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Jack Dear

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Creationism. Why? and thoughts..

Increasingly we have evidence to favor evolution over creationism, which tells us the world is around 4.5 Billion years old.

In certain education systems in the UK and America they are teaching that the earth is around 10'000 years old. Typically this is because of religious funding in these schools.Surely this is a dangerous thing to teach in a Science class without any evidence?

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  • Jun 23 2011: My view is that both Creation and Evolution should not be taught in a science class. Both deal with history, and are not provable, testable or quantifiable. It is fine for us to take what we know about the world around us today, and hypothesize about what "could" have happened, but to state as "beyond a reasonable doubt" is, in my view, arrogant, and foolish.

    To really develop this dialog we need to go back to some definitions:

    What is science? What are it's limitations?
    What is a fact?
    What is a hypothesis?

    From what I have been hearing, these definitions have changed over time, and that is adding a lot of confusion to this discussion.

    This debate is heavily influenced by assumptions, and we need to understand what these are, otherwise we are simply arguing within our own frameworks. One assumption evolutionists have is that the similarity of creatures leads to common decent. This is an assumption, and if you listen to many evolutionists, they will use this assumption to justify their conclusion. This is circular reasoning.

    It's as simple as this. Can you prove to me that we come from a common origin, or that information came from non information. If this is not possible, it is speculation, and is not pure science.

    I am not saying we should stop "exploring" the evolutionary theory. I say go ahead, but don't state as fact what is not fact, and leave room for others with different assumptions to peruse these.

    Evolutionary scientists have strayed away from science, and have put on the hats of philosophy, and history. This is fine, but call it what it is.
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      Jun 23 2011: I like how you failed to reply to the thread in which I engaged you in and proceeded to start a new one. You're completely and utterly wrong of course and the fact that you think that you're an authority on what constitutes science baffles me as you have no training in the sciences whatsoever. This is a typical thing for Creationists to assert, as was the whole "evolution and creationism are worldviews" canard (which all Creationists believe but which no observer of good science would)

      There is a methodology in science that is followed by all great theories to date, evolution included. For a hypothesis to access the level of theory, it must be falsifiable (it must make claims that are theoretically testable), it must make predictions and if some of its finer details are found at fault, it must be revised. If something is found that completely defies the hypothesis, it is obviously discarded. That's the modern science methodology, there's no confusion to be had about it.

      The proof of common origin came with the development of the field of genetics and the discovery that all living beings share the same replication molecules which they undoubtedly inherited from a common ancestor. One of the principal ideas to come out from Darwin's evolution hypothesis is that all living beings should have a common ancestor. This was indeed predicted by genetics, what's more these discoveries were made after Darwin's death. We can also extrapolate this conclusion from the fact that different family of organisms all share common traits which suggest a common ancestor. For example, most eukaryota organisms (that includes humans) have mitochondria in their organism suggesting that they are all descended from an organism that took in another living bacterium that became mitochondria (Endosymbiosis theory).

      Now the assumptions that Evolution is built upon are the assumptions of modern science. Namely that the laws of nature are fixed. That's worked pretty well so far...
      • Jun 23 2011: I would like to have a dialog with you, but you must respect my views ,as I respect yours. Your first paragraph is an unfounded attack on my intelligence, and authority. My argument should be able to hold it's own regardless of my formal education. I will not engage in a discussion that is not respectful. I will only discuss with you if you are open to the possibility of changing your views, as I am. If you are not, than we are simply wasting time.

        Yes, I did not make up the arguments I present, in the same way that you did not make up the arguments you present. We both have people that we respect, and have convinced us that their point of view is correct.

        Your second point is precisely what I am talking about. The theory of evolution has changed considerably over the years, as strong evidence has caused it to have to shift to stay logically sound. This is the way it should work. I am simply stating that evolution is not a provable theory, and there are a number of large holes in it. Perhaps one day, they will be patched, however at the present time they are not, and from my perspective looking at biology from a "engineering" perspective is much more helpful. I am sure you yourself, know that there is a growing interest in look into at biological systems from an engineering perspective.

        No one would deny that many living organisms share similar traits, but to then say that these traits "had" to have come from a common source is an assumption with no prof behind it, as far as I know. If you have proof of this, please let me know, and I will gladly change my view on this.

