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Author: kmhagan Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 196047  
Subject: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 12:06 AM
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I've read many posts here and am awed by their quality. Several posters are obviously well read and their answers show a deep Christian faith. That is why I'm opening a can of worms that my brother and I are currently "discussing". He recently emailed this article to me and I wondered if anyone had any thoughts to share...what do you believe regarding evolution? Can one believe in the Bible AND a Darwinian theory of evolution?

Ditching Darwin : Why Missing Links Are Still Missing
by Charles Colson

A store specializing in vintage political
paraphernalia displays a campaign button that reads,
"Ronald Reagan is the missing link." It's a joke that
scientists can appreciate, because a century and a
half after Darwin, the missing links in the
fossil record are still . . . missing.
The missing link is the big hole in Darwinism.

A now a new book by biologist Jeffrey Schwartz
recommends ditching Darwin altogether, and looking
for a new explanation of how life developed.

The standard Darwinian theory is that new species
arise by the gradual accumulation of tiny mutations.
The theory predicts that the fossil record will
reveal hundreds of thousands of transitional fossils
linking each species to the next one.

But the fossil record shows no such thing. Instead,
new species appear suddenly--virtually overnight. As
Schwartz puts it, fins turn into legs suddenly,
without a trail of intermediate forms. Similarly, he
says, "You don't see gradual evolution of feathers.
You either have feathers or you don't."

Even eyes appear out of nowhere. The Darwinian idea
"that an eye evolves slowly over countless
generations through painstaking accumulations of tiny
mutations-that's wrong," Schwartz says.

No wonder he entitles his new book Sudden Origins.
And no wonder he's now in hot water in the scientific
community. Ever since Darwin, many biologists
have clung to the hope that the gaps in the fossil
record would eventually be filled in, the missing
links discovered. But Schwartz is saying that the
gaps will never be filled in--because the missing
links never existed. He urges biologists to start
searching for a new theory to explain the sudden
origins of organic structures.

Schwartz himself thinks that he has found such a
theory based on the action of so-called "homeobox"
genes--regulatory genes that switch on and off during
the development of embryos. The theory is that even
a small mutation in a homeobox gene at early stages
of development would lead to major changes later on,
as the organism grows.

But most biologists find Schwartz's theory
implausible. "It seems a pretty wild hypothesis,"
says biologist William McGinnis. Mutations in the
homeobox genes do result in drastically different
forms within a species, McGinnis says, but most often
these animals die or are very sick.

You see, to originate a new species by mutations
would require a huge number of coordinated changes
all at once. A fish that suddenly develops lungs,
for example, had better develop legs at the same time
or it will simply drown. A giraffe that develops a
long neck must at the same time develop a specialized
heart to pump blood up its long neck.

But in Schwartz's naturalistic theory, there's no
directing force to coordinate all those changes, so
the new forms of life would go nowhere--except to a
graveyard.

Schwartz does do us a favor by pointing out the
failure of Darwinism, but his substitute theory of
evolution is no better. Living things exhibit levels
of engineering and design that scientists are only
beginning to grasp--which logically suggests that they
are the creation of a great Engineer, a Divine
Designer.

The theory that best fits the facts is one that
starts with an intelligent cause behind the wonderful
complexity of living things.

It's the answer Christians have known all along.





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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 311 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 3:24 AM
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It's definitely a can of worms, and definitely a subject to tread lightly about. :)

I've heard a lot of good ideas and thoughts on the subject and even more nonsense, and I've come to one inescapable conclusion: Both Creationism and Darwinism have got to go.

Creationism as taught by insitutes such as the Insitute for Creationism Research is not the story of Creation put forth by the Bible, nor is Darwinism the story of evolution put forth by Science.

It's not possible to believe in both Creationism and Darwinism, but it is easy to believe in both the story of creation in the Bible and the science of evolution put forth by biologists.

Now that I've completely failed to tread lightly, I'll hush. One of these days I'll write a fuller explanation involving good Biblical research and logical arguments (and responses to arguments and responses to responses to arguments from the ICR's literature) but it's too late at night and I need to get to bed soon. :)

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Author: Raggmopp Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 312 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 7:14 AM
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It's not possible to believe in both Creationism and Darwinism, but it is easy to believe in both the story of creation in the Bible and the science of evolution put forth by biologists.

Huh? Seems to me that Creationism is the act and Darwinism is the method. Plus who are we to tell God what makes sense and what doesn't. We're like the ant in the Oriental Carpet.

Raggmopp



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Author: DarkwingDuk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 313 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 11:02 AM
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Amen to the last two posts!

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Author: mathetes Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 314 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 12:55 PM
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kmhagan asked: Can one believe in the Bible AND a Darwinian theory of evolution?

I've not read the Schwartz book that Colson refers to in his column, but I'll go get it. One I have read, and would highly recommend, is Darwin's Black Box, one of Christianity Today's books of the year a year or two back. Authored by Michael Behe, who is (as I recall) a micro-biologist or something similar by profession, the argument is closely congruent with what Schwartz seems to be saying.

A central concept is that of irreducible complexity, the notion that some components of living organisms can't evolve. My layman's recollection (it's been several years since I read it and one of my sons has the book now so I can't refer to it) runs along the lines described by Schwartz.

To illustrate irreducible complexity, Behe refers to an analogy, that of a mousetrap. A very simple device. But until it's put together, all of its parts have no usefulness at all. Were a mousetrap to be a living organism, it could not have evolved, since there'd be no reason for all those essential pieces in their formative stages; they're only essential because of how they fit in the complete design.

One vivid biological example, one of the many he provides, has to do with eyes and vision. One can't start with, say, an area of the body with, say, photo-sensitivity, that gradually acquires additional functionality over the generations until one day, wow!!, you have a creature with 20/20 vision. It either works as full vision, or there's no functional (therefore evolutionary) advantage, given the underlying assumption of survival of the species being the driving force behind evolution. A big part of irreducible complexity has to do with the interlocking, interdependent functioning of a lot of otherwise useless "parts."

An interesting, and I think valuable aspect of the book, is that Behe is not a radical creationist at all. He doesn't appear to have a strong religious axe to grind. His arguments are from the point of view of a scientist really seeking the truth, which is really what all of us should be interested in. God, after all, is the God of truth.

mathetes


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Author: kmhagan Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 315 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 2:08 PM
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Rimbo: Creationism as taught by insitutes such as the Insitute for Creationism Research is not the story of Creation put forth by the Bible, nor is Darwinism the story of evolution put forth by Science.

It's not possible to believe in both Creationism and Darwinism, but it is easy to believe in both the story of creation in the Bible and the science of evolution put forth by biologists.


Here's where my ignorance shows (grimace), how does Creationism differ from the creation story in Genesis? (would that take up a really l o n g post?)

One point of view is that one should take what is written in Genesis as literal...that the earth was created in 7 days in the way described. That one can't believe only in parts of the Bible, one must believe in all...literally.

Another point of view may be that this was an ancient jewish writer trying to understand his world and its origin. That God initiated and directed whatever method created us and made us become the way we are, but to give an ancient jewish writer the credibility of a current scientist is crazy.

I wish I had more references to back up one arguement or the other. My intellect agrees with the latter, but a part of me wonders about whether that shows a lack of faith in God's word....

k

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 316 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 2:43 PM
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A central concept is that of irreducible complexity, the notion that some components of living organisms can't evolve.

Rather, that some components couldn't have evolved

Behe doesn't make any guess as to what they may do from this point on.

Cheers,

Joe

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Author: mathetes Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 317 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 3:05 PM
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Rather, that some components couldn't have evolved

Behe doesn't make any guess as to what they may do from this point on.


DoctorJoe correctly corrected my overstatement of Behe's point, making it more in agreement with what I meant, for which I am thankful.

To elaborate just a tad... yes, change -- evolution even-- can take place from certain points. Getting to those points, to those levels of complexity, there's the rub.

In fact, it's undeniable that some adaptation of organisms does take place. The problem has been with extrapolating backwards from those relatively minor adaptations, call them evolutionary changes if you will, to the radical evolutionist theories that all life as we know it is the result of eons of slow, gradual change from single cell organisms to what we have.

mathetes

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 318 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 3:35 PM
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One point of view is that one should take what is written in Genesis as literal...that the earth was created in 7 days in the way described. That one can't believe only in parts of the Bible, one must believe in all...literally.

Another point of view may be that this was an ancient jewish writer trying to understand his world and its origin. That God initiated and directed whatever method created us and made us become the way we are, but to give an ancient jewish writer the credibility of a current scientist is crazy.


Here's my take (informed in part by Philip Johnson's work):

Creationism is reading Genesis as a scientific document. We need to read it as it would have been read in the original culture. Assuredly there is a great amount of historical accuracy, steadfastly forcing archaeologists to renounce their "scientific theory of the gaps", as evidence they turn up confirms biblical writings concerning events, people, etc. It's no wonder that Israelites were the first people to write history so accurately and understand it in our traditionalist sense. Their and our God, after all, is the God of History. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The question is, what about a cultural sense of science? I don't know how much evidence there is that they wrote with the intent to be scientifically accurate. Thus, when we read the Bible through a modern scientific filter built over the last 300 years, we may misinterpret some of what was said as being a scientific truth, when actually it was a truth in a different sense to their culture. Certainly some of the stuff is very accurate from an engineering standpoint: temple dimensions, Noah's ark dimensions, etc.

My take on Genesis is that Moses collated this work from previous oral traditions plus God's direct inspiration. God had Moses consolidate it (I don't know if it was written yet or still in oral tradition format) at the time the people were leaving Egypt because they had lived in Egypt for hundreds of years and had picked up on Egypt's pantheistic views: there are gods in rocks, trees, the river, birds, etc.--let's make a golden calf and worship nature...

