Stewart Gault

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Why do we let this happen in the world?

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/646137-south-korea-surrenders-to-creationist-demands

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    Jun 18 2012: science is exactlly proven that history and people existed and science today modern or not has shown that light , matter and human evolution/ecology came from one big source and devinity and power but grace lives with simply being like jesus. I have nothing against scientists and no need to rebuke them. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- THE WORD BECAME FLESH.
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      Jun 18 2012: Right.. well so you're against the fact that SK has banned evolution from the textbooks? and yes science has proven that everything most likely came from a singularity but you use terms like grace divinity to explain something which is none of that, the beginning was merely hot particles colliding against their anti matter counterparts releasing more energy potentially creating further quarks or electrons, science has said over and over we can't disprove God but we don't need one for the universe to start.
    • Jun 18 2012: There is a pretty in-depth story about a flat world on the back of 4 elephants which is all on the back of a turtle; the author has even written "science" for this world. So, if one day the author decides that this is actually a real place, should we then teach this in schools as an option for how other worlds work in the universe, and start quoting passages from these books as fact because the author has included real events in his explanation?

      Some people might not consider this as a fair example because it isn't our world and no one believes it to be real (I don't think) . Still, this represents an idea with no real physical base which is then attempted to be explained through rational thinking, and in turn is made to seem believable.
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        Jun 18 2012: A beautiful truth I recently learnt about science is this, science isn't democratic, we can't pick what we like and go with it we only go with the truth.
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    Jun 12 2012: The reason is that creationists are a political group. They are not truly religious.

    We have been remiss to not re-write the old religious books - just as the creationists wish to re-write scientific discovery.

    Perhapse a political foundation can be established to lobby governments for a total religious book recall to have the creationist "errors" redacted.

    The resulting religious text might then be fully updated by sponsoring a new messiah and converting the world's religios adherents to the new religion.

    This would not be too hard - there is still plenty of scope in known science to accomodate an ultimate deity.
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      Jun 12 2012: "The reason is that creationists are a political group. They are not truly religious." so what ? you can be creationist without being religious . (nonsense man , nonsense...)
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        Jun 12 2012: I assert that my assertion is just as assertive as your assertion.
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          Jun 13 2012: Not so interesting .
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    Jun 8 2012: Never before have the extreme faith groups been so vocal or so fundamental in their creeds - Ultra Orthodox Jews, Fundamental Christians and Muslims all tout their views as the only truth. The majority within the faith groups who are liberal, modern thinking, moderate and humble are drowned out or shouted down.

    Religious fundamentalism has arisen as many people have replaced one certainty (religious faith) with another (faith in secularism). As the churches have emptied the shopping malls have filled. A lack of religious education has led to many secular people believing that all people of faith believe in the historical truth of Genesis - when the majority of the faithful look on the bible as myth stories to meditate and reflect on.

    As militant atheists become more and more aggressive and threatening towards people of faith, mocking them, insulting them, interfering in such a way as they themselves would find intolerable if the boot was on the other foot - so the polar extremes will swing further apart - perhaps only to smash together with greater force.

    Science removes ignorance but ignorant secularist can stoke up the flames of religion.

    Personally I see no reason why science and faith should not co-exist since science is the study of the material universe with faith taking over where science cannot, as yet, go. Faith is meant to evolve as people do. Jesus, like all great leaders, challenged the prevailing attitudes of his day - he didn't preach that everything was fine - he got angry with the money lenders and ate with the social outcaste...he directed the arrogant to the nearest needle.
    • Jun 8 2012: An interesting perspective.

      Is it really possible to have things both ways? Science and faith do co-exist. The problem is they are not harmonious world views, of what constitutes reality. The strength of religion and those whom give it priority is vested in authority and tradition. The weakness of religion is in its strength.

      Secularism is a reaction to recognizing the value in religion, but limiting its promoter's ability to push it on others less receptive, or as in my case, a world view to which I do not subscribe.

      The strength of science, a consequence of secularism is in its repeatable and reinforcing nature and in its application in how it influences our views and our modern environments. Its weakness is in its personal disciplinary demands, and like so many things is subject to misuse and subversion by the less scrupulous among us.

      The South Korean government does not belong in the religious business of creationism. It will only help promote a less objective atmosphere of learning and a gateway to tyranny of individual free will in the classroom and beyond.
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        Jun 8 2012: Despite being an atheist I've to say that faith and science can co exist, only on the grounds that faith gives ground when it's been proved wrong. There's nothing wrong with having a faith and trusting science, you just have to apply a "god did it" sort of attitude like god set evolution in motion and started the big bang sort of thing.
        • Jun 9 2012: Often it has been described as a war between science and religion. Science is not at war with anything. Science is the search for the truth. If god popped out of the clouds tomorrow scientist would not be mad, they would just ask him to repeat the process then seek to understand it and how it interacts with everything.
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      Jun 16 2012: Heather maybe they didn't need to be vocal in the past as there were not many competing voices. Now they are competing against the voice of reason and science.

      Also now there is more contrast from a scientific view than comparing one supernatural assertion with another. - so maybe they seem more shrill.

      I guess they realise science will be a significant blow to their children's faith if they are exposed to the ideas of reason and evidence and comparative religions etc.
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    Jun 7 2012: the author endeavours to explain THE BIG BANG THEORY and how biblical txt has been proven to alighn with the word of God and todays knowledge. An interesting look at how the universe was created. The Bible is about power and the covenant of life and beauty of a greater man than Newton.
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      Jun 7 2012: It looks as though he's really just read too deeply into it, and it does nothing to prove the book, and lastly, back to my original point, if he says genesis talks of evolution then why are christians so against it being taught, but he reads far too deep into the book and pulls what he wants out of it, he says that it explains the big bang which it really doesn't and he says that when he created matter and light on one day it explains the big bang, you don't get light until you have nuclear fusion which came a long time after matter was created, also he says about the waters giving way to the rising land or something, but so far as I know we had land first then water.
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    Jun 6 2012: all the genius's and famous scientist all believed in religion and hoistic powers before they died. follow your path in faith...
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      Jun 6 2012: What a pathetic argument, they believed in the god of the gaps, it just proves that god is only EVER evoked when there's something that can't be explained and people want the easy answer. Newton was one of the best physicists ever, he worked out so much and I'm not even going to list what he did, but when he got to the edge of his thinking capabilities he evoked god, he couldn't work out how all the planets' combined gravitational effects managed to keep them orbiting and not being pulled out of orbit, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4238NN8HMgQ I think Neil Degrasse Tyson mentions it in this talk, something like 90% of the national academy of science's members are atheist, times are changing.
      • Jun 9 2012: "…they believed in the god of the gaps," exactly.

        They sought to explain as much as they could, and when they could explain no more they let their culture take over and set their mind to ease with god. But, then again, isn't that what people have done all along? In a sense, the trend is saying, “the explanation is god until further notice”.

        Thunder and lightning is not an angry god.
        Your crops will not be good this year because you killed a lamb for god.
        Someone does not have blue eyes because they were chosen by god.
        Someone does not even have blue eyes because "god mixed your DNA cocktail".

        Someone has blue eyes because a mutation occurred around 10, 000 years ago (when no one had blue eyes, and depending on who you talk to was either before or after god created the earth), formed the gene for blue eyes, and then their parents carried that gene (thank you evolution).

        But, the South Koreans may never know that because, "...half disagreed that “modern humans are the product of evolutionary processes”."

        I'm not trying to be argumentative (I hope I don't come off that way), I'm just showing an issue that some people might have with this.
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      Jun 16 2012: I guess we don't know if all were theists, but probably most reflecting the demographics of the time.

      I note they all didn't believe in the same god or dogma.

      Still a weak point. If a genius believes in something without reasonable evidence that something is not necessarily correct.

      I recall reading Newton believed in alchemy etc. So do we believe their other debunked beliefs?

      Even pointing to recent or current great scientists that are theists is not proof of any god.
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    Jun 22 2012: You tell me who was the first human to begin the human race simply the product of the bible is handed down story of what initially has controlled and caused our understanding of someone greater than the universe or a God. Just think that you mentioned a mixture of protons, electrons, atoms forming different beings and animals. The latest section of this book (Genesis an Enigma) that is written by a scientist and well travelled man with great references to great historical and palaeontology. He speaks of the first eyeball being born (who would of thought of this?) and how it resembles a jellyfish and how that is one of the oldest and first animals that whether you think God or just science created. But my argument in support of Christianity and living a good life by simply being a Christian follower. The story is quite uncanny how science, archaeology, history and scholars and the famous people (like say Moses) I’ve spoken about all get their inspiration get their knowledge and genius and abilities to tell a story or open the rulers of this worlds minds about Faith and Belief explain what affects us. IS proven and to predict the events so accurately as they the scientists unravel their discoveries. The life of Jesus, Adam and Eve was all evident to these books in the Old Testament. I’m just saying this book I've read has been such an inspiration because of the wonder of science for me to believe more in how good my Christian walk is back to my Bible.
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      Jun 15 2012: Hi Adriaan, no science isn't outlawed but I'd soon say anything that isn't creation science will be removed from the schools. I also really hate this idea of choice, like teaching two sides to everything is pointless, atoms bond to complete their outer shells but children you should know that it says in X book that the flying spaghetti monster binds everything together, so like evolution happens children but there's also every religious doctrine in the world which says all life was created but with no evidence, it's a bad choice. Also evolution doesn't deal with the origins of life, that would be abiogenesis. You've hit an interesting point here, the idea of importance and purpose. Firstly you must realise that purpose is man made, it us us human's who have given things purpose, so on a cosmological scale we have no purpose but we give our lives a purpose and theirs nothing wrong with that, everyone needs their own purpose. Importance, we are so vastly unimportant and useless. Compared to the scale of the universe we are so small that if your kitchen was the universe our engine solar system would be the size of a single atom, so once again we've created self importance, to be so small and so fragile and so awfully composed it is hard to find any importance other than that which we create.
      Ok neurones and chemicals, I like this argument as it highlights fears that some people have that they might not be the one making the descisions in their life, but I love te idea of it all being chemicals and brain impulses, it really enhances love in my view, that my brain could have decided to chemcallt react over anyone but yet it chose my girlfriend and it makes it quite special. Ok we don't undertstand everything but that's a given. Though what we can't do is start to fill in the blanks with random ideas with no evidence, we base what we know around what's observed and until we see differently we stock with what we know
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      Jun 15 2012: Something else I wanted to say about purpose. As you know we give forks a purpose, we give cars a purpose, but when people suggest that ( I'm not saying you do) if there's no afterlife then what's the purpose if life. This to me is a glitch in human thinking, life is the one point where people think that if it ends there's no purpose. The last meal you had ended, but just because it ended doesnt mean it had no purpose, same with going to a concert, just because it ends doesn't mean there's no reason to go etc. So the idea that life does end and doesn't start again after death, in my opinion, enhances our purpose in this life, it makes each and every moment I have that much more precious knowing that I'm constantly ambling blindly towards my own demise. It makes me want to achieve more in this world and to get way I can out of this world whilst I'm here. So do humans have a purpose? No. But we each individually have our own purposes though humanity is being forced into trying to unite into a single purpose of saving of our own planet which is quite sweet.
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          Jun 16 2012: Ah but we're made immortal in the memories others have of us, and I hope there's no afterlife because I don't want to live forever.
          Also you seemed to have missed my earlier point, it is us human's who have given everything a purpose, I have a coat hanger to hang clothes on, a bed to sleep in etc etc but the question of purpose of life, is a question not worth asking, because there isn't an answer, any answer anyone will give will be man made. Or go to the galaxy, what is the purpose of a super massive black hole other than to attract nearby stars, well that's not its purpose, we've just given it that purpose but the only reason it is there is because of the laws of. gravity.
          And the choice thing again, yes mentioning the other side gives someone choice, but there are times when it is better to eliminate unnecessary choice. It is like a china tea pot around Saturn argument. So a physics teacher could say we've launched cassini and never found a china tea pot all evidence says there isn't one or you can believe there is as it says in book X. I believe in giving students a choice of evidence. 100 years ago you had the choice of being a steady state theorist or a big bang theorist, then the big bang theory started proving phenomena and so it's accepted and steady state is now in invalid choice. Which is the exact same for the creation story. Every aspect of science today disagrees with it and has libraries of evidence which would go against it, so the choice (the bible) that provides no evidence no modern day observations s now invalid as it is pointless and been proven wrong, and that is why the SK gov should not be teaching it instead of evolution.
        • Jun 18 2012: If I may interject:

          "What if the moment you left the dinner or concert you did not remember any part of it? That's like dying and that's it."

