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Evolution and What Is Science

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I started reading a popular book about it and from what I can remember, it was a lot of hypothesis' without any evidence. The evidence was actually just conjecture.

I think that must have been a really old book... As AtticaFinch said... there's a lot of evidence.

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It may not be the only hypothesis, but yeah, it pretty much is the only scientific theory supported by any shred of evidence.

I just typed a lengthy response in an attempt to educate you on the subject but then deleted it. If you haven't familiarized yourself with the overwhelming mountain range of evidence that proves natural selection as scientific fact by now, then there's not really any point in trying to educate you here. You wouldn't read it anyhow.

Scientific "truth", biblical "truth"...same thing. Faith is a prerequisite for belief.

Epistemological nihilism offers the only truth, that logical reasoning is necessarily incomplete or incorrect--therefore all truths are uncertain. The uncertainty of the infinitude of truths that we only believe that we truthfully perceive calls into doubt the very possibility of knowledge. And with that in mind, there really isn't any point in attempting to educate TJones, or he you, or that I should bother to explain any of this.

Edited by TheNiche
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Scientific "truth", biblical "truth"...same thing. Faith is a prerequisite for belief.

Epistemological nihilism offers the only truth, that logical reasoning is necessarily incomplete or incorrect--therefore all truths are uncertain. The uncertainty of the infinitude of truths that we only believe that we truthfully perceive calls into doubt the very possibility of knowledge. And with that in mind, there really isn't any point in attempting to educate TJones, or he you, or that I should bother to explain any of this.

...or to continue breathing. Since there's no point, why even bother living? Let's just kill every living thing on this planet by detonating every single nuclear device in the world at the same time.

Nihilism is inherently false. Life itself negates it. But, I'm glad you brought up the word "truth". Truth is undoubtably unreliable, but quantifiable fact is non-negotiable.

We may disagree on the color, shade, tone and texture that defines the color below, but undeniably it is red. Fact and truth aren't the same thing. Science deals in facts. Philosophy and religion deal in truths. Truth will never be complete, but facts, well... facts are red:

met-sd_jupiter_red-lg.jpg

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...or to continue breathing. Since there's no point, why even bother living? Let's just kill every living thing on this planet by detonating every single nuclear device in the world at the same time.

Nihilism is inherently false. Life itself negates it. But, I'm glad you brought up the word "truth". Truth is undoubtably unreliable, but quantifiable fact is non-negotiable.

We may disagree on the color, shade, tone and texture that defines the color below, but undeniably it is red. Fact and truth aren't the same thing. Science deals in facts. Philosophy and religion deal in truths. Truth will never be complete, but facts, well... facts are red:

Unless you're colorblind.

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Unless you're colorblind.

The viewer's colorblindness doesn't make the object any less red. It just makes the viewer unable to see the red. That square is still red.

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But he still relies on someone TELLING him its red.

Regardless of whether he chooses to believe people with perfect vision or the interpretations of fellow colorblind people, the fact remains, the square is red.

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Regardless of whether he chooses to believe people with perfect vision or the interpretations of fellow colorblind people, the fact remains, the square is red.

But then, who originally named it "red?"

Additionally, depending on lighting and maybe monitor settings, it can be a dark maroon or lavender?

If we can get enough people, we might even be even able to call that color "fred."

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...or to continue breathing. Since there's no point, why even bother living?

Conversely, why bother dying? Neither is any more valid response than the other. Maybe there isn't a reason for living or dying. And maybe it doesn't matter that there isn't.

Nihilism is inherently false. Life itself negates it.

There are non-epistemological rationales for nihilism that are unsupported by logic. I'm not talking about those. I'm only a proponent of epistemological nihilism; it is no more false than the very logic that shows that it is true. Either there is no meaning, or we haven't the slightest ability to even conceive of "true" meaning.

But, I'm glad you brought up the word "truth". Truth is undoubtably unreliable, but quantifiable fact is non-negotiable.

We may disagree on the color, shade, tone and texture that defines the color below, but undeniably it is red. Fact and truth aren't the same thing. Science deals in facts. Philosophy and religion deal in truths.

Science deals in observations, not facts. The problem with observations, however is that they are inherently subjective and may or may not be fraught with randomness, noise, or forces that are not understood or even known to exist.

This is why academic scientists must acknowledge that for a theory to be valid it must be capable of being disproved. And that is the difference between academic science (which is not necessarily in disagreement with a nihilistic perspective) and pop science that is used as a substitute for religion, political authority, or any other source that purportedly advance the notion that life ought to have meaning.

Truth will never be complete, but facts, well... facts are red:

met-sd_jupiter_red-lg.jpg

Off the top of my head, I can think of five scenarios in which your "Posted Image" might not be red:

1. My browser is malfunctioning and displays "Posted Image" instead of the image. And the text is black on a light gray-blue background. (And that's my "perceived" "truth", btw, that your "scientific" "fact" is "false".)

