RE:Soccerdadforlife Creationism Response.

Soccerdadforlife wrote a very insulting and dickish  response to my last blog and was magnanimous enough to unblock me so I could read his insults and namecalling.  Here is my in-line response:

Reply to the Lover of Ignorance

“because that’s what “agnophilo” means.  Apparently he misbehaved here (likely for abusing one of my commenters) and I blocked him.  [Note to self: he’s been blocked long enough.]”

Actually I’m pretty sure I just threw some science at you, actually.  And it’s pretty pathetic to call me names throughout this blog (when I did no such thing to you) while accusing me of supposedly making derisive comments you can’t even remember in the past.  Way to be an asshole.

“Anyway, he posted a reply to one of my casual links to human fossils, which he examines.  Unfortunately he’s heavy on rhetoric and light on analysis.” 

Not really.

“Right off the bat he puts creationist “evidence” in quotes.  Even if you don’t think that it’s good evidence, putting it in quotes is simply empty rhetoric and deceptive, since it actually is evidence.  He also posts a demotivator lampoon of creationism, which is only funny if you are an old earther.  He posts similar kinds of demeaning “humor.”  Kind of dumb.  Kind of puerile.  But on we go.  I kind of understand how Sisyphus would have felt.”

The “evidence” you linked to was not evidence.  Evidence actually indicates a particular conclusion.  Finding a rock that looks like a finger (everyone on my blog saw a loaf of bread btw, I guess you need to really want to see it) does not prove that humans pre-dated the dinosaurs.  If you think that’s compelling I have a potato chip that’s shaped like a space ship I’d like to sell you, it is clearly a message from aliens.  Because superficial resemblance is all you need when it comes to these things, right?

“Ignorance lover (IL hereafter) notes that the fossil finger is swollen and compares it with what happens to mummies.  Mummies shrivel.  Ignorance lover doesn’t know much about rapid fossilization of drowned corpses and their body parts.  They retain their size and shape.  Soft tissue fossilization is well-known to occur.  We have fossils of worms, octopi, and bacteria.” 

The “fossil” in question was a rock which supposedly kept it’s original shape, not a carbonaceous film compressed inside of a rock, which is what you are describing (and linking to).  Which no, does not form rapidly by any known process, and is the result of a corpse being buried and then slowly compressed under layers of sediment over long geological periods.  And I compared it to a mummy because what is being described a) does not resemble fossilization, and b) supposedly occurred over the time frame that mummification happens.  The thing is still a silly rock and not even a fossil because guess what, fossils x-ray very nicely.  

Real fossils x-rayed in solid rock:

 

 

Fake fossil that is a rock:

If it were a finger it doesn’t matter if it were fossilized, it would look like an x-ray of a finger.  Unless it were a carbonaceous film-type fossil which it clearly is not. 

“Of course, there are polystrate fossils of trees, which must have been buried rapidly.  Anoxia doesn’t prevent decomposition, so they must have been fossilized rapidly as well.”

Irrelevant to the blog, was never mentioned in it. But since you insist on bringing up another tired creationist argument – polystrate fossils are only found in places like volcanic ash and river deltas where rapid sedimentation occur.  Creationist sites often give black and white pictures of upright tree fossils in multiple layers of sediment to give the impression that it is stone or dirt, when in reality it is rapidly deposited volcanic ash.  They use colorless photographs and misleading captions to hide this fact because they are disreputable and dishonest.  Here is the first page of image results for “polystrate fossil”, there are around 20 black and white pictures of strata. Here is the first page of search results for “fossil strata”.  The only colorless photo is this one from a creationist website about polystrate fossils.

“He goes on, comparing x-rays of the fossil with x-rays of an unfossilized mummy’s hand, which is obviously nonsensical.  On we go…”

Not really, and dealt with this already.

“IL compares a fossilized handprint with one he found.  The fossilized handprint looks like its owner was falling forward and was trying to catch himself, unlike the other handprint.” 

Actually it just looks like a non-human paw print.

“IL compares the fossilized handprint to animal tracks.  Yeah, it makes a big difference whether we find human or raccoon tracks in Cambrian rock…. LOL”

I didn’t say they were racoon prints, I gave them as comparison because most people are not familiar with animal tracks.  And they aren’t even supposedly from the cambrian period (you were lying in your original blog).  They are supposedly from the Cretaceous period, around the time of the dinosaurs.

“IL makes an issue of methodology where “real” (as opposed to fake?) people document finds.” 

I said real paleontologists, not real people.  It’s pathetic that you have to distort what I say to attack it, but then again I’ve never yet met an honest creationist.

