In-line as usual. Enjoy:
“Your demand for evidence on my part shows that you completely missed the point of my comment. I am not ever going to convince you with evidence, because I have nothing new to offer you and even if I did, you would never interpret it the same way, because your starting presumptions will not allow for it. Before you jump on that last statement, please allow me to qualify it. I look at the same body of evidence (fossils, diversity of life etc) that atheists use, but because my starting presuppositions are different from yours (i.e. I believe the Earth is a recent creation by God, whereas you believe the Earth and universe are immensely old and life created itself) I come to a completely different conclusion. This was the whole point of my comment: to show the futility of arguing over the same body of evidence that we have argued over for the last 200 years. “
I don’t have starting presuppositions. Anything in my worldview is open to revision, as is anything in science. And you didn’t deal with anything I said.
“An agnostic that I was talking to once told me that his main problem with creationism is that there is no tangible evidence. He said that, “he could hold the evidence for evolution in his hand, but he could not hold the evidence for God and creationism in his hand.” This is where he was completely wrong. He assumed that there was only 1 exact way to interpret the evidence and that no other interpretation apart from evolutionary materialism could be accepted. However, the problem is that this is not the case at all. Were we to go on a walk and come across a fossil encapsualted in some sedementary rock, he would look at it and say, “See! This animal lived several millions of years ago, died, and was slowly covered by sediments, allowing for its bones to be replaced by minerals, which caused it to become fossilized.” I would look at the same fossil and say that it is direct evidence of a recent global flood.”
The difference is that modern geology, paleontology etc is not based on “derr, I think this is true!”, but rather has been tested countless different ways which you are apparently oblivious of. No scientific tests have been done by creationists to try to falsify the idea that fossils are animals that died in the flood, they aren’t interested in testing their views. They’re interested in reinforcing them.
“It is a proven fact that fossilization does not take millions of years, but under the right conditions can occur extremely quickly. There are businesses that manufacture petrified wood at incredibly quick rates. Archeologists often assert that these fossils must have died in low oxygen marshes and been slowly burried by deposited sediment. However, even in low oxygen conditions bacteria and scavengers quickly destroy all organic material, including bone.”
To borrow a response from the talkorigins website:
- Most fossils, by themselves, are not a problem for a young earth. The problems come from geological context, including the following:
- Independent dating of sediments via any number of techniques.
- Multiple layers of fossils. Sometimes each layer preserves an entire ecosystem, which would have taken decades to establish.
- Large number of fossils, beyond what the earth could support at once, showing multiple generations were necessary.
- In-place marine fossils on mountains, showing that the mountain must have risen since the fossil was deposited.
- Reworked fossils, showing that a mountain must have risen and eroded since the fossil was deposited.
- Many fossils occur in amber, and the formation of amber cannot happen rapidly. First, plant resin polymerizes to produce copal, which takes thousands of years. Then the volatile oils must evaporate, which can take millions of years more.
“Therefore, in my opinion, the only conclusion that makes sense in considering the amount and extent of preservation in these fossils is a global flood.”
If that were the case we would see the same species in every geological layer, there would be zero geological or paleontological uniformity. Not to mention that there are about a hundred times as many extinct species as there are living species, and the earth could not possibly have supported that much biodiversity. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t “make sense” to throw out all we know about geology, biology, genetics, paleontology, physics and even more fields because you want to find support for your theology. Not to mention that the flood is impossible for many, many reasons, some of which I list here.
“Under such conditions, these dead animals would have been rapidly burried by churning sediments, thus allowing them to be protected from exposure to scavengers or bacteria that would have caused them to decay. Dead animals don’t sink to the bottom of the sea floor or a marsh, they float.”