        If you read over your 2nd last paragraph carefully, you will see that you provided your own reinforcement of the assumptions that you hold, but did not provide any evidence for it.
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          Jun 23 2011: Wow, pulling the persecution card so early on? You want me to be brutally honest with you? It's true, I don't respect your views at all. Creationism is an idiotic Bible literalism that not only contradicts the theory of evolution but also contradicts modern theories in geology, astronomy, radioactivity and all sorts of sciences. While all sciences tend to be consistent with each other (fossils consistent with evolution, but also consistent with continental drift, with ages consistent with radioactive dating...), creationism just takes some passages of the Bible and some half-assed calculation of the age of the Earth based on a Biblical scholar's work on genealogies in the Bible and tries to elevate that to the rank of a scientific theory. When that fails, bring down evolution to its level. You're not even conversing with me. Some of the arguments you have used are explicitly addressed in the link I sent you (you asked me for that link! Use it!) You make claims about Evolution like you know what you're talking about. A theory, by the way, is something that has been proven to a great degree of accuracy. A hypothesis may be unproven.

          I respect you as a fellow human being. But I genuinely think you're being dishonest about how intent you are to learn about evolution. And you understand what you'd like to understand (like you have with my 2nd point, nothing you have conjectured from my 2nd point was in fact there).

          I was not talking simply about common traits. I specifically took an example that goes beyond that for fear that traits would not sway you. The mitochondria in Eukaryotes is assimilable to an independent bacteria. If all those organisms do not share a common ancestry, shall we assume that the endosymbiosis took places as many times as there are eukaryotic species? Let's be reasonable, that is completely far-fetched.
      • Jun 26 2011: Atta boy Matthieu!! Perfect response I say! This is everything I wish I could say on my own!!
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          Jun 26 2011: I prefer being brutally honest rather than bending backwards and saying things that I don't mean in the sole attempt of being conciliatory. I find that if you start saying things you don't mean, it'll be used against you. I'll only give creationism the credit it's due which is not very much, it's on an equal footing with astrology and other such nonsense.
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      Jun 23 2011: As for your point about information, it is truly, in my opinion, an analogy gone horribly wrong. We've heard too many comparisons between DNA and computers that we've forgotten what information is and think it only in the context of code. Absolutely ridiculous! Look around you! Light is information. How else would you be able to construct an image in your without this information? What is it that you feel? The atoms that hit the palm of your hand? Information. The whole universe is information.

      We're leaving the realm of the theory of evolution now but this might still be relevant. Let me ask you, is it so hard to imagine, given what you know about chemistry and physics, that a molecule could have the kind of conformation that would allow it to make copies of itself just like that? Would you call that information being passed around? Whether you'd call it information passing or not, this is in essence what DNA does (only much less sophisticated as we're talking one very simple molecule). The truth is you can call what genes do the passing of information or you can see it as a series of reactions. The analogy with modern technology passing information is only meant to make it more approachable, it's an abstraction in some sense which you Creationists seem to think reveals the flaw of evolution (when it only reveals the flaws in your thinking). I've been reluctant to explain this point because to most people this is pretty much a given. The idea that information cannot be exchanged naturally is a travesty. We talk about information loss when talking about black holes or information horizons when talking about the speed of light and how long it takes for a part of the universe to affect another given the general theory of relativity. Want to put the theory of relativity into question too...oh no wait! You already do by saying the Earth is only thousands of years old when some of the stars we see are million of light-years away.
      • Jun 23 2011: I would respectfully disagree. I do not see light as information. Just as a rock, an electron, or a bacteria is not Information. Information does not exist in the physical world. It is us as humans that super impose information into the world. I think this is a very critical point.

        Information is meaning

        If you look at a computer screen, what is the difference between an image of a cat, and an image of random pixels? Technically not a whole lot. We superimpose meaning into that image with our minds.

        This could be another case of semantics. I would like to know your definition of information.
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          Jun 23 2011: If that is your definition of information, then DNA and RNA do not contain information, problem solved. Thanks for your critical point.
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          Jun 23 2011: DNA is digital information.
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          Jun 23 2011: oh yes I agree with you. Check the conversation. But Steve Bruno's definition of information is too restrictive: "Information does not exist in the physical world. It is us as humans that super impose information into the world."
      • Jun 23 2011: Thanks for the recommendation Jim I will look into that book.
      • Jun 23 2011: I should have explained what I meant by information a little better.

        What you may call information, I would separate into two categories: "data" and "information".

        You are correct, it is a restrictive definition, this is purposeful, as I believe there should be a distinction between the two. Data is something we can quantify, and qualify. Can we really experience information with our sense?