Thus the main point of the beginning of Genesis is that God alone is the creator and all else is the created. That is a concept that Christians cannot waver on, or the rest of Christianity becomes meaningless.

Evolution is a vaguely defined concept. Evolutionists can mean the variation caused in a species by natural selection when they say evolution. Or they can mean the overall development of life from its origin through myriad forms to our currently existing species. The former can be termed micro-evolution, and there is neither contention nor theological significance in the fact that micro-evolution occurs. Macroevolution is the heart of the controversy. Often in discussions where these terms aren't carefully defined, the two concepts can be purposely confused. I am referring to macro evolution when I say evolution below:

Now evolution is a theory that begins with the premise that there is no God--that nature is all that exists. Once that premise of naturalism is accepted, there is only one conclusion for how we got here--we must have evolved.

Evolutionists then undergo a search for the most likely mechanism by which evolution must have occurred. To date, no mechanism without huge flaws and contradictions to available data has been found, but science based on naturalism goes with the best that there is, even though it is inadequate. There is no consideration of whether the premise is correct.

To the extent that evolutionists are starting from the premise of no God and attributing evolution to chance and purposelessness without a mechanism that fits the data without huge contradictions, to that extent we are compromising our Christian faith by agreeing with them that evolution must have occurred by the mechanism that they are proposing today.

God isn't limited. He could have created us any way he desired. The possibility that that he created in just the way that evolution is just now proposed, somehow seems a little too convenient.

So I guess I agree that the answer lies not with the Darwinists (initial premise misleads) and possibly not with the Creationists (too much weight on Bible being a "scientific" document, with no important theological implications deriving from that stand??).

What is important is that God is the Creator; the Bible is totally clear, and the Darwinists are dead wrong on that! :-)

Cheers,

Joe




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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 319 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 4:19 PM
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Here's an interesting paper on three possible views of creation, fiat, progressive or theistic evolution.

Theistic evolution is labeled "uniformatism", which I suppose captures that "too convenient" flavor I mentioned last post.

http://asa.calvin.edu/ASA/index.html

Here's a great source on the role of naturalism in this debate and elsewhere in society:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0830819290/qid=934056971/sr=1-1/002-5797225-3192827

Here's Johnson's look at the current evidence for evolution:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0830813241/ref=sim_books/002-5797225-3192827

Here's Behe's book:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684834936/o/qid=934057268/sr=2-1/002-5797225-3192827

Check out the reviews!

Cheers,

Joe

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 320 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 4:22 PM
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For the first link, check out the featured paper, Is "progressive creation" still a useful concept?

Link at top right.

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 322 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 7:32 PM
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Here's where my ignorance shows (grimace), how does Creationism differ from the creation story in Genesis? (would that take up a really l o n g post?)

One point of view is that one should take what is written in Genesis as literal...that the earth was created in 7 days in the way described. That one can't believe only in parts of the Bible, one must believe in all...literally.


The main difference is in the insistence of Creationists that by "day" Genesis 1 refers to a 24-hour earth day. If you take the Bible literally, there is no way that the days could be the same days that we experience on this planet. There are two reasons why. The first is Psalm 90 (I'm working from a weak memory here, I forget the verse)and a few other passages that suggest that God's days are not our own. The second is Common Sense -- if God created the Sun on the fourth day, the first three days at the very least could not have been here.

I don't interpret the story literally, anyhow; but even if you do, it just doesn't work.

The trouble is that a lot of what is part of the Christian religion is not in any way part of the Bible or the teachings of Christ. At one time, no one thought of the story of Creation as told in Genesis 1 as a scientific fact that needed to be proven or disproven and that must be interpreted a certain specific way alone. But in the Renaissance, with the advent of science and learning, the church attempted to mold scientific knowledge with religious doctrine.

The problem with this molding is that religious truths genuinely hold true throughout the ages, whereas scientific truths are replaced once more knowledge is gained. Through indoctrination, Creationism has lasted well beyond the scientific facts that it was originally grounded in, facts which were discarded by the scientific community long ago.

The same is true for Darwinism; modern-day Evolution has itself evolved from The Origin of Species to something that is somewhat different from Darwinism. And unlike religious beliefs, there is no need for a scientist to hold onto his beliefs in evolution; if the facts suggest a different method, scientists will abandon evolution. Scientists do have a tendency to defend the beliefs that their grant monies and reputations are built on personally, but in the end, scientists are a very fickle crowd, and follow the best explanations that fit the facts. How many different explanations for the death of the dinosaurs have you heard since you were a child? As new evidence is unearthed, new theories make better sense and the old ones don't seem right at all.

So what has happened is that Christianity has become saddled with a theology that was based on mixing misinformed science with scripture. We're all quite aware that most passages of the Bible can be interpreted multiple ways -- what affects are interpretation is what extra knowledge we bring in. And the extra knowledge brought in that defines Creationism is simply false. The scientific community was quick to reject it, but because of the nature of our religious institutions (which is a blessing in many circumstances) Creationism has unfortunately stuck around.

--Rimbo

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 323 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 7:35 PM
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Now evolution is a theory that begins with the premise that there is no God--that nature is all that exists. Once that premise of naturalism is accepted, there is only one conclusion for how we got here--we must have evolved.

I don't believe that. Who's to say that once God is added to the picture it would have happened any differently?

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Author: Raggmopp Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 324 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 7:58 PM
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Who's to say that once God is added to the picture it would have happened any differently?

Amen.

When God created the universe the rules by which it operates were also created. The fact that we do not yet understand all of the rules hardly leads one to the conclusion that the Crator does not exist. To proffer otherwise is silliness and those so inclined if not silly then misled.

Raggmopp

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 325 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 8:55 PM
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Me:Now evolution is a theory that begins with the premise that there is no God--that nature is all that exists. Once that premise of naturalism is accepted, there is only one conclusion for how we got here--we must have evolved.

Rimbo:I don't believe that. Who's to say that once God is added to the picture it would have happened any differently?

As a Christian, I believe that God is already there and was and will be--He doesn't have to be "added in".

"Adding God in" as an afterthought to match the currently proffered scientific mechanism I find too convenient. At the end of this tact, God becomes an unnecessary piece of baggage tacked onto the end of a scientific theory.

Here is Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin explaining science's prior commitment to the belief in only a physical world:

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

In other words, for scientific materialists, who make up the preponderance of the scientific establishment, of which Lewontin is a senior figure, materialism (i.e., no God) comes first, followed by scientific theory. With that initial premise, evolution by a continuous process MUST follow. Lewontin scoffs at allowing a foothold for God in the theory. Other scientists might consider soft-shoeing this issue as a means of throwing a bone to those voters who they see as unfortunately needing to rely on religion as a crutch.

To Darwinists, evolution means naturalistic evolution, period. Here is a 1995 National Assoc. of Biology Teachers "Statement on Teaching Evolution":

...The diversity of life on earch is the outcome of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contigencies and changing environments.

This is what teachers mean by evolution when they say "evolution is a fact". As God is a person, supernatural, and purposeful, there is no room for God in this definition.

Christians may wish to say that, sure, God created everything just how the scientists are telling us at this particular moment. But what the scientists are saying is that God really isn't necessary, because life is an accident of chance.

Joe



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 326 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 10:01 PM
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Me:Now evolution is a theory that begins with the premise that there is no God--that nature is all that exists. Once that premise of naturalism is accepted, there is only one conclusion for how we got here--we must have evolved.

Rimbo:I don't believe that. Who's to say that once God is added to the picture it would have happened any differently?

As a Christian, I believe that God is already there and was and will be--He doesn't have to be "added in".


There is no difference. The truths arrived at by the scientific method are neither helped nor hindered by the existence or non-existence of God.

"Adding God in" as an afterthought to match the currently proffered scientific mechanism I find too convenient. At the end of this tact, God becomes an unnecessary piece of baggage tacked onto the end of a scientific theory.

Really? That's absurd. Are you suggesting that scientific theory is capable of answering all questions, including questions of meaning?

Science only seeks to explain the mechanisms behind things, not the meanings. For some, this implies that there is no meaning, because they do not believe in any God. This is why after Gödel published his proof of the Incompleteness Theorem mathemeticians and scientists were jumping out of tall buildings.

Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem states, loosely paraphrased, that in all closed systems there must be some statements that are true, but are not provable. When you consider this in the light of your comment of "convenience," and in the light of the comments below, is God really a convenience? Because God's existence is not something we can prove. God's nonexistence cannot be proven, either. God's existence is one of those assumptions that we base the way we live our lives and fill in the gaps. And I think you'll find that even all but the most closed-minded atheists work with the assumption of a divine power.

Here is Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin explaining science's prior commitment to the belief in only a physical world:

Why should I believe him? After eight years in academia, if I have learned nothing else, it is that all theories discerned by science are subject to change when new research discovers new facts. I have also learned that just because someone is from a renowned university and has the letters "PhD" beside his or her name doesn't mean that he or she is any less capable of blowing smoke up my ass than anyone else.

What I really mean is, what expertise does a genetics research at Harvard have that would make him an expert on science in general? For every man like him I am certain to find a rival of his who is equally esteemed from an equally competent university who would say that everything he says is totally wrong. If there were a consensus on the subject within academia, that would be something else; but with great minds competing for space in journals, time in conferences and especially grant money these people are always drawn to more extreme viewpoints simply because such tactics are good marketing and get their names known.

I find no reason to accept his point of view as representative of the scientific community.