And if this were the case we would be able to get DNA from at least some of the fossils in each strata, but we only ever get DNA from the most recent ones because it breaks down entirely in much less than a million years. We’ve completely sequenced the genomes of neanderthals and woolly mammoths, which went extinct 10-30,000 years ago. Why have we never recovered DNA from dinosaurs, trilobytes or any older species if they’re the same age? Why does radiometric dating of the rocks at different depths confirm the geological model and not yours? Why is there vast evidence of a rich and long history of mountains forming and eroding and volcanos erupting over long periods of time, meteor impacts etc if the earth is only a few thousand years old? When exactly did a meteor hit mexico and leave a 105 mile wide crater releasing over a billion times the energy of the hiroshima nuclear blast? If that happened in living memory, why did no one notice it? Or the one that hit quebec and left a 62 mile wide crater? Or the half a dozen others? If the universe is only 6,000 years old, why does mesopotamian history go back thousands of years before that? Why didn’t the native americans die in the flood? They were here before the flood supposedly happened, why do they exist? Why didn’t the ancient egyptians get wiped out? Or asia? Or anyone?
It never happened. The “evidence” for it stands up to no scrutiny.
“Lets take the Grand Canyon for example. An evolutionist would look at the canyon as a monument to slow erosion of the Colorado river over thousands if not millions of years through the soil and rock layers to the level it is today. However, there are many problems with this view point, one of them being the absense of over 150 million years of evolutionary time in the strata layers. Geologist admit that they don’t know what happened to this missing strata and often refer to it as a “paraconformity.” Therefore, when I look at the Grand Canyon I see the result of rapid water runoff occuring shortly after the great flood.”
If that were the case it would be global, not local. Your evidence contradicts your conclusions.
“See http://creation.com/grand-canyon-age. If you don’t believe this scenario is plausible, then I would submit to you the recent observed case of the Mt. St. Helen’s catastrophe as stong evidence of the power of rapidly moving flood runoff water. See http://creation.com/i-got-excited-at-mount-st-helens. This runoff from the flooding of the lake created a vast canyon in an incredibly short amount of times (days not millions of years) which is often called “the little Grand Canyon.”
The deeper you go down into the ground the harder and slower erosion gets because the top layers (about what eroded in that instance) are almost entirely made up of dirt, whereas deeper down the soil and sediment is compressed into solid rock, which water flows over, not under and around. Take a garden hose and spray it over some mud, then spray it over a solid chunk of concrete and see which washes away faster.
“You are wrong in saying that evolution and atheism are not linked. Richard Dawkins made one of the most telling admissions to this truth when he proclaimed that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”
I believe I’ve had this conversation with you before. You’re distorting the quote, which was about how evolution is not the cause of atheism. They are not linked, atheism has existed for thousands of years and I was an atheist long before I ever knew what evolution was. Not having an explanation for something doesn’t make a magical explanation a good explanation. “I don’t know” beats “magic man dunnit” any day.
“Before Darwin, of course people could be atheists, but they had no valid ground to do so. This is because there are really only two possible conclusions regarding the origin of life.”
False dichotomy and an argument from ignorance. The third option is always “I don’t know”. When people invoked zeus to explain lightning, their lack of an alternative did not mean zeus’ existence had been proven.
“Either, life made itself or it was designed by some sort of higher power.”
Invoking a complex being to explain the origin of complexity is a waste of time. Why bother? It’s like invoking a super-computer to explain a micro-chip, it just amplifies the problem and doesn’t solve it.
“Evolution and atheism go hand and hand, because Evolution (in the molecules to man sense) attempts to offer an explanation to the origin of life without the need for a creator.”
No, abiogenesis does. Your christian biology teacher and those creationist websites filled your head with pseudoscientific nonsense. Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life.
“One can be a Christian and still believe in evolution, but one can not be an atheist and not believe in evolution, perhaps an agnostic, but not an atheist.”
Virtually all atheists are agnostic atheists. And atheism existed long before evolution science. Wrong on both counts.
“It just doesn’t work. If we came across a coke bottle in the woods we would have to consider 2 possible scenarios: A- the coke bottle made itself, or B- the coke bottle had a maker. The same is the case with life.”
We know by experience that a coke bottle is manufactured, we do not know by experience that a flower is manufactured. And in fact a flower does not come off an assembly line and is by definition self-organizing.
“I also want to take the opportunity to assert that in no way am I saying that animals don’t adapt through natural selection. This does not conflict with my views regarding God’s special role in creation in any way.”
Sure it does, you say so below. It’s cruel and all that.
