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Thread: The Vatican and Darwin

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllyManderson View Post
    When someone told a lie you called them a liar TRiG. You said that they might not have known it was a lie - but it was still a lie.
    While it is correct that one can make an untrue statement for a number of reasons, without necessarily being a "liar", it is also the case that once a person is informed of an untruth, continuing to make the untrue statement is generally considered "lying".

    In short, I agree with you that TRiG was premature in calling disciple a liar, but he did later qualify that by saying that if disciple did not know it was an untruth, s/he was simply ig-norant.

    A cousin of mine from England visited me here in Glasgow, And we had introduced the smoking ban a few months earlier - My cousin lit his cigarette, A criminal offence. He committed a criminal offence - without knowing that is what he is doing. Every lawyer in Scotland, England and the United States would tell you
    "This man is not a criminal"
    That's actually not true. I can't speak for Scotland or England, but here in the US, ignorance of the law is not considered a valid excuse in a court of law.

  2. #27
    AllyManderson
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf View Post
    While it is correct that one can make an untrue statement for a number of reasons, without necessarily being a "liar", it is also the case that once a person is informed of an untruth, continuing to make the untrue statement is generally considered "lying".

    In short, I agree with you that TRiG was premature in calling disciple a liar, but he did later qualify that by saying that if disciple did not know it was an untruth, s/he was simply ig-norant.

    That's actually not true. I can't speak for Scotland or England, but here in the US, ignorance of the law is not considered a valid excuse in a court of law.
    Ah sorry then.

    Under Scots Law - Guilty Act and Guilty Mind must be proven in court. As a result, criminal charges cannot be brought to anyone under 8.
    As a result of Guilty Mind - the mentally insane cannot be given a punishment, Punishments are for "criminals" which they are not.
    Ignorance of the Law - must be proven by the defendant. But if a person genuinely doesn't know that a law exists - it is unfair to expect them to follow it.

    For example, if we may be as ridiculous as possible, an Englishman who has crossed into the Scotland and went into a Scottish Cafe thinking it is an Englishamn and smokes, He would not be prosecuted. He wouldnt even be handed the fine.

    In Scottish Courts 3 verdicts can be given 'Guilty' 'Not Guilty' and 'Not Proven'

    The 3rd verdict is normally reserved for those where the evidence is not sufficient to prove the guilty act, but the Jury/Judge is of the opinion they are guilty.

    Or, where the Guilty Mind cannot be proven.

    If your "Not Proven" then you are not guilty. As you are innocent untill proven guilty in both Scotland and England.

    Anyway, This was just another example. And it helps illustrate my point - As I felt ignorance of the law would be used in the US the same way as in England. So, I guess I was telling a LIE, but am I a liar?

    I am sure, I had read cases of insanity, self-defence and ignorance of the law being used to clear people in the US. However, this is from 2 weeks of Compartive Legal History at a University summer school. I admit you have more knowledge so will take your point on board. Am I a liar?

    Take the one about Mathematics,

    If I study a mathematics problem. Come up with a solution. Turn to my cl***mate, and say "This is the solution based on the materials I have read"

    I provide a solution which is VALID. But is not SOUND. I continue to back this up untill the day I die - despite the fact Issac Newton many hundreds of years ago, had already dealt with this problem.

    Am I ******? For not being as smart as Issac Newton?
    Am I ********? For failing on one occasion to use a surd and so losing the true value of the equation?
    Am I a liar? Because my valid solution to the problem is not sound?

  3. #28
    Senior Member disciple's Avatar
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    Greetings Ally and ASDF,
    After reading your comments I wanted to make a point. My comment was
    "Gee all these vast mountains of evidence and scientific consensus and it is still just a theory, a theory used by man in the hopes of explaining away God."
    My point is that as someone who believes that the Bible is God's word I feel my comment was not stüpid, ignörant or a lie. In Mat. 19:4 Jesus spoke about God creating man and woman so apparently for Jesus, that rules out evolution. Jesus also said in Mat. 12, "He who is not with Me is against Me". Scientific theorys are not "just another way God could have done things", what Jesus says is true or it's not and those who choose to ignore what God has said are replacing God's revelation with another explaination. Perhaps I should have prefaced my comment with this point.
    It was interesting reading both your comments. Incidently Asdf I am a "he".

