aditya dendukuri

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can science be linked with god?

I believe that god made our world.Then there got to be an way that science can be linked with god.With help of science we found out the origin of the universe,so there has to be an way science should find an proof for god..............Stephen Hawkins told that science makes god unnessary then why this life came to existence.......Is our existence reason is god or the mere luck of the explosion in big bang.........even im in vergr of science I believe in god........but I am confused about this matter........please help me out this confusion

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    Feb 10 2012: I guess it is true that we can never escape god....not even in conversation....this is really starting to become flabbergasting being that people are more concerned about the existence and non-existence of a god(knowing that this is a dead end) as opposed to trying to figure out how we can improve things such as hunger, theft, murder, education, health care, politics, governments, compassion, family life, etc.......Its no wonder the world is still a crappy place being that we really do not have our priorities right when it comes to discourse...I very well understand that philosophical debates about the true nature of our being, the true origins of our existence and the true nature of reality, ethics, etc are indeed important and we should discuss these things but we should do so in a way that not only will serve a suitable purpose but we should be honest enough to admit the things that we do not know and talk about the things that we do know, that way we can get even closer to the truth (if there even is one).

    Sam Harris was right, Religion, truth claims and bad ideas really does cause balkanization.....

    anyhow, its back to the sidelines for me
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        Feb 11 2012: Have you heard of Ethics Adriaan? Secular ethics are the foundations of many modern societies including the American constitution (give or take). I am in the camp which believes that at least in a contemporary context (the past is up for debate, as the role of religion was different depending on the millenia we are discussing) does more harm than good. I dont even have to mention names for some seriously ugly by products to spring to mind.

        'Spirituality" (what Richard Dawkins refers to as sexed up atheism lol) is a different matter. I have observed it, still dont really get it, but I acknowledge it exists. It is diametrically opposed to religion in my view. (see bhuddist teachings 101.)
      • Feb 11 2012: Thank you Adrian for your comment. You know, it is by reading these conversations that we are able to better understand other's points of view, and have tolerance of our differences.

        In the end, we can agree to disagree, but still try to understand why we think the way we do.

        I know couples who are married where one is a believer of God and the other isn't.

        Well, guess what? They stick up for each other because each "understands" the other's persperctive. I mean isn't that what conversations are for.........asking questions and trying to understand the other person?

        And, besides, this conversation thread is in the questions, not in the debates.

        It's little wonder that the world is the way it is....and why people get so angry when others express their o-p-i-n-i-o-n......my goodness!
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          Feb 11 2012: I always find your posts so uplifting Mary, and Verbles too. Some of my dearest friends are deeply christian and I am not. Yet we are close, we are united because we are people who strive for a cleaner, fairer happier world, a world that will survive for the generations after 2050 and really that's all that matters to me.
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          Feb 12 2012: Here's a shout-out "amen" to Mary and Joanne . . . And thank you, Joanne, for the wonderful compliment.

          And yes, let's keep striving, and never stop!
      • Feb 12 2012: Our own biology has encoded moral systems. We are here for ourselves, our loved ones, our kids, and our communities. This is the moral system has worked for more millenia than modern religion has been on this planet.

        And as I've stumbled around investigating Christianity, I've found something quite different. It seems that God does want to force us to love him. Why else would the bible so specifically target our self-interest (avoiding hell)?
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        Feb 11 2012: Hi Adriann, first, I should explain that I do not think too highly of indoctrinating religions, and I do not consider bhuddism in its purest form, to be a religion, its more a philosophical path. The bhudda himself made the distinction quite clearly and spoke out strongly against having his words written down and followed dogmatically. Of course a branch of his followers ignored him almost immediately and went away and created a rule book. In that particular case, I find the rule book quite beautiful (unlike the koran or the bible), I just dont think we need it.

        Regarding 'ethics'; I do not think something has to fall under the auspices of 'science' which often annoys the hell out of me, (the 'if we cant measure it according to our narrow parameters it doesnt exist and you are a fool for thinking it does, mentality') ...so if it does not fall under the auspices of 'science' it does not mean that thing does not exist, that it does not have an affect, or that we should not try to understand it. Working with things that cannot be easily defined, is terrifying for some people.

        When you talk about 'love' as the root of mankind, as the beginning and end of all things in the universe, as a kind of forward thrusting life energy (are you squirming in your seat Thomas? Go on launch in, I can take it) then we might have plenty of common ground. Interestingly 'science' begins to explore some of these ideas too, (after sucking the life out of them first.)

        Someone like myself, and perhaps Thomas too, speaks against religion, not to hurt, but really because of the damage it does and has done. I think it removes the individual conscience, the individual connection to life and the planet, 'spirituality' if you like that word. Needing a figurehead, is a big problem for me, and I think to follow one is the antithesis of 'spiritual' experience.

        Thanks for your kind and thoughtful response.
        • Feb 11 2012: Joanne, thank you for the complement....I strive to follow the examples set forth in scripture to the best of my abilities.

          I am humbled by your kind word. Have a pleasant weekend Joanne.

          Be Well. Mary
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          Feb 12 2012: Hi Johanne,

          I'm not following you; why would I be squirming in my seat?

          I agree that working with things that cannot be defined terrifies some people ... and this is not limited to just those of us with a scientific bent but it applies, at least equally, perhaps more so, to those of us who have a religious or spiritual temperament.

          Those of us who embrace religion (either organized or personal) often identify that which "passeth all understanding" and then immediately try to define it; to confine it to the limits of the human mind (or to the limits some imagined super-mind or super-soul. ... which, of course, has been envisioned by an average run-of-the-mill human mind. We are whole, not fragmented.)

          For that which cannot be known through, let's say the faculty of thought, we construct hugely elaborate cosmologies so that we may pretend to know. We create Religion, Astrology, spiritual practices, "afterlives" and so on.

          Which are fine, in their place.

          But remove the stories and the posturing and what is left?

          A breathing human being.

          And very often we seem to be afraid or angry if we do not have our stories, and our secret knowledge, to comfort us. Or if our stories are challenged.
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          Feb 12 2012: I have moved what I posted here to a better location. I don't want to have a "comment deleted" notice to appear in this spot.
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        Feb 12 2012: @ Thomas; something seems to have happened to your reply buttons, might be time to order more pizza and beer!

        Regarding this ; 'I'm not following you; why would I be squirming in my seat? I agree that working with things that cannot be defined terrifies some people ... often identify that which "passeth all understanding" and then immediately try to define it;'

        Well Dawkins would be squirming in his seat, (and I am a huge Dawkins fan) as he thinks that everything we can accept is that which is available to science for emperical measurement, now or in the near future. Do you subscribe to this? I think perhaps you do.

        While I do not 'believe' in anything whether it is runes or religion, and I believe it is my responsiblity as a free thinking individual to resist believing in something out of a fear of death or other insecurity, I think it is equally dogmatic to suggest that we should accept only the knowable and the known.

        What about the unknowable and the unkown? The current methods of understanding the knowable, is culturally specific to us, it requires a set of parameters, a set of thinking skills that we Europeans have developed. Is there a way of understanding beyond us? Please dont leap all over this and screech 'the path to god!' 'the path to god!' anyone, please, please (Bridget) please. I mean it in a greater sense than that. What is indefinable for us, may be definable for other creatures on this planet, or it might have been defineable for us before but not now.

        I am curious about a lot of things and intensely curious about this. It does not make me a 'believer', just someone who is curious.

        See what I mean?
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        Feb 12 2012: Sorry Bridget, I am a huge fan of Richard Dawkins and actually of Thomas Jones too. I think you should listen to Thomas more instead of attacking him. He is not actually attacking YOU personally, and he has every right to attack any idea he chooses. That makes him a free and independant thinker, I admire people like that and think they make all of us a little richer and a little safer too.

        I have read Richard Dawkins for years, long before his debut on the atheist front and I think you discredit yourself with this statement, 'Richard Dawkins is a frustrated old man who could not advance his own field through his own science and became famous not for his science..etc etc'. Firstly the man is brilliant. Secondly, I do not agree with his stance in God Delusion entirely, (almost but not entirely), as his view is also dogmatic in some ways, i.e., he is not prepared to accept the possiblity of anything he cannot 'prove'. I have seen enough weird things over my life to know this is not totally justifiable. I would like him to add, a 'right now' clause.

        Lets keep our minds open Bridget, lets communicate freely, its fun!
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        Feb 12 2012: Adriann,

        You seem a very thoughtful and loving person; I do not think you need the guidance of a somewhat deranged 17th Century Swede who "communed" with imaginary spiritual beings living on all the, then known, planets.

        And this whole "freewill" thing is highly debatable; on many levels, not the least of which is neurological. There is mounting evidence our brain processes information and acts on it before we are cognizant of the data or of the resulting action. Conscious thought follows and offers a post hoc justification for what was accomplished sans "freewill."

        Personally, I am a freewill kind of guy but the evidence against is mounting.

        I agree, if something has value for you, that is justification enough for you to accept it; but that does not mean it has any objective veracity.

        Emanuel Swedenborg was arguably sane (some assert, not unconvincingly, he was not.) He was undoubtedly brilliant, learning Hebrew so as to reinterpret the Bible, amongst other impressive feats.

        My point is, a truly "enlightened" soul (if such a thing exists) would have no need of a revisioned chronicle of an archaic tribal God, in order to convey his or her message. And you, Adriaan, have no need of either the book or the intermediary.

        You do not need to agree with me.

        I do not expect you to.
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    Feb 9 2012: I don't buy into creationism at all as a literal concept. The bible is a collection of metaphors and ‘best guesses’, which, in the absence of science at that time, was all that we had to bring the mysteries of the universe into our consciousness.

    Neither do I buy into the idea that science can reveal all things as empirical and absolute. Truth is a shaky concept and can be disproved by creative doubt just as readily as can be proved by finite certainty.

    What I do buy into is the need for science and religion to form an understanding with each other, not least because both have evolved in the same human mind. They are both encompassed within our psychology for very good reason.

    To quote Pascal: “The achievement of reason in science should be to recognise that there are also an infinity of things that can surpass it”. This perhaps hints that the world is not just a series of immutable facts, but also of ‘felt’ experiences.

    Metaphor (and therefore much of what is revealed in religion) represents what had been ‘felt’ to be true at the time. Science has now moved metaphor into the realms of what it regards as ‘fact’.

    The atheistic view (in its close links to science) says that metaphorical representations in religion are bogus. Maybe true, but at the time they served an important purpose in the understanding of ourselves and of the universe.

    In devaluing religion, one effectively devalues the endemic facility we have of the metaphorical.

    In devaluing science, we “…deny ourselves the facility to make useful models of the world. A model is useful if it allows us to get use out of it” (De Bono)
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      Feb 10 2012: Thank you Allan, for bringing a fresh insight to the debate. While I may not agree with each statement you have made, the overriding theme is that both science and religion serve their place, and each demand a modicum of respect, because neither can satisfy our curiosity wholly. That is, if I'm understanding you appropriately.

      Regardless, thank you for the new thread.
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        Feb 10 2012: QUOTE: "I'll make it short: God doesn't condemn any one to Hell. All he did was provide a way to Heaven. The only thing He asks in return after we find this path is to spend the rest of our lives on earth tryong to help people - feed the hungry, heal the sick, minister to the poor and defend the defenseless, and above all do no harm. That's it. Everything else is dogma."

        Verble, this is as much dogma as any other article of Christian doctrine. And, if you are purporting to be a Christian and to worship a Christian God, you have missed (by far) the central tenet of the Christian faith which is to accept Christ as your saviour. "Good works" have nothing to do with getting into heaven.

        "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

        Good works are as a sign of your faith and transformation in Christ.

        And of course, your position is predicated on many things: that the Bible is accurate; that there is a God; that there is a heaven; that Christians got the instructions right; and so on.

        ---

        QUOTE: "Every single science article that I read and can't understand speaks to me of the divine intricacy of creation."

        I do not think your reverence would be diminished in the least if you understood them.
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          Feb 11 2012: I agrees:Works do not prepare a path to heaven. That is what you have said, not me. The way of peace, of caring, of compassion, of love, is only what He asks for us to do. Thank you for he quote, you have chosen well.

          And no, my reverence would not be diminished if I understood what a neutrino is, or how the Crab Nebula as formed. In fact, the more I learn of science, the more my faith is amplified. It is not very scientific, but it is true.
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        Feb 10 2012: Hi Verble. Yes, that is what I'm suggesting - that religion and science seem to be increasingly dysfunctional in their opposing ideas of what the 'truth' is.

        I am trying to reconcile the two opposites in terms of collective psychology, rather than from an inflexible standpoint of 'belief'. Belief systems seem to be inherently divisive, but need to be understood - not so much from the point of view of the beliefs themselves, but what it is in our psychology/environmental factors and stressors that drive them into dysfunctionality.

        I guess two possible factors couls be the politicizing and 'commodifying' of religion, tranforming it from something that guides collective morality, into something that leaves itself open to (deserving) criticism.
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        Feb 11 2012: Hey Verble,

        I realize it is not what you said I just think you glossed over ("missed") the most important "bit" when you said "after we find this path ..."

        "This path" is the really important part of the message, don't you think?

        ---

        I agree, understanding science does amplify one's appreciation ... whether we are religious or not.
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          Feb 11 2012: Yes, the path is the most important part of any of my messages. You see, i am presenting myself and my life as simply a billboard for the Path, the Truth, the Light. Plenty of scripture gives the name, eh wot?

          But regardless of all our differences in opinion in these discussions, i am truly glad that we both agree on science as a way of understanding, explaining, and appreciating the world. That is one of the reasons i consider us friends, if I may call you friend.
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        Feb 11 2012: QUOTE: "That is one of the reasons i consider us friends, if I may call you friend."

        Hi Verble,

        You may.
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      Feb 10 2012: Hi Allan,

      You seem to have elevated both science and religion to the rank of pure metaphor. They appear to be almost platonic-forms, perfect in their conception.

      Perfect science would provide perfect models that we could use for practical purposes.

      And perfect religion would provide us with perfect metaphors we could use, perhaps, to bring the mysteries of the universe into our consciousness.

      I suppose if those were what religion and science really were it would not be too bad a thing.

      Sadly, it is not so.

      Science for all its failing does strive to provide us with accurate models.

      Religion on the other hand is not content to deal with metaphor as metaphor. No, it deals in metaphor as fact. And as you no doubt know, the destructive force of this practice goes well beyond the hackneyed references to religious persecutions and pogroms. It is insidious: it brings its concentration to bear on the lone individual, often a child, and it crushes creativity, stifles innovation, instills schismatic fears, doubts and judgment. It freezes us in the moment of a "false-known" and impedes, if not blocks, movement towards a "true-unkown." It is, for many (most?) tantamount to intellectual death: "Why think? My religion has all the answers. These metaphors are 'true.'"

