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Creationists Believe the Darndest Things PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Phil Plait   

Finding young Earth creationist lunacy is like walking into an elephant paddock at a zoo and hoping to find poop. All too easy.

I say this because in England, thinking the Loch Ness monster disproves evolution can help get you a job! A group there called The National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) provides information on vocational and academic skills -- they're something like an accreditation group. They reviewed the curriculum involved in getting an International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE): a certificate granted after passing a creationist course that's taught in about 50 private Christian schools in the UK. And what did the NARIC find? That this certificate is just fine and dandy, and equivalent to international A levels (a scholastic certificate that shows competency in a particular course).

Here's a sample from a textbook (printed -- gasp -- here in the US) that is used in this course. Remember, this is part of a course being used by teenagers in the UK:

Have you heard of the 'Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? 'Nessie,' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.

Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all.

Riiiiight. Nessie disproves evolution. Turns out there's a whole field of science in there I missed. Faeries disprove the ability of birds to fly! Godzilla clearly shows the surface area/volume law of biology is a crock! Spiderman flies in the face of humans breeding with arachnids!

And, of course, the irony is that creationism itself shows us that despite our highly-evolved brains, humans still cling to easily-disproven nonsense if it's taught early enough and with fervor.

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written by Marcus Hill, August 17, 2009
Yeah, I saw this story a few weeks ago. As an admissions tutor at a UK university, I've already determined that my course won't accept ICCE as an A-Level equivalent qualification, regardless of what NARIC might say.
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written by Otara, August 18, 2009
http://www.naric.org.uk/popup.asp?page=112&news=19

Just in case anyone was thinking it might be a beatup. Im torn on this one. Obviously that stuff is loony tunes, but I doubt its as simple a thing as the people coming out of those courses are functionally illiterate. I guess I wonder how well the people with these quals actually do in courses they actually enrol in. Im guessing biology might not be their strongest suit, but Im also guessing that usually isnt their chosen career choice either.
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written by epok205, August 18, 2009
Wow, there is no end to the ridiculousness. Don't try to rationalize with these people, they are the leading cause of aneurysms and heart attacks. But, if you can handle them then you are a better person than I.
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@epok205, Lowly rated comment [Show]
hypocrisy, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by McDowell, August 18, 2009
Truth6413 said: You guys even have your own loch ness monsters- the piltdown man, Nebraska Man... and of course the most recent classic: an extinct lemur type creature that was supposed to "change everything

I'm not sure what that little rant was supposed to prove. Piltdown man was a fraud, was never believed by majority of scientists, and it was scientists that eventually proved it was a fraud. Similary story with Nebraska man. "Ida" is a recently discovered fossil that fits quite well with scientific understanding of what evolution predicts...it was the non-scientific press that made claim it "changes everything", not scientists. There's a great series of Youtube discussions on the topic by one of my favourite YouTubers, AronRa, at his channel here. http://www.youtube.com/user/AronRa. (No, I'm not claiming that because someone makes a Youtube video on a topic that is proof...but he discusses the evidence, the "contraversy" and provides resources for further reading if you are so interested)

Lucy...or at least the fossilized bones...exist. Deal with it. There is not a shred of evidence beyond "eye witnesses" and dubious photographs that Nessie exists. You have completely missed the point of Phils blurb, that people who are being taught non-scientific nonsense are being accepted as if they had a proper education.
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written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
My favorite quote is the Creationist - evolutionist debate.

The creationist says "look here a gap in the fossil record."

The evolutionist says, "in fact they have just found the following fossil that fits there perfectly."

The creationist yells "look, now there are two gaps in the fossil record!"

Epok: try to sell that crap elsewhere. The readers here are educated. The "theory" of evolution is as well grounded as the theory of gravity. Evolution isn't open to debate; it is fact. The mechanisms of how evolution are still being discussed. Unfortunately this is surely beyond your ability to understand if you make childish statements like "You cant rationalize with a Darwinist because they support an impossible theory and attack anyone who even questions it. (Which is quite simple to do)".

Your lack of understanding doesn't in any way make you right.
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written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
Pardon me - I of course meant to say "the mechanisms of how evolution works are ..."
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@Bill Henry, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Mr truth
written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
No, sorry, it isn't open to debate. Obviously I believe at some point chemical reactions occured that transformed into a definition called "life". And this makes more sense than saying we were "created". If so, where did the "creator" come from? If not "created", then there must be a first life form.

And sorry, would you please provide a better theory than evolution. The onus isn't on me or science. Since you doubt it (usually for religious reasons though I am sure you will say otherwise) please tell me a better one. And it should not involve a TNG solution. (the reference is to Star Trek: The Next Generation. They resolved many shows with "new" science to solve an impossible solution.) If you choose to use "aliens" or a higher intelligence, please explain the evidence for them and where they came from?

Right now educated people understand that evolution is the best theory, and that the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of it. Your saying there's a debate doesn't make it so.

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Gravity
written by JWideman, August 18, 2009
It's just a theory!
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More Creationist Drivel
written by ConTester, August 18, 2009
Sheesh, typical creationist. Can’t even get the scientific discipline right, never mind the science. Brings an abiogenesis knife to an evolution gunfight. Slash away, cowboy. Evolution, as a scientific theory, is not concerned with origin questions that belong to biochemistry and biophysics.

That’s why creationists are such a sad joke, and will probably remain so ’til Judgement Day (read “forever”).
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@Bill Henry, Lowly rated comment [Show]
"just a theory"
written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
Like the theory of gravity, the theory of plate tectonics, and 100's of other "theories" that provide the foundation of our lives and civilization. It is better than some, worse than maybe a very few, but if you morons don't understand how "theories" make up the foundation of science, please stop making simplistic comments like "duh, it just a theory". Damn, you people get tiresome. Go pick on some other scientific theories, or do just the ones that interfere with your belief in a big invisible friend bother you?
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written by ConTester, August 18, 2009
How does one insert a thermometer into a JREF thread? ’Cos this one’s surely gonna contribute to AGW…
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Sorry, not the drivelling one
written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
gee, I respond to your comment and you make childish insults. Well done. And who says I think the universe is eternal?

And so your invisible friend is gonna be there for a judgement day. Speaking of theories with no basis. Or do you not see the little problem with "the bible is the word of god" and "I believe in god cuz the bible tells me to" as being a tad bit circular. Have a very nice eternity, cuz you sure get tiresome on this one.

Speaking of humour, I love that pamphlet that got sent around. On the cover it says "jesus loves you". Inside it says "everyone else thinks your an asshole".
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@Bill henry, Lowly rated comment [Show]
The Universe is Eternal?
written by Noadi, August 18, 2009
Pretty sure anything with a definite beginning and likely end is not eternal. Please look up the "Big Bang" and "Heat Death of the Universe".

Evolution isn't just a solid theory: We watch it in action. It is easily observable in a number of current species. DNA helps us map relationships and common ancestry. No fossil evidence is even needed though it definitely helps us reconstruct the history of life and is valuable for that.
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written by ConTester, August 18, 2009
You dont have to say you believe the universe is eternal. But I know that you do.
(Emphasis added.) That’s exactly the trouble: creationists simply know too much. Pity, really then, that proper knowledge concerning what truly constitutes “knowledge” totally escapes their stunningly xyresic perspicacity.
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@naodi, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Truthless
written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
Actually no I don't. nice to know you too are omniscient, though wrong. I wish there was a nice comfy afterlife, but sorry, I just can;t believe in fairy tails. Even though it would be a very nice.
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@bill henry, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Selective Quoting? Us Creatinists? Never!
written by ConTester, August 18, 2009
No evidence is needed to prove evolution???
Actually, the commenter wrote:
No fossil evidence is even needed…
See? I even underlined the part you missed. Pay attention, please.
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written by kenhamer, August 18, 2009
Obviously that stuff is loony tunes, but I doubt its as simple a thing as the people coming out of those courses are functionally illiterate.

If they can be convinced of something like this, does it really matter if they are literate or not?

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@contester, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@bill henry and Naodi, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Attempt #2: Pay Attention, Please!
written by ConTester, August 18, 2009
Same thing. Fossil evidence is required, too. We cant pick and choose when it comes to evidence.
See? You simply don’t pay attention. Fossil evidence augments evolutionary theory.

Wow, you guys dont have the stones to even submit a THEORY on where the universe came from.
How about “I don’t know.” How about “We’re looking into it, despite that we may never know.” How about “Creationism isn’t any kind of coherent or even satisfactory answer.”
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written by Buckets78, August 18, 2009
For as much as I'd like to tell myself that truth6413 is just a simple forum troll, because I hate to think people to be that ignorant, I have to say he thinks his words to be fact.

It's sad because all this energy he is spending here could be utilized in a more productive fashion.

The comforts of religion are just that, comforts. Ignoring facts don't make them go away, no matter how much you'd like them to.

Science and commonsense dictate the skeptic way of thinking, there is no room for religion, and this is the truth.

If you need some make-believe story to help yourself sleep at night, who am I to disagree as long as you keep your backward thinking to yourself and don't infect anyone else with your closed mindedness.

Theists will always believe what they believe no matter what, you can't tell them otherwise. Skeptics, however, can be convinced to change their minds given real evidence. In the history of the world there has been no evidence to support any religious beliefs. You've been lied to truth6413, and you fell for it, time to accept the real truth.
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written by Noadi, August 18, 2009
Okay, once I'll forgive misspelling the name. Twice is clearly you not playing attention.

Fossil evidence augments evolution but isn't necessary to prove the theory. Study of living organisms and DNA is by far the more compelling evidence.

I have no idea what came before the beginning of the universe but I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know something. Not knowing something isn't a reason to say "God must have done it", it's an opportunity for exploring and finding out the real answer.
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written by Buckets78, August 18, 2009
The fact the science does not have the answers for everything is no reason to invent your own answers.
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written by Noadi, August 18, 2009
Please learn the difference between a hypothesis and a theory. There are plenty of hypotheses as to how life began or what came before the big bang. However hypotheses don't have enough evidence (yet) to become theories so we say "I don't know but there are some ideas about it".

