Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by xvenomousx, Jun 25, 2001.

  1. xvenomousx Registered Senior Member

    c'mon lets slug it out.
    please only good arguements and debate, no hitting below the belt, try to be factual and clear and not overly emotional.

    Age fo the universe?
    Geological evidence to the age of the planet?
    Why create a universe to appear as if its 12 billion years old?
    Why create all of life on earth to appear to be part of a large evolutionary genetic family tree?
    Why can evolution be proven to happen at all yet isn't how we got here?
    Why, if the universe was created do we have entropy and change?
    Why does all life on earth share alot of the the same basic chemical structure?
    Explain Junk DNA?
    Blood types?
    Genetic abnormalities? (don't try the work of god answer, that doesn't stand up, as we can SEE what goes wrong in the DNA)
    Aren't we surposed to be perfect?
    Does the universe NEED a god to exist?

    Why is science always so right? I mean, my cathode ray TV works.. my processor crashes if I overclock it... I throw a ball and it curves in a arc.. the scientific laws of the universe do seem to be true?

    On the other side of the argument

    Things need to come from somewhere, we don't know where the universe came from or why it is here and we'll probably never know from studying it... of course we may never know for sure if there is a god.. but the first argument implies there philosphically must be... ?
    ... And thus the act of creation by a external divine force is a neat answer to everything. Moreover a answer to why we are hear on earth...
    If the world was created 6002 years ago, then we wouldn't be able to disprove it, it just appears to have a different origin.. thats impossible to disprove...
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Hmmm ...



    To be honest, if nobody's responding there might be a couple of reasons. First, the above link is to the first page of a mighty debate; this Evolution vs. Creationism topic ran 271 posts over 19 display pages. Some of the posters, such as Boris, who dominated the prior topic, have had their say on the subject, and await new territory to cover--in this case, as you've covered pretty much the fundamental objections by Creationists against evolution, I would venture the guess that some of our evolutionist posters feel the matter settled, of sorts; judging from your points of argument, there's not much that the Creationists can say that hasn't been said and dealt with appropriately already.

    Please don't take me as discouraging this topic. To be honest, I'm always up to discuss this one, but since you'll find me largely, if not entirely, in agreement with you, I can't well debate without being farcical.

    One other thing greatly affecting this thread:
    It would seem that, by these words, you have eliminated the greater portion of the Creationist debate; there's not much left for the Creationist to carry into the arena.

    So if I might toss a half-penny's worth of advice in your direction, I would advise that you pick a particular Creationist argument to refute. For instance, a couple of personal favorites of mine:

    * That God made the Earth 6,000 years ago, placed the dinosaurs, and then caused a massive flood to restratify the earth and make it look older by putting the dinosaur bones millions of years into the strata. This was taught to a close friend of mine in her youth Sabbath-school lessons among the Seventh-Day Adventists. For comparison, we might hold this up alongside the declaration that the Pope is the Devil (something about the numerical value of vicar angus dei), and the notion that soon enough the United Nations will come across the face of the US and arrest all the Sabbatarian Christians and execute them in the electric chair for worshipping on Saturday ("National Sunday Law"). My friend learned both of these as a child, and believed them until her mid-20's.

    * Where did the Universe come from? Well, where did God come from? Apparently, the question is moot, since God is both Alpha and Omega, and therefore no need exists to establish the advent of God itself. Aside from this creating the circumstance by which the passing of time is illusory at best, wholly fictional at worst, and all of the implications against an active, transitory Universe, I suppose it's a comfortable myth.

    For instance, I pulled this from http://www.creationism.org/heinze/b1_bang.htm :
    Creationists frequently accuse scientists of "assumption". Some of this assumption is legitimately assumption. To these assumptions I would note that they have a purpose different from the assumptions of religion: they are to be verified instead of assumed as fact. Thus, to assume that a celestial process must work this way is concluded from reviews of other data, and appears, in the statistical model, to be the most likely result. So then the scientist builds the data around the assumption to form a working hypothesis, tests it. I would estimate that somewhere in the neighborhood of 95% of all scientific experiments conducted today will fail in the sense that the result will be different from the specifics of the assumption. Thus, the assumption is re-written, relevant data re-examined, and a revised working hypothesis is formed and tested. And so on, until the hypothesis is reflected in the results.

    For instance, determining the rate of gravity. If I assert that gravitational acceleration equals 10 newtons, that hypothesis might stand for a while. But the numbers will always reflect a huge standard deviation, and eventually, our observational techniques will show why: because 10 newtons is the wrong number. But it's not 9, because the data is blatantly wrong. So what about 9.5? Existing data says the probability is good, so you run the experiment whereby N=9.5 (m/s/s). Yet this is wrong still, so you run it again at 9.7, and keep refining the adjustment until you reach the number 9.8 meters per second per second. (No, that is not a typo.) So, yeah ... the hypotheses were wrong until they were right. It's how science works.

    Yet we see on the other hand the assumptions of religion, which operate in a manner similar to the above citation from Creationism.org.

    My one question to the Creationists: Where does the energy go?

    As a last note, I wanted to include a link to the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.nap.edu/html/creationism/conclusion.html

    It's the conclusion of a study of creationary ideas, and I find the ideas within a workable place to start. If I may, I would like to cite a portion from this page, and leave the rest to those that wish to read it:
    Thank you kindly, Venemous. Welcome to Sciforums, and we do hope to see your name around for a while.


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  5. Caleb Redeemed Registered Senior Member

    Oh goody! Creationism! My favorite Topic!!!

    I don't have alot of time to post, so I won't be able to write anything like a comprehensive manifesto on Creationism (unfortunately

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    ) but I'll try to respond to a few points.

    <i>Why is science always so right?... the scientific laws of the universe do seem to be true?

    On the other side of the argument

    Things need to come from somewhere, we don't know where the universe came from or why it is here...</i>

    These are not two conflicting sides of the argument. They are both obvious truisms. In fact, they both fit well in the Creation scheme. Point one, because if God created the regular laws of nature, it only seems right that things would follow these laws.

    Since science studies these laws, of course science is right (when it sticks to what is known, like physics and chemistry, and not to what must be interpretted)

    Evolutionism, on the other hand, has a little difficulty with both points, but especially number two. Where did the universe come from? The Big Bang? Where did that come from?

    And if the laws of nature are just random, chaotic results of the big bang, why should they always hold true (that's more of a philosophical question, however, and not one that I'm asking anyone to defend scientifically -- It's a weak point in the first place)

    Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science.

    To a point I would definately have to agree to that. Creationism is no more science than evolutionism -- or any other theory of origins, for that matter. None of them are testable methods of science -- they all deal with the past, which cannot be experimented on or reproduced, only observed. <i>Micro</i>evolution (aka adaption) - where a species diversifies and adapts to its environment - is certainly a prooven fact of biology, but <i>Macro</i>evolution -- where an entire species becomes an entirely new species -- has never been observed in the present. The only <i>possible</i> data for that comes from the fossil record. And fossils are just data. Namely, they have to be interpretted by scientists who are (1)biased, (2)do not want to believe in God, (3)try to uphold the status quo of evolution (no one wants to go against the flow after all), and (4)are trying to procure research grant money from an organisation who is expecting their results to conform to evolution. In actuality, however, not a single <i>definitive</i> case of transitional fossils have been found. For that matter, there is no way to <i>proove</i> that any given fossil even is a transition -- which loops around to my first point, that neither creation nor evolution are pure sciences. They are "derived", if you will, from data, and are nothing more than schemes of interpretation.

    <i>Where did the Universe come from? Well, where did God come from? Apparently, the question is moot, since God is both Alpha and Omega, and therefore no need exists to establish the advent of God itself.</i>

    What part of everlasting don't you understand?

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    The point is, you can't discredit Supernatural Creationism because a supernatural being does not follow the laws of nature. That's the whole point of being <i>super</i>natural in the first place. Besides, making that argument weakens your case as well, since it still doesn't explain where the universe comes from. This is an insubstantial argument, and is, infact, a logical fallacy.

    <i>please only good arguements and debate, no hitting below the belt, try to be factual and clear and not overly emotional....