      Now, is this "religion's fault?"

      No, not really. We create religions. It's "our fault."

      We can (and we are) examining why we do this, and how. And, of course, we are using science in the endeavor.

      Perhaps science will provide us with some perfect models we can use.

      Perhaps not.
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        Feb 10 2012: Hi Thomas,

        I believe that anything we conceive (as a prelude to tangibility and certainty), has its roots in metaphor and imagination. And this I think is true of both science and religion.

        The difference is that in science, the process of hypothesis > research > the application of experimental evidence > into what we consider as 'fact', means that scientific fact becomes static. It loses its capacity to intuit through metaphor and to think beyond what it has concluded.

        At the conclusion of its own process, science gains certainty but loses the ability to doubt itself. (I believe that doubt, somewhat paradoxically, is a positive virtue):

        Doubt = Freedom to move beyond stasis.

        Certainty = Stasis = A rejection of those who doubt.

        Yes we have created religions - but for good reason at the time of their conception. They fulfilled a need, served a spiritual purpose, and through metaphor, helped us to understand our existence in the universe all those years ago. The trouble is, (and I agree with your analysis) those metaphors have become fact and belief (stasis again).

        I think the stasis of belief is the dysfunction lying at the heart of religion - and dare I say it - in science it is the stasis of certainty.
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          Feb 11 2012: Hi Allan.

          I do not agree with this assessment of science.

          Science, and in particular the scientific method, are based on doubt; doubt the experiment was conducted adequately, that the data was interpreted properly, that all variables were controlled for, and so on.

          Now scientists? That's another story. Some scientists are as prone to dogmatic commitment to an ideology as are the staunchest of creationists.

          Nor do I agree anything we conceive has its roots in metaphor and imagination.

          Perhaps our ability to articulate what we conceive may be so rooted but much of what we conceive has it's roots in (non-cognitive) prior experience, and perceptions.

          As much as I appreciate it, I say, we venerate thought - and its children - too highly.
  • Feb 11 2012: Science explain natural phenomena. the source of natural phenomena is "God".
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      E G

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      Feb 11 2012: Yes , something like that .
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    Feb 6 2012: Hey Aditya,

    Can science be linked with God?

    Why would you need them to be linked?

    Science is what it is. "God" is not a scientifically testable hypothesis. What test shall we conduct to prove God exists or to prove that He/She/It/Ta does not?

    All kinds of folks will tell you God exists.

    Their "proof" ... subjective experience, belief, and often scripture or New Age Spiritualism.

    Some can "prove" God does not exist, that He/She/It/Ta is a product of our human imagination.

    Their "proof" ... subjective experience, belief, and often the fact that there are so many different scriptures and Gods that it is self-evident, God is a human creation.

    Does that help you?

    Not really.

    We have people right here on TED who will tell you God is the Christian God, the Muslim God, or some New Age amalgamation of "all Gods," and so on.

    Do they "know?"

    Probably not. (They might ... but it is highly unlikely.)

    So what are you to do?

    Find your own answers.

    If you want to "know God," seek God. Don't listen to all of us crazy people here on TED. Do not accept stories or explanations (and that is all you will get here.) Go and find out for yourself.

    If you think you need a teacher to help you, find a teacher (you live in India, there are Gurus everywhere.) If your teacher offers you only a story or an explanation, leave. You can get those here.

    Do not stop looking until you have found your answer.

    I know of a man who studied the Vedas for more than 60 years. He too was searching for God. One day, a young boy told him, "I can show you."

    Think of that!

    An old man who had studied scripture his whole life being told by a young boy he could help him find what he was looking for.

    The old man was sincere, and very humble. He said, "Please show me."

    And the boy did.

    ---

    Or so says the Old Man.

    Does that help you?

    Not really.

    You must find your own answers.
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    • Feb 6 2012: "Consider for example, the Bible, which when properly understood in its own language, reveals a great deal of scientific information."

      Let me guess, you consider everything science categorically disproves in the book "The Bible" to be misunderstood, right?

      There are tons of direct passages in that book which not only refute other passages, but are downright dis-proven one thousand times over by the concept the Bronze Age authors couldn't comprehend, evidence.

      But don't take my word for it, you keep on stoning your children to death for being fresh and being happy as you smash them against the rocks, as your "good book" commands.
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          Feb 6 2012: QUOTE: "...the Bible is a Kabbalistic book for the spiritual initiate..."

          No it isn't.

          [See previous conversation.]

          http://www.ted.com/conversations/8874/not_caring_whether_god_exists.html

          ---

          SYNOPSIS

          - Bridget asserts the Bible is Kabbalistic Book for the spiritual initiate.

          Evidence for:
          -There are images and motifs that are evident both in the Bible and the Kabbalah. Bridget asserts, their true meaning may be deciphered by understanding the Kabbalah.

          Evidence Against:
          - There are images in virtually every book that can also be found in the Kabbalah and the Kabbalah can be used to "divine" hidden meanings in them as well (For example, "Moby-Dick.")
          - The "oral law" precedes both the Bible and the Zohar (Kabbalah)
          - The Bible precedes the Zohar (Kabbalah.) Meaning the written Bible precedes the written Kabbalah (by centuries ... twelve or so.)
          - The men who compiled the Bible were not Kabbalists.
          - Kabbalists reject the Bible (not to mention Christ and the apostles.)
          - No Biblical scholar claims the Bible is a Kabbalistic training manual.
          - No Kabbalist claims the Bible is a Kabbalistic training manual.
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    Feb 9 2012: Hi Gabo
    That thread was just getting too long.
    I have every respect for Mr. Darwin, but, with respect, it's a very old book, & many have acknowledged that things have moved on, what with neo-Darwin, Punctuated Equilibrium etc. I feel no compulsion to read the book. Many, many evolutionists have said that Macro Evolution is just Micro Evolution over a longer period; do you disagree with that ?

    Thank you for at least watching a bit of the video, that was game of you. You did seem to get a totally different message than I did. I guess we both hear a bit of what we want to hear. Tell me this though. What possible motive would these " quacks" have for setting themselves up as purveyors of lies, in the face of their scientific peers? I don't send them any money. Their career is compromised, people laugh at them; I don't see the payback. This particular guy seems to spend his whole life digging things up; & then to tell lies about it; it just doesn't make sense.
    There's must be times when there is a swing in scientific opinion. Surely there was a time when the world went from being flat to being round when scientists had to stick their neck out & be vilified. There have been many times in church history where exactly the same thing happened; that's where all the denominations come from. It's just the way Homo Sapiens (?) operates, we're stubborn. We can still be friends.

    :-)
    • Feb 10 2012: Hey Pete,

      Good idea to start a fresh thread.

      If you won't read Darwin, I must insist that you can't say that he observed "microevolution" and then "extrapolated" with "no scientific basis." That would be the respectful, and the self-respectful, thing to do.

      As much as I appreciate how the wording "macroevolution is microevolution over a longer period" would mislead you to think that extrapolation is all there is to it, you are still not justified to say so, let alone say so about Darwin without reading his book. Instead of claiming that it is just extrapolation in either case, wouldn't it make sense to figure out what the basis might be, rather than directly conclude that this is just extrapolation with no scientific basis?

      I watched half the video Pete because I really wanted to get to the end. But I couldn't. I got the very same message that you got. Only I knew that he was lying because I know how things are done in science, I know that geologists don't date rocks and fossils in circles, I know geologists don't put the layers on top of each other to their liking. I don't know if this particular guy was consciously lying, or if he took the lies from somebody else and repeated them confident of his source. After all, why would a believer expect a ministry to lie? This is one of the things that infuriates me about these "ministries." Their abuse of the believer's confidence. Anyway. These ministries live of believers money. No way around. I think there must be more to it. Power over the masses might be another inspiration. Sure this guy was payed for his talk too ... Whatever his/their motivation, the facts remain: I know 100% that those were lies. Whether first or second hand lies, I don't care, they were still lies. I don't think that discovering that the world was a sphere consisted on lying about how other people concluded that it was flat.

      I can be your friend Pete, but I can't be friends with those whose job consists on lying to/about me and my work.

      :-)
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        Feb 10 2012: Hi Gabo.

        Hopefully I don't need to lie about your work. I don't know enough about it to be taken seriously anyway.

        My vid guy has loads of other stuff, he must spend his whole life digging. I guess even you get paid for doing your thing; no shame in that. Certainly I am influenced by these guys, but I would hope that I am not brainwashed by them. They are certainly much better at explaining their stance than the evolution lobby, who expect agreement just because they say so. I love documentaries on geology & stuff. I really want to get an explanation of how the layers were laid down on a long time span & then eroded to form canyons etc. I can find loads of stuff on the flood, but nothing much else. Try googling 'geologic column' on video, & see what I mean . This is probably part of the problem, there are too many questions without a straightforward, common sense answer.

        Thanks for listening.

        :-)
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      Feb 10 2012: QUOTE: "There's must be times when there is a swing in scientific opinion."

      Yes.

      Thomas Kuhn describes this exact process in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (1962.) It is from whence the term "paradigm shift" entered popular parlance.

      It's a short book, you might enjoy reading it. I think I am one of the few who actually has.

      (It is "a classic." And you know the joke about what "a classic" is?

      "A classic is a book everyone knows about but no one has read.")
    • Feb 11 2012: Pete,

      If this guy "spends his life digging" then he is a first source, thus he is a quack no doubt.

      Let me try and explain why you get so much about the flood and so little about real science.

      It is much easier to misquote and produce quackery than it is to produce informative scientifically valid stuff.

      It is much easier to invent a lie than explain how actually geologic columns are studied. For the scientific one you have to explain a heck of a lot, for the lie it is enough to say "they put them on top of each other to make it fit the evolutionist desire." That takes no time. Compare to trying to explain how there's places where we actually see several geological epochs/strata, how different sets of strata overlap with each other, how before going and just put them together you have to find evidence of the ages of the rocks. How it is difficult if we only had sedimentary rocks, thus try and find igneous rocks, how ... you see how many thing have to be explained? Compare that with "they put them together to their liking." Which one takes less effort? This is why I often think that we are fighting a lost battle. Misinformation is produced easily and spreads easily. Correct information takes much more to be put together, guys like you find the real science boring, the real information requires effort to be understood, the misinformation is so damn easy.

      Then, scientists have jobs to do. Science takes a lot of effort. Your quack only has to go and find images/quotes he likes because he can misuse, then claim all kinds of bullshit. We have to produce new knowledge, put together the data, figures, explanations and send for publication, then answer reviewers' concerns. Most of us also have to teach courses and be part of committees in universities. Your quacks just invent lies and propagate them. It's not a fair situation.

      I still try. But, from your example, seems like my explanations never hit home. Yet, I have no option but to keep trying.

      :-(
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        • Feb 11 2012: Thomas,

          He is UK-ish, but you are right about circumstance. That for sure is a reason to get much more about the flood than about science. That must explain most of his biased findings. Example, most of his claims are answered at "talk origins." I even found the misquote to the Britannica exposed there, but I bet Pete would not go there often to see if the quotes were taken out of context. Yet, misinformation is still much easier to produce and understand. Science is still harder to produce, and people have to do some effort to understand it.
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        Feb 11 2012: Really? He's UK-ish?*

        I didn't know that.

        Well, the Brits are not as enthusiastic YECs as the Yanks but they are not far behind. About 39% of them are creationists of one kind or another - "young or old." (Ipsos MORI)

        Yes, you're right, misinformation is much easier to produce. And much harder to stop. (How long have we been living in the "end times?")

        ---

        * Ah, I went to "the source" and he is indeed UK-ish. Tain-ish to be precise.

        My apologies Peter, if I had know I may have been more polite. ;-)
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          Feb 11 2012: Gabo / Thomas

          SCOTLAND guys. You know; 'The Land of the Bible'.

          Damn should have checked Talk Origins. I use it a lot to get balance, but they are just as 'enthusiastic' as we yec's, & make the occasional mistake.
          You yanks are certainly ott on this subject. Dawkins is much more measured when he talks over here, & more strident over there. Scots are a laid back bunch, not much adrenalin.

          :-)
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    Feb 6 2012: I personally believe in god, but i am also a science student and know that there is no place in the rules of science for a god.
    So i thought may be the god exist in a different way of existence.
    To understand my point you must understand that different way of existence.
    Let me explain you using a simple example of light and darkness. There is a very dim light like from a small led, then a bigger light from a bulb, then a tube light, then a big flash light, then light of moon, then sun and then even bigger sun.. The point is you can increase light to infinity and you can also measure the light.

    Now lets study the darkness. I am in room, if i close all doors, windows and all light are off in night. Its all dark,
    Now can i increase the darkness? And the answer is NO. Can i measure the darkness? Again NO. The reason is darkness don't have any existence, light have existence darkness is just the name of non existence of light. So according to science and our study darkness doesn't exists, Really.
    But wait look under your bed, you see darkness? YES. Rules of science are still right and still you can say there is darkness under your bed and darkness still exists even we just proved that there is no darkness.

    The same thing happening in other case.. According to Mr. Steven hawkings theory there is no place for god (still this theory is not widely excepted and proven) but still i say i believe in god.. The god exist in my belief even if science prove it doesn't. For example: Science proved there is no other organ controlling human behavior then mind but still number of songs and poems written on heart is countless.

    As a side note , before 88 years ago no one knows that there are any other galaxy then milky way, now this may sound normal to us.
    As i always say "Science is nature that we understand". May be there is a creator/god and yet we don't get to the level of understanding to explain it as Adriaan Braam said..
    Hope there will be a perfect explanation one day
    amen
    • Feb 7 2012: "I personally believe in god, but i am also a science student and know that there is no place in the rules of science for a god."

      What reason do you believe supernatural beings exist at all?

      "To understand my point you must understand that different way of existence.

      Let me explain you using a simple example of light and darkness. There is a very dim light like from a small led, then a bigger light from a bulb, then a tube light, then a big flash light, then light of moon, then sun and then even bigger sun.. The point is you can increase light to infinity and you can also measure the light.

      Now lets study the darkness. I am in room, if i close all doors, windows and all light are off in night. Its all dark. Now can i increase the darkness? And the answer is NO. Can i measure the darkness? Again NO. The reason is darkness don't have any existence, light have existence darkness is just the name of non existence of light. So according to science and our study darkness doesn't exists, Really."