2. We are incapable of agreeing upon the definition of "red". (i.e. At least one of us is wrong.)

3. We aren't perceiving the same stimulus, for instance because one or both of us are dropping acid, are mentally ill, are physically handicapped, or because our monitors have different settings or are malfunctioning.

4. A wormhole with a directional gravitational eddy that only affects photons of certain wavelengths has momentarily disrupted my ability to perceive colors on my monitor in that spectrum. (And note that it doesn't matter whether that's likely or unlikely, or whether such a thing has ever been observed, understood, or explained as such. It cannot be dismissed as a possibility because the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.)

5. You are an angel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, attempting to test the depth of my faithlessness for it's whimsical delight. (And note that this example opens up the door for an infinitude of strictly plausible scenarios.)

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Science deals in observations, not facts. The problem with observations, however is that they are inherently subjective and may or may not be fraught with randomness, noise, or forces that are not understood or even known to exist.

Science deals in observable facts. Deductions are extrapolated based on known information, and those deductions have the ability to be interpreted incorrectly. That is true. I'll concede that. But, like basic mathematics, certain known facts lend themselves to patterning and modeling which, while not completely unassailable, are at least considerably more conclusive than anything remotely requiring "faith" to "believe". I don't have faith that 2 to the power of 10 is 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 is 1,024. It just is. The pattern holds, no matter what, until we delve into astro- and quantum physics. And even there, new rules of governance take over.

Very few scientific theories, in fact none I can recall off the top of my head, were ever perfect in their original form. They've been modified to reflect the greater understanding of randomness, noise and forces not understood or even known to exist. When there is a gap in knowledge, even if a hypothesis is formed to fill the hole, there won't be a credible practitioner of science who won't readily admit that any absolute definition is unknown. "I don't know" is a common refrain heard among scientific types. And this is really the big difference. People who believe in absolutes, people who do need faith to define their thoughts, are incapable of saying, "I don't know." This isn't a problem with science. Science doesn't feel a need to fill voids with specters and goblins and Cthulu (or the Flying Spaghetti Monster). This uncertainty, and the comfortability with the uncertainty, is what drives faith-based believers nuts. And this uncertainty, and the comfortability with it, is what separates knowledge from faith.

This is why academic scientists must acknowledge that for a theory to be valid it must be capable of being disproved. And that is the difference between academic science (which is not necessarily in disagreement with a nihilistic perspective) and pop science that is used as a substitute for religion, political authority, or any other source that purportedly advance the notion that life ought to have meaning.

I've never disagreed with this. Unfortunately, this understanding of the universe invariably tends to lead people down one of two paths. Either a person views life itself as the meaning and does their best to see, do and learn as much as they can for the short time they're here leaving behind a positive legacy for subsequent generations, or they become sociopathic malcontents whose solitary goal is their own self-advancement regardless of the means necessary to do that. When I've had conversations in the past with believers, regardless of their faith, most of them admitted they could never disbelieve because they thought society couldn't function without the threat of divine punishment for wrong-doings (aka sin). Most people fear the worst in themselves, that they'll become the sociopathic malcontent, and worse that everyone else will too, and so they grasp solidly to the idea that life must have meaning. For those people, if they admitted life had no meaning, they would be unable to justify acting good. And for their sake, and for the sake of society at large, I'd rather those people held their beliefs. I'll just continue to disagree with them when they offer up creationism as a valid scientific alternative to natural selection. They can call it whatever they want, but science it ain't.

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But, like basic mathematics, certain known facts lend themselves to patterning and modeling which, while not completely unassailable, are at least considerably more conclusive than anything remotely requiring "faith" to "believe". I don't have faith that 2 to the power of 10 is 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 is 1,024. It just is.

But what does it mean?

Mathematics and logic are mere extensions of language. They are systems that humans utilize to reason and communicate more effectively, provided that they have perceived a universe that cannot every be completely or correctly reasoned or communicated. You cannot escape Godel's Incompleteness Theorem; logic is its own undoing.

Very few scientific theories, in fact none I can recall off the top of my head, were ever perfect in their original form. They've been modified to reflect the greater understanding of randomness, noise and forces not understood or even known to exist. When there is a gap in knowledge, even if a hypothesis is formed to fill the hole, there won't be a credible practitioner of science who won't readily admit that any absolute definition is unknown. "I don't know" is a common refrain heard among scientific types. And this is really the big difference. People who believe in absolutes, people who do need faith to define their thoughts, are incapable of saying, "I don't know." This isn't a problem with science. Science doesn't feel a need to fill voids with specters and goblins and Cthulu (or the Flying Spaghetti Monster). This uncertainty, and the comfortability with the uncertainty, is what drives faith-based believers nuts. And this uncertainty, and the comfortability with it, is what separates knowledge from faith.