    It would seem that, by these words, you have eliminated the greater portion of the Creationist debate; there's not much left for the Creationist to carry into the arena.</i>

    Ouch. That hurt, it really did. So much for being factual! It is a popular myth that Creationists are not scientific, and this is simply not true!!! There are mountains of evidence (including the mountains themselves

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    ) that either suppot Creationism, or refute Evolutionism. I look forward to explaining these points in future posts, but for now, I really must go. I have to ride the bike home before it gets dark, and hopefully before dinnertime.

    cya latter
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Caleb ... a few thoughts ....

    Well, Caleb, it's a fine place to start. I shall attempt to go in the order of your post:
    I would respond with multiple points.

    * That we know not exactly how the Universe began does not hinder science. Such quandaries are its purpose. Its purpose is to know the answer. Knowledge is an attainment. Were you born with the knowledge of how the Universe began? Something a little more mundane? Were you born with the knowledge of what fire does? Or why you can't breathe under water?

    Here we see an interesting parallel. Even the least educated folk can answer, "Because if you breathe under water, you die." To employ a direct analogy to such questions as we are addressing in general:

    1) The Religionist (analogously the Creationist) will claim that you cannot breathe under water because you will die if you do so, and that's the way God made it, and that is good enough since we don't wish to endanger our souls by questioning the ways of God.

    2) The Scientist (analogously the Scientist) will note that you die when you try to breathe under water, and wonder why this is. Even if the Scientist doesn't know yet what oxygen is, there is still the concept of "air", which we must breathe, and the lack thereof in the water. If there is no air to breathe under water, one cannot breathe under water. Observational refinements along the lines of what we built as a human race in the twentieth century allow the Scientists greater and greater definitions, including observational records of how cells asphyxiate. Even before we had atomic microscopes, the Scientist had had the Bohr model, a theory of an atom which, for all our purposes at the time, held up under scrutiny. As our observational methods became even more detailed, we took the data from the successful experiments and "proven" hypotheses and attempted to form new hypotheses. Thus far, we're hitting pretty steadily, and fixing this or that theory when we find it failing, or throwing it out altogether. (I'm telling you, Cosmology is a fabulous thing to be watching right now; it's academic upheaval as new numbers are calling on Scientists to fill in certain gaps and modify certain models.)

    A link on the Bohr model: http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/bohr.html Please note two things about this page: First, it was made with a Mac

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    Perhaps more importantly, it links out to a page which shows what we accomplished with the Bohr model, and why that new theory is the accepted theory instead of the Bohr model. It isn't that the Bohr model was wrong, but that the theory of quantum mechanics is more precise, and describes what the Bohr model cannot.

    Okay ... 118 elements ... how many quantum particles? What kind of molecular diversity can the Scientists incite? (Start by counting the number of plastic objects on the computer in front of you ... ) And all this knowledge and ability ... what would have happened if the idea of the four elements of nature was given to the same inflexibility as certain religious dogma? What if nobody ever looked in the first place, because it would be questioning God? (Of course, this, too, is a legitimate issue, as history well demonstrates.) No medicines? Just the rosy burning of fires and the smelling of posies? Is it possible that what really happened is that Jesus figured out CPR? A kiss and a laying on of hands, and presto! the dead rise?

    Instead of trumping the miracle and calling for the end of learning, the Scientist would try to reproduce the effect based on observation. (Okay, steady ... now, that Jesus guy kissed him and exhaled, and then struck him like this!) I should probably move on since I'm now bleeding the idea to death. But it's a matter of whether or not you're allowed to be wrong. And since people have decided that God can't be wrong, nothing new has been figured out about God for quite a while. The quest for that knowledge has stopped. Interpretation among religionists is largely superstitious, and therefore subject to individual fancy; this is, of course, why Christians can't agree on much about God, and also why Muslims in the Middle East have resorted to such hideous violence.
    Which ends up being a nice lead in regarding interpretation. I'm going to assume that you're writing of subjective interpretation, whereby the perception of the material being interpreted is subject to preexisting assumptions held by the interpreter. Yes, this does make life exceptionally subjective, but that's the point of it. In that case I should concur at least insofar as scientific scruitiny toward subjective interpretation is bad for the habit. It shows why subjective interpretation is prone to error. Did you ever receive news that was so terrible to you personally that you did not want to believe it true? Consider the late Mr McVeigh. When I saw the images on TV, and learned what was happening, I most definitely did not want to believe it. This does not change the fact that many, many people died that morning. But what if I never accepted it? I would be paranoid and armed right now. "Timothy McVeigh did not kill those people, because such a thing just isn't possible. And now my government has put him to death. They have declared war on We the People." And all based on my subjective opinion that human beings are better than that. Essentially, I'm afraid to be wrong in my assumption, yet how wrong I was.

    Subjective interpretation is fine by me, though let me specifically point out the emptiness of approving of something that is inherent in being human. I mean, who am I to approve or not of what is a natural human condition?
    Well, insofar as I've explained, the answer is to stay tuned for the answer. So we get to whence comes the Big Bang. Well, we're ... frankly I think within microseconds or even tighter of having that answer. And then we get to work out the riddle of why it occurred, which allows us to project the state of what came before. Whether or not we can reproduce such conditions in this Universe is, well, to be seen.

    But yeah, stay tuned. I know it's a cheap answer to some, but it's a Hell of a lot better than the Alpha/Omega excuse. The only thing that one accomplishes is the nullification of time, and leaves us with an unchanging state, whereby I could not even type these words; the Universe would never have gotten so far as to occur. So, stay tuned. The Scientists are working on it.
    Consider for a moment that the Universe is like a firecracker flash. Given accurate readings of environmental conditions, and the condition of the firecracker itself, one might possibly be able to predict fairly accurately the behavior of the firecracker's explosive event. Whether your prediction is right or not, once that event is over, it is over, and it could not have occurred any other way. The event occurred in response to certain conditions. While this does not sound random, consider whether or not life could exist on Earth if the Sun was a G-4 star instead of a G-2. The only reason the sun is here in its present form is because it must be. After the first few microseconds of the Bang, the Universe was pretty much set. Everything in the Universe is energy, even the matter, so to speak. Once the Universe event began, its initial properties no longer existed, but the telltale signature of those properties made all the difference to what the outcome will look like.

    If we ever achieve the answer of why the Universe occurred, it might take some of that randomness away.
    Okay ... this is a matter of definition as far as I'm concerned. You don't seem to think that evolution is testable. Yeah. I'm going to let that one pass on the grounds that you seem to be thinking I should be able to clap my hands and change an alligator into a moose. We'll get to a couple of problems with your perspective on this issue as we go.
    Well, instead of humanity, let's take something we can observe in a lifetime: microorganisms. We have to leave viruses out because they're mutating RNA combinations, but what do you expect? That streptococci will turn to pneumococci before your eyes? Most likely, it will be recognized as a new form of strep. If it evolves altogether, and becomes something wholly removed ... such as Afarensis, Habilis, tiger ... well, we're going to call it what it is ... in this case, a tiger. You know, it was probably ten thousand generations after our gills began reducing and our lungs began developing that our gills became useless. And shortly thereafter, perhaps only a thousand generations thereafter, even the lines where once there were gills will be gone (and I'll go so far as to assert a longer period for "generation" once we're on the land, insofar as perhaps 2,500 generations of our non-mutated ancestors in the water). Are you a fish? I don't think so. But the likelihood that part of your DNA was developed while the rest of its code required gills is quite high. Are you a monkey? Well, I would say yes, but it seems that the humor of this goes right by people, so it's up to you. An opposable thumb like we have is useless in a canopy mammal. That is, leaping from tree to tree, grabbing onto branches, an opposable thumb like yours or mine will get broken. Watch a gymnast on the uneven bars, where s/he puts the thumbs. They are not wrapped around opposite, but grouped with the other fingers. Thus, opposable thumbs would suck if you lived in the trees. But what about when you came down to the ground? I am more than willing to wager sums of money that in the genaeology of your DNA, your ancestors did not have opposing thumbs. I'm more sure of this than I am of the gills. So what you're asking for is a full-blown demonstration of a millennia-long process within the course of, say, eighty years. Want to see it faster? Take up microbiology or entomology.
    Okay, the problem I have with this is that it goes both ways:

    1) Biased: the Creationist faithful believe they have a stake that goes beyond this lifetime; the correctness of their theology is at stake. History demonstrates that religionists have rarely, if ever, achieved objectivity in Western society.