      Have you approached your professors with this logic? I'm guessing either A: you haven't or B: your professors shouldn't be teaching science. I'll explain why your logic is completely flawed..

      In your light example, you go from total lack of light (which is darkness) to total light. You are correct, you can measure light, which makes it based in science.

      In your darkness example you go from total darkness to .. total darkness. When the true scale is total light to total lack of light (which is darkness). Darkness _can_ be measured by subtracting total light by the measured amount of current light. The result is the "amount of darkness" or, more correctly, the "amount of light".

      I think you are purposefully breaking with logic in order to rationalize your irrational belief in something which has no evidence to believe. Why not simply stop believing until there is actual evidence, just as you currently do for Zues or Ra or unicorns or Santa Claus?
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    Feb 4 2012: The universe came before our world, but you just said that the big bang created the universe and God made the world...

    Whether we are existing because of a "God(s)," random chance, and/or influence from superior intelligence (aliens)... These questions mean nothing because they start at the beginning. Philosophers have always considered death to be a primary focus. To be concerned with dying is to create a fruitful life and appreciate more... Mayan's considered skulls to symbolize life not death.

    Who cares who/what started us? If we are not following the sacred teachings and not becoming morally sound people - hell will be on earth - yet I feel it already is because people worry about things like this instead of worrying about to make the world a better heaven for all.

    When science does finally link us to God, it will be through our brains... We have the nature of optimism that gets us through hard times in history - If you NEED a God to satisfy your need to "know" you will always find God, but not as God actually exist. How s/he actually exist (considering you mean an omni-being) does NOT MATTER - and has been an excuse for mass killings through out history over that simple argument that means nothing if you do not concern yourself with it. I recommend moving onto other disputes of reality such mind/body, soul, death, etc.

    How we PRECISELY began will not be known anytime through science for a long time - we still are figuring out things about our bodies today -> Second brain.
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    Feb 3 2012: Hi Aditya,

    If religion makes you a better man, stick to it.
    If science makes you a better man, stick to it.

    Science and/with/ ...+... religion is an endless debate between those who believe in God and those who do not. I'm afraid your confusion, or rather your thirst for answers concerning this debate, will remain.

    That said, it seems science makes progresses by proving theories wrong or right with empirical data. And so far, human beings haven't been to prove believers and non believers right or wrong with an empirical mindset. So it all comes down to belief, and whether one needs to prove it or not.
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      Feb 4 2012: Mr Avenir
      I really thihk you have got the point........Its useless to think about the things unnesseary.........but human race evolved to know what is going around...........so you said half an million dollars were spent to find the length of an squirells memory.........so even if they did find the truth imagine the glory they will get...........
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    Feb 3 2012: Can science be linked with god?
    No.
    The idea of god (in the classical abrahamic sense, atleast) is an infinitely conforming tautology that permanently resides in human ignorance.
    Actions/behavior/characteristics of the so called being adapt with every new scientific finding so that an excuse can always be made to claim it exists.
    eg/ God lives above mount Olympus > then god lives in the sky > then god lives in space > then god lives far away in space > now god lives outside the universe;
    and if its proven that god was not responsible for the creation of the universe --Believers will simply claim that the universe exists inside something else and god lives outside of that.
    Essentially an unfalsifiable hypothesis, something generally disregarded in science.

    In conclusion: You can't cross reference scientific truth with consistently untruthful ideas.
    sorry.
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    Feb 13 2012: Dont be confused dear. See the nature amongst you and question yourself ? Can such a magnificent or marvelous universe with exact mathematical calculations exist or be created by itself. As everything has a cause for example for birth it was cohabitation etc. In fact look at the question in this way, take for example "the law of gravitation" science simply observed it & newton give the actions in the law a name. While God created this. Its simple
  • Feb 12 2012: Well the thing is that science requires something to be falsifiable to be tested. Religion is by definition not falsifiable. There is absolutely no event that would show that a religion is false. Science has no way of judging religion, except when religion dabbles with science. see: "God of the gaps" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps

    Good luck on your journey of self-discovery!
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      Feb 12 2012: Bridget,

      You seem to have a slight persecution complex. You claim to do one thing and then "screech" somewhat hysterically when someone does the same thing ... ("follow the dictates of [their] heart, which tells [them] to do the right thing.")

      This light that you speak of would be less diminished, and burn brighter, if you refrained from your adolescent name-calling and defensiveness. (" ... I don't get thumbed up (ooh, ouch!)")

      Your stance - demonstrated by your behaviour - seems to be that anyone who holds a position contrary, or even orthogonally opposed to yours is somehow cognitively, morally, or "spiritually" deficient.

      In your guise as Kathy, you referred to Stephen Hawking as an imbecile (or some such thing) because his position on God differs from yours - you are an expert on God, doctrine and all things spiritual, while Hawking only knows about physics. "Richard Dawkins is a frustrated old man who could not advance his own field...," with the stature of Miss Piggy (and everything.)

      You seem to believe your position as a "spiritual initiate" elevates you above us mere mortals and affords your insights a fidelity unavailable to those of us fumbling around in the mundane reality of our barren little worlds of science, facts, and personal life experience: Santa becomes real; the Bible becomes a Kabbalistic training manual; energy passes through astrological houses (in spirals! ... or should that be helixes? ... we do live in four-dimentional spacetime after all.) And all of it is real. More real than poor Dr Hawking's scribblings on physics. More real that Dawkin's opinions on those things over which your spiritual acuity gives you special insight. More real, even, than anyone who does not share your elevated gift for metaphor and capacity for noticing "correspondences."

      Who can argue with correspondences once Bridget/Kathy has confirmed they corroborate a deeper spiritual truth she knows supersedes more "common" and "mundane" knowledge?

      I can.
    • Feb 13 2012: @Bridget Treton:
      Sorry about replying to you here instead of where you addressed me -- no free slots there.

      "... lots of published papers" Take it from an insider: THIS is how science moves forward. As for all the books he has written, they have definitely inspired many to get into science, but such works are not usually counted as direct contribution to science. Research papers are generally the only way science is advanced. THIS is where a person tells the scientific world something it has not known before. Papers that are good are "cited" often. Papers that are bad are cited a few times in criticism, and forgotten soon after. Dawkins' papers are good. (We can go into details of citations if you like.) The Nobel prize for the sciences is sometimes a good indicator but not always. For what it's worth, I assure you, he is not reckless as a scientist. He is very well regarded in his field. (As is Stephen Hawking, in /his/ field.) But remember, there are no gods in science. They both have been wrong their fair share of times. Hawking lost a bet to Susskind -- it was about an aspect of physical laws. Dawkins 'lost' to Zahavi -- it was about an aspect of evolutionary mechanisms. No one is omniscient.

      "What are his degrees in Theology or Comparative Religion?" Have you read The God Delusion? He goes over the arguments rationally. Did you come across sections of poor reasoning? What qualifications would you accept for talking about religion? By the same token, does Christ qualify? How about all the popes we have had? Only once have I seen Dawkins make the comment "god does not exist"... but otherwise he is always careful to add the word "probably".

      I am not a fan of Dawkins' hard stand against religion. I prefer to stick to things that matter.
      But Dawkins sometimes gets that right, and is still criticized for it by some other atheists: http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/644905-freedom-of-speech-for-street-preachers
      Does that answer "Has he redacted it since?"
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          Feb 13 2012: Yes Bridget, it is easy to check facts.

          QUOTE: "..the facts are easy enough to verify, (such as with the origin of the Kabbala v. Bible) but not as easy as simply saying 'you're wrong.'"

          And while you seem to be having another meltdown, you have yet to provide one credible fact that support your claims, for example, that the Bible is a Kabbalistic training manual.

          As interesting as they are, your "correspondences" do not qualify as objective proof.

          Yes, you see correspondences, fine. But that does not alter the fact that the Bible was written hundreds of years before the Kabbalah; that no Biblical or Kabbalistic authority substantiates your claims; that, in fact, these authorities deny them.

          These are facts. Facts you simply ignore or counter with even more "correspondences."

          Bridget, I am sorry for your suffering - but it has nothing to do with me - and I am not going to ignore your posts just because you are emotionally fragile.

          If you post unsubstantiated claims with the authority of a "spiritual initiate" - such as your claim the Bible is a Kabbalistic training manual for the spiritual initiate - or that Santa and Saturn are one and the same - I am going to respond.

          If you don't want me to comment on what you write, stop making such wild and extraordinary claims ... unless you are willing to back them up with proof.

          And, if you would like to make this "easier" if you do make such claims, and if I do comment on them, stop making it so personal. Simply provide an answer. For example:

          - You could provide objective evidence the Bible is a Kabbalistic training manual (and by that I do not mean, your emphatic claim it is so, followed by more examples of "correspondences.")

          - You could provide a link to any credible Christian authority that supports your claim.

          - You could provide a link to any credible Jewish authority that supports your claim?

          - You could provide a link to any credible Kabbalistic authority that supports your claim?

          And so on.
  • Feb 12 2012: Pete (Peter Law),

    You are right, it takes a PhD to find the comments here. I use the find function in my browser, but even then I get lost. So now I have to ask my friends in the computational sciences to find our comments. :)

    Anyway, dino to avian lung. The answer is this: which dinos to which birds?

    The real answer should be "I don't know." However, I desisted because I suspect you have been mislead by your quacks that you can take any dino and any bird, and you should be able to trace the evolution from the former to the latter if evolution is true. That should be true if birds evolved from any dino, but, alas, that's not how evolution works. Dinos comprehend a lot of different families, and not every dino family went into birds. Perhaps a proper examination of the evolutionary history of the family that gave rise to birds would give you the answer you are looking for. I also suspect that you have been misinformed about lung function.

    However, here another note. Creationists will find details whose evolution nobody has studied yet. I don't see how that means that the scientific community thinks that evolution involves half-formed organisms. So far you failed to show that we would expect such a thing, and whatever other questions you might ask, that still does not mean that any scientist has proposed half brains, or half lungs. Creationists draw that cartoon as a straw-man. Easy to ridicule, right? But, in my view, that ridicules the creationists much more, because if creationists can believe that such are the proposals of the scientific community, something must be truly wrong with creationists.

    You mention lucy and archaeopteryx as examples of glorified fossils because of incompleteness. I answer that nobody claimed them to be incomplete, you just ask another question. Does that make sense? Did you at least learn that evolution does not propose incomplete organisms?

    :-(

    P.S. Hum, first hit:
    http://www.evolutionpages.com/bird_lung.htm
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      Feb 12 2012: Hi Gabo,

      Wish I had access to computational science department.

      I agree the most honest answer is "I don't know." Nobody knows everything, but many tend to give an assured answer with their fingers crossed, and that leads to confusion. We don't do that, do we? Lol

      I don't believe there are any creatures that are incomplete, Lucy or otherwise. There are gaps between creatures & those which they are said to have evolved from. When an interim creature is found it has facets of both the features it 'links', but is ALWAYS a complete creature in every respect. This leaves old cynics like me the opportunity to classify it as an autonomous creature with no connection with the others, or a 'micro' derivation of one of the others.
      The beauty of the lung question is that it showcases a typical problem for evolution; how does a body part ( of any kind) change from one design ( sorry ) to another while at the same time :- 1) Not leaving any trace of the transformation, 2) Not killing the creature, 3) Conferring a continuous evolutionary advantage to drive further development. All this without a design outcome in mind. In the dino's case the lungs have to change in conjunction with the skeleton, which is much more involved in the avian lung. The rear legs have to reduce greatly, while the minuscule 'arms' have to grow into powerful wings. Plus the scale to feathers transformation, & goodness knows what all detailing. Male & female have to change together & remain compatible. All this while finding suitable food, not getting eaten oneself, & leaving no trace for us to find.
      This is true for all transformations. Do you agree, or am I missing something ?

      No quacks were invoked in this post. There is plenty of quackless info on avian lungs available. It' s just me & my penchant for awkward questions.
      I'm off to see if I understand your link. Btw, the video link didn't work; I assume because I wasn't a member.

      :-)
      • Feb 12 2012: Peter, Gabo, I'm sorry I'm butting in here... maybe I shouldn't... I haven't read all that you guys have spoken about. Maybe I should... just a little bit :-)
        It's about Peter's comment "I don't believe there are any creatures that are incomplete, Lucy or otherwise."
        I don't know in what context you use the word creatures here, but if you are talking about individuals, there are MANY that are incomplete... these are usually either not born or if they are, do not live long enough to reproduce. There are gazillions of mistakes made in the process of creating children. Extremely few of those potential children survive. Even in humans, miscarriages are awfully common.

        There is beauty if you look at just the survivors. If you look at the non-survivors, there is still a lot of beauty, but not as much.
        Check out this article that deals with just one aspect of it: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/10/17/the-two-genome-waltz-how-the-threat-of-mismatched-partners-shapes-complex-life/

        This article talks of just one of the innumerable aspects of propagation. Mistakes happen at every level... and many of those mistakes leave behind non-survivors as food for other organisms.

        "Not leaving any trace of the transformation" There are plenty of traces of transformation. You can look at how a human embryo develops... it goes through stages that are strictly unnecessary for a human being. In our evolution, getting rid of these stages provided no advantage for survival, so it remained. Want a more commonly seen example? How about our appendix? Does nothing useful for us... it is just a shriveled up organ that our primate forefathers used for digesting cellulose. In us, it is just a silly old organ that sometimes gives us appendicitis, and at other times, cancer. Why do we still have it then? Well, these disorders happen so rarely that most humans that have this organ survive long enough to have kids and raise them.
        • Feb 13 2012: Thanks John. I am betting on what Pete might answer ...
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          Feb 13 2012: Hi John.

          Gabo knows me well enough to write this for me. He'll probably win his bet.
          I remember a guy saying that in Darwin's day there were around 180 vestiges in the human body. There used to be a lot at least. Today I would say there are approximately zero.

          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090730-spleen-vestigial-organs.html

          Only know two things about embryos. 1) Folks get confused by Haekel's fake drawings which graced our textbooks for a century after the forgery was exposed. 2) I watched a talk through of the whole process & don't recall any 'extra' stages. Feel free to elaborate if you can in layman's (me) language.

          I agree incomplete creatures do not survive; that is my whole point.