So while I have a few ideas as to what came before the universe began, how life began, etc. they are only hypotheses that are open for revision with evidence. I don't KNOW, I can only conjecture.
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@noadi, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Noadi, August 18, 2009
Bashing? I've been pretty polite considering how rude you've been in this thread. I've not called names, insulted your intelligence, or anything of the sort. Merely asked you to spell my name correctly and use the word theory in it's appropriate manner.

First of all, there's no one theory about the universe. There are a number that cover different aspects of the universe. For example the big bang theory describes the birth of the universe, there are theories for stellar and galaxy formation, etc. The evidence on the beginning of the universe points pretty strongly at the big bang though there are still plenty of unanswered questions about it that need to be filled in.

What came before is a mystery, the hypothesis I like the most is that this universe is a bubble inside another universe but there's no evidence to support this just some math.
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written by ConTester, August 18, 2009
Ah, the song of evolutionists.

You dont [sic] even have a THEORY on how it got here? None at ALL?
Sure, like most people I’ve often wondered and contemplated and speculated. Even despaired of an answer. But honestly? I don’t know.

And neither do you because you do not possess faculties beyond the reach of those who disagree with you.

The essential difference is one of intellectual honesty: Creationists will say literally anything to defend their laughably preposterous and ridiculously absurd impostures, for one telling example an uncaused first-cause, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, supremely benevolent creator-god with humanity topmost in mind. “I don’t know” is not in their repertoire because humility is something they pretend to have rather than actually understand.
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written by Buckets78, August 18, 2009
You keep asking people for facts to prove what we believe to be true. We don't need to do that. Simple research on your own will give you all the proof you need.

Considering you have no facts, taking my words out of context actually hurt your argument, not help it.

So then I ask you, where are your facts?
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written by Steel Rat, August 18, 2009
My favorite "argument" is the lack of transitional fossils for this that and the other thing. EVERY fossil is a transitional fossil. Every species is transitional to another.
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@buckets78, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by GeekGoddess, August 18, 2009
Pretty sad, Phil.

I wonder why (a) people respond to 'Truth' and (b) if he or she has ever, ever changed any rational person's views with his inane comments
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@steel rat, Lowly rated comment [Show]
.............
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 18, 2009
Guess thats about it for now. I'm off to Denny's.............
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written by Walk, August 18, 2009
Given the fact that the human and chimpanzee genomes are more than 98% identical, proving conclusively that we share a common ancestor with our amazing cousins, it would be interesting if ("god" forbid) truth6413 was facing the death penalty, and only DNA evidence could save his/her life. I wonder if he/she would be quite as willing to deny the validity of DNA evidence with his/her life on the line.
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Sorry to inform you, Walk, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Walk, August 18, 2009
Yes, to the question about the worm. We also share something like 40% of our genes with the sunflower.

You see, on the one side you have every biology book on the planet (backed by mountains of evidence), saying one thing, and on the other you have a collection of stories and parables, many describing the genocide of millions of innocent men, women and children by your all-loving "creator", written in the Bronze Age, saying "God did it".

I'll go with science.
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@walk, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Walk, August 18, 2009
Explain, please.
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@walk, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Walk, August 18, 2009
And, I suppose you have evidence of your creationist claims?
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written by Kuroyume, August 18, 2009
If this universe and its contents are the best that an omnipotent, omniscient extra-universal being could come up with in which to house his so-called 'special' creation, it is one piss-poor being.
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@walk, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@truth
written by Walk, August 18, 2009
If you were in a custody battle involving one of your children, and only DNA evidence could prove you were the parent, would you then concede that DNA can prove relatedness?
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@kuroyume, Lowly rated comment [Show]
truth isn't, and hes pretty sad
written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
Truth, trolling in here like a 14 yr old isn't impressing anyone. This forum is used to grown up debates. I tend to accept the big bang as a reasonable explanation; you keep pretending like its not an intelligent logical answer. You figure your mythical invisible friend is a better solution. Sorry, but it just doesn't work for grown up educated people. Try all the wry humor and snide remarks, but you have not said a single mature thing that represents and intelligent answer. You keep asking for alternatives and evidence when you provide none. Act like a sniggering adolescent all you want, you can tell how much your very "christian" behaviour is impressing everyone here. Its akin to high school kids spraypainting dirty words on a wall. Annoying? Yes. Tireseome? yes. Impressive? No. Childish? yes. You realize the only thing you are affecting is to make people on here disrespect Christians even more.

And understand, I have close Christian friends who are professionals and do missionary work overseas. I have intelligent debates with them. Mature. Adult. Respectful. But then they, like me, are educated and have professional degrees.
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To Slither Or Not To Slither - That Is The Question.
written by ConTester, August 18, 2009
I’d rather be 99% nematode worm than 1% of a creator who plonks down 100% misleading evidence.

But that’s just me and my godless, heretical, subjective ethical assessment.
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@bill henry
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 18, 2009
I have been a regular on this site for a long time and I assure you I dont "troll". In fact that label is getting quite worn. "Wry humor" is just a way to keep things from getting boring. I dish it out and I can take it. If you are that easily offended, I sincerely aplogize. However, you have been the most insulting poster out of everyone. Also, my pedigree would probably match you and your "christian friends" very closely. Cheer up! Its just a discussion. I learn alot from the give and take at this site. Why so serious?
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@truth
written by Walk, August 18, 2009
Would you kindly answer my "child custody" question?
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@walk
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 18, 2009
Of course DNA can prove a parent/child relationship. You (and your fellow evolutionists)try to say that just because humans, animals and plants may share many of the same genes, we must be as related as your court analogy. Also, as we become more and more educated about DNA, genes, etc it is possible ( and I think probable) that we will find there is much more difference than we currently know.
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@truth
written by Walk, August 18, 2009
Of course DNA can prove a parent/child relationship


If you believe the DNA science that proves this relatedness, why don't you believe the same science when it says we share a common ancestor with the chimps?
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@walk
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 18, 2009
You are doing what you accuse the creationist of doing, being too simplistic with your conclusions. It would make sense that, if humans and the ol' chimp were genetically identical, then we would store DNA in a similar way. But we dont!. DNA, the fundamental blueprint of life, is tightly compacted into chromosomes. All cells that possess a nucleus contain a specific number of chromosomes. Common sense would seem to say that organisms that share a common ancestry would possess the same number of chromosomes. But again, common sense leaves the building when it comes to evolution.
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@truth
written by Walk, August 18, 2009
If you reread my posts, you'll see that I never accused creationists of anything (perhaps you confused me with someone else).
if humans and the ol' chimp were genetically identical


We're not, we're 98% identical. Why is your so-called "common sense" right, when every biology book on the planet says you're wrong?
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written by daveg703, August 18, 2009
@truth6413
No, but common sense tells me we are not 75% identical to a worm. (at least I'm not)

"Common sense" ?? What an oxymoron when uttered by a creationist, whose explanations for absolutely everything are in complete contradiction to common sense, depending as they are on the fantastic, the supernatural and nothing for which there is a shred of evidence.
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@truth
written by Cyclintologist, August 18, 2009
On the subject of the validity of evolution have you read Gould or Dawkins? On cosmology Hawkins? Or Sagan? I have read the bible and found it lacking.
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Truth (well not exactly)
written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
And you claim you don't troll ....

the bibble has only survived in the minds of simpletons ... see i can make intelligent comments just like you ...

and the old canard about faith ...

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written by Steel Rat, August 18, 2009
I learn alot from the give and take at this site.


Apparently not, since you claim there are no transitional fossils.
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@truth
written by Kuroyume, August 18, 2009
Actually, I think this universe is quite an awesome "home". You'd have to be a depressed, lonely, and pathetic lesbian to believe otherwise. But you're not that, I'm sure.


Except that 99. 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 9999999........% of it is completely inhospitable and outright fatal to humans. No, this supposed being caged us on a miniscule mote of insignificance in a universe bazillions of times larger. And it made sure to make the distances so incomprehensible and the maximum speeds through which we could travel it so unbalanced to those distances that we will almost certainly never travel beyond this solar system (at best). Even better, it made most of this miniscule mote inhabitable (the 75% oceans and inclimate polar regions). Great job there, a-hole (er, god)!

And, as we run out of resources and this little planet heaves and jostles us about like the insignificant organisms scurrying about its surface that we are, we have nowhere to run and hide from earthquakes, tornadoes, monsoons, typhoons, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods, asteroid impacts, ice ages, and whatever great things occur naturally which kill organisms in large numbers or cause extinctions (sorry, you don't believe the evidence that there were many mass extinctions in the past).

Keep repeating: "There is no place like home" and "Ignorance is bliss".
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Evolution in soils
written by RobbieD, August 18, 2009
There is now evidence that genetic modification, basically swapping of genetic code between individual organisms to create new organisms of a different type, occurs in soil microbes over a time scale of days - I am going to have a look for a reference to that - but the evidence is that evolution can actually happen very quickly and be observed to be taking place in real time. Soil microbes subject to the toxic presence of zinc in gradually increasing concentrations swapped genes to develop a zinc tolerance, and became new organisms in the process.

Now where in Genesis do they mention microbial life?
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@truth
written by Walk, August 18, 2009
it has more (true)answers than all of the sagans on this planet


How do you explain the two conflicting creation stories in Genesis?
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written by Steel Rat, August 18, 2009
But it has more (true)answers than all of the sagans on this planet.


Name one, that requires a god (meaning it isn't self-evident). Do you really thing Adam named all the animals?
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written by Walk, August 18, 2009
If the only human DNA involved in Mary's conception was her own, wouldn't Jesus have been a female clone of Mary?
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written by Mark P, August 18, 2009
The 75% of the shared DNA between nematodes and humans is a red herring. Much of it is junk, and not used. The actual active bits we share are much smaller.

We do share most of our active DNA with chimps. But then we are the same shape and have most of the same bits made out of mostly the same materials. It makes sense from an evolutionary point of view. I'm not sure how it can be used to support creationism (is God so unoriginal she needs to copy earlier work?).

But sharing 98% of DNA does not mean we are 98% like chimps. Michael Jackson could use the same words and same grammar as Irving Berlin, but the results are strikingly different. Jackson Pollock and Picasso could paint with identical colours and the results would be similar in no way.

