Dark Phoenix Vs. Call of the Wild- Round 2
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20-09-2015, 04:30 AM (This post was last modified: 20-09-2015 04:45 AM by Call_of_the_Wild.)
RE: Dark Phoenix Vs. Call of the Wild- Round 2
(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You have given me a lot of material to cover.

Big Grin

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So far we have had a policy of candidly speaking our minds, so I am going to do so again here. Frankly, I can tell from the language you use and the questions you ask that you do not understand Evolutionary Theory.

*Paraphrasing myself* "You believe a mindless and blind process gave you a brain, consciousness, eyes, ears, etc".

Unless you are going to tell me below that evolution isn't a mindless and blind PROCESS, then I have a good understanding of the theory.


(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I am fully aware of how loaded a statement like that is, so let me just nip your protestations in the bud. First of all, I am not interested in dismissing your scientific ignorance on the grounds that pointing it out is some kind of tactical method of argument.

Ignorance?? Ahh yes. It never, ever, ever ,ever ,ever, EVER fails. Never. Whenever there is a person who doesn't buy into the whole theory of evolution, the person always gets accused of being ignorant of the theory. It happens allll the time. Probably about a 95% probability that it will happen.

It is almost as if evolutionists are so smart, and the person that doesn't believe it is so dumb.

Let me tell you something; it doesn't matter how you explain the theory...how you slice the cake, or what technical babble you choose to use to explain it. When it is all said and done, you are sitting there telling me that a PROCESS (evolution is a process, right?)...a process that can't think (the process doesn't have a mind, does it?)....and a process that can't see (the process doesn't have vision, does it?)...you are telling me that such a process gave you life, a brain, a mind, eyes, and specified bodily systems.

That is what you are telling me. And I just don't believe, not because it just defies logic, but because there is just no evidence for it.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I have heard enough belly aching about how scientists are conspiring to marginalize the non-scientists world view to last more than a life time. When it comes to the facts, as discovered by scientific observation and experiment, you don't get to have a counter opinion unless you have data of your own.

I am not even sure that the data that has been presented for your side of things is worth even pocket lint.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Now, you are fully entitled to ask, who am I to say that? That is part of what makes this particular argument so frustrating from my perspective. I am just a guy who happens to be aware of only some aspects of various scientific theories, in short a layman of science. Under any reasonable set of common circumstances someone higher up on the scientific credential ladder should be the one setting your straight with the facts. However, not accepting an entire scientific model is quite another thing altogether. Under those circumstances, not only is a guy like me able to set you straight with a reasonable amount of accuracy, I am under a moral obligation to not ignore the gaping chasm in your education.

I am under obligation to common sense intuition. Common sense logic and reasoning...and what I am being sold by evolutionists goes against not only common sense logic and reasoning, but it goes against observation and experiment...which is what I THOUGHT science is supposed to be all about.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Now, I understand fully that you don't see it that way. You have made it clear that you think you know what Evolution is all about and you don't accept it. However, you betray yourself in the very language you employ to express that to me. Your comments more or less prove that what understanding you think you have is incorrect. That's the trouble with ignorance, you don't know what you don't yet know, so you don't yet grasp the significance of what you reject.

"A mindless and blind process which gave you eyes, ears, a brain, a mind, and bodily systems". That is evolution in a nut shell.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It makes it even harder when you think you understand perfectly well. How could I possibly prove that to not just be talk? Well, that's gonna take a few paragraphs.

I am bracing myself for bio-babble. Don't worry, I will point it out as I see it.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  However, none of that explaining is going to do any good unless you understand that I am not necessarily smarter or more gifted than you because of what I know about Evolution. If anything, luck or chance has placed us in these roles because it would have been just as likely that you would argue this with an actual scientist. When we are in the ring like this, battling it out, it's the easiest thing in the world to imagine that I am just trying to "win" by making you feel stupid. Nothing could be further from the reality of this situation and how I feel about it all these miles away behind my keyboard.

Making me feel stupid? Laugh out load You don't have to worry about that one, good friend.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I would not be being candid if I failed to tell you how out of context these Evolution vs. Creationism debates are with our collective scientific knowledge.

Scientific knowledge? Regardless of whether one is a scientist or an average joe schmoe...here is what we "know"; let's just take a dog, for example. We know that if dogs are given enough time to mate and reproduce, eventually, dozens upon dozens of different varieties/breeds of dogs will result. This is what we see (observe). This is what we can experiment on, and expect and/or predict results. This is microevolution. This is actual science.

My favorite dog breed..the leonberger, owes its orgins to such experimentation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonberger#History

That is science, and it takes me right back to the whole "dogs produce dogs, cats produce cats, fish produce fish" thing. I've never seen an animal produce what it isn't, I've only seen an animal produce what it is...and that is all you've seen.

Now, the evolutionist seems to believe that long ago, when no one was around to see, animals were having these reptile-bird kinds of transformations...and there is just no evidence whatsoever that these macro changes EVER occurred, and if you believe it, you are relying on the unseen..you are relying on faith.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Plainly said, we have come a long way with fossils and facts since Darwin lived

What about fossils? And what are the "facts"?

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  , and anyone who says Evolution isn't a fact is either unaware or unwilling to accept the available evidence.

I will go with the latter. We are unwilling to accept the "evidence" that has been presented to us regarding evolution. Kind of the same thing you are unwilling to do with the theistic evidence/arguments.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Evolution is the only scientific theory of biodiversity and it has no scientific rival. It not only has explanatory power, but actual accuracy in its predictions.

What did evolution accurately predict? Hey, I have a prediction...I predict that to answer my question, you will give me an example of microevolution inistead of macro.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  This is one of those hard facts I was talking about, predictions. In science, accurate information can be used to predict the outcomes of experiments, foretell natural phenomena, and ultimately uncover new information. The power of predictions lies in its self correction, because only accurate information can result in a successful prediction. Often, these predictions are so specific that the slightest deviation would result in falsifying the prediction.

And?

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Perhaps the most famous yet simple example of the predictive power of Evolution by Natural Selection is Xanthopan morgani, or more commonly, Morgan's Sphinx Moth. In 1862 upon receiving a package of Orchid flowers from a colleague, Charles Darwin noted the "astonishing length" of what is known in Botany as the "spur" of the Orchids. The spur is an elongated hollow spike which extends behind the flower and contains nectar. The length of this particular spur was such that it seemed absurd that any creature could reach the nectar in order to assist in necessary pollination.

After considering the evolutionary relationship between birds, insects, and flowers in pollination, Darwin predicted that there must exist some hitherto unknown creature with a "proboscis" (elongated appendage) long enough to reach the nectar. Once indirectly in 1903 and finally more systematically in 1992, scientists discovered and confirmed the existence of just such a creature, Xanthopan morgani. Darwin's prediction is just one tiny, simplistic example of how correct scientific theories can be used to predict facts in the natural world.

Nonsense. The Xanthopan morgani could have already existed long before 1903 and was already reaching the nectar long before your lord and savior Charles Darwin even ponder such a thought. Second, even if what you are saying is true, that isn't evolution. The genetic information within the moth was already there. Having a longer proboscis doesn't change the moth to a non-moth. It is still a moth.

That is micro-evolution (as I predicted above). What I want is an example of MACRO-EVOLUTION. You know, the reptile-bird kind of nonsense. Got any examples of those? No, you don't.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  This principle has been used successfully to predict what kind of fossils will be found in a given area from a specific time in the past. Methods of dating the sediments around the globe are consistent with the fossil life found in their various layers, which is ultimately consistent with a slow, natural, Evolution by Natural Selection.

That is nonsense. Have you heard of the cambrian explosion? Actually, I am sure you have. Those "various layers" that you are talking about doesn't show "a slow, natural, evolution by Natural Selection".

What the layers show is "no evolutionary sequence, but layers at which all phyla's coexist simultaneously, all with full and complete body plans".

There is no "fossil record", because if there were, with all of the hundreds and thousands of organisms that have died off and fossilized, we should have complete fossil records of dozens...COMPLETE fossil records, too.

But do we have any? No, we don't.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If science were to throw out Evolution, it would have to throw out countless examples of accurate knowledge that were only possible to acquire via the theory.

Please provide an example of a reptile-bird kind of transformation...if you can't, then we don't have "countless examples" of anything.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  There is literally no such thing as non-evolutionary biology in science today.

That is like saying there is no such thing as non-prayer in churches today.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Despite how uncomfortable the situation is, the reality is that we are not taking part in a fair and balanced debate. The scientific community isn't debating whether or not Evolution has taken place, but rather exactly how it has taken place.

Of course. And in the theological community, the debate isn't whether or not God exists, but rather how God has revealed himself. Is he Allah, Jehovah, Jesus, etc? You won't find the those kinds of debates in scientific laboratories now, would you?

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So, you can say all you want that Evolutionary Theory isn't provable, but the reality is, you can't receive even an elementary education in biology today without having that assertion disproved a hundred times over. Statements like that reveal that you do not understand the significant of "theory" in a scientific context Vs. the colloquial.

Evolution should be taught in private schools. If you want to be taught that we owe our existence to primordial soup that lightning struck some billion years ago, fine. But I believe we owe our existence to a Supernatural Creator that wanted us to be here, not by some process that knew nothing/saw nothing, but apparently did EVERYTHING.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The first thing I should tell you is what Evolution is not. Evolution is not the scientific theory of how life began to exist.

Then you don't have a viable theory. As I told others and will now tell you; abiogenesis could very well be a false premise. The question "Could life have arisen naturally from nonliving material" could have an answer of "no". If that is the case, then abiogenesis is false. But if abiogenesis is false, then evolution without God is also false.

Do you see how that works?

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Evolution is a theory of biodiversity, or how life changes over time and becomes more diverse. It does not even attempt to explain or describe the conditions necessary for that life to exist to begin with.

Nor does it attempt to example how a reptile can evolve into a bird.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  This is ultimately why your statements about origins reveal your ignorance. If you understood even a basic definition of Evolutionary Theory, you would know that your questions about origins are an entirely separate matter, which does not change, or even affect, the reality of Evolution by Natural Selection.

Actually, I am already quite aware of how evolutionists so adamantly try to keep evolution and abiogenesis separate. They do so without knowing the error of their ways.

If one doesn't believe in God, then abiogenesis MUST be true. There is no getting around that. However, abiogenesis has yet to be proven true, so therefore, there is a possibility that it COULD be false...and if abiogeneis COULD be false, then evolution could also be false. In other words, evolution isn't a brute fact like you and others pretend it is. Now sure, you can believe it all you want. You can place your faith in it, but again, you are relying on the unseen. You are speculating. You are assuming.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  There is actually significant precedent in science for a vast understanding of a process, while still remaining vastly ignorant of a central piece of the puzzle. For example, we can describe gravity and understand how it works in enough ways to fill thousands of books, yet we have no idea whatsoever why gravity exists, or why the larger the object, the larger the attraction. Yet, no one questions the validity of the study of gravity on the basis that we don't understand why/how it came to be.

Right, which is why you keep doing science. Science is an excellent tool..an excellent methodology for showing how the universe works. But science has limitations. When you start talking about origins, that is when science becomes ineffective.

Transcendent stuff is needed at that point.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Can you imagine the silliness and conceit of throwing all the gravitational evidence out on the basis that we don't know why it exists? What a pompous attitude that would be, not to mention the obvious fact that our dismissal wouldn't affect the reality of our direct experience with gravity one bit. The point is, we understand gravity because we can show/prove it exists, even though we can't explain its origins yet.

But the fact that we know that it began to exist leaves the question open as to what caused it to begin in the first place.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  However, it is impossible for me not to notice how often you fall into this trap of all or nothing thinking. You want to understand how life could have come from non-life before you will accept that Evolution has taken place in the intervening time. The question of origins is entirely separate and does not change the reality of what we know of the time since. Yet, I can tell from your arguments every time we discuss Evolution that you think origins is part of the theory, which is just plain wrong. Evolution does not even attempt to describe origins.

And as I've explained, the question of life's origins is just as important as the evolution theory itself. Once you take God out of the equation, things tend to get a bit iffy for the theory. The theory comes tumbling down. If God is taken out of the equation, you have to explain the naturalistic origins of life, the universe, consciousness, and language...and these are all independent problems...if abiogenesis is false, then evolution cannot possibly be true.

If abiogenesis is false, then evolution is false.

Evolution is true, therefore, abiogenesis is true.

Do you see how that works? If you don't believe in God, then evolution is based solely on abiogenesis. But abiogenesis has yet to be proven...it could be false!!!

Therefore, evolution isn't necessarily true without God.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You fall into the same trap again when we start discussing Atheism. I find it frustrating to hear you repeat the same mistakes you made in our previous conversation, even after I corrected them for you nigh on three or four times. Atheism is not equivalent or synonymous with Naturalism. You are falsely equating the two, and for obvious reasons. You made it clear that you find it clever to attack "what Atheists believe" which frankly I find rather amusing.

Bro, if God doesn't exist, then nature is all there is. Those are the only two options here. Atheism is synonymous with Naturalism. Those are the only two games in town. Hell, you said below that no creator is needed when it comes to evolution, so you've just confirmed naturalism with that very statement.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As I have shared with you several time already, I am not a Naturalist. I don't believe that life came from non-life, or even that consciousness did for that matter. I don't have any positive beliefs of that kind. I wonder at what point I am entitled to come to negative conclusions about your refusal to accept this. At what point are you plainly a stubborn ignoramus who refuses to accept simple facts, or perhaps a dishonest tactician who enjoys misrepresenting Atheists.

Bro, I am in to logic and reasoning...and I am not into playing the "guess what the atheist believes" game, especially since you are going through so much trouble to tell me how wrong I am in my assessments of your beliefs all while making an apparent effort to NOT tell me what your beliefs actually are.

BTW, I don't know what it means for an atheist to NOT be a naturalist, all while NOT believing that life came from nonlife. Must be something new.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You have this interesting technique of pulling a list of criteria for what Atheists "believe", which you have mistakenly derived from hard Naturalism, and then claiming that Atheists also believe something ridiculous and insane. Besides the sheer error in that approach, has the irony of that argument not struck you yet, that you are basically admitting you believe something unbelievable, but that you are justified in it because other people, people you vehemently oppose, supposedly do the same?

Well, let me put it to you this way, DP. Either God did it, or nature did it. If you have a third option or more, I'd love to hear it. Until then, I will keep assuming that someone who makes absolute claims such as "No Creator is needed" is a naturalist.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Next, you refuse to accept the Atheist should even exist unless he/she can prove to you the origins of life, consciousness, etc. This is what I meant last time around by basing your belief on "unreasonable and/or impossible conditions". You have created the perfect system for believing exactly what you want to, because you have a ready and waiting list of impossible demands necessary to sway you. Of course it only works if the Atheist plays along with your mistaken definitions, and poorly constructed ideas of what he should "believe".

Because as I said, as far as I can tell, to say that God didn't do it is to say that nature did it. It is the default position. It is the law of excluded middle, if you only have two options, and one is negated, the other one wins by default. You negated God, so naturalism wins by default. Unless you can enlighten me on a third or fourth option, I don't know why we are even having this discussion.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Your second misunderstanding is to think of natural selection in terms of an intelligent process. You keep talking about a "mindless and sightless process" creating minds and eyes as though that should strike me as ridiculous on its face. Yes, the process is mindless and sightless, but that isn't all that shocking. Rather than being ruled by an intelligent mind, it is ruled by a set of conditions.

Ok, so please tell me under what set of conditions will inanimate matter come to life??

I will wait. Since you find my reasoning so ridiculous, then just explain to me, using WHATEVER methodology you like, how inanimate matter comes to life. If you can't do that, then you aren't offering anything more than what I am offering.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  For example, consider a group of ancient human beings who were forced to live in caves with much less space from floor to ceiling than was comfortable. The conditions of the living space would cause them to walk slightly bent, possibly even employing the hands in scrambling along rather than an upright traditional walk. Like all organisms, their bodies would regularly and frequently mutate on a cellular level, sometimes resulting in a more obvious or extreme variety among the population.

But you know what, DP...those ancient human's children and grandchildren WOULDN'T TURN OUT TO BE NON-HUMANS, i.e reptile-bird. Those ancient human's future generations won't turn out to be any more human or any less human that there grandparents.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In theory, if the conditions of the environment were infinitely survivable for all mutations, we would find a practically infinite diversity of life today.

Negative. There are limits to the changes, which is precisely why you will never see an animal produce something different than what it is. Animals have only been observe to produce what they are, not what they aren't.

Now if you believe otherwise, go in a lab, demonstrate it. Until you can do that, you are relying on the unseen, by basically telling me what you BELIEVE occurred hundreds of millions of years ago when you were conveniently not there to witness it....and you will also tell me what will happen hundreds of millions of years from now where you also won't be here to witness it.

Con.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Next, these mutations have to compete to survive in the given conditions of the environment, in this case, not enough upright space to walk, some necessary climbing, and total darkness. Mutations such as a naturally curved spine, more naturally strong or almost hand-like feet, or excellent night vision are much more likely to allow survival in the cave conditions than say a mutation with holds the spine rigid, robbing the mutated individual of choosing voluntarily to bend over. In the cave conditions, the human suffering from the rigid spinal mutation would die and not reproduce, while the more beneficially mutated humans would reproduce in greater numbers.

Yeah, those humans might reproduce in greater numbers, but they will only produce humans in greater numbers, not non humans.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Thus, the actual conditions of the environment, which are mindless and sightless, can dramatically shape living things within it, without even being alive itself. It is these conditions and the way they shape life that we call "Natural Selection". When humans control the conditions of the environment in this process we call it "Artificial Selection".

What does that have to do with a mindless and blind process creating eyes which HAPPENS to give the person with whom it inhabits VISION??

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As usual though, the way in which we humans perceive the universe is so often influenced by our direct experiences, we don't always have the right perspective to avoid seeing erroneous intelligence everywhere we look. We are intelligent. We create things out of materials, so we imagine a cosmic human who created the universe.

Common sense intuition.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  We also find it very difficult to describe these natural processes without using confusing teleological language like "determined", "dictated", or "created".

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, it is a....squid??


(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Scientists often suffer a reputation of cold calculation, or even heartlessness because of the way they doggedly avoid using easy to relate to yet misleading language. Among other scientists this is less necessary, because they understand the principle, but the public is less dialed in. For example, a scientists explaining the process of photosynthesis could describe it in terms of a "factory" or an "assembly and storage process". Obviously, this is done to help regular people relate, because we all know what a human factory is like. It is ridiculous to take the language at face value and believe in a sentient, factory running, leaf. The concept is laughable. You are a victim of this same line of thinking when it comes to Evolution.