    2) Do not want to believe in God: Well, talk to ilgwamh about that (hi, Vinnie). On the other hand, the Creationist faithful are such that they do not want to believe that their image of what God is could possibly be wrong.

    3) Try to uphold the status quo of evolution: Um ... the critical fault there is that evolution, like any other scientific concept, has no true status quo. To engage a scientific concept objectively involves a tremendous adventure of learning. It engages the intellect, something which Christians, according to Aquinas (I think; might have been Anselm--it was one of the famous "A's") sacrifice unto God.

    4) Grant money: This is the lowest of your accusations. To the other, the core of what you accuse: Greed ... What's more valuable to a Christian than the soul? There is an aspect of greed evident in Creationism.

    Now, to try them again, from a calmer point of view:

    1) Bias: This is an assumption of your own. Certes, there are scientists who are biased, and many of them in favor of their own devisings. But by and large, the work of these scientists does not stand up to scrutiny.

    2) Do not want to believe in God: Again, talk to Vinnie about that. Such a blanket statement finds no merit.

    3) Uphold the status quo: I reassert my above argument, less the stab about the sacrifice of the intellect.

    4) Grant money: There are unscrupulous scientists just as there are unscrupulous Christians, unscrupulous salesmen ... unscrupulous people. Look any doctor in the eye and tell him you think he won't cure your friend's cancer because he wants to make better money providing symptomatic treatment. A lack of scruples in this manner rarely finds acceptance in the scientific field. Such work, like that of exceptional bias, does not stand up to proper scrutiny.
    Would you like a homocameoleopard? Perhaps a homonunculus? In this case, I shall let others make the case. Why? Because they're more qualified:
    * http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part2a.html

    * http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/8851/trans-fossils.html addrsses the claim against transitional fossils directly:
    * There is also http://www.mindspring.com/~duckster/evolution/transitional.html
    and also something relating to an earlier point of mine:
    And even an interesting thought which you might find encouraging:
    * And one more, just to make sure I'm making it clear: http://www.holysmoke.org/tran-icr.htm
    * http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/rossuk/transit.htm is a rather amusing little tantrum against evolution that includes an uncited quotation, and a number of logical statements such as the following:
    Well, for such a prestigious argument, I'd try Google.

    * The platypus has both reptile and mammal qualities and descends from the period in which reptiles started to evolve to mammals, about 150 million years ago.  
    The animal is found only in Australia, where its order is orde endemic.

    * http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/platypus.html does the job.

    But I wanted to throw in a Creationist argument just for balance. A lot of the web's Creationists seem to fixate on transitional fossils and the platypus; it's kind of scary, since they're simply looking past the data.
    Which invites again my point: Stay tuned; there are answers coming as more work is done. To the other, what does Creationism hold? Adherence to stale superstitions long demonstrated untrue? It seems to me that you are inflating evolutionary concepts in order to object to them; you are manufacturing an image of science so that you might debunk it.
    My point exactly. It's a mighty comfortable assumption you get to sit on your haunches and congratulate yourself for. Makes learning real easy, eh? This is why Christianity has described itself as the sacrifice of the intellect. (And this is not the jab it was above. I'm serious this time: you are telling me you would rather assume than learn. Fine with me, but since we're debating ideas of learning about the world and Universe around us ... well? What's your excuse?
    Comfortable, convenient, and cutesy. Hello?! Great. Now demonstrate it. You're the one with the problem with evolutionary evidence and demonstration. Now--justify your reliance on the supernatural else it equals only rhetorical laziness.
    Right. That's why it's in there. You are discrediting an idea that you refuse to apply Universally. It is therefore a selective and specialized idea designed to pursue a particular target. By limiting the arena, you have the effect of exercising some control over it. Unfortunately, the manner in which Creationist arguments are engineered have a demonstrable crash-and-burn rate: 100%.

    As a Creationist: "Evolution is not true because you cannot show where the process started (e.g. Universe, planet, Life)."

    Evolutionist response: "We're working on that. However, you realize that your own assertion makes the Creator God impossible. Whence comes God?"

    Creationist: "God has always been, with no beginning and no end."

    Evolutionist: "Can you demonstrate this at all?"

    Creationist: "Of course not. That's the point of being God."

    Hell-o?! Is there anybody out there? It seems that you have to rely on a glaring assumption made a priori, and clung to not only despite a lack of evidence, but also in the face of growing evidence to any of a number of results to the contrary.
    * Creation science relies on unobservable, undemonstrable assumptions. The meticulous Catholic philosophers did excellent work, but started from an assumed square one, undermining their whole theology so badly that one of the principal players (Satan) cannot exist as the theology describes without omitting critical portions of said theology. The assumed square one of Creationism is the presence of God. (Okay, it was the first assumption of the Catholic philosophers, too, but that's beside the point for the moment.) A syllogistic method may be proper, but if it asserts a priori that A=B when such a condition is not true, the result will be erroneous.

    From my prior citation of the National Academy of Sciences:

    I didn't need NAS to tell me this. I learned that scientific hypotheses must be testable when I was 10. Furthermore, since I'm recalling myself as a child, it seems to me that the only time I ever wanted to say something was there that was not observable was when I was being dishonest and trying to fit in with a crowd. Such is the nature of a priori. There's a clear reason one starts with an assumption; for what reason would someone not want to start with something true and observable?

    And the guests file in ... I must be along for now.

    thanx much,

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  8. Caleb Redeemed Registered Senior Member

    At this rate, I'll never get to the actuall arguments <i>for</i> Creation if I have to keep backing up and repeating what I've already said.

    First of all, I am not saying that Creationists are less biased than Evolutionists are. Obviously, Creationists assume there is a God. That is their "filter" if you will when they view science. That much is obvious and does not need to be established. What I am asserting, is that Evolutionists have a similar filter. They start by assuming that there is no God (OK: to be more presise, that God -- if he exists -- didn't create the universe or anything therein). That is their filter. It is just as much of a pre-conceived notion as the Creationist's assumption that God did create the universe.

    Creationist: God created the universe. Look at all the scientific data that supports that claim...

    Evolutionist: You're data is obviously wrong. Our own data supports the idea that the universe evolved.

    Creationist: From what? Where? How?

    Evolutionist: We're, er..., still trying to figure that part out. <b>But we know that God didn't do it!!!</b>

    <i>Hell-o?! Is there anybody out there? It seems that you have to rely on a glaring assumption made a priori, and clung to not only despite a lack of evidence, but also in the face of growing evidence to any of a number of results to the contrary.</i>

    (Sound familiar???)

    My point is that <u>all</u> scientific assumtions on origins -- be they Creationist or Evolutionist -- have to rely on a priori assumtions. God did it, or he didn't.

    Secondly, let me debunk the myth that Creationsts (or any "religionists") are inherently un-scientific.

    I will admit that during the dark ages, the institution they called "Church" certainly hindered progress in science. But then again, what do expect from an over-sized, mystical, superstitious, power-hungry institution that was based 50% on pagan ritualism? (Sorry to Catholics, but my view of Catholicism isn't very rosy. No one is denying that the Catholic church hindered progress. But Scientific Creationism is not like them. They DO look at the facts. They believe that God set the universe in motion under a set of fixed laws that are very precise, and that the goal of science is to discover those lows, and facts and data, and "think God's thoughts after him" in a sense. The assumption that God started it all does not affect our scientific view of the here and now. One only needs to look to the period after the Reformation to see the effects of this non-superstitios form of scientific religion. Examples such as Galileo and Newton who question the4 status quo of the superstitious institution of the Catholic Church, and discovered all sort of wonderfull things about true science. Gravity, heliocentricity, Calculus, laws of motion, and optics, just to name a few. The list goes on and on. And guess what? These men were Christians, seeking to discover God's laws. No one can deny the greatness of what they did, yet they did it as a "religionist." Either they got extremely lucky or it IS possible for startiling scientific discoveries to be made by "Christians."

    For this reason, I do not discriminate between "Religionists" and "Scientists." I rather distinguish betwen "Creationists" and "Evolutionists." With the understanding that some evolutionists might be religious in addition to being scientific, and the understading that creationists are scientific in addition to being religious (since that is possible).

    Now, rather than arguing broad overarching points of vague philosophy and theology, let me concentrate on the science.

