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Creationism Vs Evolution and Dr. Hugh Ross

A friend of mine at church gave me a book recently titled "The Creator and the Cosmos" by Dr. Hugh Ross.  I told him I would read it and would get it back to him within a few weeks.  But, I was so interested in the book, I finished it in just 5 days.  What an interesting read!

As a new Christian, I am definitely catching up on the nuts and bolts of things.  For example, I had no opinion of creation beyond that I know Genesis says God created the heavens and the earth, etc.  I just never thought much about it beyond that.  Dr. Ross explains how many scientists (astronomers, physicists, et al) are believers in God and he explains why using scientific facts about our knowledge of the universe.  In short, Dr. Ross, an astronomer himself, points out how famous scientists such as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking are believers in God (not necessarily the Christian God, but they acknowledge a creator none-the-less).

I hope you will take the time to read this book.  I can't tell you how the info in this book has resonated with me.  I have a naturally curious mind and it was highly valuable to me to get a creationist perspective about the cosmos, our universe, our creator, evolution, etc.

You can hear Dr. Ross on YouTube discussing his belief in "old earth" creationism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ff1zF8svAY

Or, visit his site below. 

http://www.reasons.org/

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Dr.+Hugh+Ross&x=0&y=0

josephy josephy 41-45, M 65 Responses May 27, 2009

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After scrolling and observing the level of intelligence of previous posters, *cough* ShyButCreativeSexyGuy *cough*, and others further down the page, I don't think it's worth me coming to this site again.

stephen hawking does not believe in god, and einstein was apparently an agnostic. please correct your article

Darwin drivel contradics one of the most established laws of science: the 2nd Law Of Entropy, aka 2nd Law Of Thermodynamics<br />
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All things, left to themselves, tend to decay, not to improve<br />
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<br />
DNA, mutations & the fossil record all support Intelligent Design Creation & debunk random chance<br />
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ATHEISM IS PRIME BRAINWASHING BS LAXATIVE<br />
<br />
<br />
MANY top scientists, from microbiology to astronomy, see SO much evidence of Intelligent Design that they reject atheist brainwashing & worship the Almighty Creator<br />
<br />
http://www.DissentFromDarwin.org<br />
<br />
http://www.IntelligentDesign.org<br />
<br />
http://www.creation.com<br />
<br />
http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Aendtime+Bible+prophecies+are+soon+to+be+fulfilled%3F+Zechariah+12%3A2-8,+Ezekiel+38-39,+Matt+24%3A30-42&sourceid=ie8-activity&hl=en

A great book by Dr. Ross is The Genesis Question. He discusses many of gthe same themes in it.

Currently Evolution consists of 250K peer reviewed publications. A fish can argue the the net he is in is actually only a small bit of material compared to the vast area it surrounds but I choose not to be a fish.<br />
Also I don't entirely agree with Dawkins and the others because their using indoctrination tactics so important to the religious marketers. Edgy methods make money so I'm not completely without an understanding.<br />
Personally I believe religious beliefs should have attached an age of majority. I know that's hardly freedom of speech so why not take away the age of majority from the **** movie industry? I'm really not kidding when I say that. Dirty thought is dirty thought. If it's a save my own hiney and flip with everyone else and fixation death and tribulations? Dirty thought no different than sexual dirty thoughts. Hell and damnation? Dirty dirty thoughts. The **** industry knows how to market and keep some addicted to dirty thoughts and so does organized religion.<br />
I view you all as **** addicts. If an age of majority was applied and children couldn't be indoctrinated it would be over in one generation. In the information age we are all learning and our youth will be advanced in this regard. I say it's about time. Religion has caused enough war death and jihad.

Just a few comments. <br />
<br />
Creation versus Evolution ? No . Creation should precede evolution!<br />
Perhaps Creation verses Big Bang? Or Creation versus Big Clap ? (ala Steinhardt-Turok),<br />
Creation versus Multi universes.<br />
<br />
A question haunting man kind since the ancient Greeks or perhaps even before them.<br />
<br />
Many on either ( or most) argue without studying the counter arguments. <br />
An example is the God Delusion (Richard Dawkins) vs The Dawkins Letters ( David<br />
Robertson )<br />
<br />
To decide the one way or the other , I think you should have honest answers to the following<br />
questions<br />
<br />
1 Where did it all start? <br />
<br />
Big Bang ?<br />
<br />
Something before the Big Band ( from another universe , etc?<br />
<br />
Created by a SUPREME BEING.?<br />
(the argument that this BEING also needed a creator leads to counter argument: Who ignited<br />
the fuse to start the Big Bang. Who crated Steinhardt and Turok’s menbranes etc. All answers<br />
resembles a fairy tale. Can anything arise from nothing.<br />
<br />
2 Do you know of any code (except the genetic code) that originated without intelligent<br />
design. ? (The genetic code consists of a four letter alphabet writing only three letter<br />
words.). Why didn’t Mother Nature developed more code.<br />
<br />
3. Who is responsible for computer viruses ? Human or clever computers (using 2 symbols (0<br />
en 1) to write 8 letter words?<br />
<br />
Josephy Google Hugh Ross and Richard Smalley . Richard Smalley was another prominent<br />
scientist who became a Christian..<br />
<br />
Here is also a link to the Dawkins letters.<br />
http://www.bethinking.org/science-christianity/the-dawkins-letters-1-dawkins-delusion.htm<br />
http://www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=470

If a beginning suggests a creator, then a creator suggests a creator. So who created god? We know nothing can exist without coming from somewhere, so where did god come from? Your "answers" expose more questions than they answer josephy. <br />
<br />
Oh and where the heck in the bible does it "explain the atomic nature (unseen atoms)" I've read the entire bible and it doesn't. <br />
<br />
And actually there are transitional fossils that we do have. If you are interested in hearing more about this, I would suggest "Why Darwin Matters" by Michael Shermer as a good starting point. You will also appreciate that he makes many points to show that evolution does not interfere with a creator.

have you read The Shack? I liked it. (Paul Young)

The evidence for evolution can easily be found in the vestigial organs of animals.<br />
Cetations are a good example. The skull of some whales has a vestigial hole next to the blow hole. The nasal bones or whales are elongated and the top of the skull has disappeared. The nasal bones connect to the back of the skull. This has allowed the nostrils to be mounted on top so that the animal can get a breath of air more efficiently when it surfaces. This was not always the case as you can see the smaller hole next to the large blow hole that used to be the animals other nostril. Also there are wrist and finger bones in the animals flippers.

completely off topic here.......but i saw a documentary called Defying Evolution, please, everybody should watch them, they are very inspirational, and show us that God created the universe :)

I have studied physics for many years. It´s common to say that something is moving althought it isn´t true. When I am moving from one place to another, for me all other things are moving. In a Earth point, is correct to say that the sun is moving. Everyone say this.

Closed minds are evident in every "faith" whether it be Judaism, Islam, Christianity or atheism.

~~~~~~~~~~~~<br />
Ah, you've pulled some content - word for word - from Dr. Steven Batzer's article on a creationist website. I must admit I'd had better hopes for you Josephy,<br />
~~~~~~~~~~~~<br />
<br />
The questions are 100% legitimate mystreba. Why do you avoid their validity? If you can answer those questions, then you will have proved evolution, mystreba. However, you and I both know that no human being can answer those questions because there is no proof of transition from one species to another. <br />
<br />
It is the entire belief in evolution itself which is the straw man. I cannot fathom how an intelligent person can have such faith in a supposed scientific theory when there is absolutely no scientific proof? <br />
<br />
Evolution requires as much or more faith than does creation. At least creationists can point to Einstein, Hawking, the Space-Time Theorem, the Theory of Relativity which points to a beginning to our universe and a beginner or creator. It is cause and effect. Evolution is simply an atheistic theory intended to deny God. It is nothing more and nothing less.