I've never disagreed with this. Unfortunately, this understanding of the universe invariably tends to lead people down one of two paths. Either a person views life itself as the meaning and does their best to see, do and learn as much as they can for the short time they're here leaving behind a positive legacy for subsequent generations, or they become sociopathic malcontents whose solitary goal is their own self-advancement regardless of the means necessary to do that. When I've had conversations in the past with believers, regardless of their faith, most of them admitted they could never disbelieve because they thought society couldn't function without the threat of divine punishment for wrong-doings (aka sin). Most people fear the worst in themselves, that they'll become the sociopathic malcontent, and worse that everyone else will too, and so they grasp solidly to the idea that life must have meaning. For those people, if they admitted life had no meaning, they would be unable to justify acting good. And for their sake, and for the sake of society at large, I'd rather those people held their beliefs. I'll just continue to disagree with them when they offer up creationism as a valid scientific alternative to natural selection. They can call it whatever they want, but science it ain't.

Right, you're talking about paradigm shifts in the first quoted paragraph. And if the history of scientific advance teaches us anything, it ought to be that a civilization's centuries-long conception of how the universe operates can be shattered in a generation.

Academic scientists may be willing to embrace that level of uncertainty, but the vast majority of the population just want answers and they don't care to understand how those answers were derived. They don't want to think; they want to be led. And this being a thread about politics--those people are in the spotlight. They have traded one religion for another, and are now bickering over who gets top billing. Politically speaking, Science vs. Christianity may as well be Christianity vs. Paganism circa 400 AD; and what'll come out of it eventually will be a bastardization of each of them.

As for your analysis the realistic outcome of an entire society embracing epistemological nihilism (which I think has won the day, at least in this thread), I'd argue that the interpretation of sociopathy is too narrow. It should be treated as a spectrum encompassing nearly everybody, and the extent to which one considers himself virtuous or righteous ought to be considered as a category of being power-driven and self-serving because that's something that they want, regardless of whether it is creative or destructive to society. Really, I think that the spectrum is ranged more along the lines of Type A vs Type B personality. You have people on one extreme that aren't motivated to do very much at all; and you have people on the other extreme that are motivated to be self-serving according to differing individual preferences.

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Attica, I'm not sure you can separate truth and facts. Facts are true. You just said in your previous post that something was true. So do you still utilize truth yet don't take much stock in it or do you just not rely on it at all?

And we can't know EVERYTHING is fact. Probably 99% of the things we do, we don't rely on facts to do them; we just do it. So are you relying on the fact that someone else has 'proved' something to be fact?

Also, I think it's good to understand what true faith is. According to the Bible, Hebrews 11:1 describes it as this: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (And the bible does not use the word 'hope' the way we do in our everyday vernacular. Hope in the Bible is something that is expected.) Also, in the Bible, faith and trust are basically the same thing. We have to trust something is fact, however, people don't always do that.

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But what does it mean?

Meaning isn't in the purview of science. That's an area where physics ends and metaphysics begins.

Mathematics and logic are mere extensions of language. They are systems that humans utilize to reason and communicate more effectively, provided that they have perceived a universe that cannot every be completely or correctly reasoned or communicated. You cannot escape Godel's Incompleteness Theorem; logic is its own undoing.

Logic itself may be nothing more than an extension of language, certainly so if we turn out to be the only beings in the universe capable of thinking critically, but mathematics isn't merely an extension of language. Its expression is an extension of language, but math itself is infinite. Mathematics is the purest form of science. It's uncorruptable by subjective interpretation.

Right, you're talking about paradigm shifts in the first quoted paragraph. And if the history of scientific advance teaches us anything, it ought to be that a civilization's centuries-long conception of how the universe operates can be shattered in a generation.

Academic scientists may be willing to embrace that level of uncertainty, but the vast majority of the population just want answers and they don't care to understand how those answers were derived. They don't want to think; they want to be led. And this being a thread about politics--those people are in the spotlight. They have traded one religion for another, and are now bickering over who gets top billing. Politically speaking, Science vs. Christianity may as well be Christianity vs. Paganism circa 400 AD; and what'll come out of it eventually will be a bastardization of each of them.

Ok, but you're again melding belief with scientific fact, viewing them equally but scrutinizing them using separate standards. The reason your analogy doesn't hold up is with the practitioners themselves. With Christiany vs Paganism circa 400 AD, you had two equally irrational camps that had crazy stories about god(s) and other supernatural beings interacting with men, and directly interfering with their lives. Science vs Christianity is the rational vs irrational. One is long on questions and short on answers and the other is short on questions and long on answers. Practitioners of religions state their "knowledge" absolutely, and condemnation is meted out to those who oppose the official line. Scientists offer up their findings and their conclusions to be analyzed and debated till all facts have been completely and thoroughly understood. Sure, this may lead to paradigm shifts with new revelations, but science and scientists never purport to express "truth" or "belief" any further than a reasonable model can lead them to conclude such, and even then, I've yet to read an academic article that didn't suggest refinements and more testing were necessary.

Frankly, I'm not even remotely concerned that you may believe your own over-simplification with this. I think for you and I, this palaver is so much boredom alleviation and nothing more. I think the disservice you and I both do here, is we provide some random internet readers with overly simplified explanations of complex concepts without first explaining that these are very complex issues that have taken us years of reading and studying to understand in the first place. I also think it's important to point out neither of us is even debating the literal existence of God nor the validity of natural selection as we've left that topic long ago. Now we've dipped into the issue of semantics which seems to always bog down our debates. I bet when you were in high school you were a CX debater, right?