    I only have time for one argument at the moment, so I'll start with one of the most common (and admittedly, perhaps the strongest) argument for an old-aged universe. Starlight and the distance (hence age) of the satrs.

    As it turns out, there are three good ways of explaining this.

    The first (and admitedly weakest) is the classical Creationist viewpoint that God created the light in between the stars, "in transit." Obviously, while God could have done it this way, it is very unsatisfactory among Creationists and Theologians, since it implies that all sorts of things that we've seen in the heavens have never really happened, such as novas. And its not really apparent why God would do something like that. In general, this theory is closer to tasting like superstition than most things that the creationists devise. While it's possible, it should be placed on the back burner -- or better yet behind the stove. Sort of a last stand. After all, there are two much better theories to explain the observed phenomenon.

    The first of these is Setterfeild's c-decay theory. Namely, the speed of light was once much much greater than it is today. Alas, the evidence for this is difficult to show, and is heavily based on less accurate readings from long ago. This doesn't disproove the possibility that the speed of light might have decayed. Nor is this theory a laughable attempt that can't possibly be reconciled with modern cosmology. A recently-published article in Scientific American (either January or June of 2001) contains a suggestion <b>by evolutionary cosmologists</b> that inflationary theory cannot explain the uniformity of the universe. They propose a "plan B" for the universe that says the speed of light may have been billions of times faster in the past, and they are working to reconcile the notion with relativity and quantum mechanics. Apparently, it is possible. I'm content to let them do the work for us

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    My personal favorite theory, however (suggested by a creationist with a PhD -- these things are not rare, you know) is a completely new system of cosmology. I explain the theory on the Astronomy board as a flat, finite cosmology. basically, if the universe is flat and bounded, it has a definite center of mass, and therefore, a definite gravitational potential field, which decreases with distance from the center. Objects near the center would experience a gravitational time dialation, and in the past, a smaller universe (before it expanded) would have implied a greater factor of time dialation. The theory even goes so far as to say that, during the Creation week, there was a white hole, the event horizon of which the still-unfinished Earth was near to (or even at). This would cause extremely large amounts of time dialation to expire in the blink of an eye. Hence, the universe itself, really could be billions of years old, with ample light-travel time, while the earth is only a few thousand years old. The nice thing about this theory, is that it is a <i>natural result</i> of Einstein's equations if you plug in a flat space-time (which most scientists now believe is the case due to CMB), a finite-sized universe, and an expanding universe. Time dialation is the natural result. Its a neat theory because it is an entire framework of evidence that fits the known facts, and even allows the outer limits of universe to have existed billions of years (in there time frame). It also explains why scientists could so easily claim their was a big bang -- a universe expanding from a white hole would look similar. It's such an elegant theory, I wish I had come up with it!

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    Anyway, I've typed far too long, I really need to go for now. next time, I hope to dig into geology (assuming I don't have to back up and re-explain this all over again)

  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Notes on assumption, at least


    Aside from trying to usurp definitons of words ...?
    This is incorrect. The proper context is that the Evolutionists, respecting science cannot justify the presence of God in the system because God is an unobservable, undemonstrable fact. I'll back up and post a third time that which you have not responded to, despite the fact that it serves as a counterpoint to your argument:
    One cannot observe God; nor can one test any hypothesis about God. What of the justifications demonstrating that God cannot, by nature, be demonstrated? Therein lies the fault of another of your arguments. In the present context, that justificaton demonstrating that God cannot be demonstrated is nested so wholly within a priori assumptions that said justifications fall apart when its methods are applied to the rest of religion. One must always subject perception of fact to a number of assumptions which, conveniently, it is morally wrong to demonstrate.
    I tend to think there's something different between the processes. On the one hand, a scientist records what is observed, interprets the data, and forecasts future results. To the other, the religionists (including the creationists, regardless of what classifications one wishes to draw) assume that something exists, and then claim to know the process whereby that assumed something operates. And it is somehow wrong to explain, demonstrate, or test that assumption? Right now you're demonstrating the sacrifice of the intellect: Creationism is not science because it does not respect the process that is science. Your idea of preconceived notions: start with the idea of an apple falling. Look at gravitational theory. Now ... look at any distant celestial body--something way out like a pulsar. It's a long way out there, right? But there's an equation that will tell you exactly how much gravity your body is asserting against it. And I'll tell you something about mathematics: it's a simple enough formula that if the relationship between you and a mass on the far end of the Universe is incorrectly described, then so is the relationship between the Earth and the moon, and also between you and the Earth. This is based on myriad tests verifying the hypothesis. And it started with something you can't see--gravity--and required only observations of its effects. Really, if the written definition of gravity is simply a preconceived notion, then please demonstrate.
    On the other hand, the Evolutionist is still working at it, instead of sitting smugly on his haunches and asserting that Truth is to be found in that which cannot be found. It's far better than stretching out and confidently reminding the world that you know the Truth but you can't tell anyone until they decide first to believe it word for word, without question. It's the difference between discovering what the Universe has to offer and waiting around for God to come and take you home.
    Yeah, it does. Are you repeating my words just to be annoying? You're implying there's new evidence concerning God? It would be the first in 2,000 years according to Christians. As far as I can tell, what is known about God was known when Christ finished up, and the rest is just the Devil's work distracting poor, defenseless, pathetic humankind. This is, of course, the best I can figure from the Christian/Creationist pseudoscientific cacophony.
    Right ... but the assumptions a priori made about God are so structured that they cannot be changed. This is not a problem with the scientific process. The point of an experiment is partially to prove or disprove those scientific assumptions; what's the Christian excuse?
    And yet again:
    Address it, or stop pushing this line that Creationism is science.
    Okay ...first of all, what does history demonstrate when scientific knowledge comes in conflict with religious belief? Well, I think this very debate is evidence. Historically, though, it has cost the scientists everything from a headache to their life.

    Secondly: These men were Christians, seeking to discover God's laws. Right. Seeking to discover God's laws. That is inherently a priori, assuming directly that God must exist and set the laws.
    1) The Creationists look at a limited selection of facts; that's why I included the bit about the platypus. There's also the claim about transitional fossils that seems bunko. What facts are they looking at?

    2) The belief that God set the Universe in motion under a set of fixed laws ... &c, indicates again a preexisting, non-scientific bias: the assumption of God. Indicates? Sorry, manifests.
    I can only agree with the boldfaced portion. I refer you yet again to the text from NAS. For all the claims you make, you don't address that direct counterpoint. Try it. See how thin Creationism runs.
    If "c" slows, so does everything in the Universe. From a perspective independent of the Universe, "c" can fluctuate all it wants; we, being subject to those fluctuations, won't notice. If "c", so do the atomic and quantum processes in our bodies. It doesn't matter; atomic decay slows; biological processes slow ... everything will slow down in relation to "c". We won't sense it, though, so time will pass to our perceptions, measurable against anything within the Universe, normally.
    They're still working to make Superstring and Steady State theories conform to new data. In the case of the latter, it won't happen. In the case of the former, it still might but is unlikely.

    I can only comment that I disagree with a finite Universe. I've heard the latest cosmology that says flat Universe, but if there's a center of Gravity, where is it? The Universe does not behave as such. A "finite" Universe is something I'm not averse to, in the sense that the Universe will continue to expand until it disappates, much like a firecracker expolsion. Raisin-cake is still valid as far as I know, good Caleb. And that's a puzzler for a theory describing a gravitational center.

    I should mention, though, that you're welcome to repeat yourself until you're blue in the face: It does nothing to prove Creationism, and it does nothing to change the fact that Creationism is unscientific.



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  10. Caleb Redeemed Registered Senior Member

    WARNING: The following is excerpted from a live account of an evolutionist-turned-creationist. If you place faith in the theory of evolution as being a scientific system, this article may be hazardous to your faith. All emphasis are added by me, and any personal notes will be placed in square brackets (except the first set of square brackets which is the editor's note). The entire article (I don't leave out much) is found at http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-049.htm

  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Bill is on my bad side right now


    Owing to software difficulties limited expressly to Gatesian software running on OSX, you will get a detailed reply tomorrow. In the meantime, let me advise that the gist of my original post centered on Dr Parker's obsession with dominion, sin, and redemption, and other symptoms of Christianity that appear to predate his conversion--and, indeed, his career as a teacher--and the damage this invited to his credibility. His primary arguments centered around his own interpretation of evolution, which I think we can fairly conclude is and was mistaken.

