Wednesday, July 11, 2007

While i knew that creationism had found a home in america, i did't realise they had dedicated museums for it. Still, it's nice to know that the traditional values of common sense, reason and logic are being held up, like a bright torch, to lead us on into the future. I'd hate to think stupid things like scientific evidence could get in the way of a proper education as to how things happened way back when.

26 comments:

RedsFan74 said...

Funny, this just goes to show the all knowing power of "science"

Out of curiosity, where DID everything come from?

Please tell me how we have "something from nothing".

Oh, and while you're at it, could you also please tell me how the Law of Entropy supports an expanding universe? And how come there are are mutagenic upgrades, only downgrades? Could it be because the Universe was created at some point in time and is running down now? And how could it possibly have come from nothing?

There are some of us who believe in Science and God, and I find it extremely offensive that you should say that I'm an idiot (not directly, but close enough) because I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Before you start expounding "science" maybe you should get out of your High School Text Books, and see what science really says. Are you a physicist? A Microbiologist? A Biologist? Then how do you KNOW what science says. And how about the fact that "science" constantly changes its mind.

FACT: Carbon Dating is inaccurate past 200 years (look it up). So how can you PROVE something is more than 200 yrs old if your method of dating is inaccurate?

Anonymous said...

jesus freaks on the loose..

Anonymous said...

redsfan74, your post is full of typical young-earth Creationist nonsense.

See here for the scientific explanation of why an expanding universe doesn't violate the second law of thermodynamics (click on the reply for the answer). The question was asked by a middle schooler, so I assume that your educational level, in Physics, at least, is around there. You talk a lot of smack and throw around a lot of fancy terms, but you have no clue what you're talking about, and probably learned them at Liberty University or some other such institute of "learning".

Check out this page for an explanation of carbon dating methods. Your 200 year figure is completely bogus and made up.

In terms of Science changing it's mind, it is true that Science refines its theories, as our knowledge expands. Science is based upon the Scientific Method, whereas religion is non-falsifiable by definition.

So please don't say you believe in Science. You believe in some made up super-being, and a utterly distorted and false view of what you call science.

In conclusion, I don't care what you believe in, whether it be the Flying Spaghetti Monster or some old man with a beard that watches over your every step. But, please, leave Science out of it and take your nonsense rhetoric elsewhere.

Alan said...

redfan74:

I have no problem with you believing in God/Jesus. That's completely your choice. What i do take offense to is the passing off of rubbish with no scientific basis as scientific fact.

Creationism is not scientific in any way shape or form. It is not falsifiable. Therefore it is, by definition, *not* a scientific theory. The term 'creation science' (or whatever derivative of that people like to use) is nonsense. Those terms are mutually exlusive.

Creationism relies on people taking words written in a book as the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth. Science relies on people questioning the truth, trying to prove it wrong, striving to get a better understanding of what actually happened way back when.

Of course, the one argument i see as a show stopper for creationism is:

If God is the almighty and created everything, who created him? If you take as fact that he was always there and always will be, is it not just as easy to believe that the universe has always been there and always will be and does not contain a 'creator'?

Alan said...

I'd also like to point out that there are 'mutagenic upgrades' as you'd like to call them. Unfortunately the best example of this is evolution, which you, as a creationist, think is a false theory.

I *know* what Science says by picking up a scientific journal and reading it. Or a science book. Even wikipedia is a great source of scientific knowledge.

Anonymous said...

RedsFan74, it doesn't really matter if you find it offensive, the fact is that you *are* an idiot. It's not because you believe in the "Lord" Jesus Christ, rather your belief in this nonsense is a side-affect of your idiocy.

The fact is that you probably haven't read the Bible from front to back. Do, then come back and tell us how well your beliefs are still holding up. If you still believe after you've read the Bible, then you are an evil bastard, as well as your God.

Anonymous said...

you might be interested to read the book entitled "Atlas of Creation" at http://www.harunyahya.com/books/darwinism/atlas_creation/atlas_creation_01.php . This book from the perspective of Islam.

Alan said...

Unfortunately the atlas of creation is also horrendously inaccurate, to put it mildly.

There have been scientific tests completed which did verify that evolution does occur. Of course, the tests, on such a small scale, can in no way prove a single celled organism can turn into a human, but they did prove that genetic mutations that give a survival advantage do spread out among the population. Thus 'evolution' occurred.