Ah, you've pulled some content - word for word - from Dr. Steven Batzer's article on a creationist website. I must admit I'd had better hopes for you Josephy, and I certainly have better hopes for Dr. Ross's book. Dr. Batzer's article on evolution is a classic straw man - manufacturing a postulation completely unrelated to the actual theory of evolution, simply for the sake of debunking it by argument (not by science). Batzer posulates that scientists (what he terms "evolutionists") have not provided sufficient explanation for how the genome changed to develop the proteins and enzymes needed to support evolution. He claims that they simply believe "it just happened". This could not possibly be further from the truth. On the positive side, by pulling these questions from another source, you can reasonably claim disassociation.<br />
<br />
Though Batzer's questions certainly do have answers, they mean nothing to a debate of evolution. That is to say, <b><i>any</b></i> answer is incapable of either proving or disproving the theory of evolution. In fact, since many of them reference a "saltational" model, once again they reveal themselves as classic creationist "straw man" questions. No scientist subscribes to a saltational model - the proverbial frog giving birth to a cow. Worse, the last three questions demonstrate an almost childish understanding of the scientific process. In fact, one can only conclude Dr. Batzer offers these last three questions not expecting an answer, but simply hoping to give the reader the impression that biologists are nefarious, bumbling idiots. And thus we come full circle once again - I find it exceedingly difficult to debate a scientific theory without a common understanding of the scientific process.<br />
<br />
I'm afraid the time has come once again for me to move on to other things. I sincerely wish you the best, Josephy, in your search for answers. I really have enjoyed our discussion!<br />
<br />
My book arrived today, and I look forward to reading it in the coming weeks - though I must admit a cursory review of the reasons.org website has completely deflated my hopes for a lucid, scientific argument for creation. Nevertheless, I'll send you a message when I'm done to let you know my thoughts. Again, thanks for the recommendation.<br />
<br />
Take care my friend....

I again bring up the fact that what is accepted science to an evolutionist is really just one like-minded faithful evolutionist pointing to the non-scientific belief of another evolutionist faithful. But, let's get down to the nitty gritty so to speak. I'll make it simple for you. If you believe in evolution, then let's take a look at the evolutionists contention regarding the whale.<br />
<br />
Here are a few questions that any scientifically inclined evolutionist should be willing to answer.<br />
<br />
1. Which species did the blue whale evolve from? How do you know? Can you work back three generations from any present-day whale species?<br />
<br />
2. Have these three species progressed in near infinitely fine gradations, as Darwin postulated, or do they demonstrate "saltational" (single-step) jumps?<br />
<br />
3. If the individual species designs did "jump," what was the mechanism, exactly of the jump?<br />
<br />
4. Why did the saltational jump occur when it occurred? Did all species modify at that time due to the same "pressure" or not?<br />
<br />
5. Let's assume that the Darwinian model, which shows a directionless process, is correct. Thus, progress to the sea is as likely as progress toward the land, isn't it? How many land-dwelling species emerged, either from whales, or the transitional species that you listed? Did any of them branch back toward land dwelling? Did any branch toward air-faring creatures and become bats? How do you know?<br />
<br />
6. Can you relate the changes in the genome that you hypothesize to a change in climate? Shouldn't the change in environment correlate to the change in phenotype (that is, the shape and anatomy)?<br />
<br />
7. Have you sequenced the genomes of your postulated progression of species? What does your analysis show?<br />
<br />
8. If you simply looked at the phenotype of the previous species, are you concerned at all that DNA (genotype) and phenotype are not nearly as well correlated as was believed? What is the probability of your phenotype analysis being confirmed by an independent DNA analysis?<br />
<br />
9. Suppose that another researcher were to indicate that your analysis was incorrect. What test would you offer to confirm your analysis?<br />
<br />
10. Would you agree that if your analysis isn't subject to testing that it is not scientific by definition?

<i>sigh...</i><br />
<br />
<br />
Respectfully...<br />
<br />
<br />
I don't mean to sound flippant, but I have to wonder what you think a "transitional" fossil might look like. The back-end of a gecko fused onto the torso of a goldfinch? Sometimes I think the only thing that would convince a creationist is if a frog <i>magically</i> popped into a cow right before their eyes (and quite often I think this is their impression of evolution). I could send you link after link of examples of transitional fossils, but I have no doubt none would meet your personal criteria of transition. If the skull of hominids, the pelvis of archaeopteryx, and the hind-quarters of a whale don't convince you, quite frankly nothing will. We could move on to vestigial developments in embryos (teeth in birds, for example), but I'm not optimistic at this point.<br />
<br />
You mention that there are doubters within the scientific community - let's take Archaeopteryx, for example. Well, that's how the scientific process works! Of any given research, of course there may be dissenting opinions, and they are not afraid to publish and reference them. Those dissenting opinions - to the extent they can be proven with evidence - might even turn or overturn the macro-level theory which the research supports (in this case, evolution). But for more than a hundred years, literally hundreds of thousands of scientists have been studying <br />
the theory with increasingly sophisticated tools. Many of these scientists toil away in obscurity - debunking the theory of evolution would gain them extraordinary fame. But in fact, while many of these scientists have modified our understanding of how evolution operates, you will not find more than a small fraction of one percent of scientists who do not subscribe to the theory. So okay, you're correct - I have a great deal of faith in that, even if my own instincts and my own eyes weren't telling me it is true.<br />
<br />
So let me change tack slightly, and ask you to apply the scientific process. Using this process, the theory of evolution is "debunked" if and when one of the following things happens: 1) a new theory is scientifically proven to preempt it; or 2) evidence-based scientific research proves the theory to be wrong. So... can you produce this? I don't mean personally, but can you direct me to it?<br />
<br />
Also, unless I misunderstand what you mean by quoting science, I've not seen you quote science. Did I miss something? Relating that Einstein or Hawking have belief in a creator is not scientific. It merely has the "scent" of science by its association with a scientist, which is what seems to pass as science for creationists. All of these scientists you mention subscribed fully to the theory of evolution. I'm afraid you would be hard pressed to find one published scientific paper regarding proof of a creator by any of the scientists you quote. Science, of course, has nothing whatsoever to say about a creator, because the scientific process cannot support unfalsifiable claims. That is not the same as saying <i>scientists</i> have nothing to <i>say</i> on the subject, as I'm sure some of them do. Again, I'm not trying to "debunk" speculation about a creator, only to segregate such speculation from science. At any rate, you say the science is before my very eyes. Could you send me some references to the science you're talking about? ie: proof of a creator; how DNA testing disproves the theory of evolution; how birds fossils were already present when the archaeopteryx was found (note - I'm not sure what this means... are you saying that complete bird fossils have been found in the same temporal strata as archaeopteryx? I think the research summary pretty clearly demonstrated that temporally and physically, archaeopteryx is transitional.)<br />
<br />
I'll stop there, though I'm tempted to ask for definition of, and references to, the scientific doubts you ascribe to Ida. <br />
<br />
I'm ever-amazed that while our daily lives are vastly augmented and improved by science in a thousand different ways, we doubt and even misunderstand the process. That is not to say that science is never wrong, but I'm certainly not going to jump off a building because I doubt the theory of gravity. Scientists are in near-unanimous agreement that evolution is on equal footing with gravity, in terms of understanding and proof.

~~~~~~<br />
This research has identified genetic links between man and African apes.<br />
~~~~~~<br />
<br />
Define "genetic links". Many animals share genetic links with humans. However, 1% dna variance is the difference between a chimpanzee and a human--- not very convincing.<br />
<br />
The reality is that each time dna tests are done on fossils, we find that previous evolutionist claims of a link are not realistic and are proven wrong.<br />
<br />
It is DNA testing which will help disprove evolution IMO, not the reverse. I am 100% for DNA testing of fossils.<br />
<br />
AS for IDA, in 10 years, I suggest that it will have been debunked and the evolutionist community will again be searching for the ever elusive "missing link". There is already doubt arising in the scientific community about IDA.

~~~~~<br />
That is because there is no science in creationism.<br />
~~~~~<br />
<br />
I disagree. All I have been talking about in this thread is the science that points to a creator, etc. Einstein, Hawking, and many other scientists have done research which points to a creator/beginner/causer of the universe. Fascinating stuff!<br />
<br />
So, how can one tell me that there is no science in creationism. The science is before your very eyes, even if you disagree with the conclusions a creationist makes, he/she is quoting science, at least, I am quoting science to back up my conclusions and/or suppositions. Can't you see that? E