Well, can we describe it in terms of a factory because of the precision and order at which it occurs? Consider

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Based on your comments, I think an enormous amount of your disbelief and frustration with evolution is based on this language issue. You seem to think Science is positing a cosmic creator, just like you are, but with its brains missing. Not only is that absolutely not what they are saying, it makes me wonder if you are really ready at this time to move past your personal incredulity when it comes to science. You haven't shown any signs that you can even picture in your mind anything other than intelligent anthropomorphic creation.

You are absolutely right. Not only do I find the naturalistic worldview completely ridiculous so I refuse to believe it, but I have complimentary arguments that lead me to believe that I am on the right track in my thinking....just consider..

The origin of the universe (the cosmological argument proves that the universe is finite and therefore had a beginning)

The origin of consciousness (the argument from consciousness proves that the mind is not physical and could not owe its origins from anything physical)

The origin of life (there is no known mechanism that can get you life from non-life)

The origin of language (the only way mankind could ever communicate is if man was created with a common language, already embedded onto our tongue)

I am prepared to defend either one of those arguments, and those are just four of many more. So it isn't just the ridiculousness of the naturalistic worldview on its own merits as to why I can't believe it, it is because I have other independent reasons as to why theism is the logical worldview.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You referred to our eyes as having the purpose of granting us vision, or our other organs as being purposed to perform their functions.

Chicken and egg problem. For a person to see, the person must have a functional brain and functional eyes. So what came first, the eyes, or the head (brain included) that it is attached in?? Consider

Did the eyes evolve to be in the head, or did the head evolve for the eyes to be in the head? Consider Hmmm...

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  This is an excellent example of how you think in a very anthropomorphic way, as though nature has goals, like a person.

Of course. A circulatory system, immune system, digestive system, reproductive system, endocrine system, nervous system, muscular system, skeletal system...all of those systems in place, by a process that couldn't think, or see. It didn't know what it was doing, yet it did it.

Sorry charlie, I aint buying it. You couldn't pay me a trillion dollars to get myself to believe that.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It is certainly worth consideration that the sight abilities among living things correspond directly to the exact height and width present in their environment, which for the birds of prey is often the exact distance between the clouds and the ground. Likewise our own eyes suit the African Savannah which we have not left behind all that long ago, but are rather useless at incredible heights or distances when it comes to detail. One might be entitled to ask why a supposed perfect designer wouldn't have considered the many versatile situations we humans might find ourselves in.

Hmm, lets see, I can play this game, too. Here we go; "One might be entitled to ask why the designers of this pc that I am typing on wasn't made with "wrist cushions", so that both of my wrists could rest comfortably and also give my hands more of an arch for more effective typing". Hmmmm, one can only wonder Consider

In other words, could the designers of this computer have made such a "wrist cushion", yes...but did they? No. Why didn't they? I don't know.

As I said before, a bad design is still a design. There are theological reasons according to Christianity as to why things are the way that they are...but I reckon you know about all of that, huh?

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The main point is the word "creation" doesn't even belong in our vocabulary when it comes to Evolution.

So, as I continually stress, if you take the God-Hypothesis out of the equation, then you are telling me that I owe my brain, consciousness, my eyes, my ears, my entire being...I owe my entire being to a mere PROCESS that couldn't see or think.

So a process that couldn't see or think gave me a brain and eyes. I mean, I try to be as unbiased as I can, but there is absolutely no way someone can call my belief ridiculous or absurd if they believe in that kind of nonsense. No way.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  There is no creator nor any creation going on. Nothing determines or dictates anything. The process is not performing a sentient action, it is not alive or intelligent.

I am trying to figure out how someone who doesn't have a clue as to how life could have originated naturally, has the nerve to sit there and make an absolute statement such as "there is no creator nor any creation going on".

How can you rule out a creator when you can't even prove your belief (abiogenesis) using your own methodology (science).

It certainly isn't as if you can use the scientific method to prove that there isn't a God...hell, you can't even use science to prove naturalism (oops, already made that point) Laugh out load

Watch out for the absolute statements, because I eat those for breakfast.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Yet, living things must still compete to survive in a given environment, which can ultimately result in all manner of advantageous organs and abilities, including sight and intelligence. The process of Evolution by Natural Selection does not create these phenomena, it describes how they occur naturally.

My questions primarily involve the origins of life, and the origins of species. If you don't believe in divine intervention, then there is no way you can explain how life began to change before you can tell me how life originated in the first place. You can't have one without the other.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You mentioned Macro-Evolution, so I need to take a moment to make you aware of how wrong that entire premise is. There literally is no such thing. Evolution describes small and large changes and the only major determining factor of which will occur, is the time that has passed. If a lot of time has passed for Evolution to work, the changes in life can be dramatic and often get erroneously called "Macro-Evolution" by Creationists.

Actually, there is such a thing. We (Creationists) only use macro and micro as a distinguishing factor...distinguishing the two types of evolution regarding living organisms, and it is important that we continue to make the distinction, because Creationists believe in evolution, too. We just believe it on a much smaller scale than those that believe in macro.

Macro = Large scale
Micro = Small scale

When we see all of the different varieties of dogs, cats, etc, we call that "micro" evolution...that is change from WITHIN THE KIND. What is a "kind"? A dog is a "kind" of animal...and within that kind would include domestic dogs, foxes, coyotes, wolves, jackals, dingos, etc. Those are different KINDSSSSS of dogs. And based on human observation, if all humans and animals on earth disappeared with only dogs left behind...from now until a billion years from now, the population of earth will remain consistent with DOGS.

There may be hundreds of different species/kinds/varieties of dogs, but it will always be the same kind of animal.......DOGS.

That is micro-evolution, changes on a SMALL scale. We can see it...we can observe it...we can test it, experiment on it. That is science (observation and experiment).

Now, macro-evolution is the notion that long ago, when no one was around to see it, animals were making LARGE scale transformations...such as the ole reptile-bird transformation...and such as a whale originally being a land dwelling animal before migrating its ass into the water. That is macro-evolution, large scale changes...now, if you want to believe that nonsense, fine. But that isn't science. You, nor anyone that you know have ever seen such changes in life. It hasn't been observed, it hasn't been experimented on and one certainly can't make any predictions regarding it....which makes it an unconfirmed scientific theory.

Now, the evolutionists wants us to believe that just because those small changes (micro) occurred, that given enough time, large scale changes would also occur (macro). Sure, if that is what you believe, fine...but see at that point you are speculating..you are relying on the unseen, because you sure as hell aren't drawing that conclusion based on an experiment that you've conducted.

That is why the terms micro/macro are used. Of course in my opinion, what makes the entire theory even more of a con-scam, is the fact that when asked why we never see those large scale changes occur today, we get told "because it takes so long to occur, millions and billions of years".

So conveniently, no one living today will EVER see those type of macro changes, and no one living a billion years from now will ever see it either...because no matter where you are in history, you will be told "because it takes millions of years to occur".

Now, if you don't see the con in that then I don't know what to tell you. Its like "no one has ever saw it happen, and no one will ever see it happen...but, it happens".

If that ain't a con-scam, I don't know what is.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Just as a side note, your Mount Rushmore example is not analogous, and is another example of scientific ignorance. Rock's aren't living things, and are thus exempt from the process of evolution.

It is analogous in the sense that if the faces on Mount Rushmore were sculpted by natural occurrences, then that is an example of CHANGE OVER TIME WHICH RESULTED IN SPECIFIED COMPLEXITY , which is the same kind of complexity that you believe occurred in living organisms. Sure, the method may be different, but the specified complexity which resulted is the same...it is the same concept.

However, I don't believe EITHER one of those things could have occurred without intelligent design. And you can appeal to science all you want, but science is unable to answer the questions that I have...and I would rather place my faith in theology than scientific methodology at this point, which is because of the explanatory power that theology has, as opposed to the lack thereof of science.

(14-09-2015 12:08 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Even if they were, in order for a human face to simply grow that way, there would need to be environmental factors to describe the advantage of a human face for the survival of the "mountain". Honestly, it's all ridiculous. Just plain old ridiculous.

It isn't any more ridiculous than life coming from non-life, which is what any naturalist would have to believe. If you are a naturalist, you don't have any right to call anyone else's belief ridiculous without looking past the ridiculousness of your own beliefs.
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30-09-2015, 01:40 PM
RE: Dark Phoenix Vs. Call of the Wild- Round 2
Skepticism and the Values of Science

So, I want to take a step back in our conversation in order to more clearly represent my many points. As is often the case in conversations like this one, we are arguing about several ideas at once that could be more clearly expressed as separate arguments altogether. I am now going to separate those out as I see them, and allow you the opportunity to comment on either or both as you see fit.

As I see it, skepticism and critical inquiry are scientific values. When I think about the methodology of science, it strikes me as being inherently questioning of authority and tradition, as well as sensitive to bias and other human imperfections. Scientific history is certainly rich with moments of overturning long preserved ancient wisdom, regardless of the emotional and cultural attachment to those ideas. Some of these advancements have come to be in the teeth of major authorities of the time, such as governments or major theocratic religious states. In a sense, there is nothing sacred to science, nowhere it will not tread for fear of stepping on toes. It is perhaps because of this one aspect of science that it represents an enriching freedom of thought and action to me personally. Put simply, its hard to be deceived when you have a firm foundation in what is evident in science.

There is also no system of which I am aware which is better designed to avoid the pitfalls of human imperfection and achieve accurate and useful information about our universe. The ease and elegance with which it copes with our humanity is beautiful to me.

It is perhaps because of its wild success that science now has a great deal of authority behind it. People trust scientists to give them the information they need to make important decisions in their lives, even when they don't necessarily understand the complicated principles themselves. This is both understandable and also not much of a problem given the history of success that science has enjoyed in our civilization.

Although I have sometimes heard Creationists like yourself try to compare this well earned trust to religious faith, I think there is a world of difference. No one in science asks anyone to take anything on faith. You can always look things up, and discover the facts of the matter. Although it might seem on the surface that lay people's trust might lead to various forms of deception, there is always peer review to consider. Scientists compete with one another to discover, present, and prove theories with tangible evidence to such an extent that there is rarely anything a layman of science could catch that hasn't already been pointed out by an expert.

When a creationist like yourself comes along and says "I am skeptical of this scientific theory." I think to myself that there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Science is not a dogmatic theocracy where dissidents will be arrested and prosecuted. Skepticism of the authority built up by science is exactly the attitude necessary to weed out bias and human error. It is consistent with a scientific world view and valuable to the process. In a scientific sense, there is absolutely nothing wrong with skepticism. In fact, it is encouraged. If you are doing anything, questioning authority is always a good option.

This is why I said that we are essentially having two arguments. One, did Evolution really happen, and two, should people like ourselves accept Evolution based on what experts in that field say about it. There is certainly an argument to be made for lay people or students of science to accept the work of accredited professionals who are demonstrable experts in their often complicated fields.

Obviously, that is completely unimpressive to you. I understand. So, the logical next step is to share with you the evidence for Evolution. The trouble is, I am not qualified to do that in a really comprehensive way. I have a personal understanding of the theory which makes sense to me and an awareness of some basic reasons for its truth. If you are sincerely looking for a fossil by fossil analysis and explanation, I am not your guy. I can cite science with the best of them, but I don't have the expertise to really give you a full picture of every detail. I would heartily recommend you go to talkorigins.org, a network of cited articles surrounding the very subject matter we are discussing here. I have found it very useful in learning what scientists are actually saying about Evolution right now. Again, I will surely cite when I can, but if you need more than that, you are going to have to get a real scientist.

Why I Don't Think You Accurately Understand Evolution

First of all, I want to elaborate on why I don't think you understand Evolutionary Theory. Take the basic example of your use of "technical babble" or "bio babble". These particular phrases do not suggest to me a confident understand of the technical facts. For example, my wife knows a lot about cars. When she is talking about one of her repairs, my eyes glaze over. I might call it "car babble", but only because I don't understand most, if not all, of it. I find it very interesting that someone would claim to fully understand something and then dismiss it as "babble". Of course, that is only the beginning.

So, I am going to talk some more about my personal understanding of Evolution, what it is and what is isn't. I will be sure to talk about some of the hard evidence as I understand it. First, let's talk about some of the common errors and misconceptions that people tend to have about Evolutionary Theory. Perhaps the most common of these is the idea that Evolution describes "Macro" or "bird-reptile" like inter-species rapid transformations. Depending on the individual, one species can be imagined to become another in seconds, hours, days, or even a short number of years. Those making this error are using a completely different definition of "become" or "change". They imagine that one species simply morphs into the other like a snake shedding its skin. Sometimes they say this happens from on generation to the next, one distinct species giving direct birth to another over a single generation.

I recognize this conception of Evolutionary Theory in your comments, especially when you say things like,

Quote:the evolutionist seems to believe that long ago, when no one was around to see, animals were having these reptile-bird kinds of transformations

Or,

Quote:Nonsense. The Xanthopan morgani could have already existed long before 1903 and was already reaching the nectar long before your lord and savior Charles Darwin even ponder such a thought.

I find it very interesting that you personally imagine these changes taking place at a fixed point of time, or a fixed period of time, millions of years in the past. That view of Evolution seems merely convenient, the kind of thing someone would say if they really didn't have any evidence in the here and now. I can understand why someone with this view might be frustrated with what seems like merely convenient answers to tough questions. That is not at all how I understand Evolution. When someone like myself says that Evolution has taken place over millions of years, we mean that it is taking place at a gradual, constant, rate each and every second of a multi-million year period, including this very moment.

I also find it fascinating the way you understood the predictive example I used of Darwin and his Xanthopan morgani. I think I can see why, but you absolutely missed the entire point of that example. You see, Darwin's prediction was that Xanthopan morgani did already exist, and likely had done for an extremely long time, at a minimum tens of thousands of years. The fact that you interpreted the prediction as one of a future transformation, reveals to me that you think of Evolution as a rapid "bird to reptile" like transformation that is capable of taking place within less than the two centuries between Darwin's prediction and confirmation of the Moth's existence in 1992. That is not what Evolution is, and that is definitely not how it works.

It seems to me that a conception of Evolution like this can have some very serious consequences. For example, it is only logical for someone holding this view to be frustrated by a lack of evidence for these "Macro" changes in species. Where is that damned crocka-duck anyway? We should have found a fossil by now, right? I can imagine how frustrating it would be to be shown examples of "evidence" that don't fit this mold of what a person like this thinks Evolution is "supposed" to be.

Given that anyone capable of reading is able to quote you as having such a poor understanding of Evolution, I think I am entitled to resent your implication that scientifically literate people are engaged in some kind of conspiracy of elitist intimidation. Is it always necessary to play the role of a misunderstood victim? If you really had a convincing argument you wouldn't be using petty deflection. You would be demonstrating your understanding and engaging with my points.

My Understanding of Evolution

If I can manage to speak your language here, what you call "Micro" evolution is the only kind there is. There are not rapid inter-species transformations. Only small changes that accumulate naturally over time. This is how I understand it to work.

1) Cells divide in order to reproduce and replenish themselves.
2) In order to divide and reproduce, the DNA in the nucleus is copied.
3) Through direct scientific observation we know that the DNA is constantly copied incorrectly. This is called a "mutation".
4) Mutations are random and constant.
5) If mutations happen to be useful to survive, the mutated offspring thrives and reproduces.
6) If the mutations happen to be useless for survival, the mutated offspring dies and does not reproduce.
7) In either case, each new generation is literally different from the previous generation because there are new mutations each time around.
8) Eventually, every cell in an animal's body would have mutated at some point over a vast number of generations.
9) Since mutations cause physical change, having every cell in the body mutate, often many times over, causes the species in question to be unrecognizable from its long dead ancestors.

As a side note, most mutations are actually neutral. They hang around but don't have any obvious or important effects on the species as a whole, except that their presence is a physical change in the organism. Evolution is nothing more than a description of how mutations change living things, in their cells, over time.

Just to give you some perspective in time, it might take one full generation to for a fur color DNA instruction to be copied incorrectly and cause a differently colored pup in a given population of bears. Then it might take four or more generations for that fur color to become dominant, and that's only if it helps survival in some way. You would have to live to be over 100 just to witness one tiny change in a given species. In human beings, we are born with some 30 or so mutations which have already occurred in our cells, and we gain even more throughout our lifetimes. Yet, you haven't noticed a major difference between you and your parents, or even your grandparents. We humans have lived as our species is now somewhere between 100,000 to 200,000. You have to go back farther than that before you find any fossils/skeletons of anything that could be called an "ancestor" significantly different to us today.

If Evolution is an incredibly long ladder stretching from antiquity to now, each rung is a micro-change in a species due to mutation. You ask for evidence, and someone shows you one of the rungs on the ladder. The rungs add up to a whole ladder over the time it takes to climb. The problem is, you weren't expecting a ladder. You thought it would be more like an elevator, rapid and on a much larger scale.

The Logic of Constant Mutations Over Time

I am curious to know how you account for constant mutations if you don't accept Evolution. Your favorite dog is the result of mutations over a period of about 20,000 years. Given the extreme variety in the dog population, which really is quite profound, how much more various will they be in another 20,000 or even 1,000,000? At what point will their many changes cause them to look and behave in ways that are no longer dog-like to us. Does Creationism suppose that the mutations will eventually stop at some point? If so, how/why? Since you believe nothing can mutate out of its "kind", yet you obviously accept mutations in general, what is it you think is going to suddenly prevent the mutations from continuing when the dogs get too diverse to be called dogs? I don't think you can have it both ways. Either cells mutate constantly and inevitably, or they do not.

"Kinds"

So, let's talk about "Kinds" for a minute. This is one example of why I don't think the Creationists are on to something. They rely so heavily on the idea that nothing can mutate out of it's "kind". First of all, and as I already said, I have no idea how or why they think the mutations are going to stop or slow down. I especially do not understand how or why they would stop or slow down specifically to meet the arbitrary definition of a "kind". Creationists don't seem to understand that labels we humans use are just that, arbitrary reflections of characteristics we observe. We invented them. It wasn't a discovery of some universal principle of classification. Anyone who knows about the history of classifying the platypus understands this. At the time, it practically broke the classification system of its day.