“He made the original created kinds (i.e. dogs, squirrels, birds) with a high degree of genetic variability that would allow them to be able to adapt to their environments. Therefore, the original dog kind most likely being heterozygous for most characteristics would have had offspring with long, medium, and short hair. As these dogs reproduced and spread to different parts of the world, their environment would select for certain genes. For example, in colder climates, dogs with longer fur would be better able to survive so natural selection would cull the gene pool and would move the species inhabiting that region toward that specific adaptation. Notice this is not a gain of function, but rather a loss of information. These dogs can no longer produce puppies with short or medium fur, but only long hair. Natural selection is almost always a matter of destroying genetic information. There are very few if any examples of novel gain in information within species. The entire process is going downhill, not uphill as evolution requires.”
This is a lie that is not based on any evidence or science, and is known to be false by every biologist on the planet. You really need to use talkorigins or google. Or both.
“And you are flat wrong about my theological progression! I don’t write things just to write them. I did not say I was an atheist. I said I was an agnostic, hinging toward atheism. I grew up in the Catholic church and as a child had no problem believing in God, but as I got older and learned more about evolution, I gradually believed it more and more. I found myself trying to make sense out of two diametrically opposed contentions. Has there always been death from the beginning?”
“Is death a creative process or did it come about as a result of sin, corrupting God’s original very good creation as I learned in church?”
Yes and no.
“I didn’t know how to answer these questions.”
“Then in high school I had a teacher who was a theistic evolutionist. He believed that God used the process of natural selection to make all life forms, directing and shaping the evolution of each species. This idea was originally fascinating to me, because it posed a reconciliation between the two opposing points, allowing me to retain my faith in a Creator while still believing in evolution. I went along with this for a while, but soon, I began to have questions regarding the sovereignty and benevolence of a god that would allow so much death and suffering in the world. It was my misconceived presumption that evolution was true (and that death and suffering always existed) that obfuscated my belief in God’s “goodness.”
Evolution may have been an assumption on your part, but it isn’t an assumption to biologists who have actually done the research and experiments.
“After questioning God’s goodness, I no longer believed that Christianity was the only true religion. I thought that Islam, and other monotheistic religions essentially worshipped the same god, but under a different name and different understanding regarding his nature. This led me toward agnosticism. I believed that some sort of higher power was necessary to account for the complexity and order of the universe and life, but I didn’t know which god was the right one or believe that anyone could truly know. ”
And I’m guessing around this time something crappy happened in your life and you clung to faith for support, running away from science without even a basic understanding of it and reading every creationist article you could get your hands on. Am I right?
“At this point, I had some serious doubts at times even regarding the existence of a creator, hence, my assertion that I was “hinging on atheism.” I was not a full blown atheists, but at times I found it hard to believe in the existence of something that I could not see. Gradually, I questioned more and more whether God existed at all since He allowed so much hurting and suffering in the world. What kind of a god would allow this, but not only that, use it as a creative mechanism. It seemed cruel.”
You act as if there is not a lot of suffering in the world anyway. And drowning every last man, woman and child to death isn’t cruel? Cursing all women to suffer agony in childbirth to punish them for something they didn’t do isn’t cruel?
“My freshman year of college I took an intro biology class through the university. At first, much of what I learned regarding evolutionary biology made much sense and served to push me further to the side of atheism. If life could have made itself, what need is there for a creator or an intelligent designer?”
I rejected the idea of a creator as illogical long before I knew what evolution was or had a viable alternative.
“However, always the visual thinker, I felt the need to think through the process in my mind from start to finish that caused a single celled organism to “evolve” into an incredibly complex human being.”
You’re skipping many, many steps. The first cell was not the first form of life, and an amoeba didn’t evolve into a person. Many, many forms of life evolved before primates came along.
“Starting at the beginning, I imagined the first living life form as some sort of an asexual amoeba. I then tried to imagine the amoeba becomming multi-cellular or a sexual reproducer and this is exactly where the train stopped. I realized that there is absolutely zero reason for an asexual, single celled organism to have evolved into a sexually reproducing, multicellular one. Natural selection is a very practical process. If evolution were true, natural selection could only propogate in nature, genes that are beneficial for survival or else there would be no selection pressure to narrow the gene pool to specify for that characteristic. This is where the problem lies. I could not then (or now for that matter) imagine one scenario in nature that would favor a reproduction process that required an organism to search out and find a mate and copulate over one that allowed the organism to simply copy its own DNA and split off into 2 beings. The latter seems much easier and more practical. Thus, there is not a single reason whatsoever why life should have “evolved” beyond asexual amoebas.”