          Is a gold fish dead because he doesn't remember the other side of the bowl by the time he reaches its opposite side?

          Or is the fish more alive because everything is a new experience?

          Would a gold fish even debate this?

          The point of these questions is to start the process of thinking about why we feel the need for purpose and choice by thinking about what needs we might feel if we didn't have the tools we have. Simply put, our greater cognitive abilities create the voids that we in turn feel the need to fill.
        • Jun 18 2012: This part is on choice and how sometimes it’s silly:

          The idea of giving people a choice caters to a paradigm that people have developed and attached to freedom, individuality, and all that is best about humanity. But, however nice of an idea it may represent, and however easily it is received (since people have a trained response to this paradigm), there are some places where it can be applied and is ridiculous.

          Even today, you could present the choice of whether the world is flat or round. To people without the critical thinking skills, or previous knowledge of the proof for why the world is one way or the other, they might think this is a good choice. But the fact is, it’s not a choice, the world is round.

          My point in saying this is: people who have not been well trained in the laws of physics, and in turn understand how things can be somewhat “counterintuitive”, are more prone to see some choices as valid when they really aren’t.

          People not only need to be taught about the evolutionary process in schools, they also need to be taught the history of science, this way they can see how science has developed and been received thought out its development. They need to know this to realize the trends established throughout the history of science proving what nothing else could; all the while scientists and science has been rejected from the previous mainstream beliefs, even though they were proven correct, because the mainstream would not accept their proof-- since it conflicted with their religious beliefs (beliefs that explain things in a way very similar to astrology, which is also widely believed though out our worlds population).
      • Jun 16 2012: Yes, Stewart, we should not force anyone to understand and build their views of life on our interpretation of the litteral text of the Bible. The Creation Story is a perfect example, because it has, as we believe, nothing to do with this physical world.

        --"Ah but we're made immortal in the memories others have of us"--

        Being immortal does not mean being a picture on someone's wall. It means we have a spiritual body inside our natural body, right now, and that cannot die. We will be enjoying every second to eternity (although it is not an eternity of time but of state). Time and space are only physical aspects.

        Just in case you'd like to read the details over the weekend, here is the link.
        http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/writings/Heaven%20and%20Hell.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1
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          Jun 16 2012: Hi Adriaan, people choose their own ways to be immortal I suppose, Hitch says he is immortal through his children, I say through memories others have of me. I also would disagree and say that being a picture is a form of being immortal, when you see a photo or painting it is of someone who once lived and what standing exactly where you see them standing in that photo at one point in time. And the ideas of spirits has never really intrigued me but thank you for the link.
      • Jun 18 2012: You are more than welcome. Had a busy weekend.

        Being immortal and what 'causes' that is one of the first chapters of this book The Spiritual World. It starts with some history.
        https://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/source/The_Spiritual_World.pdf?attredirects=0

        If you want to know what it means to be spirit and thus immortal, this may help. It is just another view than yours. If you see "spirit" as just a cloud, or some sort of nothing, just see what you do right now as being done by your spirit.
        Thinking, loving, contemplating, wondering, thoughts popping in, NDE's etc. all that is on the spiritual level. It is not done by neurons or caused by chemical or electrical connections and reactions.
      • Jun 20 2012: I know our brain is made better by chemical balance and healthy neurons, or any part of the brain that is influenced by a better or healthier environment. As this also applies to any other part of the body.
        However, that does not determine the brain as the ORIGINATOR of the signal, influence and control to/of the body, and through the body our actions. None of our sense-organs are the originators of any input either, obviously.

        Our brain is nothing more than the receiver which receives all input from the spiritual level, or realm that our mind is in. If the brain malfunctions, the signal will still be totally there and sometimes the mind finds another part of the brain it can use to communicate.
        So just because we see all that brain activity on your link, it does not proof it is the source. That would be like a kid thinking grandma is in that little phone talking to him :)

        You can easily disclaim any reality of a Near Death Experience (until you've had one). Don't worry, no one will ever be able to scientifically proof to you anything spiritual. That is totally impossible (because it is beyond matter, beyond science).
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          Jun 20 2012: Hi Adrian,

          I think most of the comments which you might interpret as disclaiming are not absolutely denying the spiritual. Just pointing out the millions of different spiritual beliefs in this regards have no information that lets us know with reasonable confidence what is really going on. The material explanation is at least as good.

          I note some arguing for an immaterial god or spiritual realm point out even our material brain has a kind of immaterial mind or consciousness. When we imagine or remember something or dream it seems real but it is just in our head. Some would say even our consciousness is spiritual, above and beyond the material.

          Which is kind of like saying a DVD movie or MP4 is in the spiritual realm.

          We can consider our mind and consciousness components. There is the aspect that takes in all the sensory input from the materiel world and converts this to what we perceive as images and sounds and touch and taste. There is the thinking and vocalising bit. There is the self awareness bit etc. There is the aspect that controls what we focus our attention on. Are we focusing on the TV. Are we focusing on our thoughts in la la land. Or are we trying to still our mind to become aware of our self awareness.

          When we visualise something, or remember something, or dream, not just focus on the reality in front of us, it uses the same equipment to some extent as when we are actually sensing something. So it seems somewhat real. We have learnt to distinguish the real from our conscious imaginings, and our sleeping dreams.

          Perhaps spiritual experience is just leveraging this phenomena or different mind states that we do not distinguish well

          You are right it is sometimes difficult to distinguish what is real and what is imagined or hallucinated. Some experiences are open to interpretation. Is that feeling the holy spirit orjust heightened emotional state.

          We probably agree that excessively delusional people are ill. Maybe we are all suspect to delusion.
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          Jun 20 2012: Also I like how in one breath assert a specific non verifiable claim.

          Then you admit the conflicting spiritual claims we hear can not be confirmed in a meaningful way. How do we distinguish your spiritual belief from someone elses.

          You admit your brain receiver theory is unverifiable and essentially an opinion. This is an indication of a weak theory as evidenced by all the conflicting non verifiable beliefs.

          So can not prove there is not something immaterial beyond the brain. That is not a strong argument. You are the one making an assertion something, the burden of proof lies with you.

          You can have a NDE, see a ghost, see a UFO, feel like you were adducted by aliens or seduced by a succubus, see a light, touch god while meditating, have it seem totally real and still reserve judgement just as we distinguish that a child's imaginary friend is not real.

          I guess you accept our brains are very suspect to delusion.

          Likewise I accept there may be something more that the material. Just think the material can explain it at least as well.

          Just like epilepsy was once demonic possession but now we understand it better, I expect our understanding or our amazing but imperfect minds will continue.

          Can I leave you with one thought. How do I distinguish between your claimed spiritual reality and someone else's, who believes in reincarnation or someone who believes we are just the dream of a god? What makes your assertions any better than the most rare and unusual claim and similarly unverifiable claim?

          I'm actually not asserting there is no spiritual realm. One of you might actually have it right. Not all of you. I have no way of telling if any of you are right.

          Of course everyone if free to believe what ever they like but not claim it is truth.
        • Jun 23 2012: Adriaan, why is it that NDE's are almost always comforting and peaceful. Why is it that you almost never hear of an NDE that is terrifying or torturous?

          I would think this would be because those who have had an NDE that is of said nature are far more likely to chalk it up to faulty brain chemistry.

          If its an NDE that induces horror then its brain chemistry. If its an NDE that involves an experience of undivided consciousness then it must be God?
      • Jun 20 2012: Hello Obey,
        "Some would say even our consciousness is spiritual, above and beyond the material."
        I would. All material of itself and by itself is dead, it is the spirit that gives life.

        "Which is kind of like saying a DVD movie or MP4 is in the spiritual realm."
        Would you say the same of a book? Everything that enters our natural sensors is natural, not spiritual. You seem to have such difficult time to see the difference. I sincerely hope that some day it will happen to you too, that your spiritual eyes will be opened (happened several times in the Bible).

        For some the answer is to accept the existence of a higher power, that's all it takes.

        In your first comment from the following point, I fully support what you are saying
        "We can consider our mind..."
        We have to learn to distinguish between what the brain and all its parts and health are causing us to 'experience,' or become aware of, or distort. Most often it takes someone else to notice that something we are saying does not make sense and is not right..

        Then there is the mind, which is in the spiritual world and is influenced by its own environment. That environment exists and is full of those that have died before us. All those (close to us) influence us one way or the other, every second of the day. When we are hypnotized those are the people or spirits that are being communicated with (through us).
        BTW that communication is what the belief in reincarnation is based on. "We" seem to remember a previous life, while it is not us but that spirit who is with us, who lived in that time.

        As I have said so many times, it is not so much the details that we believe in that God finds important. He does not care what you call Him. If whatever you believe makes you a better person, believe it!
        If everyone followed that rule or principle this world would have been a great world a long time ago.

        A better person is not a more wealthy or intelligent person. People like that are in jail. It's all about love of others.
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          Jun 20 2012: Adriaan, by your definition that a spirit gives life, would you say all plants and animals contain a spirit? Including Cyanobacteria? If so, you may just be a native American Indian.
          Spiritual eyes sounds a lot like hallucination.
          I really have to tell you this and it's for your own good and everyone's. We can not speak to the dead. When you are hypnotized you just enter a different mental state which hypnotists are trained to induce mainly to cure phobias because messages can be implanted into someone without them even knowing it. If you ever meet some fraud who says they talk to the dead they use a technique called COLD READING, google it. And in case you come back with "no one knows exactly what it's like to be hypnotized" well we do actually, multiple studies have been done to show which parts of the brain temporarily switch off to give the hypnotist control. And why exactly would someone from a previous life be hanging around you? Think about that for a second, if I died and came back as a spirit I'd fly off into the galaxy, not stay on Earth.
          We do not need God to be better to others, if it takes the idea of North Korea in the sky to make you be good then you're just not a nice person.
          And it's good to know that the wealthy and intelligent Bill Gates who gave £13 billion to aids research is in jail by your logic.I don't need to love someone to be good to them. I just have to have respect for myself and have a good sense of morals.
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          Jun 20 2012: Hi Adriaan, I think I understand the general concept you are proposing:
          Matter + spirit = life

          You could be right. Or we could just be matter organised in such a way to be conscious.

          I'm not sure of the specifics of your proposal, whether other animals, trees and bacteria have spiritual energy. It probably doesn't matter as the key question is whether there is spirit in general. We don't really know.

          The DVD reference was in regards to virtual information that can be converted to sensory information (AV) in this case. I was suggesting that we can have virtual information via some medium (DVD or brain) without spirit.

          The essential question is whether there is spirit and spiritual realm or not.

          The specifics are secondary. You can build an infinite array of different world views based on believing some sort of spirit realm.

          There is a materialistic parallel for everything about the universe, consciousness, and the human condition including what I guess are subjective assumptions about reality including spirit, heavan, reincarnation etc. This reality does not have all the answers but has come a long way in the last few thousand years.