I am particularly critical of "Kind" because it is not a scientific term, and is thus not clearly defined. It's meaning is flexible to interpretation, which is understandable considering its origins are biblical. The trouble is, science can't operate with unclear terms. Things need to be measurable and accurately so. So often Creationists seem to take full cynical advantage of this by constantly changing the definition to mean something different than the last time around. If Creationists want to engage in "moving the goal posts" in this way, fine. But, calling it science is a joke. It's just fallacious argument.

Cartoon Misconceptions

All of this leads to what I see as an inevitable observation. I don't think Creationists fully grasp just how stupid these misconceptions really are. They are as ridiculous as something right out of a child's cartoon. All I have to do to understand how most Creationists view Evolution is to just picture nature as a biological version of the show transformers. It really is no wonder that you can't take this science seriously. Your conceptions of what is is are too ridiculous for words. You must think the whole scientific community has lost its mind.

The Fossil Record

I found it both amusing and interesting that you actually claim there is no such thing as the fossil record. I think even giving you the benefit of the doubt, I should still refer to that as an incredibly stupid statement. If you want evidence of a fossil record, perform a simple google search. Take a look at talkorigins.org. There are some really excellent links to scientific research that can demonstrate not only that there is a fossil record, but that it supports Evolution.

Despite the evidence of mutations in modern day species, none of Evolutionary Theory would make any sense without a firm method of determining the biological history of our planet. Fortunately for us, the earth's crust amounts to a kind of time capsule, holding within a treasure of years long past. Sediments in the earth move and create layers over incredibly long time periods. Thus, when we dig a hole and find these layers, we can know they correspond to years in chronological order. It is both on the surface and in the depths of the earth that we have found, and continue to find, a practically uncountable number of fossils. Life has been awfully busy in the history of our planet, and even with the reality that only some conditions cause fossilization, we have an absolute mountain of fossils.

It is this record of fossils that is the backbone (pun definitely intended) of Evolutionary Theory. It is precisely because we have only found simple and tiny invertebrates at the bottom layers with a ascending increase in complexity that we believe all life diversifies over time. One does not even find a single vertebrate for millions of years in our history.

I find it interesting that you would bring up what is known as the "Cambrian Explosion". For anyone who might not know, the Cambrian period in our fossil history was a time of incredible diversity by comparison to a relatively sparse past. After several layers of extremely simple invertebrates, the Cambrian layers of rock were by comparison brimming with a large variety of similar creatures. However, the fossil evidence of that time does not support the claim that sudden complexity arose with no ancestral fossils. On the contrary, there are actually intermediate forms embedded in the Cambrian layer. Many of these were lobopods, who's anthropod fossil ancestors were discoved below the Cambrian layer, and who eventually were known to us as modern day worms. That is only one example of over 20 some citations on the matter available here. The time involved even during the Cambrian period is still tens of millions of years. That should really put the "suddenness" of the simple variety found within its layers into proper context. To say it was too rapid and complex to be consistent with slow gradual Evolution is outright stupid and a misrepresentation of the facts.

The Relationship Between All Living Things

Besides a basic understanding of mutations and the fossil record, there are other basic yet monumental items of evidence for Evolutionary Theory.

The universality of our genetic code is one. All DNA, regardless of its source, is capable of being read by any life form on earth. In other words, all life forms encode the information of their own species in the exact same way. This is deeply consistent with Evolution, because life is not possible with reproduction, which involves copying DNA. Therefore, the most basic or most original function of life on earth is to copy DNA. It is is the only link in the chain where no variety was possible, because any organism that could not encode its DNA died out. Thus, all life today encodes DNA the exact same way that ancestor did in the beginning.

Another of these is the shared genetic makeup of all living things. Human beings for example, are 96% or so identical to the chimpanzee when it comes to our DNA, 90% with cats, 80% with cows, and 70% with mice. Even the trees are our long lost cousins. This is consistent with the varying branches of the tree of diversifying life proposed by Evolution.

There are even examples of Evolution taking place right now. You have probably heard of the growing strains of anti-bio-tic resistant bacteria that have been giving our medical industry trouble of late. Although only some bacteria encountered in the past few years happen to be resistant to medicine, we have killed off most of their competition, allowing them alone to survive and reproduce. What began as a medicine resistant mutation, has now facilitated the rise of new bacterial species which will continue to plague us until we come up with new solutions.

In summary, I think there is a lot of meat on the bones of Evolutionary Theory, a lot of good empirical reasons to accept that it took place.

The Ideology of Creationism and the Anti-Science Agenda

But, let's be real here. I know that doesn't impress you. Probably none of it. Why? Well, you're a Creationist Christian Amateur Apologist who argues on a prominent Atheist forum. It would be downright naive of me to think you are coming to this argument with a skeptical, empirical, scientific attitude. There is a whole lot more to your side of things than what we have talked about so far, and I am just getting started. It isn't like you just have a few scientific doubts. It isn't even like you're stupid. The reality of this little situation is that you are coming to this conversation representing a blatant ideological agenda, one that is utterly antithetical to science. You're problem isn't with Evolution so much as it is the methods and results of science itself.

It isn't just that you have bias because of your world view. Everybody does, and I don't think that's enough to make someone wrong on principle. What I am talking about is a world view deeply rooted in and motivated by a systematic ideology, one where the conclusions matter a whole lot more than how we arrive at them, and where science is only a problem if it conflicts with religion.

I have taken a personal fascination in the many patterns of Christian argument, including those concerning Evolution and other sciences. One particular pattern continually makes an appearance in the rhetoric, over and over again. You, see I believe that you, and some others like you, sense on some level that what you believe as a result of your religious indoctrination is not true. More importantly, I think this fills you with anxiety and cognitive dissonance.

The way I usually see this manifest itself is in hypocritical self-contradictory arguments. Examples of this are claiming science, atheism, or secularism, are religions, that accepting science is an act of faith, or that scientifically literate people are just worshiping/following individual scientists such as Darwin or Dawkins. Just in this conversation alone you have supplied me with several examples of this, including a reference to Darwin as my "Lord and Savior".

I personally have no stake in the ethical life lived by Charles Darwin, and would have admired the scientific prowess of any person who discovered the Evolution of living things, but what on earth can a worshiper of a two thousand year old Jewish Carpenter even say to someone who hypothetically would worship Darwin? What can an enthusiastic member of organized religion have to say about the inaccuracy of Evolution, due specifically to its qualifications as a religion? What devotee of Jesus Christ who takes faith as a virtue could or would ever speak of the falseness of something due to it being a faith based doctrine?

I find it difficult not to smile as I watch religiously anti-science individuals adjusting the rope with which to hang themselves, while all the while hissing out hatred and contempt for the very ideas with which they are ideologically allied. If you can grasp why faith might not be a valid way to know truth, if you can understand why religious ideology might be too corrupt to be fairly and genuinely scientific, if you can grasp why the devotional worship of now dead human mammals might be irrational and negative, why the hell aren't you an Atheist too? I can't even pretend that you don't attack these ideas with an absolutely poisonous and contemptuous tone of voice. I can practically feel the venom through the screen of my computer.

The Atheist and Scientific activist Aron Ra calls this phenomena "the kettle calling the silverware black". It takes place when one party in a disagreement are in such utter denial that they have decided to reflect all of their intellectual and emotional faults and errors onto the opposing side, regardless of whether they stick. To put it in more biblical terms for someone like yourself, it is when they call evil good and good evil.

Of course, no one argues like this from a dominant world view. The fact that even the religious are criticizing faith as a means to knowledge shows just how much headway my crowd has made in the modern world. No one at the height of Christian power over the West would have made any such argument. It would not have been granted for a second.

Since you love discussing naturalism so much, it's especially worth noting that from a Naturalist perspective, this is exactly the kind of psychological acrobatics one would expect when their is no god. People always doubt the existence of god at some point in their lives, sometimes feeling intense anxiety when those moments arrive. This is all consistent with superstitious people believing in god, but always recognizing in the back of their mind that they don't really know for certain, and they could be wrong. This is of course why faith would be necessary for belief in god while in a godless universe. For those who can't deal with reality, there needs to be a way to cope.

Some Perspective

This phenomena extends to even more complex arguments than simple faith, what is a religion, or whether worshiping a human being is a good idea. The way you attack Evolution for being supposedly illogical on its face, unbelievable by definition, mirrors precisely what is the case with your specific religious ideology.

In other words, you cannot accept that a natural process is evidently responsible for the diversity of life, including humans, yet you see nothing suspect about believing in the absolute truth, in every detail, of an ancient selection of mythology like the bible. Your powers of detection when it comes to what is illogical and unreasonable on its face can pass talking animals and ancient nine hundred year old men with flying colors, but you can't understanding how mutations drove the ascending complexity we see in the fossil record? You can't accept that a man of science can make an educated prediction that was successful, but you can accept that an ancient Jew was born of a virgin and never really died?

Yet, here you are talking about "bird-reptile" transformations and "Macro Evolution", as though those straw men of what Evolution really is seem too ridiculous for words. Of course, they are, but nowhere near as much as your belief system. I cannot even imagine the dissonance that must be sticking in your craw every time you remind yourself not to turn that criticism on your faith, because it won't survive the scrutiny.

You are in short, a hypocrite, and a fool by definition. You have been taken for an ideological ride, and some part of you knows it.

False Dichotomies, Non-Sequitors , Strawmen, Oh My!

You really do love the Law of Excluded Middle. Would you two just get a room? You just don't seem to understand that it only applies when there is truly only two things from which to choose. When there are actually more options it is called a false dichotomy, which really ought to be your middle name.

I told you before that rejecting god doesn't necessitate rejecting all supernatural elements on principle. For example, I reject god because (and rather summarily) the reasons available for belief in god are either non-existent, fallacious, or otherwise unreasonable. However, I am still open to any supernatural phenomena for which there is better evidence, or of course proof. Therefore, when discussing the origins of things like life, the cosmos, consciousness, etc, who are you to say that the only supernatural force that could possibly ever explain anything must be a god, especially a specific one?

As of now, there isn't any evidence about any supernatural forces at play in the origin of things, but that isn't evidence of absence.

If you think taking god out of explaining how life diversifies makes me a Naturalist, you don't understand the term. The evidence for Evolution is rock solid, but it doesn't rule out god as an explanation for origins at all. It only rules him out as an explanation for the intervening time between origins and now. There is nothing Naturalistic or even Atheistic for that matter, about accepting that Evolution happened.

Given that I hold this view of open possibilities, even to the supernatural, I think makes me more open minded than you. While I could accept origins that are supernatural, or natural after all, you will only accept a specific type of supernatural creation, and reject the natural altogether.

What is it that so dashes your confidence and sense of wonder in the natural world anyway? You live in a universe where tiny creatures can survive the vacuum of space, where natural processes govern the motions of the planets, and where the tiniest cell is a world of complexity unto itself. What part of the natural world is so unimpressive to you to suggest that it is incapable of explaining origins? So often Creationists and believers have echoed Hamlet, that there are more wonders in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in a natural philosophy. Yet, I would echo it again in return, because it is those very wonders of the earth that prevent me from closing the door on what is possibly a completely natural universe.

Yet, even with an open attitude like mine, its tough not to notice The God of the Gaps raising up its ugly head once again on the frontier of what we now know. Darwin was the Einstein of Biology and because of his work, yet another previously god dominated phenomena has been explained naturally. So, enjoy the ambiguity of origins in which you have found yourself living in our day and age. I don't know for certain, but I hope you live long enough for the Isaac Newton of Origins to come along and deal the cou de grasse to your worldview that it so definitely deserves.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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10-10-2015, 01:00 PM
RE: Dark Phoenix Vs. Call of the Wild- Round 2
(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Skepticism and the Values of Science

So, I want to take a step back in our conversation in order to more clearly represent my many points. As is often the case in conversations like this one, we are arguing about several ideas at once that could be more clearly expressed as separate arguments altogether. I am now going to separate those out as I see them, and allow you the opportunity to comment on either or both as you see fit.

Thumbsup

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  There is also no system of which I am aware which is better designed to avoid the pitfalls of human imperfection and achieve accurate and useful information about our universe. The ease and elegance with which it copes with our humanity is beautiful to me.

I agree with everything you've said...while also acknowledging the limitations of science. I don't know if you acknowledge that as well.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It is perhaps because of its wild success that science now has a great deal of authority behind it. People trust scientists to give them the information they need to make important decisions in their lives, even when they don't necessarily understand the complicated principles themselves.

People also trust the Bible/theology to give them information they need to make important decisions in their lives, even when they don't always understand the complicated principals themselves.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Although I have sometimes heard Creationists like yourself try to compare this well earned trust to religious faith, I think there is a world of difference. No one in science asks anyone to take anything on faith.

So what do you call telling me that a reptile evolved into a bird? Can you scientifically prove that? No. So you are relying on faith. What about when, before Einstein, the vast majority of scientists believed the universe was finite and eternal....this is what they accepted by faith...only to find out that the universe did in fact have a beginning (which is what Christian theists have been saying since day 1).

Religious folks aren't the only ones relying on faith.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You can always look things up, and discover the facts of the matter. Although it might seem on the surface that lay people's trust might lead to various forms of deception, there is always peer review to consider. Scientists compete with one another to discover, present, and prove theories with tangible evidence to such an extent that there is rarely anything a layman of science could catch that hasn't already been pointed out by an expert.

So, since you speak so highly of science...use it to explain to me the origins of life, consciousness, objective moral values, the universe, and language. Those are MY questions...and I asking you to prove that the origins of these things can be explained via the scientific method. Can you? Or can't you?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So, the logical next step is to share with you the evidence for Evolution.

Yes, please do. In fact, I'd like the single most best piece of evidence for the theory.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The trouble is, I am not qualified to do that in a really comprehensive way. I have a personal understanding of the theory which makes sense to me and an awareness of some basic reasons for its truth. If you are sincerely looking for a fossil by fossil analysis and explanation, I am not your guy. I can cite science with the best of them, but I don't have the expertise to really give you a full picture of every detail. I would heartily recommend you go to talkorigins.org, a network of cited articles surrounding the very subject matter we are discussing here. I have found it very useful in learning what scientists are actually saying about Evolution right now. Again, I will surely cite when I can, but if you need more than that, you are going to have to get a real scientist.

Understood.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  First of all, I want to elaborate on why I don't think you understand Evolutionary Theory. Take the basic example of your use of "technical babble" or "bio babble". These particular phrases do not suggest to me a confident understand of the technical facts. For example, my wife knows a lot about cars. When she is talking about one of her repairs, my eyes glaze over. I might call it "car babble", but only because I don't understand most, if not all, of it. I find it very interesting that someone would claim to fully understand something and then dismiss it as "babble". Of course, that is only the beginning.

Understood.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So, I am going to talk some more about my personal understanding of Evolution, what it is and what is isn't. I will be sure to talk about some of the hard evidence as I understand it. First, let's talk about some of the common errors and misconceptions that people tend to have about Evolutionary Theory. Perhaps the most common of these is the idea that Evolution describes "Macro" or "bird-reptile" like inter-species rapid transformations. Depending on the individual, one species can be imagined to become another in seconds, hours, days, or even a short number of years. Those making this error are using a completely different definition of "become" or "change". They imagine that one species simply morphs into the other like a snake shedding its skin. Sometimes they say this happens from on generation to the next, one distinct species giving direct birth to another over a single generation.

But I am going out on an even bigger limb by saying that regardless of whether one thinks those changes occurred suddenly, or gradually; I am saying it didn't happen at ALL.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I find it very interesting that you personally imagine these changes taking place at a fixed point of time, or a fixed period of time, millions of years in the past. That view of Evolution seems merely convenient, the kind of thing someone would say if they really didn't have any evidence in the here and now. I can understand why someone with this view might be frustrated with what seems like merely convenient answers to tough questions. That is not at all how I understand Evolution. When someone like myself says that Evolution has taken place over millions of years, we mean that it is taking place at a gradual, constant, rate each and every second of a multi-million year period, including this very moment.

Right!!! Thats my point..that is what you BELIEVE. You can believe whatever you want (not you personally, but in general)...the fact of the matter is, what is the evidence for it?

Second, you pretty much made my point...because just like I previously stated; conveniently, no one will be around to see the "finished" product. No one living today will ever see the finished product, and no one living a million years from now will see it either. Yet, we are given promissary notices...but no one will ever see it.

To me, that is just asking for to much.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I also find it fascinating the way you understood the predictive example I used of Darwin and his Xanthopan morgani. I think I can see why, but you absolutely missed the entire point of that example. You see, Darwin's prediction was that Xanthopan morgani did already exist, and likely had done for an extremely long time, at a minimum tens of thousands of years. The fact that you interpreted the prediction as one of a future transformation, reveals to me that you think of Evolution as a rapid "bird to reptile" like transformation that is capable of taking place within less than the two centuries between Darwin's prediction and confirmation of the Moth's existence in 1992. That is not what Evolution is, and that is definitely not how it works.

Remember, my stance is simple; whether suddenly or gradually, I am saying it didn't occur at all. Adding millions of years to the equation doesn't get you any closer to macroevolution, in my opinion.

Second, you made my point yet again..because even this Xanthopan example isn't even an example of macroevolution, rather, MICRO evolution..changes WITHIN THE KIND...there are differences between a bald eagle and a pigeon...but they are obviously the same kind of animal..they are both BIRDS.

Third, if in fact you do believe that reptiles evolved into birds, on what basis are you believing it?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It seems to me that a conception of Evolution like this can have some very serious consequences. For example, it is only logical for someone holding this view to be frustrated by a lack of evidence for these "Macro" changes in species. Where is that damned crocka-duck anyway? We should have found a fossil by now, right? I can imagine how frustrating it would be to be shown examples of "evidence" that don't fit this mold of what a person like this thinks Evolution is "supposed" to be.

Well, I will put it to you this way, DP; there isn't any evidence for it, PERIOD. Let's take a minute and assume that the way most Creationists view evolution is an inaccurate. Even if that was the case, that still doesn't change the fact that the "accurate" way that evolutionists depict the theory, there STILL isn't any evidence for that, either.

And for the third time; I don't believe macro evolution occurred at all, regardless of whether the theory is that it occurred gradually or suddenly.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Given that anyone capable of reading is able to quote you as having such a poor understanding of Evolution, I think I am entitled to resent your implication that scientifically literate people are engaged in some kind of conspiracy of elitist intimidation.

The theory of evolution (ToE) is not that difficult of a concept to understand Laugh out load Tell ya what, I will simplify it for ya, good friend. You believe that reptiles evolved into birds, correct?

Now, it is on that concept alone that we disagree, and at this point it really doesn't matter how you believe that such changes occured, or how long it took for it to occur. All of that stuff is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is, you believe such changes occured, and I simply disagree.