  4. #29
    Trinity
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf View Post
    That's actually not true. I can't speak for Scotland or England, but here in the US, ignorance of the law is not considered a valid excuse in a court of law.
    Same thing in Canada. This is probably the same thing with every country, ruled by the Common Law.

    A lie is something that is premeditated. Something that is knowingly understood as wrong.

    Disciple knows much about the Bible (this is ok) than about the science. Facts are facts, and the reality is what is real.

    Trinity
    Last edited by Trinity; 08-21-2009 at 09:45 AM.

  5. #30
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    Incidently Asdf I am a "he".
    Nice to meet you. I'm a 'he' too - it's too bad English doesn't have better gender-neutral pronouns...

    Quote Originally Posted by disciple View Post
    Greetings Ally and ASDF,
    After reading your comments I wanted to make a point. My comment was
    "Gee all these vast mountains of evidence and scientific consensus and it is still just a theory, a theory used by man in the hopes of explaining away God."
    My point is that as someone who believes that the Bible is God's word I feel my comment was not stüpid, ignörant or a lie. In Mat. 19:4 Jesus spoke about God creating man and woman so apparently for Jesus, that rules out evolution. Jesus also said in Mat. 12, "He who is not with Me is against Me". Scientific theorys are not "just another way God could have done things", what Jesus says is true or it's not and those who choose to ignore what God has said are replacing God's revelation with another explaination. Perhaps I should have prefaced my comment with this point.
    It was interesting reading both your comments.
    I understand your perspective, disciple - I believed the same way for many years. I still (in my better days) consider myself a Christian, thus I "believe the Bible is God's word". I understand that some things must be taken by faith - but faith is belief without evidence, not belief contrary to evidence.

    Given the overwhelming evidence and cohesiveness of the Theory of Evolution across multiple scientific disciplines, I regard it as pretty safe to side with scientific consensus in accepting the fact of evolution.

    The only thing I consider ignörant (nice use of the umlaut ) about your comment was when you said "it is still just a theory" - because that shows a lack of knowledge of what a Theory is, in scientific usage. Like TRiG, I was surprised in your initial comment that you followed up saying "just a theory" with a scientific definition of Theory.

    I think probably the confusion comes with the difference between Theory as used in philosophical terms vs. scientific terms. Wikipedia has a good overview (from the Scientific theory article):
    In the sciences generally, a scientific theory (the same as an empirical theory) comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a cl*** of phenomena.


    A scientific theory can be considered a deductive theory, in that its content could be expressed in some formal system of logic in which its elementary rules are taken as axioms. In a deductive theory, any sentence which is a logical consequence of one or more of the axioms is also a sentence of that theory.


    In the humanities we find theories whose subject matter does not (only) concern empirical data, but rather ideas. Such theories are in the realm of philosophical theories as contrasted with scientific theories. A philosophical theory is not necessarily scientifically testable through experiment.


    (...)


    Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time states, "A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large cl*** of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations." He goes on to state, "Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis; you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory."
    In other words, a scientific theory cannot be proven, but it can easily be disproved with a single piece of evidence against it. Evolution has not been disproved. Neither has the theory of gravitation, the theory of relativity, etc. They are the best schema for understanding the evidence we have, and the best schema for making predictions for future tests and experimentation.


    You also may want to take a look at the Wikipedia article Evolution as theory and fact.


    With regard to the faith question - that evolution is "a theory used by man in the hopes of explaining away God", or that "Jesus spoke about God creating man and woman so apparently for Jesus, that rules out evolution" - I can only tell you how I resolve this apparent conflict. If there is a discrepancy between the Bible (as I understand it) and observable, empirical evidence - I will side with the evidence, and consider that perhaps my understanding of Biblical truth may be flawed. See my signature for what that looks like to me, as a person of faith.