An interesting thing I notice about evolutionists is that they quote other scientists who agree with their "speculation" about the theory of evolution as if it is settled science. In reality, mystreba, there is not one transitional fossil that definitively proves a transition from one species to another. The link you provided of the lizard to a bird is pure speculation. If you read about the theory, you will find that there are many doubters within the scientific community. For example, birds fossils were already present whenever this supposed transition took place of a reptile to a bird.<br />
<br />
It comes down to faith, mystreba. You have faith that the scientific speculation regarding evolution is correct, even though there is no hard evidence (only speculation among like minded scientists). I do not find speculation = proof. That is where we differ.<br />
<br />
I am willing to consider evolution as a valid theory if proof becomes available. I am an old earth creationist so I believe the age of the earth is 4+ billion years old, that we have found dinosaur fossils, species that once lived and have died out, etc. But, in regard to one species magically becoming a completely different species, well, again, where is the hard proof? It does not exist. Only speculation of what "might" have happened.

Just for contrast, here is a link to a typical creationist "scientific" website that "disproves" the theory of evolution. They have assembled a list of fossils that demonstrate genomic statis over millions of years for certain species. They then take a GIANT, unscientific leap to claim that this falsifies the theory of evolution. Of course, they cannot (and do not) produce anything scientific to back the ludicrous claim. Read it - it is almost beyond belief that this is a serious website.<br />
<br />
http://www.fossil-museum.com/fossils/fosil.php?Id=68

I can't stop. Do you see, Josephy, what you've started? This is FASCINATING stuff!<br />
<br />
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/archaeopteryx/info.html<br />
<br />
This is a link to an extensive summary article on archaeopteryx, which is considered a transitional fossil for reptile==>bird. It is fascinating, not only for the detail that outlines the morphology of the species, but also for the insight into the scientific process. Note the degree of debate among the scientific community. This "peer review" part of the scientific process ensures that the "final result" of research is the best result possible, given the evidence. (I purposely put "final result" into quotes, because it may be said that we never actually produce final results - the scientific process is ongoing, with no end. Note the timeline of research for this one handful of fossils, and it hasn't stopped yet. New evidence may overturn old research - that's the beauty of it.)<br />
<br />
Note also the abundance of scientific references. Again, also a required element of any scientific publication (though this summary article would not be considered a scientific publication, it does reference them). I've yet to see a creationist publication on evolution that contains scientific references to support their claims. That is because there is no science in creationism.

One last comment - evolution is not chance. The genetic mutations underlying evolution are random, but natural selection (descent with modification) is NOT chance. It is a process totally controlled by, and in tune with - nature.

Darn - forgot this comment. My God, just look at the fossil record of hominids - from australopithecus to homo and modern humans. If that isn't a compelling 3-million year transition, I don't know what is.<br />
<br />
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6024&page=24'<br />
<br />
Also, don't forget the recent find of "Ida" - it's significance (though obvious) is not yet defined.<br />
<br />
Finally, the advent of molecular paleoanthropology nearly makes the transitional fossil obsolete. This research has identified genetic links between man and African apes.

Those who use evolution as "proof" of no God are delusional. And unscientific to boot.<br />
<br />
It is exceedingly difficult for humans to grasp the magnitude of earth-time. We think of 100 years as a LONG period of time (more than a lifetime), and we're talking more than 60 million consecutive lifetimes. Six billion years is almost unfathomable - and certainly long enough to support the theory of evolution. Again, you confuse atheists with scientists. No scientist resisted the expanding universe theory (big bang) for fear that it undermined the theory of evolution (or any other theory). That is not how science works.<br />
<br />
In terms of transitional fossils, I'm not a scientist, but I don't think you need to be one to understand that transition is the main recurring theme of the fossil record. The theory of evolution <b><i>predicts</b></i> the progression of the fossil record, and also predicts that no reversals will be found in the geological strata - that is, that amphibians will not appear before fishes, mammals will not appear before reptiles, and no complex life will be shown to predate eukaryotic cells - and this prediction has held fast for more than a hundred years of research and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of fossil finds.<br />
<br />
In terms of actual intermediate or transitional fossils, I have to wonder where to start. I believe we could spend a good long time looking just at Arthropoda for example. But just to begin, if we stick to vertibrates, here is a link to some examples of fish to amphibians. Its a place to start. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part1a.html#tran Maybe someone else has a better scientific resource. Although not mentioned in the link above, I also know that the transition from amphibian to whale has also been thoroughly documented in the fossil record.<br />
<br />
The finches that Darwin studied in the Galapagos Islands have shown in more modern study to be susceptible to evolutionary changes in a single season of drought - sufficient to develop an entire new species in less than 200 years. In this case, the "transitional fossils" are not even fossils yet!

~~~~~~~<br />
There are literally thousands of transitional fossils. Are you talking about primate==>man? <br />
~~~~~~~<br />
<br />
My first reaction to that statement is-- well, then I am a believer if that is true. But, I don't think that there is empirical evidence as you might be suggesting. As for primate to man -- yes, that would be the golden chalice of evolution. Sure. Show me that transitional fossil.<br />
<br />
~~~~~~~~~<br />
Scientific advances have shed doubt on evolution? You lost me there. This theory has been around for a long time, and nothing has shown it to be in error. It is the epitome of a predictive scientific theory.<br />
~~~~~~~~<br />
<br />
In regard to the amount of time which evolutionary theory (and abiogenesis) requires, yes, scientific advances showing the age of the universe to be finite and not infinite have shed doubt on the plausibility of abiogenesis and evolution because there is not enough time for the "chance" of evolution to be plausible. That is why evolutionists tried to disprove the expanding universe theory. The theory requires infinite time for the chance of abiogenesis and evolution to be feasible. <br />
<br />
~~~~~~~~<br />
Josephy, I praise you for the steady manner in which you pursue your side of the debate. You remind me of a very dear friend of mine who is a young-earth creationist - I may think his beliefs are delusional (and he may think mine are), but he always debates in earnest and with good humor. I hope we don't offend - it is never my intention.<br />
~~~~~~~~<br />
I thank you for your praise and no, I don't get offended by ideas. I get offended by some people (not you) who argue from a self-delusional position of superiority, but never by ideas. <br />
<br />
~~~~~~~~~<br />
ps -<br />
I think it is incorrect to link evolutionists to atheists. I don't consider myself an atheist.<br />
~~~~~~~~~<br />
<br />
I understand. To be fair, a belief in no God and a belief in evolution are not the same thing. I do suspect, however, that there are very few atheists who do not believe in evolution. Some (many) of these atheists use evolutionary theory as a tool to support their belief in no-God. So, from my stand point, the two are often one in the same.

There are literally thousands of transitional fossils. Are you talking about primate==>man? Scientific advances have shed doubt on evolution? You lost me there. This theory has been around for a long time, and nothing has shown it to be in error. It is the epitome of a predictive scientific theory.<br />
<br />
Josephy, I praise you for the steady manner in which you pursue your side of the debate. You remind me of a very dear friend of mine who is a young-earth creationist - I may think his beliefs are delusional (and he may think mine are), but he always debates in earnest and with good humor. I hope we don't offend - it is never my intention.<br />
<br />
ps -<br />
I think it is incorrect to link evolutionists to atheists. I don't consider myself an atheist.