Unfortunately, there are also fossil records showing how species evolved over time. Take for example the very traditional ape -> human modal. There have been enough skeletal fossils from different era's discovered to say with reasonable certainty that apes and humans came from the same stock.

This is where i stopped reading the link you supplied. That's enough deliberate lies/misleading statements for me.

RedsFan74 said...

--LONG POST....SCIENCE EXPLANATION--

I hadn't planned on coming back here after leaving my post about my faith, the apparent attack on. But I needed to check something on the Mono site, and out of curiosity, came back.

First off, I applaud everyone who posted anonymously. While I have a psuedonym (don't struggle TOO much) on here, at least you can find my email, and contact me.

Second of all...Thank you for the anonymous comment calling me a "Jesus Freak". That is a term that I hold in high-regard, because I am a new born creation in the eyes of God, and I owe it all to the love and passion of Jesus Christ.

Third of all, I don't appreciate the "evil bastard" attacks against me or OUR God. Yes, OUR God. I find that people who have to throw out profanities, or vulgarities have neither the intelligence or the knowledge (yes, they are seperate) to have an intelligent debate.

I have read the Bible, and I read it everyday. The Bible (if one were to actually read it, and not blast it) is one of the greatest treasures ever known. Yes, translations have fallacies, because they were done by man, but the DIVINELY inspired original works are without error. May we draw incorrect conclusions about them? Yes, but that is because we as man are fallible.

So I don't know Science huh? And I apparently am a "middle schooler" for asking anyone to answer a question about entropy.

Well then how about this for some "knowledge":Carbon-14 (the radioisotope that is used in Carbon Dating...how many of you knew the isotope's name?) is created when cosmic rays knock neutrons out of atomic nuclei in the atmosphere. These displaced neutrons hit ordinary Nitrogen, and convert it to C14. Unlike C12 (normal carbon) C14 is unstable and decays slowly, changing back to Nitrogen and releasing energy.

We can therefore take an air sample, and find the ratio between C14 and C12. Because C14 is so mixed up wtih C12 , we expect to find that this ratio is the same if we sample a blade of grass, or a strand of hair from your body.

In living things, although C14 is constantly changing back to N14, they are still exchanging carbon with their surroundings, so the mixture stays the same as in the atmosphere. However, as soon as a plant or animal dies, the C14 atoms which decay are no longer replaced, giving us our "Clock"

As you can see, this would only work for something that was once living, and not for anything like oh...volcanic rock.

The rate of decay for C14 is such, that half an amount will convert back to N14 in approximately 5,730 years(give or take 40 years), which is the "Half-Life" (we've all played it...we all love it). So in two half-lives, or 11,460 years (+/-80 now), only 1/4 will be left. Thus if the amount of C14/C12 in a living organism at present, then it has a theoretical age of 11,460 years. Anything over 50,000 years old should theoretically have no detectable amounts of C14 in them.

Which is why Carbon Dating CANNOT go back millions of years.

There is MUCH more involved, such as different discriminations of plants to C12/C14, and the amount of C14 in the atmosphere has not been constant (due to industrialization), which when burning fossil fuels, released a lot of carbon dioxide that was depleted in C14. This would make things which died in that time frame to appear OLDER than they actually were.

And of course, on the flip side, in the 1950's, more C14 was put into the air due to atomic testing which would make things that died then appear to be YOUNGER than they were.

So tell me. Are you willing to risk eternity over something that could have been affected in so many different ways?

I'll answer the "God before anything" question in my next post.

RedsFan74 said...

From Stephen Hawkings (scientist right?) book A Brief History in Time he states, 'If we find the answer to that [ie why it is that we and the universe exist], it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason-for then we would know (emphasis added)the Mind of God

First off, let me recant my "200 years" comment. What was meant by that (if you'll look back at my previous post) was that since the Industrial age (and slightly before with the higher usages of gunpowder/steam power/etc) Carbon Dating is an unreliable method of telling time due to the fact there are mitigating circumstances involved in the amount in an organism when it dies.

Now. To answer the "Creationist Stopper" question.

The Big Bang - Not all scientists agree with the concept, and in fact, many have never supported the idea. There have also been other non-biblical creation ideas such as: the 'steady state' and the 'plasma' theory. The Big Bang scenario involves tremendous (even infinite) energy in the beginning, but supplies no explanation for the source of this energy. Nor is it clear how the gravity of the initial universal black hole can be overcome by a 'quantum fluctuation'. There is also no convincing explanation as to why an outward spray of gas radiating from the 'big bang' should form galaxies, stars, and planets.