  6. #31
    Senior Member disciple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf View Post
    Nice to meet you. I'm a 'he' too - it's too bad English doesn't have better gender-neutral pronouns...

    Hello again Asdf, thanks for your reply.



    I understand your perspective, disciple - I believed the same way for many years. I still (in my better days) consider myself a Christian, thus I "believe the Bible is God's word". I understand that some things must be taken by faith - but faith is belief without evidence, not belief contrary to evidence.
    Hebrews chap 11 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. We cannot summon up faith in God on our own, it is God who gives each man a measure of faith.

    Given the overwhelming evidence and cohesiveness of the Theory of Evolution across multiple scientific disciplines, I regard it as pretty safe to side with scientific consensus in accepting the fact of evolution.

    I think considering the many fullfilled prophcies and archeological and historical data you would have to say the Bible is pretty darn cohesive too.

    The only thing I consider ignörant (nice use of the umlaut ) about your comment was when you said "it is still just a theory" - because that shows a lack of knowledge of what a Theory is, in scientific usage. Like TRiG, I was surprised in your initial comment that you followed up saying "just a theory" with a scientific definition of Theory.

    Credit for the umlaut goes to Trig, I cut and paste the words. I must be ignörant as my use of the definitions was an attempt at sarcasim.

    I think probably the confusion comes with the difference between Theory as used in philosophical terms vs. scientific terms. Wikipedia has a good overview (from the Scientific theory article):
    In the sciences generally, a scientific theory (the same as an empirical theory) comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a cl*** of phenomena.


    A scientific theory can be considered a deductive theory, in that its content could be expressed in some formal system of logic in which its elementary rules are taken as axioms. In a deductive theory, any sentence which is a logical consequence of one or more of the axioms is also a sentence of that theory.


    In the humanities we find theories whose subject matter does not (only) concern empirical data, but rather ideas. Such theories are in the realm of philosophical theories as contrasted with scientific theories. A philosophical theory is not necessarily scientifically testable through experiment.


    (...)


    Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time states, "A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large cl*** of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations." He goes on to state, "Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis; you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory."
    In other words, a scientific theory cannot be proven, but it can easily be disproved with a single piece of evidence against it. Evolution has not been disproved. Neither has the theory of gravitation, the theory of relativity, etc. They are the best schema for understanding the evidence we have, and the best schema for making predictions for future tests and experimentation.


    You also may want to take a look at the Wikipedia article Evolution as theory and fact.


    With regard to the faith question - that evolution is "a theory used by man in the hopes of explaining away God", or that "Jesus spoke about God creating man and woman so apparently for Jesus, that rules out evolution" - I can only tell you how I resolve this apparent conflict. If there is a discrepancy between the Bible (as I understand it) and observable, empirical evidence - I will side with the evidence, and consider that perhaps my understanding of Biblical truth may be flawed. See my signature for what that looks like to me, as a person of faith.
    My friend, look at the complexity of the human body and mind, the irreducible systems in life such as the eye for one, the existance of a conscience, the precisness of our solar system, etc. There is no doubt that there is a divine Creator who had a specific plan in mind.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by disciple View Post
    Hebrews chap 11 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. We cannot summon up faith in God on our own, it is God who gives each man a measure of faith.
    I don't disagree with that. But I don't see how it has any bearing on what I said, that "faith is belief without evidence, not belief contrary to evidence". In other words, faith is belief in things that are not falsifiable, not belief in things that are, and have been, falsified.

    For example: I believe that God exists; I believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. These propositions cannot be falsified; thus, they are in the realm of faith. The propositions that the sun revolves around the earth, or that the earth is flat, or indeed that the earth came into existence ~6000 years ago, can be and have been falsified.

    I think considering the many fullfilled prophcies and archeological and historical data you would have to say the Bible is pretty darn cohesive too.
    Sure it is, for the most part.