The shared DNA is very good evidence of common ancestors,and hende evolution. It cannot be taken to mean much more than that.
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written by daveg703, August 18, 2009
@truth6413 "Truth..." Could this troll have possibly picked a more inappropriate nickname? Doubtful. Let it be known to all present that I shudder at the reference of being his/its "friend", and view with contempt anyone who calls his "friend" a hypocrite, then dredges up false quotes for a straw man at which he throws feeble verbal stones. This is not so much a demonstration of backbone, as it is of insipid blather from a mindless cretin. (I apologize in advance to the fine skeptical minds on this site, for stooping to this unbecoming ad hominem comment, deserving tho it may be. I do regret this fall from grace.)
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written by RobbieD, August 18, 2009
How much DNA is shared between humans and Red Herrings??
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written by scumpy, August 18, 2009
after reviewing their curriculum on creationism I'm not quite sure when they start teaching the stork theory above biological reproduction.
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EVERYONE PLEASE READ KUROYUMES LAST POST, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Truth
written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
McVeigh = atheism ... sad truth. Yet another troll like remark. You claim to not be one but u keep coming up with ridiculous comments. No science. ( that require a logical foundation for them) You earlier implied that this is all just, to quote you ... "Cheer up! Its just a discussion. I learn alot from the give and take at this site. Why so serious?" yet your last remark once again has no valuable content but is a troll trying to promote stupidy (yes creationsim = stupidity) on a site devoted to intelligent scientific discourse. Speaking of sad miserable existances ...
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revision
written by Bill Henry, August 18, 2009
ok ... trying to watch a movie ... my spelling is atrocious (sic) ...
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written by Kuroyume, August 18, 2009
I'm not negative at all. I'm a *realist*. The universe is an amazing and beautiful place. But when one frames it in the scope of a creator being who did so especially for us humans, well, that's another story (the one that I just described). It makes no sense whatsoever that if I wanted to create a painting, for instance, that I would make it the size of an atom and put it in a frame the size of North America and then subject it to various odd defacings.

When you see the world for what it is and what we really are, you see how absolutely unique and precious our planet and life is. And then you really care about things instead of trodding out some bronze age mythologies.

Good day... smilies/smiley.gif
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written by daveg703, August 18, 2009
@Kuroyume Succinctly and very nicely put! One tiny little point: I believe you meant "trotting out", (as in bringing up a subject) rather than "trodding", as to step upon.
[There is no charge for this- strictly pro bono. smilies/wink.gif
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written by nelson650, August 18, 2009
So if we were to believe the whorshippers, the world started with every type of animal and plant that ever lived, and one by one the are disappearing and no new species are taking their place?
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written by nelson650, August 18, 2009
sorry for the typos
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@daveg703
written by Kuroyume, August 18, 2009
Thanks for that (oops). And the check for $0 is in the mail. smilies/wink.gif
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@kuroyume
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
You must have taken your medication, based upon your most recent jekyll/hyde post. All of a sudden- Life if great! the universe is amazing! Humanity is one big happy family!....... You're not fooling anyone. You're just putting lipstick on your pathetic, dimal worldview.

Good Day!
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@Bill Henry
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
I never equated mcveigh with atheism. You are just doing what you do best, twisting and distorting TRUTH. My point was simply that in the great scheme of things, at least from an atheistic point of view, it really DOES NOT matter how we choose to live or treat our planet and neighbors. You guys just hijack the judeo/christian principles because the are right.
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written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
sorry for the typos. I've got students piling in the classroom- very distracting
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Dear Truth6413
written by Roquefort Raider, August 19, 2009
The principle that there are consequences to one's actions is based on observation, not on dogma. People don't need to believe in a god to know that it's better to live in a world where we don't hurt our neighbours and don't pollute our environment than one in which everyone must constantly be on guard and where one can't drink the water. So even for atheists it matters A GREAT DEAL how we choose to live our life or treat our planet, because it will determine the kind of society in which we and our kids will spend the rest of our days.
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@roquefort raider
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
But if someone chooses NOT to improve society, the atheist cannot argue with that. If we are just "animals" (even higher ones), we can do as we please regardless of the consequences.
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@Truth6413
written by Roquefort Raider, August 19, 2009
Hello again,
Naturally, people (atheists or believers) can always choose not to improve society. The result, in the secular point of view, is that society then goes to the dogs. The result, according to the judeo-christian point of view, is that society goes to the dogs AND the bad persons are punished in the afterlife. Clearly the impact in this world is the same.
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Truth isn't pretty
written by Bill Henry, August 19, 2009
Your comment was: Unless you subscribe to another atheist, Tim Mcveigh, who chose another path. Cant say he was wrong though, can you? He's all gone now.

Then you say: I never equated mcveigh with atheism. You are just doing what you do best, twisting and distorting TRUTH.

What was the point of your remark if not tie McVeigh to Atheism? Damn, I feel sorry for your students. Like many christians, you are nice and smug in your ignorance. And you have no concern about the truth, just say anything that you thinks support you position. You make all chrisitians look bad when all you can do is denigrate others. You are probably one of those fat smug christians women who is only concerned about what others do and not their behaviour.
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written by Kuroyume, August 19, 2009
You must have taken your medication, based upon your most recent jekyll/hyde post. All of a sudden- Life if great! the universe is amazing! Humanity is one big happy family!....... You're not fooling anyone. You're just putting lipstick on your pathetic, diSmal worldview.


You didn't get it. Surprise....
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@bill henry
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
Actually, I'm male. I guess your stereotype of teachers is that they must be female. I also coach football. But I digress. In your previous post, you accused me of saying ALL atheists are equal to Mcveigh. I NEVER implied that, you in your paranoia assumed it. I have several friends who are confirmed atheists and they are truly good friends and neighbors. Some more moral than some of my so-called "Christian" friends. So lay off the judging. Just because you hate Christians, dont take it out on me.
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@roguefort raider
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
I agree with you on some level. We (atheists and the believers) generally want the same thing "in this world". And most spend their lives working towards this. However, there are numerous issues that we would disagree on as to exactly what makes society better or worse. And there in lies the problem.
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@kuroyume
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
uh oh. Off the medication again.......
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written by Kuroyume, August 19, 2009
Let's not get personal, ala Ad Hominem.

FYI: I take no medications whatsoever. I take the ocassional Tums for heartburn and a couple Advils for headaches once in a while (I get wild mean migraines - another 'gift' from god, I suppose).

I'll explain it to you like you were a five year old:

The first post of this set was explaining the ridiculousness of a god creating human beings as the grand goal and putting them into this universe so not for humans. If you remove the fairy tale and see things from a realistic point of view, you see that the universe wasn't specifically designed for human beings. It exists with or without us. We evolved on this planet because it supported life and we evolved out of a long long tale of life evolving and adapting to a world that itself isn't perfect for life (let alone humans).

Wait until you find out the lifespan of the typical species. It is about 10 million years. It is about 100-200 million years for a particular animal group (Dinosaurs = 125 million years ignoring the surviving groups (birds) which represent a very small sample of the original). Depending upon how you classify humans and their hominid predecessors, we may be either nearing the end of our lifespan (at the 8 million year mark) or near the beginning (at the 1/4 million year mark).
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Truthless
written by Bill Henry, August 19, 2009
No, I do not assume all teachers are female. My wife, who is a christian by the way, is a teacher. I am very familiar with teachers. She has been teaching for 30 years.

Obviously, from my earlier comments, I do not hate all Christians. Just ones like you. If you continue to make insipid and intensionally denigrating remarks like you have repeatedly done, I will continue to judge you as the obnoxious troll that you are.

Kuroyume has done an exceptional job of explaining the TRUTH to you. Do bad your education stops at one book of fables.
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@bill henry
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
I make the "denigrating remarks"? You obviously dont read your own posts. Any remark that I have made is either (a)a lame attempt at humor or (b) a response to some insult made in defense.

Kuroyume has explained NOTHING except the real fairy tale that is duping you guys. Her explanation of this universe is based on IMPOSSIBLE premises. That something (universe) could arise from absolute nothing and then somehow allow life to arise from non-life. What part of "impossible" do you not understand? Ask your wife to help you with this please.
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Loch Ness and Sasquatch
written by StarTrekLivz, August 19, 2009
I love that this particular creationist believes in the Loch Ness Monster but not evolution, genetics, etc. etc. I wonder what their thoughts are on Sasquatch, Ogopogo, the New Jersey Swamp Monster, and Unicorns?
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@startreklives
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
I would believe in Sasquatch, Ogopogo, the New Jersey Swamp Monster, and Unicorns and man made global warming before I would believe in evolution. There's more evidence for these than the science fiction theory of evolution.
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@truth666
written by StarTrekLivz, August 19, 2009
Are there elves and orcs on your planet?
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@@startreklivz
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
We have both. They all evolved from a mud puddle after lightning struck it.
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Truth???
written by Bill Henry, August 19, 2009
Once again you are confused. Intelligent educated people ALL believe that evolution is fact. My wife agrees the evidence overwhelming. Something like 99% of the people with advance technical degrees (the sciences etc) agree that evolution is FACT.

And sorry, your mythical invisible friend is a fair tad more unrealistic. Do you believe in the tooth fairy and the easter bunny too?


Are you one of those sad little people who believe that the world is only 10,000 years old?
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Global warming
written by Bill Henry, August 19, 2009
to include that in the list you do is silly. Global warming is real. Global warming is at least partly anthroprogenic. Whether it is a problem is debatable. I, for one, am undecided. It certainly isn't conclusive yet.
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@bill henry
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
You make my job so easy. Your global warming comment is EXACTLY why we need scrutiny on subjects such as evolution. There is NO science behind the hoax of MAN MADE global warming, yet you guys who worship at the altar of "scientists" believe everything you are told. Conveniently, it just happens to mesh perfectly with a liberal, atheistic lifestyle.
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False, Again, "Truth"
written by StarTrekLivz, August 19, 2009
I am a wildly liberal atheist (with a very religious family, I might add), and I believe there is evidence for global warming, less so for the causes (anthropogenic, natural climatic cycle, subtle differences in solar output or earth orbit, etc. etc.). I don't worship scientists, but am inclined to pay attention and see where evidence leads.

Which leads me to believe evolution, by the way ....
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written by Steel Rat, August 19, 2009
Her explanation of this universe is based on IMPOSSIBLE premises.