The "evidence" for the big bang consists of just three concepts - (1)the alleged expansion of the universe, (2)the microwave background radiation, and (3)the cosmic abundance of Helium. These phenomena however, also have other possible explanations. For example:

1. No one has ever seen the universe expanding. Expansion the is interpretation of the redshift. For nearly 20 yrs, Astronomer William G. Tifft of the University of Arizona has been claiming that his 'accurate' measures of Galaxy redshifts show that redshifts: 'tend to fall on evenly spaced values, like rungs of a ladder', not in a smooth manner as would be expected if the universe were expanding. This has led many scientists to wonder what the redshifts really mean.

2. There are other explanations for the abundunce of helium in the universe. Eric Lerner happily weaves it into the plasma theory.

To believe that the ENTIRE universe was once condensed into a point of zero dimensions (explain that one) takes an unimaginable leap of faith; in fact, I would argue, much more faith than it takes to believe that God created everything the way he wanted in Genesis.

Any theory that dispenses with the true God is itself not true, and will not stand the test of time.

To say that God was "created" before the universe is to do away with the awesomeness that is God. To put God into a bottle, and say that he was "created" by another lowers the stature of God, and His relationship with the Universe.

Christians understand that God always existed before he created the universe, and that he is transcendent to this universe because he 'inhabits eternity'(Isaiah 57:15).

So to answer your question: No one created God, because he inhabits eternity, and exists outside any realm of understanding that we may have. The Bible is provided as a means of our knowing the Lord, and coming to understand that forgiveness for our sin comes from the Blood of Jesus Christ, which he shed on the Cross for our salvation.

There is nothing wrong with Science. I believe that Science (in many cases) is true and believeable. Am I the narrow minded bigot because I wish my children to learn what God did, as well as the results of what he did (science).

Science can explain what God did, but it'll never be able to explain HOW He did it. To know the mind of God as Hawking put it, is to know your Bible.

Anyone wishing to learn more should read the Book of John(4 books into the New Testament...Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) which explains the Glory of Christ in a way that I cannot, and answers many questions that an unbeliever may have.

Anyone wishing to contact me (other than for "flaming" which I didn't do to you) may do so at: william.hatter@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Please post references to back your assertions.

RedsFan74 said...

--SPOILER: APE->MAN MYTH DEBUNKED--

The best known fossil apemen are the extinct australopithecines (also called 'southern apes'). In the book Teaching About Evolution on page 20 illustrates a series of 5 skulls: Australopithecus afarensis (‘Lucy’), A. africanus, early Homo, H. erectus, and H. sapiens (modern man). However, many evolutionists disagree with this picture. For example, Donald Johanson, the discoverer of 'Lucy', places A. africanus on a side branch not leading to humanity.(D. Johanson and T.D. White, Science 203:321, 1979; 207:1104, 1980). Anatomist Charles Oxnard performed a detailed analysis of different bones of A. africanus and concluded that it did not walk upright in the manner of a man, and was more distinct from both humans and chimpanzees than these are from each other.(C.E. Oxnard, Nature 258:389–395, 1975.)

Teaching About Evolution emphasizes physical and especially DNA similarities between human and other living organisms, and this is alleged to be evidence of evolution. However, this is not a direct finding, but an interpretation of the data.

A common designer is another interpretation that makes sense of the SAME DATA. An architect commonly uses the same building material for different buildings, and a carmaker commonly uses the same parts on different cars. So why should we be surprised if our Creator uses the same materials when creating different organisms?

And this is a good thing. Without the common biochemistry between living organisms, we would not be able to gain nourishment from other living things. (Meat or vegetable).

Since DNA contains the coding for structures and biochemical modules, we should expect the most similar creatures to have similar DNA. Apes and Humans are both mammals, with similar structures (though not identical), so they have similar DNA. But Humans also have similarities in DNA structure to pigs and dogs. Does that mean we are "evolved" from them as well?

The "Molecules to Man" process is an uphill climb, which is exactly the opposite of what we see happening today.

I find it amusing that someone of intelligence would put their "faith" in science, and perpetrate(sp?) it to be the end-all-be-all, when by your own admission, science is only proved by its ability to be "falsified".