    Credit for the umlaut goes to Trig, I cut and paste the words.
    Ah yes, I see that now. A very clever way of getting around a nonsensical and oversensitive censorship-bot.

    I must be ignörant as my use of the definitions was an attempt at sarcasim.
    Ah, sorry I didn't catch that you intended it sarcastically.

    My friend, look at the complexity of the human body and mind, the irreducible systems in life such as the eye for one, the existance of a conscience, the precisness of our solar system, etc. There is no doubt that there is a divine Creator who had a specific plan in mind.
    I believe in a divine Creator. I also accept scientific fact.

  8. #33
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    Hello Asdf,
    I have to admit as Trinity said I don't know much about science, but I believe all science gets around to proving what's in the Bible. I also think is is good to discuss things patiently with those who have a different opinion.
    Thanks

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by disciple View Post
    Hello Asdf,
    I have to admit as Trinity said I don't know much about science, but I believe all science gets around to proving what's in the Bible. I also think is is good to discuss things patiently with those who have a different opinion.
    Thanks
    Shalom and blessings, disciple

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by disciple View Post
    My friend, look at the complexity of the human body and mind, the irreducible systems in life such as the eye for one, the existance of a conscience, the precisness of our solar system, etc. There is no doubt that there is a divine Creator who had a specific plan in mind.
    I know there's a benevolent creative SOMETHING "out there". His/its plans (if any) are beyond my humble scope.

    It is also apparent to me that evolution is the means by which He/it accomplishes much, including diversity of species. The development of the eye is NOT "irreducibly complex" and Behe should be spanked for continuing to advance it as an example after it has been falsified.


    Here's a very simplified graphic reduction of the process.

    Even if that's not what happens, the illustration falsifies the irreducible complexity of the eye.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllyManderson View Post
    When someone told a lie you called them a liar TRiG. You said that they might not have known it was a lie - but it was still a lie.

    A cousin of mine from England visited me here in Glasgow, And we had introduced the smoking ban a few months earlier - My cousin lit his cigarette, A criminal offence. He committed a criminal offence - without knowing that is what he is doing. Every lawyer in Scotland, England and the United States would tell you
    "This man is not a criminal"
    Ignorance of the law excuses no man: Not that all men know the law, but because 'tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to refute him.
    John Selden, English antiquarian & jurist (1584 - 1654)

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRiG View Post
    Ignorance of the law excuses no man: Not that all men know the law, but because 'tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to refute him.
    John Selden, English antiquarian & jurist (1584 - 1654)
    Good one. Applies in spades to some well-known laws, like the "law" of gravity...

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoneOfTheAbove View Post
    Good one. Applies in spades to some well-known laws, like the "law" of gravity...
    Greetings,
    Here's another good one, Romans 1:18-22
    "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools"

  14. #39
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    Ooh, how fun:
    Richard Dawkins's new book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, is out on September 10, and The Times is serialising it this week. The first extract appeared today.
    (via)
    Here's a couple juicy quotes:
    Imagine that, as a teacher of European history, you are continually faced with belligerent demands to “teach the controversy”, and to give “equal time” to the “alternative theory” that the Holocaust never happened but was invented by a bunch of Zionist fabricators.

    ---

    The Greatest Show on Earth is a book about the positive evidence that evolution is a fact. It is not intended as an antireligious book. I’ve done that, it’s another T-shirt, this is not the place to wear it again. Bishops and theologians who have attended to the evidence for evolution have given up the struggle against it. Some may do so reluctantly, some, like Richard Harries, enthusiastically, but all except the woefully uninformed are forced to accept the fact of evolution.

    ---

    Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust. It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips . . . continue the list as long as desired. That didn’t have to be true. It is not self-evidently, tautologically, obviously true, and there was a time when most people, even educated people, thought it wasn’t. It didn’t have to be true, but it is. We know this because a rising flood of evidence supports it. Evolution is a fact, and [my] book will demonstrate it. No reputable scientist disputes it, and no unbiased reader will close the book doubting it.