To Darwinists, evolution means naturalistic evolution, period. Here is a 1995 National Assoc. of Biology Teachers "Statement on Teaching Evolution":

...The diversity of life on earch is the outcome of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contigencies and changing environments.


1995 is SO four years ago. I'm sure the same statement drafted today would read differently. :)

But seriously--referring to Evolutionists as Darwinists is like referring to Psychologists as Freudians. About the only thing modern-day psychology owes to Freud is its founding; almost everything he said has since been proven false. Darwin has not been so unlucky, but modern-day evolutionary theory is very misunderstood by the general public.

Yes, I see how God doesn't fit into that definition. But I ask you two questions: First, again, what reason do I have to believe that a group of high-school administrators and teachers' beliefs in 1995 is representative of evolutionary theory? Give me a break--most high school teachers in my experience can't teach anything without a lesson plan and a textbook, and administrators are even worse. There are notable exceptions, but they may not have the political savvy to get their opinions heard. On top of that ask yourself this: Has Christianity given them any other choice in the matter?

This is the real question of this debate.

I would say that the reason that modern-day evolutionary teaching insists on rejecting God is because Christians in the United States have, by in their ignorance embracing a misguided interpretation of the story of Creation (which I will hereafter refer to as the Heresy of Creationism) have given scientists no alternative.

There has never been any room in the "debate" for a position in the middle, even though both points of view are flawed. It's highly probable that evolutionary theory is bunk -- but the scientists cannot admit that while the alternative is obviously also bunk!

It makes no sense to point out the flaws in evolutionary theory without first, as Christians, removing the Heresy of Creationism from our beliefs and our teachings. And that, because of the very nature of religion, is much, much easier said than done.

--Rimbo

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Author: Raggmopp Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 327 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 10:15 PM
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It's highly probable that evolutionary theory is bunk

Oh? How so?


but the scientists cannot admit that while the alternative is obviously also bunk!

Ergo, what is the truth?

Raggmopp



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 328 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 11:07 PM
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The can of worms is now officially open, scrambling for dirt, and digging in.

Oh? How so?

Holes that have been mentioned in this thread, among other things. Some parts of Evolution just don't make sense.

Ergo, what is the truth?

That is the one question no one has been allowed to ask by either side.

Anyone who questions either side is labelled as a sell-out, accused of the crime of coming up with a "convenient" theory, or simply the crime of trying to mediate between two sides that have long since given up on peaceful reconciliation.

What I believe is true is as cockamamie as any other theory. On top of that, I am neither a biologist nor a theologian. Frankly, I don't think it matters whether everything evolved or was created -- because I would worship God just the same.

The entire argument is much like the purpose of this website. The Wise say this, the Wise say that...this Wise man says that "Darwinism" cannot possibly be because of A-B-C...this Wise man says that "Creationism" has no basis because he's proven X-Y-Z...when in the end both of these impostors seek to gain from the record sales produced from making exorbitant claims about a controversial issue, while the Truth is given lip service and twisted to the ends of abusers. The debate has raged on and if you look at what the Bible says and if you look at scientific evidence and you apply Reason both sides look foolish (note the small "f"). But then it would be Foolish to consider evidence and use logic and possibly come to one's own conclusion, rather than just accept the way our two competing Mutual Funds are run. :)

That's what I think the Truth is.

--Rimbo

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 329 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/7/1999 11:18 PM
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Rimbo:The truths arrived at by the scientific method are neither helped nor hindered by the existence or non-existence of God.

Characterizing the thus-far proposed scientific mechanisms for evolution as "truth" is a stretch. Scientists are currently debating many conflicting mechanisms under the philosophic umbrella of evolution. Which one are you going to choose as the "truth"? Again, the theory of evolution falls out from the philosophical premise of materialism, not out of scientific method. Scientific method is only being used to attempt to find the best mechanism to provide the foregone conclusion of evolution.

Are you suggesting that scientific theory is capable of answering all questions, including questions of meaning?

No. I am suggesting that the blind acceptance of the foregone conclusions of materialist philosophy cloaked in scientific method sets scientific theory as an authority that in effect relegates theology to a mere subbranch of psychology. I don't believe science is capable of answering all questions. Perhaps I think it even less capable than you do. I am aware of the premises upon which it is built, which limit its authority in areas concerning God and humanity. Evolution is such an area.

Science only seeks to explain the mechanisms behind things, not the meanings. For some, this implies that there is no meaning, because they do not believe in any God.

True. Those "some" are the majority of leading proponents of Darwinism. As they do not believe in God, evolution is a necessary plank in their worldview. Thus in their fervent defense of Darwinism they are acting as high priests defending their version of the creation story.

Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem states, loosely paraphrased, that in all closed systems there must be some statements that are true, but are not provable. When you consider this in the light of your comment of "convenience," and in the light of the comments below, is God really a convenience? Because God's existence is not something we can prove.

Just to be clear, I do not believe that God is a convenience. I am saying that for Christians to claim that God must have created by whatever arbitrary mechanism scientists are promoting for evolution at that moment seems a convenient route for the Christians to take so as not to make waves. Since none of the mechanisms or ideas promoted thus far are convincing, I think it's a mistake for Christians to make that claim. Maybe you'll convince me I'm wrong. :-)

God's existence is one of those assumptions that we base the way we live our lives and fill in the gaps. And I think you'll find that even all but the most closed-minded atheists work with the assumption of a divine power.

This is the "god of the gaps" idea that atheists ridicule Christians with--God is a bookmarker that is removed once science fills in the real knowledge, in their view. I'm not sure what you mean by atheists working with an assumption of a divine power--please explain.

What I really mean is, what expertise does a genetics research at Harvard have that would make him an expert on science in general?...I find no reason to accept his point of view as representative of the scientific community.

Please provide evidence that there are prominent scientists who are currently basing scientific method on something other than a philosophy of naturalism--that physical reality is all that is. What scientist is basing their scientific method of the premise that God exists? I've never seen or heard of one. Please explain to me what you consider to be the basis of scientific method. Who do you consider to be the leading proponents of evolution in the scientific community?

1995 is SO four years ago. I'm sure the same statement drafted today would read differently. :)

You're right, it does, for political reasons.

But seriously--referring to Evolutionists as Darwinists is like referring to Psychologists as Freudians.

True--they support one mechanism. Others support other mechanisms. There is no unity among scientists about how evolution occurs. Gould has theories, Dawkins has theories--they fight with each other quietly. They know that evolution must happen to meet their philosophical premises. Since Christians don't buy into their premises of only nature, why buy into a theory that at present is basically supported by those premises alone?

But I ask you two questions: First, again, what reason do I have to believe that a group of high-school administrators and teachers' beliefs in 1995 is representative of evolutionary theory?

Please provide evidence/reasons of why you believe otherwise! Then at least I'll be able to figure out how high I have to jump to have you consider this possibility. :)

On top of that ask yourself this: Has Christianity given them any other choice in the matter? This is the real question of this debate.

I agree it is an important factor and definitely something that motivates the scientists to state their case much more forcibly than they can justify with their data. Utterly false facts in school textbooks that were disproved in the 1960's or earlier are basically indoctrination on the part of educators. I find it interesting that you see Christians as being to blame. It seems to me that those in science with anti-God worldviews have been the ones forcing the issue on the schools over the last few decades. True, Christianity doesn't always respond in the best manner and seems to have trouble figuring out the reasoning power of science versus its philosophical premises, and what

There has never been any room in the "debate" for a position in the middle, even though both points of view are flawed. It's highly probable that evolutionary theory is bunk -- but the scientists cannot admit that while the alternative is obviously also bunk!

It makes no sense to point out the flaws in evolutionary theory without first, as Christians, removing the Heresy of Creationism from our beliefs and our teachings. And that, because of the very nature of religion, is much, much easier said than done.


Hey, I calls it as I sees it. :-)

I don't know much about creationism theory, but I think the 24hr day is a needlessly stringent interpretation with no theological value, as I mentioned earlier. Science, however, desires to be some kind of objective authority on everything, and it ain't. It's simply a methodical means of observing, reasoning and doublechecking. Do you think that science is in some kind of peril that you want Christians to "drop their weapons" first in this duel? Seems to me that science is much more a respected authority in our culture at the moment. As such, I think it is much more valuable to point out its flaws to prevent overmuch scientific arrogance.

I believe there is middle ground. The middle ground is admitting ignorance--I don't know the details of how it all came about. But I know that God created us all with a purpose. I know my relationship to him and the other created things in this world. And that's what is ultimately important in this issue.

Joe


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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 330 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 12:21 AM
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Dr. Joe, I think if you re-read what I said you'll realize that you've agreed with half of what I've said--the half that criticizes scientists--while still maintaining the "us vs. them" mindset which is really what I decry. So half of what I've said you've repeated and the other half you've completely missed the point. For example...

Please provide evidence that there are prominent scientists who are currently basing scientific method on something other than a philosophy of naturalism--that physical reality is all that is.

This isn't about finding a guy "on our side." That's as wrong as quoting someone who is "against" us.

If you re-read what I wrote you'll find answers to a lot of your questions.

My point is this: there are two sides to the Creation vs. Evolution argument. BOTH sides are wrong. Christians provoked the argument in this country by arresting teachers who were doing their jobs. (cf. Scopes Monkey Trial.) We as Christians alone can end the argument by admitting the mistake of allowing the Heresy of Creationism to invade our beliefs and turning the other cheek. The sooner we admit our own flaws the sooner scientists will allow themselves to consider other possibilities.