Name one credible premise of creation from the Babble. Oh, that's right, you won't. you don't answer questions, and claim you didn't say things you actually did.
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written by Walk, August 19, 2009
@truth
you guys who worship at the altar of "scientists" believe everything you are told

Holy crap, truth, you read one 2,000 year old book full of genocide and contradictions, and throw proven science out the window in deference to it. You worship an angry jealous megalomaniac.

You still haven't answered my question, "How do you explain the two conflicting creation stories in Genesis?"
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truth you sad little person you
written by Bill Henry, August 19, 2009
How wrong can you get???? There is incredible scrutiny on evolution; it constantly proves to be an excellent explanation of our planet. As I said before, ALL educated intelligent people agree. You are not included on that list.

You take the fact that I for one have expressed doubts about AGW and somehow this supports your stupid and inane comments? What drugs are you on?

I have read about 2/3 of The Deniers. Have you actually read any competent material on AGW? You clearly haven't read any on evolution. I repeat, you represent the saddest portion of the creationist crowd. The uneducated, ignorant group who debate without using a single fact. You are pathetic.
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@walk
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
Even though we're cautioned not to cast our pearls before swine, the answer (to the best of my knowledge) is that the "2nd creation" story focuses on the creation of humans (6th day), while the "1st" story focuses on the entire creation. Since the Bible does not contradict itself, this would be the most plausible (again, in my opinion). Also- please spare yourselves the time from copying and pasting a bunch of "contradictions" from the internet. They have all been answered many, many times. In fact, I am currently seeking "new" supposed contradictions in the Bible. Its been a while since we had a good one to shoot down.
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@steel rat
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
I dont answer questions? Dont know who reads these posts to you but thats all I do. You and EVERY other darwinist are the duckers. You think that the fact that you CANT answer questions is an acceptable response. In addition, I have yet to hear even ONE theory, hypothesis, etc on how the universe got here in the first place and how seemingly intelligent people can believe life can come from non-life. Amazing.
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False, Still Again, @truth
written by StarTrekLivz, August 19, 2009
Step 1. Pick up a Bible.
Step 2. Turn to Genesis 1.
Step 3. Read.
Step 4. Turn to Genesis 2.
Step 5. Read.
Step 6. Compare.

It does not take a mastery of Hebrew or ancient languages & literature, it's plain in any standard translation, that the stories are not merely different but incompatible: the order of creation is reversed (animals first, plural people vs. single person, then animals, then female person). Even the first story has internal contraditions (light & night, but no sun, moon, or stars, which are described as the sources of light and days and nights).

Though of course, I should have included as Step 1: Turn on brain.
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written by Steel Rat, August 19, 2009
I dont answer questions? Dont know who reads these posts to you but thats all I do. You and EVERY other darwinist are the duckers. You think that the fact that you CANT answer questions is an acceptable response. In addition, I have yet to hear even ONE theory, hypothesis, etc on how the universe got here in the first place and how seemingly intelligent people can believe life can come from non-life. Amazing.


No you don't answer questions, as I've noted here again, you didn't answer a single one, as with other threads. Do you treat your students the same way? Just pepper them with non-sequiturs until they cave in?

I can't answer the question YOU want answered because I don't know the answer, and neither do you. There, I answered your question to the best of MY ability. Now YOU need to answer why a magical sky daddy is a better answer than "I don't know".
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written by Walk, August 19, 2009
truth,

200 years ago we had no electricity, no automobiles, etc. All the wonderful things we have today (cars, cell phones, computers, etc.) are products of science. Quite an accomplishment for mankind, and the dedicated scientists, in only 200 years.

What has your "god" done for you lately?
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@walk
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
More than you could imagine, my friend
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written by Walk, August 19, 2009
Care to give an example?
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@walk
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
John 3:16
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John 3:16
written by StarTrekLivz, August 19, 2009
Under Michigan law, that would be counted as child abuse and Murder 1. Apparently, the State of Michigan is kinder than god.

I get a thrilling feeling from Mahler's "Resurrection" symphony (which does not quote a word of scripture, I might add). Also the "Dona nobis pacem" from Bach's "Mass in B Minor." So apparently Bach and Mahler are divine .....
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@startrklivz
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
Enjoy your "thrilling feeling", cause thats all you can enjoy.
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written by Walk, August 19, 2009
truth,

I asked you what god has done for you lately, in comparison to all the wonderful things you enjoy as products of science. You answered, "he gave me Jesus". Okay, I'll bite - - - what, specifically, has Jesus done for you lately? (And please don't "more than you can imagine").
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written by Walk, August 19, 2009
Edit: (And please don't
say
- -
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@walk
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
Made life worth living (specific enough?)
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Life Worth Living
written by StarTrekLivz, August 19, 2009
Odd, I find life quite worth living without imaginary friends. But then, I have Bach and Mahler.
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@startreklivz
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
Jesus is imaginary? There is more evidence that He lived than there is for Alexander the Great.
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written by Walk, August 19, 2009
truth,
Made life worth living (specific enough?)

I'm sorry, I don't quite understand. In what way has Jesus made your life worth living?
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@startreklivz
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
But I forgot, you view evidence a little differently than I
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Jesus of Nazareth
written by StarTrekLivz, August 19, 2009
By imaginary friends I was referring to the whole panoply of divinities, divine beings (like angels, saints, demons, etc.) not specifically Jesus.

As for Jesus, there is some evidence he lived, but mostly about the movement centered around him. About his life there is little or no reliable information. But then I suspect that you would regard that fact as in the same category as evolution.
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@startreklivz
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
Every time you say what the current date is, you are proving that He not only existed but changed everything
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The Common Era?
written by StarTrekLivz, August 19, 2009
The date is the best argument you have? Pathetic.

Especially since we don't know the date .. even the birth narratives (also mutually exclusive documents, by the way) put the date at least 10 years apart.

And my Jewish relatives still cheerfully use the Jewish calendar, and my Asian friends celebrate Chinese New Year. This weekend Ramadan begins for Moslems, according to their calendar. It may be your calendar, and a commonly used calendar, but it is NOT evidence. Nor even the only calendar.
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2009 CE
written by Roquefort Raider, August 19, 2009
Matthew places the birth of Jesus during the reign of Herod (who died in 4 BC) while Luke states it occurred during the census of governor Quirinus (appointed in 6 AD). However one decides to try to reconcile this contradiction, I'd say the counting of the years in the Current Era has more to do with the power of Rome (which adopted Christianity as its state religion) than it has with Jesus' teachings.
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Truth
written by Sadhatter, August 19, 2009
Every usefull member of society picks and chooses their morality from many different places, whether that be the Bible, Koran, the writings of dawkins, or a gwar c.d. Because if they didn't they would be a strange fundamentally flawed excuse for a person.

For example, you choose not to kill someone who wears 2 fabrics, or does work on a sunday. ( i assume) And you then rationalize to yourself a reason as to why this particular part of the bible is not applicable. You do this because you know that these rules are silly and harmful, not because of any of the philosophical gymnastics that christians have came up with.

Said gymnastics are simply a way to enforce good morality on the bad in the bible. And when questioned are simply stated to be obvious.

On the flip side, as someone who believes in evolution and natural selection i do not go around killing midgets, the handicapped etc. to take them out of the gene pool. And i do this because as a thinking rational person i realize that there is more to the success of our society and species than any one book, or discipline can possibly outline.

So as a secular person i can state that while information A from source A is solid and brings benefit to society, information B from source A is harmful. And i can say this without having to resort to mental gymnastics in order to justify my position.

Whereas instead of accepting this fact that there is good and bad in any information the religious must either ignore or attempt to take over any positive force , whether that be scientific or moral. As evidenced easily by the attempted usurping of science done by creationists.

If there is a god, evidence will be found. And it will be evidence that cannot be denied. But that evidence has not shown up yet, and in frustration the people attempting to prove this ( which is not part of the scientific method, but that is another rant for another day) have simply lowered thier standards of evidence and then claimed victory.

That is a rather hollow victory Truth, if your satisfied with it, all the more power to you. But if your going to allow that, then any student that thinks a 30 per cent is a passing grade should be given the same right.
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@sadhatter
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
A few errors in your post. For one, there is no "bad" in the Bible, at least in the context you claim. Second, you make the common mistake of not "rightly dividing" the Bible. If one does not study it with an open mind (as in believing who the author ultimately is)then it appears that it is loaded with inconsistencies, errors, etc. But billions of people who have approached it correctly have learned otherwise. Anywho, I'll take my "hollow victory". Even if it happened to be a hoax afterall, it is still the best lifestyle out there. Cheers, my friend.....
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written by Steel Rat, August 19, 2009
This thread is, again, truth6413 not answering the difficult questions.
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written by Walk, August 19, 2009
@truth

You haven't answered my question, "in what way has Jesus made your life worth living?

I mean, I realize that, according to the Bible, he promised you immortality, and to protect from his threat of eternal damnation, in exchange for worshiping him on your knees, and obeying all the rules set by him and god.

Is this what you're talking about, or is there something more specific he's done for you lately.
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@walk
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
Nope, you pretty much covered it. Thats about all there is to it.
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written by Walk, August 19, 2009
Okay, got it. Thanks for the discussion, and I wish you all the best.
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written by ciccio, August 19, 2009
Not only does the Pope believe in evolution, he has even pardoned Galileo.
Unfortunately he still believes in the devil and the perpetual virginity of Mary.
More unfortunate, he does not believe in birth control, in common with many
creationists.
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@walk
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 19, 2009
The best part is 10% off at Denny's
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written by Mark P, August 19, 2009
More unfortunate, he does not believe in birth control, in common with many
creationists.


Not quite. Birth control, as such, is permitted by the Pope. Indeed taught by Catholic Family groups.

Why coitus interruptus is legitimate but condoms are not is a mystery to pretty much everyone. (My theory is that it is based on medieval conceptions of how life began, and no Pope has yet had the balls to admit that.) Even most Catholics realised long ago that the church teachings on contraception were stupid and ignore them utterly.

The problem is when people in power restrict other users by banning sale of condoms etc (while they personally are rich enough that they do not face the problem).
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written by pxatkins, August 19, 2009
Sadly, that IS the best part.
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open mind?
written by Sadhatter, August 19, 2009
An open mind is not simply believing what one is told it is not going in with assumptions of the validity of the bible.

As a teacher you should know this.