          In summary, I'm open to new evidence whether materialistic or metaphysical. At this stage the metaphysical spirit realm is a question mark for me. The best working model for most aspects of the universe has been the scientific and rationale relying on evidence rather than supernatural explanations. This does have limits if there is a supernatural realm. Just my opinion but much of the religious and spiritual experience seems to fit natural human psychology, neuroscience. WE have amazing brains but they are flawed. Evolved with an overload of intuition which is good for some survival situations but not so good for understanding reality,and imperfect perception subject to hallucination.

          Not sure where this leaves us given we can not prove spirit exists let alone whose interpretation is closet to the truth.
      • Jun 20 2012: Stewart and Obey, (1)
        Basically everything that is alive, is so because it is a receptacle of life on its own level and limits of existence. I would not say a plant has a spirit but is a receiver of life. Nothing physical in this universe is the origin of life. We are receptacles too and only become fully human after our first breath. All that grows, develops and reacts in some way with its environment, however basic, is a receptacle of life. Humans are the only species that (if healthy) have full control over their life, or death.
        You're right Stewart, we should not communicate with the dead. Because if we did, we would lose control of our own thoughts and feelings and yes could go insane. If would not be according to order, but if e.g. evil spirits knew they were in contact with us personally, they could give us any idea, and the severe danger is, accompany with that idea the feeling of conviction that that idea is the total truth!
        You seem to have spirits around your spirit that cause you to have the feelings and emotions to disregard anything spiritual. That anything spiritual is ridiculous and not real etc. etc.
        What happens when we change our mind? We change our spiritual environment, and this can be very difficult indeed. It can be seen as not liking the atmosphere in one room and deciding to go to another. It is also called "breaking the cycle."

        "Matter + spirit = life" Well, in the here and now, our body is alive because of our spirit, yes. But our spirit is not life itself, it is a receiver of life. This also means that when our body dies, our spirit does not because it still is receiving life from the One source of Life.

        --"The specifics are secondary. You can build an infinite array of different world views based on believing some sort of spirit realm."--
        Precisely, not one human being is the same or an exact copy of another. One might say the number of differences could be seen as infinite. Someone I met believed in reincarnation, Ah just details..
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          Jun 20 2012: You build an ever growing burden of proof for yourself Adriaan, though Adriaan say if in our life time abiogenesis works, would you classify that as proof against your idea of no origins of life?
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          Jun 21 2012: Thanks again for expanding Adriaan.

          I understand you believe in spirit and some lifeforce critical to life etc.

          Just a few more questions:

          Do you accept that a material view of life could be a possibility, or do you completely rule that out? If you rule it out, on what basis?

          Back to your view, I was wondering what supports these. Is there anything, any evidence that confirms this spirit and lifeforce, or that helps me differentiate these elaborate beliefs from the beliefs of other theists? Or is it all ultimately subjective?
      • Jun 20 2012: (2)
        Why believe in a spiritual realm, a higher power, anything beyond the physical?
        It is the human condition to want to be in control, to do our own thing first and have others wait until we have done our thing.

        When we give ourselves the option (and humility!!) to not be in charge, to not be number one, to follow advice, we become better human beings.
        The Lord said that we could not enter heaven without first "become like one of these," a child. Should we just play and forget everything we learned in life?
        No, to be a child is nothing else than having the willingness (humility?) to be led. That also does make it easier to fight and stop an addiction. It also makes it easier to become less selfish an love others, even our 'enemies.' Those that think differently than we do.
        The last thing He wants to hear us say is, 'believe what I believe or you go to hell!!' Over time, I hope to have made that clear. We become the kind of person we are by why we do whatever we do. Not because of what we believe, or know or own.
        Even our faith, or any faith, is nothing without the love of others.

        Expressed in physical terms, faith (or truth) is like light, love is like warmth or heat. The poles on this planet can have lots of light but no heat. That's why there is very little life. Spiritual life works the same way.

        Talking about life, at some point, every human being has to get away from the notion that we are the centre of our personal universe, just as humanity had to. Another strong parallel between the natural and the spiritual..

        In summary, all this I base on what Swedenborg wrote while he was consiously involved during the last 27 years of his life, discovering the spiritual realm.
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          Jun 22 2012: Thanks Adriaan.

          Much of what you mention seems to be referring to some benefits of belief or some rationale for faith rather than evidence for the beliefs. Evidence is probably not going to come, so we can leave it there.

          You seem to imply that a non theist view is about wanting to be in control, not being humble, or even to be the centre of the universe.

          This is almost the opposite view I have. Belief in a personal god, that humans were created, that the universe was created for us, seems to make it all about us.

          I guess some theists see an atheist view as some sort of rebellion, whereas most cases I know it is simply a lack of belief due to lack of evidence for any of the views of gods and goddesses.

          My view sees us as a small part of the natural universe not the centre of it. For many not having the crutch of gods, not being a special creation, not having ready made rules or purpose, and no afterlife, is quite confronting, rather than arrogant.

          I appreciate your view on hell is less forceful than others.
      • Jun 20 2012: Hi Stewart,
        "You build an ever growing burden of proof for yourself Adriaan, though Adriaan say if in our life time abiogenesis works, would you classify that as proof against your idea of no origins of life?"

        With an IF of that size, it is easy to say yes :)

        What always amazes me is how difficult it is to reconstruct an accident.. if it was one.
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          Jun 20 2012: I wouldn't call it an accident, I'd say it's just complex chemistry and it just happens, if you'e got the reactants then you'll get the product. I'd say its biggest problem so far is not that we can't do it, but the time scale that may be involved in it, for instance 10 years would be a long time to keep such an experiment running never mind the millions it may require.
      • Jun 21 2012: Hello Obey, (1)
        "Do you accept that a material view of life could be a possibility, or do you completely rule that out? If you rule it out, on what basis?"
        I'm not sure what you're asking about being possible. Do you mean that a view based on just material/scientific information and nothing beyond, will not get you to heaven?
        My first reaction is: "I'm not in charge" to say what one can or cannot do with a non-spiritual view. I cannot look into such a person's soul and know what his or her loves are, and why that person does what they do. And so judge.

        Based on my belief that God is Love itself and Wisdom itself (and thus Life itself) I would like to think that a natural person would not come to prefer hell over heaven. Hell is a hate for God, when we understand who and what God is but still hate him. That is hating the spirit of God.
        If our 'hate' for God is based on a misinterpretation of the literal text of the Bible and thus based on our ignorance of God. We'll be fine.
        It can be compared to someone who does not understand what you are doing and saying, and who then calls you an A.. hole. You know he is misinterpreting you and so.. you can almost feel sorry for the person.
        How different it would be if someone that knew you very well and liked you etc. would give you the same name.. Then you'd have something to worry about.

        Every word (and stage) in the Creation Story is about the process of becoming a spiritual person from a natural person. We do not become a spiritual person over-night. We also do not go to heaven by saying the words "I believe in Jesus Christ". That is as meaningless as a free log-in onto some website.
      • Jun 21 2012: (2)
        That being said, I have no idea how a person who does not believe in anything spiritual, is going to be received in a spiritual world. We all have to go somewhere.
        Swedenborg wrote a funny story about meeting someone like that in the spiritual world (the environment between heaven and hell). The guy refused to believe he had died. So Swedenborg asked him, "How come you are standing 3 feet of the ground?" At which this spirit looked down and panicked, running away, he kept yelling "I'm a spirit!!. I'm a spirit!!"


        Then the question "your view, I was wondering what supports these."

        Maybe a trust in the Divine, I'd like to think also "common sense" based on how I interpret what I see around me. How Swedenborg helped my wife with accepting her NDE as 'normal'. How, on different levels, there is a parallel between anyone creating a painting or a corporation from love. And how this universe also was created from Love.

        Obviously I cannot say for sure, but without reading and accepting Swedenborg I may very well have become an agnostic, certainly not a Christian. I have made mistakes and could very well have been in jail at some point. It helps to know someone (who loves me) is looking over my shoulder :)

        I do not know if I ever mentioned this but we see the writings by Swedenborg as the promised Second Coming of Christ. With the tons of explanations and information that make total sense, it helps a lot of people, including Australia :)
      • Jun 22 2012: Hello Obey, You said:
        "You seem to imply that a non theist view is about wanting to be in control, not being humble, or even to be the centre of the universe."

        Well, that is my whole point regarding the original point by Stewart. The less we are made aware of the option that there maybe a God in charge, who instead could be in charge but us? Or is it the bully in the next seat?
        What seems to help people in trouble the best is what AA suggests based on experience. Allow yourself to accept the belief in a higher power. We may even be allowed by God to face those difficulties we are facing, so we can make the right decisions and grow to be a stronger and a mentally healthier person.
        The thought that if no one is in charge of my personal universe but me, and all I do is only my responsibility (and my fault), that could be very, very overwhelming for most people.
        The more we think we are the only ones that do need to build and grow (and defend) our personal universe, it certainly does not help to be humble. It would even more likely make us the target of a bully.

        I believe we are in this world for one single reason only. To develop and shape and grow our character. Seems to me that is done a lot easier when based on love and reason, than when based on just lose facts.
        There is nothing wrong with doubt that is positive. We have a very different mind-set if our doubt is negative. You seem positive, great!
        Have a great weekend!
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          Jun 22 2012: So instead of instilling some sense of self help and consolidation for people who think what they do is their own fault, tell them to make up whatever fairy tale they like and base it on one of the most immoral practices on earth, vicarious redemption.
          Now to me the theist view is the most arrogant view there could ever be, it is said time and time again to the children and to the congregations, the lord made the universe for YOU , he gave YOU, a purpose, see all those stars they're there for YOU. Constantly placing the human in the center of the universe but placing them just far enough below God so that the preacher can tell them what god wants done.
          Whereas with a little though we're nothing but insignificant specs of carbon, destroying a minuscule rock abandoned in a forgotten suburb of a colossal galaxy, which in itself is like a grain of sand being thrown into the sea. That is how small we are. We have no importance.
        • Jun 23 2012: Adriaan, AA does help many people, but its rate of long term abstinence from Alcohol is around 1-3%. By turning to a higher power you have tapped into the opiod of the masses, religion. Its trading one drug for another. The problem with a freshly sober alcoholic developing a belief in a higher power is that they tend to fill this higher power with how they view the world. This doesn't always make for the best results, as their brain chemistry is still recouping.

          I still don't understand how it's a power greater than yourself when it was your own brain that constructed the belief.

          On the other hand I know a few people in AA who have benefited both personally and emotionally. It seems to have worked for them and they don't try to convert people or believe that I, as an atheist, am going to hell.

          I am adamantly opposed to a personal God. Stewart and obey are absolutely correct in saying theism is arrogant. Belief in a personal God allows you to actually believe God can intervene into earthly affairs on your behalf. There are 7 billion people on the planet.

          If you believe you have access to the creator of the universe and God doesn't answer your prayers is he then smiting you? You could see how this train of thought would be harmful to those who already feel overly guilty.

          To believe in a personal God, is to say that the world revolves around you. It is narcissistic at it's core to believe God answers your prayers. Think about the amount of barbaric atrocities committed daily on this little blue ball. To believe that God is helping you shape yourself, but simply didn't care about the little boy who was being molested as you prayed, is reprehensible.
      • Jun 22 2012: Stewart
        Regarding the "vicarious redemption" or atonement, I could not agree with you more, and I thought I had made that clear at some point. But to then paint all spiritual ideas with that same brush is not that great either.
        God did indeed come down to earth HIMSELF, to save humanity. He redeemed humanity, He did not take evil away and thus save us. That is totally our responsibility, and no one else's. We are the objects of God's love, as our kids are of our love. We'd love to give our kids the universe and have it their way, but we can't do that (the universe that is).
        Every second of His life, Jesus fought and overcame human evil (from Mary) and with each step united His Human with God His soul. His last and most severe temptation was on the cross.
        Do I save Myself by getting off the cross or do I save humanity by fighting these evil spirits and putting them in hell...
        God loves us and sees us as more than "insignificant specs of carbon.." or He would not have done what He did. If He can create a universe for us He could easily have made us perfect, but He did not, for the reason that He could love us.
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      Jun 16 2012: Adriaan,

      Should we teach that the earth is the centre of the solar system? Scientifically that is where ID sits. I think this is a key point. Science class is not about teaching every idea, theory or belief that has been proposed even the popular ones. ID is nowhere near evolution in terms of fitting the evidence in my understanding.