          Gabo: the link in the long thread didn't run, I think I have to register or something.
          I read the link above which shows how some dino's may have had avian lungs. I notice that in all the tv documentaries the dino's all have feathers as well. All this stretches my credulity, but I can accept it if you like. It still doesn't address my point. My English must be wanting, either you don't understand, or your ducking.
          There has never existed an animal with half a lung / brain, or whatever. I never claimed anyone said there ever had. But how do we get from no eye /. Brain /. Lung, whatever to a fully functional whatever without an intermediate stage which would severely disable the owner. Stick with lungs. At some time a mammalian lung had to transform to an avian, or maybe the other way round. Maybe not in dino's ,but it had to happen sometime. The mammalian is powered by a diaphragm, the avian isn't. So many things have to change to make the transition, the odds on 'evolution' hitting on the necessary combination without wiping out the creature are monumental. I think the only difference we have is that you believe it can happen & I don't. We're a lost cause, the two of us.

          :-)
      • Feb 13 2012: Pete,

        I could answer, and quite well, but did you read the link? Did you also follow that other link I left you in the longest thread?

        There are quacks involved in your answer because you took the idea about lungs being "very different" from them quacks. The bird's lungs have these structures we don't, and the air flows differently. Yet, there is no doubt that the bird's lung comes from a lung more like the most common lungs among vertebrates. Read the link. It starts with describing dinosaur lungs very similar to avian ones, but that's not all. Check that some reptiles have some structures like those in birds, but not enough to make the air flow as it does in birds. There is also a note by the end about the answer to some creationist web site that you might find illuminating.

        And again, and again, I still don't see your answer about how any of what you say means that scientists have proposed evolution as half-brains and half-lungs, or incomplete organisms.

        Best!
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    Feb 12 2012: @Peter Law

    Evolution does not claim that god did not create the universe. Evolution is the process where living creatures adapt to their surroundings. Could you please point at which evolutionary theory refers to god, or compares itself to gods ability to create the universe and offer itself as proof against god?

    I can answer this question for you. You will not find a single credible reference, because evolution at no point refers even to the creation of the universe or the big bang theory. It is an explanation of how the universe operates, and not how it was created. Even the Vatican has come out to state that the two do not contradict each other.

    The problem stems from two main sources. One is anti evolution propaganda from sources such as yourself. The other is a lack of understanding of the bible, and taking portions of it literally, rather then as metaphorical teachings. If you choose to view the bible as literal, then you must choose to view it in it's entirely as literal. To pick and choose portions to suit your own agenda is outright insulting. Who are you, to make the choices on behalf of god?

    Furthermore, how is the statement "god created evolution", a statement which disproves god? You say that evolution is contradictory to god. Does that mean that god is incapable of creating the laws which guide evolution? Again, that is outright insulting. Who are you to say that god is incapable of doing such a thing.

    To answer Aditya's question: It is quite easy to link science and religion if you choose to take it from a religious perspective.
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    Feb 12 2012: The answer depends on which perspective you choose to look at the problem from. Religion can easily link science to itself, as people will see what they want to see. If they want to see god in science, then they will see it. Now if you take the perspective of linking the two together from the science side, then you'll need to first find indisputable proof of the existence of god. This of course is a problem, because indisputable proof of god defeats any purpose for god's existence.

    So the answer is that if you want to link religion and science, in order to be both scientific and religious... Then yes, you can do that quite easily. On the other hand, if you want to link the two in order to promote your religion to other scientists... Then you'll run into problems as they can't be linked when taken from a scientific perspective.
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    Feb 11 2012: Science does prove GOD, but the question that i like to ask is why do we need to prove the existence of GOD, can't we believe in the revelations sent through his books " bible, koran, torah, geeta etc... and use our rational thinking to assess them and his creation. As gone are the days of ignorance this is the new age full of information.

    Ive learn t some great perspectives on your topic below: from th debate going on at TED, Maybe you should check it out to clear your confusion:

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/9147/whatever_has_a_beginning_to_it.html

    I hope this helps, from a tedster to another tedster. Ted is a great way learn & share ideas by the way. :)
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    Feb 10 2012: Hi Aditya :

    It's easy to think that if God made our world then there got to be a way that science can be linked with God but is it correct to think in this way ?

    I mean , look, we have only five senses : sight, hearing , touch , smell and taste; only with their help we can know the universe (resulting the science).
    Can we know God by this five senses? I don't think so .

    Maybe there is a way to link God of His creation but it's very unlikely for us to do that with the senses we have (in other words the science can't tell us too much about God).

    However there is a way out of here : we have six senses , just that the sixth is not used too much . The sixth can help us know God , prove Him.
    The sixth is the faith .
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    Feb 10 2012: To answer your question one must first define "God". I'm going to propose a little thought experiment: What if God was not a single entity? What if God was a huge mosaic formed from all human conciousness? Humans, throughout their existance have always felt the primary need to associate in groups, to be a part of something bigger than themselves. What if humans also need to feel there is something bigger than themselves in a spiritual way so they can feel more secure about what surrounds them phisically?

    What if "God" is the natural response humans have come up with to answer that need?

    To many it's very frightening (if I can say so) that we are just the result of 14 billion years of RANDOM events. For them it's unimaginable the fact that there is no higher force governing the universe.

    What if our minds are "set" to admit the existance of such a higher force, be it God or a universal mathematical equation?

    Science and "God" can be linked together by being different answers to the same questions, in my humble opinion.
  • Feb 9 2012: Yes.
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    Feb 9 2012: If there is a God, I dont really like him
    • Feb 9 2012: Why?
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        Feb 9 2012: Because by definition he cannot be the same god described in the koran or the bible or whatever other doctrine/text. Is judgement and punishment a characteristic of benevolence? Is praising God (to ensure entry to heaven) not a selfish act and thus undermining the intentions of the faith in the first place? By using the threat of "hell", does God not undermine his own Omnibenevolence? essentially God is saying, "praise me... or else". Ummm, no mate, thats not what/who "God" (by definition) is. 90% maybe more of the wars in the history of the world would not have happened if it were not for religion. When are people going to realise that if there is a God then Jews, Muslims, Christians...... you are all praising the same entity, and you have the same concept and understanding of what this "being" represents. Even the definition of such a being is the same across religions. Why then are you fighting each other for "who worships the 'Right' God"? For you to accept that a Christian God exists is to accept that Allah exists too. You cannot say that because they chose a different "name" for him that they are not praising the same intangible being. So therefore war between religions is as false a pretence as the notion of a supreme being in the first place. The destruction, punishment, injustice and selfish nature of religion/God leads me to not particularly like it/him.

        Little example: A man runs down the street blabbering in an incomprehensible language, flailing his arms and screaming at the skies.... later he is questioned and says "well i was communicating with the Lord".... have a really nice afternoon, praise be to Jesus.

        Another man does the same, except when questioned he says, "well i was swept up by an intense emotion that i was unable to contain, and there was this voice in my head revealing all the hidden truths of this world. I was so impassioned that i had to run and scream and flail around (foaming at the mouth perhaps).... 20 years in a mental institute
        • Feb 9 2012: I agree!
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          Feb 10 2012: You are right. Hell is used as a tool of intimidation, and misused. Not to gt too far off topic, but let me jst say that what you have written is best evidence that whatever Christianity you have been exposed to in the formation of this idea was peobabaly a misundstanding of a misrepresentation.

          I'll make it short: God doesn't condemn any one to Hell. All he did was provide a way to Heaven. The only thing He asks in return after we find this path is to spend the rest of our lives on earth tryong to help people - feed the hungry, heal the sick, minister to the poor and defend the defenseless, and above all do no harm. That's it. Everything else is dogma.

          My apologies for being off topic, but I just read some sadness in your post. ( and if I'm out of line, please accept my humble apologies)

          And by the way, I assure you I have never run babbling in tongues down the street!
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        Feb 9 2012: Teaching your kids, go to church or go to hell is the kind of fear-mongering technique that is used internationally by the USA. Arriving at a relationship with God through personal choice and love.... not fear, repression and insecurity!
        • Feb 9 2012: what if hell didn't exist?

          what if the word was translated wrongly?

          what if....?
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          Feb 10 2012: Yes, arriving at a relationship with God through personal choice! That is exactly it. God brings us to Him in different ways, some can be saved throgh music, some yes can indeed be saved by a fear of Hell (even though I intensely disagree with that method of proselytizing): even through others have found this ridiculous, I came to a personal relationship with God theough both acience and literature.

          Every single science article that I read and can't understand speaks to me of the divine intricacy of creation. And frankly, CS Lewis' Mere Christianity brought me back into deeper understanding of true Christianity. Once I realized I could follow Christ and not have to speak like a hypocritical closed-minded zealot, then peace like a river flowed through my veins.

          Sappily poetic, yes, but if I'm going to be a starry eyed geek dreamer, might as well be for the Creator.

          Regardless, I say this as my testimony that science CAN be linked to God, no matter what a bunch of fuddy-duddies might have you believe!
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          Feb 10 2012: And yes, I think we should have a rousing debate on the possibility of the non-existence of Hell. Do you think we should start a fresh new topic?
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    Feb 8 2012: Avenir seems to have been expunged from TED ... I did give him a heads up about the profanity ... a lively fellow he was ... Ah, what are you gonna do?
  • Feb 8 2012: Hello Aditya,

    You're kinda mixing up 2 things here.

    Science is explaining the universe as detailed as possible mainly through the means of physics and math. This includes ofcourse the creation of the universe of which we are very unsure about.

    Religion explains the world by saying 'Well god made it".
    So you could say that if you have enough faith in whatever religion you are a member of that: "God made the it, science tries to understand and describe it".
    But even if we know how the universe came to be... we probably will never find out why that happened. At max we can find out the circumstances that were there at the time and reason our way how that came to be... but people even then could argue 'that god made it so in 6 days'.

    One of the very basic principles of faith is that you cannot be sure. And in disregard to not being sure you believe it anyway.

    Fact is however we don't know, and we might never know.

    We can even go and question the universe even more, to really mess up your mind.
    You can ask yourself: "When I measure something, do I really measure it or is something putting a number on what I believe is a display?". Other famous questions include: "Are these other people real or does 'my mind' make them up?" Or the old: "Am I really here or does something just feed me experiences from somewhere?"

    These are questions to which we cannot ever find any answer (although one might reason that the question is flawed in some way). So it's just up to you to decide what you think is correct.
  • Feb 7 2012: Just because you believe in evolution doesn't mean you can't be a Christian. Some Christians are under the impression that if you're a Christian, you can't believe in evolution.

    The truth is, there are many Christians who believe in evolution. Now some people who believe in evolution would laugh and say, simply, "Impossible." Yet some Christians consider the creation story in Genesis something you cannot take literally. Read the Language of God, a brilliant book by a Christian who used to be an atheist, but was converted - but he still believes in evolution. And he is a scientists and a physicist. A very brilliant person.

    You can believe in the creation story and believe in evolution. Look things up on Christians who believe in evolution. Once again, do look up the Language of God. It is a very enlightening book.

    Christians need not be afraid of advancing science. Science and the Bible CAN work together. They always have, and they always will. God is the greatest scientist out there, after all, which makes science for the Christian so very fascinating. The world is a glorious place. It is magnificent. The fact that God could have used evolution to create the world is a legit point to be considered. Choose where you stand on the matter.

    As for me, even with this option, I still do not believe God used evolution for the creation of the world. Or that evolution even happened.
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    Feb 7 2012: Can science be linked to gods? There are a few ways to look at this.

    My view is that science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology, astronomy, history etc and rationale thinking can explain the phenomena of a belief in gods. All these point towards humans inventing the concept of god, spreading and evolving like language through conquests, immigration and information.

    Science has shown where ever we figure something out reasonably fully no gods are necessary.

    Science can help explain the psychology and brain workings that result in so called religious experiences, meditative states etc. Science can explain our tendency towards seeing the universe through an anthropomorphic lens. Even gods are often characterised in human form.

    Science continues to fill the gaps addressed by religion and debunk all sorts of conflicting dogma and scriptural change.

    A scientific view could also be used to help maximise positive human experience through assessing values and morals instead of being stuck with polygamy, sexism, tribalism, hate, dietry restrictions, child beating and abuse, circumcision etc etc.

    The main linkage for me is that Science in the broader sense explains why religions and belief in gods exist and goes about disproving or challenging many of the specifics in religion.

    Other ways include saying science explains gods creation. Others try to meld our increasing scientific understanding of the universe with the mythology of earlier times.

    Can Science describe, explain, or prove, or understand god as a metaphysical entity.
    In a sense any study of the metaphysical, by accepting the non material, spirit realms is at best pseudo science.
    Science is about evidence, the physical, the measurable etc.
    I except at the limits it gets hard for us to grasp the quantum and cosmic. There are still gaps and sadly our primate brains often still cling to supernatural beliefs for all sorts of reasons.

    Science runs best divorced from any god belief systems.
  • Comment deleted

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      Feb 7 2012: "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."
      - Anais Nin

      And how exactly do you see me Bridget?
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    Feb 6 2012: ok
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    Feb 6 2012: I personally believe in god, but i am also a science student and know that there is no place in the rules of science for a god.
    So i thought may be the god exist in a different way of existence.
    To understand my point you must understand that different way of existence.
    Let me explain you using a simple example of light and darkness. There is a very dim light like from a small led, then a bigger light from a bulb, then a tube light, then a big flash light, then light of moon, then sun and then even bigger sun.. The point is you can increase light to infinity and you can also measure the light.

    Now lets study the darkness. I am in room, if i close all doors, windows and all light are off in night. Its all dark,
    Now can i increase the darkness? And the answer is NO. Can i measure the darkness? Again NO. The reason is darkness don't have any existence, light have existence darkness is just the name of non existence of light. So according to science and our study darkness doesn't exists, Really.
    But wait look under your bed, you see darkness? YES. Rules of science are still right and still you can say there is darkness under your bed and darkness still exists even we just proved that there is no darkness.

    The same thing happening in other case.. According to Mr. Steven hawkings theory there is no place for god (still this theory is not widely excepted and proven) but still i say i believe in god.. The god exist in my belief even if science prove it doesn't. For example: Science proved there is no other organ controlling human behavior then mind but still number of songs and poems written on heart is countless.

    As a side note , before 88 years ago no one knows that there are any other galaxy then milky way, now this may sound normal to us.
    As i always say "Science is nature that we understand". May be there is a creator/god and yet we don't get to the level of understanding to explain it as Adriaan Braam said..
    Hope there will be a perfect explanation one day
    amen
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    Feb 6 2012: I personally believe in god, but i am also a science student and know that there is no place in the rules of science for a god.
    So i thought may be the god exist in a different way of existence.
    To understand my point you must understand that different way of existence.
    Let me explain you using a simple example of light and darkness. There is a very dim light like from a small led, then a bigger light from a bulb, then a tube light, then a big flash light, then light of moon, then sun and then even bigger sun.. The point is you can increase light to infinity and you can also measure the light.