By the way if you could translate your ability to avoid dangerous questions into an ability to avoid dangerous objects, i think you would officially have a superpower worthy of the jref million.

And lastly " I'll take my "hollow victory" " pretty much sums up your position. Your comfort is obviously more important to you than reality. Which is cool, but don't try to pretend that it is anything but that.
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@truth and faith
written by StarTrekLivz, August 19, 2009
The best part is 10% off at Denny's

ah, at long last, an honest answer: the real reason for your conformance to Christian faith.

seems a pretty cheap reason, especially given what you believe the savior did for you.
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@sadhatter
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 20, 2009
You said: "An open mind is not simply believing what one is told it is not going in with assumptions of the validity of the bible."

I could not agree more. However, this can also be worded, "An open mind is not simply believing what one is told it is not going in with assumptions of the validity of evolution, man made global warming, etc etc.".
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@startreklivz, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@truth and Comedies
written by StarTrekLivz, August 20, 2009
On the contrary, I enjoy comedies, and had free time yesterday, hence my participation in the "dialogue" with you.

Since, I'm sorry to say, you betray a grave ignorance of both science and religion, and only the most shallow reading of the bible. I suspect you've never read the book, only referred to some pamphlet supplied by your pastor or denomination of Verses For ..... (and then it lists verses in case of Doubt, in Trouble, in Temptation, etc.) So I regard my comments as a comic interlude. I'm afraid I cannot take you seriously, and frankly have wondered if you weren't an 8th grade student with a twitter account instead of, as you profess, a science teacher. Your knowledge-base and ability to debate are about that level. But I have a busy day today, so won't be able to play. Have fun without me.
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I think it is an interesting coincidence...
written by doctoratlantis, August 20, 2009
I like the fact that Phil posted this the same time we posted an interview on our podcast dealing with this exact issue. The fact that we can present mountains of evidence that the earth is far older than 6000 years and young-earth creationists can use special-pleading to dismiss each and every piece says just about everything there is to say about YEC. YEC is a faith-based belief system and has nothing to do with "reality" as understood by science.
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@doctoratlantis
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 20, 2009
Evolution is alot more "faith based" than you know ( or care to admit). Your cherished theory is fundamentally flawed yet you accept it anyway and custom fit any "evidence" that comes along to fit your beliefs (sound familiar?) Your theory is based on the flawed assumption that at some point in time, life MUST have arose from non-life (aka spontaneous generation).Yet, its the creationist who has the most absurd beliefs? I dont think so. Not to mention the problems you face with abiogenesis. You cant even hint at a decent answer for that. (But I will answer for you to save you the time. Its either, "I dont know and it doesnt matter" or "We're still working on it."
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written by Steel Rat, August 20, 2009
Evolution is alot more "faith based" than you know ( or care to admit).


This post is about what Creationists believe, not what scientists believe. You need to provide some evidence that your creation "theory" is more valid than evolution theory. What about your theory is testable and falsifiable? And if you believe evolution is falsified as a theory, what are the falsifications?

More questions you won't answer.
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@steel rat
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 20, 2009
Ironically, my original response to this post was not to "promote creationism", my intent was and is to show that evolution is a weak theory at best, and no hard evidence supports it....only one assumption based upon previous assupmptions. It also happens to be the only alternative to creationism which it is why this discussion defaulted back to me being asked to defend creationism. Its interesting how you dont even have to mention the word creationism when you ask difficult questions to the evolutionist. They immediately try to attack and become incredibly defensive. You cannot prove evolution by questioning creationism. Red herring, anyone?
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Give Up, dear Steel Rat
written by StarTrekLivz, August 20, 2009
my friend, @truth lacks the scientific, theological, philosophical, and rational equipment to make and sustain an argument. His faith in a text written by bronze-age nomadic shepherds and apostates from 1st century Judaism trumps anything like what we in the real world call "evidence," "truth," and "science." He is working from a world-view so different from ours that a translator is needed, for there are few terms in common, and words that are spelled the same embody completely different, even antithetical, concepts. Yesterday I had a slow day and enjoyed playing with him; normally I just ignore him and his silliness. You may be doing the same. But remember, it is play: this is not someone whom you can engage.
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written by Steel Rat, August 20, 2009
You're still deflecting the issue. This post is about what Creationists believe. You're trying to make it about evolution. Your original response is irrelevant. Stick to the topic. Either you're a Creationist or just someone who doesn't like evolution.

Again, you don't answer the questions. I'll restate them so you don't have to be bothered to scroll up.

1) What about your theory (Creationism) is testable and falsifiable?

2)If you believe evolution is falsified as a theory, what are the falsifications?

Should be simple enough, right?
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@ truth6413
written by Roquefort Raider, August 20, 2009
Hello truth,

You wrote "Evolution is alot more "faith based" than you know ( or care to admit)".

No, it is actually not faith based at all. People are invited to test it as much as they like. It was arrived at by studying the natural world, and because some kind of theory was required to make sense of it all. The astonishing thing is that the theory, which is a XIXth-century invention, made many logical predictions that were all found to be true in the following century. DNA was totally unknown to Charles Darwin, but once it was discovered the theory *demanded* that its sequence vary from species to species in ways that show a relatedness that decreases proportionally to the evolutionary distance between species (which it does). Molecular biology, a science unknown to the original thinkers who came up with the theory of evolution, confirmed it with flying colors (and keeps doing it today).

"Your cherished theory is fundamentally flawed yet you accept it anyway and custom fit any "evidence" that comes along to fit your beliefs (sound familiar?)"

If the theory is flawed, let people criticize it with measurable data. That's the way science works, and it is open to everyone. And in fact, the theory has been refined over time to incorporate more and more data. Nevertheless, its core remains intact. That's not a proof that it is perfect, but it's a sign that it is very robust indeed in explaining how the natural world works. As for custom fitting evidence... if you mean faking it, that's an incorrect statement. Scientists ***LOSE THEIR JOB*** when they fake evidence. If you mean "selecting only the data that fits", then there's a permanent corrective measure in place. Scientific papers (which undergo the very difficult trial of hostile peer review) are shot down and not published when they fail to take relevant data into account. And without papers, scientists also lose their job.

"Your theory is based on the flawed assumption that at some point in time, life MUST have arose from non-life (aka spontaneous generation)."

No, absolutely not. That's abiogenesis. Most biologists do indeed think that life must have come from non-living matter at one point, but that has nothing to do with evolution, which restricts itself to the way living things change over time. Which, by the way, is a fact and not a theory.

"Yet, its the creationist who has the most absurd beliefs?"

Well, I don't know about absurd; let's say that their beliefs are not falsifiable, and therefore not scientific. Meanwhile, the naturalistic approach does explain things in ways that are falsifiable, and that make predictions that are verified daily. It's the scientific approach that gave us antibiotics, vaccines, therapeutic antibodies, and the knowledge that epilepsy is due to a neuronal problem and not to demons that possess the patient. It just works.

"Not to mention the problems you face with abiogenesis. You cant even hint at a decent answer for that. (But I will answer for you to save you the time. Its either, "I dont know and it doesnt matter" or "We're still working on it."

Thank you for saving me the time. I would differ on the "it doesn't matter" point, though. Where life came from is a fascinating question, and one of great importance. It just doesn't have much of an impact on how species evolve, is all. This being said, it's true that at some point scientists end up saying "we don't know". That answer, even if it's not very satisfying, has the virtue of leavig the field open for more exploration. It's a lot better than making up any answer and insisting that it is true.

Cheers,

- Ben
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@roguefort raider ben
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 20, 2009
Hi Ben. Well written response. I respect directness instead of rudeness (sorry, steel rat, kuroyume and startreklivz. Anyway, let me give you just ONE reason that shows evolution to be not only unlikely, but impossible. Lets look at the circulatory system (human, but any "animal" would suffice).In order for the circulatory system to function properly, at least FIVE things must be present: (1) a respiratory organ (lungs or gills) that can enrich the blood with oxygen; (2) hemoglobin to "bind the oxygen" for lack of a better phrase ; (3) red blood cells to carry the hemoglobin to cells throughout the body; (4) blood vessels to transport the red blood cells; and (5) a pumping mechanism (heart) that can transport this material throughout the body. How functional would each of these be without all components present? What good are respiratory organs if the oxygen cannot be bound to hemoglobin? What good are vessels without a pump? What good is hemoglobin if it cannot be carried to all parts of the cell? Any step-by-step scenario evolutionists suggest would cause the whole system to break down! And again- this ONLY ONE system out of many, many others. The circulatory system, like all the rest, COULD NOT have evolved. Therefore, I must question any "evidence" that says otherwise.
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@truth and rudeness
written by StarTrekLivz, August 20, 2009
Dear @truth, being accused of "rudeness" by you is rather like discovering myself on Nixon's Enemies List -- a badge of honour. Have you ever heard about those in glass houses, people without sin casting the first stone, etc.???

though I do agree that Ben wrote an excellent response. I fear wasted: @truth is rather like one of the lost souls in Dante's "L'Inferno" who "have lost the good of intellect," or one who "has ears, but does not hear, has eyes, but does not perceive."
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@startreklivz
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 20, 2009
You DO have a sense of humor! (But I guess you almost HAVE to in order to believe in evolution)
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truth is trolling again
written by Bill Henry, August 20, 2009
this ASS once agian doesn't understand how words actually work

An u must be a 14 year old turd if you think your last comment is anything but trolling.
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hmmm at work
written by Bill Henry, August 20, 2009
sorry for the number of spelling mistakes there but busy at work ...
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@lackof truth
written by Kuroyume, August 20, 2009
This Michael J. Behe "Darwin's Black Box" argument about irreducible complexity has been thoroughly dashed to the ground and smashed to pieces over and over again. It was done (to the satisfaction of a conservative circuit court judge no less) in Dover, Pa and every single one of his irreducible systems (mentioned in the book and as auxilliary) has been refuted by actual, real Biologists (Behe is a Ph.D. in Biochemistry - not the same as Ph.D. in Biology). Further, his logic, argument, and analogies for 'irreducible complexity' have been shown lacking and flawed. The only people who still cling to I.C. are I.D.ers.