I’m sorry, but that is idiotic. Abandoning an idea before learning about it because you cannot imagine out of ignorance how it could work is ridiculous. I couldn’t imagine without learning anything about it how einstein’s relativity could work either. Nor could I imagine how the eye or the lungs or the digestive system could evolve step by step, but if I google “evolution of…” for any of these things I will find a wealth of knowledge on any of these subjects.
In reality the math for evolution works fantastically better with sexual reproduction because it allows the existence of a gene pool where every member benefits from the selection of the genes of every member so that a beneficial mutation only needs to occur once in a gene pool. This is why even many single-celled microbes and most bacteria exchange DNA through horizontal gene transfer.
“Later I learned that I had been too generous in even allowing for the existence of as complicated a being as an asexual amoeba.”
No, you had been too ignorant to assume without researching the subject, that the modern amoeba which has been evolving for billions of years was the simplest possible organism.
“DNA itself is immensely complex. Like any coding it requires interpretation. Information itself means nothing without the ability to decode it and interpret it(i.e. mRNA), hence I had to come to grips with the reality that information as well as the process of interpreting would have had to have evolve simultaenously for either to have any meaning. Furthermore, the formation of DNA in a primordial soup was also highly suspect because of the chiralty dilemna. In order for DNA to have arranged itself in a primordial soup, only left handed or right handed proteins could have existed as DNA and other protein sequences must be homochiral. This is very technical, but here is an article by an extremely distinguished and respected Biologist, who also happens to be a young Earth Creationist, Jonathon Sarfati: http://creation.com/origin-of-life-the-chirality-problem. The odds of DNA assembling itself into any sort of biologically meaningful code, and having evolved simultenously with its own intrepretor are astronomical if not impossible.”
This is the watchmaker argument being presented as a strawman of abiogenesis, then being presented as yet another strawman of evolution. You cannot attack evolution by attacking abiogenesis, and you cannot attack abiogenesis by deliberately starting with an overly complex starting point. It’s like “proving” the car could not have been invented prior to 1973 because GPS did not exist, and modern cars have GPS. Or arguing that it could not have been invented before the 19’th century because internal combustion did not exist, when the first ones were steam powered, etc.
It’s an argument based on (willful) ignorance.
Nor is it scientific to say “we can’t explain this therefore x proposition is true”. That is not evidence, it’s not testable, it’s not science. And no scientist could ever, ever get away with that nonsense and only creationists are dishonest enough to try. Here is an excellent video that you won’t watch about one modern model of abiogenesis that explains the existence of cells, DNA, reproduction and eating.
“Many evolutionary biologist, including the one most often credited for the discovery of DNA, Francis Crick, often try to shift the dilemna of the origin of DNA to outerspace by claiming that life was seeded by extraterrestrials living elsewhere in the universe.”
That’s speculating about exobiology, not an attempt to shift the problem.
“However, this just merely shifts the problem to a location where we can’t observe it.”
Um, and invoking a magical creator doesn’t shift the problem to where we can’t observe it? Look in the mirror.
“It still neglects the extreme unlikeliness that life could have evolved in the first place”
You’re conflating evolution with abiogenesis.
“as the next question becomes: how did the aliens come about? Did they evolve? It is mere speculation and wishful thinking on the part of those whose worldviews are so entrenched in evolutionary materialism and atheism that they can not allow themselves to even consider the possibility that the better explanation for complexity and order is a complex and orderly, Creator.”
“Explaining” complexity in the universe by starting with an inexplicable more complex creator is a waste of time. It’s the ultimate example of shifting the problem and ignoring it, something you just criticized.
“Afterall, DNA is essentially biological information and nowhere has information ever been observed to create itself.”
It happens all the time. This is how creationists maintain this argument:
Creationists: No one has ever shown a mutation produce new information.