      It is something different if you propose that creationism be discussed and debated but not as science.

      A few hundred years ago science dropped supernatural explanations for the gaps. ID tries to re-insert them.

      It is okay to say we don't know in science and then work towards a better explanation. It is not a better solution to say god must be the answer to the bits we don't understand.

      If there was an interventionist creator it seems to be hiding in the gaps.

      Secondly, if you were actually convinced at some stage that there are no gods and spirits and that all living things are the results of natural phenomena as far as we know, would your life suddenly become meaningless? Would you no longer care for the ones you love?

      We may not have a simple absolute purpose but we can find meaning to life without spirit and gods.

      The burden of proof has not been met for any deity. If there is nothing, tough, lets get on with life.

      I personally don't find being a creation of some deity any more profound or meaning giving than being the result of 3 billion years of natural process and forces. Creation is equally arbitrary.

      I get that being in touch with the creator if the universe might be a nice feeling, but so is thinking I'm distantly related to all living things, that I have atoms in my body from the first generation of stars etc etc. Now that is profound.
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          Jun 17 2012: My understanding is there is no scientific evidence for something beyond natural processes at work in the way life has evolved. There are still gaps in our understanding but this is not a valid reason to introduce supernatural explanations.

          I guess we will just have to disagree about how convincing the so called evidence provided by ID that there is something at work, or some biological facts that can only result by something beyond a natural process.

          What is proposed is the same argument for the origin of species before darwin. No one had an explanation for the appearance of design so they assumed a designer. Now most people accept the science of natural selection leading to more adapted species. Yet some see god hiding in the gaps.

          Science has pushed god out of lightning, plagues, earthquakes etc etc etc.

          You could be right, but it doesn't stack up as science.

          The origin and development of life, the origin of the universe etc seem to be some of the few last hold outs for theists to posit an interventionist god.

          I understand how attractive it is to see the hand of god in the natural world.

          Matter does not strive for anything. You are personifying it. You can assert spiritual substance flowing in but there is no evidence for this. Just your belief. How do you verify this?

          Post big bang, I'm not aware of matter continuously coming into being. Even if it is or has this does not imply the need for a creator. How is the creator doing this. How did the creator come to be. You don't know. Just answering a question with another question and no proof.

          If someone actually could prove there is a deity then maybe science should consider supernatural explanations. But so far there is no proof and science is doing fine without supernatural explanations.

          What is the proof for spiritual causation and what is the proof for spiritual anything. I've never seen or heard anything spiritual meeting a reasonable burden of proof.

          I hope not uncaused caused fallacy.
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          Jun 17 2012: In summary ID and creator theories are an argument from ignorance.
          You might say we don't know how it happened.
          If you assert a god did it, you need to prove this and there is no proof so its not science.

          I could say aliens did it, but again no proof so invalid until I find evidence of the aliens and their doing it.

          Again - its god of the gaps.

          The young earth creationist approach at least has some biblical backing. There is nothing in the bible about yahweh guiding evolution. In fact it says the opposite. I note Swedenborg died before Darwin. Did he write anything about evolution? Or is it all post interpretation to fit current understanding?

          Does it make any sense that a creator set off a big bang and then get life started, guiding evolution from time to time. Did god forsee or plan the meteorite that killed off the dinosaurs?

          At least you accept most of evolution science not like YEC. Its a pity that your belief is a creator encourages you to try and find a way of fitting this into science rather than letting science work towards the best explanation based on the evidence.
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          Jun 16 2012: Curious, what gaps in evolution do you talk about? Also ID really has no basis it is an idea merely grasping at straws as science time and time again shows we don't need a god or creator. Things like hayfever, solar urticaria and a single tube for breathing and eating are just three of the most profound arguments against any notion of an intelligent design or designer. And until ID activists can get some proof or evidence they'll never make it into mainstream science.
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          Jun 17 2012: Again Adrian this explanation introducing supernatural agency and spiritural energy is simply unfounded assertions.

          What is the proof for any of this.

          Matter and energy is profound for me. What is matter (invariant mass occupying space). What is energy. What is mass. What is space. What is time. The relationship between them. Are there fundamental irreducible particles etc. Bosons such as Photons, Gluons, Fermions such as quarks, and leptons. String theory etc. We can only infer the different types of quarks from analysing the composite Hadrons (e.g. neutrons and protons) they make up. And yet somehow you know there is some spiritual dimension to all this. How do you know this for a fact or does it just make sense to you?

          The Swedenborg theory may make sense for your thiest beliefs but where is the proof for any of this. Without proof is comes back to non verifiable supposition like all gods.
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        Jun 16 2012: That's interesting to say that without gods the life won't become meaningless , careless to the ones we love ; why this? we can find a meaning to life without gods and spirits but of course not an absolute meaning , something trivial that's up to us ........... what could a normal person answer than that love , care are not something trivial ,are not a relation in this universe , therefore not science ; so you can let gods out but it doesn't mean you are automatically scientific or that science fill the gaps .
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          Jun 16 2012: EG you get a little hard to understand sometimes with your use of English, but I think I got what you meant. Love and compassion and care aren't trivial but they're certainly created by life forms. Love and care are features of organisms that have evolved to a certain degree. And as far as science goes it doesn't even attempt to give a meaning to life.
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        Jun 16 2012: Steward :

        It's quite confusing this all thing with science , it wants answers , it asks 'why' but you say it doesn't even attempt to give a meaning to life, to answer : why are we here ? .
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          Jun 16 2012: Science never ever ever ever asks "why" in the sense of seeking a purpose. Science says there is no point. Science ask "How". Because we want to understand how everything works and by which laws it works. Science doesn't require things to have an inherit purpose so we don't even ask why. If you asked a scientist why are we here, they'd say I don't know, we probably don't have a purpose as there's no evidence to suggest that we do have a purpose. Though if you ask them how, they will talk about, the big bang and abiogenesis ans evolution, all these processes do no require a purpose and so a purpose is not sought after.
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        Jun 16 2012: Got it, but you know asking 'how' you'll never find the answer to 'what' , I mean the subject , I mean the life (compassion , love) . how then is supposed science to fill the gaps ? is science supposed to fill only a type of gaps ? if so what then with the things themselves (e.g. god , life , compassion , love , matter) ? has science anything to say about them in this sense ?
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          Jun 16 2012: Well love is easily defined, it is an emotional response felt between two people, and it has countless other meanings, we can define love as an evolutionary beneficial response. Science on god: probably doesn't exist but we don't need one anyway. What is life, life is defined as the ability to move,excrete, reproduce, respire, respond to stimulus, grow, benefit from nutrition. Compassion is just another emotion. Just one note I want to make, all this makes science sound very cold and devoid of passion. But there is a poetic beauty as Richard Dawkins puts it to the science of reality, and you just have to revel in the beauty of it all to truly understand it.
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        Jun 17 2012: So science has something to say about anything , that's good . Thanks for commenting.
      • Jun 18 2012: It is clear that science only regards evidence and proof as important. Only questions How? Nothing else, least of all "why?"

        Why put that limit on our human minds (and life)?

        BTW Stewart, "emotional response" is not a definition of love. It is only a physical symptom.
        For the same reason science can tell THAT we think, but not WHAT we think, because these are on different realms.
        We can tell someone what we think, but can not proof we are telling the truth by showing it on a screen or with a measuring device.
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          Jun 18 2012: Well because any purposeful things we've either created i.e forks or planes, or we've evolved like legs or feet. And I agree lie detectors are flimsy as anything
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    Jun 14 2012: Why do we let this happen in the world?

    I don't know. Creationists probably lose more followers than they gain. This is a small blip on the radar. They are a dieing breed. It stinks for the children in South Korea but I don't see it as a long lasting world issue.

    Christians are starting to realise they must accept evolution. There is nothing wrong with that either. Evolution and the Bible can coincide.
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    Jun 13 2012: Why do we let this happen in the world? because sometimes we let it happen ,
    probably we can spread awareness about things which are going wrong and hope they are corrected as we are not so powerful enough to bring about a change. But change is possible through peaceful manner.
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    Jun 12 2012: Very sad that science loses to religion and children are indoctrinated in psuedo science or mythical stories as truth.

    Although its up to the Koreans to sort this out for themselves. I've been to Sth Korea several times and was surprised how many churches. 80%seem to be nominal christians for the community etc. But the others are pretty full on. But SK is also infused with Confucianism. Huge respect for elders.
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      Jun 12 2012: As much as I could grasp , you're science it's not too different of a mythical story .
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        Jun 12 2012: Yes, if you mean science is showing us the universe is weirder and more wonderful than most supernatural based stories.
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          Jun 12 2012: Then what is the difference between supernatural based stories and science ? because as long as you see the universe as weird and wonderful as a story of that kind and even more , you can't say you rely on the common sense any more (the common sense says to you a single thing : 'that's weird') ; I put that question knowing that the common sense is the difference according to you (it meaning experience, hypothesis .....all the stuff) .
          Do you start with the common sense in your pocket and lose it on the way ? That's really an interesting 'science' .
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          Jun 12 2012: E G science explains reality, whatever supernatural link you're trying to link to science is non existant, what you start off with is reality, then an evolution of human brain capacity around reality, then you get our first attempts to explain reality which are the gods, i.e early man can't explain stars, gravity, illness, shape of the landscape and so invokes a god, then with this god as a description of reality we develop on other fronts i.e medicine, astronomy etc and eventually you get full on science of every kind dedicated to understanding reality and creating a theory for everything. This is all based on evidence and observation, and in science seeing really is believing.
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        Jun 13 2012: eg there has been plenty of discussion before on the difference between science and superztition. science is based on evidence, verification etc. some bits of the universe are more easily to comprehend and model. others are more difficult.

        if you dont want to distinguish between the two. fine. we can disagree. I guess technology from science would look like magic if you went back 2000 years. still seems a rather limited view to me.

        gravity may be hard to comprehend but we canaccurately predict things. scientific experiments can reproduce results etc even for relatively intangible things like light or gravity. god is unverifiable. religious experiences or visions are probanly similar to dreams.
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      Jun 12 2012: Stewart :

      "science explains reality" then the reality is weird ?

      I don't try to link to science any supernatural link , I don't know why you think I eventually do .

      And :

      " then you get our first attempts to explain reality which are the gods" really ? I mean when you try to explain something you use your mind as evolved as it is , we can't even now use our mind to link god to science=to explain , then how the hell did that happen FIRST ?
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        Jun 12 2012: You've completely lost me, firstly yes science explains reality, and yes reality is weird and it is so fascinating because of how weird and wonderful it is, dark energy is weird but incredible, dark matter same, potential of time travel, multiverse all extremely weird concepts and there is nothing wrong with them being weird. I gleamed your link from science to supernatural from "Then what is the difference between supernatural based stories and science". And yes gods are our first attempt at explaining reality! This is seen in every culture all over the world, the Australian aborigines believed that a giant snake god created the rivers and sea but slithering in the land creating the river beds. Gods and spirits were blamed for illness, for being cured of illness, for crop failure, for plagues, for tectonic activity, for the stars, for the planets, for life, for the diversity of life. What happens is first you have spirits and then you get science
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          Jun 13 2012: Take it easy man :
          - -science is weird- , I don't think that a scientist who UNDERSTAND how were got the weird results would say it . If for you it is weird then you don't understand it because you will never say , I'm sure , about the logical relations (which are the basis of science) that are weird under any circumstances , will you ?