“He claims that undocumented finds are never considered credible.  I guess he doesn’t know about the paleontological frauds that are discovered from time to time.” 

This is my favorite part of your rebuttal.  You attack science by posting a list of infamous paleontological frauds, and the very first one is the fake footprint from your list of creationist “proofs”.

“More recently, frauds by V.J. Gupta and Protsch have been uncovered.” 

The first “fraud” was an instance of plagiarism, not a fake fossil, and the second was inaccurate dating of real artifacts.  There is no information about whether these were well-accepted or how they were documented, so I can only wonder what your point is, other than to bash science by pointing out a few frauds, as if there isn’t fraud in every area.  The difference between frauds in science and religious frauds is that frauds in science stop being taken seriously when they are exposed, whereas religious frauds are promoted and defended actively for decades or longer, even after the perpetrator has confessed to defrauding people as was the case with fakes like the ica stones which answersingenesis still promotes as fact decades later.

“IL seems not to know that anthropologists typically own their fossils and limit access to them, even excluding other anthropologists.  Kind of hard to examine the evidence if you don’t have access to it.  If you doubt my word, consult your local anthropologist.  I guess we have to be just as skeptical about documented finds.”

Sorry, but no.  Any paleontologist, anthropologist etc that wants anyone to know about their discovery must submit their finds to peer review.

“Next, we move on to IL’s examination of a fossilized footprint.  He compares it with a photo of what he calls another footprint.  He claims that a 14 inch long foot is unbelievable.” 

No, just comical.  And it wasn’t just the length, but that the footprint was over half a foot wide as well.

“What is the biggest modern foot?” 

That measures his shoe size, not his foot size.  My shoe is about 2-3 inches longer than my actual feet.  The largest feet of any living person are… the length of your fossil.  Does this make it impossible?  No.  Does it make it ridiculous and improbable?  Yes.

“IL claims that humans have gained size steadily throughout history.  Science doesn’t agree.” 

Actually I only said that if you change a word or two (there’s that dishonesty again).  I said humans have grown considerably taller in modern times and were shorter thousands of years ago.  The article you reference talks about human height over the last few centuries and is irrelevant to what I actually said.

“The fossilized foot looks flat from lack of arch supports,”

It’s not a fossilized foot and it doesn’t look flat.  Though the apparent arch in it does go insanely far to the right, which is another thing that makes it look cartoony.

“while the footprints in the comparison photo look arched and evidence of having worn shoes with arch supports.  Hey, but don’t let evidence stop you.”

Actually they don’t.  When walking in deep mud the arches are not apparent due to the depth and squishiness of the mud and an arched foot will make a print that looks flat.  But whatever.

“Finally, we look at IL’s attempt to undermine Clifford Burdick’s credentials.  A more careful examination would have revealed that he had earned his Ph.D. at the University of Arizona, but the examining committee used a pathetic excuse to deny Burdick a Ph. D.  Hey, he’s a creationist, we don’t need to give him the benefit of the doubt.”

Wrong link.  But all the same how does that make it okay to fake your credentials?

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About agnophilo

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48 Responses to RE:Soccerdadforlife Creationism Response.

  1. “… I’ve never yet met an honest creationist.”That’s probably because to be a creationist you HAVE to be dishonest. There’s no other way to convince people that the evidence is there when it’s not.Great rebuttal to a very poor one.

  2. agnophilo says:

    @entropistanon – Dishonest or ignorant of many things.  Though by the time someone has a firm opinion they usually have been exposed to counter-arguments.

  3. mcbery says:

    Hey, I always try to be honest. I think it’s mistake for creationists to argue and  fight over who’s right. I love finding fossils. I find quite a few around here and I love doing it. I had people in my Sunday School Class who didn’t believe dinosaurs were real.  I guess we have those who think we didn’t land on the moon either. I think it boils down in my mind, to the fact that no one has all the answers on either side. 

  4. squeakysoul says:

    Some people itch for an argument, and he is one of them. Fortunately you are equipped and inclined to respond, but you’re just feeding the beast, lol.By the way you have a good soundtrack here.

  5. kenedwards5 says:

    We must ackonledge the possibility that new facts may come to light which will force our successors of the 21st century to abandon Darwinism or modify it beyond recognition.

  6. @kenedwards5 – That’s a possibility, but it’s about as likely as us abandoning Einstein’s relativity or plate tectonics geology. When something has been essentially confirmed beyond all doubt like evolution has, it’s veeeeeeery unlikely someone will disprove it.