        Granted it is a philosophical concept, but I think it does carry significance to this discussion.
      • Jun 24 2011: Part 1:

        The English language is difficult to explain precise concepts because we use the same word to mean different things even if they may be related.However, for the purpose of a specific discussion it is important to specify the precise definition of the word. Unfortunately the word "information" falls into this category. In your post above, you were using the word "information," in the sense that everything has attributes that can be described. So we can say some thing is red and round. So yes, in this sense, I agree with you that information is everywhere.

        However, when I say that the DNA molecule contains information, I am going beyond the "information" of it attributes..I am talking about the fact that the sequence of the molecule contains the code for what will eventually be decoded into a protein. There a number of observations to be made here.
        One observation is that the sequence of the molecule is arbitrary. That is, the laws of physics and chemistry do force it to be in any particular sequence. This is quite different then say a crystal structure where the physics and chemistry force it to conform to a particular shape. Because of this rather unique feature, it makes it ideally suited as an "information" carrying device. So in this sense it is not much different to a computer memory chip or hard drive.
        If we think about the words in this post, you derive meaning for them, however, the meaning of the words can be attained by studying the physics and chemistry of the pixels. We as humans have established arbitrary rules to which we all agree that are layered on top of the physical world. In other words the letter "D" could have any arbitrary meaning. It is our choice as to what it will mean. This is one of the ways we perceive intelligence. When we see a sign on the side of the road, we instinctively know that some human agent was behind it because the "meaning" can not be explain by the physical or chemical properties of the sign.
      • Jun 24 2011: Part 2:

        Similarly, when we say that the DNA molecule is an information rich system, we need to ask ourselves how did this come to be. What is significant here is that the sequence is not determined by the forces of physics and chemistry. And yet it contains information that performs specific functions.

        The point here is that whenever we observe information rich systems, the source is inevitably, an intelligent agent. Someone may argue that this just came about by chance, however I would argue that we have never observed this. When we have two hypothesis, to the best of my knowledge, we choose the one that is best supported by the observable evidence.

        I cannot think of an observable example of an information rich system that we know of, that came about from random chance (other than the DNA molecule, as this is the subject of our discussion).
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          Jun 24 2011: Hi Steve
          Let's no forget that the DNA only holds the data; RNA then transfers that data to what can be likened to a cnc machine, which in turn produces the physical protein. So we have a 'sender' of the message, & a 'receiver' of the message who have to speak the same 'language'.

          Like you, I am an engineer (mech). The comparisons with our engineering practices are astounding, except that biology is centuries ahead of our abilities. I am sure that as time passes & more is understood, biology & engineering will merge, & we will look to biology to assist in designing our engineering products. The Air Force has been trying to design a plane to match the housefly for years, but can't quite make it.

          I find it astounding that anyone still believes in the evolution scenario, but I guess old habits die hard. Especially if you've just spent years getting a PHD.

          :-)
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          Jun 24 2011: Your whole argument is based on an analogy gone wrong. You've let yourself carried away with it. You're narrowly comparing the information systems which human beings have created with the processes behind transcription and translation in DNA and RNA. Well of course if you make that comparison, you can then claim: "Aha! The first one is motivated by an intelligent being, the second one must be too!". Your whole argument is based on an abstraction, it suffers the fallacy of misplaced concreteness. To take another example, artificial selection is a good way of understanding natural selection. That is when human beings look to breed specific traits in particular animals. There, we have now compared natural selection to a human controlled process, shall we now make the same 'logical leap' that you have done and say that natural selection be inspired by some intelligence? (although undoubtedly you believe that, you get my point I hope) You've framed this whole idea around an analogy which you brandish as the winning argument when so far it's been the weakest. It's easy to argue anything when you move the goalposts at your ease. Your concern with irreducible complexity was much more compelling and would have been powerful if it had any truth in nature. I'm not even going to comment on the number of assumptions you make from your premise to your conclusion.

          I am myself a computer scientist by training. Being a bioinformatician too, I can honestly say your comparison of DNA and transcription with memory chips and hard drives isn't that compelling.

          You're right about choosing the hypothesis with the most observed facts (most compelling are those facts that are described AFTER they have been conjectured rather than before). Evolution reigns supreme in that. You're not right about there being a choice between two hypotheses though. Let it be understood that in the unlikely event that evolution is found at fault, you don't get a default victory for creationism.

          Over and out.
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          Jun 24 2011: Hi Matt

          "I can honestly say your comparison of DNA and transcription with memory chips and hard drives isn't that compelling."
          Here is your chance to sort out any misunderstanding in the analogy. I have listened to many experts on the process & can't work out what is wrong with it. I could go off & do a degree; but it is not a critical part of my life; just interesting.