Scientist: Um, here’s an example of a mutation doing just that, and here are a few dozen more examples – it happens all the time.
Creationist: Those don’t count, that’s not “real” information.
Scientist: Why isn’t it “real”? What would you consider “real” information?
Creationist: [either gives some ridiculous parody about a dog giving birth to a monkey etc or changes the subject]
“Getting back to an earlier point so as not to leave you in suspense, after I began to study Christianity more and more and to investigate claims of creationism and the intelligent design movement, I discovered that Christianity actually makes quite alot of sense out of the world. As C.S. Lewis put it, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
And as benjamin franklin said, “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.”
“Once I saw that evolution didn’t really work in a practical sense”
It of course does. The ID/creationism movement gains converts by misinforming them.
“and sought instead an alternative theory (the only alternative theory), which is that life was the product of an intelligent designer”
That is not a theory, it’s not even a hypothesis. It’s a pseudoscientific assertion which cannot be empirically tested for accuracy.
“rather than billions of years of blind, unguided accidents,”
Did you learn ANYTHING about evolution before you rejected it? It is not random or un-guided.
“I allowed myself to re-evaluate the evidence through a different lens (that of the Bible).”
If I recall correctly this was your first and only lense. And what you mean is that you “proved” to yourself the bible was accurate by assuming it was and fitting the evidence to it. And now to assuage your intellectual guilt you buy into creationist books and articles that tell you that that’s all scientists do all day too, so it’s okay when you do it.
“Once I started looking at the world by the true account contained in Genesis regarding the special creation of the animal kinds, corruption (death entering the world because of Adam’s sin), and God’s judgment of the world in a catastrophic global flood suddenly, the objection I had against God disappeared. As long as I thought that death and suffering had always existed (a necessary contention for evolutionists) I was hindered from seeing any sort of higher being responsible for the sad state of affairs of he world as anything, but cruel and sadistic.”
I’m sorry, but the fact that believing x makes it easier to believe y does not make x true.
“However, after reading the Bible, I learned that death and suffering where never a part of God’s plan. God created the world very good with no death or suffering in the garden. Adam and Eve would have lived forever, reproducing in God’s own image and their offspring would have filled the earth.”
So god creates man with the capacity to sin, creates the tree that allows the fall, puts it next to adam and eve and even points it out, creates a serpent, lets the serpent tell them to eat from it, lets them eat from it, doesn’t reverse it’s effects and foresaw the whole damn thing before day 1 and somehow holds no responsibility for anything despite being all knowing and all-powerful? I’m sorry, but that is insane. You cannot have power over something and not be responsible for it. Either god is unable to prevent suffering, unwilling or both. If he is unable he is not good, and if he is unable he is not a god any more than we are. And that’s assuming such a being exists to begin with.
“However, when Adam sinned against God, he brought wrath upon himself. A Holy God can not turn a blind eye to sin. His holiness demands judgment, so as a condition of his wrath, death entered the world and brought along with it sufferening and pain.”
So god’s wrath is the cause of suffering and pain and he’s still not responsible because “we had it coming”? And why? Because someone ate a piece of fruit from a fucking tree? Hang on, I’ll go tell the holocaust survivors it was totally their fault, one of their ancestors got tricked by a talking snake into having a snack, so they totally deserved everything that happened to them and their loved ones.
Are you kidding me?
“I could now see that God’s will was for man to obey Him and love Him, but when man went against that will, God made a plan through Jesus to put an end to the curse. The Bible says, “cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). Jesus took the sin upon himself, by hanging on a tree to pay the penalty of our sins. In doing so, he led captivity, captive. Death has no hold on the person who has placed their faith in Christ Jesus! In dying on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice and raising from the dead, Jesus has conquered death. Now that I see everything through the light of the Bible, the world makes much more sense. If you don’t believe in the Bible, I don’t expect you to see things the way that I do, but believe me, I understand why you believe what you believe (if you are agnostic or atheist) and I do not pass judgment, because I was there not too long ago myself! Life is a journey and mine has lead me into the loving embrace of my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ!”
Yes, jesus sacrificed himself to himself to convince himself not to punish us for things we didn’t do. It’s so rational.