          - you didn't get my point , maybe you first have spirits and then science but it doesn't mean what you first time said : that gods are our first attempt to explain reality . Because, I repeat , to explain means more than just believing in gods .
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        Jun 13 2012: EG we're using different meanings of weird and the way I'm saying it probably doesn't fit the dictionary definition, maybe incredible is a better term.
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          Jun 13 2012: Maybe
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          Jun 14 2012: E G, I'm using weird as in strange, odd, unusual. Not implying supernatural.

          Its a well known connotation that I guess most native English speaking westerners would get e.g. Stewart did.

          I suggest a lot of scientists acknowledge the natural universe is weird, counter intuitive, amazing etc particularly when you look the atomic and quantum levels or cosmic scaless, at the variety of life etc, We are made of atoms and atoms are 99.9999% empty space. That is counter intuitive.

          "If you think you understand quantum physics then you don't understand quatum physics"

          You've gone on some wild tangent falsely implying the amazing universe as revealed by science is similar to religious type stories.
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      Jun 13 2012: Obey:

      Do you know to distinguish between ideas and then to take them separately and discuss them , one by one , and then to connect them in a logical whole ? It doesn't seems so .
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        Jun 15 2012: No need for condescension EG. You misunderstood what would be a perfectly understandable statement for most native Western English speakers. This simply pointed to the counter intuitive nature of the universe as explained by science. Not sure where you get the supernatural link as none was implied.

        It took me a while to get where you were coming from.

        Don't you find the universe amazing and unusual? Have you ever thought about how gravity actually works attracting mass together over infinite distances? Have you ever thought about how time works or what space is beyond the mundane everyday experience and formulas. Can you visualise an atom with probability fields for electrons not he simplistic high school diagrams? The way our minds work - memories, dreams etc. Its pretty weird (adjective[strange - odd - peculiar - quaint - uncanny - bizarre] not the noun[fate or doom]).
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          Jun 15 2012: Well , I think, you, as a native speaker misunderstood what I was talking about and this not because you aren't used with many kinds of English , obviously , but because you aren't used to think .
          Didn't you notice that I put in relation of opposition 'weird' with 'common sense' ? what could else this mean than weird=counter intuitive ?

          and what are you doing now ? .............. the universe cannot be unusual as long as I don't consider my mind unusual ; it depends on my psychological living if I consider something amazing or not ; ..... let me remember you we were talking about what the universe is , not of how we find the universe to be . I'm almost sure you don't see the difference between what you find the universe and what the universe is .
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        Jun 16 2012: Good stuff E G, now you are really going for the person not the ideas or argument.
        Well done showing your true colours.
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          Jun 16 2012: I always did . Sin you now see them .
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    Jun 10 2012: Hi Stewart.

    This is where I get deleted by admin for beig off-topic.
    The most obvious place to look for me is the geologic column.
    For fossils to exist they must be buried rapidly; As far as I know that is agreed.
    We have millions of them at all levels throughout the world. These would include polystrate fossils passing through many layers. Evolutionists normally agree with this, but say that in general the layers are slowly laid down. Why would layers with fossils be laid down quicker than regular layers?
    In general there is no sign of weathering or erosion between the layers. Why not, if millions of years have passed?
    In places like the Grand Canyon & the American Badlands we see delicate pillars of layered rock. In my scenario, floodwater comes in depositing layer upon layer; after a time the land uplifts & the water rushes out again taking much of the land with it, but leaving these pillars, canyons, etc. The layers wouldstill be soft at this stage. Evolutionists normally attribute this to wind/sand erosion. Ok, but wouldn't this tend to round things off? Also where did all the dirt go?
    I don't expect you to agree, but don't you think these things warrant some consideration?

    :-)
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      Jun 10 2012: granted that indeed quick preservation gives the best fossils there are many other methods of fossilization
      http://www.fossils-facts-and-finds.com/how_are_fossils_formed.html
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        Jun 10 2012: Permineralization is by far the most common & of them very many show signs of having been buried alive. Many have their head arched back fighting for air; clams have closed shells (They open at death), still others eating or giving birth. Many others have been shattered & piled together in bunches, as if a tsunami or similar had transported them. Millions are found together; this is not indicative of occasional, slow, burial; but a cataclysm.
        :-)
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          Jun 11 2012: granted but you've a wide choice of death then, tsunami, earthquake, meteorite. volcanic eruption, super volcanic eruption, quick sand, mud slide, lahars, flash flood (maybe from melting ice depending of era) or even potential earth holes.
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        Jun 11 2012: Hi Stewart.
        You're getting the idea. Most creationist models for Noah's flood are based on rapid tectonic movements, widespread volcanic activity, subterranean water shooting upwards, earthquakes, tidal waves, & general mayhem ; followed by continental uplifting, & often an ice age.

        :-)
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          Jun 11 2012: on noah's ark there, a world wide flood would have killed all salt water marine life, the rising or melting waters would be fresh (contain no salt) which then dilutes the world's oceans killing off almost every marine species, and as far as I know I thought the subterranean water was in the form of steam, and also why'd noah not take any dinosaurs on his ark?
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          Jun 16 2012: Peter,

          Back inside the bubble, does the bible mention tectonic shifts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions?

          Seems like an extra biblical assumption to try and come up with a semi naturalistic explanation to better fit what we see now.

          My recall is 40 days of rain and flood waters in one section. Another section mentions springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens. No mention of earthquakes, volcanoes etc,

          Even if there is not enough water on the surface or underground, Yahweh could have created it, or the world was flatter before the flood than it is now.

          Got to love literalist apologetics.
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        Jun 11 2012: Hi Stewart.
        As far as I know marine creatures are very tolerant of salt/fresh water. The salmon for instance uses both. I don't really think there is a problem.
        The steam would condense in the atmosphere & return to earth as rain.
        Who told you dinosaurs were not on the ark?

        :-)
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        Jun 11 2012: Hi Stewart.

        You're jumping about. Now you want me to get into the Ark. Thought we were talking about fossils. Anyone genuinely interested in the Ark, Flood, etc can find loads of stuff online. We don't have time for Ark 101.

        :-)
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          Jun 11 2012: Fossils we've dealt with, there's more than one way to get a fossil and there's more than one way to quickly bury a dino to form a good fossil. The point I'm making is that the ark is a ridiculous story which contradicts every known fact in science, and as it's part of genesis debunking it is one step to debunking genesis. And by debunking genesis we finally get the lies out of classrooms and get truth back in them. Can't say a god didnt create the universe but I can sure as hell prove it wasn't 6000 years ago.
        • Jun 14 2012: Peter, loads of stuff on the Ark? You don't literally believe that a man compiled all living species onto one boat? I respect you for having your beliefs and defending them in a coherent fashion, but lets get real here the amount of pandemonium that would ensue makes the Ark story laughable when taken literally.

          I never mean to degrade people personally and as atheist I don't dislike christians, I just believe religion does more harm than good. When i see the amount of rationalizations christians make and the obvious fallacies one must swallow to keep the faith i just don't understand how someone as intelligent as yourself could still believe. Especially in all of the hocus pocus in Genesis.

          Why not take it as metaphor?
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        Jun 14 2012: Hi Brian.
        Yes I do believe it, mostly from the evidence of the "Geologic Column", but also from the biblical account. Have a read of this if you're interested.

        http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c013.html

        :-)
        • Jun 14 2012: People need to remember when they read stuff like this, that these people are trying to sell a story and will never realize these are based on spiritual beliefs (ie: God the creator) that they are trying to make physical. Like Brian, I respect their beliefs but their concept of the laws of physics is appalling.

          Two of the MANY problems with this story:

          How long was Noah's life span (natural or supernatural)?

          It would have taken him a long time to pick up 2 of all of the animals in the Americas (among other places) that would have died from a worldwide flood (there are some really small animals that would be hard to find). Plus, Noah must have been one hell of a zoologist.

          Where did all the water come from?

          This problem ignores mass conservation. God had to have brought (and in turn taken back) his own (VERY large) source of water and energy in order to flood the world round (I assume it was worldwide because earlier it was claimed that this event formed the Grand Canyon). Remember: the earth is not flat, it is a sphere, so the more it fills the more water it takes (and if I remember correctly it had to cover the "highest" peak). In short this is not physically possible, which doesn't matter for creationists because "God did it".

          Why introduce all of these new non-physical possibilities which would have completely destroyed the earth, when God could have said "hold my beer and watch this", then just made earth 2.0, recreated Noah and all the animals like they said he did in the first place. But this is were we get to just make up a story and say it happened, or just say "we may never know the reasons for why God does things".

          If they are not going to teach South Koreans Evolution, then they need to replace that time with additional physics. This way they will have a better grasp on the way things work, and why something’s are not what they seem.
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        Jun 14 2012: Hi Robert.
        Noah lived for 950 years, it is thought that he & his sons took around 120 years to build the ark.
        The bible says that the land was all in one place. Chances are the land was lower then than now, as many mountains are the result of tectonic activity.
        The majority of the water probably came from underground. If the earth were a perfect sphere the water today would be 1.7 miles deep all over. Ie Plenty water, that's why Al is so worried about global warming.
        Noah didn't collect animals, they were moved by God.

        Hope that covers your two points. Amazing; yes, but I don't think any more so than abiogenesis. We all have to believe something.

        :-)
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          Jun 14 2012: Ok firstly no one believes in science, a belief is something you can't see or demonstrate and requires faith, and faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved. I'd say people trust science, and so far from the progress made it seems that yes someday abiogenesis will work. Ok so Peter you don't find it strange that for over 950 years Noah was impervious to disease, accident and somehow cosmic rays didn't give him cancer and somehow his telomeres didn't separate and just somehow his long term brain cells didn't die. You're going to say something like God protected him, so if god protected noah why not protect everyone alive today from disease and cancer? It doesn't strike you as odd that after all noah's teeth fell out and with no antiseptic he somehow magically didn't get an infection in his gums and die?. And boy o boy isn't it convenient how god reduced the age limit that sure explains that mystery, just around the time people were making up the story of noah. Btw I like how you state that the world's water would be 1.7 miles deep all over, you do realize that means the water level would have dropped? Now to people who say o disease is from god as punishment from sin, well despite the fact it was adam and eve who sinned it doesn't seem to have stopped them being immune to just about everything and there descendant noah as well unless he was born without sin he yet here we are at another of one the bible's great contradictions. It explains nothing, btw with current tectonic speeds it takes millions of years for mountains to form, and if you assert that at one time they were faster well then you need some extraordinary evidence to support that.
        • Jun 14 2012: Peter,

          I will accept that answer :-)

          Simply because we have finally stopped presenting evidence (that I can either prove or disprove) and explained it with god. This explanation is biased off your belief which I am completely ok with (provided that you don't kill me because I don't believe the same thing lol).


          **edit, of course this does not imply that I am ok with them not teaching science in the schools of the world.
          ***edit again lol, I didn't mention that it is still ignoring the law of mass conservation, but like I said the event is physically impossible to have occurred unless you just say that God did it (or of course if you say that it didn't have the same degree of effect).
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        Jun 15 2012: Hi Stewart.

        It is obvious from your replies that you have never studied the creationist perspective. This means you have formed an opinion without evidence. How can you judge what the Koreans should teach their children?

        Btw
        Biogenesis - life only comes from life. Tested, repeatable, scientific.
        Abiogenesis - "seems that yes someday abiogenesis will work. ". Not observed, testable, may work someday. Non-scientific. Faith.