          My analogy :-
          The draughtsman designs a component on his computer. (DNA)
          In my day, this is downloaded to a floppy disk, & the disc inserted in the cnc machine.(Transcription)
          The cnc machine decodes the disc & manufactures the component. (Translation)

          If this analogy is faulty, please help me to understand where. Modify it for me or provide a different one that non-biologists can understand. That would save me frustrating lots of biologists with my stupidity. Go for it !

          :-)
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          Jun 24 2011: Since we're on the subject of smart Christians, let me just point out that Kenneth Miller, the guy who ferociously debunked the idea that the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex, is a Christian. The thing is only misguided Christians and Muslims actually think that evolution and religion are incompatible. Most people, religious or otherwise accept the product of science. Even that wicked man that is the Pope accepts it. It is a puzzle to many of us in Europe why there are so many Creationists in America, when the numbers here in Europe is so damn insignificant (even though you can find the occasional quack living in the confines of Scotland who thinks evolution means black people are inferior...isn't that right Pete?) You don't need to invest in a PhD to accept evolution, you only need to invest in your brain.
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          Jun 25 2011: Jim/Matt
          Is my analogy accurate or not ?
          :-)
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          Jun 25 2011: Not really. Transcription isn't actually a DNA copying process per se. Transcription is not the copying of an entire DNA molecule, nor is it the copying of most of it. DNA is copied during another process during which the two DNA strands unzip and each provide a template for the construction of another DNA strand by complementary base pair association. (very much like my protein conformation example from earlier). This leads to the multiplication of copies of one's genome, but at no point does it lead to the making of protein. Now what transcription really does is turn specific short sequences into mRNA which are translated into protein. The transcription process is activated at different loci on the DNA via promoter sequences (which are never transcribed as they play another purpose) at different times depending on the presence or not of either activator or inhibitor molecules. These proteins might then serve a purpose in the body or otherwise be activator or inhibitors themselves which lead to the use of other sequences in cascades of reactions. This is quite a watered down version of what happens, but at any rate, it shows the limitations of your analogy. This is without even delving into the world of non-coding sequences such as introns, activator sites and junk DNA. Let's face it, it's an analogy anyway, it's not supposed to bear out any new insight on genetics, it's supposed to make the concepts approachable to the laymen. Only Creationists would try to defend ideas about a biological system on analogies alone. It is ill advised to use an analogy beyond its purpose as one could totally miss its limitations and extrapolate wildly. Another difficulty with your analogy is that it supposes that the outcome of the whole process of transcription to translation always produces the same result (like your machine does given a certain blueprint) whereas the way genes are used very much depends on stimuli from nature.
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          Jun 25 2011: Thanks guys

          This is why we need analogy, because the process is so involved. But hey! if we delved into the workings of the computer et al, then the analogy would be complex as well.

          So let's discard the 'draughtsman', after all that's biology. The design computer comes with all the necessary programing & data. I understand that the mRNA only uses parts of the code; I'm trying to keep it simple.

          So the floppy is loaded with the data to make the component; is loaded on the cnc, & the component is produced.

          The floppy gets loaded with more data, but some of it gets muddled, & produces a slightly different component. If this component is better than the original, then this data is used again, if not then the data isn't used until it gets muddled some more. Then a third different component is produced & judged.
          There of course needs to be a feedback loop to let the design computer know how it's doing.

          Can you see why I have a problem with this ? Can you give me a SIMPLE analogy to explain why you think mutation & selection can drive evolution ?

          :-)
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          Jun 25 2011: This is a prime example of going to far with an analogy.
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          Jun 25 2011: Hi Jim

          {{"The mammalian brain is an MPS". I suspect that Matthieu and I would agree with this broader claim, but that Steve and Peter might disagree. Am I right?

          I believe that Creationism is largely motivated to protect the belief that humans are special (e.g. only humans have souls) and ID shares some of this motivation. I would love to hear what Peter and Steve have to say in response to this specific claim.}}

          On the brain thing I can only give my viewpoint; which of course is probably wrong.
          As I see it the human brain is a flesh & blood component, & as such is probably just a monkey brain Turbo GT. It fulfills a function in us just as all our other 'bits', & will cease to be of use when we die.

          The bible tells us that God is a spirit, & that we are made in His image. I believe that we all (humans) have a spirit which is similar to God, although nothing like as powerful. This spirit is immortal (just like His). The spirit has no material component. If you are following the latest scientific thinking you may agree that time only affects material entities. As a spirit is non-material, it is reasonable to imply that it is eternal; ie outside time.