  7. agnophilo says:

    @mcbery – We can’t explain everything, but we can disprove the position that the universe is a few thousand years old.  The shortest-lived stars live millions of years and the universe is full of dead and dying stars.  This is just one of countless lines of evidence that young-earth literal creationism is wrong.@Kristenmomof3 – Were you a creationist at one point?  Just wondering if the comment is at all autobiographical.@squeakysoul – Thanks, enjoy the playlist : )  @kenedwards5 – It not only will be modified, it already has been modified greatly.  But we will no more discover that life does not evolve than we will discover that the earth isn’t round.  Both are readily observable realities.@TheThinkingPerson – Actually evolution is a lot more confirmed than either of those, but I get what you mean.

  8. @agnophilo – I was. I was a “sheltered one” I went to a school where that is what was taught. I learned only what was “approved by the school!”When I researched for myself I had to lie to myself for a long time that YE and all that made sense. Finally I stopped lying to myself

  9. agnophilo says:

    @Kristenmomof3 – I had a sort of fog over my thinking from my mild indoctrination, I was sure there was some kind of a god, but it took me a long time to figure out that I had never concluded that.  

  10. I’ve always wavered between having faith and losing it, but the creation story was always one that I believed to be just that- a story. My mum’s a Bible literalist. I just can’t see it that way.

  11. agnophilo says:

    @prettynpink628 – I can understand believing in a god.  I don’t agree that there is one, but it doesn’t ruffle my feathers that people think so.  But dumbing down science to suit young-earth nonsense and calling gays an abomination etc, that makes me want to start shit with people.But yeah, thanks for your input : )

  12. @agnophilo – I agree. The scientific aspect has never been what’s bothered me about religion. I guess I just have the ability to compartmentalize it. Therefore, it really annoys me when people make those kinds of arguments in the face of facts as well.

  13. kenedwards5 says:

    @TheThinkingPerson – actually what I wrote was a quote from Richard Dawkins!

  14. agnophilo says:

    @prettynpink628 – Science doesn’t agree or disagree with belief in god, but what we know about the world does make it hard to believe in an all-powerful, all-wise, benevolent, personal deity.@kenedwards5 – A paraphrase maybe, but my response still stands : )

  15. kenedwards5 says:

    @agnophilo – not a parahrase – a direct quote!

  16. agnophilo says:

    @kenedwards5 – The only search result for it is this webpage.  But it sounds like something dawkins might say, so I’m tempted to suppose you just didn’t quote it exactly.  Either way what is your point?  Any scientist or philosopher worth a damn admits they might be wrong about anything.  That doesn’t mean they are, and in fact that attitude actually helps both individuals and societies get closer to the truth.

  17. Randy7777 says:

    The only way a fossil can be produced is by an animal being covered by dirt or mud.  There are many, many fossils all over the earth and huge animals.  The only logical reason for this is the Noah’s flood. 

  18. agnophilo says:

    @Randy7777 – No, it isn’t.  Here is a thorough refutation of that concept.  To suppose that we would have to throw out the window everything we know about geology.

  19. Randy7777 says:

    @agnophilo – You’re funny – referr me to your page to refute what I said.  I suppose I could come up with a xanga page and prove what I said and refer you to that.  – chuckling

  20. agnophilo says:

    @Randy7777 – What are you talking about?  I take it you didn’t read the blog then.

  21. Randy7777 says:

    @agnophilo – I didn’t and don’t intend to.  I’ll do an xanga page and refer you to it someday.  until then ….

  22. Aloysius_son says:

    Sometimes It is more fun to imagine things than to study them. I have been collecting fossils around my camp for over 40 years. I imagine all kinds of critters and creeping things being trapped in the mud or even leaving behind tracks. My imagination, as entertaining as it might be does not take me 1/2 a step closer to the truth. I suspect that many of these creationist theorists are so desperate to believe in the imaginary timeline, that they can not escape their own self delusions and see the truth. I believe that there may be many new discoveries, and that there may even be many surprizes in store for us as we unravel the story of our genesis on this earth, but we will not undo the truth of the biological mechanism which brought us to our present state of being. Certainly discoveries using the scientific method will always outweigh the wishful theorist who intend to pedal their misguided beliefs and judgements.I say these things as a man who does believe in God, the same God as all men who believe in Him. God, the genius behind all things, would have created via a proceedure that we can follow. He did not use hocus pocus or voo doo, but rather a step by step process that has taken billions of years. Why is it so hard for some men to believe that?You did a good job setting the record straight and presenting the truth. One ought not to profess faith in an all powerfull deity and then present lies to support proof of It’s existence.

  23. Aloysius_son says:

    @Randy7777 – Randy, with repect, I would like to point out, the great flood is not the only expalination for the entire fossil record, if that is what you were implying, but only a portion of it. There have been many floods, many ice ages, many earthquakes, mud slides, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, tarpits, swamplands, bogs, and meteor impacts which facilitated the production of the fossil record. The fossil records from the Noah flood era are intriguing, but not all inclusive.