Why would anyone want to put their faith in something that has the ability to be proved wrong.I believe in the scientific method, but only as a measure of proving God's providence. Science was given to us by God to help us understand the world around us. God wants us to understand, otherwise he wouldn't have given us cognizent ability, and the freedom of choice (not will, unfortunately we do not have free will as it is defined).

As you stated Alan, you believe I have the freedom to "choose" my belief in The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. By the same token, I recognize your right to choose to believe in the "falsifiable" science that you proclaim to be the "bright torch" we should all follow.

But doesn't the fact that I can disprove science in the face of God, but you cannot disprove God in the face of science make you think?

I will pray for you my brother, and I hope that you'll give as much weight to my arguments as I have yours. I welcome discussion of this, and look forward to helping you, and anyone else who wishes see the the Truth for what it is, and not for what you're taught it is.

Anyone can pick up a Bible, and with the help of the Holy Spirit (which is a promise from God to all believers) discern Truth from the Bible. No amount of scientific journals can do the same...why? Because they disagree with one another.

And to head of the obvious argument: "Religions don't agree", in that fact you are correct. Because we are Human, and we are ALL sinners, we disagree on what the Bible tells us sometimes. But when Judgement comes (and believe me, its coming soon), I can stand before the Lord and proclaim "I did what I could with what I had. If I misinterpreted your word Lord, Forgive me"....and he will.

RedsFan74 said...

What references would you like?

All my posts are either direct, or indirect quotes from the Answers in Genesis website, most specifically found here:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/AnswersBook/index.asp

But the assertions put forth in my first post on Carbon Dating can be found in various Science Books.

For direct quote about Redshifting look here:
Tim Beardsley, ‘Quantum Dissidents’, Scientific American, December 1992, pp. 19–20. Two British astronomers, Bruce N.G. Guthrie and William M. Napier, who investigated this in the belief that they would debunk it, report that they were ‘quite surprised to find the hypothesis held up’. Op. cit. See also ‘News Notes’, Sky and Telescope, August 1992, pp. 128–129. Cf. B.N.G. Guthrie and W.M. Napier, ‘Evidence for red shift perodicity in nearby field galaxies’, Mon. Not. R. Astr. Soc. 253, 1991, pp. 533–544; and John Gribbin, ‘“Bunched” red shifts question cosmology’, New Scientist, 21–28 December 1991.

There are various other sources too numerous to list here. If you wish to do the research rather than just taking my word for it, please. I am a fallible human, and can make mistakes. So if something I've posted is not true, then please show me where I'm wrong.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

All references you know of would be great.

Also, rocks are not dated on C14, but on other radioisotopes (from wikipedia search on it)

Ken said...

resfan74 claims to "believe in Science and God". Yet he says: "And how about the fact that "science" constantly changes its mind."
If she understands anything about science then she would know that any reliable knowledge is relative - improving as we accumulate more information. Knowledge that is fixed in stone clearly can't be correct.

Anonymous said...

ken: there is little or no guarantee that knowledge is monotonically increasing in time.

Alan said...

"Why would anyone want to put their faith in something that has the ability to be proved wrong.I believe in the scientific method, but only as a measure of proving God's providence."

The only thing i have left to say in this discussion is this.

1) I do not "believe" in science. To believe or disbelieve implies that a leap of faith is required. You believe in God. That requires a leap of faith that a higher being does exist. "Believing" in science is like believing that 1 + 1 = 2. You can believe or disbelieve 1 + 1 = 2, but that doesn't change the fact that it is.

2) What a lot of creationists fail to understand (don't ask me why) is that Science involves the *search* for knowledge. It strives to seek explanations for the world around us. As you are so keen to point out, man is fallible. Therefore science is fallible. This is one of the most important things in science, the recognition that there is always a chance that your theory/law is incorrect and must be modified/discarded when new evidence arrives which contradicts previous understanding.

3) "But doesn't the fact that I can disprove science in the face of God, but you cannot disprove God in the face of science make you think?"

You can't 'disprove' Science. The most you can do is disprove some theories, or you could argue with current thinking about certain topics. You cannot simply say 'All science is wrong and made up'. Science is what brought you the amazing computer you're using to write a comment on this blogpost. Of course, you'll probably attribute that to the creator, or 'God' if you will.

You see, the only way we could 'disprove' the existance of God would be to visit every square inch of the multiverse, every dimension, every plane of existance and show that there is nothing there. Thankfully though, Scientific method places the onus of proof on the proposer of a theory. So, i ask you to prove, beyond reasonable doubt that God in fact does exist.