We, as Christians, are the ones who have made Naturalism for all of its flaws the great success it has today by embracing the Heresy of Creationism. I say we ditch the baggage and move forward.

Also, I was not speaking of a "God of the gaps" although I mistakenly used the term "filling in the holes." I wasn't referring to holes in explanations of scientific facts but holes in meaning and purpose. And of course there is at least one fact of science that can't be proven that must be true...

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Author: DarkwingDuk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 332 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 9:10 AM
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My only thought on this debate is...may Jesus Christ be praised. How is He glorified, how are people edified through a continuation of this argument?

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Author: Raggmopp Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 333 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 10:03 AM
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How is He glorified, how are people edified through a continuation of this argument?

Beats me. There is a really interesting article in this morning's Washington Post http://washingtonpost.com/ on just this subject. There are obviously an awful lot of folks spending a lot of time on this subject. Fascinating, as Spock would say.

Raggmopp


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Author: DarkwingDuk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 334 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 10:18 AM
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raggmopp:

Gee...I'm a scientist...I'm a Evangelical Christian...I find no problem with whatever way God chose to create the Universe...and I'm even a Commie Pinko Psychologist! :-)

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Author: calvinator One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 339 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 3:35 PM
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Sigh...

I'm always distressed by these sorts of discussions... not that I would ever presume to prohibit them, because it's by hashing these things out that we grow, but because they usually degrade into people digging in on one side or the other. Quotes from books and articles start flying back and forth, positions and explanations are parsed to minute degrees of shading, and, before you know it, we're convening a new Council of Trent. It's almost as if a majority of people can only feel secure in their beliefs if they can succeed in removing any plausibility from the countervailing argument.

My undergraduate education was in earth science, principally cartography and physical geology, and I came to my Christian faith when I was already well on my way in my career... but I can't suspend all acceptance of the good, serious science I studied and applied.

I'm firmly stuck in that middle ground. The Bible says WHO did it, and evolution is our current (albeit imperfect) THEORY for how how it was done. And I don't see any contradiction in holding that position, primarily for two reasons:

1. None of us was around to continuously collect examples of the living flora and fauna as they were changing. So we have this incomplete series of snippets with which to view their development, and a variety of means of dating them into a gross chronological continuum (which are consistent and rely on the rules of the Universe that God created). I liken it to someone giving you 50 still images from "Gone With The Wind", no copy of the book, and you have to come up with a detailed analysis of the story and plot.

2. So far as I know, God has yet to delegate to any of us the task of telling Him exactly how to do his job!

Now, all that may seem blandly simplistic, and I will probably be pummelled by both sides for appearing to avoid the issue by adopting the "grinning idiot" stance. But, I would submit that more damage is done to the cause of Christ by showing ourselves to the unbelieving world as a group that can't believe the big truths unless we get everybody to buy into our particular model for how all the details fit together.

Well, that's my two cents, which is probably all it's worth, but, at least, it's MY two cents.

Cheers,

Calvinator...

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Author: DarkwingDuk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 340 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 5:17 PM
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calvinandhobbesator:

AMEN!...and Amen! :-)

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Author: scooterd One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 341 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 7:30 PM
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Dear Calvinator,
I would not presume to pummel you for your stance, even though I disagree with it....more on that anon.
First, allow me to compliment you on your wonderfully engaging writing style and amusing turn-of-phrase. And you are correct in your logic as well.
Now, my only point of disagreement is merely a matter of semantics. If God created something, such as a lower life form, and it progresed to all the separate phyla we see today, it would still lie outside the textbook definition of "evolution," which presupposes no supernatural involvement at all, thus meaning that all is blind chance and nothing more. If however, God did create the first blob of goo and allowed it to develop however it would, that is still "creation."
On a personal note, while studying both sides of this issue, it's plain to see that "adaptation" within a species is scientific fact. Evolution between species is still, 150 years post-Darwin, hard to sell.
Now, believing that God created us in His image, I have a sneaking suspicion that He may throw a few red herrings out there that buttress both evolution on the one hand, and creation on the other. Call it God's ironic sense of humor, if you will. What it does is force each of us to choose our faith, be it naturalism or hand of God. Either way, it makes for fun debate!!

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Author: DarkwingDuk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 343 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 7:48 PM
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scooter:

The dichotomy that you posit...naturalism vs faith...is neither necessary nor scientific...neither is it theologically sound. It suggests that you know you are right, and that all those who posit otherwise are wrong.

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Author: DarkwingDuk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 344 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 7:50 PM
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...but anyway, thank you for your brilliant and mindful insight into the REAL mind of God!

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Author: foolishtomtom One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 348 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 10:47 PM
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Interesting thread... but consider this: what is harder to believe, that a man came back to life after being dead for three days, or that the earth was created in 6 days? According to all we know about both subjects, each are equally impossible, yet we Christians know the saving power of a risen Christ, why can't we believe what God says about creation?

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Author: Raggmopp Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 349 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 10:54 PM
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why can't we believe what God says about creation?

Cause God didn't say it. Man said it OF God. The Australian Aborigines have cration myths too.

Raggmopp

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Author: DarkwingDuk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 350 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/8/1999 11:13 PM
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raggmopp:

...now don't you go starting. :-) Before you know it we'll have a full-blown discussion of the universality of Mesopotamian flood myths. I can see it all now...Tiamat vs Marduk!

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Author: Raggmopp Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 353 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 8:43 AM
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Mesopotamian flood myths.

That weren't no myth, that was the Mediterranean Sea being created (according to one theory, your mileage may vary).

Raggmopp

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Author: kmhagan Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 354 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 10:51 AM
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First, I want to thank you all for your insightful posts. I'm sorry if this lead to vain disputations...but I was really struggling with the issue. The one comment that helped the most was from DoctorJoe:

I believe there is middle ground. The middle ground is admitting ignorance--I don't know the details of how it all came about. But I know that God created us all with a purpose. I know my relationship to him and the other created things in this world. And that's what is ultimately important in this issue.

My brother and I will just have to agree to disagree. The important thing is that we've both been saved, believe in one God and his son Jesus. Someday, I'll have a list of questions for God when I join him...but then all that probably won't matter anymore!

God Bless,
k

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Author: kmhagan Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 355 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 11:01 AM
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(Oops. Let me try that again! Forgive me I meant no disrespect.)

First, I want to thank you all for your insightful posts. I'm sorry if this lead to vain disputations...but I was really struggling with the issue. The one comment that helped the most was from DoctorJoe:

I believe there is middle ground. The middle ground is admitting ignorance--I don't know the details of how it all came about. But I know that God created us all with a purpose. I know my relationship to him and the other created things in this world. And that's what is ultimately important in this issue.

My brother and I will just have to agree to disagree. The important thing is that we've both been saved, believe in one God and His son Jesus. Someday, I'll have a list of questions for God when I join Him...but then all that probably won't matter anymore!

God Bless,
k

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Author: BrianSChilton One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 356 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 12:44 PM
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I believe that Jesus Christ and God are ultimately glorified whenever His name is mentioned, for whatever purpose, in whatever context. Even those who intend to use Jesus' or God's name as a curse (for example, those who mocked Him on the cross), will ultimately be forced to recognize that His name can only be used to praise and glorify God, even if it takes until the end times to show that. I believe that God's name, and Jesus' name, are holy and incorruptible by man, and that however those names are uttered here for whatever purposes, evil or otherwise, it will be used by God to His glory. Thus, anytime the thoughts of men and women are turned to God by the discussions on these boards, God will be glorified. I find my own muddled understandings of creation verses evolution non-edifying to Him, but I know that He is always glorified anytime my thoughts (however muddled) turn to Him.

God's glory is more powerful and lasting than any ability of anyone to detract from that glory by any posting or discussion on these boards, and ultimately, all discussions here will work to His honor and glory. To believe otherwise would be to believe that God's power and glory can exist only so long as properly maintained by those of us using these boards to discuss Him. I have learned to sit back and watch what unexpected and seemingly worthless tools God uses to His glory (including me), and never cease to be amazed at His dominion over all. So I say, bring on the discussions . . . . God will ultimately use it all to His glory, praise and honor, even if how is not immediately apparent to me.

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 357 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 1:08 PM
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Dr. Joe, I think if you re-read what I said you'll realize that you've agreed with half of what I've said--the half that criticizes scientists--while still maintaining the "us vs. them" mindset which is really what I decry. So half of what I've said you've repeated and the other half you've completely missed the point. For example... This isn't about finding a guy "on our side."

I have noticed that we agree on many points in this issue. :-) In the example you give, however, I'm not trying to find a guy on our side, as you suggest. I was trying to understand how you believe the scientific method operates. My understanding is that it is based on the philosophy of naturalism or materialism, which you seem to disagree with, starting with your first reply to my posts. Do you? Why? (I've reread what you wrote and find you disagreeing, but not a substantial explanation why.)

My point is this: there are two sides to the Creation vs. Evolution argument. BOTH sides are wrong. Christians provoked the argument in this country by arresting teachers who were doing their jobs. (cf. Scopes Monkey Trial.)

This is where I get confused about your stand. Above you say that you decry an us against them mentality. Here you say that there are two sides: i.e., no middle ground. It seems to me that you are painting all opposition to evolution as being the creationism that you decry. That isn't true at all. There are many Christians who disagree with evolution based on a mechanism of chance (i.e., purposeless) who do not restrict the possibility of creation to 24 hour days. Painting all the opposition as the extreme viewpoint leads to the very "US vs THEM" attitude that you decry!

We as Christians alone can end the argument by admitting the mistake of allowing the Heresy of Creationism to invade our beliefs and turning the other cheek. The sooner we admit our own flaws the sooner scientists will allow themselves to consider other possibilities.