    Now lets study the darkness. I am in room, if i close all doors, windows and all light are off in night. Its all dark,
    Now can i increase the darkness? And the answer is NO. Can i measure the darkness? Again NO. The reason is darkness don't have any existence, light have existence darkness is just the name of non existence of light. So according to science and our study darkness doesn't exists, Really.
    But wait look under your bed, you see darkness? YES. Rules of science are still right and still you can say there is darkness under your bed and darkness still exists even we just proved that there is no darkness.

    The same thing happening in other case.. According to Mr. Steven hawkings theory there is no place for god (still this theory is not widely excepted and proven) but still i say i believe in god.. The god exist in my belief even if science prove it doesn't. For example: Science proved there is no other organ controlling human behavior then mind but still number of songs and poems written on heart is countless.

    As a side note , before 88 years ago no one knows that there are any other galaxy then milky way, now this may sound normal to us.
    As i always say "Science is nature that we understand". May be there is a creator/god and yet we don't get to the level of understanding to explain it as Adriaan Braam said..
    Hope there will be a perfect explanation one day
    amen
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    Feb 6 2012: As an Agnostic that leans toward "yes"...who is God's God? I think Humanity may never know, because Infinity is infinite.
    We may see acts of higher power, but with all due respect, appreciation and humility for those higher powers; there are powers even greater.

    Science will continue to find evidence, religion will continue to find evidence, but even if there is proof, is it final?
    • Feb 6 2012: "religion will continue to find evidence"

      If religion had any evidence at all, it would be science. It has zero. Just as there is zero evidence in Zeus, Ra, Santa Claus and unicorns, but for some reason you choose to require evidence in order to believe in these things, but make some special exemption for one story out of all of them. Given there are thousands of supernatural claims throughout history and you only believe one of them, you are 99.99% atheist, yet still irrationally exempt that .001% from the same criteria you expect of all the rest.

      "but even if there is proof, is it final?"

      It cannot be final unless we know absolutely everything, which is as remote as there being a supernatural entity and unicorns. Science is entirely based in theories for this very reason. We can have mountains of evidence and it is still possible to be off the mark. This is where prediction comes into play. If our scientific theories can accurately predict everything we use them for, they are considered "proven" until either A: a prediction is wrong or B: evidence to the contrary comes to light.

      This is why when people say "evolution is just a theory" they are laughed at, as even if anyone found any evidence at all which disproves the theory, the theory would not simply vanish, but be revised to account for the new evidence, as it has for centuries. This is why scientific theories are more than "just theories", as the more confirming evidence you have, the less "off the mark" you can possibly be.
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        Feb 7 2012: Hi Edward.
        ""If religion had any evidence at all, it would be science. It has zero. ""

        Job 36:27-29 (NIV)
        [27] “He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams ; [28] the clouds pour down their moistureand abundant showers fall on mankind. [29] Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,

        The bible is full of evidence. Job is thought to be the oldest book & yet here is the hydrologic cycle; officially discovered in the 16 th century.

        The bible has always declared that the universe had a beginning & an end, & that it would run down in the meantime. Science up until recently declared it eternal. Some still do with the oscillating theory.

        The bible may be wrong, but it certainly doesn't lack evidence. No mention of Santa, & Faires; sorry.

        :-)
  • Feb 4 2012: Though I myself am agnostic, a great example of a theist scientist is Eisenstein. A great counterexample is Stephen Hawking. I know this wont help much at all, because I was in your exact position, but what I did was gave up. I "believe" in science, but if someone can give me some pretty dang good proof that any religion is correct, I will follow that religion. You may want to look into physical and metaphysical cosmology; there are many theories about what was "before" the big bang, but in most religions, the earth was just made. This, of course, could easily be adapted to suit the facts we already know. Some people think that the universe cycles, some think that 12th dimensional membranes collide and make a universe, still there are many other theories.
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    Feb 4 2012: Hi Aditya.
    There is one way to link god & science. The bible claims that god made the universe, the theory of evolution would have you believe otherwise. Why not google 'Creation Evolution Debate' on video. Watch a dozen or so,& see what you think.

    :-)
    • Feb 6 2012: "The bible claims that god made the universe, the theory of evolution would have you believe otherwise"

      So, a book written by Bronze Age, mostly illiterate, pre-science people who thought bloodletting was a valid remedy for.. anything, asserts, with zero evidence whatsoever, this supernatural entity which lives outside space and time, neither of which they understood, created the universe, of which they had no concept of by *poof!* magic. ..and you consider this a credible argument?

      The theory of evolution makes no attempt to describe the origin of the universe. it explains how life evolved, and continues to do so, after it had begun. Why are religious people so purposefully ignorant of science? Are you so afraid to learn you've been dead wrong all of these years, you dare not take the time to even understand what you are claiming?

      I've never come across a group more bent on redefining words, misapplying theories, ignoring evidence and shifting the burden of proof as those who believe in the supernatural.
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        Feb 7 2012: Hi Edward,
        You obviously are not a bible buff, so we'll leave that to one side.

        Anytime I have read, or watched a program, about evolution, it has started with the Big Bang & asserted point after point happened in succession until today. I am quite happy to accept the position that it only applies to functioning life forms, but your guys insist on selling the whole story to children & public alike. The whole tale is held together with a little science & loads of conjecture, & folks like me who are interested enough to check it out remain to be convinced.

        On the subject of biological evolution. Darwin majored on what has become known as micro evolution & then extrapolated to hypothesise mcro evolution. Micro happens, that is science. Macro has a credibility problem, in that there is very little evidence. If creatures were evolving we would expect to see millions of transitions; not as we do see, well defined kinds right from the Cambrian to the present.
        Even then it is difficult to take seriously a theory with no plausible beginning. By your definition you are looking for a miracle to get the DNA weaving in the first place.

        :-)
        • Feb 8 2012: OK Pete,

          Now please go to some reputable source, and find me the tigers, sharks, whales, gorillas, trees, shrimps, and the humans among the fossils of the Cambrian. That would be a real surprise for me. So go ahead. You find those and I will be writing right after you, giving it a "seal of scientific authenticity," that "macro" evolution is completely false.

          If you find that no fossils from the Cambrian have exemplars today, also let me know and let me know how that affects what you just said. I wonder if you can do that.

          I wonder how can anybody take creationism seriously if you can say such things like "all kinds appeared in the Cambrian." So, please go ahead and verify your claim. Can you do something that simple?

          :-)
        • Feb 8 2012: "your guys insist on selling the whole story to children & public alike. The whole tale is held together with a little science & loads of conjecture, & folks like me who are interested enough to check it out remain to be convinced."

          Okay, so you're not convinced. I'll never fault anyone for being skeptical. Saying "I don't know" is perfectly normal.

          The problem arises when you ignore evidence and come to vastly different conclusions using no evidence instead. How does a person who remains skeptical in the face of millions of fossils (all of which are "transitions", by the way) become a blind follower of claims made by people who barely understood the soil they were standing on?

          I don't blame you for not understanding the big bang theory, as I don't either. I'm far from a science expert. The fact their theories can make accurate predictions is the proof. After all, that is the purpose of science, to predict the outcomes of events in order to understand how other things work and to occasionally manipulate the outcomes, as in everything from lubricants, to electronics, to medicine.

          I find the entire religious community as a whole a cesspool of hypocrites who happily go to a hospital which is entirely based on biological sciences, one of the main disciplines used in evolutionary biology, for treatment. You suck the marrow of all of science, then proceed to spit on the very people who provide you with the lifestyle you enjoy. 200 years ago all people would have considered a cell phone to be supernatural, and that is only 200 years out of billions! To say what exists in biology today is beyond explanation is to ignore what can change in only 200 years.

          "well defined kinds right from the Cambrian to the present."

          I echo the previous poster.. where are these human and whale fossils from Cambrian?

          "it is difficult to take seriously a theory with no plausible beginning"

          Equally as difficult to believe the Earth revolves around the sun via this magic of 'gravity'.
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        Feb 8 2012: Hi Gabo.

        "Almost every metazoan phylum with hard parts, and many that lack hard parts, made its first appearance in the Cambrian."

        http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=creatures%20of%20the%20cambrian&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDoQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ucmp.berkeley.edu%2Fcambrian%2Fcamblife.html&ei=goIyT6KzCIvY8gOx8tDqBg&usg=AFQjCNHK4XS-1Qo-2zq0FgqBTNG9Uc1j2Q

        What I actually said was " well defined kinds right from the Cambrian to the present". I have a Trilobite on my mantelpiece & it is a well defined, complete creature. I never mentioned Tigers, although the quack link further down does address this point.

        :-)
        • Feb 8 2012: Pete,

          I am kind of understanding that I misunderstood what you meant, but your answer is a bit contradictory. In the first part you quote that ***Almost*** every ***phylum*** made its first appearance in the Cambrian. Which suggests that I understood what you said correctly, namely, that all the current "kinds" appeared in the Cambrian and have not changed since. But then it would mean that you regard "phylum" to mean "kinds," thus making you an accepter of evolution. After all, we and chimps, and dogs, and frogs, and .... belong to the very same phylum ...

          Then the second part suggest that what you meant was not the above, but that all kinds are "well defined," and they have been "well defined" since their (you have no idea how long the Cambrian explosion lasted, I gather) appearance in the Cambrian. Meaning that every species appearing in the fossil record is "well defined." Given your comment on your trilobite, you mean that they are not blurred at the edges, and/or they are not incomplete. So here you seem to suggest that species are all appearing all of a sudden each time, not one is blurred or incomplete. So, my question would be: do you think that evolution is about blurred and incomplete organisms? really?

          Tell me which one. If the second, then I made a mistake in what I understood and I apologize. You are still very wrong, but not in the ridiculous sense I thought, but in a different ridiculous sense (thinking that evolution means there should be incomplete and/or blurred organisms).

          :-)
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        Feb 9 2012: Hi Gabo.

        Everything I see is a complete creature. Let's assume that a dinosaur is to change to a bird. As we previously discussed, the lungs need completely altered. Is it not reasonable to expect to find creatures with lungs which are neither one or the other ? If you disagree then could you explain what we should expect to see when we look at the lungs of our hypothetical creature?
        That's my basic problem, every creature is complete & well defined; fossil or alive, & very many of the old fossils are identical to their live descendants.
        The coelacanth is another mystery. As you know it was pronounced extinct because it didn't appear in any of the more recent layers. As we now know, it wasn't extinct at all, so how can we say anything is extinct just because it doesn't appear in more recent fossils?

        :-)
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          Feb 9 2012: Peter,

          What exactly do you expect to see, half-creatures? Of course all you see is "complete creatures" "incomplete creatures" could not survive.

          If you are attempting to discredit evolution because you do not see "transitional creatures" represented in the fossil record, allow me to introduce you to a few "transitional creatures."

          All of them.

          And if you are looking for some form of transition from say "gills" to "lungs" you might want to check out "pharyngeal arches."

          And if you are looking for some intermediates between land and water (and back again) you might want to check out eusthenopteron, ichthyostega, acanthostega, panderichtys, and tiktaalik. (That's a smidgen of the out bit ... you can figure out how the whales and a few others went "back again" on your own.)

          Now, here's the thing Peter: Even if we did not have a single fossil, we can still prove that evolution happened, and is happening even now.
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        Feb 9 2012: Hi Thomas,

        ""Of course all you see is "complete creatures" "incomplete creatures could not survive.""

        My point exactly. If they don't survive how can they produce offspring ?

        I agree that if evolution is happening then all creatures are transitional. There are 7 billion alive on the planet, & there is no particular reason that we cannot transplant a part from one to the other; we are all the same, well defined & identical (essentially).
        :-)
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          Feb 9 2012: Peter, you are making absolutely no sense.

          Are you assuming "transitional creatures" must be partial?

          If you are your misconceptions are truly staggering.

          No Peter, we are not all the same. We diverged. We share a common ancestor. (Essentially.)

          Allow me to correct this for you:

          I agree, evolution is happening and all creatures are transitional.
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          Feb 9 2012: Peter,

          Seriously, if you think the Bible explains creation, stick to the Bible. You have absolutely zero understanding of science. That you understand "factoids" enough to use them in defence of your predetermined stance on creation (God did it in six days, 6000 years ago, and so on) simply underscores your lack of scientific understanding.

          Your "scholarship" might fly with other fundamentalists but out here with the skeptics and the real scientists your stories carry no weight.

          Admit it: The only authority that matters to you is the Bible.

          If you are so certain God did it what do you even need science for?

          And as I have told you many times, your science sucks.

          You are really, really, really bad at science.
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          Feb 9 2012: Gee, Thomas, are you trying to tell us that Peter is bad at science? Because I'm getting that impression.

          I say let's try a different tactic. Since evolution and creation seem to be the sticking points here, let's imagine that neither exist, and that we are simply here, in this one point in time, revolving around the same argument, without end, on an infinite loop.

          Oy! I feel like I'm in an existnetialist play.

          At the end of the day, I can unsderstand the Literalists, because they are simply trying to serve God as diligently as possible. This is a good thing.

          And I can understand the agnostics, becuase they admit that the do not understand. This is honest.

          I can understand the atheists, because they want two things: they want God to prove Himsel to them personally, or else get everybody else to stop shoving their view of God down their throats. This is a perfectly normal reaction to the misrepresentation of God by the faithful.

          Why I cannot abide, in the end, are people who are not even willinng to admit that the universe is a mystery, a beautiful mystery, full of mind blowing ramifications, and, realizing if they truly cannot explain the exacts mechanics of why stars grow, collapse, die, in much the same way that our lungs take in air, that there must also be a creator God who made all this. It is the arrogance that "If it doesn't make sense to me, then it isn't real" is the true sadness here.

          Whenever we lose the ability to at least attempt to see the viewpoint of another is when we lose any chance at meaningful debate, or even simple communication.

          In answer to the main question, if the asker is still following, is "yes, science can be reconciled with God.". It is we who cannot be reconciled with each other.
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        Feb 9 2012: Hi Thomas.
        (Are you assuming "transitional creatures" must be partial?)
        Yes.
        If not why does archaeopteryx, Lucy , et. al. get such enthusiastic acclaim?

        ""The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory." - Charles Darwin 1902 edition.

        I agree Charlie; nothing's changed.

        "And as I have told you many times, your science sucks."
        You sure are a mine of information Thomas, if a tad impolite.

        :-)
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          Feb 9 2012: Peter,

          Your lack of comprehension is staggering!

          And that you would think you could cite Darwin to refute evolution is almost incomprehensible.

