridiculous) are crucial to achieving salvation. But, than you may as well change the name of your blog to “The Truth about Pascal’s Wager”.


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