Again, not all Christians opposing evolution buy into Creationism. For instance, myself. I don't hold 24-hr days as necessarily true or of significance theologically. Yet I oppose evolutionary theory represented as irrefutible fact for reasons I've stated elsewhere. (For instance, no credible mechanism has been postulated for the Cambrian explosion.) You are asking me as a Christian to turn the other cheek and repent for believing something that I don't believe.

You have mentioned that you believe Creationism to be a heresy. This brings to mind pictures of the Church condemning Galileo as a heretic for attempting to describe the universe and how it works. I believe that theology is concerned with the Why of the universe (but perhaps with both the Why and How of relationships). I believe that the Church put so much weight on understanding the How with infallibility as to cause their extreme measures. Now today you are calling for the church to label yet another group of people--creationists--as heretics for attempting to describe the How of the universe. Why? Because you think they are using an inappropriate scientific method or premise that biases their results. On one hand you want the church not to concern itself with the How, and on the other hand, you wish it to label some "heretics" based on their approach to the How. Perhaps you even wish someone to label them heretics whom they haven't even yielded authority to. (Their own church may subscribe to a 24-hr day.)

For myself, I don't think the church should be in the business of labeling people "heretics" for their scientific viewpoints (unless they are conclusions with direct theological implications, i.e., Jesus is a myth). Galileo was embarassing enough for me. Only for their theological viewpoints, and then only if they are members of that church and under its authority. Again, I do not believe that a literal 24-four day or not has theological significance, so the church has no reason to label those who start their scientific explorations with this premise as heretics, regardless of the scientific reasonableness or not of that premise.

I believe we should not throw labels of heresy around too lightly.

Joe

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 358 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 1:14 PM
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The dichotomy that you posit...naturalism vs faith...is neither necessary nor scientific...neither is it theologically sound.

Darkwing is absolutely right. Those who subscribe to naturalism are using their faith, too. Their faith is just not in Christ.

Faith is NOT a monopoly of Christians.

Bravo, Darkwing!

Joe

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 359 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 1:25 PM
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I was trying to understand how you believe the scientific method operates. My understanding is that it is based on the philosophy of naturalism or materialism...

should be qualified: ...as practiced by the current scientific establishment

Cheers,

Joe

PS. I am attempting to engage, inform, enrich... on this issue, not attempting vain disputations. Sorry to all who see it as such. :-) Thanks for your edifying post, BrianS!



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 360 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 1:43 PM
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I believe that Jesus Christ and God are ultimately glorified whenever His name is mentioned, for whatever purpose, in whatever context.

Then why make a commandment saying that we should not take God's name in vain?

(Actually, I can think of a really good answer to this...)

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Author: BrianSChilton One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 361 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 1:54 PM
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The question confuses sin with God's power to use the sinful acts of humans to glorify Himself (if He could not do so in each and every circumstance, then sin would be more powerful than God). Thus, even though it was a sin to crucify Christ, that is the paradigm of God using man's sin to His glory. Even though it is a sin to use the Lord's name in vain, I do not doubt God's ability to use that sin to His glory as well. That's my answer, but I am interested in hearing yours as well.

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Author: paxdeo Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 362 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 2:19 PM
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I always thought "taking the Lord's name in vain" meant that we are not to just use his name idly. He is there when we call Him, He comes or turns His ear to us when we call Him, He is as close as our next breath, He "mounts on the wings of the eagle" etc. to get to us when we're in trouble so why call him or ask him to listen if we have nothing to "say" or if we're just doing it for the sake of doing it. He is so holy and so above us and has such higher purposes than we do, how can we just play around with His holy name? I'm not implying that we have to have a "good reason" to call Him or we should just not speak His name, or speak to Him or to ask Him to listen to something we have to say, but to just call His name for the sake of being funny, or sarcastic or vulgar, is as insult.



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 363 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 2:38 PM
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I have noticed that we agree on many points in this issue. :-) In the example you give, however, I'm not trying to find a guy on our side, as you suggest. I was trying to understand how you believe the scientific method operates. My understanding is that it is based on the philosophy of naturalism or materialism, which you seem to disagree with, starting with your first reply to my posts. Do you? Why? (I've reread what you wrote and find you disagreeing, but not a substantial explanation why.)

The Scientific Method is simply a process, and naturalism never enters into the equation. You start with a question, you do research on the question to see what answers, if any, others have come up with. You form a hypothesis. You perform an experiment to test the hypothesis. You then repeat the experiment, to make sure that you didn't just get lucky. You then publish your results so that others can attempt the same experiment and repeat it and learn from it in their own research.

Many scientists work from a Naturalistic point of view, but many others work from a Christian point of view...and still others work from a Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, or even a non-religious non-naturalistic point of view.

This is where I get confused about your stand. Above you say that you decry an us against them mentality. Here you say that there are two sides: i.e., no middle ground.

There are plenty of other ways that are valid -- in most cases, more valid -- than viewing it either as a religious defender of Evolution without God or as a Creationist as the Institute for Creationism Research defines it. In fact, I don't find either of these points of view valid, but it's easier to point out why the ICR is wrong because they don't even agree with the Bible, yet say that the Bible is the foremost authority on how the world was created. What I mean is that once you take up a side that isn't either of these, there is a lot less to argue about. The argument between Creationism vs. Darwinism is between two very extreme points of view. Once you've chosen neither of these points of view, you're not arguing any more. You're thinking. And discussions, not arguments, can proceed.

Two sides to an argument does not imply there's no middle ground. Once you take up a point of view that isn't one of the two, you're engaging in a different argument with different points of debate.

The people who are engaged in the Creationism vs. Darwinism debate are two specific groups who are engaged in a specific debate. One of these groups is led by the Institute for Creation Research, which has defined Creationism to be a specific thing which, incidentally, insists upon 24-hour days. The other group are what they call the Darwinists or the Naturalists, who insist that any belief in God or acceptance of some non-provable fact would "taint" the research. The first group is invalidated by the Bible itself. The second is invalidated by Gödel. It's their arguing which has two sides and no middle ground -- it's a pointless debate in which to engage.

Again, not all Christians opposing evolution buy into Creationism. For instance, myself.

And as another example a former professor of mine who is very renowned in his field. (I won't use his name because, well, you know...politics.) Or me -- I don't really care one way or another about evolution because I trust that science will eventually discard it. But in order for this to come about, certain scientists need to stop grasping so tightly to evolution as the only way to counter Creationism. The Argument needs to stop before many of them will continue. By the same token many people are put off from Christianity because of the Creationists. Christianity is hurt because of this point of view. So both sides are being hurt.

And I don't mean to imply that every individual Christian needs to give up the specific version of Creationism. What I mean is that those of us like you and me who DON'T buy into the ICR's version of things need to do what we can to educate those who do through instruction and reproof with the Bible. Because there are still a great many Christians who do view Creationism as the only valid way to view the creation of the world.

You have mentioned that you believe Creationism to be a heresy. This brings to mind pictures of the Church condemning Galileo as a heretic for attempting to describe the universe and how it works. I believe that theology is concerned with the Why of the universe (but perhaps with both the Why and How of relationships). I believe that the Church put so much weight on understanding the How with infallibility as to cause their extreme measures. Now today you are calling for the church to label yet another group of people--creationists--as heretics for attempting to describe the How of the universe. Why? Because you think they are using an inappropriate scientific method or premise that biases their results.

No, because it flat-out contradicts itself. Hmm...yes, I guess rational thought COULD be considered a scientific method. :)

On one hand you want the church not to concern itself with the How, and on the other hand, you wish it to label some "heretics" based on their approach to the How. Perhaps you even wish someone to label them heretics whom they haven't even yielded authority to. (Their own church may subscribe to a 24-hr day.)

No, I wouldn't condemn someone for believing this. The word "heresy" was perhaps a bit strong. :) But I do think that there are certain ways of viewing the stories of creation in the Bible from which the Church should remove itself.

I think that all intelligent discussion on the topic of the creation or evolution of the world is impossible as long as extreme naturalists and extreme creationists have as much say as they currently do. I think we're still about a generation away from that. But in the meantime both science and Christianity suffer from wasted resources and polarized viewpoints.

It's been a while since I've actively discussed this so there are probably still some terms I need to define. When I refer to things in arguments I'm referring to specific things but with general terms and I frequently forget to clarify what I specifically mean, which causes arguments to go on longer than they ought to. :) So when I talk about the Creationism vs. Darwinism argument I'm referring to a specific quarrel between two specific extreme points of view. The ICR represents Creationism (which I make distinct from the Story of Creation). To me the evolutionists are a far more broad group, but I guess that we can call (although this is maybe a poorly-chosen term) the "Naturalists" those specific proponents of evolution who insist on the nonexistence of God, and those who accept evolution despite the problems (such as you mention) with it. The Argument is essentially the fight between these two groups which has squeezed out any rational point of view -- because two self-contradicting points of view cannot debate rationally.

So I've tried to illustrate why these sides are self-contradictory. And my main point is that, with the funding and resources that these two sides have, it's as necessary to end the Argument (which we can do by educating our own) as it is to propose new ideas which may be more valid to help both Science and Religion to be able to grow and reach new understandings of ourselves and our world.

Does that make sense? Does it seem consistent?



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 364 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 2:53 PM
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should be qualified: ...as practiced by the current scientific establishment

Ahhhhhhh! Well now THAT is a different issue altogether. Heheheh...now YOU'RE confusing ME with obscure meanings for common terms. :)

The REAL scientific method isn't even based on Naturalism or Materialism. It's based mostly in politics. And the fact is, as younger scientists grow up and get more powerful, they redefine the goals and issues. As older scientists retire, get tenured, and get wacky, people only listen to them out of respect for their earlier work. There's never a consensus on anything and power plays abound.