          Peter, polite or not, your science is an abomination. Seriously stick to the faith-based claims, they are not falsifiable.

          Peter, every organism is transitional. We do not suddenly go from dog to monkey. And there is not a transition from dog to monkey. There are no missing links because the chain is not from dog to monkey.

          The chain is from dogs and monkeys of today to a common ancestor in the past.

          So lets say we go back far enough and we find a common ancestor of a dog and a monkey; now lets say one population of this common ancestor lives on a coastal section of Gondwana, and another population lives inland. They are a single species, they can interbreed, and do not look like either a dog or a monkey.

          Now, let's say the coastal section breaks away and drifts out to sea (let's say, by an act of God) and the single species is now split into two populations. Through a process of natural selection, over time, each population will adapt to its new environment. At some point they will lose the ability to interbreed. It is at this point we say they are a different species. (And remember Darwin's book was called "The Origin of Species" not the "Origins of Life!")

          Now, over a period of geologic time that far exceeds 6000 years (Ah, I see how this might be problematical for you to accept!) the now distinct species will continue to evolve until we get a monkey and a dog. Or any other pair of organisms you would care to mention.

          The change will be gradual. Each generation much the same as the last (for all intents and purposes, exactly the same) but there will be slight differences. Some of these differences will offer a survival advantage, and they will be selected for.

          And just as a single species separated by geography might become two (or more) so too might a single species separated by time become two (or more)
        • Feb 9 2012: I really hate to jump into this (non-) debate, but,

          Peter,

          Have you looked into something called 'Wallace Lines'?

          They are what Thomas highlights in his last comment - geographical boundaries which separate species populations.

          These Lines arise from many geographical reasons, including rising water levels, tectonic shifts, etc.

          Interestingly, Wallace made his discovery independently of Darwin, though Wallace Lines help us understand how micro-evolution becomes macro-evolution and are thus essential in our understanding of evolution.

          Can you tell me how Jesus turning water to wine is more credible than evolution turning a dog into a monkey (though that is not even the evolutionary model)? It strikes me as odd when Christians (first misrepresent and then) scoff at the premise of evolution. You think a supernatural being impregnated a virgin, for crying out loud. Disproving evolution, geology, and cosmology is not going to enhance your position.

          SEP
        • Feb 11 2012: Pete,

          Did you really say that Lucy and archaeopteryx are "acclaimed" because they are incomplete?

          Do you really think that with this level of misinformation I can do simple answers? None of these are acclaimed for being incomplete, but because if we took two stages in evolution, such as humans and ancestral chimp-like ancestors, Lucy has features that make her "intermediate." But when she was alive she was complete. Everything worked fine. She was no intermediate back then because we were not in the picture. She only can be called "intermediate" because we are comparing her with older fossils than her, and with us, and she shows characteristics that show changes that make her more like us, but still retains characteristics that make her like the ancestral forms. But nothing is incomplete about her. She did not have a quarter of a brain. She had a complete brain, only not as big as ours. Just like chimps do not have a fifth of a brain, but a complete brain but smaller than ours. She did not have half a column, with half an insertion to the skull, and half a pelvis; but rather a pelvis, column, and attachment to the skull that was better adapted to a straight-walk position than those of older ape forms, but not exactly like ours. Long et cetera.

          See how much space is needed against that bit of misinformation? Did you get what I said? Can I now explain how archaeopteryx is considered "intermediate" without being incomplete?

          Did you seriously think that scientists proposed that these organisms were incomplete? Seriously? How can you believe such a ridiculous thing? How exactly can you believe such an incredibly ridiculous thing?

          As for Darwin, please find the quote in its context before using it again, for self-respect sake.
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        Feb 10 2012: Thomas/Seth,

        I have come across this idea of a population being split & each 'evolving' separately , one instance was rabbits, & the other seagulls, I think. On both occasions they LOST the ability to interbreed & were henceforth regarded as different species. So yes, if you get to decide what a species is, then you can easily get two species from one population. The important point is though that the gulls remained gulls, & the rabbits remained rabbits.

        The finches remained finches, the moths remained moths, the gulls remAined gulls, & the rabbits remained rabbits. Would it be presumptuous of me to recognise each of these as variations within a kind, driven by natural selection ? I have absolutely no argument with this well proven phenomenon . All I am saying is that we have no instance of anything changing into some other creature by this mechanism.

        :-)
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          Feb 10 2012: Peter,

          If you follow the logic this far, you must take it to it's logical conclusion: Go back far enough and we all descend from a common ancestor. Split after split after split, results in the myriad life forms we see around us. And, as I said, earlier, we do not need to rely on fossil evidence to prove this. (The fossils just confirm what we can prove in other ways.)

          And you are correct, to a point.

          The gull remains a gull .... until it does no longer.

          If you would like to see living evidence of this look at any dog.

          All dogs (all of them) descend from wolves but they are no longer wolves (but not so far removed that they cannot interbreed.)

          And you have to remember that it is not the gull that became a rabbit. If we wish to "trace the route" from rabbit to gull, we have to follow the gull back in time until we reach the common ancestor and then we follow the "route out" from the ancestor to the rabbit.

          At some point in it's evolution the new-gull will no longer be the old-gull. In effect, if we could take a gull of today and transport it back in time to its far-distant ancestor, it would be a different species. (It would not be able to breed with its ancestral population.) But at any point on this journey back in time, members of any roughly contemporaneous generations would be seen as identical and capable of breeding with one another. The "split" happens over time.

          If you would like to see a simplified but accurate living demonstration of this process on a human (not geologic) time scale, check out Richard Lenski's work. It doesn't get us from common ancestor to a rabbit and a gull, far from it, but it does accurately demonstrate the process that does.

          He works with bacterium (Escherichia coli) and because its generations are measured in very short periods of time (minutes, and hours) he has traced the bacterium's evolution, in highly controlled experiments, for forty-five thousand generations. It is very cool.
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        Feb 11 2012: Hi Gabo.
        You need a PHd just to find a slot in this thread :)
        It is very easy to be misunderstood with this media. We'll have to get together for that beer.

        I understand full well that Lucy was a complete creature, as was Archat'. Each creature must be complete to live at all. They are leapt upon because they appear to fill a gap in the transition, but of course they must be complete. Anything that was not complete would be unlikely to reproduce.

        So if we have to get from dinosaur lung to avian lung, how does this work on the ground? If we could dissect a creature in-progress, what would we see. A complete dinosaur lung plus an embryonic avian lung, a half avian, half dinosaur lung ? This is what I don't get. Even ignoring all the other alterations in body plan, this creature is struggling to display evolutionary benefit.

        My position is not complex, these are the sort of questions a ten year old would ask, but so far nobody is explaining.

        :-)
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          Feb 11 2012: Hi Peter,

          We get from dinosaur-lung to avian-lung in a gradual step-by-step process (evolution) that has us move in imperceptible, incremental steps that would not be visible from generation to generation but would be quite visible from epoch to epoch.

          Can you visualize the transition from wolf to chihuahua?

          That's the same process that, over a much longer period of time, would get us from dinosaur-lung to avian-lung.

          Make sense?
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        Feb 11 2012: Hi Thomas.

        I get that; but what would we actually see ? We have a specimen with a dinosaur lung & another a million years younger with an avian lung, plus another from right in the middle. If we cut open the third one, what would you expect to see ?


        :-)
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          Feb 11 2012: I think we would expect to see a functioning lung that was smaller than a dinosaur-lung and bigger than an avian-lung.

          Much the same as if we were to examine the lungs of the "wolf-dog" that falls halfway between a wolf and a chihuahua; its lungs would be smaller than a wolf's and bigger than a chihuahua's.

          What would you expect to see?
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          Feb 11 2012: WAIT!

          Peter,

          "A million years!?"

          You're not wavering are you?
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        Feb 11 2012: Hi Thomas,

        You miss the point. Mammalian lungs work on a completely different principle from avian lungs, it is not a matter of scale. I can conceive of no scenario that would keep our beast alive while one type became the other type.
        Million years ? Just giving you a false sense of security.

        :-)
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          Feb 11 2012: Hi Peter,

          Any transition either of scale or of function would be incremental. You seem unable to grasp the concept of change, Peter. I suppose if everything has to happen in 6000 years, it would be difficult to comprehend how things might evolve over longer periods of time.

          Just out of curiosity, do you read any science that has not been vetted by Christian authorities?

          Have you read any of the popular writers like, Sagan, Hawking, or Dawkins?

          Or do you read only reviews of their work by Christian commentators?

          How about religion and scripture; do you read any scholarly work like that of Elaine Pagels, James Carroll, or even John Spong?

          If you do not (and I suspect you don't) I highly recommend it.
        • Feb 11 2012: What if there is a 'flying mammal' out there? Would that make you change your mind?
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        Feb 12 2012: Thomas, if you don't know just say so. Some have decided that the dino's already had avian lungs. Well if that floats their boat.....

        Richard. That still wouldn't answer the question.

        :-)
      • Comment deleted

        • Feb 12 2012: Pete,

          I started another thread for you about dinos and birds. however, I don't see why would Thomas, or me, have to abandon the idea of evolution because neither of us have thought about how the lungs changed from bi-directional ventilation to unidirectional. I repeat something I told you before: I don't believe in evolution. It is not a matter of faith. The evidence has convinced me that evolution cannot but be true. Whether I know, or have thought, of every evolutionary history for every little detail you care to ask about does not make any evidence disappear. Some are pretty interesting puzzles worth pursuing, but not knowing every detail now does not mean that evolution is false, does it?

          Anyway, see my other post. You might also be interested in this video:
          http://www.youtube.com/user/NatCen4ScienceEd#p/c/9B4905E5B3A63FD8/17/51qL0JUe8VE

          While it is about debating creationists, it also gives some answers to many of your other questions.
    • Feb 7 2012: dear Peter,

      Obviously you don't know much about evolution, so we'll leave that to one side.
      (but just to point out the theory of evolution doesn't claim anything about the start of the universe or how life formed, just on how life evolves (mainly on a macro scale so I don't have a clue where that micro stuff came from... he just guessed all of the micro stuff fairly correct after he noticed the macro scale evolution))

      Next to that you are clearly struggling too much with this. You try to convince yourself you're right more than you're trying to convince us. Believe is a question of faith, science is a deduction kinda thing.
      Scientists will reason their way from 'atoms act like this' to 'molecules form like so' to 'DNA could be formed like such' to 'cell devision takes place because of ....' and eventually they use the theory of evolution to explain life on earth.
      The fact that we don't have a full proof story for this is not that we're wrong it's that we don't know everything (yet). Heck maybe there is a god up there doing all of this, I don't know. But I do know that I personally have too little faith to believe some magical entity created a whole universe in a few days. But if you can then you obviously have 'more faith than me'.

      All scientific findings can be attributed to: "Ye well that's how God made it". And you don't need any other argument. Evolution works like such and so: "Ye well that's how God made it". Or we can't find any evidence that God exists: "Ye well that's how God made it". The bible doesn't make any sense at all: "Ye well that's how God made it". Believing is a question of faith: "Ye well that's how God made it".
      Whole cities can be powered through technology: "God does not play dice".

      You get the point?
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        Feb 7 2012: Hi Richard.

        ""(mainly on a macro scale so I don't have a clue where that micro stuff came from... he just guessed all of the micro stuff fairly correct after he noticed the macro scale evolution))""

        I take it we are talking about Darwin. He made a big deal of the different sizes of Finche's beaks. That is Micro, or variation within a kind due to natural selection. That is science, it can be shown to operate. What experiments did he offer for Macro ?

        ""But I do know that I personally have too little faith to believe some magical entity created a whole universe in a few days. But if you can then you obviously have 'more faith than me'.""

        Not really, I believe that an omnipotent being made the universe, you believe it made itself. Which requires more faith ?

        ""Whole cities can be powered through technology: ""

        Technology brought about by scientists & engineers without reference to evolution. The main connection is in the way we try to copy biology. We recognise that the technology involved in biology is far superior to anything we can accomplish. To conclude that it came about all by itself is beyond my imagination.

        :-)
        • Feb 7 2012: If the physical appearence of a species isn't macro enough for you I don't know what is.
          Micro scale evolution to me is how genes get transfered / mixed on the cellular levels.
          While physical appearance seems like macro scale.

          On which requires more faith I don't really know... it is true that religeous people have it easy in almost all aspects. I mean they don't even die... they just go on living at a more happy place.
          Having faith in a god is easy. But I wouldn't call having 'faith in science' the same kind of faith. I believe that I can (given enough time etc) reason my way out of any problem. I don't actually need anyone for that. Ofcourse some people will continuously ask me why why why. But for me the 'proof' (not really scientific proof) is enough to believe I'm right.
          And I trust science based on the fact that I can test and evaluate it and others have tested it as well.
          So I don't "have faith that science is right" I have faith that I myself can replicate all scientific findings and then reason my way from how physics work to how the universe works.
          I must say that at some places you can still add: "Ye well, that's how god made it". And there are still a few spots where "we're not sure". But I'd rate the ability to reason for myself a LOT higher than the ability to just randomly believe some book that doesn't make any sense. Why do you think priests have to explain what's written there... and why has their explaination changed a few hundred times in the past few hundred years?

          On the powering.... biology is insanely crap at generating power. Physics is fairly good at it. But there is no way that any organism on this planet uses nuclear power. I take it you never tried to single handedly power a single 100watt lightbulb did you?
        • Feb 8 2012: Peter,

          Have you read the origin of species? Please do so. Darwin observed what you call "micro," but he did not simply "extrapolate." He had several lines of evidence for the macro. I have told you and all you answered, instead of trying and understanding how the evidence makes for a scientific case for evolution at any scale, that you see these patterns and you see "God," while I see evolution. That's plain denialism. I present you with the keywords for finding the evidence, you shrug and do nothing towards verification only to repeat the very same misinformation time and again. Why? Why is it so hard for you to go verify and at least stop saying things you know to be false, such as saying that Darwin's work is mere and unfounded extrapolation?

          I also wait for those fossils from the Cambrian.
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      Feb 8 2012: Hi Peter,

      You would have to assume Aditya lacks the capacity for rational thought to think this would have an impact on his decision-making.

      And, as is evidenced by his questioning mind, he is evidently a most rational young man.
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      Feb 8 2012: Come on Peter!

      Here's a chance to silence all of your critics.

      Cut the equivocation! Stop vacillating! Drop all of your other superstitious pseudo-science and offer up some real proof.

      Proof that will have everyone, including Richard Dawkins, admitting this whole evolution thing has to be wrong.

      Find us a rabbit fossil from the Cambrian ... or a shrew. Heck, any mammal will do.