God, by his very nature, cannot be disproven. God requires that you just believe he's there. If you can tell me *one* test, which can be repeated on demand, which can ascertain one way or another whether God definitely exists, i will run that test. I only require one test. Just one.

Alan said...

About evolution in particular:

You might want to check this site:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/project.html

Alan said...

And (hopefully) the last thing i want to rebuke is your comment about carbon dating:

You're absolutely right, Carbon dating by checking C-14 cannot go back by more than 50,000 -> 60,000 years. There are only trace amounts left.

However there are plenty of other dating methods (which use the same basic technique) which are perfectly capable of going back millions of years, and don't suffer the same drawbacks that C-14 dating does.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric_dating#Modern_dating_techniques

RedsFan74 said...

Thank you first of all, for being polite in your posts. I do find it refreshing to be able to have a discussion with someone, and not have to resort to name calling (as some have done on this very post).

Yes, I do attribute the fact that I have a computer to write this post on to God.

Before you laugh, or respond, follow my argument: God created the universe. God created all the materials in the universe. God gave man the ability to search and apply those materials for mans use. God gave man the intelligence to combine materials in certain ways to provide all that we have today.

Also, I'm not a she, but a he.

I put a lot of stock in science. If it weren't for science, my oldest son (who just celebrated his 5th birthday) wouldn't be with us today due to an internal disease that was slowly killing him.

However, I praise God for giving us the ability of doing medical research, finding out how things work, and giving certain people (in this case his GI Dr.) the ability to put that knowledge to use.

Please don't lump all Christians into the: God will heal all so why go to a docotor nonsense. I go to the Doctor because God gave that person the ability, knowledge, and desire to help others.

You yourself Alan have abilities given to you by God that allow you provide a service to others. While I'm a network engineer, and am going to school for a Software Engineer degree, I could not currently work on a project such as Mono. I'd be befuddled where to even start.

You asked for a test. One that could work "every time". Well here is the test (its a little deep, and I hope that it strikes you the same way it does me):

Look in a mirror.

That's all, look in a mirror. If you are not the greatest evidence of God, then I don't know what is.

I used to believe the way many of you do. Then my eyes were opened, and I discovered the Lord, and what he did for me(and you).

I hope you're not "done" responding, because I find this discussion a break from the mundane.

Also, I refute wikipedia as any sort of "reliable" source. It is written and maintained by the general populace, and has bias and mis-information. While I have used wikipedia in the past, I have also been burned by the misinformation presented there.

RedsFan74 said...

And heres some of the reasons why I don't trust "radiometric dating".

Before we can even start to determine the age of a rock, we have to break it down into its chemical components. Before we can calculate the age of the rock, we have to start making assumptions. We must assume what radioactive elements were in the rock when it formed. Then, based off whatever assumptions we make, we can then obtain any age that we desire.

Ask a geologist this....Would a geologist "accept" a radiometric date unless the think its correct?

You may find that many geologists will say no. They will not accept the date provided, unless they believe that its correct.

Again we run into a problem. We are basing our knowledge off of assumptions, then finding the numbers that fit into what we wish to be correct.

How hard is it to believe the Earth is only 6000 years old? You find it easier to believe 100 billion (or whatever the current number is) why? Because you don't wish to acknowledge that there is a God who created everything?

I've found that most people who refute the existence of God (not a creator, or super-being...but God)do so because they believe a few basic things: 1. If they acknowledge God, and that they are God's creations, then they are less special than they should be if it just "happened" 2. They believe they will have to start following certain "rules" and have them forced upon them (believe me, this is NOT true) 3. They've had bad experiences with organized religion in the past (my case) 4. They are forced to look at themselves with the Bible as their standard, and find that they fall far short of the mark (everyone falls short).

What people don't realize however, is that its OK to fall short of the Mark. God loves you anyway. That's why he sent his Son Jesus to die for our sins. I continue to sin to this day. Not because I want to, but because the flesh and its desires are by nature sinful. I don't have "rules" and "regulations" forced upon me that I HAVE to follow. I choose (theres that word again) to follow them, because I've seen the results (a crumbling marriage turned around, children who are a delight rather than a terror, a life near suicide turned into one of joy). A Christian who has accepted Christ also realizes that to be made by God is something so special, that it goes beyond mere definition.