    But the moral for today, kiddies, is this: Always write in your text editor.


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  12. Caleb Redeemed Registered Senior Member

    Don't Bother. You've already made your point. You are unwilling to accept Creation as science, hence when the facts <i>do</i> support Creationism, you yell and scream till your blue in the face that Creationism can't be science. If you've already made your decision, than I can't change your mind. However, In the vein of the original purpose of this post:

    <i>please only good arguements and debate, no hitting below the belt, try to be factual and clear and not overly emotional.</i>

    I will continue to provide the scientific facts that support Creationism.

    You can deny that Creationism is good science and say "the sky is fuschia!" all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that the sky is <i>blue</i>!

    For instance, let me add to my partial list of great scientists who were Christians and Creationists (and in some cases, simultaneously theologians or clergy). And notice how many of them use science as a tool to <i>debunk</i> myth and superstition or found a whole new branch of science!

    Galileo -- like Kepler, helped to debunk geocentricity and anticipated the laws of motion. THough censured by the Church, he remained a firm believer and felt the Bible supported his claims.

    Johann Kepler -- Father of astronomy and celestial mechanics. Conclusively debunked the old geocentric idea. Is thought to have coined the phrase "thinking God's thoughts after him"

    Francis Bacon -- Formulated the "Scientific Method" stressing use of experimentation and induction from data rather than Greek philosophy as the basis for science. Concluded that maggots did not spontaneously generate from rotten meat. Wrote that there were two books before us to study -- the Bible, and the Creation.

    Blaise Pascal -- Father of hydrostatics and laid the way for hydrodynamics, genius mathematician. Argued that if you become a Christian, you have nothing to loose if you are wrong and everything to gain if you are right (known as Pascal's Wager).

    Robert Boyle -- founded Royal Society of London, and was father of modern chemistry, as opposed to alchemy. Discovered Boyle's Law in gas dynamics. One of the greatest scientists of his generation. Devoted much of his money to Bible Translation efforts, and his will provided for Christian apologetic lectures to take place.

    John Ray -- father of English natural history. authority in zoology and botany. Strong Creationist, wrote <i>The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation</i>

    Nicolaus Steno -- father of stratigraphy (studying strata). Debunked myth that fossils were merely "figured stones" but claimed they were actually the remains of dead plants and animals that lived during The Flood. Interpreted strata as proof of The Flood. Later became a Bishop.

    Thomas Burnet (geologist and clergyman), Athanasius Kircher (Jesuit who wrote on the scientific aspects of Noah's Ark and the effect of the Flood, and anticipated germ theory before it was discovered), John Wilkins (clergy and scientist), Walter Charleton (President of the Royal College of Physics, defended Creation and the Flood), Sir William Petty(Statistics and economics, wrote papers showing God's design in Creation), Issac Barrow (math prof. @ Cambridge, taught math to Newton, and resigned to go into ministry), Increase Mather (Cotton's father, clergyman, and astronomer who studied comets and was one of Harvards first Presidents), Nehemiah Grew (medical doctor, botanist, studied plant anatomy, wrote extensively on evidence for unique design in Creation).

    Then there were more who were Christians, at least theistically, such as Robert Hooke (physicist and geologist), William Harvey (discovered blood circulation), Christian Huygens, Tycho Brahe, and Nicolas Copernicus.

    And I haven't even reache dthe time of Newton yet. I'll see if I can get there later today.

    That's all for now,
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Thanx for lightening the load, but there's still the NAS issues

    Good enough. But I noticed you still refuse to address the points discussed on the National Academy of Sciences page.

    I still look forward to your thoughts on that.


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  14. Caleb Redeemed Registered Senior Member

    I don't suppose that will take too long...

    First of all, the NAS quote you posted is little more than an opinion. It gives little data to back up its claims, and most of what it says is either wrong or interpreted wrongly.

    <i>Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science. These claims subordinate observed data to statements based on authority, revelation, or religious belief.</i>

    I already dealt with this. Creationism is no more or less testable than evolution They are interpretative (sp?) sciences rather than pure science.

    <i>Documentation offered in support of these claims is typically limited to the special publications of their advocates.</i>

    Of course this often (but not always) tends to be true, just as evolutionists cite the publications of their advocates. So what? That doesn't proove that it is or isn't science. Actually, as I tried to demonstrate in the above article, when Parker was in an evolutionist school, studying evolution in evolutionist text-books under evolutionary professors, he still came to the conclusion -- based on scientific evidence -- that Creation was right. Things such as paraconformities, assumptions involved in dating methods, and the evidence for design in microbiology -- even when taught from the evolutionary perspective -- still supported Creationism.

    <i>These publications do not offer hypotheses subject to change in light of new data, new interpretations, or demonstration of error. This contrasts with science, where any hypothesis or theory always remains subject to the possibility of rejection or modification in the light of new knowledge.</i>

    Again, this is false, as I've demonstrated with the issue of starlight, theories change to fit the data, from a first, cop-out answer that has little basis in the data, to a better theory that tries to explain the data, to a whole system of cosmology that has recently been developed, and is still in its infancy (the white whole theory I mentioned). Creationists do not stick to one theory. Other examples are found in feilds such as geology, climatoloy, meteorology, and astronomy. For example, I read a recently-published book by a Creationist that develops a new method of dating the age of a layer in an ice core using mathematical techniques, and assuming that ice-accumulation rates have not been constant. When the accumulation-rates expected in a world-wide flood are fed into the equation, the readings from the ice-core pan out to show that there was a single ice age that occured after the flood. The ice core itself does not proove that there age is millions (or more) years old. It is only the a priori assumption that accumulation-levels have remained constant that makes them seem old. Another example of a revised theory is the view of what dinosaurs were. The first scientists (Christian and secular) thought that they were ancient rhinos and lizards and the like. But now creationists (like others) realize that dinosaurs are a distinct class of animals, similar to reptiles. They do not start with the a priori assumption that dinos turned into birds, and they don't find evidence that this happened when they look. Yet another example is the vapor-canopy. Fossil evidence supports the idea that the past world was alot warmer and wetter. The vapor-canopy supports this notion. However, recent research (both linguistic in Bible translation, and in tandem with the w.h. cosmology) suggests that the "waters above the heaven" may refer to interstellar water, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules, either in the stars or in an ice-shell surrounding the universe. Climatology models show that higher pressure, greater %'s of CO2, less axial tilt, and other factors may have caused the temperatures to be so warm.

    The doctrines that we do cling to are broad ideas that God created the world in 6 days, about 6 to 8 (maybe 10) thousand years ago, and that lifeforms do not evolve into others. Evidence seems to verify these claims. These are broad assumptions, and allow alot of room for change in theory, depending on fact.


    (<i>Hmmm... took longer than I thought. Perhaps I need to be more concise in the future... </i>)
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    I don't understand how someone so desperate to show Creationism as legitimate science can so openly decry the scientific process. Really, I don't.

    Fix the key a priori for me: Prove that God exists.

    That is what is necessary to make Creationism a science. And here we have the unique fortune of identifying the underlying assumption without which Creationism evaporates.

    Demonstrate the Creator.

    In the meantime, I remind you to remember what you're reading. That is a conclusion to a book, at the NAS site.

    * http://www.nap.edu/html/creationism/index.html If you would like the detail, by all means check out the rest of the site.

    (Edit: So I went and implied that the whole book was on the site; whoops. My bad.)


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    Last edited: Jun 29, 2001
  16. Caleb Redeemed Registered Senior Member

    I do not need to prove that the God of the Bible exists to support a Creationist view any more than the evolutionist needs to prove that he does not exist. Especially since the facts of science imply intelligent, supernatural design. That this designer happens to be God is the view of Creationists. That this designer is mere chance and chaos is the view of evolution. Science cannot peove that there is or isn't a designer, but it can imply. If we can argue the scientific facts without arguing the underlying philosophy, I will try to show you that the facts support an intelligent, supernatural designer.

    (I'll finally try to get this started.)

    To begin let me point out the underlying assumptions for both viewpoints.

    Uniformitarianism -- The idea that all physical processes have remained relatively equal throughout a long period of time, gradually changing things, with no substantial disasters throwing records off.