Ahh, Jainism. Where would we be if the Abrahamic tradition had gone that way instead?<br />
<br />
~~~~~~Take this you expired equine!~~~~~~<br />
<br />
What, you think we're all ready for the glue factory? I've been thinking recently that I'm a shovel-ready project! ;^-)

~~~ In terms of evolution, doubting creationists are swimming against a massive tide of evidence. ~~~<br />
<br />
Show me one single transitional fossil. That would be evidence. Theory does not equal evidence. You are simply repeating what atheists (evolutionists) have been repeating since the time of Darwin. Though your theory becomes less and less probable as scientific advances shed new doubt on the theory, you remain committed in your faith.<br />
<br />
Again, please point me to any proof of a transitional fossil which would prove evolution. We both know that you can't, and we both know that any thing less than evidence of a transitional fossil will not prove evolutionary "theory".

~~~ (Godfree said:) I have read all the posts on this site, interesting. But I must ask, you say you support science and it is only the lack of scientific evidence in evolution that keeps you from embracing it, then I must ask your opinions on the talking snakes and magic trees, do you have scientific proof of these? Virgin Jewish maidens giving birth to future zombies who were their own fathers, you have proof of this. The dead of Jerusalem rising from the graves and walking about, you have evidence of this?<br><br />
You have a problem with humans evolving from lower species but no problem with them coming from dirt? ~~~<br />
<br />
Are you serious? Of all the questions you could possibly use to challenge me in regard to my belief, you bring up stories in the bible which you find unbelievable?<br />
<br />
Godfree, that is an entirely different discussion and is not related to science as is being discussed here. I would be happy to talk about scripture with you, but not in this thread. Why don't you start one in the Atheist group and then invite me. I'll promise to show up and share my beliefs.<br />
<br />
~~~ I must seriously question your affinity to science. ~~~<br />
<br />
Your insult means nothing to me. It does not make me angry and it does not change the truth in the ideas which I have posted.<br />
<br />
You are simply a negative person. A doubter who goes beyond "doubt", to a state of "disdain" and possibly even "hatred" for anyone who does not believe as you do. Your mind is closed.<br />
<br />
I hope that I will always be more accommodating to those who do not share my beliefs.

~~~and to many, suggested a creator~~~~~<br />
<br />
You said it better than I could. It is mere suggestion to link creationism with the scientific theory of an expanding universe, and it is only a suggestion to <i>some portion</i> of the population.<br />
<br />
I think now that I see what you are saying - science backs the possibility of a creator. That is very different from saying that creationism is scientific. Again, there is NO science behind creationism. To believe that modern science backs creationism is only a belief. There is no science to creationism, and, according to the definition of science, there never will be - the concept of a creator is not testable or verifiable in any scientific sense of the terms.<br />
<br />
In terms of evolution, doubting creationists are swimming against a <i><b>massive</i></b> tide of evidence.<br />
<br />
In terms of your statements about atheists, I will not argue. I've long held that absolutes are the root of all evil, and in terms of absolutes atheists look an awful lot like theists. I think your points about atheists rejecting the theory of an expanding universe are subject to debate, but it doesn't matter. Atheists are not scientists (though some scientists are atheists), and as we see with creationists, without science its all just beliefs.

archimedes, there is also the "time" issue in regard to a creator. Again, time as we know it in our universe was created during the so-called big bang. A creator would be outside of our universe and would not be bound by our comprehension of time, nor would this creator be limited to our 4 dimensions. This opens up a proverbial "can of worms" which we can use to postulate any number of possibilities. But, again, physics tells us that we cannot observe anything outside of our universe and thus, a creator who would be outside of our universe is not observable through our physics and is not even fully comprehensible with our 4 dimensional minds.<br><br />
<br><br />
I have a great analogy about the dimensional problem and will post it when I get more time.

~~~ (Archimedes said:) The early universe did not yet possess the building blocks of life. The first generation of stars were composed of hydrogen and helium, the very first elements. After this first generations of stars went supernova, heavier elements began to be forged in newer generations of stars. These heavier elements led to the building blocks of life.<br />
<br />
Why would a creator go through all that trouble? ~~~~<br />
<br />
Did you realize that this is the same question posed to the old earth creationist (which I can be described to represent) by the young earth creationist (who believe the earth is 6000 years old)?<br />
<br />
Old earth creationists believe that science indicates what science indicates. If God decided to create the universe as it is in 1 second or 15 billion years, who am I to question his motives. There are some things which man will never be able to explain with his limited 4 dimensional mind.