        :-)
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          Jun 16 2012: Abiogenesis has made a lot of headway, it has shown how quickly amino aids can form, it has shown how quickly fatty lipids form a membrane and how these are permeable to amino acids. It faces two major problems, one being time, abiogenesis could take a million years, two we don't know for 100% sure what early earths conditions were, but all evidence so far shows that given enough time and glen the slows at which the above form a cell could form relatively quickly. That's not faith it's saying the evidence points towards the end goal. Andof course if read the creationist arguments and I've watched all Kent hovinds videos and all sorts of creationist arguments, and I've wagged all of hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, dennet, krauss and tysons videos. The best thing I learnt from hitch was to know your opponents arguments, and I have, I even have a bible on my iPod with notes on absurdities I made. But my favourite debates are between young earth creationists and old earth creationists, and every single time the OEC always provides evidence whilst YEC either reject ideas due to personal incrudulity, makes the ideas sound funny by creating a straw man, or by pointing to the bible as evidence. I've read up about te geological column you harp on about and I even linked you a link explaining how it is made. So untold creationists give me good evidence for dinosaur extinction, proof of noahs ark, s good explainiton of the distance of the galaxies and the time light takes to reach us, tectonic activity, disease, a counter to evolution, an explanation is to why humans and all life are full of tonnes of biological flaws. Then and only then will I every even consider your view because as long as the bible is used as evidence I'm just going to turn around and say that dianetics says that an alien warlord created human but it doesn't make it true, Harry potter talks of magic but it doesn't make true, get some real world evidence then come back to science after you realise you have none
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    Jun 10 2012: Hi Robert..

    " HOWEVER, anyone who develops their ideas in a fashion where they only seek to prove their own beliefs, and not simply the truth, limits themself in a way which will put them far behind a scientifically developed understanding of the truth. "
    I agree entirely. The creationist stance is that the EVIDENCE for the biblical account is more persuasive than the EVIDENCE for evolution. This is, of course, debatable; but if you put yourself in that mindset for a moment it will help you understand the dilemma . From the creationist viewpoint science class should expose the evidence without reference to any aspects which cannot be supported by direct scientific evidence.
    Not so long ago scientific mainstream was creationist, today it is evolutionist, but with a growing number questioning this stance. Science will progress either way, & the truth will out . Hopefully.

    :-)
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      Jun 10 2012: Look Peter there is no truth in creationist science, the earth is older than 10000 years, there was no Noah's ark as time and time again it's been proved impossible. The evidence against design is just so overwhelming you probably haven't heard all of it, first off as Neil Tyson points out, the esophagus is a one way tube to our lungs and stomach, i.e get it blocked and you can't breath, great design there. Hayfever, which I have, being allergic to the outside world once no design there. The fact that we can even get disease is shockingly bad design, the rare allergy to sunlight http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_urticaria is possibly my favourite argument against design the fact that you are allergic to light like wow, just how amazing is this design evidence you speak of? Also genetically identical to chimpanzee by 99% suggests common ancestor, genetically identical to everything on earth, suggests life all came from a single point, billions of years ago. All the homo fossils show we've evolved and the countless other transitional forms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution further agree to this theory. Now lets move to the universe, we just so happen to live in one of the few places you can live in the universe, LUCKY US, not all that lucky because for the most part we're stuck on this planet which 2/3 of it can't even be inhabited, and so back to genesis, if it is genesis you believe then I'm surprised as to why you would WANT in to be true, your god forbade man from knowing good and evil , essentially your god said no don't learn remain ignorant and stupid, if he truly wanted love he'd have taken more care to design a species which wouldn't strive to better itself.
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        Jun 10 2012: I beg to differ, but this isn't the forum.

        :-)
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          Jun 10 2012: go ahead, i want to hear your evidence
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          Jun 12 2012: Be careful what you ask for stewart. The way the universe looks now can be explained or aligned with a book if you start with an assumption of an all powerful creator.

          The world could be flattened, or extra water created to flood the entire surface etc.

          God could have ensured the first humans could interbreed without genetic defects etc

          Nearly every point can be twisted. E.g. the similarities between vertibra or all life with DNA can be twisted to be design efficiency. The fact that several types of eyes - compound, camera etc evolved can also fit.

          You also distrust or question dating technigues etc. Ignore other bits e.g. no rabbits along side dinosaur fossils because they hadn' t evolved.

          Its an amazingly flexible and ingenious approach. If you believe the book is literally true you will find a way to rationalise and interpret the data. I guess some YEC think there is a huge conspiracy. Seriously I don't care if it is 13.5 billion or 6,000. Science is not trying to disprove literal religious beliefs. It is just following the evidence. If someone found compelling evidence that knocked down evolution, geology, and cosmology etc there would be a nobel prize in it.

          I can't see that happening as my understanding is the evidence for evolution and a world about 4 billion years old is compelling. I note there was a paper recently that picked up some improvements in dating the Earth. Peer reviewed. Science is not perfect but it continually improves.

          In a way they could say the same about those of us who accept mainstream science as the best explanation we have so far. We start of with the assumption that there will be a natural explanation rather than a supernatural one. Science interprets some data based on assumptions. But not all assumptions are equal.

          Then you have a supreme being that drowned everyone except Noah and his family. But thats okay because Noah warned the people around him for years. This is the Noah who killed a son for seeing him naked
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        Jun 10 2012: Hi Stewart.

        This is where I get deleted by admin for beig off-topic.
        The most obvious place to look for me is the geologic column.
        For fossils to exist they must be buried rapidly; As far as I know that is agreed.
        We have millions of them at all levels throughout the world. These would include polystrate fossils passing through many layers. Evolutionists normally agree with this, but say that in general the layers are slowly laid down. Why would layers with fossils be laid down quicker than regular layers?
        In general there is no sign of weathering or erosion between the layers. Why not, if millions of years have passed?
        In places like the Grand Canyon & the American Badlands we see delicate pillars of layered rock. In my scenario, floodwater comes in depositing layer upon layer; after a time the land uplifts & the water rushes out again taking much of the land with it, but leaving these pillars, canyons, etc. The layers wouldstill be soft at this stage. Evolutionists normally attribute this to wind/sand erosion. Ok, but wouldn't this tend to round things off? Also where did all the dirt go?
        I don't expect you to agree, but don't you think these things warrant some consideration?

        :-)
        • Jun 10 2012: **continued
          So, where the creationist are out to prove the creator; scientist are just asking questions, looking for answers-- these answers have brought us all of the technologies we have to day.

          Does that mean that ultimately there is no god? No, it does not mean that. It only means that we have not found that result yet, and if there is a god we are more likely to find him through science than through creationism. So, I invite creationists to believe whatever they want, but it is not science. And in turn, if someday science does prove god, creationist might then say, “ok now I get it, and oh btw the way I told you so.” But, their “pseudoscience” will have never proven anything without the help of actual science.

          In conclusion, Evolution is science and as such should be taught as science (as was decided by the courts through a separation of church and state, provided by the “lemon” test-- this is relevant because in the article they said South Korea may have looked to the U.S. when they made their choice). Creationism is not science, and should not be taught as science. So by not teaching evolution, you are choosing to not teach proven facts which have led us to many of the advancements that we enjoy today (like the beef we consume, the wheat in our bread, and mass produced insulin for diabetics).
        • Jun 10 2012: *continued
          Through science we have not only been able to define these things, but we have also been able to use the knowledge to guide our future exploration and discoveries. Erosion can be seen everywhere there are particles that interact with the environment (this includes the Grand Canyon). Not only can that result be predicted, but it can also be repeated. Still, it is completely understandable for someone to not fully grasp this concept- and this does not make them dumb (I want to make sure it is understood that I am not implying that, and am instead saying that it is normal). Why do you think people still go to the Grand Canyon? Often, it’s because it truly brings a sense of awe and wonderment to very many people. This is partly because; the larger the number, the harder the human mind has to work to understand it.

          This concept is something that is well known in science. Your biological tools (eyes, nose, brain, etc..) are not always capable of directly understanding what is being observed. In short, this is why we have developed other tools, like math, and a process in which to use them- a process that seeks to make the result observable, predictable, and repeatable.

          The creationist argument is not science, because it starts with: “god does exist and there are no other possibilities”, then it looks for something to mold to that belief. Science: looks at the evidence, then they look at more evidence somewhere else, then they compare the evidence, then they ask “what does this mean”, then they show the evidence to other people and ask them what they think it means, then they develop an experiment to try and test what it “might” mean, then they ask other people to review the experiment for errors and in turn do the experiment themselves, then they see what they can predictably do with the results of the experiment, and so on.
        • Jun 10 2012: First I would like to ask if you watched the lecture I posted? I would like to know, because the video actually does disprove most of creation’s take on this matter. In trying to be sensitive to your beliefs, that takes the debate back at least 3 billion years.

          Second, don’t be afraid to express your ideas. This is an educated forum and I’m sure we can have a respectful conversation about this topic.

          There is no evidence for creationism beyond what people who want to believe in god have created. This can be seen in the fact that: to believe in Creationism you must believe in a creator, but Evolution has no bearing on a creator- that is to say it neither proves or disproves a creator (it does however push the debate back for billions of years). I also understand that this may not be an acceptable argument for you.

          God has been an explanation for the unexplainable for thousands of years, an explanation which has been removed every time the real cause was found. The people who found these explanations sat down and reviewed a situation, collected information (in an unbiased manner), then realized that something else actually did explain what they saw (and when they could no longer explain it, they often went back to god).

          I don’t know how far your religious beliefs have come, and at no time would I presume to attempt to deprive you of them. But, depending on how far along your personal beliefs have come, there are only certain things that they may allow you to accept, and I will respect that. I will however say that, there are many people who believe in many things that have been proven false. Genetics has proven that there is no Aryan race, but people not only still believe in one, they would also kill for one. There are also people who do not believe that time is relative, yet they use their GPS every day.
        • Jun 10 2012: sorry for the length of the post, but it is all relevant since there is a distinct flaw in the initial paradigm of creationism as science.
        • Jun 10 2012: I just realized that I didn't address the fossil issue. This is because, that is beyond my scope of knowledge. And, since you are interested in this issue, I would encourage you to research that subject and then maybe educate me on it (since I am strongly focused on other areas at this time). But, if you do so, please allow me to trust your information by conducting your research in a way that searches for the truth, free of a personal belief mold.
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        Jun 11 2012: Hi Robert.
        I have listened to many hours of Ken Miller; he is a very good speaker & scientist. I watched half an hour of the link. I have no interest in trials in the US; I am in Scotland. I am interested in the science. I want to know the evolutionist explanation of the geologic column as outlined above.
        We probably don't have time for much more on this topic? I have researched this subject, & I am trying to educate you. There is nothing out there which gives a reasonable evolutionary explanation for all these fossils. Prove me wrong.

        :-)
        • Jun 11 2012: hey peter,

          I believe the genetic proof starts about 30min :-( so you probably stopped before he presented it.

          Basically, fossils and erosion are nice and I'm sure a geologist could help with that, but evolution has actually been proven genetically now. Unfortunately, to really understand it and not just trust the end result (which is evolution), you have to have a strong understanding of biology and genetics (which is where more of my education lies). You should watch the next 30 min of the lecture (and actually if you go to about 45 min you might catch it too-- if you don't have the time).

          Evolution has happened, and does happen, and genetics uses that information all of the time.
        • Jun 11 2012: Peter,

          As a side note, after reading the article that Stewart posted, I'm thinking that your side (the opposing side to the article) is presenting that all of the geological layers were laid down in a year? How could that be when decay-- which I know a little about from my knowledge of math and chemistry-- happens at such a regular rate (a rate which yield time spans much longer than a year)?