Any scientist who makes a discovery has both political and economic reasons to defend his theories to the death because that's how he gets paid and keeps his job. (He or she, him or her, his or hers.) And typically it's the students who don't quite buy the current theories who end up wanting to do research, who end up becoming professors. The ideas that last are the ones that the young rebels are unable to redefine -- or realize that they work. The ones that are wrong don't last.

That's why I'm less worried about science replacing Naturalism as I am about Christianity reviewing the Story of Creation. Because unlike science, the Bible doesn't change. And people don't read their Bibles. And people accept theologies handed down from the generations as God's Word. Because in religion, it's considered bad to question the Word of God. People believe the world was created in 6 24-hour-long days because they were told it was God's Word that it was so.

I am attempting to engage, inform, enrich... on this issue, not attempting vain disputations. Sorry to all who see it as such. :-) Thanks for your edifying post, BrianS!

Ditto -- I'm trying to show that the Argument (as I called it earlier) is the vain disputation if anything. :)



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 365 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 2:54 PM
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The question confuses sin with God's power to use the sinful acts of humans to glorify Himself (if He could not do so in each and every circumstance, then sin would be more powerful than God). Thus, even though it was a sin to crucify Christ, that is the paradigm of God using man's sin to His glory. Even though it is a sin to use the Lord's name in vain, I do not doubt God's ability to use that sin to His glory as well. That's my answer, but I am interested in hearing yours as well.

Nope, that was pretty much my answer, too. :)

Amen!

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 366 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 3:17 PM
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VERY helpful post, Rimbo! Very glad you took my post as it was meant.

Makes a lot of sense. I agree with your perception of the extreme camps. I think it is important for both Christians and scientists (and those who are both, especially) to realize that there is middle ground.
We seem to agree on this but perhaps have different ideas about the best way. This discussion certainly is helpful.

I'll have to think about your post some more and respond after a business trip I'm leaving on.

One point, though:

No, because it flat-out contradicts itself. Hmm...yes, I guess rational thought COULD be considered a scientific method. :)

I'm not sure how creationism contradicts itself, since I haven't studied it closely. They are choosing a premise (24-hr day) that you find inconsistent with biblical interpretation and scientific evidence. (I find scientific evidence pretty persuasive as to much longer periods, but am no biblical scholar as to the 24-hr thing) But, given that premise, how do they then contradict themselves in their reasoning and method to account for the evidence?

Also, you were joking, but obviously reason and rational thought is not limited to science. Science is, of course a methodological application of reason. It has been highly successful, having difficulties only in areas having large political or philosophical repercussions. In these areas, its authority is sometimes overstated by politicians or political activists (both right and left) who wish to cloak their agenda in its success-derived authority. Christians believe in a God of order and of reason. Thus we, created in His image, should be reasoning creatures in all endeavors, not just science. Science should not be a sphere of authority over all life, precisely because it only describes what is, not what ought to be. Thus, other authorities over other spheres of life. God's word describes what is and what ought to be in human relationships with authority, and reason should be hard at work in the application of his precepts to our lives. But His word also encompasses our other faculties as well, which should rule over reason: love, hope, faith. These are what ought to be. Reason helps us get there. Of course, since all comes from God, God is the ultimate authority and source of all of these.

I've been rambling. Well, no time to sort this all out now!

Cheers,

Joe



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Author: BrianSChilton One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 367 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 3:34 PM
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And here I was starting to get worried that this Board was going to die an untimely death . . . . Thanks to you all for the best part of my day today!

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 368 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 3:39 PM
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I'm not sure how creationism contradicts itself, since I haven't studied it closely. They are choosing a premise (24-hr day) that you find inconsistent with biblical interpretation and scientific evidence.

The main thing is that they simultaneously insist on a 24-hour day and a literal interpretation of the Bible; however, a literal interpretation of the WHOLE Bible means that they could not have been 24-hour days, because of the time of the Sun's creation and several verses (e.g. one in Psalm 90, one of my favorite Psalms anyhow) that suggest that time does not flow the same way for God as it does for us. God transcends time.

Yes, I agree that rational thought isn't restricted to science. And science is less rational than political just like any other human system. But rational thought can end the Argument.

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Author: Raggmopp Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 369 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 4:19 PM
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But rational thought can end the Argument.

Except in the past it has more likely resulted in a Crusade. Anyone else find the term "Holy War" an oxymorn of gigantic proportions?

Raggmopp

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Author: lavesa Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 370 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 4:52 PM
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I would like to suggest a great book by Hank Hanegraaff, called "The FACE That Demonstrates The Farce Of Evolution".

I am a Christian that was duped in college to believe the evolution theory as fact instead of theory. Hank uses FACE as an acronym that systematically breaks down the theory of evolution.

The though of Theistic Evolution is the worse than believing in evolution. The basis is this: "An omnipotent, omniscient God does not have to painfully plod through millions of mistakes, misfits, and mutations in order to have fellowship with humans. Rather he can create humans in a microsecond. If theistic evolution is true, Genesis is at best an allegory and at worst a farce. If this is the case, the rest of the bible is irrelevant."

Please, make sure you know where you stand as a Christian:


F - Fossil:

You have to remember that when Darwin came up with this theory, he was convinced that the fossil records in the future would prove his theory correct. The fossil records have been an embarrassment and prove the theory INCORRECT.

A - Ape-Men Fiction, Fraud, and Fantasy

"In 1922, a tooth was discovered in Nebraska. With a little imagination the tooth was connected to a mythological jawbone, the jawbone was connected to a skull, the skull was connected to a skeleton, and the skeleton was given a face, features, and fur. But the time the story hit a London newspaper, not only was there a picture of "Nebraska Man" but there was a "Nebraska Mom." All of that from a single solitary tooth."

Later an exact tooth was found and it was attached to the skull of a wild pig. All the other "Ape-men" were deemed fraud or fantasy. (Java man, Piltdown Man, and Peking Man)

C - Chance

When Darwin was faced with things that did not fit into his theory, he called them a "black box". Take the "primitive cell", bacteria that supposedly formed from the primordial soup. Darwin assumed that this was so simple that it could be created by chance. Molecular biology has proven that there is no such thing as a "primitive cell". The probability of a single protein molecule being arranged from the primordial sea is 1 in 10 to the 161. For a minimum set of the required 239 protein molecules for the smallest theoretical life, the probability is 10 to the 119,879. This is 10 119,831 times the assumed age of the earth and is a figure with 199,831 zeros.

E - Empirical Science

Law of energy conservation - the first law of thermodynamics means that neither mass nor energy can appear from nothing. Such an occurrence would be a "free lunch".

Entropy - The second law of thermodynamics states that everything runs inexorably from order to disorder and from complexity to decay. The theory of biological evolution directly contradicts this by stating that the universe changed from chaos to complexity and order.


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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 371 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 5:50 PM
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uld like to suggest a great book by Hank Hanegraaff, called "The FACE That Demonstrates The Farce Of
Evolution".

I am a Christian that was duped in college to believe the evolution theory as fact instead of theory. Hank uses FACE
as an acronym that systematically breaks down the theory of evolution.

The though of Theistic Evolution is the worse than believing in evolution. The basis is this: "An omnipotent,
omniscient God does not have to painfully plod through millions of mistakes, misfits, and mutations in order to have
fellowship with humans. Rather he can create humans in a microsecond. If theistic evolution is true, Genesis is at best
an allegory and at worst a farce. If this is the case, the rest of the bible is irrelevant."


As I've said before...Darwinism has as much in common with modern theories of evolution as a Navajo loom does with modern textile factories. Criticizing Darwin is old news. However your statement that Evolution as the origin of species as a theory, not a fact is true. As for evolution in general, it is a fact -- evolving organisms can be seen even now.

I think that the comment regarding theistic evolution immediately labels this guy as an extremist who insists that we choose one of two false points of view based on one of them being more false than the other, as someone seeking profit from The Argument.

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Author: lavesa Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 372 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 6:04 PM
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On what basis do you derive that creationism is a false point of view? Do you agree that if the world was not created by God in the beginning as stated in Genesis, that the rest of the bible would be suspect? If creationism isn't the only way, this would say that the bible IS NOT the inerrant word of God and therefore we should not believe ANY of it. The bible has to be taken as a whole and not just the parts that our analytical minds can try to understand.

As far as there having to be a "middle ground", do you feel that the "tolerance" stance of society today is the way to go in regards to sinful lifestyles? The bible says not to be tolerant of sin, it say's to hate the sin but love the sinner. If there is a middle ground to creationism vs. evolution, then we could have a middle ground to many areas of the bible to suit our chosen lifestyles.

IMHO, of course.



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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 373 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 6:33 PM
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" If creationism isn't the only way, this would say that the bible IS NOT the inerrant word of God and therefore we should not believe ANY of it."

What exactly is the "inerrant word of God"? Also, why are the only choices to beleive that the bible is the "inerrant word of God" or not to beleive any of the bible?

Unwilling to beleive that I am forced to make a dichotomous choice between inerrancy and unbelief and also awaiting the definition of inerrant.

Seems like I have watched the Southern Baptist Convention largely split over definitions of inerrancy.

Just my $0.02. Regards, JAFO

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 375 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 6:46 PM
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On what basis do you derive that creationism is a false point of view?

I speak of Creationism, as defined by groups such as the Institute of Creation Research, as opposed to the Story of Creation in the Bible.