          That's what I think ! :-)
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          Jun 25 2011: I'll supply you with an analogy. Say you have a cube and this cube can make other cubes just like it with the occasional error (a mutation). Each cube has to pass through a hole with a specific shape (an environment). Now at first, this hole is nicely square and so the cubes don't meet much resistance. They go through, reproduce, their replicates go through and so on. Now the hole changes to a circle so that, while the cubes can still go through, they're slowed down by their edges scrapping against the hole and have to exert much more force to go through. Some of them break and therefore can't replicate, some of them don't and so go on.

          Now imagine that a cube gives birth to another cube that is only slightly rounder at the edges than the other cubes. That cube will need to exert less force to go through the hole and will be less likely to break and thus more likely to replicate. Since it has a higher success rate of replication, this cube will go on to become more numerous in the population of cubes. If another cube arises that has a mutation that makes it bigger, it won't go through at all and thus will end the streak of this deleterious mutation. The attempt cubes make to go through the hole and their success is like natural selection. No need for a feedback loop for the slightly curved cube to become more prevalent in the population.

          Again this is a simple analogy and you cannot infer more than its purpose, but it illustrates mutations and natural selection somewhat.

          Now what about speciation? The process by which two different species are born. Simple. Take our original population of cubes, imagine that by some event (eg. geographical separation) they are separated into two populations indifferent environments, for one population the hole is a square, for the other the hole is a circle. Over some time, the first population will become very square and won't be able to reproduce with the circles because of that. Speciation!
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          Jun 25 2011: "As I see it the human brain is a flesh & blood component, & as such is probably just a monkey brain Turbo GT. It fulfills a function in us just as all our other 'bits', & will cease to be of use when we die.

          The bible tells us that God is a spirit, & that we are made in His image. I believe that we all (humans) have a spirit which is similar to God, although nothing like as powerful. This spirit is immortal (just like His). The spirit has no material component. If you are following the latest scientific thinking you may agree that time only affects material entities. As a spirit is non-material, it is reasonable to imply that it is eternal; ie outside time."

          So our brains would be the product of evolution but not the soul? You're completely entitled to believe that. I don't believe we have souls, but you can believe we do if you like, it doesn't contradict evolution as long as you accept that the brain itself developed via evolution. Can you accept that as a possibility?
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          Jun 26 2011: Matt & Jim

          Matt, I like your analogy, it's neat & covers most of the bases .
          Let's say our cube has the ability to make cubes of varying shape from the get-go. Surely that would work as well. The most appropriate cube would get through whichever hole was presented. The ones that couldn't get through the hole would eventually die off from neglect.

          Isn't this what we see in dogs (eg). Mongrels have cubes for all lengths of hair (say). They live in a cold climate that favours long hair. Soon all the dogs have long hair, & the cubes for short hair are lost. Surely this is the opposite of evolution ? Eventually the population may lose the ability to breed with other dogs; again this is a loss, not a gain.
          If for some reason the dogs needed even longer hair that would be too bad, as they have no cubes for it. The variation is limited to the cubes in the original mongrel. Is this not what current science accepts as fact ?

          I don't believe that our brain is evolved from a lower one; I believe it was created as-is. Naturally it has similarities; it was created for the same environment, from the same chemicals, by the same guy.

          I know lots of folks believe in theistic evolution. If we take the Christian Bible as our guide, then it is incompatible; you really have to re-interpret scripture so much that all meaning is lost, but that's another subject.

          The irreducible complexity videos. Yes this scenario may well be possible, but it is speculation derived to reinforce a pre-existent assumption; it is not empirical science. In my opinion the whole evolution theory exhibits a similar philosophy. The 'get-out-of-jail' card is of course that it all happened over billions of years, but that requires faith.



          :-)
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          Jun 26 2011: Well Jim has said it all so I won't revisit what has already visited. I will had this though: If there is a conflict between the theory of evolution and your literal reading of the Bible, then I'm sorry because evolution has a mountain of evidence whereas your belief shows jackshit.