For the fourth time; it doesnt matter whether you believe reptiles evolved into birds over a longgg period of a hundred million years, or if you believe that a reptile gave birth to a live bird...it doesn't matter, because I am saying it didn't happen at all.

So my understanding of evolution is exactly what your understanding is...reptiles evovled into birds (on your view), point blank, period. I disagree with such a notion, and until I see evidence for such things, I will continue not believing it.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Is it always necessary to play the role of a misunderstood victim? If you really had a convincing argument you wouldn't be using petty deflection. You would be demonstrating your understanding and engaging with my points.

I've engaged your points, and I've also stated why evolution fails as a scientific theory...and I'd like my points to be addressed point by point instead of the generalizations Big Grin

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If I can manage to speak your language here, what you call "Micro" evolution is the only kind there is. There are not rapid inter-species transformations. Only small changes that accumulate naturally over time. This is how I understand it to work.

Right, you just said it. "Only small changes". No problems there. There are limits to the changes.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  1) Cells divide in order to reproduce and replenish themselves.
2) In order to divide and reproduce, the DNA in the nucleus is copied.
3) Through direct scientific observation we know that the DNA is constantly copied incorrectly. This is called a "mutation".
4) Mutations are random and constant.
5) If mutations happen to be useful to survive, the mutated offspring thrives and reproduces.
6) If the mutations happen to be useless for survival, the mutated offspring dies and does not reproduce.
7) In either case, each new generation is literally different from the previous generation because there are new mutations each time around.
8) Eventually, every cell in an animal's body would have mutated at some point over a vast number of generations.
9) Since mutations cause physical change, having every cell in the body mutate, often many times over, causes the species in question to be unrecognizable from its long dead ancestors.

Another prime example of putting the cart before the horse. You began by talking about cells...you began by starting off with preexisting life (living cells), without providing a naturalistic explanation as to how the living cell originated in the first place.

Of course, this is the point where you say the typical "but evolution doesn't explain the origin of life or the cells".

Then I will say "then you don't have a viable theory of evolution".

You already stated in an earlier post that evolution doesn't need divine intervention. So you've already negated a divine hand in the equation...so now you are left with the mindless and blind process that you believe created all of this diversity in life, WITHOUT offering any explanation as to how this same mindless and blind process created life in the first place.

I will say it again, abiogenesis isn't a FACT. It isn't a current fact that life can originate from nonlife. If abiogenesis isn't a fact, then evolution also isn't a fact, because evolution cannot be a fact if it is dependent upon something that isn't also a fact.

Abiogenesis is a serious problem for evolutionists, and it is something that they want to just sweep under the rug as insignificant...or they simply just assume that abiogenesis is true and move on with the ToE.

Sorry, Charlie...not on my watch.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As a side note, most mutations are actually neutral. They hang around but don't have any obvious or important effects on the species as a whole, except that their presence is a physical change in the organism. Evolution is nothing more than a description of how mutations change living things, in their cells, over time.

Mutations have nothing to do with macroevolution. No new information is added. There have been five-legged cows and short-legged sheep...those are mutants, but that isn't macroevolution. BTW, a short-legged sheep is the first sheep that the wolf will catch, so mutations aren't providing anything beneficial to the species. Any mutation, like a five-legged cow...the genetic information on how to make leg was already there, just one was in the wrong place...but no new animal is being created there.

Mutations have nothing to do with macroevolution, which is what my beef with evolution is.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Just to give you some perspective in time, it might take one full generation to for a fur color DNA instruction to be copied incorrectly and cause a differently colored pup in a given population of bears. Then it might take four or more generations for that fur color to become dominant, and that's only if it helps survival in some way. You would have to live to be over 100 just to witness one tiny change in a given species. In human beings, we are born with some 30 or so mutations which have already occurred in our cells, and we gain even more throughout our lifetimes. Yet, you haven't noticed a major difference between you and your parents, or even your grandparents. We humans have lived as our species is now somewhere between 100,000 to 200,000. You have to go back farther than that before you find any fossils/skeletons of anything that could be called an "ancestor" significantly different to us today.

That is all bio-babble. There has never been any recorded history of an animal producing offspring that is different than what it is. And of course, as I said, you play the "time" game, by telling me how far I have to go back to find evidence of our "ancestors". It is all bio-babble.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If Evolution is an incredibly long ladder stretching from antiquity to now, each rung is a micro-change in a species due to mutation. You ask for evidence, and someone shows you one of the rungs on the ladder. The rungs add up to a whole ladder over the time it takes to climb. The problem is, you weren't expecting a ladder. You thought it would be more like an elevator, rapid and on a much larger scale.

You are telling me the concept. I understand the concept. I understand what you believe to be true. What I want is evidence for the theory/concept. So far, you've offered none.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I am curious to know how you account for constant mutations if you don't accept Evolution.

So a turtle that is born with an extra head is changing to what, exactly?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Your favorite dog is the result of mutations over a period of about 20,000 years.

No it isn't, it is a result of selective DOG breeding. It has nothing to do with mutations.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Given the extreme variety in the dog population, which really is quite profound, how much more various will they be in another 20,000 or even 1,000,000?

No matter how much variety you have, you will always have the same kind of animal, DP. That is all you have ever observed, correct? So what makes you think that things were any different in the past, or things will be any different in the future??

This is wishful thinking on the part of the evolutionist? Why? Because if you take God out of the equation, naturalistic evolution is the only game in town. There is nothing else...and the evolutionist must account for the diversity of life without divine intervention, so he/she must stand by this ridiculous theory that has more problems than one can imagine.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  At what point will their many changes cause them to look and behave in ways that are no longer dog-like to us.

I don't know, considering that I only know animals to produce what they are, not what they aren't. Apparently, you seem to believe that some additional stuff was going on beyond what meets the eye, and I am saying BULLSHIT..

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Does Creationism suppose that the mutations will eventually stop at some point?

I will ask again using a different animal; so, a sheep born with five legs is changing to what, exactly?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If so, how/why? Since you believe nothing can mutate out of its "kind", yet you obviously accept mutations in general, what is it you think is going to suddenly prevent the mutations from continuing when the dogs get too diverse to be called dogs? I don't think you can have it both ways. Either cells mutate constantly and inevitably, or they do not.

You are using "mutate" and "evolve" synonymously, which is an obvious error on your part.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So, let's talk about "Kinds" for a minute. This is one example of why I don't think the Creationists are on to something. They rely so heavily on the idea that nothing can mutate out of it's "kind". First of all, and as I already said, I have no idea how or why they think the mutations are going to stop or slow down.

What? In my last post, I stated that Creationists also believe in evolutionist, just the "micro" aspect of it (changes within the kind). I also stated that if all living species on this planet disappeared, EXCEPT for dogs....and a million years past, what will there be? A population of thousands of different varieties of dogs...but they will all be....DOGS

So as opposed to thinking the changes from WITHIN the kind will stop or slow down, I actually concede the point, only there are limits to the changes...which all are limitations from WITHIN the kind.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I especially do not understand how or why they would stop or slow down specifically to meet the arbitrary definition of a "kind". Creationists don't seem to understand that labels we humans use are just that, arbitrary reflections of characteristics we observe. We invented them. It wasn't a discovery of some universal principle of classification. Anyone who knows about the history of classifying the platypus understands this. At the time, it practically broke the classification system of its day.

Well let me put it to you this way, DP; do you have children? Nieces? Nephews? Do you have any that is between the ages of 3-6?

Get separate pictures of a wolf, coyote, Siberian husky, jackal, and boa constrictor. Now ask any one of the children to point to one animal that is different than the rest.

Now I guaranDAMNtee each child will choose the snake. If a child can understand that one animal is a different "kind" of animal than the rest, then why can't adults??

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I am particularly critical of "Kind" because it is not a scientific term, and is thus not clearly defined.

I am not even sure that "species" is a clearly defined term in science... a wolf and a coyote are different species, but they are clearly the same "kind" of animal...and who gets to decide when there is a new species...who is the leading authority?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It's meaning is flexible to interpretation, which is understandable considering its origins are biblical.

Its funny you mention its origins (biblical).

Gen 1:24

"24And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good."

Keyword: "Kind", "Kinds"
Keywords: "Each according to its kind"

It clearly states that the animals were created according to the "kinds"...now fast forward x amount of years later, and what do we see?? WE SEE ANIMALS BRINGING FORTH AFTER THEIR KINDS!!!

No bio-babble needed....the Bible described it in terms that are so simplistic that even a 4 year old can understand.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The trouble is, science can't operate with unclear terms. Things need to be measurable and accurately so.

Yet, you have a species problem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem Laugh out load

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So often Creationists seem to take full cynical advantage of this by constantly changing the definition to mean something different than the last time around. If Creationists want to engage in "moving the goal posts" in this way, fine. But, calling it science is a joke. It's just fallacious argument.

My definition of "kinds" are clear and concise, was it not?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  All of this leads to what I see as an inevitable observation. I don't think Creationists fully grasp just how stupid these misconceptions really are. They are as ridiculous as something right out of a child's cartoon. All I have to do to understand how most Creationists view Evolution is to just picture nature as a biological version of the show transformers. It really is no wonder that you can't take this science seriously. Your conceptions of what is is are too ridiculous for words. You must think the whole scientific community has lost its mind.

5th time: Neither suddenly, nor gradually.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I found it both amusing and interesting that you actually claim there is no such thing as the fossil record. I think even giving you the benefit of the doubt, I should still refer to that as an incredibly stupid statement. If you want evidence of a fossil record, perform a simple google search. Take a look at talkorigins.org. There are some really excellent links to scientific research that can demonstrate not only that there is a fossil record, but that it supports Evolution.

Let me rephrase that. If by "fossil record" you mean there is a collection of fossils that were discovered and recovered for observation...then sure, there is a fossil record.

However, if by "fossil record" you mean that there is a collection of fossils that were discovered and recovered for observation, and via observation we can interpret that the organisms that were fossilized are the evolutionary predecessors of living organisms today...that is complete and utter bullshit.

Where is a complete fossil "record". Where?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Despite the evidence of mutations in modern day species, none of Evolutionary Theory would make any sense without a firm method of determining the biological history of our planet. Fortunately for us, the earth's crust amounts to a kind of time capsule, holding within a treasure of years long past. Sediments in the earth move and create layers over incredibly long time periods. Thus, when we dig a hole and find these layers, we can know they correspond to years in chronological order. It is both on the surface and in the depths of the earth that we have found, and continue to find, a practically uncountable number of fossils. Life has been awfully busy in the history of our planet, and even with the reality that only some conditions cause fossilization, we have an absolute mountain of fossils.

We have "an absolute mountain of fossils", yet you are unable to provide a complete fossil record, which is what one would expect if there are such mother loads of fossils.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It is this record of fossils that is the backbone (pun definitely intended) of Evolutionary Theory. It is precisely because we have only found simple and tiny invertebrates at the bottom layers with a ascending increase in complexity that we believe all life diversifies over time. One does not even find a single vertebrate for millions of years in our history.

So when we do find a vertebrate, what were its intermediate predecessors as you trace the linage back in time??

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I find it interesting that you would bring up what is known as the "Cambrian Explosion". For anyone who might not know, the Cambrian period in our fossil history was a time of incredible diversity by comparison to a relatively sparse past. After several layers of extremely simple invertebrates, the Cambrian layers of rock were by comparison brimming with a large variety of similar creatures. However, the fossil evidence of that time does not support the claim that sudden complexity arose with no ancestral fossils. On the contrary, there are actually intermediate forms embedded in the Cambrian layer. Many of these were lobopods, who's anthropod fossil ancestors were discoved below the Cambrian layer, and who eventually were known to us as modern day worms. That is only one example of over 20 some citations on the matter available here. The time involved even during the Cambrian period is still tens of millions of years. That should really put the "suddenness" of the simple variety found within its layers into proper context. To say it was too rapid and complex to be consistent with slow gradual Evolution is outright stupid and a misrepresentation of the facts.

Well, my sources tell me something differ and I could just as easily post links that is consistent with my side of things. So basically, where are these intermediate forms, COMPLETE forms..that would give us a clear-cut picture of the evolutionary process of these millions of years???

With all of the animals that have lived, died, and fossilized, you can't provide me ONE...just one...can you??

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The universality of our genetic code is one. All DNA, regardless of its source, is capable of being read by any life form on earth. In other words, all life forms encode the information of their own species in the exact same way. This is deeply consistent with Evolution, because life is not possible with reproduction, which involves copying DNA. Therefore, the most basic or most original function of life on earth is to copy DNA. It is is the only link in the chain where no variety was possible, because any organism that could not encode its DNA died out. Thus, all life today encodes DNA the exact same way that ancestor did in the beginning.

Where did the information that is embedded in DNA...where did it come from? You can't even begin to answer that question without answering the question regarding the origins of life, because without life, there would be no DNA.

So again, you are putting the cart before the horse. DNA is such a big problem for your worldview that I don't even know why you mentioned it. Because it does your side of things more harm than good.

After you are finished explaining the origins of the information which is embedded in DNA, please tell me how the Hamlet, in book form, could have been created by an explosion of a printing factory.

To attempt to explain the origins of DNA by way of natural occurrence is to violate entropy laws...and you wouldn't dare violate natural law, would you?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Another of these is the shared genetic makeup of all living things. Human beings for example, are 96% or so identical to the chimpanzee when it comes to our DNA, 90% with cats, 80% with cows, and 70% with mice.

Any similarities within our genetic makeup could be the result of a common designer. The same guy is designing both things, so they are similar.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Even the trees are our long lost cousins.

I believe God came down from heaven to die for our sins, and was physically raised from the dead 3 days later.

Meanwhile, you believe that humans are related to trees.

Keep talking, DP...you are making my belief look so much reasonable/plausible (not that it needs your help anyway), but keep on talkin'.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  There are even examples of Evolution taking place right now. You have probably heard of the growing strains of anti-bio-tic resistant bacteria that have been giving our medical industry trouble of late. Although only some bacteria encountered in the past few years happen to be resistant to medicine, we have killed off most of their competition, allowing them alone to survive and reproduce. What began as a medicine resistant mutation, has now facilitated the rise of new bacterial species which will continue to plague us until we come up with new solutions.

Laugh out load Beautiful ignorance.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In summary, I think there is a lot of meat on the bones of Evolutionary Theory, a lot of good empirical reasons to accept that it took place.

What good empirical reasons to accept that reptiles evolved into birds?


(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  But, let's be real here. I know that doesn't impress you. Probably none of it. Why? Well, you're a Creationist Christian Amateur Apologist who argues on a prominent Atheist forum. It would be downright naive of me to think you are coming to this argument with a skeptical, empirical, scientific attitude. There is a whole lot more to your side of things than what we have talked about so far, and I am just getting started. It isn't like you just have a few scientific doubts. It isn't even like you're stupid. The reality of this little situation is that you are coming to this conversation representing a blatant ideological agenda, one that is utterly antithetical to science. You're problem isn't with Evolution so much as it is the methods and results of science itself.

Nonsense. I don't believe in evolution because of the lack of evidence for it, and also because of the evidence I have against it. That is a double-whammy, as far as I'm concerned...and it is just as simple as that.

I actually like science, but as I previously said; the questions that I have (of origins) goes beyond the realm science. It would seem as if you (and mostly all unbelievers) have a problem admitting that science is not an end all be all for knowledge. There are some things that science just can't provide answers for, yet you erroneously think that "one day, good science will give us the answer", which is synonymous with a Christian saying "one day, Jesus will return". It is the same thing.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It isn't just that you have bias because of your world view. Everybody does, and I don't think that's enough to make someone wrong on principle. What I am talking about is a world view deeply rooted in and motivated by a systematic ideology, one where the conclusions matter a whole lot more than how we arrive at them, and where science is only a problem if it conflicts with religion.

Not so fast. First off, I don't accept macroevolution as science. In my opinion, it is an unproven theory, and so is abiogenesis. Both of them are unproven, yet that is the faith of the evolutionist, because for them, it MUST be true. It has to be.

Once God is taken out of the equation, everything must have happened naturally...but it should dawn on any sensible person that a universe cannot naturally come from nothing, and that consciousness cannot originate from mere matter, and that life cannot come from non-life.

Second, even if I wasn't a Christian, I still wouldn't believe in evolution without divine intervention, for the very reasons I just mentioned. There are serious problems with it (internally) and it just can't be true in light of all of the evidence that I can provide against it.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I have taken a personal fascination in the many patterns of Christian argument, including those concerning Evolution and other sciences. One particular pattern continually makes an appearance in the rhetoric, over and over again. You, see I believe that you, and some others like you, sense on some level that what you believe as a result of your religious indoctrination is not true. More importantly, I think this fills you with anxiety and cognitive dissonance.

Laugh out load

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The way I usually see this manifest itself is in hypocritical self-contradictory arguments. Examples of this are claiming science, atheism, or secularism, are religions, that accepting science is an act of faith, or that scientifically literate people are just worshiping/following individual scientists such as Darwin or Dawkins. Just in this conversation alone you have supplied me with several examples of this, including a reference to Darwin as my "Lord and Savior".

I was being facetious Big Grin

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I personally have no stake in the ethical life lived by Charles Darwin, and would have admired the scientific prowess of any person who discovered the Evolution of living things, but what on earth can a worshiper of a two thousand year old Jewish Carpenter even say to someone who hypothetically would worship Darwin? What can an enthusiastic member of organized religion have to say about the inaccuracy of Evolution, due specifically to its qualifications as a religion? What devotee of Jesus Christ who takes faith as a virtue could or would ever speak of the falseness of something due to it being a faith based doctrine?

Well my point was, DP...is that you have your guy, and I have mines. You can roll with Darwin, and I will roll with Jesus who is called the "Christ" Thumbsup

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I find it difficult not to smile as I watch religiously anti-science individuals adjusting the rope with which to hang themselves, while all the while hissing out hatred and contempt for the very ideas with which they are ideologically allied. If you can grasp why faith might not be a valid way to know truth, if you can understand why religious ideology might be too corrupt to be fairly and genuinely scientific, if you can grasp why the devotional worship of now dead human mammals might be irrational and negative, why the hell aren't you an Atheist too? I can't even pretend that you don't attack these ideas with an absolutely poisonous and contemptuous tone of voice. I can practically feel the venom through the screen of my computer.

I want you to fully understand where I am coming from. In my opinion, evolution is just a byproduct of a bigger issue, which is the whole abiogenesis thing. I said this before and I will say it again: I just can't, with even the tiniest amount of common sense in my brain, allow myself to believe something so absurd as inanimate matter coming to life. I just can't believe it.