      Offer it up and we'll have to agree with you (at least about evolution being a nonstarter ... the whole earth being 6000 years old might take us a little longer to come to grips with.)

      ---

      And just out of curiosity, in your worldview, how far back would we have to go in time to reach the Cambrian era?

      (it should be pretty easy to find a few fossils that are only a few thousand years old ... I mean, how hard could that be?)
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        Feb 8 2012: Deja vu! I thought we had discussed this topic in other discussions.

        The earth is not 6000 years old. The earth is millions of years old, the universe, billions.

        Time is relative. To God the creator, all time happens at the same time. Past present future in one. Instant. Our human brains cannot understand this.

        The Bible is correct. Literalists are misinterpreting the 6day creation.

        Quite frankly, the inquiring mind who posed this question is looking for reconciliation between two warring camps who I firmly believe should not be at odds at all. Science describes the beauty of Creation. Mathematics, chemistry, physics, astronomy: all these noble fields of study are nothing more than trying to expand ouor human brains into a better understanding of the oresence of God as revealed through this world.

        My friends, let's halt this endless 6000 year old debate. It's a dead end.
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          Feb 8 2012: Hi Verble,

          Yes, we've had this conversation before and will likely have it again.

          But then we've also had the one where you say the Bible is "correct" (last time, it was "inerrant") and I say, "No, it's not."

          It absolutely, for sure, is not "inerrant" ... what you mean by "correct" could leave some "wiggle room" ... but it is not correct about a whole lot of stuff.

          And, yes, the earth is not 6000 years old ... but try telling that to Peter.

          He'll have none of it. It says right there in the Holy Word of God that the earth and everything else is 6000 years old (well, you have to do the math.) And who can argue with the Holy Word of God?

          It is laughable.

          ---

          Peter (unwittingly) takes his lead from Bishop James Usher, who was ...

          " ... a seventeenth-century ecclesiastical figure in Ireland, using the Bible's 'inerrant words' and its internal dates, including the nine hundred and sixty-nine years that Methuselah was supposed to have lived, asserted that creation actually occurred on October 23 in the year 4004 BC. One of his later contemporaries, added the note that it was at 9:00 A. M. Greenwich Mean Time." – John Shelby Spong

          ---

          Did you know that only about 26% of Americans accept evolution and natural selection?
        • Feb 8 2012: If the Bible is correct... and the universe was not made in 6 days.
          Then could you explain to me why it sais so in the Bible?

          Is it just that God lies to us like the good little devil he is.
        • Feb 8 2012: "The earth is not 6000 years old. The earth is millions of years old, the universe, billions."

          The Earth is estimated at 4.5 to 4.6 billion years old and the solar system is somewhere between 4.7 and 4.9 billion years old. We know this because we have rocks on earth at least 3.7 billion years old and have found meteorites which are at least 4.6 billion years old.

          In "universe time" our solar system was formed fairly quickly, only 100-200 million years.

          "The Bible is correct. Literalists are misinterpreting the 6day creation."

          Ah, the age old evidence-free argument "If you don't agree with me, you are misinterpreting it". Everyone is confused but you, and you know this 'in your heart'.

          "Science describes the beauty of Creation"

          Science describes what is real. Creation is a contrived theory with zero supporting evidence, made by the church, for the church's self interests. Interesting how you require no supporting evidence from the church, but you find theories with mountains of supporting evidence from science, which allows us to actually predict real events without requiring confirmation bias after the fact, to be baseless conspiracy theories.

          Your great holy book has predicted not one thing which couldn't be completely guessed by a 14 year old non-supernatural human. The best religion can do is reinterpret vague phrases in hindsight, wade through the mountains of events which have occurred, and say "Look, this predicted it! Told you so!". Otherwise known to those who adhere to a semblance of logic as confirmation bias, a method I could use to "prove" every author on the planet as omnipotent.
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          Feb 9 2012: Verble,

          Explaining "the love of Christ" and explaining the Bible are two different things. The Bible is very easy to explain. It may not be easy to agree on meanings but that does not mean we cannot explain the Bible. It is a book. It has a history. What is in it can be measured against secondary sources. It is not at all complicated. And so on.

          Bridget,

          QUOTE: " ... the creation process has been put into order ..."

          Which order?

          There are, at least, two creation sequences (orders) in Genesis. Which one is the "right" one?

          Of course, we do have an a answer. (Don't we?)

          And why is that?

          Because we are exemplary at pattern recognition and pattern creation; and we do not tolerate well cognitive dissonance; and anything we accept as valid, say the Bible (or doctrine in general), "must" make sense.

          If they don't, we will make it so.

          Even if we have to erroneously invoke the Kabbalah, or, as with Peter, corrupt all of science in order to do so.
        • Feb 9 2012: Was all physical creation accomplished in just six days sometime within the past 6,000 to 10,000 years?

          The facts disagree with such a conclusion: (1) Light from the Andromeda nebula can be seen on a clear night in the northern hemisphere. It takes about 2,000,000 years for that light to reach the earth, indicating that the universe must be at least millions of years old. (2) End products of radioactive decay in rocks in the earth testify that some rock formations have been undisturbed for billions of years.

          The Gen. account ( chapter one) is not discussing the original creation of matter or of the heavenly bodies. It describes the preparation of the already existing earth for human habitation. This included creation of the basic kinds of vegetation, marine life, flying creatures, land animals, and the first human pair.

          All of this is said to have been done within a period of six "days." However, the Hebrew word translated "day"has a variety of meanings, including 'a long time; the time covered an extraordinary event.' (Old Testament Word Studies, Grand Rapids, Mich.; 1978, W. Wilson, p. 109) The term used allows for the thought that each "day" could have been thousands of years in length. Which is also in harmony with what Ms. Treton has already stated.

          Now, doesn't this sound reasonable? What about it Peter????
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          Feb 9 2012: By the way, Verble (and Bridget) the issue is not actually "the 6000 year old earth;" ... "the 6000 year old earth" is emblematic of the thinking that would lead one to conclude the earth is actually 6000 years old.

          The issue is, science, religion, and "rational thought"

          And, as, I assume, you agree the earth is not 6000 years old, you seem to also assume the matter has been settled.

          It hasn't.*

          Peter, and millions more like him assume the earth is 6000 years old.

          (And just to be super clear, "the matter" is NOT whether or not the earth is 6000 years old or not - it isn't - "the matter" is the thought processes that would have one believe that it is.)

          ----

          * Peter, and millions more like him, are attempting to ride this "dead horse," as you call it Bridget, into our classrooms and present it as "science."
        • Feb 9 2012: Right Bridget Treton,

          So lemme get this straight.... God tells us that he made the earth in 6 days like a few hundred years before his son comes and greets us right? And people believe that for a long long time. Say around 2.000 years. (till around 1600)
          And then he figures out wait a sec.... I didn't make it in 6 days.... They call it a day when it turns dark and then becomes light again haha... let's hire someone to rewrite the Bible and add in tons of stuff that wasn't there to start with.
          And you trust that? I bet you that your priest never told you that KJV was written early 1600's (which btw was around the time that the earth stopped being flat and astronomers had hints that other planets were orbiting the sun etc etc.)

          Btw if he's resting on the 7th day then he's not working right? So why do you say he made the universe in 7 while it's there that it's done in 6?

          The logic is so far gone :(

          I find it strange that the bible gets such a big 'rewrite' when science makes it's entry into the real world.
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          Feb 9 2012: Hi Mary M.
          I''m going to have to quit my job & go full time TED.

          "Was all physical creation accomplished in just six days sometime within the past 6,000 to 10,000 years?"
          Yes, at least from an earth perspective. As Einstein found, time is relative, & is affected by gravity.
          God made time & space, He is not bound by our understanding. Why do we assume we can understand, does you goldfish understand Pythagoras ?
          The Big Bang is what most folk seem to accept, even though it is outlandish & will be replaced in due course.
          Check out " Starlight & Time" by Russell Humphries. It's a book, but there are a couple of interviews on UTube. It's a Christian Big Bang if you like, seems to fit most of the data.
          This is a big subject, I'm just a small guy. Have fun!

          :-)
        • Feb 9 2012: "At the end of the day, I can unsderstand the Literalists, because they are simply trying to serve God as diligently as possible. This is a good thing."

          How is serving a "supernatural" being of which there is no evidence beyond a book authored by pre-science people a "good thing" to you? This is the problem with religious arguments, you make wild assertions, give no reasoning for the assertions, then complain when the discussion is unable to move on from there.

          Statements like yours above is why these discussions become circular or a convoluted mess. You seem unable, or unwilling, to follow your assertions up with evidence, logic or anything resembling the two, so a person with a semblance of logic must ask for your reasoning, of which you happily dodge and move on to your next baseless assertion. I'm sure you already know this, you use it as a method to prevent admitting to yourself you poisoned years of your life believing something absurd.

          "I can understand the atheists, because they want two things: [insert yet another redefinition of the word Atheist]"

          And you wonder why these discussions become circular? Look up the word "atheist" and stop redefining it.

          "I cannot abide people who are not even willinng to admit that the universe is a mystery full of mind blowing ramifications and, realizing if they truly cannot explain the exacts mechanics of why stars grow, collapse, die ... there must also be a creator God who made all this."

          And out comes to the age old fallacy of going from "I don't know" to "It must be a being of which there is no evidence beyond a story". Personally, I'm partial to Mother Goose making the universe. After all, the evidence for your theory is a giant goose egg.

          "Whenever we lose the ability to at least attempt to see the viewpoint of another is when we lose any chance at meaningful debate, or even simple communication."

          When you do not share your reasoning for, let alone evidence for, your viewpoint, of course nobody can see it.
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          Feb 9 2012: QUOTE: "Why I cannot abide, in the end, are people ..."

          Verble, do you think what you can abide and what you cannot is even relevant?

          I certainly don't.

          And that you cannot comprehend how things might work without a creator does not mean there has to be one.

          There may well be a creator but it is not by virtue of your lack of comprehension.

          Everything in nature can be explained without recourse to a creator. Everything.

          Again, your inability to comprehend this does not make a creator a logical or actual necessity.

          Nor does our ability to explain nature mean there is not a creator.
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        Feb 8 2012: Hi guys,

        It would be real easy if I had a few buddies on this site. I just don't have the time. Gabo & Thomas both want evidence of 'out of sequence, fossils. This gives some :-

        http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=the%20record%20of%20the%20rocks%20bereanbeacon&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CD4QtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DttIkGHYHijI&ctbm=vid&ei=YHgyT6--AYeb8QPrsaHlBg&usg=AFQjCNHoZ8ca4PDKcbB0fvn4uP2IsV6IQQ

        Trouble is that Gabo thinks these guys are quacks, & Thomas doesn't follow links. Maybe they'll reconsider; at any rate I'm sure some of you will be interested..

        Hey Gabo. I have tried several times to read Darwin, & fallen asleep. If there really was compelling evidence somebody would have explained it in plain English by now. I get the concept, I am just unconvinced, just like over half the US population. It might be just me on this site, but I am not alone.

        On the 6000 year thing. The best explanation I have seen is in a book called "Starlight & Time" (try UTube) by Russell Humphries. Basically the universe was created a lot smaller than presently. The earth was in the centre of a gravitational well in the fabric of space. So time crawled on earth while it went ahead further out. Only a theory, but fits well. Check out "Quantised Red Shift" as well, which suggests our galaxy is at the centre of the universe. Red shift itself suggested this until the theory was modified. Interesting stuff, opens the mind.

        :-)
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          Feb 8 2012: Peter,

          It's wonderful that you seem to be so open minded. Checking out everything there is to check out .... but then you reject everything that does not not conform to what you already believe to be true.

          The difference between you and scientists is scientists actually try to disprove their theories.

          Imagine the fame that would be afforded the scientist who disproved evolution!

          He or she would enter the realms of the "immortals" along with Galileo, Newton, and Einstein.

          Believe me, if someone could disprove evolution, they would.

          Now you, and your cohorts, have no intention of trying to disprove your theories: that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, that God created everything, and, in your case, that the earth is 6000 years old.

          There is not one spec of viable evidence that supports your claims. Not one.

          Nothing.

          Peter, there is no viable evidence that the earth is 6000 years old. None. Not one iota.

          Yet you grasp at anything no matter how ridiculous... as long as it either supports young-earth-creationism, or purports to repudiate evolution and the actual science that tells us, for example, how old our universe really is.

          On some level, I believe you know what you are saying is utter nonsense. You would not be here talking with us if you didn't.

          What will you lose if you abandon your ridiculous claims to a 6000 year old universe?

          Will your God abandon you?

          ---

          Now as to your post, are you telling us you have found the rabbit in the Cambrian?

          No you have not.

          And there are no "out of sequence fossils." Not one.

          Of course, you are not going to BELIEVE that.

          Why?

          Well, because you already know the truth so anything that does not conform to your known truth MUST be false; and anything that is written (no matter how absurd) that supports your known truth, must be valid.

          And how do you know what the truth is?

          Because you have read it in the inerrant Holy Word of God.

          And THAT has just got to be right!

          Isn't that right, Peter?

          Circular.
        • Feb 8 2012: about the link..... We don't rank ages of rocks by the fosils they contain.
          We rank them by carbon dating. And then we look at which fosils are in there.... and we know which goes where based on that. Now if you find a similar fosile somewhere else, you can pretty much assume that it is from the same time period (because we've done carbon dating on several of them and they seem to come from the same time).
          So we can now rank the fosils based on other fosils etc.

          It is true that a long time ago (say early 1900's - 1960 or so) we just guessed the age. But nowadays we can actually say really accurate what the true age of a fosile is.
          There is no evidence at all to say that we were wrong the first time... although some of the fosile ages suprised us.
        • Feb 8 2012: Hi Pete,

          OK, OK, before me going through that video, let us be clear.
          1. You have not read the origin of species.
          2. You claim that Darwin made an "extrapolation" from observable "microevolution" with no scientific evidence.
          What gives you the right to make such a claim if you have not tried hard enough to figure out if there was scientific support for this "extrapolation"?

          I hope you understand the question. If you have not looked what Darwin wrote, you have no right to say that his proposal was a mere extrapolation from "micro" evolution. No right whatsoever.

          As for evidence understandable by people outside of science. there's plenty of books for the public. Plenty of web sites too. But you rather read and listen to quacks. of course quacks don't care about truth, so you will not find the proper information there. Man, quacks often contradict themselves in their quackery, and I bet you don't notice.

          So. Do you think you have the right to say that Darwin just extrapolated regardless that you have not looked to see if there was any scientific basis for thinking that "macro" evolution happens?