Again, once again, for another time, I direct you to the "Idiots Guide to ...":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...complexity
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@bill henry
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 20, 2009
Tell your wife I said "Hi"
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And truth
written by Bill Henry, August 20, 2009
for christs sake read the ancestors tale ...

do you realize that stupid remarks like the one above on the heart are so simplistic that they are not worth correcting ...
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@truth
written by Roquefort Raider, August 20, 2009
Hello again, truth6413.

I'm sorry if this will be a little long! Please bear with me.

Your example of the circulatory system is a good one. In a sense, it's a variation on the watchmaker or on the eye complexity argument. The five conditions you mention are indeed absolutely necessary for the large majority of animals to have a working circulatory system, and we may be excused to assume that they are therefore absolutely necessary, period. But such is not the case.

Point (1) : What is needed by any animal, of course (and by any aerobic creature) is access to oxygen. We humans use lungs to get the oxygen in contact with our red blood cells, which then carry oxygen to all cells in the body. Fish use gills to do pretty much the same thing. But insects don't. Insects don't have gills, nor do they have lungs; they have a network of cavities that allow oxygen to transfer passively from the air to the inside of the body, where it dissolves into the liquid surrounding the cells. In fact, insect blood is not used to transport oxygen at all; their circulatory system helps carry nutrients. They do have a heart (sometimes more than one!) but they get oxygen straight from the air, not from circulation. You can imagine that such a passive system isn't very efficient, and it is why insects can't reach big sizes: they could not get enough oxygen out of the air. (They used to be much bigger in the distant past, during a period where there was far more oxygen in the air).

Point (2) : We use hemoglobin to bind oxygen; other creatures (mollusks, spiders) use different respiratory compounds to the same effect. They are required to transport oxygen because dissolving oxygen in blood would not be efficient enough in most animals. But at least one animal manages to do without any oxygen transporter : the icefish. These creatures from the south Atlantic live in extremely cold water that contains much more oxygen than regular sea water. They get by without hemoglobin. (We know their ancestors DID have hemoglobin, because some mutated remains of the genes remain in the fish's genome. But they no longer produce the protein. These fish have, basically, slightly thicker sea water in their veins. They show that an animal circulatory system can indeed work without hemoglobin.

Point (3): red blood cells -well, we've just mentioned the icefish which doesn't have them. They were a hindrance and since they weren't needed they disappeared.

Point (4): Blood vessels. Well, yeah, it's hard to have a circulatory system without a blood vessel; but then again, by definition, without a vessel there can't be circulation. It's a little bit like saying we can't have a circle without a circumference, which is true. Many animals do breathe without a circulatory system, though (sponges, jellyfish, for example).

Point (5): we need a heart to get the blood flowing. I can't deny that, we need some kind of pump to get that liquid flowing. Blood just won't move much if we have a complex circulatory system and nothing to make it flow. The heart can be very simple, however, as is the case in insects or earthworms.
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@truth (continued)
written by Roquefort Raider, August 20, 2009
Now to come back to the crux of your argument : "How functional would each of these be without all components present? What good are respiratory organs if the oxygen cannot be bound to hemoglobin? What good are vessels without a pump? What good is hemoglobin if it cannot be carried to all parts of the cell? Any step-by-step scenario evolutionists suggest would cause the whole system to break down!"

Yep, that is true : any creature built to rely on a human-type circulatory system can't go without any of these parts. But that doesn't mean that the system has to spring to life all in one go either. We can easily imagine an animal that doesn'T have a circulatory system at all, like a jellyfish. We can also imagine a more complex jellyfish with a primitive circulatory system (say, a few internal vessels) that help oxygenated seawater reach the inside tissues. Such a system would not need a heart : just a well-placed valve at the entrance of the system to make sure the water flows in only one drection, and the pumping action culd be provided by the animal's movements. Then we can go one step further : let's imagine that a section of the circulatory system, a piece of tubing that's part of the whole network, gets thicker and stronger and manages to contract mightily. That's a primitive heart. From there we can go a bit further and have the animal use some protein or other to help concentrate and carry oxygen; this protein can later be incorporated in specialized cells. For the lungs (or gills), we just fold a few pieces of the network so as to augment their surface that's exposed to the source of oxygen.

Step by step, we can model intermediate stages that go from the lungless, veinless jellyfish to the modern vertebrates and their efficient circulatory system. And even more convincingly, we can find animals today that *are* lacking part of the system.

(The same demonstration can be made wth the eye, and a little faster too because we have far more examples of intermediate stages of eyes than we have intermediates of circulatory systems).

Cheers,

- Ben
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On the subject of rudeness
written by StarTrekLivz, August 20, 2009
hello, @truth: I readily acknowledge that I am no diplomat (which should be obvious). My family is German, not Austrian, where diplomacy is a highly refined art form, and we are noted for bluntness & accuracy rather than tenderness of feeling. E.g.: an aunt (an American, through marriage) asked my mother what she thought of a new dress. My mother, an expert seamstress (she still makes her own clothes including formal attire, and her quilts win prizes -- and then she donates the quilts to homeless shelters and AIDS hospices) looked at it carefully, and then said, "It's a hideous pattern, it doesn't go with your complexion and hair at all, and it's badly cut and draped, so it makes you look fat." Needless to say, my aunt never asked my mother her opinion ever again.

Even though everything Mom said was true.

So you may not like my "rudeness," but have I said anything false? You may not like my comments about your knowledge of science, bible, and ability to form an argument or respond rationally to comments directed to you on this, but you have failed to demonstrate competence in any of those areas. Repeatedly. Even in your Humpty-Dumpty universe where words mean what you want them to mean and not what any dictionary would describe, can you not see that you are suffering from a severe deficit and disconnect from the majority of the planet, even most theists and theist scientists?
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...
written by Moose, August 20, 2009
Truth,
I am "the wife" and I am not sure why you told Bill to say hello to me. I have read all of the comments on this article and I am somewhat amazed that you, claiming to be a Christian, are even engaging in them to the extent that you are. But to each his own. I am not here to argue the validity/truthfulness of the Bible (my disclaimer to all the other readers here), but on your stance on evolution, which is the debate at the moment. You have indicated that evolution is not possible based on the Bible. I direct you to 2Peter 3:8. Although the context is not the same, it doesn't change the statement. (For you non Bible readers, "One day with the Lord is as a thousand years...") I also direct you to 2 Timothy 2: 14-16 (NV) Go back and spend your time preparing for your lessons and spending time with your students. Or better yet, start reading scientific journals about evolution instead of blindly accepting anything and everything that your preacher (whomever) tells you without researching it for yourself.
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@roquefort raider
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 20, 2009
Ben, again well written. I know we are somewhat handicapped by space, etc., but there were some MAJOR assumptions made in your response. Due to the aforementioned limits, I will address one here. As was mentioned by one of my friends on this site, Behe has done alot of work in this area. I was especially interested in his thoughts regarding blood. Again, this is just ONE element in the system we are discussing. For blood to clot there are of course several proteins that MUST be present or the organism would bleed to death. The statistical odds of evolving those specific proteins in just the right manner, in just the right location, and having them available when that first land animal was getting scratched up as it slowly crawled over rocks and shells onto dry land are incalculable! Startreklivs would say this is a juvenile comment, but so be it. Why are "odds" thrown out the window when it comes to evolution? After a certain point, they become a virtual impossibility. Imagine standing in a state the size of Texas, knee deep in half dollars. You are asked to choose one particular coin. That is virtual impossibility. James Randi has argued that it is not due to time frame. I would strongly disagree.
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@moose
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 20, 2009
I can assure you that I have forgotten more information on evolution than you have ever even read. You cannot reconcile Christianity with evolution. It either/or. Obviously, you have drunk your husbands koolaid and believe otherwise. Your scriptures were also wildly off-subject.
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...
written by Moose, August 20, 2009
I wasn't being nasty to you, just pointing out the facts. Is is very sad that you had to resort to rudeness. You have no idea how much I have read on evolution, thus your facts are distorted. You are resulting to "guessing". And to say that I have "drunk my husband's koolaid", being in direct reference to a Christian group who blindly followed their leader, just underscores my previous comment to you to start thinking for yourself. Again, did you read the Bible passages I referred to? I think not. They were not off-subject. The second one was directly aimed at you. There was a statement made that Christianity couldn't be reconciled to the earth not being the center of the universe. Many scientists lost their lives (Bruno) or had to live lies because of the Church (Copernicus, Galileo) and the blind sheep that followed them. Hmmmm, do you now believe the sun revolves around us??? As for me, I will not waste my time arguing with a man who cares more about this debate than he does his own classroom.
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@moose
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 20, 2009
You are definitely married to Bill. You begin with a half-apology and finish with a wrong judgement about the concern I have for my students. I only wish you could ask ANY that have come through my door over the last 22 years.

Comparing evolution to the "sun revolving around the earth" is ridiculous on many levels. But if believing evolution makes more sense to you than the alternative, then that is your God given choice.
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written by Steel Rat, August 20, 2009
I respect directness instead of rudeness (sorry, steel rat...


In what way was I rude? I asked direct questions without emotion, stating only fact (that you don't answer questions). Was it because I didn't include smileys?

I'll ask them again:

1) What about your theory (Creationism) is testable and falsifiable?

2)If you believe evolution is falsified as a theory, what are the falsifications? (FYI, because you think something or system is too complex to have evolved doesn't mean it didn't. Your example isn't a falsification)

Remember, this is about what Creationists believe...
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written by Steel Rat, August 20, 2009
then that is your God given choice.


ROTFL!! Your "god" gives people precious few choices. Tell me, have you sacrificed an unblemished male ram recently? Stoned any rape victims? No? Guess you're going to hell.
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@truth, regarding Behe
written by Roquefort Raider, August 20, 2009
Hello again, truth.

I know that Michael Behe's books are very popular among people who believe that evolution clashes with their faith and want some scientific evidence that it's not a good theory, but unfortunately Mr. Behe's books are simply not very serious. Better people than I have debunked them over and over, but in a nutshell his argument is usually this one : "This system is very complex; it needs all its parts to function ; each part, on its own, is uselss; the odds for all the parts to appear spontaneously are infinitesimal; therefore, it's impossible for this syetm to have appeared on its own". All of which is quite sensible if one omits the very core of the natural selection theory : that of the ratchet, or changes by little increments. Another aspect that is ignored is that mother nature is clearly thrifty : instead of using brand new material to build an eye, a finger, a brain, it duplicates and modifies parts that were already there.