          I read something on creationism.org, but it wasn't very compelling because it didn't specifically address radiocarbon dating. Do you happen to have an article I could read, so I can better understand the issue?
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        Jun 11 2012: Hi Robert.
        Will try & get time for some more tonight, although as I said I have listened to a lot of Ken's stuff. Also many debates.
        The genetics are a bit deep for me I must admit. However if evolution was taking place at all, I would expect to see it in flesh & blood in the world around me, but that's another topic. My field is mechanical/electrical engineering . In the workings of cells etc. I see nano technology of the highest order. we can sort of understand some of it, but it is light years ahead of any technology we have. Whoever made it is far far smarter than us, & the possibility it made itself is non-existent .
        EDIT
        Listened to the rest of the vid. Ken cites the fact that you can take a bunch of parts from the flagellum & still have a functioning secretory system. Someone else stated that in evolutionary terms the flagellum predates the secretory system. I don't know. On the blood clotting cascade, it's the same sort of argument. Sure you can live without a couple of items; if you're a puffer fish. He wins the argument by proving Behe was incorrect in what he said, because he never added "in humans".
        To me it was a political speech to the faithful with very little science. Good entertainment if you like that sort of stuff.
        What I do to try to get a balance is to bob back & forward between answersingenesis.com & TalkOrigins.com . They critique each others stuff, so if you need to know the arguments, just search at both sites & form your opinion.
        Btw this probably won't go down well with your lecturers, I'd keep quiet about it.
        :-)
        • Jun 11 2012: Hey Peter, (I keep forgetting to put who I'm talking too, sorry:-(,

          Here are some problems I have with the earlier stuff about erosion and the Grand Canyon:

          “In general there is no sign of weathering or erosion between the layers.”

          The layers are not exposed, therefor see no erosion. And the layers that are exposed do see erosion.

          “floodwater comes in depositing layer upon layer; after a time the land uplifts & the water rushes out again taking much of the land with it, but leaving these pillars, canyons, etc.”

          The volume of Grand Canyon is 4.17x10^12 cubic meters of rock. To give an Idea of that volume, If you were to stack copies of the roman coliseum one on another, this volume would go more than 36% of the way to the moon. Someone else did a similar analogy to the volume of the Grand Canyon and found that: you can fit the entire world’s population in a 1/10 of a mile long segment of the Grand Canyon (the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long).

          The fact is: it takes a long time for that much rock to be displaced naturally. As a matter of fact: if you took the amount of water it takes to do that and condensed it down to 1 year (not even 40 days and 40 nights, but 1 full year strait), it would take more than 6 times all of the water in the world’s oceans focused on the grand canyon alone. To put that in perspective, if you stacked km^3 containers of water on top of each other, it would go from the earth to the moon, over 16 million times.

          **edit, btw, creating the grand canyon in a year with a flood is even more impossible then even I originally thought.
        • Jun 11 2012: *continued

          “Evolutionists normally attribute this to wind/sand erosion. Ok, but wouldn't this tend to round things off? “

          You are not accounting for the force of gravity in this statement. Erosion functions just that way, it erodes the exposed area of the land. Not only is erosion occurring, but the force of gravity is also pulling on the object. So, over time the structure erodes to the point where gravity is able to overcome and break it off, causing jagged edges. However, it’s not all jagged edges, there are some smooth areas too.
        • Jun 11 2012: When you get into genetics and biology, you find out just how beautiful things really are. A primitive take on this sight has been that: the beauty implies creation, but what they miss is the real reason:
          It is so beautiful because you see the evolution of the earlier forms into the current forms. The genes for the puffer fish’s system are just less evolved version of our genes, and that is why it is so beautiful.

          You can see this in much of what you look at in genetics, and it is a beauty beyond description to see the story of how everything evolved, and it being told in our very own genes. Some of the genes they have identified are genes that have been “turned off” that are old versions of the genes for sense of smell. At one time we had the sense of smell of a primate.
        • Jun 11 2012: cool, gonna check out the 2 sites.
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          Jun 16 2012: atoms and subatomic particles are pretty nano.

          matter and living things are made from atoms so of course nano

          Our senses didn't evolve to see nano (or even beyond the visible spectrum)

          We don't have all the answers but have come a long well in 2000 years
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        Jun 12 2012: Hi Robert.
        Re. The Grand Canyon. In my scenario the mud layers would still be soft when they were eroded. For a long time it was assumed that the Colorado River cut the canyon, but I think now that theory is out of favour. What do you think caused it ?

        There has been interesting stuff happening at Mt. St. Helen's. Here is a nice photo :-
        http://njbiblescience.org/presentations/christian_atheist/img42.html
        And here more in-depth :-
        http://www.icr.org/research/index/researchp_sa_r04/

        You still haven't given me your take on how the fossils formed over the millions of years suggested by evolution. What do you think ?

        :-)
        • Jun 12 2012: The Grand Canyon never really amazed me (to be honest); I have hiked there, camped there, and even just looked over the tourist stations. But when I started looking at this problem, it started to amaze me.

          This goes back to what I said in the essay I posted above (lol, sorry again about that length). As scientists we have learned to not trust our senses for many reasons, one of which being: our brains can’t always conceive really big numbers without help. Everything about the Grand Canyon is a REALLY big number, and when you see the big numbers you’re like, “meh, ok whatever”, but when you sit down and really put it into perspective it’s beautifully elegant how everything fits together (when we look at just how many things could have affected the Grand Canyon over billions of years).

          When I started doing this problem I considered the flood method “plausible”, but “not likely”. The first problem I saw with it was the amount of water it might take to do such a thing. So I looked at data on how much sediment the river could move per year, the volume of water the river can move through the Grand Canyon per year, the density of the material, and the total volume of the Grand Canyon itself. I did this to find out how long it might take for water to erode this volume naturally. It took those conditions 8.8 million years for water to complete that volume. Then I looked to see what people were saying about the Grand Canyon, and what time frames they have come to believe. I found that 8.8 million year was consistent with the other time frames and therefor plausible (this is not saying a river did this, just that it now needs to be looked at closer and other factors need to be considered). So, now that I had shown that water could do this given time, I changed the time frame to a year, to find if it could be done that quickly with water.
        • Jun 12 2012: The problem came when I found the amount of water needed to cause this action and chisel the Grand Canyon. It is astronomically large, which even I didn’t fully understand until I started to break it down. If you try to use water to create the grand canyon in a year you literally need a hydro torch that would in turn accelerate water faster than the speed of light and at best you will change the earth’s rotation, at worst you would completely obliterate it.

          By this point I am hooked on this problem. Now that it can’t be done, I want to do it even more. So, I set out to try and make this happen. But the fact is: water is just not capable of doing this with in a year without alternate delivery methods. And, the numbers are so large that I would say if creation did this, it would have had little to do with water.

          But, this did bring me to a different understanding, the understanding about just how big the numbers dealing with the Grand Canyon really are. The world is old, as is the Grand Canyon, and a lot has happened to it over that time period. So much has happened, that I realized the world isn’t just going to hang around and watch the Colorado River have all the fun; it’s going to have its own say.

          I don’t believe that water created the Grand Canyon alone, not because it is not “possible”, but because it is “not likely”. Over the time period required for water to do this, the world would have gone through: ice ages, massive volcanic eruptions, meteor strikes, tectonic movement, and all of the other things that happen to something when you leave it lying around in space for billions of years. And indeed, the Grand Canyon isn’t millions of years old, it’s billions of years old, with everything dropping in on occasion to have a little bit of the fun.
        • Jun 12 2012: Now, one might ask: well if it’s plausible for water to do it in 8.8million years, then shouldn’t the Grand Canyon be younger and not older?

          This is a good question, but what you have to remember is: I was only looking at waters ability given a constant rate of flow and removal in order to find a “ball park” figure of how much water was needed to create the Grand Canyon with a flood over the span of a year.

          This scenario is not possible either, because water does not flow through the Grand Canyon at the highest rate of flow naturally possible for millions of years. And in turn would not carry out a constant amount of sediment. In other words: I was trying to force it to be possible, by creating a scenario in a manner that would attempt to prove it. By doing this I ignored the things I mentioned earlier: ice ages (might slow it down), massive volcanic eruptions (might slow it down, or speed it up), meteor strikes (might slow it down, speed it up, or completely erase it), tectonic movement (might slow it down, or speed it up), and all of the other things that happen to something when you leave it lying around in space for billions of years (aliens, god, and any other unknowns yet to be discovered). All, of these things bring significant variables of their own, and all of which are initially “plausible” to have affected the Grand Canyon under a large time span of exposure, but you have to consider the rates of occurrences for the area in question (unless of course you just want to say god did it and just move on).
        • Jun 12 2012: I’m still trying to watch videos on answersingenesis.com, my computer isn’t loading the videos very well though 
          I am very interested to see the video talked about in this clip:

          http://www.answersingenesis.org/media/video/ondemand/foundations/in-six-days-clip-time

          The person in this clip (who I think might be ken ham?) sums up a core problem with creationist thinking in this video when he says, “the reason I’m so passionate about the age of the earth is because I’m zealous about god”. This statement is like saying, “god is the answer and there are no other possibilities” which is blinding when it comes to facts that contradict his beliefs. I’m not going to suggest how he should live his life, but this problem will prevent him from ever finding the truth. He will only ever find what he believes.

          Another argument I have seen surfacing here is the “error coding chance” of DNA, but what they have not mentioned yet is that the 1 billion error chance is across 3.2 billion base pairs. So their 1 billion “improbability” is actually a 33% “probability”. This doesn’t take into account many other things either, like the fact that that replication doesn’t happen once, but 10^16 times over ones life span (that’s 10,000 trillion times). Now, it would be a major problem if there weren’t mechanism to combat this, because the mutations are entirely random and can have unforeseen consequences (there are mechanisms that check this btw). But the fact remains that errors do occur, and on occasion those errors give rise to mutations. Not to mention that coding errors are not the only way that mutations can occur.
        • Jun 12 2012: As far as fossils go, it’s like I said before. I don’t really know anything about fossils, and I would be lying to myself if I attempted to address that issue. There may be issues, surrounding them, that I have some knowledge on, but as for fossils them self I simply don’t have any insite.

          So for fossils I will just have to trust that there might be a problem there and that people much more qualified than me are probably working on it. But I say this knowing the track record of this conversation, and as with everything I come in contact with, I am inherently skeptical.
        • Jun 12 2012: I think if I understand the validity of this information,

          http://www.icr.org/research/index/researchp_sa_r04/

          creationists would like to propose that the age of the earth is “young” because, “Geomorphologists have learned that the time scale they have been trained to attach to landform development may be misleading.” (Am I stating the issue correctly? and am I missing anything?)

          At this point there is something I need to know, namely: What is "young"? how old do they think it is? I ask this question because I have heard the current ranges of 6000yrs to 200,000 years.
        • Jun 13 2012: in addition to the question above, after all we have talked about I have started to wonder, and there is something I don't understand:

          If god is omnipotent, everlasting, and all powerful, then: why is religion even trying to use science to prove god, when god is capable of functioning outside the laws of physics?

          Here is a reason why I don't understand this:
          Science explains stuff without god all the time. And when asked about it they often say, I didn’t include god, because I can explain it without him. So, why not the convers? Why does religion need the laws of physics, when they can just explain it with god?
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          Jun 14 2012: Robert what you're describing there "when they just explain it with god" is called history/ ancient history. Religion used to do exactly that and explain everything from illness and the beginning of the universe to crop failure and mutations to the works of god. This all changed as you note with science and Laplace's famous quote "I did not need god in my model" started a new wave of thinking. Though who is going to listen to any religious person who proclaims that gravity is a mere illusion of the world and that it is god who keeps us rooted to the Earth. They provide no evidence no observational or testable ideas just assertions with no evidence. And this opens a door to all sorts of lies and ignorance such as, atoms don't bond to complete outer shells god merges them together! You know like who is really going to listen to that.
        • Jun 14 2012: Yeah Stewart, I feel like I'm reading a tabloid newspaper about a court case where the creationist objective is not to find the truth, but instead to merely attempt to cast doubt for no other reason than to perpetuate their own religious beliefs (very selfish). They present partial evidence, deliberately ignoring components, and then make no predictions of their own other than ambiguity. All the while science is producing all of the technologies we have today.
  • Jun 10 2012: For anyone looking to educate themselves more on this subject, here is a lecture based around the Dover, Pennsylvania Intelligent Design Case: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohd5uqzlwsU

    This video not only identifies the issue but also why it NEEDS to be addressed, and how it comes down to a breakdown in the communication of information by scientist (though it also shows that some people will never listen regardless of the facts). So, in the spirit of that, please watch this whole video through the questioning.
  • Jun 8 2012: Among everything else, I have the hardest time with this, "...half disagreed that “modern humans are the product of evolutionary processes”."