As for your analysis the realistic outcome of an entire society embracing epistemological nihilism (which I think has won the day, at least in this thread), I'd argue that the interpretation of sociopathy is too narrow. It should be treated as a spectrum encompassing nearly everybody, and the extent to which one considers himself virtuous or righteous ought to be considered as a category of being power-driven and self-serving because that's something that they want, regardless of whether it is creative or destructive to society. Really, I think that the spectrum is ranged more along the lines of Type A vs Type B personality. You have people on one extreme that aren't motivated to do very much at all; and you have people on the other extreme that are motivated to be self-serving according to differing individual preferences.

My analysis is based on anecdotal evidence and is by no means scientifically sound. I'm certain yours is the same. Adequate experiments should be developed to test both our hypotheses, and modify them as more information becomes available. If one or the other begins to coalesce more rapidly than the other, and more evidence is gathered to support one over the other, then that hypothesis will likely become the dominant hypothesis. It still won't be conclusive, but if we can get to that point, then we can at least say one hypothesis is more right than the other - though more refinements and testing will be necessary.

Edited by AtticaFlinch

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Attica, I'm not sure you can separate truth and facts. Facts are true. You just said in your previous post that something was true. So do you still utilize truth yet don't take much stock in it or do you just not rely on it at all?

Lockmat, I didn't explain the difference to Niche because it's something he already understands.

At the risk of way oversimplifying it and sounding like a douche in the process, think of it like a square and a rectangle. You know... a square is always a rectangle but a rectangle isn't always a square. To put it another way, individuals arrive at truth, whereas collectively (and only with evidence) we arrive at fact. To use you as an example, God exists because you have faith he does, which makes his existence to you "true". You don't question it, you just know it. This faith is what you hold to be true, but it doesn't make it a fact. Does God exist? Maybe, but beyond blind faith and the possible misinterpretation of random events, the existence of God cannot be proven. Therefore, it is not "fact".

There's a great line in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indiana Jones (Hey, I'm a former archaeologist, the original trilogy are three of my favorite movies) is teaching a class and he's explaining to his his students the science of archaeology by saying, "Archaeology is the search for fact, not truth. If truth is what you're looking for, Dr Tyree's philosophy class is down the hall." I know it's just a pop culture reference, but that explanation is spot on.

Edited by AtticaFlinch

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What/who are the most trusted sources for evolution?

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What/who are the most trusted sources for evolution?

As a believer of "Evolution", the "truth" is out there.

I'm still a fond believer that the universe is a CIV game on a grand scale and we're the butt of some giant joke. Some more than others.

Am I open to God created us? Yes, I am; but if that would be the case, we didn't just pop out in various human forms and looked for apples from forbidden trees.

Why couldn't it simply just as easily accept that God yawned in boredom and knocked over a lab experiment that knocked over a beaker or something and we're merely an incredibly huge puddle of chemicals on the floor waiting for a mop?

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What/who are the most trusted sources for evolution?

Biological evolution? Let me first say this, the concept of natural selection is now so firmly established as scientific fact, there isn't a scientific crusade led by a figurehead or two who go around prosthelytizing it. ( <-- Niche, good example of language limitations right there.) These days, scientists who focus on evolutionary triggers have narrowed their scope to refinement stages. If you want some good reading material on the development of the theory of natural selection and how it applies to all biological life including humans, you should head straight to the source and read Darwin's On The Origin of Species and TH Huxley's Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature. If you want to read something more friendly to the modern tongue, try Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. Dawkins is an easy read, and he explains difficult concepts simply, but he comes with a caveat: many Christians hate the man because he's an avowed athiest and not shy about it.

Other than those, you might try reading the first several chapters of any college biology textbook written in the last century.

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Am I open to God created us? Yes, I am; but if that would be the case, we didn't just pop out in various human forms and looked for apples from forbidden trees.

Why couldn't it simply just as easily accept that God yawned in boredom and knocked over a lab experiment that knocked over a beaker or something and we're merely an incredibly huge puddle of chemicals on the floor waiting for a mop?

So you're assumption is that if there is a God, he messes up, just like us? if that were the case, would he really be God or just some super power with more ability than us?

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So you're assumption is that if there is a God, he messes up, just like us? if that were the case, would he really be God or just some super power with more ability than us?

Umm..Yah!

Explain the platypus, or north korea.

Of course, I like Robin Williams version of god being high and making snakes is easier and more fun to make.

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Umm..Yah!

Explain the platypus, or north korea.

Of course, I like Robin Williams version of god being high and making snakes is easier and more fun to make.

I can't remember if it was your or someone else, but as a non-Christian, they would just explain it as, "God did it." It's true. If God created everything including all the solar systems, why couldn't he make the platypus?