To me, that is no different than when I leave work (at a warehouse), and all of the items at the warehouse suddenly/gradually (whatever) come to life while I am gone and everything begins to talk, move, think, laugh, etc...it is the same concept.

Now of course, this is where you say "but it doesn't work like that with living organisms" (or something like that), but ahhh, we don't have evidence that it works like that for ANYTHING. Yet, this is what you must believe if you take the God Hypothesis out of the equation. To me, the mere concept is absolutely positively absurd, and I don't believe any person with any degree of intellect can believe such a thing.

That being said, since I don't believe that life can come from nonlife, then it would have to follow that evolution could not possibly be true if abiogenesis isn't true. So again, my disbelief in evolution is just a byproduct of my disbelief in abiogenesis...and again, I actually have arguments against both concepts, and if you supplement my arguments AGAINST both concepts with (in my opinion) the lack of evidence FOR both those concepts, you will begin to see why I don't believe in evolution.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The Atheist and Scientific activist Aron Ra calls this phenomena "the kettle calling the silverware black". It takes place when one party in a disagreement are in such utter denial that they have decided to reflect all of their intellectual and emotional faults and errors onto the opposing side, regardless of whether they stick. To put it in more biblical terms for someone like yourself, it is when they call evil good and good evil.

Think so? Nonsense I tell ya, nonsense Big Grin

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Since you love discussing naturalism so much, it's especially worth noting that from a Naturalist perspective, this is exactly the kind of psychological acrobatics one would expect when their is no god. People always doubt the existence of god at some point in their lives, sometimes feeling intense anxiety when those moments arrive. This is all consistent with superstitious people believing in god, but always recognizing in the back of their mind that they don't really know for certain, and they could be wrong. This is of course why faith would be necessary for belief in god while in a godless universe. For those who can't deal with reality, there needs to be a way to cope.

Not me. There is very little doubt in my mind that there is a God. My arguments for theism are just to strong for that.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In other words, you cannot accept that a natural process is evidently responsible for the diversity of life, including humans, yet you see nothing suspect about believing in the absolute truth, in every detail, of an ancient selection of mythology like the bible.

In my opinion, Christianity has more explanatory value than any other faith-group, whether religious or scientific. Not only does it have more explanatory value, but the evidence for Christianity and theism in general is far more greater than that of naturalism/atheism.

And if I am going to continue being an honest man, using common sense, logic, and reasoning, I am forced to go where the evidence takes me.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Your powers of detection when it comes to what is illogical and unreasonable on its face can pass talking animals and ancient nine hundred year old men with flying colors, but you can't understanding how mutations drove the ascending complexity we see in the fossil record? You can't accept that a man of science can make an educated prediction that was successful, but you can accept that an ancient Jew was born of a virgin and never really died?

I can pose the same type of question to you...you can't accept that God has the power to raise a man from the dead and that he actually did such a thing...but you can, on the other hand, accept inanimate matter coming to life and beginning to talk, think, and have sex? Consider

But to answer your question, I will only accept evolution if there was a divine hand orchestrating the entire affair. I just can't buy in to the voodoo science thing.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Yet, here you are talking about "bird-reptile" transformations and "Macro Evolution", as though those straw men of what Evolution really is seem too ridiculous for words.

What a minute, based on the theory, reptiles did evolve into birds, correct? So how is it straw men?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You are in short, a hypocrite, and a fool by definition. You have been taken for an ideological ride, and some part of you knows it.

Actually, according to Psalms 14:1, you are the fool Laugh out load

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You really do love the Law of Excluded Middle. Would you two just get a room? You just don't seem to understand that it only applies when there is truly only two things from which to choose. When there are actually more options it is called a false dichotomy, which really ought to be your middle name.

Hey, I will bring it up every time it rightfully applies Cool And there are only two options, either God did it, or he didn't do it. Plain and simple. Again, if there are more options than that, then enlighten me.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I told you before that rejecting god doesn't necessitate rejecting all supernatural elements on principle. For example, I reject god because (and rather summarily) the reasons available for belief in god are either non-existent, fallacious, or otherwise unreasonable. However, I am still open to any supernatural phenomena for which there is better evidence, or of course proof.

So basically, you believe in nonsense? Gotcha.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Therefore, when discussing the origins of things like life, the cosmos, consciousness, etc, who are you to say that the only supernatural force that could possibly ever explain anything must be a god, especially a specific one?

You ask as if that is supposed to be a difficult question or something. I present what are called ARGUMENTS...and each one is powerful enough to address those very questions.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As of now, there isn't any evidence about any supernatural forces at play in the origin of things, but that isn't evidence of absence.

I beg to freakin' differ.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If you think taking god out of explaining how life diversifies makes me a Naturalist, you don't understand the term. The evidence for Evolution is rock solid, but it doesn't rule out god as an explanation for origins at all.

First off, you already said in an earlier post that no god was needed for anything, I guess you realized how absurd that statement was so now you are moon walking backwards?

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It only rules him out as an explanation for the intervening time between origins and now. There is nothing Naturalistic or even Atheistic for that matter, about accepting that Evolution happened.

So...a deistic kind of a god...gotcha.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Given that I hold this view of open possibilities, even to the supernatural, I think makes me more open minded than you. While I could accept origins that are supernatural, or natural after all, you will only accept a specific type of supernatural creation, and reject the natural altogether.

Again, it goes back to explanatory value and the evidence which leads me to the particular one that I believe.

(30-09-2015 01:40 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  What is it that so dashes your confidence and sense of wonder in the natural world anyway? You live in a universe where tiny creatures can survive the vacuum of space, where natural processes govern the motions of the planets, and where the tiniest cell is a world of complexity unto itself. What part of the natural world is so unimpressive to you to suggest that it is incapable of explaining origins?

Again, right back to explanatory value. The natural world began to exist, therefore, using the natural world to explain its own origins would be similar to me asking you to explain the origins of your computer, but the catch is; the answer that you give has to lie WITHIN the computer...the answer that you give cannot be external from the computer. You wouldn't be able to do it, would you? No, you wouldn't.

See how that works? So the natural world cannot be used to explain the origins of its own domain. Therefore, an external cause is needed and according to Christianity, God exists outside of the natural world, therefore the God hypothesis is more suitable to EXPLAIN the ORIGINS of the universe than any naturalistic answer you can provide...thus; the Supernatural explanation has more explanatory power/value than the natural one.
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21-10-2015, 12:19 PM
RE: Dark Phoenix Vs. Call of the Wild- Round 2
One of These Things is Not Like the Other

It is all the more relevant now that I have mentioned Aron Ra. For anyone who doesn't know who he is, I would recommend his Youtube series "The Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism". He often points out that some arguments by their very nature reveal the motivations and integrity of the arguer. Here, COTW has provided me with an excellent repeated example, when he claims science is a religion.

It may only be necessary to possess perhaps a third grade American education to appropriately see through this medieval stupidity. One must not even be educated in any science, or theology. A rudimentary knowledge of the scientific method and basic religious dogmas is more than enough.

For one thing, if science is really just religion, it really ought to cease peer review. Demanding a consistent, repeatable, standard of experiment will result in independent verification of the facts, and especially the theories derived from those facts. Without review, there is no defense against bias, wish thinking, or outright fraud. Even this basic explanation of just one tool of science is not possible without reference to its firm foundation in hard facts, data, observations, and the theories which are derived from these. This is why the great Bertrand Russell commented that there are no arguments of interpretation in the rules of mathematics. One need only check the figures. It is when there are no figures to check, such as in theology that opinions are possible.

Religion proposes entirely different epistemology, faith and the revelations of divinity. The only experiment to conduct is to beseech the divine for guidance, which yields the most various results possible. Chaos is a generous description. It is the very opposite of a consistent standard.

Take for example the tenets of revealed religion. One is presented with the proposition that there is a god and especially that there are no other gods in existence. How curious then that there is more than one person alive praying to a different god? How curious that every Hindu child who prays fervently to Vishnu does not suddenly become alarmed at the response "Who is this Vishnu? I am Jesus Christ." How curious that the Christian children thousands of miles away do not hear "Who is this Jesus? I am Vishnu." Given this reality, I am inclined to wonder what kind of "relationship" Christianity is so often claimed to be.

Therefore, the greatest indictment against faith is to observe that it is not well defined. Although not viscerally pleasing to the lay person, its philosophical truth is as devastating as a proof would be in science. Two human beings speaking to one another, without the benefit of infallibility and omnipotence, are infinitely less vague than the supposed communications of an un-observable cosmic intelligence. It is reasonable to suppose that all religious individuals recognize this, since from day to day they operate on the basis of fleeting emotional peaks and valleys as interpreted through the lens of a cosmic father who speaks through their hearts and minds. Each burning sensation in the chest, each fleeting thought that might lead to a breakthrough, is given up to god as evidence of his communication.

Thus it is that all monotheistic "revealed" religions must seek to effectively discredit the methods and revelations of their mutually exclusive rivals, or admit the epistemology of faith yields wildly inconsistent results. Ask any sect you please why it is the only correct one and you will witness an absolute dissent into absurdity. They will first attack the sincerity of their rivals. They will say that their prayers are not sincere, that their attempts at understanding the gospel are insufficient, and that their spiritual experiences are not legitimate. They will insist that other faiths indoctrinate their members, and dull their minds. Of course, they are often absolutely correct, but only say this to assert their own church's indoctrination over the one criticized.

It is religion's absolute negation of the scientific method that makes this problematic. If faith were a scientific process, checking out these claims against the facts would be the next logical step toward a solution. Yet, when consulting facts is nothing more than beseeching the divine, or interpreting ancient scriptures, the "facts" are as vague as they are a matter of opinion. Pinning these ideas down to something measurable is a lot like nailing a bit of jello to a wall. This is what is meant when I, and many others, point out that science uses falsifiable hypotheses. There are always conditions that, if met, would falsify the hypothesis.

Religion however, is eternally engaged in subject matter that is not testable, un-falsifiable, and that can only be admitted as real on the absolute frontier of wherever science is ignorant. God, at the moment, may exist in either dark matter or be the designer of abiogenesis. Of course, if science minded people like myself have our way, he will soon, and yet again, need new housing arrangements. Perhaps this line of thinking may have been premature when the motions of the planets, the source of diseases, an understanding of our genetics, knowledge of our relationship to nature, and the source of weather were all a mystery to us. Yet, the real estate suitable for god has grown to be a tiny minority as we gain theory after theory of how the natural world governs itself.

Of course, they will sometimes say that other sects interpret scripture in incorrect ways, which opens an absolute barrel of worms. A reliance on scripture is effectively an admission that revelation is not an option, for if god can and will reveal what is necessary individually through prayer, what use are some dusty tomes of what he revealed in ancient times? How much more salient is the point when so many ancient admonishments and "eternal" commandments have been abandoned and altered for a more civilized age. It is through quarreling over rival interpretations of these old tomes that religions show off their spiritual impotence, and lack of moral and cultural imagination.

This is why any leaders who are supposedly revelators actually do nothing more than interpret scripture on behalf of the masses. If the pope, or say the Prophet of Mormonism, really communicated with god, they might have something to say beyond platitudes and parroting contemporary ideas of politics and philosophy. Consider for example, the pope's recent statements on climate change. There is nothing there which has not been the result of modern science and political thinking. The kind of thing that might qualify as revelations, such as warnings about global warming long before it happens, are never part of these leader's rhetoric. This is how reasonable people come up with practical solutions, and religions come along and collect the moral praise, sometimes for ideas they themselves have vehemently opposed.

Aside from the hypocrisy of men, there is still the matter of why ancient ideas are better than a constant stream of updated fresh information. Yet again, science and religion are in utter opposition. Religion codifies its ancient wisdom, with practical disregard to the accuracy of its contents, and worships it through ritual biased readings designed to re-enforce the emotional experience of faith. When new moral considerations or facts come to light, religion is absolutely reactionary, always asserting the emotional stability of tradition over the promise of a progressive future. It is only through yet more bloodshed, endless re-interpretation of scripture, and ultimately ignoring whole passages of codified "truth" that religion progresses at all. It is not difficult, but is even more damning, to notice that this slow progress is largely induced by culture, not by divine revelation. Christianity in particular is always taking on aspects of the culture surrounding it in often explicit attempts to remain relevant.

They will even say that other sects pray and hear the devil, and do not know it. It was this premise with which the famous Salman Rushdie has such fun at the expense of Islam through his "Satanic Verses". Those seeking to explain scriptural contradictions with revelation from Satan had not thought through the consequences of such hilarious blasphemy, and ultimately responded to the satire with violence and murder. Of course, here I am led to yet more levels of complexity and objection. First, that religions do not merely create epistemological chaos by competing with each other. They create layer upon layer of additional madness by dividing, often bloodily, their own religions into micro-sects with likewise hold mutually exclusive claims. It was not the interpretations of the Koran by Christianity or Judeism with which those citing the devil were concerned. Rather, they were attempting to compete with rival Muslims by taking issue with those scriptures that contradicted their narrow sectarian interpretation.

Settling religious disputes is historically not a matter of a few carefully written academic articles, but that of violent and vicious bloodshed. All of the many revolutions, schisms, and divisions came at a blood price. Christianity alone is responsible for a farcical number of such sects, which even today continue to split over minor political opinions. One can attend, on the same street in my home town, two Christian churches exactly alike in every way, except their respective support or denouncement of gay marriage. If nothing else does, the mad sectarian warfare of religious history ought to put your claim into some serious perspective. If science were religious, it ought to be a discipline less lacking in gun toting maniacs set on murdering lab coated rivals. It is precisely because of the necessity of free expression that is required for science to flourish, that this is not the case.

Yet another difference is the role of coercion in religion, which is utterly lacking in science. This is why science recommends one eat plants and exercise, but not on pain of eternal torture. Imaginary locations, with imaginary punishments and rewards is entirely the carrot and stick dominion of religion. Need this continue? How many central, absolutely vital ways can you be wrong in a comparison? I grow tired of attempting an answer.

So enough of the differences, what similarities are you so astutely drawing upon? That both religion and science have a following that relies on them? That they both teach people in special locations designed for that purpose? It is absolutely boring how platitudinous they are, how meaninglessly common. These mundane connections can be made between pretty much any two groups. Hell, street psychics and astrologers have their audiences who hang on every word. Does that make them scientific? Or what about the exclusivity of Evolutionary Biology? There isn't a competing scientific theory. What of substance does that reality have in common with what most churches are teaching, or what rituals they perform? Since we are in the neighborhood of incredibly broad-brush parallels, perhaps we should toss in what sex acts are the most popular on porn sets these days? Does that make them holy?

Gun, Meet Foot

This is where this long analytical journey brings me around to where I started, with the submission that there is no possible way a guy like you believes what you are saying. You are either too stupid to notice the shocking differences, as well as too stupid to notice how meaningless your comparisons are, or you are attempting, very poorly indeed, to argue with propaganda tactics. I am inclined to believe the latter, since your wording alone is enough evidence that you aren't as stupid as all that. You know they aren't the same, and you know you're full of shit to say so. So what other options do you have than to reflect your faults onto the opposition. Kettle, meet silverware. Not black, no matter how much you say so.

You give two examples of how you think science has engaged in faith. First, in the determination that the universe is likely infinite, and second that specifically reptiles evolved into birds.

You are obviously pushing at an open door with me when you criticize magical thinking and faith based beliefs. Yet again, you are providing me with ironic examples of the "cherry picking" religious people so often engage in, since you yourself admit to a combination of anecdotal evidence and faith to reach your desired theological conclusions. If you imagine science minded people believe in spontaneous generation (They don't of course, but more on that in a moment.) you call it ridiculous, while simultaneously believing in an invisible omnipotent person who spontaneously generated the entirety of the universe in an arbitrary number of "days".

Quote:To me, that is no different than when I leave work (at a warehouse), and all of the items at the warehouse suddenly/gradually (whatever) come to life while I am gone and everything begins to talk, move, think, laugh, etc...it is the same concept.

Since you can't be bothered with the effort of the "what does the Atheist believe game" that the rest of us call "listening", let me be of assistance. I don't believe all living things spontaneously generated out of inanimate matter. No science minded person does. Since you are criticizing a view I do not hold, we have a name for that. I will give you a clue. Think Wizard of Oz.

Let's Start At the Very Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start

Since you have been so intent on the subject of origins, here is my view on abiogenesis. I don't know. I don't know how life came to be. To my knowledge, science has not yet grappled successfully with this puzzle. Some speculate, it may never do so.

I find it amusing that you think this should force me to throw out my acceptance of Evolution. As though not knowing how something has occurred, means it has not occurred at all. If the universe could be likened to a person deathly sick with disease, I admit I do not know the natural cause but will discover it through investigation, while you cry "Demon! He's possessed!". The limits of your imagination are not a reflection of how life came to be. Whatever the conditions for life were, I predict that upon their discovery, they will prove naturally possible. If that strikes you as religious faith, you have not taken properly into account the utter failure of supernatural explanations, and the hammer blows of natural explanation that have driven them into practical extinction. As I said before, and you of course misunderstood, even if the eventual evidence contradicts my prediction, I will still have predicted the most likely result given the evidence at the present time. My failure would only be a sign of an unlikely truth at the origins of life, which isn't a bad thing when you're a person who would rather be right than ignore evidence.

In this case, as has been done by every god worshiper throughout the whole history of what has been unknown to humankind, you have injected god primarily as an explanation for the unknown. Your god is proposed only to fill a gap in our knowledge. Yet, despite that, evidence of god's handiwork, or proof of it, would still sway me. This is why I have said that I am not philosophically closed off from a supernatural explanation, but in practice am utterly without confidence that one will be found. What you have so predictably misunderstood, is that cases of the god of the gaps are never evidence for god, not even a deistic one, which incidentally I do not believe in.

When I say that god's are not the only supernatural beings or elements, you respond by saying that I believe in a deistic god. I don't know if you simply can't keep up, or you should slow down and read more carefully. I was making a philosophical point, that were the universe to be the result of say, fairies, you would be religiously opposed to that determination. You only believe in one particular form of supernatural origins, which as I said before, limits you far more than me. I am open to all eventualities which are evident, regardless of their natural or supernatural essence. The evidence is what would allow me to choose my belief, whereas you have no method by which to determine if origins are the result of god, or fairies. How would you even begin a philosophical or scientific inquiry?