~~ (mystreba said:) There is no expanding universe theory that points scientifically to a creator - only creationists using a scientific theory to back up their beliefs. ~~~~~<br />
<br />
Again, it is my experience that a typical atheist will not ever, under any circumstance, consider a creator. I don't believe I am far off on that. If they would consider a creator, then possibly they would be agnostic and not necessarily an atheist. But, an atheist, IMO, will just not ever consider even the possibility of a creator. So, they will deny science which points to a creator. Consider what atheists did when the big bang theory came to be accepted science. Because the big bang theory (the expanding universe theory) suggested a beginning (and to many, suggested a creator), atheists spent many years trying to debunk the expanding universe theory. They suggested the Steady State Universe theory (A universe with no beginning and no end-- See Fred Hoyle). When this went nowhere (Stephen Hawking said the SS Universe theory had received the final nail in its coffin after the discovery of cosmic background raditation), the atheists tried again with the Quasi-Steady State Theory. This theory again gave the possibility of a universe with no end because it was continually "reincarnating" itself. This was debunked also after space density studies performed in 1994-1996 showed that the universe did not have enough mass to collapse on itself.<br />
<br />
Why were these attempts made by atheists to disprove the expanding universe theory? Because atheists know full well what the implications of an expanding universe mean. Expanding indicates a beginning. A beginning suggests a beginner. A beginner suggests a creator.<br />
<br />
Atheists have indeed attempted to ignore science in order to maintain their faith in no-God. Of this, there is ample proof.<br />
<br />
~~~~ (mystreba said:) In fact, going back over your statements, you almost directly state that "faith is science, and science is faith". ~~~~<br />
<br />
I don't think I said anything that would lead to that conclusion. If I did, I certainly had no intention to do so. There is some discussion of bible passages that suggest an understanding of science centuries before it became mainstream, but the Bible is not a scientific book, and I don't mean to imply that faith=science, only that recent scientific observations do look favorable on the possibility of a creator (scientifically speaking).

~~ creator assumes a being --<br />
<br />
Creator assumes a supernatural aspect to our creation, this I believe. As for what it is, I believe it is the God of Christianity. That is my faith. That is where I go from point A (Science suggests a beginning or creator) to point B (What is this creator, who is it, etc. Again, that is my belief. I have no empirical proof to support my belief. That is why in the scripture of the Holy Bible, it says.. "blessed is he who believes but does not see". Is it blind faith? Absolutely. <br />
<br />
With that being said, and with you having no doubt what my faith is, I'd like to point out a disagreement I have with you when you say...<br />
<br />
~~ [the beginner] is a force that is responsible for everything, not a creator, and I think this view is more consistent with science. ~~<br />
<br />
Again, I understand that is your view. As long as you understand that it has no more empirical proof than that which leads me to my faith. However, this is where I contend that many atheists diverge from science in their belief. You understand that there is a beginning, and you seem to believe that the beginning suggests a "beginner", but you continue to disbelieve even the "chance" that there can be a "creator" and instead, you believe that the "beginner" must be anything else except a being, a purposeful creator.<br />
<br />
So, again, it is a matter of belief-- of faith. When I study the science of the cosmos, I see a creator, an intelligent designed universe. There are so many "chances" that must all go the right way just for this earth to exist, much less for this earth to contain higher intelligent beings such as humans. I guess I don't believe that humans are the most superior of beings. I believe there is a higher power, a higher intelligence that commanded our presence on this earth, in our solar system, in our universe.<br />
<br />
Empirical proof? No. Logical reasoning? I think so.

Take this you expired equine! <br />
<br />
It seems that all parties agree (in general terms) that we can trace the history of everything back to a ridiculously hot and volatile mass of matter, beyond which, all evidentiary arguments are moot. Indeed, the most strident defenders of the scientific method are forced to admit that it may not ever be possible to lift the veil of time and energy that rests over the early universe.<br />
<br />
If that is so, then let me propose this scenario. God in her infinite kindness, graces the early universe - a smoldering ember - with a puff of her breath. One gift of her essence and the universe rages into complexity and life -striving always to align itself in the image of its mother. <br />
<br />
Now, if this is the way the universe started, then does it in any way validate any religion that ever did or will exist? I think no is the only answer. So, admitting a creator does not necessitate belief in Christianity or Hinduism or Jainism. And perhaps more importantly, her existence doesn't mean that she had any particular intention to create us, or that she has any special interest in us. After all, the vast majority of places in the universe would kill us in an instant were we to find ourselves there.

Muslims have a similar misunderstanding about the Qur'an, which contains some ambiguous statements about the origin of human life. An embryologist has gone on record saying that the description in the Qur'an is remarkably accurate. Muslims now cite this as "scientific proof" that Mohammed's words (as the basis for the Qur'an) are the actual words of God.<br />
<br />
Again, a clear misunderstanding of science, a desperate attempt at scientific credibility through mere association (as opposed to <i>actual</i> science), and a convenient decision to completely ignore those statements in the Qur'an that contradict modern scientific knowledge.

Godfree (love the avatar, but might debate some of its implications) - you bring up some good thoughts on how the very foundation of the Christian belief structure is a study in contradictions. This thread began as a claim of science behind creationism. Throughout this thread, the terms science and faith are conflated, and that problem leads us down too many paths. We're not trying to disprove the existence of God (can't be done scientifically), only to prove that creationism is not a scientific endeavor.<br />
<br />
I'm afraid we won't get very far without a common understanding of science that forms a foundation for discussion. Perhaps if we can reach an agreement on a definition of science, we can get back on track. Let me take a crack at a simple definition - can we agree?<br />
<br />
<i><b>Science</b> - a systematic way of understanding our world through observation, theorization, experimentation, data collection and analysis, substantiation through publication and peer review, and finally modification through subsequent scientific research. Theories that survive this process are <b>predictive</b> - that is, they may be used to predict the behavior of our natural world.</i>

Nor is it possible to explain distinctly, how the Deity can<br />
be the mediate cause of all the actions of men, without being<br />
the author of sin and moral turpitude

I have read all the posts on this site, interesting. But I must ask, you say you support science and it is only the lack of scientific evidence in evolution that keeps you from embracing it, then I must ask your opinions on the talking snakes and magic trees, do you have scientific proof of these? Virgin Jewish maidens giving birth to future zombies who were their own fathers, you have proof of this. The dead of Jerusalem rising from the graves and walking about, you have evidence of this?<br />
You have a problem with humans evolving from lower species but no problem with them coming from dirt?<br />
I must seriously question your affinity to science.

Archemedes - it's silly, really, and I'm not sure why it stuck - maybe because I love the movie. In it, Robbie the robot has a code-word of some sort that its owners use to override his program. That code-word is "Archimedes".<br />
<br />
So.... who began the beginner? (ie: who created the creator?)<br />
<br />
Here's another useful link. Whenever I'm tempted to think that religion might have something useful to say, I watch this debate between two creationists. At risk of being disrespectful, I find it almost comical to observe something so subjective being debated so seriously. When the camera pans to members of the audience, you see they are actually listening with rapt attention.<br />
<br />
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwL9voGV1oQ<br />
<br />
This video demonstrates that quoting the Bible is a pointless exercise, since any single quote has an infinite number of possible interpretations.

Woah Josephy, you had me for a second, then lost me completely. I actually happen to agree with your thoughts on atheism. But why must an atheist deny science to order to maintain their "faith in no-creator"? There is no <i>expanding universe theory</i> that points scientifically to a creator - only creationists using a scientific theory to back up their beliefs.<br />
<br />
In fact, going back over your statements, you almost directly state that "faith is science, and science is faith". Surely you must know you're swimming upstream with that one.<br />
<br />
[I know I said I'd given you the last word, but others have jumped in here and I couldn't resist! You've initiated a great little discussion here, and once again I'm reminded of my late-late-night fire-pit discussions - thanks. btw, I'm still awaiting my Amazon order...)

~~ That being said, all atheists became so by thinking long and hard about religion with an open mind. No person suddenly woke up one morning and decided to become atheist. ~~<br />
<br />
That is well and good, as long as you know that the atheist in such a case did not lose their faith, they just changed it to something else.<br />
<br />
~~ It is the person of religion that refuses to consider alternatives at all costs. So how is it that atheists are closed minded and unwilling to consider others views when the once had those same views.~~<br />
<br />
You are talking about faith. In your faith, that is, the faith of atheism, a belief in no God, you feel very strongly I suppose that your belief is correct. Though, it is impossible for you to know if you are correct because science cannot observe the creator of our universe due to the limitations of physics.<br />
<br />
The theist, that is, the one who has faith that there is a God, a creator, has faith that there is a God even though it is impossible for him/her to know for sure through science because we cannot observe a creator due to limitations of physics.<br />
<br />
So, how is it again that the theist is more intransient in their faith than the atheist? I just don't get your logic. You are arguing from a point of belief, without backing up your logic with science at all, because science does not back up a belief in no creator. On the contrary, science indicates or suggests a strong possibility of a creator (Refer to Einstein, the theory of relativity, the expanding universe, Hawking's space/time theorem).<br />
<br />
So, the theist can at least say that sciences suggests a creator and gives them a reason to believe so. The atheist must deny what science tells us (via the expanding universe theory) in order to maintain their faith in no-creator.<br />
<br />
In a sense, the atheist must close their mind to science in order to maintain their belief. That is my contention.

~~ It is true many atheists are unfair in their assessment of religion, Richard Dawkins comes to mind, since, even though I enjoy his writing, he clearly makes no effort to include those who don't already lean towards no-god creationism. ~~<br />
<br />
I am reading "The God Delusion" by Dawkins currently. Dawkins seems somewhat instransient on the issue of God (lack of God in his opinion). <br />
<br />
I think that, while I enjoy suggesting my views on the idea of "science" and creationism, I am in no means suggesting that science supports my views 100%. I guess my goal is to get people out of their non-movable positions, that is, their inconsiderate attitudes towards those who do not believe as they do.<br />
<br />
In that regard, it is often that I point out that the "atheist" has as much or more faith in their beliefs as the "theist". I point this out because, neither one is likely to give up his/her faith, but, it is important that we do consider the other person's views-- open our minds, so to speak.

Archimedes - yes, Einstein did not believe in the anthropomorphic God that Josephy believes in, and to his credit Josephy stated so himself.<br />
<br />
<i>btw, every time I hear the name <b>Archimedes</b>, for some reason I think immediately of the film "The Forbidden Planet". Ever seen it?)</i>