One of these two things has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with the "Darwinism vs. Creationism" argument. The other one has many valid interpretations, all of which include the fact that God created the world.

Does that make sense now?

As far as there having to be a "middle ground", do you feel that the "tolerance" stance of society today is the way to go in regards to sinful lifestyles?

All lifestyles, except the one lived by Jesus, are sinful. Your lifestyle is sinful. My lifestyle is sinful. To which of our sinful lifestyles are you referring?

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Author: lavesa Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 377 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 7:31 PM
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The inerrant word of God are the words the prophets received from the Holy Spirit. If you believe that God can create the universe by any means, what makes you believe that he could not ensure that his word was inerrant?

If I choose not to believe that God created the universe as described in Genesis, who am I to decide which parts of the bible to believe? Maybe I shouldn't believe that "All fall short of the glory of God" and that I really need Christ. Maybe the muslims are right, all I have to do is make sure that I do more good in my life than bad and I get to go to heaven. You can't pick and choose what to believe.

Also, para-phrasing from Hank's book, the prevailing thought before Darwin's thoery of evolution was that we were created by a caring, loving God, and for a purpose. Even Darwin himself was a Bible-believing creationist before setting sail on the Beagle in 1832. The triumph of evolution meant the end of the traditional belief in the world as a purposful created order.

Evolution, or anything other than creationism, undermines the very foundation of Christianity. If indeed evolution is reflective of the laws of science, then Genesis must be reflective of the flaws of Scripture. And if the foundation of Christianity is flawed, the superstructure is destined to fall.

Thomas Huxley states: "in the evolutionary system of thought there is not longer a need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created; it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul, as well as brain and body. So did religion."

With God out of the way, we get sexual immorality ( adultry, abortion, aids, etc). We also get racism. Hitler's reason for killing the Jewish people was because he felt like they had not evolved to the superior race and that they were sub-human.

It is very important to understand that evolutionary theory must be exposed to preserve Christianity as a whole.

Again, this is all IMHO.



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Author: lavesa Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 378 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 7:38 PM
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"Are you claiming that you are without sin?"

Not even close! I'm amazed every day that the Lord blesses me like he does knowing that I'm a worthless sinner. I do, as every Christian, commit acts of sin against our Lord every day. Some knowingly and even more unknowingly. I ask for forgiveness regularly and his Grace is sufficient. But, I don't, however, live a lifestyle of habitual sin. Society wants us to tolerate unbelieving lifestyles and I feel that we should not tolerate it. If we tolerate a lifestyle, we are not helping that sinner to come to a life with Christ to be freed from his/her sin.



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 379 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 7:52 PM
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The triumph of evolution meant the end of the traditional belief in the world as a purposful created order.

If you divide the above statement into several, you will come up with the following statements:

The triumph of evolution meant the end of the traditional belief in the world as created.

The triumph of evolution meant the end of the traditional belief in the world as purposeful.

The triumph of evolution meant the end of the traditional belief in the world as orderly.

Hmmm. Unless you were around while God created the world, who's to say God didn't merely invent the evolutionary mechanism and then guide the process? Hmmm...that would imply creation, purpose, and even an order...in fact a great amount of order.

Evolution, or anything other than creationism, undermines the very foundation of Christianity.

Evolution and creationism do not contradict each other. If you see them contradicting, there is either something wrong with your understanding of evolutionary theory, something wrong with your understanding of the Bible, or most likely both.



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 380 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 8:04 PM
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But, I don't, however, live a lifestyle of habitual sin.

You are fooling yourself if you actually believe that.

If we tolerate a lifestyle, we are not helping that sinner to come to a life with Christ to be freed from his/her sin.

What is freedom from sin? Sinning no more? If so, then none of us are ever truly free. But we ARE freed when we accept Christ, while we are still sinners. God accepts us as sinners. God loves us as sinners. Someone else on this board said something about using God's name and I agreed with him and I think it's very pertinent to this point: The power God has over sin is the ability to make a sin have a good outcome. Is that not truly freedom from sin? As Paul says...the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I still sin despite all of my efforts...am I hopeless? No! Because God has freed me from the sin as long as I confess it to God and make a sinless life my aim.


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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 381 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 8:10 PM
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rimbo: The main thing is that they simultaneously insist on a 24-hour day and a literal interpretation of the Bible; however, a literal interpretation of the WHOLE Bible means that they could not have been 24-hour days, because of the time of the Sun's creation and several verses (e.g. one in Psalm 90, one of my favorite Psalms anyhow) that suggest that time does not flow the same way for God as it does for us. God transcends time.

I have time for a few more posts before taking off. I don't know, but I thought there were different Hebrew words for these two uses of days in the Bible. Still, I don't see theologically why it is so important for day to be 24hrs and not 5.3 seconds or 53.5 million years in Genesis.

Lavesa, I would appreciate your input. Is the only reason why this is important is in reaction to naturalistic evolutionary theory? To avoid the slippery slope into unbelief of all the Bible? What if an objective look at the fossil record shows that thousands of animals suddenly appeared at X millions of years ago, and then hundreds more suddenly appeared at Y million years ago, and so on? That's basically what the fossil record shows. It's not in line with the evolution-as-taught-as-fact in the high schools and colleges. It is more suggestive of a progressive creation of different forms of animals at different epochs, which is what the link to the paper I gave earlier was talking about.

Of course it is possible for an all-powerful God to create everything in a literal week, but then He purposefully made some things look old, like the universe, which appears 10 billion years old, to the nearest order of magnitude. If so, then we are doing pseudo-science to study the pseudo-physics and pseudo-history of a pseudo-universe. I don't know what once-removing us from the actual universe accomplishes.

Entropy - The second law of thermodynamics states that everything runs inexorably from order to disorder and from complexity to decay. The theory of biological evolution directly contradicts this by stating that the universe changed from chaos to complexity and order.

Hank Hanagraaf has a lot of thoughtful stuff to say, but I don't buy his entropy argument. Doesn't apply in an open system. Also, it is more valuable for you to talk of the change to complexity and information, rather than complexity and order. For instance, crystals seemingly violate entropy as they form and take on order, but it is an open system. However, information such as that assembled in the DNA code is not order--it is information. That's a lot harder to create from chance than order is.

Cheers,

Joe

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 382 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 8:41 PM
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As I've said before...Darwinism has as much in common with modern theories of evolution as a Navajo loom does with modern textile factories. Criticizing
Darwin is old news. However your statement that Evolution as the origin of species as a theory, not a fact is true. As for evolution in general, it is a fact -- evolving organisms can be seen even now.


Perhaps, rimbo, you could outline one of these more modern theories, the best one, and how it accounts for the origins of life, creation of DNA, or sudden appearance of multiple new forms in the fossil record. Just because there is a new, modern theory doesn't mean it accounts for the evidence any better than Darwinism did. Which ones do you think are better? Do they not involve blind, impersonal chance, thus more palatable to the Christian who believes in purpose?

I think that the comment regarding theistic evolution immediately labels this guy as an extremist who insists that we choose one of two false points of view based on one of them being more false than the other, as someone seeking profit from The Argument.

It seems to me that theistic evolution isn't in the middle ground I'm talking about. It's no less than complete surrender of authority to science, which is run by an establishment informed by naturalism, but insisting that God be tagged on the end there, somewhere. ("Whatever you say must be right, but God guided the blind chance".) Until there is an actual mechanism proposed for evolution, instead of treating evolution as a philosophical umbrella over conflicting mechanisms, the idea of theistic evolution is about the same as the oxymoronic theistic naturalism. As long as this naturalistic scientific establishment holds, theistic evolution is a surrender of Christians to one of the extremes of your Argument.

I'll have to respond further later to your post on not all scientists personally believing in naturalism. True, but the method of science, for the purpose of describing the natural, physical world (relations between matter and energy), does assume naturalism, and scientists of all beliefs work within that framework for the purposes of science. I would love to see a counter example to this statement!--a research paper from any reputable journal that assumes something other than naturalism. (For instance, an archaeology journal that does not attempt to date detailed, fulfilled prophesies after the occurance of the event.) The whole point of science is to look for
natural explanations for events and processes that can be repeatedly measured.

Cheers,

Joe



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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 383 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 8:51 PM
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If there is a middle ground to creationism vs. evolution, then we could have a middle ground to many areas of the bible to suit our chosen lifestyles.

The term "life-styles", like the term "values" in their current usage were imported to this country in the 60's (IIRC) from German philosophy (I think Weber coined "life-style), to help grant validity to certain behaviors--a way to refer to them with more elan. The sophisticated terminology has lent support to certain behaviors with considerable success.

Before we had a habitual or even--gasp!--sinful behavior of getting wasted and abusing others, but now its a heroin-chic lifestyle, etc.

Joe

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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 384 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 8:53 PM
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"The inerrant word of God are the words the prophets received from the Holy Spirit. If you believe that God can create the universe by any means, what makes you believe that he could not ensure that his word was inerrant?"

And what makes you so sure that that he ensured inerrancy? I never said that it was not possible. I said it was not necessarily an either/or choice.

JAFO

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 385 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 8:59 PM
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Thomas Huxley states: "in the evolutionary system of thought there is not longer a need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created; it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul, as well as brain and body. So did religion."

Good example of the key cornerstone of evolution in materialist philosophy as espoused by an early Darwinist motivated by naturalist philosophy.

At question is more the philosophy of current scientists. rimbo thinks the majority will soon be thinking along lines more friendly toward Christian theology (at least if Christians tell the scientists that whatever their best theory is must be the truth).