On one point, I think you are correct. Either one must choose to believe in a natural origin, or a supernatural one. Notice how this is different from choosing between god and natural origins, as it includes all supernatural possibilities. Since we are faced with a not yet explained problem in origins, we are facing what could essentially be an impossible problem. In your case, since you believe abiogenesis is essentially spontaneous generation, you find it impossible on its face. Since the only philosophical solution to the impossible is something capable of breaking the very laws of nature which form impossibility, you propose a magical being.

The error in this approach is simple. You have merely assumed a natural origin is impossible, and chosen to belittle it in your mind by comparing it to other ideas you find ridiculous already. There is no reason to journey to the land of make believe in order to solve this problem, because it isn't an impossible one. The chemical conditions for life are theoretically possible, and even likely in the early years of our Earth. Abiogenesis may not be utterly proven, but it is by no means devoid of experiment and evidence. This is early days, but there is enough information to form a picture that this is at least possible, if unlikely. Certainly more likely than the existence of an all powerful magical force controlling everything.

This is what one might call the irony, or silliness of positing the magical to explain the natural. One is always introducing a greater necessity for further explanation on every level, and every category of inquiry, with every time it is suggested. To explain what might seem to be a finely tuned universe, one may posit an even more finely tuned god. To explain the complexity of the universe, one may posit an even more complex god. To explain the origins of life, consciousness, the universe and everything one may posit this same god, but conveniently without an origin story of his own. Rather, we must be eternally discontented with the practically endless excuses and rationalizations for why the explanation for everything is in turn not in need of an explanation.

Creationists love to play on the human intuition and experience of being a "creator". The universe they say is like this or that human made thing, like a car, a pocket watch, or a computer. It cannot explain its own origins, because we are the explanation. That is only as clever as it is embarrassing. First, how does one look at a pocket watch, or a computer and know it is manufactured? Easy, it is compared to those other things around it which are natural, like a rock or a vegetable. To what then does one compare a rock and a vegetable to in order to determine their design? Those who say everything is a design have no objectivity, no perspective, and thus no real argument. In these tawdry examples they include the designer, humanity, in the category of the designed only so long as god is not mentioned. The moment he is, he is his own explanation, his own designer, his own origins. Yet, what was it about the watch, the car, and the computer which inspired in the creationists such a need for design? It is of course, their complexity and dramatic difference to their surroundings. Yet what is more complex than the designer of a universe with practically infinite complexity? What is more different to the natural world, than a supernatural omnipotent intelligence? Apparently both suckers and hypocrites are born every minute.

The most salient point of all is this. You have doubtless heard many times, as I have, that god can neither be proven nor dis-proven, which is ultimately why there is such a controversy. What is not admitted immediately following this statement, and absolutely damn well should be, is that god is only disprovable to the extent that all other supernatural elements are disprovable. He is, essentially, as likely as a fairy, leprechaun, or goblin, which all share his status of philosophical provability. Who can deny that these things are not treated equally when people start talking about proofs and evidence. It is more or less known, if not always spoken, that no such things exist. To say so, even out loud, is enough proof in the day to day lives of ordinary people. The sheer improbability is only ignored as a factor when the wish thinking element of human nature gets involved, as it most certainly is when it comes to god. This is the simple, and painless for people like me, explanation for why those heavily invested in god concepts require such a ridiculously clinical standard of "proof" when it comes to god. The investment itself changes the confidence values assigned to the unknowable, and the skeptic who is acting on basic social standards of proof is suddenly required to meet a whole new standard.

Thing 1 and Thing 2

For any dear readers out there who are wondering why I even have the patience for this, just know that you are probably taking this all too seriously. These arguments, misconceptions, and stupidities I am responding to are hilarious, and good mental exercise.

One such rather amusing notion is that a viable theory of evolution cannot be correct without a proven theory of abiogenesis. In other words, having witnessed my wife cross the room in front of my eyes, I should not accept that evidence until I discover in what room she began the journey. If I should come upon a book with the first chapter torn out, I should remember. I cannot know the extent of the story in the pages I do have, until I discover what is missing. With this logic as my guide, I might as well throw the book out and admit I could never have known any of its contents.

As I have already pointed out, at least once if not twice, Evolution is evident between the time of the first living thing to now, regardless of how that first thing came to be. You do at least agree that life had to have come about in some way, seeing as we observe and experience it now? So, I will say it again. Evolution is still a proven process regardless of how life came to be. It would be true if origins were natural, and it would be true if a god said let there be light. This is why most Christians are not Creationists. They believe in god, but have enough respect for science to know it is king of all natural knowledge, of which Evolution is just one unfairly isolated and disputed part.

Neil Degrasse Tyson said it best when commenting on creationists. I am paraphrasing.

Quote:"The pattern is always the same when science has a breakthrough in an area once explained only by religion. First, they deny it utterly. Second, they say it conflicts with the bible. Then third and last, they say they have known it all along."

You just happen to be a member of the first wave of denial club, but it won't be long before Creationism will be bleeding even more members. There has already been wave after wave of official recognition of Evolution in major churches, such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church. Just as predicted, and because they are so predictable, their new theology says of Evolution, how great and wise is our god after all, since he used such stunning and elegant methods to create life on Earth.

Jurassic Squawk

As to the evidence for the evolution of reptiles into the modern avian, I will take the risk of assuming you refer to dinosaurs. You are not going to like the answer because it is no different to what I have already said. Within the fossil record is contained a series of well documented intermediary forms which demonstrate a gradual evolution. Similarities in skeletal and muscle structures are consistent with their evolution, including the presence of vestigial wings, arms, etc.

Although all forms are technically intermediary, these specific fossils give insight into a period where the saurian and avian features were in practical terms equally manifest. Some examples of these are Sinosauropteryx prima, Shenzhouraptor, Patagopteryx, as well as more broad categories such as Deinonychosaurs, Ornithomimosaurs, Therizinosaurs, and Oviraptorosaurs.

As a side bit of trivia, many dinosaurs popularly animated with scales did in fact have feathers. Hollywood accuracy strikes again.

So, where is the fossil record? In the literally thousands, even tens of thousands and perhaps more, peer reviewed publications archived on scientific websites and in scientific journals. Can I personally show it to you? No, because it isn't like a small encyclopedia I keep in my house. You will have to show some initiative and perform the same basic, simple, instant google search I did to find these peer reviewed examples.

However, I will make yet another prediction. Every single paper you do look at, assuming you ever would show the humility to do so, will show how Evolution is evident across the whole board of biology.

Cosmological Cogitations with Repetitious Aggravation

We have already discussed our views on the origins of the universe. I have nothing further to say on the matter at the moment. For those of you who are interested in these claims he is making, check out our thread right here in the boxing ring, "Sending Out a Call of the Wild".

Although I have nothing new to say, I will summarize for anyone who would rather not read pages and pages. Suffice it to say that the proved origins he refers to are only of time itself, not the existence of the universe, which was my main basis of disagreement with his hypothesis. Likewise his characterization of what scientists used to say about the universe is recycled apologetic courtesy of William Lane Craig, and does not reflect the modern scientific atmosphere of uncertainty on the question of ultimate origins. In my comments there I refer in detail, with specific quotations, to several such theoretical explanations for ultimate origins, none of which are hindered by any science cited by COTW.

My view is that his claims are a well rehearsed script, of which he is the not the original author, which owes its existence to some very core misunderstands of various scientific theories. These arguments are at their very best a Frankenstein's monster integration between misquoted science and religious apologetic. A lot of sewing is required to make it look like a real consistent theory.

Mutant Denial

It seems my most consistent mistake in these conversations is making assumptions about what basic principles you already understand. You had me going when you mentioned your favorite breed of canine, but I can see your understanding of mutations is farcical and superficial.

The shortening of limbs, or growing extra ones, are certainly examples of mutation, but so is having red hair. Mutations are not merely grotesque and only negative changes, but include beneficial and neutral changes as well. A mutation can be defined as the result of incorrectly copied DNA, regardless of the result itself.

As I mentioned before, DNA is copied incorrectly constantly. This is always going on. That is how it is even possible for human beings to breed animals at all. We choose mates with characteristics we like, and breed them to get more. How do you think they got the characteristics we like? Their cells mutated and the results we like best, we keep. If this wasn't going on, wolves would have never became so various as dogs. If this wasn't going on, and we still saw the diversity of dogs that exists today, I might very well say that nothing evolves.

If "no new information is added" when there is a mutation, what exactly do you call a different sequence of proteins than the original? Its called a "new" sequence of proteins forming a "new" piece of genetic information. There are only four options for what chemical is next in sequence, so making a mistake is going to create completely different information than the original. Which incidentally is exactly why it isn't a work of Shakespeare.

Creationists love to make DNA sound like a sand castle on a beach, proof that intelligence authored it. If you refer to a wad of goo so small you can't observe it, with descending layers of globular chemicals encased in sugar phosphate, as Hamlet, you don't have a clue. All the parts of the cell related to it are unintelligent, including the ones that "read" the information. Once again, you have fallen into the trap of believing a comparison literally when it was taught to you by analogy. It was explained to you this way on purpose, because we all can relate to books holding information, and because you obviously wouldn't have understood the more technical explanation. This is what it is to be a lay person of science. If you don't have the know how, you get the dumb analogies, which only an ignorant creationist would actually use in an argument.

How Kind of You to Mention Species

The word "species" is an excellent example of why "kind" is a bullshit term. Notice how even though species isn't defined well enough, it has some specific criteria. For example, you might organize living things by how they reproduce. Kind is not at all like that. Just as you have repeatedly pointed out, it is our first childish human attempt to associate what an animal looks like on the outside with a category. It is a childish naming game that relies on ignorance of what is actually going on inside an animal, on any level you like, cells or otherwise. Children, and the religious, do indeed rely on this basic intuitive understanding of nature.

As I mentioned before, the example of the platypus is telling. Using a purely creationist means of identification, one might initially struggle to find the right "kind". Even if they get clever and say it is a new "kind" all it's own, they would certainly never learn that the very mammalian looking echidna is of the same category. Without the specific criteria of monotremes, or mammals with egg laying capabilities, echidna would be classified inaccurately. All of this is the case even if you had an absolute army of creationists to poll, let alone their unsophisticated children.

Ultimately, your understanding will work fine for you and those like you, because you don't care or even believe that species will change after you're long dead. You have a short window in which to observe species, and you are right when you say they haven't evolved dramatically in your lifetime, or even in recorded history. So, again, this system is fine for you and other people who don't understand the time involved, but that doesn't change the lessons from the fossils of the past. The animals alive today, weren't always like this. Those dogs released on your hypothetical island may still be dogs when you come back, unless you come back after a million years. Then, you might be surprised. Twenty thousand years is certainly sufficient to produce many variations within what we would call "dogs", but stick around long enough and you're in for a real revelation this time.

It's actually very intellectually telling that you don't differentiate between speciation taking place rapidly or slowly, because only one of those options is even possible. If it doesn't matter because you claim it doesn't happen at all, than why be disingenuous and argue against a rapid evolution you know nobody believes in? You can't deny you have tried, but can only claim "it doesn't matter". Once again, this is a tactic. You have learned a very aggressive creationist dogma script, and are parroting its deployment against people who know the content better than you do. It doesn't just make you look stupid, it makes you look manipulated and controlled by your ideology. It shows that you aren't scientific, open minded, or even educated on the right subjects to argue the point.

Common Design, Uncommon Designer

I am glad you mentioned a common designer because I have yet to mention some of the philosophical consequences of believing in a designer given the universe in which we live. Among designers, god is historically, uniquely insulated by his followers from the obvious correlation between the quality of the design, and the nature and quality of its designer. If I build a shitty, cracked, half broken down brick wall, I am to be rightly called a shitty, cracked, half broken down builder. What should then be said of this designer is that he is uncommon if anything. For he has crafted a masterpiece of capriciousness and destruction.

Consider that the Andromeda galaxy is scheduled for a collision with our own at a very distant date. Consider that this not happening still would not spare us from the eventual explosion of our sun, and the consequential heat death of our solar system. Consider that most of the universe, on every level all the way down to pockets of our planet, are hostile to the life so often referred to as the designer's goal in all of this. Consider the absolute mountain of wasted and extinct creatures, which have been measured as high as 98% of all life on Earth, ever. Consider the long wasted years of "pointless bellowing rivalries" (Christopher Hitchens) that raged meaninglessly between monstrous, and incidentally sometimes feathered, beasts before man even existed on the Earth. Consider the human sexual organs, which simultaneously perform recreation, reproduction, and sewage functions. Need this also continue?

A poor design may indeed still be a design, assuming you could prove such a thing. If it were however, it would say something about its designer, and it certainly wouldn't be good, or even make sense. We are certainly not the object in all this mad chaos, and we shouldn't have the arrogance to pretend we are at the center of it all.

Darwin Was Wrong

You haven't fully absorbed my comments about worshiping human beings. All you have said in response is that you have your guy, and I have mine. If that is all you have taken from my comments, you are missing yet another important point. There is not a "who" to follow in science. There is only the evidence and the methods of uncovering it. This is true because following a person dogmatically is only as wrong as that person is wrong. If there ever was a claim I could make and not have to meticulously back it up, its that people are imperfect. We all know this as well as we know our own names.

Darwin was a genius, but he made some mistakes. For example, he spoke of the human eye with praise, calling it "perfection". If he could see the evolutionary study of the human eye today, he would take it back. Creationists like yourself are far too focused on this one man and his life's work to notice that most of fossils, peer reviewed experiments, and published works on the subject have been completed after the date of his death. Evolution is Darwinian only to the extent that LED lights are Edisonian.

Feet, Meet Fire

You say there is very little doubt in your mind that god exists, but that this is because of the strength of your arguments. I would submit again that no such doubt should be possible if god exists. Only in a natural universe would doubt exist among the very people who claim to converse with god, and know of his interactions with the natural world. Only in a natural universe would it be unclear.

I am interested to hear that your conviction does not stem from faith, revelation, prayer, or the presence of a mystical holy spirit. So often Christians claim to know by these means, which are all vague and insubstantial. To interpret the emotions and thoughts of one's own mind looking for secret messages from a god, isn't a god speaking. It's human wish thinking followed by desperate delusion. It admits of no confidence at all that god could speak clearly and simply if he so desired, which strikes me as blasphemous at the least.

God has obviously not made himself known to you, otherwise you would not need arguments. So, now it is too late for you to turn back to these poor witnesses I have described. To turn back now is as good as saying your arguments aren't enough to believe, and you therefore need faith. You have already admitted to me that you require a hypocritical combination of both. The arguments are not complete or sufficient enough to prove, and the faith is not entirely blind because it is based in the arguments. The only circumstance where this combination makes any sense is one where the objective is clearly highlighted in advance, and the arguments and faith are erected like scaffolding to reach it. Have the cake, eat it too, but don't call it sound philosophy or an achievement of reason. It's biased, ideological, nonsense. Its beginning with a conclusion, and running on a circular hamster's wheel.

Who's the More Foolish, the Fool, or the Fool Who Follows Him?

It is true of course that the bible does say Atheists are fools. Psalms has probably been quoted at Atheists more than any other scripture. Since I have been channeling Aron Ra so damn much, I will share with you an exercise that he inspired. He examined several dictionaries to achieve a consensus definition of "fool". The results? A fool is someone who is deceived, who is effectively lied to, who falls for false claims. A fool is a person who's beliefs are not evident.

What then is the biblical definition of a fool? The exact opposite of that. The bible says the fool is the person who won't exercise faith and believe without evidence. The biblical fool isn't a fool because he got taken for a ride, he's a fool for even contemplating that, specifically, there is no god. He is a fool for not being gullible and credulous.

Why does the bible define fool as the opposite of what a fool is? Because it was authored my manipulative people, who were a part of a manipulative group, who understood how to control people. Religion reverses everything. It trades evil for good and good for evil. It praises a man who would gut his child on an alter for his faith, and condemns anyone who, in their private thoughts, doubts the authority or existence of the being who supposedly ordered the gutting.

So keep going, dig this hole deeper. Call the silverware black. I will never share your faults any more than I share your opinions. However, the opinions and faults you share are very well advertised. You believe in the infallibility and divinity of a book, which is only the thoughts of men put to paper. It is no more brilliant than any other ancient text, and somewhat less brilliant than its contemporaries. Even the fucking Koran is more inspiring, and that is a seriously fucked up book. You share the opinions and faults of those men who wrote it, and call it "revealed truth", which is why its supposed to mean something when you use it to call me names.

So, who is the more foolish, the idiots, bigots, misogynists, rapists, genocidal maniacs, and slavers who wrote those ancient words, or you for taking them to be absolutely infallible? I suppose calling me a fool is really the only tactic your side has left, because you are standing on a philosophical bedrock of hypocrisy and absolute immorality.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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26-10-2015, 09:26 AM
RE: Dark Phoenix Vs. Call of the Wild- Round 2
Based on what you said in the commentary thread for this debate, I no longer wish to continue our conversation. You said that you feel the need to be repetitive because your points are often swept under the rug too easily. I know, and I think a lot of other people know, exactly why this is the case. They have very simple flaws, with very simple rebuttals, which you don't seem to grasp even remotely. They aren't swept away, they're refuted, with rather less effort than sweeping them under a rug would take.

You simply do not connect the dots between your arguments and the rebuttals that are given them. You can be outright proven to be incorrect, or even outright proven to misrepresent, and you still repeat the same points anyway. I am tired of speculating as to why this is the case. I don't know why you don't understand. I don't know why you can't grasp a false dichotomy. I don't know why you think your personal incredulity is enough reason to negate an entire side of a true dichotomy. I don't know why you think you can plead for special circumstances of explanation where god is concerned. These are all basic fallacies, yet we have pages and pages of content.

All the while, you maintain this smug chest beating attitude that I think you believe is very effective, but is really just cute. It never diminishes, no matter how the debate is going. You are just as confident when you claim the universe was created out of nothing, as you are when you claim the opposite. Your views are as elastic as they are recycled. I have caught you in outright dishonesty twice and more or less let it go. First, when you mocked your own thesis because you couldn't even remember whether the Kalam argues for creation from nothing. Second, when you claimed Alexander Vilenkin proved the universe is finite, when all it took was a single short video to show otherwise.

I think you imagine your part of the conversation is a point by point response, when really it is line by line. The distinction makes all the difference in the world because I take several paragraphs for a full point to emerge. You end up answering it four times instead of once because you don't take a moment to read ahead. I have to line edit your comments before I respond, or we really will be having the same conversation twice over. Besides, I have to do something with all the content that is really nothing more than you beating the air (or perhaps something else) with adorable trash talk.