    ---

    In neither case should the word “only” be used, as in “only a theory”. As for the claim that evolution has never been “proved”, proof is a notion that scientists have been intimidated into mistrusting.

    Influential philosophers tell us we can’t prove anything in science.

    Mathematicians can prove things — according to one strict view, they are the only people who can — but the best that scientists can do is fail to disprove things while pointing to how hard they tried. Even the undisputed theory that the Moon is smaller than the Sun cannot, to the satisfaction of a certain kind of philosopher, be proved in the way that, for example, the Pythagorean Theorem can be proved. But m***ive accretions of evidence support it so strongly that to deny it the status of “fact” seems ridiculous to all but pedants. The same is true of evolution.

    ---

    Evolution is an inescapable fact, and we should celebrate its astonishing power, simplicity and beauty. Evolution is within us, around us, between us, and its workings are embedded in the rocks of aeons past. Given that, in most cases, we don’t live long enough to watch evolution happening before our eyes, we shall revisit the metaphor of the detective coming upon the scene of a crime after the event and making inferences. The aids to inference that lead scientists to the fact of evolution are far more numerous, more convincing, more incontrovertible, than any eyewitness reports that have ever been used, in any court of law, in any century, to establish guilt in any crime. Proof beyond reasonable doubt? Reasonable doubt? That is the understatement of all time.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf View Post
    Ooh, how fun:
    Richard Dawkins's new book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, is out on September 10, and The Times is serialising it this week. The first extract appeared today.
    (via)
    Here's a couple juicy quotes:
    Imagine that, as a teacher of European history, you are continually faced with belligerent demands to “teach the controversy”, and to give “equal time” to the “alternative theory” that the Holocaust never happened but was invented by a bunch of Zionist fabricators.

    ---

    The Greatest Show on Earth is a book about the positive evidence that evolution is a fact. It is not intended as an antireligious book. I’ve done that, it’s another T-shirt, this is not the place to wear it again. Bishops and theologians who have attended to the evidence for evolution have given up the struggle against it. Some may do so reluctantly, some, like Richard Harries, enthusiastically, but all except the woefully uninformed are forced to accept the fact of evolution.

    ---

    Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust. It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips . . . continue the list as long as desired. That didn’t have to be true. It is not self-evidently, tautologically, obviously true, and there was a time when most people, even educated people, thought it wasn’t. It didn’t have to be true, but it is. We know this because a rising flood of evidence supports it. Evolution is a fact, and [my] book will demonstrate it. No reputable scientist disputes it, and no unbiased reader will close the book doubting it.

    ---

    In neither case should the word “only” be used, as in “only a theory”. As for the claim that evolution has never been “proved”, proof is a notion that scientists have been intimidated into mistrusting.

    Influential philosophers tell us we can’t prove anything in science.

    Mathematicians can prove things — according to one strict view, they are the only people who can — but the best that scientists can do is fail to disprove things while pointing to how hard they tried. Even the undisputed theory that the Moon is smaller than the Sun cannot, to the satisfaction of a certain kind of philosopher, be proved in the way that, for example, the Pythagorean Theorem can be proved. But m***ive accretions of evidence support it so strongly that to deny it the status of “fact” seems ridiculous to all but pedants. The same is true of evolution.

    ---

    Evolution is an inescapable fact, and we should celebrate its astonishing power, simplicity and beauty. Evolution is within us, around us, between us, and its workings are embedded in the rocks of aeons past. Given that, in most cases, we don’t live long enough to watch evolution happening before our eyes, we shall revisit the metaphor of the detective coming upon the scene of a crime after the event and making inferences. The aids to inference that lead scientists to the fact of evolution are far more numerous, more convincing, more incontrovertible, than any eyewitness reports that have ever been used, in any court of law, in any century, to establish guilt in any crime. Proof beyond reasonable doubt? Reasonable doubt? That is the understatement of all time.
    Excellent post, asdf. And your user name is SO easy to type!