FarmerGiles, thanks for the link. Even considering the bloviated speech common of the time, Einstein might have been considered a poor writer. However, as you move down the page, it is fascinating to contrast his early writing with his later writing - a significant improvement.<br />
<br />
In particular, I like the following statement he made regarding the tension between religion and science (my highlights): <br />
<br />
"<i>It is this mythical, or rather this symbolic, content of the religious traditions which is likely to come into conflict with science. This occurs whenever this religious stock of ideas contains dogmatically fixed statements on subjects which belong in the domain of science. Thus, it is of vital importance for the preservation of true religion that such conflicts be avoided when they arise from subjects which, in fact, are <b>not really essential for the pursuance of the religious aims.</b></i>"<br />
<br />
I've always been fascinated that creationists should be so steadfast in their rejection of evolution (in the face of overwhelming evidence), when acceptance of it has no bearing on their beliefs. Maybe Einstein sheds some light with the following statement (although we may not think of today's Christianity strictly in terms of "fear", it certainly grew out of that tradition):<br />
<br />
"<i>This [religion of fear] is in an important degree stabilized by the formation of a special priestly caste which sets itself up as a mediator between the people and the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis.</i>"<br />
<br />
...can it be that creationists are simply doing what they have been told?

Thank you for you comments earlier. It is true many atheists are unfair in their assessment of religion, Richard Dawkins comes to mind, since, even though I enjoy his writing, he clearly makes no effort to include those who don't already lean towards no-god creationism. However, you must understand some of us are a bit skeptical of religious belief, since so many of us ended up meeting the iron maiden because of it. <br />
<br />
By the way, anyone interested in Einstein's views of religious belief and god should read this essay, <br />
http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm <br />
It is an easy read I promise.

Archimedes77 ~~ however, it is a circular argument by saying that because the universe has a beginning, it must have a creator. Why is that? There is no law that says that must be so. ~~<br />
<br />
Maybe you would prefer the phrase "A beginning "suggests" a creator.<br />
<br />
The catch 22 with Atheists is that, they will not accept a creator or science which indicates a creator. In their minds, their belief in NO-CREATOR is first and foremost what drives them. So, it is not my intention to change your mind. It is my intention to tell you the truth. That truth is this; it requires more faith to believe in no-God than it does for a person to believe in a creator. The big-bang expanding universe indicates a beginning to the universe which indicates a beginner, or creator. No amount of denial will change this widely accepted view among many scientists. Eintein held this view. Stephen Hawking suggested it also. Why won't you believe it? Is your "faith" in no-God preventing you from opening your mind?

Hi FarmerGiles. I agree with you when you said there is a strangeness and wonder to the cosmos that science cannot quantify. I believe it is because we think in 4 dimensions (height, width, length and time) yet, science tells us that our universe contains 10 dimensions. How can we understand it all? I really believe that we are limited by our minds.<br />
<br />
I do believe that many atheists (not all) will deny any science which indicates a creator. We can disagree on that of course. When I discuss science with an atheist, often, they seem as closed minded as the person who believes that the earth is only 6000 years old. It is just an observation I have had. To be sure, not all atheists are like that. The ones who genuinely like to share ideas and keep an open mind, those are the ones I enjoy discussions with.<br />
<br />
Yes, I enjoy discussions of science also. I am immensely curious about things and I can tell you are too. I do respect your ideas. Hopefully we can discuss these ideas again. Do consider reading the book I mentioned in this story. Dr. Hugh Ross is a brilliant man. You may not agree with some of his conclusions, but he is definitely an interesting writer/thinker. <br />
<br />
Isn't our universe a grand place?

The theory of Evolution is a strange thing I will grant you. Perhaps I struck the wrong tone with my response. I don't expect anyone to modify their ideas. I actually enjoy the discourse, for, believe it or not, I do get passionate about science. <br />
<br />
I do dispute one point that you made; <br />
"The natural evolution theorist (the atheist) must dispute this [the existence of a creator] at any cost as the atheist will never, under any circumstances, admit the possibility of a creator. They will deny scientific indications of a creator even to the point of absurdity, IMO." <br />
<br />
I do not dispute the possibility of a creator. There is a strangeness and wonder to the cosmos the science cannot quantify; it cannot be seen in a telescope or studied by a chromatograph, and it would take a pretty dense individual not to see that religion is a way of comprehending this sense of wonder. <br />
<br />
Your postings show you to be curious and literary individual and I respect your ideas; I just don't agree.

~~ Heck, evolution can, and has been, observed in the span of a human lifetime ~~<br><br />
<br><br />
Are you really suggesting that a mutation of a virus is on the same level as suggested by natural evolution? A mutation of a virus cannot be compared to a mythical probiotic soup which somehow by chance turned into a complex single cell and then led to further complex organisms, which later turned into even more complex organisms, finally resulting in all of the animals and wildlife we have, culminating in the development of man. I mean, talk about a "wild" theory. It is almost unimaginable to think of all of the conincidences that must take place in this mythical dream called natural evolution (abiogenesis). If you believe abiogenesis is possible, please explain why man, in all his complexity, has never been able to reproduce this in a scientific lab? Yet, we are to believe that when no complex life existed, it suddenly appeared through "chance"???<br />
<br />
Absurd on its surface- completely unsupported by facts and science in the deepest conception of possibility. It requires "faith" to believe in such a myth.

~~ -- FarmerGiles Said-- Now, this will no doubt fail to convince you josephy, It certainly doesn't convince me. While that may be a big problem for evolutionary biologists it is in no way a validation of creationism or god's existence. ~~<br />
<br />
You are right. It doesn't convince me. Like I mentioned earlier, it is a matter of faith. I have faith in my belief and you have faith in yours. However, you say my belief is unproven but certainly, yours is also unproven. Which is a greater belief or more worthy of scientific support? I contend, creationism because, as I mentioned,<br />
<br />
1. Physics and observable astronomy indicates an expanding universe.<br />
2. An expanding universe indicates it has a beginning.<br />
3. A beginning indicates a beginner or a creator.<br />
<br />
In short, physics is on the side of the creationist. The natural evolution theorist (the atheist) must dispute this at any cost as the atheist will never, under any circumstances, admit the possibility of a creator. They will deny scientific indications of a creator even to the point of absurdity, IMO. Such as when you state that there ARE transitional fossils. That is simply ABSURD. If there were transitional fossils, the debate would be completely over. Creationists would adjust their positions on evolution. As it is, there is NOT a single transitional fossil anywhere known to man. Nor, is it likely, there will ever be one found as natural evolution is not only NOT supported by fossil evidence, the chance that all of the elements necessary for a probiotic soup to turn into a complex single cell through "Chance" are outrageously remote, especially considering that the age of the universe is so much younger than Darwin, Kant and others originally thought.<br />
<br />
But the fantasy lives on in the minds of the atheist because, to them, there is no God, there cannot be a God and they will never admit to a God, even when science indicates otherwise.

For Newton's sake, just look at an ape or chimpanzee, check out Madagascar's Lemurs. And not only their appearance, but their social behavior, their intelligence. A person who can't see the similarities is blind.<br />
And there are transitional fossils. The huge multitudes of these fossils are the very basis for the theory of evolution. It was the similarities and obvious patterns of transformation in living organisms that initially gave Darwin and Wallace their idea. Heck, evolution can, and has been, observed in the span of a human lifetime, why do you think you need a different flu shot every year?<br />
Now I will concede that scientists will never be able to point out every single transitional link from bacterium to Homo-Sapien. They probably won't find much more evidence than has already been discovered. Though, there were recently some relevant developments in the news: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090519-missing-link-found.html<br />
<br />
Now, this will no doubt fail to convince you josephy, It certainly doesn't convince me. While that may be a big problem for evolutionary biologists it is in no way a validation of creationism or god's existence. Proving one theory wrong, or at least inadequate. does not make competing theories any more true.

Thank you for the last word. You make the same tired evolutionist argument which I will quote you on...<br />
<br><br />
~~ The body of scientific data that supports the theory of evolution and natural selection is overwhelming. ~~<br />
<br><br />
mystreba, if it were overwhelming, then people like me (respectful of science) would readily accept it. The fact is, evolutionists do not have an overwhelming body of scientific proof that supports the natural evolution. That is simply a false statement. In fact, there is not one single transitional fossil which supports the idea of evolution of dinosaurs to birds,ape to man-- not a single one. <br><br />
<br />
Put the shoe on the other foot. If creationists had a theory of evolution that opposed natural evolution and there were no transitional models to support said theory, would you diligently support the creationist theory as you do that of natural evolution.<br />
<br><br />
I doubt it, mystreba. It does come down to faith. I have faith in science and the science of evolutionary theory is just not there. The many gaps require "faith" in order to believe it.<br />
<br><br />
So, you and I are quite similar afterall. I have faith. You have faith-- just in different things.<br><br />
Have a great day.

Your problem with the scientific theory of evolution is not one of science then, but one of faith. Do we question the theory of quantum mechanics in spite of its gaps? Do we need to understand 100% of quantum mechanics to have some understanding that such a thing exists? Do we completely disregard the theory of gravity because it is still a work in progress? Of course not. And those theories are far more complex and difficult to understand, at a scientific level, than the theory of evolution. <br />
<br />
Frankly, (I hope not too frankly, but there is no way around it), your statement <i>**what kind of faith must it take to believe in natural evolution when there is no definitive proof**</i> demonstrates a shocking misunderstanding of both the scientific process and the theory of evolution. I highly recommend you shore up both, else your credibility in debating this topic will be severely limited. My intention in saying this is to help, not hurt. <i>The body of scientific data that supports the theory of evolution and natural selection is <b>overwhelming</i></b>.<br />
<br />
There is an excellent article about evolution from the National Academy of Sciences at the following link. (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6024&page=1) At less than 50 short pages, it is a quick read - but I have never found a more concise explanation of how the scientific process supports the theory of evolution. For more in-depth discussion of the actual theory in lay terms, I'd recommend "The Blind Watchmaker". But I am not making any more deals, because my reading list is already large enough! However, I will keep my promise to read Dr. Ross' book, and I also - like you - will not disavow old earth creationism.<br />
<br />
I'm leaving this debate to move on to other things, so you have the final word. But I want you to know how much I have really valued your time and input, and how much I have enjoyed our conversation. I'm happy to pick this up again in another forum - send me a message. Take care my friend...