          I'm going to echo Jim in saying (and this is something I've brought up at least three times with Steve but he has failed to comment about it even once) that your literal interpretation of the Bible does much more than contradict evolution. Indeed your belief in a young Earth goes against cosmological evidence, simple astronomy, geology (for example plate tectonics), archeology and all matters of science. We can chose to ignore the blatant errors of science in the Bible like the Moon being a light and bats being birds, you still have this 6,000 years old Earth figure, calculated by some obscure religious scholar, that clashes with our modern understanding of just about anything. Your one book against the bulk of modern scientific achievement over centuries of experimenting, I wonder which side is more potent?
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          Jun 26 2011: Next time you get antibiotics, be sure to remember that, according to your belief, this shit doesn't work.
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          Jun 27 2011: Jim/Matt

          Jim I totally agree that things change through loss of genetic information. However if we have had evolution from a single cell to where we are today, then the majority of evolution must (statistically) have been by the addition of information. Examples of this sort are extremely rare; if any. Certainly I have never come across a clear-cut case, & if they were out there I feel this problem would be solved. Perhaps you can give the example that Dawkins so famously couldn't.

          If you read Luke 3 v 23 -- 38 you will find the lineage from Jesus back to Adam. Can't remember exactly, but its around 40 - 50 generations. Pick any age you like for a generation & you'll come up with thousands rather than millions. There are many different ways of doing the same job biblically, which all come to similar conclusions. This is sunday school stuff & why men of letters can't get their heads around it is a mystery to me. You can have evolution OR the bible; but both....?

          By all means talk about the age of the earth; I just love that stuff.

          Matt ditto you. Age of the earth is a great subject, but I guess you have to have a specific question to get an answer, I'm sure Steve would respond to that.

          Plate Tectonics :-
          {Gen 1:9 Then God said, "Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear." And that is what happened.}

          So we originally had all the water in 'one place', be definition this puts the land together in 'another place'. It's all split up now, so something moved.

          I'm rusty on antibiotics, but have read about them & don't think there was any sign of evolution in a positive direction. Correct me if I'm wrong.
          http://www.cross.tv/63080
          :-)
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          Jun 27 2011: Peter, we know that Africa and South America were once connected as one piece of land. We also know with which speed the different plates move and thus from it we can calculate exactly at what time the plates were together based on the number of kilometers that separate them. I once did that calculation and to be fair to my creationist correspondent, I chose the highest estimate speed and the closest points between the two continents. Even with these very optimistic figures, I got an age of a few tens of millions of years, so nowhere close to Creationism's pathetic 6 000. If that's not enough, we know exactly which geological strata corresponds to the time when these two continents were one and we can see that not only do they contain the same kind of fossils (as opposed to when having been separated long enough), the radioactive dating displays an age that agrees with the calculations given for the separation of the two plates. There's a specific term used to describe when multiple fields of science converge on the same answer.

          And what to make of stars? Kudos to Edhuard Guir, your fellow Creationist, who tried to answer this point but failed miserably (at least he tried unlike two people I know). There are stars which we can see that are millions of ligh-years away. Now given that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, how are we able to see them? Surely if the universe is 6 000 years old, we should, at best, only see stars that are maximum 6 000 light years away. Explain how you reconcile your biblical views with the above.

          "You can have evolution OR the bible; but both....?" It looks to me like its more of a choice between science OR the bible given the above.

          Both Jim and I know how you calculate the age of the Earth Pete, men of letters or not. Doesn't stop it from being really stupid. You base your whole appreciation of the age of the Earth on one book? The different jobs come to the same conclusion? Of course! It's one same book!
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          Jun 27 2011: Hi Matt

          First off; the bible is not one book, it is 66 books written by 40-odd authors over 1500yrs or so.. These books are without doubt the most poked & prodded books in all history, & they still come out smelling of roses.

          You are into science, you must know that the speed of light cannot be considered a constant over the longer term.

          http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/02.18/light.html

          Everything else is degrading, there is no reason to assume that light is any different. I don't have the answer, but a much greater light speed at creation is one possibility.
          Another might be the solar system being in an event horizon, where time would crawl while the rest of the universe sorted itself out.
          Why should we expect to understand these things. This is a universe creator at work; like I said before, my goldfish don't know a whole lot about the Stock Market.

          We know the speed of the Plates today. Maybe they are just grinding to a halt. Much of the description of Noah's Flood sounds exactly like catastrophic Tectonic Activity.

          There is much work going on in this field trying to work it out, but just as the BB theorists, we will probably never know; it's a matter of weighing the evidence.

          What's your theory on this.
          http://img.wallpaperstock.net:81/coyote-natural-bridge-wallpapers_4810_1600x1200.jpg
          How did it get there & why hasn't it worn flat ?

          http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/carbondating.html (radiometric dating)

          {I'm rusty on antibiotics, but have read about them & don't think there was any sign of evolution in a positive direction. Correct me if I'm wrong.}
          Does that mean I'm right ?
          :-)
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          Jun 27 2011: Peter, you're not teaching me anything new. Light, like everything can be slowed down by matter, that's obvious. But when we refer to something travelling at the speed of light, we're talking maximum. I can guarantee you will not find anyting about light travelling faster than the accepted speed of light. It's kind of sad that I have to explicitise what I mean by the speed of light.