  24. Randy7777 says:

    @Aloysius_son – Agree – but the huge animals had to have had a huge flood. 

  25. agnophilo says:

    @Randy7777 – I made a blog about it so I didn’t have to spend an hour typing out the same information for every person who makes the same ignorant claims about geology and paleontology.  If you’re that lazy (or unwilling to listen to contrary opinions) I will sum it up for you – the geological column contains the buried remnants of mountains that have risen up and eroded away, billions of years of meteor impacts, many of which could not have happened in the past few thousand years, rocks formed over different geological eras, the fossil record which shows a snapshot of life during different periods, and the histories of volcanic activity among other things, none of which could have suddenly formed in a single catastrophy.  But who am I kidding, you’re probably not even willing to read this summation.@Aloysius_son – While I disagree with you about the existence of god, it’s nice to see someone who can strike a balance between believing there is intelligence in the universe and rejecting all science that explains anything (to make more room for that god).  It seems like folks in the middle are a dying breed.  Or maybe they just don’t speak up.

  26. agnophilo says:

    @Aloysius_son – Thanks, stated better than I could have.@Randy7777 – No, a dead large animal in a bog would be eaten or decompose and the material of the bog would be more than enough to encompass the bones.  Not to mention animals killed crossing water and buried at the bottom, mud-slides and various other things.  There is no necessity for a large flood, and certainly none for a global flood.  And when did this flood supposedly occur?  Because human civilization goes back a lot further than 4400 years, at no point did the inhabitants of the whole world die.But you won’t view evidence that you’re wrong, so why am I even bothering.

  27. Randy7777 says:

    @agnophilo – I won’t respond to name calling.  Here’s a link you need to look at: http://www.biblestudytools.com/kjv/proverbs/18-2.html     Give it some thought. 

  28. Randy7777 says:

    @agnophilo – And you won’t look at another view – so we’re at a draw. 

  29. agnophilo says:

    @Randy7777 – Um, I didn’t call you any name.  But you just called me a fool.  “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”- Jesus (matthew 5:22)So I’ll see you in hell I guess.@Randy7777 – And you get this from what?  Me reading and responding to every damn thing you say?  I’m sorry, but accusing me of being closed-minded without any justification just to justify your own refusal to look at evidence is pathetic.  I understand you’re in a tough position having built your life around these views, but if you’re not willing to examine evidence then why believe anything?

  30. Randy7777 says:

    @agnophilo – Do you believe the verse you quoted? 

  31. Randy7777 says:

    @agnophilo – You just like to fight – I’m not into that. Like I said in the other comment – we’re in different universes – It’s useless to discuss anything because we come from different foundations.  Apparently you’re not willing to look at my views and vice versa. 

  32. Aloysius_son says:

    @agnophilo – Contemplating the true nature of the divine being has been a preocupation of mine since I was a small child. It permeated my conscious as I studied the arts and sciences. When men seperate their god from truth, they place their faith in false ideas. There is much truth to be uncovered in the study of our universe. When we inquire to uncover the mysteries of nature with the intent of proving or disproving a preconcieved notion, we fail to be objective. I no longer try to prove god exists or doesn’t exist. I merely try to understand the ways in which this world works.With each new discovery I learn something new about the nature of the divine, sometimes it reinforces my beliefs, other times it causes me to reevaluate them.Oops, Gotta go. I just recieved an invitation from my beautiful wife that is too good to ignore!

  33. agnophilo says:

    @Randy7777 – You know the answer to that, stop being disingenuous.@Randy7777 – No, people insulting me and being pig-headed just make me combative.  Non-asshole christians I get along with fine.  And as I’ve already said, of the two of us I’m the only one who has actually read, thought about and intelligently responded to every single thing you’ve said.  You pretend I’m closed-minded and unwilling to listen (when I’m not) only to excuse those qualities in yourself.@Aloysius_son – Have fun : )  And I agree with you.  My problem with the supernatural is that when you try to define supernatural concepts they defy definition.  No one can show me a natural thing and a supernatural thing and tell me what the difference between the two is.  Other than that there’s evidence for one and not for the other.  If a god-like being showed up tomorrow and said “I created the universe, prove which god of which religion I am” and offered to submit to any test or experiment – where would we even start?  How can we find proof of a particular deity when we couldn’t even prove that being existed under ideal circumstances?  We don’t know what we mean by “god” or what we’re even looking for.