As for North Korea, very briefly...God made humans with the ability to make their own decisions. Sin entered the world and stayed in the world. As the Bible says, people "do what's right in their own sight." You have sin; you have North Korea. Yet the Bible is giving patience to the world, desiring that all would come to trust, know and obey him (b/c his way would make people happier than they ever could have imagined anyway, they just don't know it). But there will come a day that he will judge the world according to their own deeds. He will one day destroy the world with fire and create a new heaven and a new earth, a place where him and those who lived and trusted and obeyed him will live forever. Those like the North Korean's and even those who lived "good lives", the self-righeouss, yet supressed the truth and disobeyed God will also live forever in hell. So North Korea and the self-righteous will earn their wages; yet he would rather them come to know him, but they won't.

Didn't turn out to be as brief as I thought, yet it's still somewhat brief.

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I can't remember if it was your or someone else, but as a non-Christian, they would just explain it as, "God did it." It's true. If God created everything including all the solar systems, why couldn't he make the platypus?

As for North Korea, very briefly...God made humans with the ability to make their own decisions. Sin entered the world and stayed in the world. As the Bible says, people "do what's right in their own sight." You have sin; you have North Korea. Yet the Bible is giving patience to the world, desiring that all would come to trust, know and obey him (b/c his way would make people happier than they ever could have imagined anyway, they just don't know it). But there will come a day that he will judge the world according to their own deeds. He will one day destroy the world with fire and create a new heaven and a new earth, a place where him and those who lived and trusted and obeyed him will live forever. Those like the North Korean's and even those who lived "good lives", the self-righeouss, yet supressed the truth and disobeyed God will also live forever in hell. So North Korea and the self-righteous will earn their wages; yet he would rather them come to know him, but they won't.

Didn't turn out to be as brief as I thought, yet it's still somewhat brief.

Brief enough. :D

The thing that gets me is on how fanatical can be on both sides.

Do I believe in Evolution? yes.

Do I believe there is a god? yes.

Do I believe that the world as I know it was created by a higher entity? Maybe.

But few people take that position. I know there are agnostics here (myself included) with a few atheists that poo on whatever god/religion thing that is discussed.

Then there are those that do believe in religion and god and decree everything that is done IS because of god.

I am somewhat in the middle of that, and I think the world would be a better place if people are willing to take a critical view of whatever belief they have as well as their own.

Yes, God gave people free will, but every once in awhile, you'd figure god was just shake his head at the behavior of some people, hit a few keys on his version of the computer and type out, "You shall be reset, Ni!"

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Brief enough. biggrin.gif

The thing that gets me is on how fanatical can be on both sides.

Do I believe in Evolution? yes.

Do I believe there is a god? yes.

Do I believe that the world as I know it was created by a higher entity? Maybe.

But few people take that position. I know there are agnostics here (myself included) with a few atheists that poo on whatever god/religion thing that is discussed.

Then there are those that do believe in religion and god and decree everything that is done IS because of god.

I am somewhat in the middle of that, and I think the world would be a better place if people are willing to take a critical view of whatever belief they have as well as their own.

Yes, God gave people free will, but every once in awhile, you'd figure god was just shake his head at the behavior of some people, hit a few keys on his version of the computer and type out, "You shall be reset, Ni!"

However, evolution and God as described in the Bible cannot and do not coexist. Water and oil; can't happen. Evolution took millions/billion/trillions of years. By following the geneologies listed in the Bible, Adam and Eve lived less than 10,000 years ago. When God created man, sin and death did not exist. For evolution to happen, death must occur. If one believes the Bible to be true, they cannot with intillectual integrity believe in evolution because sin would have to preceed death. The same vice versa.

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God made humans with the ability to make their own decisions.

Did he?

If God is omniscient and knows the outcome of every possible action prior to it being made, isn't free will merely an illusion? Even if God doesn't force us to be bad, he still knows we will be, or that Satan will convince us to be, but he doesn't do anything about it. If God knows we'll sin, and that we'll go to Hell, prior to us even being born, it seems kinda pointless to live. If we're going to fail him, and he knows it anyhow, then what was the point of Jesus? Either we don't really have the choice to make our own decisions or God isn't really all-knowing. Enlightenment era protestants called the only possible conclusion predestination. Calvinists, as they were called, just did away with the whole concept of choice. They thought you were either damned or blessed prior to birth, and the whole point of life wasn't to choose or deny God, but rather to prove that you were chosen.

To me, that sounds like some sick game of a deity that is decidedly not benevolent.

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If one believes the Bible to be true, they cannot with intillectual integrity believe in evolution because sin would have to preceed death.

If one has intellectual integrity, one doesn't believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.

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However, evolution and God as described in the Bible cannot and do not coexist. Water and oil; can't happen. Evolution took millions/billion/trillions of years. By following the geneologies listed in the Bible, Adam and Eve lived less than 10,000 years ago. When God created man, sin and death did not exist. For evolution to happen, death must occur. If one believes the Bible to be true, they cannot with intillectual integrity believe in evolution because sin would have to preceed death. The same vice versa.

Why can't the two come together? Couldn't it be possible that evolution was PART of his plan?