          As for that link on radiometric dating, short from being an idiotic lie, it doesn't take in account that different methods of radiometric dating have some overlap and when objects are dated in these overlaps, results come out the same.

          When I talk about antibiotics, I'm talking about acqired resitance, not sure exactly what you're talking about with positive direction (not sure you know yourself).

          I won't bother replying to your next message by the way. If you can't even accept any of the findings of the scientific method but instead prefer to put all your trust in one book with 40-odd authors I think this conversation is over. By the way, it only comes out smelling like roses for people like you. I see Jesus' last words changing from one Gospel to another and let's be honest, the animals went in two by two in a huge arch? I'm not even going to go into the details of the fact that all the inbreeding would lead to the death of every single species on board because the story on its own is ludicrous. You seriously believe that? By the way, catastrophic techtonic activity as you call it creates mountains and volcanos, not great floods. There isn't even enough water in the world for a great flood.
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          Jun 27 2011: @Peter

          Your assumption that light is slowing down only makes the creationist view more wrong... That would suggest the Universe is actually older than we (rational people) suspect.

          Light travels slower through a medium other than empty space. Stick a pencil in a glass of water and you can actually see this happen. The pencil appears to be bent because of this.

          The Harvard study you linked says just that; light slows down when moving through a medium other than space.

          **EDIT** My bad, wasn't paying attention haha........ My apologies to Jim, I appreciate your intelligence.
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          Jun 27 2011: @Andrew you mean @Peter. Andrew, don't bother starting a conversation with Peter, don't feed it and all that.
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          Jun 28 2011: Hi Jim

          I think you are getting mixed up between the bible & church leaders. Many men have twisted what the bible says to suit their own ends. The Pope seems to agree with evolution at present, but does that matter ? The bible has been around for a couple of thousand years; it hasn't changed, & many millions have had their lives improved by it. I read it a lot & I have never seen anything about the earth being flat, or the sun going round the earth. Sure, many atheist sites will cite scripture that they claim says that, just as the Pope may find evolution. If you really want you can find just about anything, if you 'interpret' it that way. I just read what it says & take it largely at face value; apparently that makes me a raving fundamentalist.
          We don't interpret other history books, we just read & learn, why should the bible be any different ? You don't hear folks getting all worked up over 'The Rise & Fall of the Roman Empire'......Interesting...

          :-)
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          Jun 29 2011: Peter, here's an interesting question. Why the Bible? Why not the Bhagavad Gītā? Is there any reason why one scripture is more powerful than the other in revealing the truth?
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          Jun 29 2011: Jim/Matt

          I haven't read the Rise & Fall, but if I had I would be tempted to believe it as it was written. I would not feel the necessity to 'interpret' it. I would have no compulsion to prove it wrong or make a mockery of others who had read it.

          When I was seeking I read the main doctrines of all the main religions and came to the conclusion that they were all deviations from the Judeo Christian beliefs. I confess I didn't read all the 'Holy Books', I don't think you need to read the manual to drive a car.

          After 25 years as a Christian I trust the bible totally. It is so intricately woven through the 66 books that it would be totally impossible to fabricate. Christianity has inspired many positive features in our society, & if, at the end of the day, there is no afterlife then where's the harm? The bible itself says that most folks wont accept the truth of it, so even in that it is correct. Millions have accepted it though so that's encouraging.

          :-)
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          Jun 30 2011: The Bhagavad Gītā is certainly not derived from Judeo-christian ideas, only the Abrahamic faiths are (three religions out of many many more). This is without mentioning all the polytheistic Gods that came before Christianity like the Borse Gods or the Egyptian Gods.
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          Jun 30 2011: Hi Matt.

          The very idea of God had to come from somewhere. Most traditions have a flood of some sort. It makes more sense to me that there was a real flood & that the tale gets embellished in the telling. Ditto the God idea. We then get into a discussion about which came first.
          However (for me) the bible makes sense; it seems to be historically, & archeologically accurate. It is spot on in describing the time we are living in. It's reality, & the very fact that there is a great effort to rubbish it speaks volumes.