Take the best day of your life, and multiply it by 1000. That's an example of how it feels to know that God made you special, and loves you very much.

You were made by God for your good and His Glory.

The time is coming close when people will have to choose one way or another. I pray that some of what I'm saying sinks in, and you explore the possibility of a life with Christ.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that the possessive for the Cincinnati Reds team is Cincinnati Reds', because Reds is a plural noun.

So, even though I'm sure your "heavy on the bible" education taught you how to write properly, errors have cropped up.

How the heck can we trust that you've understood god's word, redsfan74, when you've shown yourself to be so fallible in the most important task you've ever had on the internet: entitling your blog. Maybe you've just made a series of similar errors in coming to your obtuse understanding of nature (or God's creation)?

As well as a grammar nazi (wouldn't Marge Schott love me), I'm a big Red's fan. I don't like it when people disrespect my team.

Lluis said...

"How hard is it to believe the Earth is only 6000 years old? You find it easier to believe 100 billion (or whatever the current number is) why?"

I find it easier because I believe in science and the research done so far shows that the Earth is much older. Maybe dating methods are not perfect, and there isn't an irrefutable demonstration of it, but that's what the common belief given the evidence we have nowadays.

"Because you don't wish to acknowledge that there is a God who created everything?"

Why do you need to believe Earth is 6000 years old to believe in God?

You know, I have that image of God giving us the intelligence and the common sense so we can learn about our environment, so we can build tools such as computers, microscopes and telescopes, so we can learn about the universe and make theories which try to explain how everything fits together.

And despite all those gifts God gave us to help us discover the truth about ourselves, people still believe in legends written thousands of years ago by people who had a fraction of a fraction of the knowledge humanity has today. What a waste of resources. If God really exists, he must be up there pulling his hair out.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I think of God, I just shudder at the thought of all of the atrocities committed in His name.

The Greeks and the Romans believed in Gods, and the Egyptians before them. I think that most people would agree these days that the ancient peoples of these groups used these Gods and other mythical legends to explain things that they did not understand.

Hence mermaids (aka sirens) and things like that.

No doubt these myths were also used to teach lessons/morals, which probably ended up later being taken too seriously (and no doubt stretched and made into "tall-tales").

Never underestimate fear of the unknown as a major motivating factor into getting people to behave a certain way.

The Christian church (and no doubt other religions as well) knew this and took advantage of it numerous times throughout history.

As to your "proof" that God exists, telling us to look in the mirror... I look like an evolved monkey. So I guess that proves God doesn't exist and that I am indeed the product of evolution. Or was that not what you were trying to prove without a doubt? Because I kinda lost you there...

You claim that in your experience anyone who doesn't believe in God doesn't because they feel more special believing that they were a product of evolution? I find just the opposite and I think your "look in the mirror" statement suggests that you feel more special believing you were created by God (directly or indirectly).

My experience is that people who believe in God (especially those who did not "originally" believe) do so because of a need to feel protected from the evils of the world. It helps them sleep at night believing that they will somehow be saved when they die, because they'll go to heaven where everything is hunky-dory - this all comes back to "fear of the unknown" which I mentioned above as a major motivating factor in people's behavior.

Perhaps you or a loved one came close to death and so you picked up religion to quell your fears of it?

Don't get me wrong... there are good things about just about all of the religions out there... the teachings of love/respect are all good. But don't take the Bible so literally, it was never meant to be taken so.

As I mentioned above, in ancient times stories were passed along by word of mouth and over time exaggerated and distorted from their original version.

I find your choice of words in the following quote interesting:

"but the DIVINELY inspired original works are without error."

If they were "inspired" by God as you put it, then it means that it was still interpreted by man, and men as you kept reminding us are prone to error. So which is it?

The Bible was written by man and thus is full of errors, like it or not. God or no.

To take the Bible literally while acknowledging that it was written by man is silly.

I mean, next you'll be telling us how Noah built a ship large enough to hold 2 of every species on it and saved the world from flood. This story is laughable at best - it's like a typical Hollywood plot line... full of holes, like swiss cheese with holes big enough to drive freight trains through. It just doesn't work.

We'll have to call it early quantum
state phenomenon - Only way to fit
five-thousand species of mammal on
the same boat.
-- Firefly

Anonymous said...

I'm curious...

How does Redsfan74 explain thunder & lightning?