          PS: I don't ***think*** that those guys are quacks, I ***know*** that they are quacks.
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        Feb 8 2012: I take it you didn't bother to watch the link. You don't need to, you know the truth already. What more can I say?

        :-)
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          Feb 8 2012: Peter, there are no out of sequence fossils. Period.

          Not that it will make any difference to you, but:

          Even if we find a fossil at "the wrong level" so to speak what you will find (well, not you but what a scientist will find) is that the fossil-rock has been displaced; the immediate "rock" of the fossil will always be dated to the appropriate strata. Even if the fossil-rock has been displaced and has been deposited in a different strata.

          Think of an insect embedded in amber, and for convenience sake, let's say it has a little tag with the date on it embedded along with it. Now our little block of amber might be dislodged, say, by an earthquake, and pushed to the surface where it might look quite recent; or it might be subsumed to the depths and appear to be quite old. It might appear to be out of sequence. But not to worry, we can just check the date in the amber and determine exactly how old it is - it's written right there.

          Such is the way with fossils.

          Not that it will make any difference to you.

          Because that would not conform to the Holy Word of God.

          Would it Peter?
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          Feb 8 2012: Peter,

          There is no science that you can offer that will support your claim to a 6000 year old earth.

          None.

          If you want to claim the earth is 6000 years old and use the Bible as your reference, fine.

          Science does not, and will not back you up.

          You look like a fool claiming it even might.
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          Feb 8 2012: Well, gentlemen, it appears as though we are at an impass, with no one budging from their positions or willing even to reinterpret their own beliefs from different angles.

          To Edward, thanks you for correcting me on the age of the earth.

          To Richard, i can only say that God is no liar; but I will admit that if you believe that He does lie, then you will see His lies everywhere. I do not profess to be able to substantiate the Bible, but let me give it a shot: say you want to explain reproduction to a child. Generallyyou say, " you grew in mommy's tummy." and only when the child is mature enough to understand that you explain the mechanics. Then, even later, if the child turned adult is really still fascinated, they will study more about chromosomes and DNA, etc. You still grew in mommy's tummy, but at some point only later in life can you understand the process of cell division.

          I can not explain the Bible in detail, in the same way that I can not explain black holes in detail, although I believe they exist as well. There are limits to my understanding, and i apologise if I am not being a good demonstration to the Love of Christ. I will say that what is truly sad is that the original question was "can science and God be reconciled?". And we are proving to this young gentlement by this conversation that, "No. Apparently they can not."

          That's sad, because I have full faith in both.
        • Feb 9 2012: Well Verble Gherulous,

          I gave the perfect way to combine faith with science. You just say that god made the world and science is doing it's best to understand it through math and physics.
          They don't mutually exclude eachother. What I do say however is that science cannot prove the existence or non-existence of God and therefor it will always be a question of faith.

          And btw when I asked my parents how I was born they just explained how the cells merged etc and from that I was born... and as long as I kept asking why? They would explain it further to me untill they said well that is the limit of our current understanding of how stuff works. If you're more interrested then you should go to an university and make up your own theories (my dad was a doctor and all).
          However I do understand your point. You say that I don't understand the religious equivalent of cell division. Which is true, because I cannot understand why people will be willing to follow the Bible while most do not know what is written in it.

          I'll tell you smth... when I walk into a church and sit at a ceremony of some kind. The priest reads some story which may very well have happened. And then following that story (which had not a many interresting things in it) he then extrapolates that to a current day story and tells us what should have been done.
          Now I'm here to tell you. I can tell you exactly the opposite of what should have been done, according to the priest, by taking the a (other/same) story from the Bible and explaining it in a different way.
          If you read the bible as if it was a story and try to figure out (logically) what happened. You'd wind up with Mary sleeping with the neighbour and lying to Joseph. Because we all know how traitorous women are since they gave in to temptation and bit the apple.

          Believing is fine, as long as you don't blindly follow what someone is telling you. I mean raping children seem to be one of their favorite passtimes in the Netherlands. God's love saves all.
        • Feb 9 2012: Pete,

          The video starts bad enough. The guy starts by mistaking an average depth for sedimentary rocks for a world-wide layer of sedimentary rock produced by a global flood. That is simply false. An average depth does not represent what's present everywhere. there are places with little to no sedimentary rocks, to places with truly deep layers of sedimentary rock.

          Then he lies. He misquotes the encyclopedia brittanica forgetting that what the author called an apparent paradox was not such a thing. The Brittanica continues to explain how actually this happens, talking about first establishing whether some fossils do appear unequivocally within rocks of certain ages, thus becoming "marker fossils," which then, if found elsewhere, can indicate a probable date to other rocks. So, no, there is no circular reasoning.

          What is actually done is painstakingly careful and patient work. Rocks that can be dated properly are studied along with the fossils they contain. Many places show several geologic columns. Not just one. These already show patterns with older organisms at the bottom and newer at the top. It is only if fossil/layer patterns from one place can be overlapped to patterns in another place that we can put together a longer geological column. But it is false that all geologists do is put them in the order they desire. When there is no overlap, then the relative order is produced from the ages of the rocks, not from how simple or complex the fossils look compared to each other. The geological column taught in schools is what results from careful study, not from mere "evolutionist" desire and circular reasoning.

          That this guy would mislead you about a global sedimentary layer, lie about how the column is put together, and lie about the reasoning behind marker fossils, makes him an obvious quack. 100% certified. I could not listen much more. If he started by lying, what can I expect from the rest of his talk if not more lies?

          :-(
        • Feb 10 2012: Well Adriaan,

          I'm not that mature in the rest of the post imo. But I'm kinda convinced that religious people can't "win a science debate". However scientists also can't really win a religious debate.

          It is one of the worst things on the planet that scientists try to prove that there is no god. And religious people are trying to prove that there is a god.

          The scientists shouldn't be out there to prove what is not. They should research what is.
          The religious people shouldn't try to prove something for which faith is required because! The very definition of faith is that you choose to believe something WITHOUT proof. If it can be proven then it' not faith but fact and not religion but science.


          Many (really many) scientists believe that people who choose to be religious are stupid because there are no facts supporting (some things of) the holy books. They do this because they cannot comprehend what it is like to believe something for which there is no proof.
          On the other hand there are many religious people who 'interpret the bible' and can 'accept' that science shows how the world works. They can usualy combine the 2 just fine (like I gave the example of).
          However there is also a group of people who take the bible literally and who try to fight science or force scientific findings to 'prove what is written'. This group is led ferociously on TED by Peter!
          Also some scientists think that faith/religion is standing 'in the way of people being open minded'. I think that these scientists have run across many of Peter's followers and are a bit over exagurating. Although I must say that in some cases they do have a point.

          As a side note btw for possible future discussions, imo, there is a HUGE distinction between the institution called 'the church' (aka the power structure up till the pope. The infrastructure, the sunday gatherings etc etc) and individual religion/faith.
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        Feb 10 2012: Hi Richard.

        Just to tidy up your idea of my motives. I do not set out to prove the bible by science. I normally get suckered into talking about the bible by replies to scientific questions. Very often folks just ignore my actual posts & take a swipe at the bible, which of course I feel obliged to respond to in kind. Daft I know, I should learn.

        I have a seeking suspicion that it he Big Bang / evolution story is a tall tale. I again & again try & elicit straightforward answers to straitforward questions. Some try very hard to convince me in a friendly & helpful way, but we seem to be on different planets & just debate past each other. Very many seem angry, & just take the aforementioned swipe at the bible.

        So basically I think the god versus science is a red herring. I think science has over stretched itsElf on the origins issue & is losing it's credibility. God can look after himself, but if science has lost it's way, then it needs to be sorted; & a growing band of scientists are doing just that.

        I appreciate your civilised approach to the subject.

        :-)
        • Feb 10 2012: Hi Peter,

          Well I'm not quite sure what you're trying to do... but in the very least you seem to be somewhat obliged to prove that science can't falsify things that are written in the bible. (at least it seems that way to me)
          Personally I do not see why evolution isn't happening and why the Big Bang theory would be false. But more importantly for you I don't see how they object to the idea that somehow God made it.

          The way I see it you can read the bible in 3 ways (actually way more than that but let's stick with 3).
          For example you could read: Jezus walked over water. Turned water into wine. Made blind man see. etc. etc (also include the stories of the old testament in this). And you just have faith that it's what happened. Without scientific proof. If you believe like this there is nothing wrong to think that 'for us mortals' science still holds. "God just has the power to go beyond our limitations of physics."
          The 2nd way which I think you're more caught up in is that you think that it can be done and try to explain it using science (which cannot be done). And this leads to great frustrations amongst these people.
          And the 3rd is that it's a metaphor. In which case you can say that science is completely right. Because it is not about what happened or how it happened but about the motives behind it.

          Like if you're a real religious 'science freak' you could say the big bang took a few days (creation of light, heaven & earth, day and night) then he took another few days when the big bang was somewhat finished (although it never finishes according to science but let's use that word to say that the earth & sun was there). In these other days he made all plants / animals.
          Evolution kicks in.... and a bit after that (few hundred million human years later) he creates humans.

          Btw I'm not saying I believe the above... but it fits the biblical describtion rigth? :>
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        Feb 11 2012: Hi Richard.

        You see what I mean, you want me to talk about the bible. This would have two consequences. 1) Ted would scrub me for being off-topic. 2) I would be accused of only believing things because it was written in the bible.

        The reasons I disbelieve the Big Bang are because, IMO, it contradicts :-
        1) The first law of thermodynamics.
        2) The second law of thermodynamics.
        3). Boyles gas laws.
        4) the law of conservation of linear & angular momentum.
        5) Common sense.

        My approach to evolution is similar. The bible was the logical outcome of these observations, not the other way round. For me, science is linked directly to God, as day follows night.

        :-)
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          Feb 11 2012: So, let me get this right; you do not believe in the Big Bang because it does not conform to your understanding of natural laws, and the "logical" outcome of this is to accept a supernatural being who is totally beyond comprehension and who does not conform to ANY natural laws?

          Yup, that makes a LOT of sense!

          It is a pretty good "catchall" though ... ah, heck, this does not make sense ... not to worry, God did it!

          It's sad how we conscript God only to compensate for our failed comprehension.

          If you did understand the origin of species and the natural origins of creation, do you think your God to be so small you would have to abandon Him?
        • Feb 11 2012: I don't really see where I ask you to talk about the bible (or any religious book).
          The question at the end of my previous post was meant to be rhetorical.

          Anyway I gave you 3 options of how you can read the bible (in relation to science). And only one of those can lead to someone forcing science to fit within the bible.

          I don't really know why but you seem to think that logic and God somehow have something to do with eachother... As if you can logically explain miracles.
          In my eyes you can either
          1) trust a miracle happened.
          2) find a scientific explaination of how / why it happened (thus removing the miracle part)

          If God has to abide by the laws of physics then he's not really all that powerfull of a god don't you think?

          Ofcourse there are many things in the middle of my 2 points. For instance science doesn't have an explaination for everything and thus the miracle part is in some cases intact. And even when there is a scientific explaination of how and when what happened. There is still no explaination for how the situation got that way such that it happened.
          Aka we could explain that our universe was created by a supernova / Big bang. But how and why the situation arose for that supernova to go off, is (still) quite mysterious.

          But the point of this post is: If you can scientifically explain miracles they are not miracles anymore.

          Another thing I already wrote wayyyy before is: religious people cannot win a science debate and scientists can't prove that there is no god.
          So I just won't go into a science debate with you :) (Thomas will do that anyway).
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        Feb 11 2012: Hi Thomas

        "Just to tidy up your idea of my motives. I do not set out to prove the bible by science. I normally get suckered into talking about the bible by replies to scientific questions. Very often folks just ignore my actual posts & take a swipe at the bible, which of course I feel obliged to respond to in kind. Daft I know, I should learn."

        My post to Richard above. I am learning, no more replies to bible-swiping, stick to the science.

        :-)
  • Feb 3 2012: "can science be linked with god?"

    Is it possible? Possible in the same way unicorns and leprechauns are indeed possible.

    The initial question is.. if you are concerned with the truth, what evidence do you have that there is even such a thing as a god?

    If you have no such scientific evidence, why would you believe it at all? If you believe in something with no evidence, you must believe everything everyone says, as the amount of corroborating evidence is the same. Are you also searching for a link between science and unicorns? How about big foot?

    The logical fallacy of trying to link a supernatural being with reality is based on the assumption there is even such a thing, even though there is zero evidence for it. This is precisely why all of the religions of the world think their "god" is the true one, as nobody has any idea what a god is, because there is no evidence to even define what a god would be.
    • Comment deleted

      • Feb 7 2012: "Well if we had evidence, it would not be a belief. It would be a fact, possibly a Truth. Like gravity, I can choose not to believe in it"

        Beliefs are based in evidence. Reproducible, objective observation and measurements are what produce facts. Gravity is not a fact, it is a theory based in a very large amount of conclusive facts. Evolution is a fact. The theory of evolution is the theory as to how things evolve, not as to them evolving. We know things evolve, we have a theory as to how it happens.

        Take some time and use a dictionary on the terms you are frequently using in your arguments, as your misapplication of them is hindering your ability to both communicate to and learn from others.

        "As humans we can pick and choose what to believe in. Just because some of us believe in God does not mean we believe everything that is Gods equivalent in the realm of evidence."

        You just described the textbook definition of a hypocrite.
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      • Feb 7 2012: "Can we agree that the notion, the idea, of a supernatural being exists?"

        No, we cannot. You cannot have an idea without a basis in evidence. There would be nothing to base it on. You cannot even define what is "not natural", because everything which exists is natural. That is the very nature of nature.

        The very claim of "supernatural" is meaningless babble. You might as well claim the notion of the "supernothing" and how there just might be a supernothing non-entity outside of nothing and lack of anything which designed everything that doesn't exist.
  • Feb 3 2012: I am an agnostic atheist.
    I think there is no way to know why we are here at this point in history.
    I think that at this point in science there is no way to know if there is a higher being(s).
    Some people, including scientists, believe that in case the universe is a hologram we might find what, who made it. In case we are avatars on a computer, we might be able to communicate with who is on the other side. But first we would need a a shift of paradigm to make those kind of theories credible. Because so far there are only theories of theories....
    I would be interested to read comments from specialist. I am not a specialist...
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    Feb 3 2012: If the idea of god is a scientific one, Yes !
    The notion of a singular being that is affecting intelligent design upon life, is not a scientific one.
    The notion that an omnipitent force that flows through life and connects everything in the universe, could be argued scientificly .