    Catastrophism -- The idea that major disasters may have taken place and that we cannot neccessarily extrapolate current history from geology and known rates of change. These rates may have been extremely different in the past.

    There are many problems with a uniformitarian view, which imply that a major catastrophe has taken place. For example, the paraconformities mentioned earlier do not lend themselves easily to a uniformitarian explanation. There is no hint of overthrusting or any other natural mechanism, as Parker's professors noted, "they are a mystery."

    Then there are fossils in erratic shapes and other anomolies. Huge fossil "graveyards exist worldwide, where hundred and thousands of animals are all fossilized together at once. Similar events, on a smaller scale, occur when rivers flood (there is even a branch of science that studies the movement of dead animal carcasses). This implies a huge flood that killed these animals all at once and washed their bones all together for later fossilization. Also, large numers of species known in the fossil records are extinct. It is thought, even among evolutionists, that these extinctions (which usually occur in mass) were the result of some world-wide disaster. Thus, when faced with the facts, even evolutionists must temporarily abandon the uniformitarian interpretation and allow some catastrophes to have occured. The evidence is just too strong. Upside-down tree trunk fosils imply that the entire length of strata along their trunk was deposited very quickly. Fossilized imprints of raindrops and wind ridges also imply that fossilization can occur quite rapidly. Fossilized human footprints have also been found in tandem with dinosaur prints at the Palauxi site in Texas. The large amount of strata (something like 90% of all rocks, if I remember) implys that there was an awful large amount of water and mud at one time or another throughout history. Compare it to sedimentation that takes place during major yearly floods (I live near the Mississippi) The huge formations that were cut into the strata (ie Grand Canyon, etc) can easily be explained if the rock was still relatively soft (or even muddy) and huge amounts of runnoff water came whooshing by. In fact, the erosion could be greater than normal, since in large floods with turbulent flows, a well known event takes place known as cavitation. This is where small vacuum-bubbles form in the water and pop, greatly aiding in erosional forces. And then, alot of sedimentary rocks are found on mountains too, implying they were under water level when the sediments were deposited (either the mountains were lower, or the sea level was higher, or more likely both).

    Every day, I see two very distinct evidences of Creation and the Flood (in addition to the existence of the entire universe and everything therein).

    Before I get on the Metrolink (a public transit rail system) I look into a tunnel that goes under a road in Saint Louis and see literally dozens -- maybe even hundreds of stalactites. I know that they don't take millions of years to form 'cause Saint Louis (and the Metrolink for that matter) isn't anywhere near that old. Some of them are quite substantial in size, too. I also see a few at the Botanical Gardens (St.L is famous for them), in the greenhouse region under the waterfall (feel free to come look for yourselves) The larger scale of stalactites seen in limestone caves implys that possibly the water flow was much more rapid and mineral-laden in the past.

    Then, on my way to lunch every day, I walk past a recent construction site. The grass is still young, and the soft ground in the area contains multiple water runoff channels -- they look <i>just</i> like the canyons and mesas seen in the Southwest, but on a much smaller scale. They substantially grow in size during a good rain (although the grass is beginning to prevent that). The huge size of the corolating features around the world imply <i>huge</i> amounts of water and mud (or soft rock).

    Can this erosional effect be scaled up and produce the same results? YES! The eruption at mount Saint Helens produced similar circumstances and flooding. When a temporary dam broke, a whole region of new deposits was eroded producing a full-scale canyon (I think it was something like 1/40th the size of the Grand Canyon, but I could be wrong)

    Therefore, it is easy to see that with the large amounts of sediments and erosional features and their world-wide distribution, akward fossil anomolies, mass extinctions, the formation of stalactites, and more, a truly disastorous flood-like event may have occured, effecting the entire world. Looking to historical sources, I find in the Bible a mention of a worldwide flood with 8 survivors. Looking to other cultures I find similar stories of cataclysmic floods. Scientific, historical, and cultural data seem to indicate that such an event occured, why shouldn't I believe that it did?

    The fact that the flood was apparently worldwide (basd on the evidence) is no big shocker. Evololutionists need to explain world-wide mass extintion events. The popular theory is a metorite impact every once in a while created a world-wide disaster that led to these extinctions. However, a flood could easily explain the same results, while additionally explaining the other factors explained above. If the sea beds were higher, the mountains lower, and the icecaps melted, there is certainly enough water in the world to completely cover it. In fact, it is possible that the evolutionists were partially right. One or more metorite impacts may very well be associated with the flood, initially breaking open huge underground aquifers, allowing large amounts of water to escape to the surface. Please note that the Bible does not say there was a meteoroid. I am merely saying that, based on scientific evidence, it is likely that one or more of them may have been involved in beginning the Flood that the geology so clearly implies.

    Sometime soon, I'd like to adress Radiometric and Radiocarbon dating systems. Or maybe human-ape transition forms.

  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Too many assumptions, Caleb


    I'm going a little out of order, but mostly for impact. I can, however, start at the beginning of the post:
    1) Yes, you do need to establish the God of the Bible. Okay, not necessarily the Bible, but there's other points to consider there. In the case of the assertion itself, where it errs is quite simple: Science records and interprets what can be observed and tested. A creator--any creator, much less the Christian Creator--must be demonstrated in order to validate the process in question as an act by that Creator.

    2) I'm calling you on the blue-tinted phrase above, that the creator is the Biblical God, according to Creationists. The reason for this is simple: if not the Biblical God, then who is it that Christian Creationists assert made the world? Is your God, then, subordinate to the Ultimate Creator?

    Simply put: science need not make the assertion that God does not exist. The truth of the matter is that unless something is observable, it cannot be included in the theory. Certainly we see particle physicists occasionally assert the existence of a particle undiscovered, but I seem to recall that we just completed the quark set earlier this year, which demonstrates my repeated claim that the so-called assumptions of science are, in fact, goals to be achieved. I don't see this same process in place regarding the Creator. In fact, it seems to me that the religion driving Creationism proudly touts that God cannot be observed, demonstrated, tested, or proven. This bodes poorly for the establishment of Creationism as a science.
    Any number of possibilities exist; the planet does take the occasional comet in the noggin, you know. But you mentioned this somewhere, and went so far as to ignore the potential of a meteorite or comet causing a flood. There is evidence suggesting that something caused a glacier to quickly melt and flood what is now the Pacific northwestern US and SW Canada, Including Montana, Idaho, eastern Washington, and parts of Canada. This could easily be caused by an extraterrestrial impact.
    Yeah, comets can do that. A meteorite bombardment, such as crater evidence implies, can definitely do that. Consider global warming for a second: When environmentalists assert that the world is warming too quickly, I can guarantee you that their data ignores volcanic eruptions. Pinatubo, St Helens, and others are considered, for the purposes of the early-90's global-warming study, to be anomalies, and are exscinded from the data. Extended periods of 3 degrees-centigrade cooling are omitted. The result is that warming rate appears to be over 1.5 C for the period, while the truth of it is that the planet is warming somewhere around 0.5 C. What I'm after there is that when the atmosphere gets filled with junk, bad things happen. A comet of reasonable size would have filled the entire atmosphere with dust; a meteorite bombardment riddling the planet with craters would do the same. Mass extinction can take place under these circumstances; there's hog cholera, you know. What about dinosaurs? Are we imagining that these beasts were immune to microorganisms? Wandering through a dying forest among the rotting remains of your brethren is not healthy, no matter what you are. All I'm after here is that your reliance on a world-wide flood is too heavy a load for such a thin assertion.
    You know, I thought this kind of Uniformitarianism had gone the way of the dinosaur. Consider ilgwamh's citation of Hoyle reinforcing the notion of a Universal designer (it was his signature for a while, at least). Great, so Hoyle thinks he sees evidence of a designer in the Universal model. However, Hoyle's chosen model--steady-state--is almost dust in the pine box: he was looking at the wrong model, and this undermines his claim. The only time I ever heard of Uniformitarianism when learning about evolution is from Christian Creationist critics. So if you want to criticize Uniformitarianism, sure ... go for it. But I've learned all my life that cataclysms play an important role in life's changing mosaic.
    For a disaster? We're all aware of that.
    So when I walk along a ridge, and see the shape of its edge, and the wind is blowing and I can't see chunks of the ridge falling off--it's fossilized? And yes, fossilization can indeed occur quite rapidly, depending on the environment.
    I've covered this elsewhere, but .... Now, isn't this site near, oh, a river?