The proteins involved in blood clotting can not have evolved all in one go just so we wouldn't bleed to death, that much I heartily agree with. But each of them can easily have evolved little by little from previously existing proteins with a different job and be put to use in a clotting system that was getting increasingly regulated (and therefore complex).
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@moose
written by StarTrekLivz, August 20, 2009
My dear Moose, please scroll up to my comment "give up steel rat"

@truth is not a shining example of christianity. Although an atheist myself, I was formerly a believer, still sing in the choir of an Episcopal church (for the music and my family connections) and my family includes 2 United Methodist bishops and one of the first women rabbis in the Conservative Jewish synagogue. I have respect and affection for believers who demonstrate intellectual honesty and engage in acts of kindess & mercy. Sadly, @truth does not. I fear you are wasting your breath.

Curiously, the Torah Portion for this coming Saturday is "Shophatim," Deuteronomy 16:18 through 21:9, and is about how to tell true prophets from false -- for many will claim to speak in the name of god, but do not. I was struggling through it (my Hebrew is not very good, but Mom expects me to keep her on the right page), and was thinking how sadly @truth fails .....
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(continued)
written by Roquefort Raider, August 20, 2009
Most of the proteins involved in coagulation are proteases, proteins that cleave other proteins. Their evolution from pre-existing proteases is hardly unlikely. The coagulation process itself is not actually complicated: it's just long. Its important step is the last one, where a protein called fibrinogen is cleaved to yield fibrin, which then forms a mesh that plugs the damaged wall of the blood vessel. If fibrinogen was cleaved as soon as a blood vessel is damaged, then coagulation would be a very simple affair indeed. However, it would probably be dangerous because it would tend to coagulate our blood at the slightest stress, and so the system got increasingly more complex. The way it works now is basically as follows :
A cleaves B that gets activated and cleaves C that gets activated and cleaves D that gets activated and cleaves E that gets activated and cleaves F that gets activated and cleaves fibrinogen. As ou can see, we could start the process at any point before the final one and would still get a good coagulation system; just not one as well-regulated as what we have now.

The odds regarding evolution must be considered carefully. What are the odds that any complex system will assemble spontaneously? They are increasingly small the more complex the system is. But what are the odds that any complex system will assemble spontaneously IF every step of said assembly is tested, and only the proper steps are retained? Ah, then it's a different thing. What are the odds, for example, that a bazillion water molecules will spontaneously assemble to form the exquisite structure of a snowflake? They are probably null. But water molecules assemble tightly when it's cold, and each new molecule has a limited number of ways it can interact with the ones that are already there, so what was initially described as a random event turns out to be anything but and beautiful ice crystals grow. All spontaneously, all without a designer, but with an exquisite design nevertheless. And ice crystals form unexpected forms, just as living creatures do: we can see from the Rube-Goldberg way nature is built that it looks the way it does because it works, not because there was a plan beforehand to make it as good as it can be.

Cheers!

- Ben

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Addendum
written by StarTrekLivz, August 20, 2009
Did I mention that like a good Jewish son, I still drive Mom to Temple? And even Reform temple services are LONG -- the singing of the Torah portion alone can take 45 minutes.
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Truth less ness
written by Bill Henry, August 20, 2009
My wife gets frustrated easily and is not interested in chatting anymore. Her response was basically that people like truth are a waste of time and represent Christianity very poorly.

Typical troll, mostly makes statements or ask questions that are intended to aggrevate and waste peoples time. A pitiful excuse for a way to live ones life.

roquefort - very well put. But this moron has clearly made a decision and no amount of intelligent discourse or evidence will convince him otherwise.

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written by Willy K, August 20, 2009
HIJACKED! Truth-whogivesaratsass-6413 has really done it this time.

Please! Truth-whatever tells us what school you work for. We would like to send this entire thread to your superiors and the parents of your students. I doubt they would appreciate your inane blathering being promulgated when you are supposed to be teaching. They might dump your butt ASAP. Do you think you could convince them not to?

Oh BTW, I read that the Loch Ness monster was one of Adam's pool toys before he got kicked out of the Garden. Is this true ole Truthy? smilies/tongue.gif
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written by Steel Rat, August 20, 2009
Lol, yeah, YECs using the totally fictitious Loch Ness Monster as a disproof of Evolution or an old Earth. Talk about believing in fairy tales.
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Truth's Identity
written by StarTrekLivz, August 20, 2009
I did a search for truthnnn@yahoo, and found someone in Tupelo, MS. I cannot verify that this is the same person as the troll on this web page.

I suspect @truth is NOT teaching in a public school. Given his inabilities to sustain an argument, his ignorance of science and bible, I have postulated that he is actually an 8th grade student, not, as he claims, a science teacher. His vocabulary, knowledge of science, etc. are about that level -- and I live in Detroit, a school system NOT noted for scholastic excellence. If he's really teaching science in a public school, but has not mastered what the Detroit Public School system requires of 8th graders, it is an indication of the sad state of education in the USA.

Should he be the science teacher he claims to be, I am reasonably certain he got his "degree" from some non-accredited Bible college and is currently teaching at a "Christian" academy where they are more particular about religous orthodoxy than academic achievement.

I could be wrong, of course.

Even the very religious members of my family would be interested in this guy, and rooting him out of a public school system -- they would NOT want their kids exposed to his idea of "religion" -- they take their kids to services and religious education on their own, and do not want public schools or teachers to dish it out.
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@StarTrekLivz
written by Kuroyume, August 20, 2009
Good research. Excellent reasoning.

I think the same. How could a teacher, especially a science teacher, be so woefully shortcoming in all of the minimally required facilities to teach science? I'm twenty times more qualified and my degree is an Associates in Electro-Mechanical Design and Drafting. Of course, while I didn't take many science courses in high school (besides the required Chemistry and Biology), I've since read hundreds of books on Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Evolutionary Theory, required maths, etc., including textbooks and doing the work. While I might not comprehend the Tensor maths and Reimannian spaces involved in the rigorous Special and General Theories of Relativity, I do indeed understand the theories well enough to agree with their validity.
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@Kuroyume
written by StarTrekLivz, August 20, 2009
Thank you!

My bachelors degree is liberal arts (from a liberal arts college affiliated with a Christian denomination, I might add); masters is business specific from a Michigan public university (CMU). Like you, I do read science though not at your level, also history & theology. Because of my family's background, I do a LOT in religion, including study of Bible and theology, sometimes in original languages (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, though my family regards Luther's "Heilige Schrift" as authoritative rather than King James English -- it's one of the reasons why I know an inerrantist interpretation of the Bible cannot be true because what we read is translation, and translation depends on the agenda/bias/knowledge of the translator of what we read).

On the one hand, I have to admit I get some pleasure from "debating" him though I certainly do not regard him as an intellectual equal (rather contempuous of me, I admit.) But he does have an interesting ability to hijack the discussions on the jref.org web page. I think we do jref.org a disservice by debating him as an equal: his world-view is so foreign to ours, while I would like to bring him into the Real World, he is so immured in phantasy I could be just wasting my time and effort. And I've got other things to do, and limited time to do them. smilies/smiley.gif
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@StarTrekLivz
written by Kuroyume, August 20, 2009
Everytime someone mentions that the Bible is the 'direct word of God' or inerrant, the 'Copy of a copy' song plays in my head. May be sort of 'lalalala' but then I too have been there and did that. Despite what 'truth' may think, I was once a devout Christian nearly entering Seminary and read the tome from cover to cover (KJV). And since then I've done a bit of biblical study to discover what reality lies below the surface. The history and blindly accepted facts are even more tantalizing and interesting than the book itself. The Quelle document, for instance, makes for an intriguing hypothesis.

Less pleasure and more hope that even a modicum of the information or resources provided will seep into his brain and erode the implacable wall that separates him from most of humanity (?). I do agree that there isn't must to work with.
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Late to the party...
written by Kajabla61, August 20, 2009
Gone for a couple of days and I missed all the fireworks!

So much I could have pointed out to truth-less...

I read the KJV Wholly Babble cover to cover while in college, gave up religion for Lent and never looked back (30 years ago now).

Many have pointed out the contradictions I would nave mentioned regarding creation and how it doesn't even come close to the evidence discovered in many areas of science. Thanks for taking the airhead to task as I would have.

One thing that I still find surprising is that many skeptics still regard Jeezy Creezy as a real person who must have had a following. Nothing could be further from the truth.

JC, like the Babble, is purely fiction and virtually identical to pagan myths before Christ-insanity grew roots.

In the time period of the peak of Rome there was a raging battle going on over who was the real son of gawd - Mithra or JC. You know who won, and now also know why any other god is dismissed as a 'myth'.

Enjoyed the pummeling you all gave to fly brain. Good work everyone.
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What a Moron
written by Moose, August 20, 2009
Truth???? A teacher? If you are then God help our children. A Christian? Then God help my faith. A troll? Truth prevails. Get a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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@roguefort raider
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, August 21, 2009
Ben- it is refreshiing to have a cool-headed exchange for once. I appreciate your well worded and informative, non-adversarial responses. As for the "odds" subject, I have heard the snowflake, rainbow examples before as evidence that order can arise from chaos. But the system we have discussed, not to mention the myriad others (digestive,reproductive,nervous)are ones I have a difficult time accepting as results from natural selection. This is not so much an endorsement for creationism as it is a comment about evolution.

Again, I appreciate your demeanor. Perhaps the steel rats, startreklivz's, and the Mr and Mrs Henry's on this site can take some notes from you.

And not to stir up another hornet's nest, but Mrs. Henry- you are receiving a much more favorable reception on this site only because of your disagreement with me. Trust me, introducing yourself as a Christian to these folks requires a thick skin under normal circumstances. Several of these posters even doubt that Jesus lived from an HISTORICAL perspective. And another is a confirmed atheist who sings in a WORSHIP choir just to appease his family. And these are the ones who dare accuse others of hypocrisy. Truly astounding.
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...
written by Steel Rat, August 21, 2009
Again, the questions aren't answered (big surprise). And no mention of how I was rude.

Here are the questions again, in case you've forgotten:

1) What about your theory (Creationism) is testable and falsifiable?