~~~ Those like Dr. Ross who promote the concept of either/or are really doing humanity a disservice ~~~<br />
<br />
Either/Or. So, do you suggest a belief based on Both/And as in the Eastern mystic religions? Or, do you mean Either evolution OR creationism?<br />
<br />
(two completely different things... just wondering which you are referring to)

~~~ STILL believe the earth is the center of the universe, and therefore the sun rotates the earth - because that's what the Bible says. ~~~<br />
<br />
Can you show me in scripture where it says the earth is the center of the universe? If not, I would suggest you rethink your statement as it will do your argument no good to promote falsehoods in a debate of scientific ideas.

Some creationists believe that evolution does not contradict the bible. Maybe they are right. I don't fully subscribe to the creationist approach to evolution at this time as I do not have enough info to decide yet. It is not the evolution theory itself that I have a problem with because, on its surface, it sounds plausible. it is that there are no proof of missing links (transitional fossils). You say it takes faith to believe in God? Well, what kind of faith must it take to believe in natural evolution when there is no definitive proof. The evolutionist acts believes by faith just as the theist believes by faith. What they have faith in is different, but they believe based on a similar amount of faith.<br />
<br />
~~~ Your rejection of young-earth creationism is likely the only reason we're able to have a dialogue. ~~~<br />
<br />
I catch some amount of flak from the Christian community as old earth creationists are attacked by young earth creationists almost as vehemently as we are attacked by atheists. It is unsettling to be catching hell from theists and atheists alike. However, I think that young earth creationists will likely be marginalized unless old earth creationists take a positioned based on current science which is later proven false. Of course, when atheists lose a theory to scientific proof, they simply change their position or suggest a new theory. So, maybe old earth creationists can take a page from their playbook should the need ever arise. :-)<br />
<br />
I am not saying my belief in the Abrahamic lineage of the bible does not have some affect on my skeptical views of natural selection and evolution. If I denied this, one might conclude that I am not much of a Christian. But rather, I am unconvinced by the evidence purported to support the natural selection evolutionist theory. Evolution is supposed to be science. So, I want to see the scientific proof, much as the atheist wants to see empirical evidence of God before he/she believes.<br />
<br />
I will read the book, I assure you. You too had better hold up your end of the bargain. If I were in your area, I would take you up on your offer for the adult movie night (that was funny) as long as you show something rated G for everyone. And, if you show Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, well, I'll even submit to a PG movie as well. (ha,ha)<br />
<br />
~~~ St. Augustine also said: "Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." ~~~<br />
<br />
I understand what he was saying. It is a promise from God. God knows that he is asking for "faith". He promises various rewards for this faith. One such reward is implied to be an understanding of things not yet known (see what you believe). In other words, we will know God as he knows us... that is, completely, and in a manner which our 4 dimensional minds cannot possibly comprehend. The statement "as God knows us" gives us the best possibility of understanding what is in store for us, told to us in language which we can understand (if you have theistic faith that is). <br />
<br />
The God of the Christian Bible is more cerebral than you might imagine.<br />
<br />
~~ I have not read the entire Bible, but I've read enough to know that it absolutely does not promote curiosity. ~~<br />
<br />
Yes and no. Yes, we are warned that "curiosity kills the cat" in a sense. When Paul went to the Greeks to spread the message of Christ, he was put off by their philosophical teachings and ways. I don't remember the quote, but he essentially new that they would not change their minds because their search for truth in a human sense prevented them from accepting the message from the divine Creator. So, we are warned that by seeking wisdom, we were putting our faith at risk. (Claiming to be wise, they became fools). Other places in the bible do give evidence for support of skepticism. I will provide examples at another time if we get back to it.<br />
<br />
~~ I find it fascinating to contrast how creationists and scientific researchers operate. First, we must understand that there is NO science in creationism. ~~<br />
<br />
I dispute that. I can show you several places which indicate a knowledge of science in the bible which the scientific community did not discuss until thousands of years later. Actually, read the book by Hugh Ross... some of it is explained in his book. And, as far as I am concerned, the day that I believe your statement is the day I disavow old earth creationism (not likely to happen my friend). :-)

Josephy, once a month I host an adult movie night (er, movie night for adults). We get together to watch someone's idea of "a movie that we otherwise would never have seen", then gather outdoors around the firepit (many times until the sun rises) to discuss religion, science, politics and generally solve all the problems of mankind. Wish you could join us! I will get your book, though I already regret the deal - I have a stack of unread books already. You better read it!<br />
<br />
Your rejection of young-earth creationism is likely the only reason we're able to have a dialogue. It is passing difficult to have a debate with delusional people.<br />
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You may disagree with the theory of evolution, but it is indisputably the best theory we have - I'm talking about science here, not faith. What other <i>scientific</i> theory of the origin of species is better? I've read many attempts by creationists to pass off faith and rationalization as science. One example of creationist <i>science</i> I've read is that if the earth were billions of years old there would be SO MUCH more dust on the moon. Yes, I know, I'm preaching to the choir about young-earth creationists, but this is a good example of creationist <i>science</i>. No detailed hypothesis, no controlled experimentation, no data, no publication for peer review, etc. etc. The scientific process works, but only when it is applied.<br />
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As with all theories, the theory of evolution is a work in progress, and therefore, as you say, incomplete. Were you to be perfectly honest, you must admit that your problem with the theory is that you believe it contradicts the narrative of the Bible and the Abrahamic tradition of creation. This is unfortunate, because the theory of evolution neither seeks to contradict it, nor in fact does it contradict it. (unless you take a literal approach to the Bible, in which case we would have much bigger issues to discuss) Those like Dr. Ross who promote the concept of either/or are really doing humanity a disservice. They use terms like "missing link" - a single, meaningless term that seeks to discredit mountains of scientific research.<br />
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I find it fascinating to contrast how creationists and scientific researchers operate. First, we must understand that there is NO science in creationism. In fact, it's not even an "-ism" at all - just a belief in a creator. By its very definition, it is a faith-based mental exercise - a static, canonized belief structure. Creationists therefore spend all their energy fending off the perceived threat of scientific progress. Scientific research, on the other hand, is agnostic in the best, purest sense of the word - it doesn't care about the outcome. The outcome is based solely on data that is published for peer review. This is not to say that the theory of evolution is correct, only that the scientific process of getting at the truth is far, far superior to a faith-based approach to the truth.<br />
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I have not read the entire Bible, but I've read enough to know that it absolutely does not promote curiosity. The interpretation of a passage or two cannot stand up to the sheer magnitude of text to the contrary. St. Augustine said it best when he said: “There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity. It is this which drives us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which can avail us nothing and which man should not wish to learn”. Religious history and the Bible are fraught with effort to discourage curiosity and thwart scientific progress.<br />
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St. Augustine also said: "Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." This may be the most profound religious statement I've ever heard. Read it again - it is very telling. I offer this for contrast: "Science is to question that which you do not see; the reward is to believe only what you see."<br />