In ancient times, the Greeks used to explain lightning to be Zeus battling with someone, throwing his bolts of electricity at his foe.

Today, we explain lightning to be the result of nature attempting to reach a charge balance between the ground and the clouds. Where the clouds build up a positive(?) charge and the ground has an overall negative(?) charge, and eventually the charge difference becomes great enough that a bolt of lightning results.

We can reproduce this phenomenon in a lab on a smaller scale, so we know it to be true (As well, of course, as having other evidence to support it).

Now... I'm sure Redsfan74 must agree that lightning is not a result of Zeus throwing bolts of electricity (because that would contradict his Christian beliefs)... and that Redsfan74 must in fact know that science has explained how lightning occurs.

So... where does that leave his beliefs?

Does he believe that he is right and that the ancient Greeks were naive to believe in Gods such as Zeus? If so, how can he be sure that he is right and they are wrong? After all, the Greeks believed as stoutly if not more so that Zeus existed than he believes in his Christian God.

If he, instead, believes that it is possible that the Greek God Zeus is the true explanation of the source of lightning, then he can't be all that sure that his own God exists as The One True God.

I guess my point is that given enough time, man will be able to explain any phenomenon with science beyond any reasonable doubt, leaving it fairly unlikely that a God exists - at least in so much as Redsfan74 and his ilk like to think of Him.

As stated in the previous post, the Bible should not be interpreted literally. You need to recognize that it was written by mortal men in ancient times with ancient understandings of how things worked. Many of the stories had been passed orally for centuries before being translated to written form and thus many exaggerations and other distortions of the original occurred. Add to that mis-translations between languages and you get quite a different picture than the way it began.

Exercise:

Gather a group of 15-20 friends and sit in a circle. Begin by telling the person to your right a story in whispered form such that no one else can hear what you are saying. Have that person whisper to the person on their right and so on until it gets told back to you by the person on your left.

Does the story remain exactly the same? Or does it in fact become distorted? Does the story even contain the same basic concepts of your original story? Is the underlying message the same?

This is a children's game and so I'm sure you recognize it and I'm sure you also recognize what happens... the story changes quite a bit by the time it gets back to you, doesn't it? Each person changes the story ever so slightly either because he/she misinterprets what the previous person said, because they reworded it slightly or because they felt the story would be more interesting if it were slightly embellished.

If so much distortion occurs with just 15-20 people over a short period of time, imagine how much it changes over the course of centuries being told by many different people to people of other cultures, languages, ages, etc who all see the world slightly differently who then go on to pass along your story to others, minutes later, days later, months later, years later... long after the facts become misremembered... before finally, centuries later, being written down by clergy with a vested interest in keeping people interested in his religion, perhaps even wishing to instill fear that not believing in his religion would mean eternal damnation.


In conclusion?

I believe in the underlying messages of the Bible, but I do not believe there to be a God nor do I believe that the Bible should be taken literally.

Taking the Bible literally is naive and/or hypocritical depending on your level of education.

Anonymous said...

"The time is coming close when people will have to choose one way or another. I pray that some of what I'm saying sinks in, and you explore the possibility of a life with Christ."

Are you suggesting, like so many of your ilk, that if I don't follow the path of the Christian God that I will spend eternity in Hell?

Yet... you claim that God loves us all? If he does, then why would he send me to Hell, even if I don't believe in Him?

To put it another way... many people like to explain God as like a father to all mankind, that he loves us all as a father loves his children.

If that is so, then he would bring us all to Heaven, no matter what our beliefs. No matter how sinful we might have been.

If this is true... then how is the popular notion of Hell explained? And what is it that you meant in your statement above?

You seem to think your belief is the One True Way. Why? What makes you so sure? How can you be sure that all the other people out there with different religious beliefs are wrong? Are you somehow better than everyone else?

Are you better than the Muslims? Are you better than the Jews? Are you better than the Buddhists? The Hindus?

What makes you right and them wrong?

Are you so sure because your minister told you so? How is he so sure? Did God speak to him and tell him so? If that is the excuse, then how can you be certain he's telling the truth?

How do you explain that people of other religions who claim to have had their God(s) speak to them are wrong about their way being the Right Way And The Only Way?

You just gotta have faith, you say? Well, the Muslims have faith that their way is the Right Way. You have your faith that your way is the Right Way. Etc etc etc.

Who's right, who's wrong and how can you prove it?

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