    I find evolution to be one of the most awe-inspiring aspects of Creation. Pondering it provokes the most profound feeling of wonderment. It is a shame that there is such resistance to accepting this unbelievably powerful manifestation of God's will. Not because theories about it are so useful and beneficial to humans in their application, but because rejecting it in favor of dogma deprives individuals of that deep, appreciative wonder and kinship with every living thing.

    As I look through the eyes and hear through the ears and hooves of my horses, the fact of their millions of years of evolutionary heritage is inescapable. Where some individuals experience only "Huh?", I am blessed to experience "WOW!". Would that I could share that experience with those who are loathe - for whatever reason - to accept the blessing of knowing of the magical, mystical complexities of human - and all living things' - origins.

    PS - I do NOT see any conflict with evolution (or any other science) and the teachings of Christ or any other religion's REAL values.

  16. #41
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    Greetings Asdf & Nota,
    It sounds like you guys are saying that you believe in God but don't believe the Bible is accurate. I don't want to put words in your mouth so can you comment or clarify? Thanks.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by disciple View Post
    Greetings Asdf & Nota,
    It sounds like you guys are saying that you believe in God but don't believe the Bible is accurate. I don't want to put words in your mouth so can you comment or clarify? Thanks.
    Hi disciple. I understand your question, because as I said, I used to believe that evolutionary science was a threat to my Christian faith.

    Let me be as clear as I can be: I do believe that the Bible is accurate, for the purpose it was written. The Bible is not a math textbook, nor a straightforward genealogy, nor even a history textbook. It is certainly not a science textbook. No,
    you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    -2 Timothy 3.15-17
    The purpose of the Bible is to sweep one up in a grand drama, the narrative of the people of God: the drama of creation, fall, covenant, redemption, reconciliation, forgiveness. It is definitively not to convey bland, abstract factual (or counterfactual) information. It's a story, not a database, telephone directory, book of arcana, or times table.

    As I said in a previous post,
    If there is a discrepancy between the Bible (as I understand it) and observable, empirical evidence - I will side with the evidence, and consider that perhaps my understanding of Biblical truth may be flawed.
    I hope this helps you understand why I no longer believe acceptance of scientific fact to be dangerous or a betrayal of my faith in God and in the Scriptures.

    Shalom,
    asdf

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by disciple View Post
    Greetings Asdf & Nota,
    It sounds like you guys are saying that you believe in God but don't believe the Bible is accurate. I don't want to put words in your mouth so can you comment or clarify? Thanks.
    Greetings Disciple,

    Like asdf, I don't think the Bible addresses evolution at all. My understanding is that it is a guide for living in the best possible manner, not for explaining empirical facts. I also acknowledge that it was written for a contemporary audience, and the way that it uses empirical "facts" in its narrative reflects the then-current understanding of the universe.

    The enduring and timeless values that are at the heart of its message do not rely on whether evolution is responsible for diversity, whether the earth has corners or sits on pillars or even whether the characters of whom it speaks were even real. It's about making moral and ethical decisions in our own lives, a purpose I think it serves in a manner that deserves reverence. I don't think it was ever intended to become idolized as an object as it is in some quarters today - only its message about how to live should be so treated.

    Just my $.02

  19. #44
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    Greetings Asdf,
    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate when people are polite even when we don't agree. After all this is a discussion forum not a contest or a courtroom, so if I ask questions about what you believe I am not trying to trick you, trap you or make you look foolish. I am not clever enough to do any of the above.
    That being said, in light of your 2 Tim 3:15-17 reference why wouldn't the account of creation in Genesis be God breathed and correct? Perhaps the understanding of the evidence used to support evolution is flawed. If the creation account cannot be trusted as presented can we rely on the presentation of grace and redemption? You see what I am getting at. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by disciple View Post
    Greetings Asdf,
    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate when people are polite even when we don't agree. After all this is a discussion forum not a contest or a courtroom, so if I ask questions about what you believe I am not trying to trick you, trap you or make you look foolish. I am not clever enough to do any of the above.
    That being said, in light of your 2 Tim 3:15-17 reference why wouldn't the account of creation in Genesis be God breathed and correct? Perhaps the understanding of the evidence used to support evolution is flawed. If the creation account cannot be trusted as presented can we rely on the presentation of grace and redemption? You see what I am getting at. Thanks.
    Thank YOU Disciple! Your polite and friendly demeanor is far more important than any credential you might have when it comes to my acceptance of your message.