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There is nothing wrong with faith (well, actually there is, but that's another discussion). However, our debate becomes moot when people learn to embrace science as a tool for strengthening their faith. Faith is a personal journey. Faith is not static. Faith is not in a book. Faith is within...

~~ You have been a great source of comfort and assurance that i am not alone in my Christian walk ~~<br />
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imhere4u, thank you for your encouraging words. If I have been a comfort and assurance to you, this makes me happy. I give glory to God as I am only trying to live a life which will be acceptable to Him. <br />
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If you do decide to study creation -vs- evolution, I strongly recommend Dr. Hugh Ross's books. The first one I suggest is "The Creator and the Cosmo's". Dr. Ross is an astronomer, so he writes at a high level, but he does a good job of explaining himself to the average person such as I am. <br />
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God bless you.

mystreba, I will take you up on your offer of reading a book which the other suggests. I do suggest that you read "The Creator and The Cosmos" by Hugh Ross. In turn, I will read "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins.<br />
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Richard Dawkins is quite a hero of the other side. Of course, I must read him if I am able to debate his followers properly.<br />
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I will order the book from Amazon tonight.

Yes, at least we can agree on a creator. I don't agree with you at all that evolutionary theory is the best that we have. It is too riddled with holes and not really scientific IMO. On that, we can disagree.<br />
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As for the history of Christians being un-scientific. I hear that sometimes from atheists for a reason to not believe. But, I can only say, that it was "man" that did those things, and not God. Man can interpret and do anything he wants in the name of God and it does not mean his action is ordained by God. If you read the text of the bible, you will find a God who promotes skepticism. We are commanded to "test" things before accepting them. That is unheard of in any other spiritual text that I am aware of.<br />
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And, as for the young earth creationists.... what can I say. I think they damage the chances of bringing people to their beliefs. How can we deny that we have fossils on this earth which are older than 6000 years old??? I do not agree with the young earth creationists. There are some very smart people who are young earth creationists though. I do like to listen to some of the things they say, but when it comes to the age of the Earth, clearly it is older than 6000 years old.<br />
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Yes, I enjoy this dialogue as well, mystreba. It is nice to be able to disagree with someone on this issue without being called "stupid" or "retarded". I am neither. :-)

I am familiar with Dr. Ross, although I hadn't read the book you mention. So my question wasn't whether HE believed the earth was 6,000 years old, but rather what he had to say about the majority of creationists who do.<br />
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In terms of the Bible, quoting it is a pointless exercise - for every "inspirational" quote you have, I can point to one that exhibits the worst examples of human and superhuman morality. And yes the Muslims point to scientific "evidence" of embryology in the Qur'an as well, but of course the reading is less an exercise in science and more an exercise in extrapolation.<br />
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In terms of evolution, it is a scienfitic theory, and it's the best theory we have based on current evidence. Dr. Ross would be the LAST one to say anything of authority on science - he offers no evidence for his theories.<br />
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Evolution, as with all theories, is a work-in-progress. Research scientists in the field of evolution are not trying to prove or disprove creationism. In fact, they could care less about it. Creationism isn't a scientific theory, but rather a "canonized" belief structure - the answer is already known, and the answer is static. There is no searching. Instead, all mental energy is devoted to the gymnastics required to contort the evolving scientific landscape to fit the belief structure. <br />
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As I mentioned, it is interesting to note that this is the same behavior displayed by Christians when they persecuted Galileo for promoting the heliocentric theory - Christians desperately clung to their static, canonized belief in a geocentric universe. Eventually, facing a mountain of visible evidence that could not be contorted or denied, they had to concede (though some still have not). This will not likely happen with the theory of evolution, since, unlike the heliocentric theory, it cannot be witnessed.<br />
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So at least we agree there is a creator. That is something! But, most importantly:<br />
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1 - nothing about the theory of evolution precludes ancient-earth creationism<br />
2 - I am very thankful for this dialogue, josephy!

mystreba, Dr. Ross does not teach that the earth is a mere 6000 years old. Dr. Ross is an old earth creationist. He does not deny that there is fossil evidence going back millions of years showing life on earth. He does, ,however, point out the evolutionists cannot point to one transitional fossil that proves man came from apes or birds came from dinosaurs.<br />
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As for reading the bible, I have read it. I have taken classes to study it. I understand it quite well. I also understand that the Holy Bible is the only bible that explains the "transcendent" nature of our creator. Ex: "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible" Collosians 1:16<br />
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What other holy book or scientific book explained the atomic nature (unseen atoms) 4000 years ago? Only the Bible. <br />
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I want try to change your belief either. Just don't ignore the facts. Einstein proved with the theory of relativity that the universe is expanding. Hubble confirmed it with a study of "red shift light" study of super novas. Stephen Hawking confirmed the theory of relativity in his Space time theorem. The universe began at some point. A beginning suggests a creator. This is scientific consensus which our greatest minds agree on.<br />
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~~~ With the success of scientific theories in describing events, most people have come to believe that God allows the universe to evolve according to a set of laws and does not intervene in the universe to break these laws. However, the laws do not tell us what the universe should have looked like when it started -- it would still be up to God to wind up the clockwork and choose how to start it off. So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator.<br />
-- Stephen Hawking

Also, I strongly urge you to read the first five books of the Bible - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. <br />
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I spent many years laboring under the impression that all my doubts about Christianity would be resolved once I read the Bible. I always thought of it as this "wise book" that held all the secrets of life and happiness. I won't attempt to influence your opinion - just read it for yourself. Then look around (if you live here in America) and marvel at the number of people who believe it word-for-word.

Im curious if Dr. Ross explained why creationists teach that the earth is a mere 6,000 years old? It is positively delusional (belief in something against all evidence to the contrary). This is what happens when we subscribe to dogma - we conform all knowledge to fit our worldview, rather than use knowledge to form our worldview. Read the story of Galileo's persecution for promoting the theory of heliocentrism to see how this works. Incredibly, there are creationists who STILL believe the earth is the center of the universe, and therefore the sun rotates the earth - because that's what the Bible says. Do you really want to count yourself among their number?<br />
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The scientists Dr. Ross cites have an entirely different concept of "God". While they may believe in a creator, any literal interpretation of the Abrahamic traditions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) is to be regarded as mere ancient dogma. My best advice to a "new Christian" would be to question EVERYTHING.<br />
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I will make you a deal - I will read your book (I've read many like it), if you will read "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Or take the shortcut and listen to a one hour program on Chicago Public Radio's show This American Life, entitled "Godless America" (you can find it on iTunes or just Google it).<br />
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Belief in a Creator - GOOD.<br />
Belief in ancient myths about Gods and Goddesses - BAD.