    Do rivers stay in their banks?

    Imagine: Dinosaur tromps through, leaving footprints. Dinosaur dies somewhere ... doesn't matter where. Footprints remain, conditions change to preserve them. Over time, sediment covers the hardened footprints. Also, over time, the nearby river repeatedly floods its banks, washing away that newer sediment, so that when humans come tromping through, their footprints go in what dirt remains after the flooding river. It's not that hard to envision if one pays attention to the physical world at all.
    So 1/40 as long, 1/40 as high, and 1/40 as wide. Okay. My desktop calculator puts those factors together and gives me a ratio equal to 64,000. Or are you speaking of the whole volume? Now then, what kind of material did the St Helens canyon cut from? Silt? Little different than the Grand Canyon. Where is the volcano at the Grand Canyon, and what evidence have you to support its eruption? (Really, I would love to know; I've never heard this before, that there is a volcano at the Canyon.)
    There is evidence of disparate large floods: Turkey, PNW United States, &c. But nobody has yet provided evidence of a worldwide flood. Rumors of a worldwide flood come from a crude assembly of flood locations, a general disregard for flood dates and periods, and lastly a loose extrapolation to apply said floods to the whole surface of the earth.
    Yes, and the flood is a particularly noxious plagiarism. But Christians who insist that the world is less than billions of years old miss out on the fun realization that, for a period, it appears that the entire surface of the Earth was, in fact, water. North America, for instance, appears to have risen and spread from a volcanic rift under the sea. And this does not conflict with Pangaea (Gondwanaland), which it seems to me you mentioned in an earlier post; something about topography. But the ubercontinent is only important if you choose to make it so. But before the continent, there was a hell of a lot of water.
    Yes, the water-flow does fluctuate; we've all seen the Mississippi flood. But I would invite you to either find or produce the data describing the formation of these stalactites. Since you see them often, and they so affect your perspective, why not find out what data exists and see how that evidence stands? Increased water flow in the Mississippi basin means only that: increased water flow in the Mississippi basin; for those of us who accept the Ice Age--well, the melting water had to go somewhere.
    Yeah, I'm familiar with the process, too. I can create it on a sandy beach with a 5-gallon bucket and some water. I have not made the Grand Canyon, and would not care to try. I'm thinking of something about your sense of scale, but I can't put my finger on it. It seems to be your sense of proportion: a larger canyon means more water is needed to continue erosion. The rate of topsoil erosion in a heavy rain, or under the force of a pressure nozzle speaks little toward geology in the context we're approaching it.
    Well, 3/4 of the world is covered in water, and much of it deep; all of that water has at one time fallen from the sky. What more would you like for a huge amount of water than all of it on planet Earth?
    There is no reason to believe against floods, but I think your perception of the scientific data is colored by your need to find theological justification. As a side note: Dr Barry Fell, researching the presence of European-originated alphabets in the Americas noted the possibility that the ships of Tarsus, which the Psalms declare smashed against the rocks in God's wrath, or some such, may actually have landed in North America at some point, based on stylistic similarities. What this is provided for, in our current debate, is merely to remind that our Hebrew recorders of the Bible may have had a slightly limited view of just how big the world was. A major flood in the Fertile Crescent may have constituted the whole world to these poets. (Reminder, the Biblical tradition was oral first, and written second.)
    You're right: It's a knee-slapper, a seam-splitter, and a gut-buster. The evidence does not stand up to scientific scrutiny; there are simply too many assumptions of process to declare that a worldwide flood happened in the manner you're attempting to construct.
    Or, the heat of the blast could have put that much water vapor into the mix, and it all rained out for years and years and years until the climate equalized again. You're reaching too far to find your connections, which is another symptom of poor science.

    There's too much assumption involved in Creationism that is not testable. Our scientists will, however, work out the gaps in their data. It is unacceptable to science to rest on such assumptions as the presence of an untestable, unobservable Creator. And that's the key. You can describe any set of processes you wish, and if they prove to be true, then they're true; but they won't prove Creationism without first demonstrating the Creator. And that cannot be done.

    And what will science do with a Creator? Throw it into the equation and see what happens. It's what science does.


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  18. Caleb Redeemed Registered Senior Member

    I wish I had time to respond to everything you said at the moment, unfortunately, I don't have the time. I'll try to work on a response over the weekend, but I'm not sure if I'll have a chance to post it before Monday. At any rate, I'll try.

    Allow me to leave you with this quote from a creationist paper:

  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    As you like it ....

    Such as the preconception that there is an unobservable, undemonstrable, untestable Creator?


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  20. Radical Registered Senior Member

    here are some URLS that state

    the "facts" of both sides



    (About 4.5 billion years old)



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  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Nice links

    Thanx much, Radical.


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  22. Caleb Redeemed Registered Senior Member

    My promised response.

    I'm afraid you've misunderstood. In Creationism, we assert God <i>is</i> the ultimate Creator/Designer/Builder (whatever you want to call Him)

    I was being general in my statement to acknowledge that there may be other viewpoints. Some may seem the design in the universe as an alien's experiment, or they may attribute it to some vague "universal soul", "mother earth", a pantheon of naturalistic dieties, or a giant egg that cracked open.

    Even many evolutionists comment on the remarkable amount of order in the universe. They usually assert that the master Designer is (as I've already said) blind chance, randomness, and forces of nature.

    So the Creationist viewpoint is that this order is attributed to the God of the Bible, as opposed to a giant egg, a pantheon, an alien, mother earth, or blind chance. God cannot be proven to exist anymore than the blind chance can be proven to account for the presence of my two eyes.

    Though God is not observable in nature, the order and design of nature <i>is</i>. This is the key to your philosophical argument.

    (regarding metorites)
    On the contrary, I acknowledged such possibility. A metrorite (used here non-technically to refer to any extra-terrestrial object bombarding the earth, including a comet) is thought, among Creationists, to be a quite possible initiator for tectonic activity and the flood.

    Speaking of tectonic plates, did you know that one of the first people to propose tectonic plate motion was a flood geologist, Antonio Snider-Pellegrini, who published a little-known paper on it in the same year Darwin published <i>Origin of the Species</i>. Looking at the fit between continents, he proposed that there were these rigid plates in the Earth's crust that rapidly moved apart during Noah's flood, a theory that, with some modifications, many Creationists still hold to be valid. Snider was one of the last proponents of Flood geology and catastrophism (Catst.) before uniformitarianism (Unif) came about. When he proposed that these tectonic plates existed, and were moving, it was the Unif's who were initialy unwilling to believe the evidence that the plates had slid. Instead, they felt that the crust was fixed. (BTW, this is another example of a time where creationists incorporate evidence into their theories, even before the evolutionists are willing to do so)

    No pun intended, I hope

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    Seriously, though, you're mistaken. Though they seem to not use the word (perhaps it implies that their theories are merely based on assumption of uniformity, but since they see this assumtion as being a fundamental fact, they don't even bother to give it a name. Afterall, the only time you need to give it a name is when you're contrasting it with other viewpoints, which they don't seem to do all that often -- which is poor science), in general it is still the basis for the majority of their research. Another term for it would be gradualism. True, they admit events such as ice ages and greenhouses, but these are typically seen as being on the order of 20,000 or 100,000 years or so, if I'm not mistaken, and they appear and dissapear gradually -- just a cycle the forces of nature acting gradually over hundreds of thousands of years. Sediments are slowly deposited, a grain of sand errodes here and is deposited there, with an occaisional local flood or disaster, but nothing large-scale, earth-shattering. At least until recently when they proposed the meteorite impact theory, that is.

    I'm glad we agree.

    (Regarding Palauxi)
    I would have to, since there's not much science behind your scenario.

    To be preserved for millions of years, the dinosaur footprints would have had to be lithified (the process where sediments turn into solid rock). If they had not been lithified, they would cruble, or be disturbed by the overlying sediment. Then they stay buried, lithified, and undisturbed, despite countless floods on the river (which by the way, happens to run through the area for the whole time, right, since sediments are continuing to be deposited) for at least 60-65 million years (likely more, but who's counting?) and then they are uncovered de-lithified (by the way, I don't think anyone's ever observed de-lithification associated with a flood. Usually rocks just errode, not turn back into mud) just in time for someone to walk over this path of mud that has these unusuall holes in it. Then, these footprints have to re-lithify very quickly once again, before they can be disturbed (Footprints usually have eroded within several days). The very presevation of fossilized footprints is hard enough to accomplish, but to have the same area preserve two set of footprints at completely different times, after some unknown mechanism de-lithifies a slab of rock that had been sitting happily as a rock for countless millions of years.