And who truly knows if we are in his image? Coukdnt it be possible we will eventually evolve into his image?

We cannot possibly know what god (if there is one) thinks. To do so would put you on the same plane as Robertson.

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Meaning isn't in the purview of science. That's an area where physics ends and metaphysics begins.

The color red is not the purview of science, either. The assignment of a word to describe an attribute that is perceived similarly by most people is merely language. And that's further evidence that the color red as we commonly understand it is not "scientific fact", merely language.

As for metaphysics, that's just an excuse for unsubstantiated BS-ing. There is no meaning.

Logic itself may be nothing more than an extension of language, certainly so if we turn out to be the only beings in the universe capable of thinking critically, but mathematics isn't merely an extension of language. Its expression is an extension of language, but math itself is infinite. Mathematics is the purest form of science. It's uncorruptable by subjective interpretation.

You must not have hung around with very many math grad students when you were in college. ;) Mathematics is corruptible by its own interpretation. And the further they go into the rabbit hole, the more obvious it becomes.

Here's a paper for your enjoyment that examines precisely this subject.

Ok, but you're again melding belief with scientific fact, viewing them equally but scrutinizing them using separate standards. The reason your analogy doesn't hold up is with the practitioners themselves. With Christiany vs Paganism circa 400 AD, you had two equally irrational camps that had crazy stories about god(s) and other supernatural beings interacting with men, and directly interfering with their lives. Science vs Christianity is the rational vs irrational. One is long on questions and short on answers and the other is short on questions and long on answers. Practitioners of religions state their "knowledge" absolutely, and condemnation is meted out to those who oppose the official line. Scientists offer up their findings and their conclusions to be analyzed and debated till all facts have been completely and thoroughly understood. Sure, this may lead to paradigm shifts with new revelations, but science and scientists never purport to express "truth" or "belief" any further than a reasonable model can lead them to conclude such, and even then, I've yet to read an academic article that didn't suggest refinements and more testing were necessary.

I don't disagree, but that's only because you missed my point. Culturally and politically, Christianity vs. Paganism circa 400 AD is a decent analog for the modern conflict between Science and Christianity. Science is treated by the masses (and those who would try to have influence over the masses) as something more than it is, as something that claims to have definitive end-all-be-all answers. ...and after all, that is the conflict that is pertinent to this thread.

Frankly, I'm not even remotely concerned that you may believe your own over-simplification with this. I think for you and I, this palaver is so much boredom alleviation and nothing more. I think the disservice you and I both do here, is we provide some random internet readers with overly simplified explanations of complex concepts without first explaining that these are very complex issues that have taken us years of reading and studying to understand in the first place. I also think it's important to point out neither of us is even debating the literal existence of God nor the validity of natural selection as we've left that topic long ago. Now we've dipped into the issue of semantics which seems to always bog down our debates. I bet when you were in high school you were a CX debater, right?

What's a CX debater?

My analysis is based on anecdotal evidence and is by no means scientifically sound. I'm certain yours is the same. Adequate experiments should be developed to test both our hypotheses, and modify them as more information becomes available. If one or the other begins to coalesce more rapidly than the other, and more evidence is gathered to support one over the other, then that hypothesis will likely become the dominant hypothesis. It still won't be conclusive, but if we can get to that point, then we can at least say one hypothesis is more right than the other - though more refinements and testing will be necessary.

I don't think that our analyses are in inherently conflicted with one another.

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It may not be the only hypothesis, but yeah, it pretty much is the only scientific theory supported by any shred of evidence.

I just typed a lengthy response in an attempt to educate you on the subject but then deleted it. If you haven't familiarized yourself with the overwhelming mountain range of evidence that proves natural selection as scientific fact by now, then there's not really any point in trying to educate you here. You wouldn't read it anyhow.

You just admitted that "natural selection" was a hypothesis, and not a FACT, make up your mind chief. Yes, i am familiar with both sides of the coin though, so your attempt to educate would have fallen on deaf ears. Oh wait, I see, because "natural selection" is what YOU believe, then it MUST be true? True to you anyways. Kinda like the Global Warming hypothesis ? Scientific "evidence" skewed to fit a certain agenda and all. If you'll notice, I haven't said I believe either way on the whole "How we got here." theories. Although, I DO believe Global Warming to not be "man-made".

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What's a CX debater?

There are typically two types of debate style in high school:

Cx (Cross Examination) style involves a team of two vs. another team of two.

You and your partner, debate the other guys.

Then there is "Lincoln Douglas" ... or LD. It is one-on-one debate.

Cx topics are usually on policy type of things ...

LD topics are on value topics (makes it a little more interesting than the drier CX topics).

When I was in school... I did LD. But... then... the topics just sucked.

What they really need to do is allow topics on abortion, gay marriage, illegal immigration, transgender rights, recreational marijuana use, etc., etc.

Something, anything to spice it up; heat up the place.

But being high school... they have to stick to the boring, non-controversial stuff.

The thing I enjoyed the most... when I debated... was making my opponents cry. God, I loved that.