    I won't try to address the question you are posing for asdf, except to ask you a related question.

    Are grace and redemption just promises, or are they things we can actually experience as a result of living morally and ethically, "in Christ" as a Christian might say?

    You posted something that really rings a bell for me:

    since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made
    I really do take that to mean what it says - the rocks, the trees, the birds and the bees have always been understanding of their roles in creation. I take their expressions as the clearest expression of God's invisible attributes. And yes, it includes but is far from limited to, the expressions of humans. Humans are unique only in their ability to forego that understanding.
    Last edited by NoneOfTheAbove; 08-26-2009 at 01:47 PM.

  21. #46
    asdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by disciple View Post
    Greetings Asdf,
    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate when people are polite even when we don't agree. After all this is a discussion forum not a contest or a courtroom, so if I ask questions about what you believe I am not trying to trick you, trap you or make you look foolish. I am not clever enough to do any of the above.
    I understand, and thank you also. I try to remember to presume good will and good faith in others, until proven otherwise.

    That being said, in light of your 2 Tim 3:15-17 reference why wouldn't the account of creation in Genesis be God breathed and correct?
    I believe that the Genesis account is God-breathed, and "correct" insofar as it meaningfully conveys the purpose for which it was written. I believe the creation account(s) in Genesis should be interpreted in the light of other Ancient Near Eastern creation epics, and not have imposed upon it Western Enlightenment values or 19th-century debates between modernists and fundamentalists.

    Perhaps the understanding of the evidence used to support evolution is flawed.
    As I've said, there is consensus among virtually all scientists working across all related disciplines, with confirmation, corroboration, and evidence in abundance. As Dawkins said, "The aids to inference that lead scientists to the fact of evolution are far more numerous, more convincing, more incontrovertible, than any eyewitness reports that have ever been used, in any court of law, in any century, to establish guilt in any crime."

    There is surely more to be discovered. From time to time, new scientific research is conducted which revolutionizes our understanding of how things work. I have no doubt that we will continue to progress in our understanding of how evolution works, but that evolution works is not in question. It is the best, most reliable, most verifiable inference from the evidence at hand.

    The important thing to grasp about my statement above, regarding research which "revolutionizes our understanding of how things work", is that legitimate science and legitimate scientists welcome it! If there was a shred of evidence that all time, space, and matter came into existence less than ~10000 years ago, scientists would welcome and embrace it.

    You either have to posit one of the greatest conspiracy theories of all time - that virtually all scientists are intentionally misreading and misinterpreting the data in order to suppress the knowledge of God** - or you should accept the overwhelming evidence in support of reality as we understand it.

    ** Which conspiracy theory, by the way, doesn't even make sense of all the data, because there are many believers in the sciences who accept the fact of evolution.

    I again recommend to you the wiki article on Evolution as theory and fact - see in particular the section Evolution compared with gravity for examples of how the theories that explain scientific fact can be modified as new evidence is presented.

    If the creation account cannot be trusted as presented can we rely on the presentation of grace and redemption? You see what I am getting at. Thanks.
    I do see what you're getting at. Allow me to answer your question with a question of my own: if the reality of creation itself cannot be trusted as presented, if the creator deceptively lined up all the evidence to point to evolution by natural selection, if the universe only appears to be billions upon billions of years old, etc. - but this creator desires [his] followers to believe something contrary to all this evidence - can we rely on God [himself]?