Timber1025 said it best. You are a closed door. I should really stop trying to pick the lock.

I feel that I have said everything necessary, and no longer have anything to contribute to this conversation.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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[+] 4 users Like Dark Phoenix's post
06-11-2015, 01:20 PM
RE: Dark Phoenix Vs. Call of the Wild- Round 2
(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It is all the more relevant now that I have mentioned Aron Ra. For anyone who doesn't know who he is, I would recommend his Youtube series "The Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism". He often points out that some arguments by their very nature reveal the motivations and integrity of the arguer. Here, COTW has provided me with an excellent repeated example, when he claims science is a religion.

I don’t recall claiming that science is a religion. What I’ve said was; EVOLUTION is a religion. Remember, I reject evolution as part of science, and the scientific method cannot be used to substantiate the claims of evolution (MACROevolution).

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  For one thing, if science is really just religion, it really ought to cease peer review. Demanding a consistent, repeatable, standard of experiment will result in independent verification of the facts, and especially the theories derived from those facts. Without review, there is no defense against bias, wish thinking, or outright fraud. Even this basic explanation of just one tool of science is not possible without reference to its firm foundation in hard facts, data, observations, and the theories which are derived from these. This is why the great Bertrand Russell commented that there are no arguments of interpretation in the rules of mathematics. One need only check the figures. It is when there are no figures to check, such as in theology that opinions are possible.

Since you began by making a straw man attack, anything conclusion you draw as a result of that straw man is irrelevant. Therefore, the following few paragraphs that succeed the straw man is useless.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  This is where this long analytical journey brings me around to where I started, with the submission that there is no possible way a guy like you believes what you are saying. You are either too stupid to notice the shocking differences, as well as too stupid to notice how meaningless your comparisons are, or you are attempting, very poorly indeed, to argue with propaganda tactics. I am inclined to believe the latter, since your wording alone is enough evidence that you aren't as stupid as all that. You know they aren't the same, and you know you're full of shit to say so. So what other options do you have than to reflect your faults onto the opposition. Kettle, meet silverware. Not black, no matter how much you say so.

Please don’t make it so easy for me to just delete all of your babbling as you explain the difference between science and religion, thus, attacking a position that I never held (straw man). As I previously stated, I do not reject science, I reject evolution. I actually like science. I have no problems with science. What I have a problem with is when unbelievers adopt a form of naturalism, by making it seem as if science is the root to all knowledge and we shouldn’t believe anything that cannot be scientifically verified.

You and others need to accept the fact that there are things that science cannot explain. Lots of things. It is a harsh reality for some of you people, but hey, that is just too bad.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Let's Start At the Very Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start
Since you have been so intent on the subject of origins, here is my view on abiogenesis. I don't know. I don't know how life came to be. To my knowledge, science has not yet grappled successfully with this puzzle. Some speculate, it may never do so.

Sorry Charlie, but “I don’t know” just isn’t good enough. Now sure, it may be true that you don’t know, but that shouldn’t stop you from critically thinking about the questions. As I told you before, there are only two options: Either God did it, or nature did it. There is no middle ground. No grey area. All one has to do is carefully examine/analyze all evidences for and against both sides of the coin, and once it is all said and done, at the very least you should be able to see the direction of where the evidence is pointing.

The problem is, if everything begins and ends with science for you, then you are closed-minded and refusing to look beyond your own worldview. And to further my point, even if you do believe in evolution, that STILL doesn’t negate the existence of God. God could exist WITH or WITHOUT evolution.

But getting back to abiogenesis, look; it ain’t happening. Science will never be able to get us life from inanimate matter. Never. The “life” itself isn’t made up of matter. Neither is the consciousness. Those are all immaterial things, and science has NOTHING to say about anything that is non-physical.

So keep on wishing.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I find it amusing that you think this should force me to throw out my acceptance of Evolution.

Hey, some people just refuse to believe, no matter how much or how less evidence there is. The Bible makes it clear, “you can’t please everybody”. So go on, accept evolution. Reject God. You have those rights.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As though not knowing how something has occurred, means it has not occurred at all. If the universe could be likened to a person deathly sick with disease, I admit I do not know the natural cause but will discover it through investigation, while you cry "Demon! He's possessed!".

The question is, “what evidence do I have to believe that he is demon possessed.” If I have reasons to believe, then who can knock me?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The limits of your imagination are not a reflection of how life came to be. Whatever the conditions for life were, I predict that upon their discovery, they will prove naturally possible.

Then we should also be able to get computers and printers to become sentiment, right? There really isn’t a difference.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If that strikes you as religious faith, you have not taken properly into account the utter failure of supernatural explanations, and the hammer blows of natural explanation that have driven them into practical extinction.

Whoa, wait a second. You just said above, “I predict that upon their discovery, they will prove naturally possible”. How is that NOT a faith based statement? That is like a believer stating “I predict that upon Christ’s return, all of the dead shall rise and meet our Savior in the sky”. You would call that religious faith, wouldn’t you? I’m sure you would. So what is the difference?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As I said before, and you of course misunderstood, even if the eventual evidence contradicts my prediction, I will still have predicted the most likely result given the evidence at the present time. My failure would only be a sign of an unlikely truth at the origins of life, which isn't a bad thing when you're a person who would rather be right than ignore evidence.

Well, if the eventual evidence contradicts your prediction, then God exists, doesn’t he? Lol.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In this case, as has been done by every god worshiper throughout the whole history of what has been unknown to humankind, you have injected god primarily as an explanation for the unknown. Your god is proposed only to fill a gap in our knowledge.

Actually, I believe Goddidit based on the impossibility of natural macroevolution, abiogenesis, and consciousness being the result of natural phenomenon. I have arguments AGAINST each, and I am astounded by the lack of evidence FOR each.
So no “god-of-the-gaps” here. And besides, the whole god of the gaps accusation is just a played out quip by unbelievers anyway. It is old. Played out. Out-dated. Obsolete.

Believers actually have contemporary evidence. Not only that, but I can also say the same thing to you. You are using “science of the gaps”, or “nature of the gaps”. You said yourself that you are waiting on science to one day fill those gaps of ignorance that we currently have, right? Well, how is that NOT “science of the gaps”?
It works both ways.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Yet, despite that, evidence of god's handiwork, or proof of it, would still sway me. This is why I have said that I am not philosophically closed off from a supernatural explanation, but in practice am utterly without confidence that one will be found.

And why are you that confident? Because you don’t want it to be true?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  What you have so predictably misunderstood, is that cases of the god of the gaps are never evidence for god, not even a deistic one, which incidentally I do not believe in.

If I didn’t have 5 or 6 independent arguments for theism, then the god of the gaps accusations may apply. However, see I do have them, it doesn’t apply.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  When I say that god's are not the only supernatural beings or elements, you respond by saying that I believe in a deistic god. I don't know if you simply can't keep up, or you should slow down and read more carefully. I was making a philosophical point, that were the universe to be the result of say, fairies, you would be religiously opposed to that determination. You only believe in one particular form of supernatural origins, which as I said before, limits you far more than me.

Hey, as long as this supernatural entity/being was able to create the universe from nothing, life from inanimate material, language, consciousness, and be the source of objective moral values, you can call it what you want. You can call it a fairy, FSM, whatever. Believers just happen to call it “God”. How this God is manifested is irrelevant, the bigger point is realizing that such a being exists.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I am open to all eventualities which are evident, regardless of their natural or supernatural essence. The evidence is what would allow me to choose my belief, whereas you have no method by which to determine if origins are the result of god, or fairies. How would you even begin a philosophical or scientific inquiry?
I answered this question in one of my earlier posts. I said that we have the argument based on the historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ…that is how we can determine “which god”, or any question along those lines. The Resurrection argument narrows down every religion to just one.

So to answer your question, the methodology would be HISTORY.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  On one point, I think you are correct. Either one must choose to believe in a natural origin, or a supernatural one. Notice how this is different from choosing between god and natural origins, as it includes all supernatural possibilities.
So what? We will worry about that once we get there. But until then, we have to negate one of the only two options that it could be, which are: 1. God. 2. Nature. Both can’t be false, and both can’t be true. One is true, and the other is false.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Since we are faced with a not yet explained problem in origins, we are facing what could essentially be an impossible problem.
It is impossible according to atheism/naturalism…it isn’t impossible according to theism/Christianity.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In your case, since you believe abiogenesis is essentially spontaneous generation, you find it impossible on its face. Since the only philosophical solution to the impossible is something capable of breaking the very laws of nature which form impossibility, you propose a magical being.

In a sense, yes. I mean, again, if we are honest with ourselves, we should be able and willing to go wherever the evidence takes us. I see impossibility/implausibility when considering the natural hypothesis, but I see possibility/plausibility when considering the supernatural hypothesis. So I am going with the supernatural hypothesis.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The error in this approach is simple. You have merely assumed a natural origin is impossible, and chosen to belittle it in your mind by comparing it to other ideas you find ridiculous already.

I am not assuming, I am using deductive reasoning. My arguments are based on sound/valid syllogisms, and also thought experiments/paradoxes.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  There is no reason to journey to the land of make believe in order to solve this problem, because it isn't an impossible one.

Ok, so using natural law, explain to me how you can make your computer a sentiment being. What natural law can allow you to do this? In what possible world? What natural law will give your computer free will?

There is no scientific experiment that will even BEGIN to give your computer these things. There isn’t even a place to start, much less finish.

It is impossible. It is NATURALLY impossible.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The chemical conditions for life are theoretically possible, and even likely in the early years of our Earth.

Yet we are unable to simulate our early earth’s conditions to be able to get it. I don’t even believe abiogenesis is theoretically possible. Certainly not sentiment life from nonlife. Not at all.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Abiogenesis may not be utterly proven, but it is by no means devoid of experiment and evidence. This is early days, but there is enough information to form a picture that this is at least possible, if unlikely.

So basically, you are telling me that a mindless and blind force that can’t see or think was able to do something that human beings with vision and intelligence are unable to do, and that is create life from nonliving material.
So a mindless and blind process is smarter than intelligent human beings? Got it.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Certainly more likely than the existence of an all powerful magical force controlling everything.

Based on what probability statistic?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  This is what one might call the irony, or silliness of positing the magical to explain the natural. One is always introducing a greater necessity for further explanation on every level, and every category of inquiry, with every time it is suggested. To explain what might seem to be a finely tuned universe, one may posit an even more finely tuned god. To explain the complexity of the universe, one may posit an even more complex god. To explain the origins of life, consciousness, the universe and everything one may posit this same god, but conveniently without an origin story of his own.

Wait a minute, what do you mean “conveniently without an origin story of his own”. More like “logically without an origin story of his own”. In reality, an uncaused cause is absolutely positively necessary. There had to have been one uncaused cause to set the entire chain of cause/effect into motion.

Otherwise, you are back to infinite regression..and such a notion is demonstrably false.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Rather, we must be eternally discontented with the practically endless excuses and rationalizations for why the explanation for everything is in turn not in need of an explanation.

Huh?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Creationists love to play on the human intuition and experience of being a "creator". The universe they say is like this or that human made thing, like a car, a pocket watch, or a computer.

It is. The universe is fine-tuned to almost an incomprehensible degree. It is mathematically engineered with utmost precision that only a divine engineer with knowledge and “man-power” to pull off. No one can deny this.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It cannot explain its own origins, because we are the explanation. That is only as clever as it is embarrassing. First, how does one look at a pocket watch, or a computer and know it is manufactured?

Because of their specified complexity.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Easy, it is compared to those other things around it which are natural, like a rock or a vegetable. To what then does one compare a rock and a vegetable to in order to determine their design?

One would compare a rock and a vegetable to other things that lack specified complexity.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Those who say everything is a design have no objectivity, no perspective, and thus no real argument.

And who has made the argument that “everything is a design”? Certainly not me. More straw man?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In these tawdry examples they include the designer, humanity, in the category of the designed only so long as god is not mentioned.
The moment he is, he is his own explanation, his own designer, his own origins. Yet, what was it about the watch, the car, and the computer which inspired in the creationists such a need for design? It is of course, their complexity and dramatic difference to their surroundings. Yet what is more complex than the designer of a universe with practically infinite complexity? What is more different to the natural world, than a supernatural omnipotent intelligence? Apparently both suckers and hypocrites are born every minute.

I am not sure I follow.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The most salient point of all is this. You have doubtless heard many times, as I have, that god can neither be proven nor dis-proven, which is ultimately why there is such a controversy.

I think the necessity of a First Cause can be proven.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  What is not admitted immediately following this statement, and absolutely damn well should be, is that god is only disprovable to the extent that all other supernatural elements are disprovable. He is, essentially, as likely as a fairy, leprechaun, or goblin, which all share his status of philosophical provability. Who can deny that these things are not treated equally when people start talking about proofs and evidence.

As I previously stated, when you bring up things like fairies, leprechauns, goblins, etc…you are only adding a different label to what theists typically call “god”. Whatever name you decide to call this being is irrelevant, but the fact of the matter is, an Uncaused Cause is absolutely positively necessary. So if you want to call this First Cause a goblin, fine. Suit yourself. But you will acknowledge that such a being exist.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It is more or less known, if not always spoken, that no such things exist.

Correction: “It is more or less ASSUMED, if not always spoken, that no such things exist”.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  For any dear readers out there who are wondering why I even have the patience for this, just know that you are probably taking this all too seriously. These arguments, misconceptions, and stupidities I am responding to are hilarious, and good mental exercise.

You can justify this intellectual spanking any way you like, amigo.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  One such rather amusing notion is that a viable theory of evolution cannot be correct without a proven theory of abiogenesis. In other words, having witnessed my wife cross the room in front of my eyes, I should not accept that evidence until I discover in what room she began the journey.

Notice how you are giving a counter-analogy instead of dealing directly with my objection. I said that if abiogenesis is empirically false, then evolution cannot be empirically true. If it is impossible for life to arise naturally from nonliving material, then it is impossible for life to change naturally…because if no life exists, no life can CHANGE forms.

Now, that is just a true statement, and until you respond DIRECTLY to this objection that I continuously raise over and over again, then you have nothing to say.
No counter analogy can help you with this.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As I have already pointed out, at least once if not twice, Evolution is evident between the time of the first living thing to now, regardless of how that first thing came to be.

Nonsense. If abiogenesis is false, how can evolution be true? Go ahead…answer the freakin’ question.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You do at least agree that life had to have come about in some way, seeing as we observe and experience it now?

Right, and I believe that it happened via Divine Intervention. You don’t accept an invisible “sky daddy” making shit happen…and I don’t accept voodoo science as a means of making shit happen.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So, I will say it again. Evolution is still a proven process regardless of how life came to be.

I will ask again; if abiogenesis is false, how can evolution be true?? I don’t want to hear any more babble until you can answer this simple & direct question. I can understand how evolution could be true if abiogenesis is true, but I cannot understand how evolution can be true if abiogenesis is false, and I’d like you to help me understand (and I am being sarcastic, btw).

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It would be true if origins were natural, and it would be true if a god said let there be light.
If God did it, then atheism would be false, wouldn’t it?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  This is why most Christians are not Creationists. They believe in god, but have enough respect for science to know it is king of all natural knowledge, of which Evolution is just one unfairly isolated and disputed part.

If I debate evolution with a fellow Creationist, that would be more of an “in house” debate. Sure, I have many differences with my Christian brethren (assuming they are Christians). But at least those that believe in theistic evolution are smart enough to understand that nature isn’t the answer when asking the questions of origins.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Neil Degrasse Tyson said it best when commenting on creationists. I am paraphrasing.

[quote]"The pattern is always the same when science has a breakthrough in an area once explained only by religion. First, they deny it utterly. Second, they say it conflicts with the bible. Then third and last, they say they have known it all along."

Until Neil Tyson is man enough to debate those that share a different belief than he does, I don’t care about his babbling.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As to the evidence for the evolution of reptiles into the modern avian, I will take the risk of assuming you refer to dinosaurs. You are not going to like the answer because it is no different to what I have already said. Within the fossil record is contained a series of well documented intermediary forms which demonstrate a gradual evolution. Similarities in skeletal and muscle structures are consistent with their evolution, including the presence of vestigial wings, arms, etc.
I understand that, but what I’ve been asking for is a complete fossil record for any organism…from its first form to its present day form. Can you provide me with what I am asking?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Although all forms are technically intermediary, these specific fossils give insight into a period where the saurian and avian features were in practical terms equally manifest. Some examples of these are Sinosauropteryx prima, Shenzhouraptor, Patagopteryx, as well as more broad categories such as Deinonychosaurs, Ornithomimosaurs, Therizinosaurs, and Oviraptorosaurs.

All of those you mentioned look like fully formed organisms. They don’t look like the evolutionary predecessors to anything. What I am asking for is the complete fossil record…in fact, for every one of those fossils that you mentioned, exactly how many intermediate fossils are before & after it? Do you know? Or do you have to admit that at some point you are going to have to start speculating?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As a side bit of trivia, many dinosaurs popularly animated with scales did in fact have feathers. Hollywood accuracy strikes again.

So if a dinosaur has feathers, at that point is it still a dinosaur, or is it a bird? If it is a bird, then why did you call it a dinosaur? If it is a dinosaur, then it is a dinosaur with feathers…which doesn’t pose a problem for my worldview because for all I know, there may have been reptiles with feathers *shrugs*.
I don’t know how many original “kinds” the Creator created, and neither does anyone else. The bottom line is, show me a complete fossil record of any organism of your choice.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So, where is the fossil record? In the literally thousands, even tens of thousands and perhaps more, peer reviewed publications archived on scientific websites and in scientific journals. Can I personally show it to you? No, because it isn't like a small encyclopedia I keep in my house. You will have to show some initiative and perform the same basic, simple, instant google search I did to find these peer reviewed examples.

Nonsense. If any on this earth had a complete fossil record, you would know EXACTLY where to go to get it. You can’t provide it because it just simply doesn’t exist.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  However, I will make yet another prediction. Every single paper you do look at, assuming you ever would show the humility to do so, will show how Evolution is evident across the whole board of biology.
Yeah, and if you go to any Church or theological seminar, you will be shown how theism is evident across the entire board of religion.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  We have already discussed our views on the origins of the universe. I have nothing further to say on the matter at the moment. For those of you who are interested in these claims he is making, check out our thread right here in the boxing ring, "Sending Out a Call of the Wild".
Yeah, let’s not reopen those cans of worms.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Although I have nothing new to say, I will summarize for anyone who would rather not read pages and pages. Suffice it to say that the proved origins he refers to are only of time itself, not the existence of the universe, which was my main basis of disagreement with his hypothesis.