And apparently, crying is not unusual. Because when I've judged debates... I've witnessed it.

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The thing I enjoyed the most... when I debated... was making my opponents cry. God, I loved that.

And apparently, crying is not unusual. Because when I've judged debates... I've witnessed it.

My roommate is also a gay debater, albeit at the collegiate level. And yeah, the stuff he tells me about competitions seems to be mostly about psyching out the opposition and skillfully using rhetoric as a substitute for reasoning.

That's part of why high school debate teams were unappealing to me. I didn't want to argue for argument's sake. That, and it was really gay (figuratively, that is).

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You just admitted that "natural selection" was a hypothesis, and not a FACT, make up your mind chief.

Well, chief... I was actually lending your insane fairy tale credence by equating it to a hypothesis (in order to remain fair and balanced). And, before you flail around impotently attempting to back me into a semantic corner, I'd like you first to define for me hypothesis, theory and law in scientific terms. I'd like to make sure we're speaking on a level playing field before I continue.

Yes, i am familiar with both sides of the coin though,

No. You aren't.

so your attempt to educate would have fallen on deaf ears.

Doubtless, which is why I deleted what I wrote. You don't want reason. You don't want logic. You just want a nice, cozy, warm plot of sand in which to bury your head.

Oh wait, I see, because "natural selection" is what YOU believe, then it MUST be true? True to you anyways.

The fact of natural selection doesn't require my belief. I hate to break it to you, chief, but it doesn't make a bit of difference to this planet or the universe what you or I believe. And for the record, I don't believe in anything. Evolution and it's biological trigger natural selection is a scientific fact. It makes more sense to me than a giant sky ghost blinking like I Dream of Genie and willing an entire universe into existence, and then while still very new, making it look very, very, very old, complete with fossils and radioactive time signatures. But hey, since you're so familiar with that side of the coin, won't you please explain to me how some ancient Judaic mythology makes more sense than decades, centuries even, of scientific development?

Kinda like the Global Warming hypothesis ? Scientific "evidence" skewed to fit a certain agenda and all.

Yes, it's a big vast conspiracy to steal your tax dollars and give all the jobs to illegal immigrants (the jobs we haven't shipped to India anyhow). Good going. It's amazing how easily you were able to dig right through a conspiracy this big and hit right to the heart of the matter.

If you'll notice, I haven't said I believe either way on the whole "How we got here." theories. Although, I DO believe Global Warming to not be "man-made".

I'd never have guessed. And, I'm sure you really do believe it with all your heart too. Again, it doesn't really matter what you believe, chief.

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That is to say, I won't back just any position. It has to be the correct position, even if that position is that I don't know the correct position.

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That is to say, I won't back just any position. It has to be the correct position, even if that position is that I don't know the correct position.

Whatever that means.

Perhaps you should've joined the gay debate team, in high school.

There are always two sides, to every argument.

You have to go, both ways.

Something you learn, in debate.

Typing class, a stern English teacher, calculus, debate, and football...

...good parents, in a small town, public school...

Foundation for success in life. IMO.

Thank you, God.

ShinerBock_12ozBottle.gif

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There are always two sides, to every argument.

You have to go, both ways.

Something you learn, in debate.

While you were on a gay debate team, I took logic coursework at the local community college. And that's how I know that the claim that there are two sides to every argument is a false bifurcation. There are in fact not always two sides to every argument. There are usually three or more sides; different stances on an issue are often sufficiently complex that they could be permuted in thousands of different ways. And that's something that debaters (and politicians in a two-party system) often lose sight of on account of the oppositional format that they become accustomed to.

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That is to say, I won't back just any position. It has to be the correct position, even if that position is that I don't know the correct position.

the-office-michael-scott.jpg

That's what she said!

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Attica, just because you claim to "believe in nothing" does not exempt you, your choice has made it easier for you to believe that evolution is the only logical answer for you. Sooooo, that is what you believe in. You don't have to believe in God, that's why he gave you freewill, you should thank Him for that at least. Seriously chief, you took one little statement and all the sudden you think I am a holy roller, ask some of the regulars around here, they can atest to the fact that I am no such animal. I love it when you get all bent out of shape because someone doesn't agree with your beliefs, thanks for the laugh.

I would say "bless your soul", but I remembered that you don't believe you have one.

Edited by TJones

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Attica, just because you claim to "believe in nothing" does not exempt you, your choice has made it easier for you to believe that evolution is the only logical answer for you. Sooooo, that is what you believe in. You don't have to believe in God, that's why he gave you freewill, you should thank Him for that at least. Seriously chief, you took one little statement and all the sudden you think I am a holy roller, ask some of the regulars around here, they can atest to the fact that I am no such animal. I love it when you get all bent out of shape because someone doesn't agree with your beliefs, thanks for the laugh.