  34. Aloysius_son says:

    @agnophilo – Absolutely. After much pondering of the nature of Gods’ existence, there are only a few aspects that I am certain. God exists in the minds, imaginations, thoughts of many but not all men. Beyond that I often wonder. I think one of It’s debatable natures is in how anthropomorphicized we have made It. I believe that mankind has developed a working definition of God which explains certain characteristics of our human limitations with regard to knowledge and emotion. The being as it were has become Its definition. Many people believe that God is a seperate entity somehow. I am not so certain. To some extent I believe that it is the our definition of God that makes God exist. I don’t know if I am making any sense.Consider this. The play Romeo and Juliet exists because William Shakespeare created it. God exists because man created It. Undoubtably therefore, God exists. Perhaps though, unlike a play, God existed before people. By one definition of God, the process of the moment of the big bang is inspired by God, even if this process has no anthropomorphic basis. The personification of the process is actually reversed. The process caused people to come into being, not a big person caused the process to begin. People try to make God out to be a big person. That doesn’t make any sense what so ever. How can we fathom in reality a giant hominiod being leaping around the universe swinging from the stars and taking time to acknowledge each and every one of our very own meaningless and meager existences. No, this God if It exists, must be of a very different nature.I do know what God is not. God is not what most of us would like to imagine God is. Perhaps God is an inappropriately applied broad term used to describe a variety of smaller more specificly defined things that can and ought to more accurately be defined by other terms. I can attest that persons of faith are able to draw upon that faith to overcome seemingly insurmountable obsticals, which is not to say that those who lack faith are incapable of accomplishing the very same feats. I suspect, quite the contrary. There is a monumental tome of semantics involved in painting a clearer picture of what is and isn’t of the divine nature of existence. Much of it is psychological at the verge of becoming physiological.Using metaphysical logic and deductive reasoning we can support the existance of the greater divine being, in much the same manner that we support the existence of neutrinos or quarks. You and I can not see various subatomic particles for ourselves, yet we believe they exist because someone else who claims to have evidence of their exiistence by their affects on adjacent matter, tells us that these things exist. Accepting the existance of a diety follows the same course. We can’t see It, but we rely on the testemony of those who claim to have experienced Its existence, by Its affects in matters.Quite reasonably, I am more inclined to be curious as to know the particulars of each, the unseen microcosms and the unseen divine, than I am to out right deny either as folly. Both seem to bear a degree of credence and both, flaws in their initial denotations. I will continue to be curious and skeptical, and certain, and trying to unravel the mysteries for it really is a fascinating intellectual endeavor. I also continue to enjoy your points and your counterpoints.

  35. Aloysius_son says:

    @agnophilo – Also. In reading your reply to my comment over again. I think a supernatural thing is primarily a natural thing which is yet to be understood and explained. Let us examine ghosts. Perhaps there is some residual life energy, which remains intact minus the corporeal form of the human body. Perhaps someday we will uncover the means to measure and record this energy, much in the same manner that we have discovered how to do so with other forms of electromagnetic energy. Just because we haven’t discovered it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Odds are when we do uncover the truth, it will only vaguely resemble the fantasy we imagined. Like Columbus discovering the Americas and thinking he’d found India. That is why we must keep open minds. If it were not for curiosity inspired by the unknown and the desire to unravel lifes mysteries, we would have no cause to explore.

  36. agnophilo says:

    @Aloysius_son – “Absolutely. After much pondering of the nature of Gods’ existence, there are only a few aspects that I am certain. God exists in the minds, imaginations, thoughts of many but not all men. Beyond that I often wonder.” Not everyone who believes in some kind of god believes in the same thing however.  Even among the members of one religion some think he’s an avenger who will kick your ass if you do bad things, and others think he’s about peace, love and understanding.”I think one of It’s debatable natures is in how anthropomorphicized we have made It. I believe that mankind has developed a working definition of God which explains certain characteristics of our human limitations with regard to knowledge and emotion.” I do not think the concept of god offers real explanations, any more than the concept of zeus explained how lightning worked.  It might make us feel like we understand something, but it offers no new information, where information is actually available.  And if you read the bible many, many of the things we used to chalk up to direct acts of the supernatural, like lightning, we now know are natural phenomenon.  The bible attributes lightning, thunder, rain, clouds etc to direct acts of yahweh, attributes illness to demon posession etc.  Now we know about electricity and sound waves and the water cycle, germs etc.  So now we say god must be acting in this or that subatomic particle, or god was standing behind the big bang.  When we understand these things one day, we’ll just find some new thing we don’t understand and say “maybe god did this”, never realizing that we’re making the same mistake they made with zeus and lightning.  Saying “I don’t know how the big bang worked so god must have done it” is like a detective at a crime scene saying “I don’t know who killed this man… so jeff must have done it.”  If we don’t know, we don’t know.”The being as it were has become Its definition. Many people believe that God is a seperate entity somehow. I am not so certain. To some extent I believe that it is the our definition of God that makes God exist. I don’t know if I am making any sense.”Trying to figure out what god is is like trying to figure out what a blorg is.  If the term is not properly defined then it is not a valid concept, and you can call anything a blorg.  It’s completely arbitrary.  You’re looking for something to call “god”.”Consider this. The play Romeo and Juliet exists because William Shakespeare created it. God exists because man created It. Undoubtably therefore, God exists.” Existing as a subjective concept and existing as an objective thing are two different things.  I believe god exists in the sense that romeo and juliet exist, it is a character in a story.  And just like any story it can be powerful, it can move men to tears or scare people etc.  But this effect is amplified by things like indoctrination.”Perhaps though, unlike a play, God existed before people. By one definition of God, the process of the moment of the big bang is inspired by God, even if this process has no anthropomorphic basis. The personification of the process is actually reversed. The process caused people to come into being, not a big person caused the process to begin.” Come again?”People try to make God out to be a big person. That doesn’t make any sense what so ever. How can we fathom in reality a giant hominiod being leaping around the universe swinging from the stars and taking time to acknowledge each and every one of our very own meaningless and meager existences. No, this God if It exists, must be of a very different nature.”I like the symbolism here, especially the swinging from stars bit, but I disagree that our lives are meaningless.”I do know what God is not. God is not what most of us would like to imagine God is. Perhaps God is an inappropriately applied broad term used to describe a variety of smaller more specificly defined things that can and ought to more accurately be defined by other terms. I can attest that persons of faith are able to draw upon that faith to overcome seemingly insurmountable obsticals, which is not to say that those who lack faith are incapable of accomplishing the very same feats. I suspect, quite the contrary.”Faith, like all things, has positive and negative effects.  It helps people when times are tough, but it also has piles a crisis of faith on them when going through hard times, something a secular person doesn’t have to deal with.  You might find this video interesting, it is along those lines.  “There is a monumental tome of semantics involved in painting a clearer picture of what is and isn’t of the divine nature of existence. Much of it is psychological at the verge of becoming physiological.”I’m not sure what you mean with the last one – mind over matter?”Using metaphysical logic and deductive reasoning we can support the existance of the greater divine being, in much the same manner that we support the existence of neutrinos or quarks. You and I can not see various subatomic particles for ourselves, yet we believe they exist because someone else who claims to have evidence of their exiistence by their affects on adjacent matter, tells us that these things exist. Accepting the existance of a diety follows the same course. We can’t see It, but we rely on the testemony of those who claim to have experienced Its existence, by Its affects in matters.”This is not the case, we are not relying on testimony, anyone who wants to can perform the same experiments and verify any scientist’s observations, and scientists do test other peoples’ work all the time.  Also those models of subatomic particles are useful for predicting the outcome of experiments before the experiments are performed, which is what gives them credibility.  They are accepted based on their power to predict events, not the credibility of any individual scientist.  There is no comparison to any deity.”Quite reasonably, I am more inclined to be curious as to know the particulars of each, the unseen microcosms and the unseen divine, than I am to out right deny either as folly. Both seem to bear a degree of credence and both, flaws in their initial denotations.”I don’ think the divine is folly, just ill-defined and basically a non-concept until it is adequately defined.  The phrase “yahweh exists” is not true or false, it is impossible to evaluate because we do not know what yahweh is supposed to be.  We only have secondary characteristics (and those even conflict with each other).  If I told you that a car exists, and you didn’t know what a car was, and the only definition I gave you involves secondary characteristics, ie it allows people to travel fast from one place to another.  If you went out in search of this “car” you might find a bycicle, a motorcycle, a truck, a train, a rocket, an elevator or a thousand other things and think “this is a car” each time you find one.  But you would never be able to say whether each one was a car, because what a car is was not properly defined from the outset.  It’s the same with any god.”I will continue to be curious and skeptical, and certain, and trying to unravel the mysteries for it really is a fascinating intellectual endeavor. I also continue to enjoy your points and your counterpoints.”Likewise, deep discussion : )

  37. agnophilo says:

    @Aloysius_son – “Also. In reading your reply to my comment over again. I think a supernatural thing is primarily a natural thing which is yet to be understood and explained.” So then disease, weather patterns etc all used to be supernatural, but aren’t now?”Let us examine ghosts. Perhaps there is some residual life energy, which remains intact minus the corporeal form of the human body. Perhaps someday we will uncover the means to measure and record this energy, much in the same manner that we have discovered how to do so with other forms of electromagnetic energy. Just because we haven’t discovered it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Odds are when we do uncover the truth, it will only vaguely resemble the fantasy we imagined. Like Columbus discovering the Americas and thinking he’d found India. That is why we must keep open minds. If it were not for curiosity inspired by the unknown and the desire to unravel lifes mysteries, we would have no cause to explore.”Exploration is good, but why believe in ghosts or even bother speculating unless there is reason to suppose they exist?  Anything might exist, bigfoot and the easter bunny and the tooth fairy and a gnome named albert that eats elephants and sings opera.  All of these things could be real, but we should no more be preoccupied with ghosts than we should albert the elephant-eating gnome, unless there is a reason to suppose they exist.  And the only reason we have is eye witness testimony.  I can see how that might seem credible, but in the age of the camera phone and the security camera there should be vast amounts of corroberating evidence.  After all the operation of the eye and the range of the electromagnetic spectrum it is sensitive to is not a mystery – anything an eye can see a camera can see as well.  I therefore cannot conclude anything but that ghosts are a product of the mind’s ability to experience things which are not there.

  38. Aloysius_son says:

    Mark (I seem to recall that is your name, correct me if I am wrong) I enjoyed reading your responses. I had begun to expand our dialogue earlier, but experienced a computer hiccup. As I am now very tired I must postpone any further discussion until a future time. You made many succinctly acurate points and left little room for me to disagree, but much opportunity for me to expand on some of my intended meanings. I thank you for being thoughtful and considerate in your responses. If you do not mind I shall return to continue the discussion when I have more of my wits about me..John.

  39. agnophilo says:

    @Aloysius_son – Thanks for acknowledging that I made a good point or two – people usually don’t do that when discussing religion. : )  Take your time.  And as far as computer hickups, I hear ya – I had to reformat my harddrive just a few days ago.Oh, and yes my name’s mark. : )

  40. liquor90 says:

    You should definitely not let them have your name

  41. Aloysius_son says:

    I am back. Finally,I think a majority of people anthropomorphize God. Perhaps a supreme diety is capable of raw emotions. I find it hard to fathom this being so outside the physical constructs of a biological unit. The question I ask is, “How can this existence be without the forms of matter we believe It created?”“I do not think the concept of god offers real explanations, any more than the concept of zeus explained how lightning worked.  It might make us feel like we understand something, but it offers no new information, where information is actually available.  And if you read the bible many, many of the things we used to chalk up to direct acts of the supernatural, like lightning, we now know are natural phenomenon.  The bible attributes lightning, thunder, rain, clouds etc to direct acts of yahweh, attributes illness to demon posession etc.  Now we know about electricity and sound waves and the water cycle, germs etc.  So now we say god must be acting in this or that subatomic particle, or god was standing behind the big bang.  When we understand these things one day, we’ll just find some new thing we don’t understand and say “maybe god did this”, never realizing that we’re making the same mistake they made with zeus and lightning.  Saying “I don’t know how the big bang worked so god must have done it” is like a detective at a crime scene saying “I don’t know who killed this man… so jeff must have done it.”  If we don’t know, we don’t know.”I processed these very same thoughts when I was 12. It seems that we can apply a working definition of God to be, that which we have yet to explain. There fore this God, is not so much a concious being but rather the yet undescovered cause. The further we explore and the more we discover the further from this definition of God we move. I think perhaps this is why so many people who want to believe in the mythical God feel affronted by the truth as we find it in nature. Still I suspect there is some underlying force we have yet to identify, that in keeping suit with popular belief I will continue to call God. That source might well be a simple electromagnetic energy field with absolutly no self identity.“Trying to figure out what god is is like trying to figure out what a blorg is.  If the term is not properly defined then it is not a valid concept, and you can call anything a blorg.  It’s completely arbitrary.  You’re looking for something to call “god”.Exactly. We need to remove the arbitrary definitions from our working definition of God for It to have any meaning. Yet we can not abandon the idea that our current definition of what we believe to be God is in fact not truly God. Much in the same manner that men have often misidentified things. Compare our definition of a comet to the definition that was applied 500 years ago. We now include its composition and orbit in the definition.Existing as a subjective concept and existing as an objective thing are two different things.  I believe god exists in the sense that romeo and juliet exist, it is a character in a story.  And just like any story it can be powerful, it can move men to tears or scare people etc.  But this effect is amplified by things like indoctrination.I am glad that you share my sentiments on this matter.”People try to make God out to bea big person. That doesn’t make any sense what so ever. How can we fathom in reality a giant hominiod being leaping around the universe swinging from the stars and taking time to acknowledge each and every one of our very own meaningless and meager existences. No, this God if It exists, must be of a very different nature.”“I like the symbolism here, especially the swinging from stars bit, but I disagree that our lives are meaningless.” I did not intend to imply that our lives are meaningless, however, in the grand scheme of the trillions of stars and trillions of years our moment is relatively insignificant, at least to the monkey God. To our friends, families, neighbors and coworkers we can be quite important. Some people contribute above and beyond the norm. Each of us can and ought to find our own individual purpose for being.”There is a monumental tome of semantics involved in painting a clearer picture of what is and isn’t of the divine nature of existence. Much of it is psychological at the verge of becoming physiological.”“I’m not sure what you mean with the last one – mind over matter?” I was thinking in terms of mind over body. A simple exercize I practice is to ignore an itch without scratching it and make it go away, or to lower my heart rate or even to accelerate healing of injuries. In the process of meditation I connect with a divine presence, or at least I believe I do, and it has proven effective. I don’t really know if it is me, or the presence of the Diety that has the actual effect. I believe it works. Does it work merely because I believe, because I insist on making it work, or because of divine intervention? Next I am prompted to inquire once again what is the nature of the divine. What is the true cause and effect? Is prayer connecting to an external being through some sort of subliminal energy conduit, or just getting in better touch with our own self? Either way, and coincidentaly it has worked for me many times in the past.”Using metaphysical logic and deductivereasoning we can support the existance of the greater divine being, in much the same manner that we support the existence of neutrinos or quarks. You and I can not see various subatomic particles for ourselves,yet we believe they exist because someone else who claims to have evidence of their exiistence by their affects on adjacent matter, tells us that these things exist. Accepting the existance of a diety follows the same course. We can’t see It, but we rely on the testemony of those who claim to have experienced Its existence, by Its affects in matters.”“This is not the case, we are not relying on testimony, anyone who wants to can perform the same experiments and verify any scientist’s observations, and scientists do test other peoples’ work all the time.  Also those models of subatomic particles are useful for predicting the outcome of experiments before the experiments are performed, which is what gives them credibility.  They are accepted based on their power to predict events, not the credibility of any individual scientist.  There is no comparison to any deity.”Really, I had not considered your argument before and it is quite compelling. I sense a flaw in it, but can not put my finger on it. I must weigh out my thoughts before I respond. Perhaps we can return to this again at a later time.”Quitereasonably, I am more inclined to be curious as to know the particularsof each, the unseen microcosms and the unseen divine, than I am to out right deny either as folly. Both seem to bear a degree of credence and both, flaws in their initial denotations.”I don’ think the divine is folly, just ill-defined and basically a non-concept until it is adequately defined.  The phrase “yahweh exists” is not true or false, it is impossible to evaluate because we do not know what yahweh is supposed to be.  We only have secondary characteristics (and those even conflict with each other).  If I told you that a car exists, and you didn’t know what a car was, and the only definition I gave you involves secondary characteristics, ie it allows people to travel fast from one place to another.  If you went out in search of this “car” you might find a bycicle, a motorcycle, a truck, a train, a rocket, an elevator or a thousand other things and think “this is a car” each time you find one.  But you would never be able to say whether each one was a car, because what a car is was not properly defined from the outset.  It’s the same with any god.This single statement of yours is the very reason I enjoy probing your thoughts. I share the same premis.

  42. Aloysius_son says:

    @agnophilo – I have wanted to reply to this reply, but just haven’t had the opportunity. I did think about my reply off and on and I suspect it will fall short of the time I spent mulling it over. On ghosts.I suspect, that there exists a form of our being which transcends our corporeal body. I suspect this primarily due to the numerous accounts and claims of “paranormal” experiences, although most of these are most likely hooey. I recall reading a research paper which documented the transfer of electromagnetic energy from a living being at the moment of expiration to the surrounding environment. I brought the subject up as an example of what may be, that we don’t yet understand.Your reply, comparing the belief in ghosts to believing in the Easter bunny, was a bit out of line with your other more insightful comments. Much like our perceptions of god, I would be inclined to think that while “ghosts”, may exist, it is highly unlikely that they exist in the form that we have been introduced to in fiction. I highly doubt that we can hang around after we die and haunt our cheating spouse’s murdering lover, but I do believe that some essences of our being may linger in a variety of forms, mostly in the psychological imprint we have made in the lives of those who knew us. I would love to find out what legitimate research has uncovered about our personal life force or energies and how that energy is dissipated into the environment. I am aware of the obvious transfers in the form of decomposition, the generation of heat, etc. My curiosity is aroused, but unfortunatly for me, time is an ever dwindling commodity.

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