    (Sorry, I got a bit passionate there, didn't I? Actually, please note: it has recently come to my attention that even most Creation Scientists regard the Palauxi site as being inconclusive at best, based on the following summary of evidence article I found:

    <i>Even though it would now be improper for creationists to continue to use the Paluxy data as evidence against evolution, in the light of these questions, there is still much that is not known about the tracks and continued research is in order. We stand committed to truth, and will gladly modify or abandon our previous interpretation of the Paluxy data as the facts dictate.</i>

    Nevertheless, the ridiculous scenario that you give demonstrates that Evolutionists are at least as willing to "twist" or "reinterpret" the data to fit their viewpoint as Creationists are. Anyway, on to other matters...)

    Um, you sort of missed the entire set of events. I'm not implying there was a volcano at the Grand Canyon (or any other canyon). Duh! It wasn't the erruption that caused the canyon, it was just the waster and mud.

    At Mt. St. Helen:
    Volcano causes flood.
    Flood erodes mud/ silt/ soft sediments.
    Sediments lithify.
    Viola` - a canyon.

    In the Flood:
    There is a worldwide flood creating and depositing huge amonuts of sediments
    Huge Flood erodes large amounts of sediments.
    Sediments lithify.
    Viola` - a much larger canyon.

    I sure hope not! It would take a flood of, well, Biblical proportions to do that.

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    Kinda like what happened at Mt. St. Helen's, except on an planetary scale.

    Let me give you a hint:

    (I hope you didn't seriously need a calculator to do that

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    Anyway, now compare that ratio to the ratio of water rushing around in the Mt. St. Helen's erosion to the ratio of water rushing around in the Southwest during a world-wide flood. I expect the ratio to be at least as large, probably alot larger. So saying that the Helen's erruption doesn't demonstrate that a flood may have been the mechanism that created the Grand Canyon because it's to small is a little bit, well, wrong. Plainly, a world-wide flood would have more than enough water to duplicate the effect on pretty much any scale.

    Well, the converse was definitely proved true at Mt. St. Helens. More water (floodwater, not rainwater, btw) means a larger canyon is formed.

    Perhaps not at first glance, but again, the rate of silt erosion under the force of a brocken lava-dam @ St. Helen's certainly does.

    Actually, 40 days and nights of continuous world-wide raining to be precise.

    I accept the Ice Age as well. This Creationist named Larry Vardiman did a study of ice layers from Greenland core drillings and developed a mathematical model that was intended to calculate the age of an ice layer as a function of the layer's depth according to the Flood geology. Using this depth-to-age corelation, he plotted the d_18_O ratio (oxygen isotope 18) against time. Both Evolutionists and Creationists agree that d_18_O ratios may give a rough estimate of temperatures at the time they were deposited. The evolutionists use their mathematical models (which assume a slow but steady rate of deposition) to show that their were several Ice Ages in the past lasting thousands of years. However, when the data was re-plotted to the new model (which assumes deposition was not constant, but peaked to enormous values during or just after the Flood), it gave a different picture completely. Instead of showing cycles of Ice Ages lasting for long periods of time, it showed a single Ice Age occuring just after the Flood, and lasting from 500 - 1,000 years, and taking about 50 to 100 more years to end. The same scientist later later conducted a similar research project regarding deep-sea sediment drillings and a similar mathematical model, to form a view of sea-temperature variations after the flood. (It is generally thought among Creationists that the oceans immediatly following the flood were quite warm due to the large amounts of energy that had been released, facillitating rapid evaporation and consequently, rapid precipitation in polar glaciers)

    The Divine Inspiration of the Bible is a completely seperate topic, but I suppose I could touch on it breifly.

    That's not neccessarily true in most cases. First, I hope you're not implying that these ancient people could not write. Even as long ago as Moses -- the first author of the Bible with the probable exception of Job -- writting was commonplace. The Egyptians used papyrus. Job, if he did come before Moses, was also familiar with writting: "Job 19:23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!"

    Of the five books that Moses wrote, only Genesis (and the very beginning of Exodus - but that can be easily explained) came before Moses was actually around. Furthermore, he did not neccessarily rely on oral tradition -- let me demonstrate. The first use of the word "book" in the Bible actually occurs in Genesis. Not even near the end, but near the beginning. Chapter 5 to be presise. "This is the <b>book</b> of the generations of Adam" It is quite possible that Moses was compiling a list of pre-existing written records. Also, if he did get his stories from "oral" sources, then he got them straight from the author's lips!

    Reminder: The Biblical account is <i>inspired by God</i> first, and written second (or simultaneously).

    I thought we went over this already. Neither Creationism or Evolutionism can be "proven." They are both untestable. The evidence merely lends weight to one view or the other (or both depending on how one interprets it). So, I'll get on with the evidence.

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2001
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Demonstration seems to be the problem

    Look ... stop resorting to what you perceive as the faults of another system in order to justify your own theory. Your theory should stand on its merits. Among the merits of the scientific process is its ability to achieve in the future data not immediately possessed. Scientists do not perceive instabilities in evolutionary theory, but rather data which must eventually be verified. This is directly opposite the Creationist assumption of a Creator, a necessary element of the theory which cannot be tested--ever. That is all the difference in the world. If you see what you think is a weakness in evolutionary theory, you can devise a test of the principle and present your findings to your scientific peers, who will either accept the principle or point out its flaws insofar as further testing would be required to verify the principle. This is impossible for the absolute key to Creationism: you cannot verify a Creator, only assume that your results indicate one.
    I truly wonder where this science comes from: at no time in my twenty-eight years on this planet have I ever heard that the crust of the Earth was fixed. Not once. Not ever. Really.

    Of meteorite impact, though, there comes about a living apocalypse in a myriad of methods: floods in certain areas, to be certain, and nobody will deny this. But there is also the possibility of long-term greenhousing from the sediment kicked into the air. The water supply goes bad: pollutants falling from the sky, and the sickness of dead animals up and down the river. Tromping through the decay, enduring shocking climate changes, facing a dwindling food supply and a septic environment.

    But you'll have to correlate the data to demonstrate the worldwide flood. There's a scientific task: perhaps it could be done, but I would also suggest that had any prior attempts endured scientific scrutiny, our conversation might read much differently.
    One of the disadvantages that I've observed of operating by a Creationist perspective is the tendency to forget about the overall effects of erosion. By the theories I accept, the river wasn't always right exactly there, but had to grow and erode the earth around it to become so local to the site; constant flooding cannot be guaranteed; the erosion of a number of feet of sediment in exponentially less time than it took to accumulate can pretty much be demonstrated by observation in nature.
    To be honest, as one who lived within relevant distance to the mountain's wrath, I have to say that this Creationist focus on Mount St Helens surprises me; it's only been in these last months that it's been mentioned at Sciforums that I've even heard of this. To the other, Radical provided links that include perspectives on this.

    To the other, you have posited a process; can you devise a test to demonstrate it? Can you assemble the statistics to show it without exscinding relevant data? Mind you: I'm not about to go out and do the measurements, so I don't expect you, personally to. But I would be surprised if the internet, at least, couldn't provide enough data to form the rudimentary theory. But I've never heard such a theory in any cohesive form, so I can't point you in any good direction.
    First mechanical issue: why there? By this I mean simply why did the flood carve away that earth? What was there before that made that ground more favorable to erosion? And how did that circumstance come about?

    First key issue: demonstrate that flood, and what caused it. Even with catastrophic worldwide rains, one still encounters the problems touched on elsewhere with where the water comes from, and justifying that theory. And once that is worked out, one can begin engaging the myriad mechanical problems, one of which I've included above. The process of lithification of the Grand Canyon is also a mechanical issue, but one which will share much in common with the question of location and conditions.
    This is a faith statement, and presently undemonstrable as fact.

    But there's a place to start: can the geology be demonstrated? Good luck.


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