Heh... Ok, whatever. I'll make sure to thank God for my free will in my prayers tonight. While I'm at it, I'll thank him for not allowing sea monsters to eat me when I kayak, and I'll ask him to let me have the pot of leprechaun gold at the end of the next rainbow I see. Oh, I'll also make sure to thank him for the rainbows and the promise it implies - not to destroy the Earth with a flood next time (it'll be a fire this time, thank God!). Thanks for the rainbows, God. Thanks for making prisms refract light, but only after Noah's flood. If there had been no flood, Pink Floyd probably wouldn't have been able to put out Dark Side of the Moon. I'll thank God for Dark Side of the Moon while I'm at it.

I would say "bless your soul", but I remembered that you don't believe you have one.

If it makes any difference to you, I don't believe you have a soul either.

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If it makes any difference to you, I don't believe you have a soul either.

Having been drinking with TJ, I can confirm this.

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Science is the clear answer...and God made science, so there.

Reasonable people who believe in mythical deities can't ever lose arguments. We aren't constrained by someone else's definition of what our mythical deity is/does/did, and anything you come back with I will say was put there by God in the first place. Thread done.

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Science is the clear answer...and God made science, so there.

Reasonable people who believe in mythical deities can't ever lose arguments. We aren't constrained by someone else's definition of what our mythical deity is/does/did, and anything you come back with I will say was put there by God in the first place. Thread done.

LOL.

I would be willing to accept that.

Isn't science trying to figure out what god (if there was one) had in mind?

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Isn't science trying to figure out what god (if there was one) had in mind?

It is a fact that God exists. Nothing in this world comes from nothing.

Below is a warning that we should be greatful for from God to test ourselves to see if this is us or not. (To read starting in verse 1 through the entire book would be best for a better understanding within context; this is just an excerpt)

Romans 1:18-32 (emphasis mine)

...18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
Edited by lockmat

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Isn't science trying to figure out what god (if there was one) had in mind?

Something to add concerning "trying to figure out what God had in mind."

I heard a good analogy of us trying to understand God and his plan (the discussion was actually into relation of trying to understand why he allows trials in our lives). Remember when we were kids and our parents told us to do something (and we didn't believe them because we didn't understand or acted as know-it-alls)? Even, think of a baby or toddler. A parent teaches a kid that it is not best to do something but we wanted it sooo bad, we just did not understand what the big deal was. Our parents could explain it to us, but it would go right over our head. Now we understand why as adults (hopefully).

God is not mortal like we are. He does not have a beginning (like us) or an end (none of us have an end). He spoke creation into existence. We can make rocket ships and go to mars, woohoo. God is perfectly greater, wiser, intelligent, loving, patient, EVERYTHING than us. The bible says he holds the world (or is it univierse?) in the palm of his hand. He created life and everything from nothing. We cannot.

We are not like God. If he were to try and explain everything to us, we would not be able to comprehend it in the slightest. We're not nearly as smart as we think we are. To completely understand his ways (He says his ways are not our ways...because we have depraved minds and are sinful) is impossible. That is why he wants us to trust him like a child trusts.

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Science is the clear answer...and God made science, so there.

Reasonable people who believe in mythical deities can't ever lose arguments. We aren't constrained by someone else's definition of what our mythical deity is/does/did, and anything you come back with I will say was put there by God in the first place. Thread done.

That's like when you questioned your parents as a child and their response was, "Because I said so."

Anyhow, Betrand Russell had a teapot and Niche has a Flying Spaghetti Monster that are as equally valid to plug into your reduction. And, if Niche is correct by saying The Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe, and you're correct in saying God created the universe, and neither of these two beings are the same nor do they coexist, then what we have is a paradox. And, it's a paradox that can only be solved by blowing each other up. In other words, war/terrorism/genocide.

Or, we can all just realize calmly believing in something unproveable isn't either 1) worthy of our time due to the absurdity of it or 2) believe in it a little less fervently because as strongly as we may believe in some story with no evidence whatsoever, other people may be as equally stubborn and it's not worth fighting about.

Isn't science trying to figure out what god (if there was one) had in mind?

No, that's philosophy. Science doesn't account for the existence or non-existence of a god.

It is a fact that God exists. Nothing in this world comes from nothing.

If nothing comes from nothing, then where did God come from?

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If nothing comes from nothing, then where did God come from?

He is not of this world, he created this world. He is not created, he is the creator. He's eternal.

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He is not of this world, he created this world. He is not created, he is the creator. He's eternal.

How can you accept that priciple for God, but not for the universe?

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He is not of this world, he created this world. He is not created, he is the creator. He's eternal.

All hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

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A New Clue to Explain Existence

The new effect hinges on the behavior of particularly strange particles called neutral B-mesons, which are famous for not being able to make up their minds. They oscillate back and forth trillions of times a second between their regular state and their antimatter state. As it happens, the mesons, created in the proton-antiproton collisions, seem to go from their antimatter state to their matter state more rapidly than they go the other way around, leading to an eventual preponderance of matter over antimatter of about 1 percent, when they decay to muons.

The observed preponderance is about 50 times what is predicted by the Standard Model, the suite of theories that has ruled particle physics for a generation, meaning that whatever is causing the B-meson to act this way is “new physics” that physicists have been yearning for almost as long.

Edited by porTENT

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