    For this to be true, they would also have to believe that mutation does not occur...

    I believe that at the heart of this issue lies the lack of good information processing skills. Far to often people reach conclusions based off of a feeling and/or a desire to prove what they believe to be correct (in science this is called experimenter bias), instead of searching for the truth without bias. And, if someone is willing to accept new information, then that person is seen as not having the strength of conviction. "I know that I know that I know" is considered sound logic.

    Schools have years and years of political and cultural history, but where is the history of science? It's not much more than a footnote taught with the relevant subject. Where would our world be if we gave the same emphasis to the scientific process, along with scientific successes and failures, that we give to writing essays in English class (or it equivalent)?
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    Jun 5 2012: What do you propose ? South Korea is a sovereign state which is predominantly Christian. What they do is their business. When the US & UK were Christian they preached the gospel & thrived. Now it's South Korea's turn, more power to them.

    :-)
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      Jun 5 2012: So breed ignorance into the foundation of a country, why should we allow a group of people who have no scientific basis to refute evolution to decide what to teach in the science class. It is this kind of attitude towards science that put Islamic countries into the awful state they're into after a prophet or something like that (forget his name) started preaching that science was created by the devil and is evil. It is that kind of intolerance to truth that breeds regression into societies. If they said to not teach the big bang and nebular theory and pretty much all of physics just to drill home a 6000 year old earth there would be global outcry. You can't just refute science cause you don't like it, even the dam pope accepts evolution. And also by your logic religion doctrine is what should be taught in schools so you're actually pro ignorance, pro stupidity, anti reason, anti free thought. And the day abiogenesis finally works will be the day religion has to give up and stay out of schools and out of children's educations, have a god if you want but science will forever bring out much more truth beauty and wisdom into this world than a belief in an ancient Israelite book which promotes slavery and the murder of homosexuals. Science is the way forward and this is just an example of people trying to hamper human progress.
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        Jun 5 2012: Hi Stewart.
        This isn't the place to argue the pros & cons of evolution v creationism, but the fact remains that very many qualified scientists see major scientific problems with evolution, big bang etc. You talk of tolerance, but clearly have little of it yourself on this subject. The scientists of today stand on the shoulders of great men who had no problem with creation, do you really expect every scientist to fall in lne with each new theory that comes along ?
        If we create life in the lab, which we may, all that we will have achieved is proof that intelligence can produce life. At the moment we go with the law of biogenesis; as that can be demonstrated scientifically.
        You are correct that science is a major tool in development, but false science is a distraction. At any rate historical science is a small ingredient in the mix, & what South Korea choses to teach it's children is neither here or there in the scheme of things. More important is financial prudence, where we have dropped the ball completely.

        :-)
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          Jun 5 2012: there's no need for tolerance of what a christian feels should be taught in a science class, it should be what a scientist feels, if the reason against teaching scientific fact is because a book worshiped by someone disagrees with it then there's still no evidence against teaching it, either prove the book or keep it at home, these children will be denied a full, modern education in biology and could inherently prevent (potentially) one of the greatest biologists ever to be from studying biology at uni etc because they were not taught evolution in school which is probably followed by an attack on evolution in there equivalent of a Sunday school.
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          Jun 6 2012: Peter,
          No offense, but from what you post I don't think you've read and understood anything about evolution. I know that there is a lot of Intelligent Design litterature. But have you read any books written by real evolutionnary biologists such as Dawkins?
          Also I don't think you know what "demonstrated scientifically" means.

          And I don't think you know what "theory" means.
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          Jun 8 2012: There is a great need for real religious education. Many secular people only know the views of the vocal fundamentalists and so cast all people of faith as dimwits.

          Unfortunately, a little knowledge can be highly damaging, and I'm sorry but reading Richard Dawkins does not make anyone an expert in either science or religion. For a scientist, Dawkins is remarkably closed minded, which actually makes him a poor scientist.

          As a foil to "The God Delusion" try reading "The Case for God" by Karen Armstrong or Mark Tully's book "India's Unending Journey". Don't panic - neither are evangelical, but will help to take the sting out your tail.
        • Jun 9 2012: Hey peter,
          In reply to Stewart you said, "You are correct that science is a major tool in development, but false science is a distraction." Since there is a debate, one might conclude that it has been neither adequately proven or disproven therefor, neither proven true or false. Which, you may have meant to imply since you also said, "South Korea choses to teach it's children i(t)s neither here or there in the scheme of things."

          It is ok to not have the answers to some questions. The problem occurs when we just make up answers instead of being honest to ourselves (and others) in saying first, “we don’t’ know”, and then (if the question is well founded) searching for the answer in a logical, evidence based manner which is open to peer review with the requirement that it must be a repeatable and predictable in result.

          You also said, “If we create life in the lab, which we may, all that we will have achieved is proof that intelligence can produce life.” And thus is the problem with intelligent design; It doesn’t really explain anything. Natural disasters have happened naturally throughout history. So, if one day we learn how to make a hurricane (with our intelligence), does that mean that we must have made all previous hurricanes too? No, but we probably would have learned quite a bit about hurricanes in the process- and how they happened naturally. It is a fact that evolution happens, that is not under debate. But what is being debated is exactly how far back it goes. And, the truth is “we don’t know,” but we do have strong evidence to suggest that it goes back much further than 10,000 years ago when we evolved to have blue eyes.

          So, it’s “…neither here or there…” might be fine for the Koreans who are not students of science. And, sure they have the right to teach them what they want. But, those who pursue science need to be educated in not only the methods of strong logic, but also the subjects their future community seeks to explore.
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          Jun 9 2012: Robert I wouldn't say that the SK government has the right to teach their kids whatever they want, that opens a huge pot of immoral and ignorant consequences, I think it severely handicaps their children's education, imagine a SK student coming to the UK for university to study biology and asking a professor what is evolution. It completely destroys all chance of them getting an honest scientific education.
        • Jun 10 2012: A sad day indeed.

          But, we cannot control everything, nor should we. The best world, in my opinion, is one that allows for the freest possible open exchange of information and ideas. And, to control that, is to only limit our selves. HOWEVER, anyone who develops their ideas in a fashion where they only seek to prove their own beliefs, and not simply the truth, limits themself in a way which will put them far behind a scientifically developed understanding of the truth.

          Here is a small example of this:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIMifWU5ucU
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        Jun 6 2012: Hi Stewart.

        "there's no need for tolerance of what a christian feels should be taught in a science class, it should be what a scientist feels"
        I agree; let the Korean scientists decide what is relevant to them. None of our business.
        Neither has it anything to do with Bibles or Korans. It has to do with science, pure & simple. If the Koreans don't teach their children science, then they will be the ones to suffer. They have obviously looked at the science & decided against evolution. I can understand that; I can't see the justification for it either.

        :-)
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          Jun 6 2012: you clearly didn't read the article, it was a christian petition that got evolution removed from the textbooks.
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        Jun 6 2012: Hi Gerald.
        No offence taken. My degree of understanding of evolution has no bearing on the question. My point is only that the Koreans have every right to teach their children as they see fit. If we don't like it then tough.
        " In the 1960s, GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion dollar club of world economies, and currently is among the world's 20 largest economies."
        https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ks.html

        Maybe, just maybe they know what they are doing.

        :-)
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          Jun 7 2012: Can you tell stewart also that as much as the Muslims have alot of covenants and secret scrolls and secrets to be protected. these famous scientists in thier days had to avoid having an opinion and dicoveries as the CHURCHES and Kings and Queens would of had the put to death. So let olone them having a a religion they didnt know the love of Godly and Spiritual people. But I can garentee People like Einstein in there last moments and it is written and witnessed cried out for forgivenes and the love of Jesus. "Genesis Enigma" he asked me about the book and maybe both Gerard and Stewart should read it. I didnt learn much at school and I certainly have not been an academic and only started to read the Bible 17 years ago and learnt to read. I really enjoy reading books like this now and sorry you are so angry stuart. I dont need the criticism and turn me off ther books I have been able to fill in alot of gaps. Geology and Science mean alot more to me now the book it was given to me by and beautiful old man at my work; doesnt talk anything religion or speak much just thought after I was telling him about the Bible. I might like to read!
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        Jun 6 2012: Hi Stewart.

        "The campaign was led by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR)"

        "The society says that its members include professors of biology and high-school science teachers."

        "STR is an independent offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research (KACR)"

        "Even the nation’s leading science institute — the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology — has a creation science display on campus. "

        "The institute also has a thriving Research Association for Creation Science, run by professors and students, he adds."

        Yes it was a Christian petition, but it seems pretty well embedded in mainstream science as well. Maybe I'm biased.

        :-)
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        Jun 6 2012: sorry Stewart just on before politics/science
        Yahweh
        It is discovered that the book of genesis wasn’t written by Moses alone. With my lack of knowledge of this book and I believe in I'm going to find it hard to explain to you, but ill try. It is supposed that genesis has been written by a number of sources as it is called in this book. these sources (4 or 5 of them) d, e, f, g say; when the research that has been done on the book Genesis and through archaeological references and history that the scribers are from different areas and tribes that they can tell that analytically and psychological reference that the scribers or individual writers were influenced and had geological, economical pressures and influences in their writing at that time which is why they know that Moses didn’t write it on his own. also they were all related and are say priests or scholars entrusted by Moses and it goes on in the book Genesis Enigma in the appendix; of the book because I started reading there at the back. when it goes into details and it is written in the Bible too that these respected sources have to write and are entrusted in writing the scripts have to re right, was them selves if using the words Yahweh for example; and if they make one letter mistake when writing the Torah that whole chapter has to be re written and approved by the high priests or who ever. The Jewish writers of these text's still practice this method today but you would have to read up on that for the details. what I've found is the front of the book which you would of properly read as I have put on this conversation interesting is that the Jehovah’s that came to my house with the similar question that has been raised in this topic here is that I was motivated to read further into the relevance of how important it was for politics and art and how scientific this book is that I love the story and how the big bang theory and Michelangelo has escalated my courage to continue to love bible study more.
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          Jun 6 2012: It doesn't matter who wrote it or when it doesn't prove any of it, nor does it help validate any of it if more than one person wrote the book, the vast amounts of nonsense in it ,which we can't forget were claimed to be the words of a god written through a person. The universe isn't 6000 years old, it's just a fact, evolution happens and it did happen, it's another fact. There was no ark with two of every animal, there was no tree of good and evil. In a nutshell, we've proven it to be false, people need to keep up with modern science and give their children the full benefit of a modern scientific education where they are taught the truth so we can end this belief in pathetic myths.
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          Jun 16 2012: I agree humans wrote the bible and the koran and the book of mormon etc.
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      Jun 16 2012: Peter I agree it is not our business to interfere in this.

      Western Nations have a far better quality of life than 100 years ago or even 50 years ago

      Maybe not compared to 4 years ago.

      I suggest the protestant work ethic is a positive.

      China is now a growing powerhouse, with not much god.

      Are you suggesting a correlation between "thriving" and preaching of the gospel. Any evidence to back up this claim.

      Australia is increasingly secular and doing better than ever.
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    Jun 5 2012: This is amazing.
    I admit I sometimes feel like Dawkins' militant atheism is a waste of talent that could be used on evolutionnary biology instead. But articles like this one are a good reminder that we do live in the Dark Ages, and that denial of science and fundamentalism are not restricted within US borders.
    So I'm glad that some of our best scientists are working hard to protect philosophy from dogma. It's worth it.
    Cheers.