2)If you believe evolution is falsified as a theory, what are the falsifications? (FYI, because you think something or system is too complex to have evolved doesn't mean it didn't. Your example isn't a falsification)

Remember, this is about what Creationists believe...
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written by Bill Henry, August 21, 2009
My wife received no attention on this site at all except yours sonny. Being a teacher herself for 30 years she doubts you are a teacher, and says she has known a lot of Christians like you. Smug, condescending and wrong. You should not be a science teacher without at least understanding scienctific process. To make remarks like you do certainly confirms you as a troll and a tiresome prick.
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Religious Attendance by Atheists
written by StarTrekLivz, August 21, 2009
Ah, @truth, what a sad, sad person you are. smilies/angry.gif

You accuse me of hypocracy for singing in the choir of an Episcopal church with my family. You also completely missed my reference to studying the weekly Torah portion so when I drive my mother to Temple I can keep her on the right page of the Siddur. Yes, I drive my mother to a Reform Temple on Saturday mornings (some of my cousins are Conservative) and hold the prayerbook for her, and eat bagels with soft cream cheese & lox with her afterwards.

I sing in the choir in Church because I enjoy the music (our repertoire includes Brahms, Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Tallis, Byrd, Praetorius, Rutter, Stainer, Sullivan, Langlais) and for the camaraderie. It also makes the Christian members of my family happy.

Do you not understand that I love my family, and am quite happy to make this small sacrifice of time and attention for them? That I do get genuine pleasure from the music and the fellowship (the new cantor at Mom's Temple is REALLY good)? Have you never done something for a loved one, attend a concert, a show, a sports events, a movie, a craft show, that you would rather not, but because it is important to the loved one, and the relationship is important to you, you do it any way? If not, how very sad.

Besides, I am amazed that you would criticize me for religious attendance -- if there were something to it, don't you think this would provide God with abundant opportunities to "get through" to me? Convince me I am wrong and that S/He exists? You should encourage me to go to MORE services!
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First post in what appears to be a fairly volatile forum
written by Papercut, August 21, 2009
Now, I myself am an athiest, but allow me to throw another argument into the arena?

What if some sort of god or supreme being is the cause of evolution, rather than the antithesis?

I understand that most creationists say that evolution is false. It's usually their religions that pound that into their heads while they're still soft. There are some people out there, however, that don't believe in evolution but aren't religious either. I have a friend that falls into the latter category (and is one of the most down-to-earth people I know), and this is what he vehemently believes.

On a slightly separate topic: I was reading through the first half or so of the posts, and saw a reoccuring theme of "evolution isn't up for debate." Now I believe whole-heartedly in evolution myself, but this attitude defeats the entire purpose of science. If we didn't constantly challenge ideas that were still theories until we could prove them beyond a reasonable doubt, we'd be worshipping the sun and dancing for rain. I'm not saying that there aren't facts supporting it; I'm saying that we shouldn't look down our noses at those that don't believe it. It is still a theory, after all.

To wrap this up, I have a small request: Do any of you know the case of the moths that lived in a predominantly white-bark forest, but when a factory was build nearby and the trees became spotted with pollution, they began to be born with black spots? That's always been one of my favorite bits of evidence.
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English Peppered Moths Evolution
written by StarTrekLivz, August 21, 2009
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P..._evolution

it took less than 15 seconds to find this ... the article references articles and links for a more thorough examination.
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written by Steel Rat, August 21, 2009
What if some sort of god or supreme being is the cause of evolution, rather than the antithesis?


You still have the problem of zero evidence for this supreme being. And what cause IT to come into existence, and where has it been all this time?
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written by Kuroyume, August 21, 2009
What if some sort of god or supreme being is the cause of evolution, rather than the antithesis?


Doesn't matter. In the eyes of the scientific method, it is the process not a hypothetical (more on that shortly) cause which is the most important aspect. Worse, implying supernatural causes for anything in science is beyond its purview. It is only interested in natural causes and processes.

On a slightly separate topic: I was reading through the first half or so of the posts, and saw a reoccuring theme of "evolution isn't up for debate." Now I believe whole-heartedly in evolution myself, but this attitude defeats the entire purpose of science. If we didn't constantly challenge ideas that were still theories until we could prove them beyond a reasonable doubt, we'd be worshipping the sun and dancing for rain. I'm not saying that there aren't facts supporting it; I'm saying that we shouldn't look down our noses at those that don't believe it. It is still a theory, after all.


1. A scientific theory is the best tentative explanation for observed facts. A theory can always be supplanted by a better explanation but usually is only superceded while remaining a theory itself (see Newton's Theory of Gravity vs. Einstein's General Theory of Relativity). But it sets itself apart from hypotheses by having been evidenced through experimentation. Evolutionary "Theory" is not a hypothesis. It is a scientific theory. That means that it is the best explanation for the supporting evidence and has arrived there by validating experiments.

2. That evolution ocurred on the planet we call Earth, starting about 4 billion years ago, is a fact. The problem is that Evolutionary Theory isn't a single statement (that Charles Darwin made back in the mid 1800's like most Cretonists would like it to be). Natural Selection was the foundation. Since then it has been expanded and refined many thousands of times - the Theory of Evolution has evolved (amazing). Currently, it is about 99.99999% the best explanation with mountains and mountains of backing evidence making it one of the strongest scientific theories there is! Not even our theories of Gravity are as strong (since there are still many unknowns such as a gravity particle - graviton).

Yeah, it's only a 'theory'.
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On Evidence and Observation
written by Kuroyume, August 21, 2009
To qualify my last post and clarify what science is versus what it is not:

In the end, scientific theories are just human-made explanations using analogies (explanatory models) and mathematics (rigorous models) in order to understand how something observed works in reality to some approximation. We can all argue about the validity of scientific theories since they are vulnerable to human errancy ("to err is human..."). But the things upon which scientific theories are constructed, the evidence, the observations, the carefully designed and independently verified experiments, are not as arguable.

That biological evolution ocurred on Earth is not in dispute by anybody with sentient faculties. At first, it was based on some localized observations. But as time has gone by, it has become glaringly apparent that such a process has been indisputably working on biological organisms on this planet. After the localized observations, it was the fossil and geological records. To this day, these continue to dump truck-loads of evidence into the bin that supports this process. Then there is genetics, genetic lineage, population distributions, and ecosystems. And microorganism mutations and evolution which further support this. The FACT is that if biological evolution weren't a fact, the entire premise on which we do many things (biology, biochemistry, medicine, immunology, anatomy, genetics, geology, paleontology, archaeology, and many, many subsciences) would collapse. Last time that I peeked out the window, science in general was fairing rather superbly.

Science isn't about making up stuff and then trying to fit reality into the paradigm (though some try). It is about observing, hypothesizing on those observations, and then performing experiments to find the best hypothesis to explain the observations. Noone is trying to fit fossils, DNA, and the myriads of other evidence into some preconceived notion so as to make Evolutionary Theory look good. Evolutionary Theory is continually stratified by new information which supports and expands it. That's the thing. The basic premise of the theory has held true for over 150 years. The devil (pardon the expression) is in the details. And we are fleshing out those details continuously so as to have a more accurate theory. That is how science works. Not in a vacuum or in a dogma but in a dynamic evolution of its own. Even the concept of 'evolution' has changed our perspective. We not only look at the evolution of biological life but the planet (plate techtonics and so on), the solar system, galaxies, yay, even the universe. It shows how powerful a concept it is - and how overbearing in the natural processes of the universe. No wonder Creationists/IDers rail against it! It competes in scope against their fantastical deities because it is a concept that applies to so many things. Maybe this is why they feel particularly threatened.
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evolution ... is it fact
written by Bill Henry, August 21, 2009
i have previously stated on here that evolution is a fact. Others have come back and said that isn't fair it is only theory.

LETS MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR:

You can state that evolution is a fact or a theory.

You can also state that gravity is a fact or a theory. Its the same thing. There is a theory of gravity. No one has a definitive idea of how it works ... but to suggest that their is no gravity is ignorance. There is a theory of evolution. But just as gravity is a "fact" evolution is a "fact". The "mechanisms" of how evolution works are still being debated. But you get some ignorant TROLL f*ckwit like tRUTH on here suggesting that evolution isn't science but belongs up their with the loch ness monster and gOD is just plain ignorant and stupid. Or do I need to explain my postion a fraction more clearly.
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@ Bill Henry and Evolution is a Theory
written by StarTrekLivz, August 22, 2009
Thank you, it is important to point out and remind people:

Gravity is a theory.
Quantum Mechanics is a theory.
e = mc^2 is a theory.

You rarely hear people proposing that the reason people do not fall off the earth is because the Flying Spaghetti Monster is holding people down with his noodly appendages ....

Evolution is one (though not the only one) of the most problematic theories for religionists because it demonstrates that a divinity may not be necessary, and, far more importantly, that humans are not "special," not in "the image and likeness of god" (Genesis/b'reishit), that we are "merely" sentient hominids and not incarnate souls whom the deities love. That can be a wrenching discovery for a theist .......
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@Truth
written by Crundy, August 24, 2009
truth6413: Answer me this. If you contracted a life-threatening staph. aureus infection (say, MRSA), would you be happy to accept a course of Penicillin to treat it? If not then why not? If evolution doesn't exist then Penicillin should be fine for MRSA.
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@StarTrekLivz
written by Kuroyume, August 24, 2009
The interesting thing about the "in the image of god" is that there are a few problems even with this idea. If we take this notion at face value, it intimates that 'god' has the same form, same functions, same biology, same anatomy, and so on. This in itself begs the question as to why such an extra-universal being would be constructed in a form as menial as that of us in this universe and be capable of possessing such powers. Is this being just in another universe with technology that can cross universal boundaries? It gets a bit too science fiction for believability.

If we take it as metaphorical, then we are made of the same spiritual stuff. This is an old idea of humans having a 'soul' or each individual having a small part of a divine spark embedded within them. This notion is unevidenced though and just cries "woo-woo" a lot.

I'll go with sentient hominids and be done with the fantastical meanderings.
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@ Bill Henry
written by John Doe, August 28, 2009
Please refrain from personal attacks. They don't add anything to the discussion no matter how satisfying the release of frustration may feel.

I just wonder sometimes. Where was God standing when he made the world, and what was he wearing?
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