    In my opinion, it is this kind of willful rejection of the evidence, this holding on to an outmoded and disproved model of how the universe works, that is causing so many to reject their faith as they grow up, as they encounter reality. If the creation epic(s) of Genesis 1 and 2 must be literal explanations of history for 'the presentation of grace and redemption' to have any validity, is it any wonder why people reject both when they realize they must reject the former?
    Last edited by asdf; 08-26-2009 at 07:01 PM.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf View Post
    I do see what you're getting at. Allow me to answer your question with a question of my own: if the reality of creation itself cannot be trusted as presented, if the creator deceptively lined up all the evidence to point to evolution by natural selection, if the universe only appears to be billions upon billions of years old, etc. - but this creator desires [his] followers to believe something contrary to all this evidence - can we rely on God [himself]?
    Exactly. If God (or Loki) is a trickster, why should the Bible too not be a trick? If we can't trust the world around us, who should we trust?

    TRiG.

  23. #48
    Senior Member disciple's Avatar
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    Greetings Asdf,
    You said,
    <I do see what you're getting at. Allow me to answer your question with a question of my own: if the reality of creation itself cannot be trusted as presented, if the creator deceptively lined up all the evidence to point to evolution by natural selection, if the universe only appears to be billions upon billions of years old, etc. - but this creator desires [his] followers to believe something contrary to all this evidence - can we rely on God [himself]?>

    If you and I believe God really is who He revealed Himself to be in the Bible, then your question is answered. Our God could not be deceptive in anything, that is why I believe the creation account in Genesis to be correct. God desires His followers to walk by faith not by sight for what appears to be "evidence", especially if conceived in the hearts and minds of men, can lead to deception. So is God against science? Absolutely not, since He ins***uted all the laws that men take so much joy in discovering and investigating. Does He condemn the one who says,"I have a hard time believing what is in the Bible"? No, He welcomes questions and searchers and says in the scriptures, "Come let us reason together" about sin or grace or redemption or the theory of evolution. Jesus said, "whoever comes to me I will never turn away", that includes those who believe all the Bible is true as well as those who struggle with belief. Those who refuse to believe or reason with God are in a different catagory since they are putting all their trust in themselves or other men.
    It really comes down to this, God is trustworthy or He is not, I believe He is.
    If I have to choose between what God says by faith alone or what man says even with what seems to be reasonable evidence, I will choose God. If I can trust Him with my eternal life I can trust whatever He says. Of course this does not make me better than anyone else or put me in a position to judge but it sure gives me joy and peace. Thanks.

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    Greetings Nota,
    You said,

    I won't try to address the question you are posing for asdf, except to ask you a related question.

    Are grace and redemption just promises, or are they things we can actually experience as a result of living morally and ethically, "in Christ" as a Christian might say?

    What is grace? Grace is Gods unmerited and undeserved favor, it is not a result of anything except His love and mercy towards us. Grace is not getting what we deserve and getting what we don't deserve. Ephesians 2 tells us that by grace we have been saved through faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God not of works. So living "in Christ" is the result of grace and redemption. There are people who live what we would deem moral and ethical lives but are not in Christ, which is because we only see the outside but God sees the heart.

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    Greetings,
    I just read this thought it was interesting.

    "The lowly appendix, long-regarded as a useless evolutionary artifact, won newfound respect two years ago when researchers at Duke University Medical Center proposed that it actually serves a critical function. The appendix, they said, is a safe haven where good bacteria could hang out until they were needed to repopulate the gut after a nasty case of diarrhea, for example….'Maybe it's time to correct the textbooks,' says William Parker, Ph.D., ***istant professor of surgical sciences at Duke and the senior author of the study." ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2009)

    For years we have heard the argument that the appendix was positive proof for Darwinian evolution, and that those who didn’t accept the evidence were unscientific.

    Suddenly it goes from being a useless evolutionary leftover to being something that "serves a critical function." They discovered that God made it for a reason, and all we get is "maybe it’s time to correct the textbooks." Maybe? Of course it won’t be.

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