          :-)
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          Jun 30 2011: That's interesting, I don't see that at all.
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          Jun 30 2011: Let's say there are 100 gods, & 100 flood myths(?).
          Is this likely if there was never a flood, or a god ?

          Why would you forge a dollar bill if there was no such thing as a genuine dollar ?
          I guess we would both answer differently.
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          Jul 1 2011: The same thing can be said about dragons. They come in all sorts of forms through various tales. Let's turn the question around, let's say there were 100 pieces of evidence all relevant in their fields but also convergig towards one unifying concept. Is it likely that these are wrong?
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          Jul 1 2011: I have often wondered about dragons. Can you tell me the difference between a dragon & a dinosaur ? There must be over 100 stories about encounters with dragons down through the ages. Are they all fables ?
          There are undoubtedly over 100 lines of reasoning that would lead to evolution; however they may also lead to creation. Both concepts undoubtedly colour our interpretation, it's just the way we reason.

          :-)
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          Jul 1 2011: They may lead to creation in the mind of an individual who decides to ignore everything that goes against his beliefs which includes the bulk of science. I'm sure you know what the difference between a dinosaur and a dragon is.
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          Jul 1 2011: Flood myths? Well, I don't know, maybe civilizations flourished around rivers or big bodies of water, maybe those flooded sometimes heavily giving inspiration to such myths?

          Dragons? Could it be that people found some fossils and imagined them to be fire-breathing monsters? Could it be that volcanic eruptions were imagined to be huge monsters of fire?

          Maybe people love a good story, maybe we tend to idealize stories, add to them, compose them to teach lessons, recompose them for pure pleasure, recompose them because we forgot something, exaggerate for effect. Maybe tribes sat in circles to hear both traditional stories, and the beginning of new ones based on the adventures of the last hunting expedition. Real things have been inspiration for fantastic stories for as long as humanity has been around. This is true today. Who does not know some amazing story teller in their own family who can adorn the stories with fantastic events, unbelievable characters. Who hasn't noticed that a strong man became so strong in the stories that he could lift huge rocks, later he was capable of moving mountains. This is so part of humanity that the myths of civilizations are among the most important features studied by anthropologists. Myths are a hallmark of humanity, and there is no reason to think that the stories we read and hear today, which we know to be fantasy, are any different from those told and developed long time ago.
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          Jul 2 2011: Hi Guys
          No Matt, no-one has ever told me the difference between a Dragon & a Dinosaur; leaving me with the impression that it may be the same thing.
          There are quite a few examples. Take Bishop Bell, who died in 1496. Round his grave in Carlisle Cathedral England is a brass border with various carvings including what looks like sauropod dinosaurs. Since the word 'dinosaur' wasn't coined until 1841 it seems unlikely that the carvings are associated with actual bones. How then did the artist get his information ?
          http://creation.com/bishop-bells-brass-behemoths
          :-)
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          Jul 3 2011: Sometimes Peter, I seriously wonder if you're just pulling our legs. So you can't differentiate a dinosaur and a dragon, but you know what a sauropod looks like? Interesting. Those carvings do look remarkably like dinosaurs...if you're extremely gullible that is. But yea, I guess I'm wrong and sauropods used to roam the Earth in the 1420s.
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          Jul 3 2011: Boy; it's like pulling teeth, why can't folks answer my questions ?

          WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DRAGON & A DINOSAUR ??

          :-)
      • Jun 25 2011: @Jim:


        Yes, I would agree that DNA is an IPS, and the human brain is an MPS. I would assume then that you would agree that we are intelligent agents, because we have an MPS brain.

        So let's start off with our observations. In all of life, every life form consists of cells, each of which contains the DNA IPS. The only other examples of IPS that we are aware of are the products of our intelligent MPS brain.

        Modern biology has discovered the first instance of an IPS system for which we do not know it's origin. So the question is, how do we account for the arisal of this IPS system? Would it not then be logical to at least hypothesise that the source of the DNA IPS is also an MPS of some sort?

        I am not saying that the MPS "has" to be the source, or that it "proves" that it is the source of the DNA IPS, I am simply saying that our observations support this as a credible option.

        After this point, it is likely our presuppositions will lead us one way or another. If your presupposition is that an intelligent agent was not the origin of life on earth, than you would begin look for a non MPS source. If however your presupposition allows for an intelligent cause, than you would see this as evidence to substantiate your presuppositions.

        So then, at this point it is not our observations that are driving our conclusions, but our presuppositions. At this point in time we do have observable evidence for the intelligent hypothesis. On the other hand we do not have observable evidence of a non-MPS source creating an IPS.

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