Complete and utter nonsense. First off, while you are explaining to these people what went on in the other debate, you should also explain to them (and me) what does it mean for time itself to have a beginning, but not the universe. Makes no sense whatsoever.

But I shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of sense your logic has. It is a reoccurring theme when you talk to someone with a naturalistic mind. They always begin to make illogical statements such as the one above…they are so stuck on trying to explain these naturally, that they don’t seem to realize the philosophical problems with their reasoning.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Likewise his characterization of what scientists used to say about the universe is recycled apologetic courtesy of William Lane Craig, and does not reflect the modern scientific atmosphere of uncertainty on the question of ultimate origins.

Actually, the consensus amongst everyone within the scientific community is that the universe began to exist. That is the contemporary view. In fact, DP would be hard pressed to find anyone today that DOESN’T believe that the universe began to exist..so what he is talking about here, I don’t know.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  In my comments there I refer in detail, with specific quotations, to several such theoretical explanations for ultimate origins, none of which are hindered by any science cited by COTW.

As I stated numerous times in our first debate, the philosophical problems AGAINST an infinite universe are independent of our current knowledge of science. What does that mean? That means, that it doesn’t matter what scientist DP wants to cite, because the problems with an infinite universe are philosophical, and there is no scientific method that can get you out of a problem that you have regarding logic and reasoning. So no amount of Hawking babble, Krauss babble, or Tyson babble can help you here…sorry.

The sooner DP realizes that, the better.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  My view is that his claims are a well rehearsed script, of which he is the not the original author, which owes its existence to some very core misunderstands of various scientific theories.

Um, first off, the cosmological argument is an argument at which no one alive today is the “original” author of. Its history goes back to medieval Islamic thought. It was revolutionized by the likes of Dr. William Lane Craig as he began his own apologetic journey in 1979…but the argument itself goes back centuries before him. There aren’t really any “new” arguments out there and no one is the “original” author of anything. Not only that, but who the original author is, that is irrelevant. What is relevant is the truth value of the argument. The argument could have originated from a turtle, but if it is true, then it doesn’t matter who it came from.

Third, the kalam cosmological argument has a second premise “the universe began to exist”, at which proponents of the argument can use science AND philosophy to establish the truth value of the premises.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  These arguments are at their very best a Frankenstein's monster integration between misquoted science and religious apologetic. A lot of sewing is required to make it look like a real consistent theory.

What misquoted science are you talking about? The universe began to exist. Again, name me one cosmologist that doesn’t believe that our universe began to exist. Even Lawrence Krauss admits the universe is finite…so what are you talking about?
Theists have no problem with going where the science takes us. Contemporary science shows that the universe began to exist, and theists have no problem with that, because that is what we’ve been saying for thousands of years. Now all of a sudden it is the naturalists who wants to reject science.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It seems my most consistent mistake in these conversations is making assumptions about what basic principles you already understand. You had me going when you mentioned your favorite breed of canine, but I can see your understanding of mutations is farcical and superficial.

I don’t see why, I mean hell, the dog originated from selective breeding from other dogs..thus, dogs begetting dogs. Now, you can sprinkle any fantasy nonsense you want into the equation, but at the end of the day, you will be reminded that you, I, and every other human being that has ever walked this earth have only seen dogs produce dogs, cats produce cats, etc.

Until we observe exceptions to this rule, any contrary belief is unwarranted.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The shortening of limbs, or growing extra ones, are certainly examples of mutation, but so is having red hair. Mutations are not merely grotesque and only negative changes, but include beneficial and neutral changes as well. A mutation can be defined as the result of incorrectly copied DNA, regardless of the result itself.

Um, please tell me when has an animal ever mutated to become a fundamentally different animal than its parents? If a baby rabbit comes out with red hair, then it is a RED HAIRED RABBIT. It isn’t changing to a different kind of animal.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As I mentioned before, DNA is copied incorrectly constantly. This is always going on. That is how it is even possible for human beings to breed animals at all. We choose mates with characteristics we like, and breed them to get more. How do you think they got the characteristics we like? Their cells mutated and the results we like best, we keep. If this wasn't going on, wolves would have never became so various as dogs. If this wasn't going on, and we still saw the diversity of dogs that exists today, I might very well say that nothing evolves.

SMH.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If "no new information is added" when there is a mutation, what exactly do you call a different sequence of proteins than the original? Its called a "new" sequence of proteins forming a "new" piece of genetic information. There are only four options for what chemical is next in sequence, so making a mistake is going to create completely different information than the original. Which incidentally is exactly why it isn't a work of Shakespeare.

The biggest question is where did the information come from in the first place? The naturalist doesn’t want to discuss that part, though.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Creationists love to make DNA sound like a sand castle on a beach, proof that intelligence authored it. If you refer to a wad of goo so small you can't observe it, with descending layers of globular chemicals encased in sugar phosphate, as Hamlet, you don't have a clue.

Sorry DP, but that is more complete and utter nonsense. DNA contains information…information on how to make you. It is a code that contains information, in the same way a software code requires intelligence to be embedded into a computer. You have to explain where did the information come from. If you can’t naturally explain this, then you need to admit that there is a gap in scientific knowledge and therefore intelligent design could be just a viable as natural selection (or by whatever means you think it naturally occurred).

Where did the information come from? And how can a mindless and blind process be the SOURCE of information on a molecular level?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  All the parts of the cell related to it are unintelligent, including the ones that "read" the information. Once again, you have fallen into the trap of believing a comparison literally when it was taught to you by analogy. It was explained to you this way on purpose, because we all can relate to books holding information, and because you obviously wouldn't have understood the more technical explanation. This is what it is to be a lay person of science. If you don't have the know how, you get the dumb analogies, which only an ignorant creationist would actually use in an argument.

Actually, it isn’t dumb analogies.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The word "species" is an excellent example of why "kind" is a bullshit term. Notice how even though species isn't defined well enough, it has some specific criteria. For example, you might organize living things by how they reproduce. Kind is not at all like that.

Dogs produce dogs, cats produce cats, fish produce fish. Let me know when you find anything contrary to that..oh, I get it, more promissory notices for a change in the distant future…in the same way a belief is held based on changes from the distant past.

How convenient.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Just as you have repeatedly pointed out, it is our first childish human attempt to associate what an animal looks like on the outside with a category. It is a childish naming game that relies on ignorance of what is actually going on inside an animal, on any level you like, cells or otherwise. Children, and the religious, do indeed rely on this basic intuitive understanding of nature.

Dogs produce dogs, cats produce cats, bears produce bears. We’ve never seen anything close to a reptile-bird type of transformation. Have you ever seen it? No, you haven’t. Yet, science is supposed to be based on observation and experiment…yet you’ve never observed such phenomenon, and you’ve never conducted an experiment to achieve such results…so basically, you are not talking about a scientific concept. More like voodoo.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  As I mentioned before, the example of the platypus is telling. Using a purely creationist means of identification, one might initially struggle to find the right "kind". Even if they get clever and say it is a new "kind" all it's own, they would certainly never learn that the very mammalian looking echidna is of the same category.

The Bible says that God made animals according to their “kinds”, and God allowed each animal to produce after their “kinds”. Now, I don’t know how many original “kinds” there were, but throughout the years, obviously, some animals became extinct while other animals continued to thrive.
The platypus may very well be its own kind. We don’t know. We don’t have all of the answers. I based my beliefs based on what I know, not what I don’t know.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Ultimately, your understanding will work fine for you and those like you, because you don't care or even believe that species will change after you're long dead.
Species can change, but they’ve never been observed to change on a macro level.
(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You have a short window in which to observe species, and you are right when you say they haven't evolved dramatically in your lifetime, or even in recorded history. So, again, this system is fine for you and other people who don't understand the time involved

I understand it, I just don’t believe it nor accept it.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The animals alive today, weren't always like this. Those dogs released on your hypothetical island may still be dogs when you come back, unless you come back after a million years. Then, you might be surprised. Twenty thousand years is certainly sufficient to produce many variations within what we would call "dogs", but stick around long enough and you're in for a real revelation this time.

That is all fantasy bio-babble nonsense. As I said before, your belief is that macroevolution will be evident should one live along enough (millions of years)…well, my belief is that Jesus will return soon, also…and probably in less time than it would take for a reptile to evolve into a bird.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It's actually very intellectually telling that you don't differentiate between speciation taking place rapidly or slowly, because only one of those options is even possible.

LOL@ “intellectually telling”. Ok, which one is possible?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If it doesn't matter because you claim it doesn't happen at all, than why be disingenuous and argue against a rapid evolution you know nobody believes in?

Dogs produce dogs, DP.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You can't deny you have tried, but can only claim "it doesn't matter". Once again, this is a tactic. You have learned a very aggressive creationist dogma script, and are parroting its deployment against people who know the content better than you do.

I’m pretty sure that there are many people that know the “Star Wars” trilogy better than me. But doesn’t stop the trilogy from being an act of fiction, does it?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It doesn't just make you look stupid, it makes you look manipulated and controlled by your ideology. It shows that you aren't scientific, open minded, or even educated on the right subjects to argue the point.

And believing in evolution goes to show the lengths that people will go through just to continue in their disbelief. They somehow convinced themselves that a mindless and blind process configured eyes to fit just perfectly in already pre-made eye sockets which was already molded into a skull that it had already pre-made.
If believing in that kind of nonsense is the price of atheism, then I will leave you to it.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I am glad you mentioned a common designer because I have yet to mention some of the philosophical consequences of believing in a designer given the universe in which we live. Among designers, god is historically, uniquely insulated by his followers from the obvious correlation between the quality of the design, and the nature and quality of its designer. If I build a shitty, cracked, half broken down brick wall, I am to be rightly called a shitty, cracked, half broken down builder. What should then be said of this designer is that he is uncommon if anything. For he has crafted a masterpiece of capriciousness and destruction.

Dude…notice you said “if I build..” keyword “I”….even if the design is SHITTY, it is still a shitty design made by an intelligent being. People build shitty designs all the time in the real world…hell, the Mona Lisa painting isn’t all that impressive to me. It could have been painted much better, in my opinion. I may even call it a “shitty” painting, especially when compared to other paintings, such as any official paintings of United States Presidents….but despite how bad I think the Mona Lisa painting is, I would never be so foolish as to think or believe that the painting occurred via an explosion at a paint factory.

I will say it again; a poor design is still a design, DP.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Consider that the Andromeda galaxy is scheduled for a collision with our own at a very distant date. Consider that this not happening still would not spare us from the eventual explosion of our sun, and the consequential heat death of our solar system. Consider that most of the universe, on every level all the way down to pockets of our planet, are hostile to the life so often referred to as the designer's goal in all of this. Consider the absolute mountain of wasted and extinct creatures, which have been measured as high as 98% of all life on Earth, ever. Consider the long wasted years of "pointless bellowing rivalries" (Christopher Hitchens) that raged meaninglessly between monstrous, and incidentally sometimes feathered, beasts before man even existed on the Earth. Consider the human sexual organs, which simultaneously perform recreation, reproduction, and sewage functions. Need this also continue?

Consider the Bible, which states that this earth will be destroyed and a new one will be created.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  A poor design may indeed still be a design, assuming you could prove such a thing.

Well, prove that you can get specified complexity from a process that can’t see or think. Can you prove that?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If it were however, it would say something about its designer, and it certainly wouldn't be good, or even make sense. We are certainly not the object in all this mad chaos, and we shouldn't have the arrogance to pretend we are at the center of it all.

According to Christianity, we are the center of it all, and Christ is above us all. Now, that may not mean anything to you, but hey…you told me your religion regarding evolution, and I am telling you about mines, with Christianity.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Darwin was a genius, but he made some mistakes. For example, he spoke of the human eye with praise, calling it "perfection". If he could see the evolutionary study of the human eye today, he would take it back.

The human eye, according to Darwin, may not have been “perfect” based on the mere definition of the word…but hell, it isn’t too bad considering (on his view and your view), a mindless and blind process created it. When you put it like that, the human eye isn’t so bad now, is it?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Creationists like yourself are far too focused on this one man and his life's work to notice that most of fossils, peer reviewed experiments, and published works on the subject have been completed after the date of his death. Evolution is Darwinian only to the extent that LED lights are Edisonian.
Creationists (the Christian ones) like myself don’t really care too much about Darwin or his life…we only care about Jesus Christ and his life.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  You say there is very little doubt in your mind that god exists, but that this is because of the strength of your arguments. I would submit again that no such doubt should be possible if god exists. Only in a natural universe would doubt exist among the very people who claim to converse with god, and know of his interactions with the natural world. Only in a natural universe would it be unclear.

As I said before, it is clear that there is a God..the question is, which god?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I am interested to hear that your conviction does not stem from faith, revelation, prayer, or the presence of a mystical holy spirit. So often Christians claim to know by these means, which are all vague and insubstantial.
Every claim of revelations, answered prayers, and miracles aren’t genuine. Yet, every claim of revelations, answered prayers, and miracles aren’t false either.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  To interpret the emotions and thoughts of one's own mind looking for secret messages from a god, isn't a god speaking. It's human wish thinking followed by desperate delusion.

You’ve just made a statement of knowledge, by claiming that those that claim they have revelations of god (or whatever)…those claims aren’t genuine. What I’d like to know is; how do you know? Or are you just making a blank assertions based on your own presuppositions?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  God has obviously not made himself known to you, otherwise you would not need arguments.

Jesus told doubting Thomas “You have seen, therefore you believe; blessed are those who have not seen, and STILL believe” (John 20:28-30). So in other words, those that God have not made himself known to, we are blessed.
But when Christ makes his return, you are right, we wouldn’t need arguments at that point, now would we?

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  So, now it is too late for you to turn back to these poor witnesses I have described. To turn back now is as good as saying your arguments aren't enough to believe, and you therefore need faith. You have already admitted to me that you require a hypocritical combination of both.

Actually, what I said was; I am 100% positive that a God that transcends the universe exists. The arguments are that powerful. However, I am about 70%-80% certain that the God in question is that of the Christian faith. Since my certainty isn’t 100% in that regard, I rely on faith.

But then again with Christianity, faith is the name of the game anyway (in the context that we are using it in).m

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The arguments are not complete or sufficient enough to prove, and the faith is not entirely blind because it is based in the arguments.

The traditional theistic arguments, in my opinion, IS complete and sufficient enough to prove. And my belief in Christianity is not entirely blind because I have good reasons to believe that it is true, and I believe that the evidence in favor of Christianity outweighs the evidence against it.
So no, it isn’t blind faith.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The only circumstance where this combination makes any sense is one where the objective is clearly highlighted in advance, and the arguments and faith are erected like scaffolding to reach it. Have the cake, eat it too, but don't call it sound philosophy or an achievement of reason. It's biased, ideological, nonsense. Its beginning with a conclusion, and running on a circular hamster's wheel.
My evidences are case by case…premise by premise…and that is how I like it. You, however, are making these generalizations, which does nothing for the sake of argumentation.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  What then is the biblical definition of a fool? The exact opposite of that. The bible says the fool is the person who won't exercise faith and believe without evidence. The biblical fool isn't a fool because he got taken for a ride, he's a fool for even contemplating that, specifically, there is no god. He is a fool for not being gullible and credulous.

Since you are familiar with the Psalms scripture, let me turn your attention to another scripture, where it states “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20).

The Bible says that we can look at what has been “made” and draw the seemingly logical conclusion of intelligent design. We would draw such conclusions under any other circumstances, but once it comes to God, it is suddenly time to become skeptical. Taxi cab fallacy.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Why does the bible define fool as the opposite of what a fool is? Because it was authored my manipulative people, who were a part of a manipulative group, who understood how to control people. Religion reverses everything. It trades evil for good and good for evil.

Trade evil for good and good for evil? Wait a minute, what acts are good and what are evil? And who decides it? Hmmm.

(21-10-2015 12:19 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  It praises a man who would gut his child on an alter for his faith, and condemns anyone who, in their private thoughts, doubts the authority or existence of the being who supposedly ordered the gutting.

You are talking about Abraham and Issac and the moral of the story is simple; Do what God says. If God says put your child on the alter and slay him/her, you do it. Plain and simple. I understand this is a difficult concept for nonbelievers to understand, but then again, they have no basis for their own morality anyway.
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06-11-2015, 01:24 PM
RE: Dark Phoenix Vs. Call of the Wild- Round 2
(26-10-2015 09:26 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Based on what you said in the commentary thread for this debate, I no longer wish to continue our conversation. You said that you feel the need to be repetitive because your points are often swept under the rug too easily. I know, and I think a lot of other people know, exactly why this is the case. They have very simple flaws, with very simple rebuttals, which you don't seem to grasp even remotely. They aren't swept away, they're refuted, with rather less effort than sweeping them under a rug would take.

You simply do not connect the dots between your arguments and the rebuttals that are given them. You can be outright proven to be incorrect, or even outright proven to misrepresent, and you still repeat the same points anyway. I am tired of speculating as to why this is the case. I don't know why you don't understand. I don't know why you can't grasp a false dichotomy. I don't know why you think your personal incredulity is enough reason to negate an entire side of a true dichotomy. I don't know why you think you can plead for special circumstances of explanation where god is concerned. These are all basic fallacies, yet we have pages and pages of content.

All the while, you maintain this smug chest beating attitude that I think you believe is very effective, but is really just cute. It never diminishes, no matter how the debate is going. You are just as confident when you claim the universe was created out of nothing, as you are when you claim the opposite. Your views are as elastic as they are recycled. I have caught you in outright dishonesty twice and more or less let it go. First, when you mocked your own thesis because you couldn't even remember whether the Kalam argues for creation from nothing. Second, when you claimed Alexander Vilenkin proved the universe is finite, when all it took was a single short video to show otherwise.

I think you imagine your part of the conversation is a point by point response, when really it is line by line. The distinction makes all the difference in the world because I take several paragraphs for a full point to emerge. You end up answering it four times instead of once because you don't take a moment to read ahead. I have to line edit your comments before I respond, or we really will be having the same conversation twice over. Besides, I have to do something with all the content that is really nothing more than you beating the air (or perhaps something else) with adorable trash talk.

Timber1025 said it best. You are a closed door. I should really stop trying to pick the lock.

I feel that I have said everything necessary, and no longer have anything to contribute to this conversation.

Whatever dude. Moderator, you can go ahead and close it. Another one bites the dust Cool
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