I'm not so sure. :-)

Cheers,

Joe

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 386 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 9:04 PM
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lev: Evolution, or anything other than creationism, undermines the very foundation of Christianity.

That depends on what you mean by creationism. Again, what significance is a 24-hr day vs 48-hr or whatever theologically? I submit that theologically it doesn't make much difference. Perhaps you already addressed this.

rimbo: Evolution and creationism do not contradict each other.

Evolution as invoked by naturalist scientists does!

Joe

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 387 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 9:28 PM
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Perhaps, rimbo, you could outline one of these more modern theories, the best one, and how it accounts for the origins of life, creation of DNA, or sudden appearance of multiple new forms in the fossil record. Just because there is a new, modern theory doesn't mean it accounts for the evidence any better than Darwinism did. Which ones do you think are better? Do they not involve blind, impersonal chance, thus more palatable to the Christian who believes in purpose?

Well, I just hate using the name "Darwinism." I'm aware of a few differences but the truth is I'm not up on the latest theories, and thus don't have a favorite.

This is the point of the debate where I think I can learn the most by shutting up. :) Even though my general philosophy is "if you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn."

I read through the rest of your post (I won't quote it here) and it causes me to wonder a bit. I'm not entirely certain that theistic evolution isn't valid. It's more the idea that the Bible does not describe the mechanisms of the universe, it's left for us to discover. The thought that God is being "squeezed into the cracks left out" isn't quite what it is. I don't know...I just find that with Science, God's existence or nonexistence only answers questions of "why?" and not "how?" -- and that Science is only interested in "how?" So for the most part I don't see it involved.

Here's what I mean. Consider a mathematical equation...

x + y = z

This is semantics. It really doesn't MEAN anything until you add values to it...

1 + 2 = 3

Now it sort of means something specific, but...it still doesn't really MEAN anything.

1 apple + 2 apples = 3 apples

Now it MEANS something. Not much, but it means something.

I looked in the fridge and found an apple. Then I went to the store and bought two more, so that I, my roommate and his girlfriend could all have an apple.

Now it has full meaning.

The difference is between syntax and semantics. X+Y=Z is the syntactic general rule; 1+2=3 is still pure syntax, but it is a special case of the general rule; the third example has semantics but is very general and not so meaningful. The fourth has a fleshed-out meaning that includes things outside of the equation.

Now none of the above four things are false and none are "preferable" in any sense as for general understanding...each one meets a different purpose for understanding.

Science is concerned with the syntax of the physical universe, not the semantics. It informs us about the universe's mechanisms in a certain way. It is like the first two equations, and in part the third. It does not seek to inform us about the fourth. It doesn't give us any meaning to the mechanisms. It's irrelevant.

The Bible does not give us any mechanisms--at least, not the kind that Science is concerned with. It gives us meaning to those mechanisms, but as to the behavior of the actual mechanisms, it's irrelevant.

A column of fire described in the Bible -- there are many different things that are fire. Many things burn; the sun's fusion is a fire; lightning's heat and light is from burning atmosphere...a laser's heat and light are firelike...the combustion of your car's engine is a fire...the Bible isn't concerned whether it was a burning tree that sprouted legs and walked or napalm or a laser beam or a constant stream of lightning or, like the Burning Bush, a fire that was just there. It doesn't answer the question -- because the answer is irrelevant to the column of fire's purpose or the purpose of the story.

Science, however, can tell give us an explanation for what it might be. Does that make the column of fire any less miraculous? Does that remove the meaning from the story? No, because the explanation itself HAS NO MEANING. X + Y = Z is as much a truth as "I bought two apples."

A great many people worry about the dichotomy between the nature of miracles today and the nature of them as they are described in the Bible. I say there is no difference. Why do we insist that God must interact with the world in a specific way? Must the column of fire be a causeless thing? When people interact with other people God works through them to do God's work. If the column of fire was an energy beam shot from a UFO piloted by space aliens, does that invalidate the miracle and the interpretation, especially since God's work today is done by people acting as the fingers and hands and mouth of God? I don't think so. The meaning remains, the story doesn't change. Certainly (in that situation) the space aliens have souls and are as capable of being God's servants as the Pope or you or me.

I think I've gone on long enough...people are going to believe I have no life. :) (Well, uhm, actually I don't...)


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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 388 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/9/1999 9:34 PM
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At question is more the philosophy of current scientists. rimbo thinks the majority will soon be thinking along lines more friendly toward Christian theology (at least if Christians tell the scientists that whatever their best theory is must be the truth).

Now that I didn't say. What I do say is that Christians have nothing to fear from evolution, and that the predominance of atheism within science is in a big part because of religious persecution of scientific ideals based on what I think is bad theology -- bad theology that has as its root several-centuries-old misguided attempts to mix theology which what was then the latest in science.

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Author: DarkwingDuk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 393 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/10/1999 10:02 AM
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DoctorJoe:

Seeing as how Max Weber died in 1920, he didn't do much writing in the 1960s. Let's recheck the attribution of lifestyle, eh?

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Author: DarkwingDuk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 394 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/10/1999 10:05 AM
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I mean...perhaps, I have misinterpreted "verstehen," but after perusing The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, The City, Wirtschaft and Gesellschaft, and The Sociology of Religion (Weber's major works), I do not find any reference to the term "lifestyle."

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Author: lavesa Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 397 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/10/1999 1:47 PM
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If you read 1 John, it states that a Christian that is truly born again, cannot sin. The tense of the greek word used here is "of continual nature". This does not mean that a Christian cannot commit single acts of sin.

1 John also says, either you are a child of satan or a child of God. When we are born, we are children of satan and until we accept the saving blood of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we will stay children of satan. It says also in Romans that you can only be a slave to one master. We are born slaves to satan because of our sinful nature. While we are dead in our trespasses and haven't accepted the Lord to become children of God, we have no choice but to sin. We don't have any mechanism to deny what our master, satan, imposes on us. This is what is refered to as the bondage of sin. Once we accept Christ, we now have an intercessor and we are newly created creatures. Our master is now God, so we are no longer bound by satan and his evil ways. Jesus gives us the strength we need to avoid sin in EVERY instance of temptation we face. This is the "freedom from sin." The problem is that we don't always use this strength because our free will and sinful nature will NEVER go away. The difference is that the Lord will convict your heart and you should turn to him in repentantence in order to be forgiven and to get back into fellowship with him.

There are sins that we commit every day but the Lord is loving and he only makes you deal with one at a time (thank God). Once the Lord has convicted your heart of a particular sin that has a stronghold in your life, you are called to hand that sin over to the Lord. This is very difficult at times and requires you to trust the Lord. Once it's gone, you can't believe that it ever had that strong of a hold on you. Once you accept Christ you are immediately justified by his blood and can be seen by God as righteous because he sees Christ in you. Once you are justified, you start a life long process of sanctification where you seek to be righteous like Christ. You will never fully reach this while on earth, but it's your life long journey.

"The power God has over sin is the ability to make a sin have a good outcome."

Sin NEVER has a good outcome. But, God allows you to realize your sin. Once you realize your sin and repent, God is glorified because of the loving grace he shows to forgive you. You will still have to answer to Jesus and be judged for every sin you commit in your life.



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 398 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/10/1999 1:58 PM
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Sin NEVER has a good outcome.

So Jesus' crucifixion didn't have a good outcome? The sin was crucifying Him. But it certainly seems to have turned out for the best...

I find God's power is quite limitless to the extent that sin can -- and thanks to Christ, despite our failings, does -- end up for the best.

Sometimes I will snap at a friend in a moment of weakness; but in the resolution of the conflict we end up bonding together more tightly than we were before, and learn things about each other that we wouldn't have known. We end up better people and better friends, and in a way that wouldn't have happened without me simply failing to be the person I ought to be. THAT, my friend, is the power that God has over sin through Jesus Christ. And that is power unimaginable. When Satan cannot even own us through our sinful natures, that is the victory of the cross -- a victory that happened not only for but because of the sins of humanity.

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Author: lavesa Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 404 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/10/1999 2:51 PM
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I don't feel that you have to take every thing in the bible as literal. In fact you can't. Jesus, at the last supper said, "Take this, this is my body, eat it...", he didn't mean, "Here you take a finger, you take a toe!" As well as when he said, "Drink my blood." This is just one of many instances where the bible cannot be taken in the literal sense.

"Hank Hanagraaf has a lot of thoughtful stuff to say, but I don't buy his entropy argument."

This isn't Hank's argument. Today's physical sciences are built on thre three laws of thermodynamics as established by William kelvin in the 1800's.
From Hanks book, "Mathmatician and physicist Sir Arthur Eddington demonstarted Entropy in our universe by showing that the universe irreversibly flows from hot to cold bodies. the sun burns up billions of tons of hydorgen each second, stars burn out, and species eventually become extinct." Evolution is a theory and should not be used to brainwash people into believing it's a science. Says Eddington, "If your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation." Evolutionists don't deny this but try to unsuccessfully show how this law cannot be invoked.

"For instance, crystals seemingly violate entropy as
they form and take on order, but it is an open system."

Again, from Hanks book: "Furthermore, it is boldly asseted that entropy doesn't prevent evolution on earth because this planet is an open system that recieves energy from the sun. This, of course, is nonsense. the sun's rays never produce an upswing in complexity without teleonomy (the ordering principle of life). In other words, energy from the sun does not produce an orderly structure of growth and development without information and an engine. If the sun beats down on a dead plant, it does not produce growth but rather speeds up decay. In the Origins film series, Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith explains that the difference between a dead stick and a live orchid is that the orchid has teleonomy, which is information that makes the live orchid an energy-capturing and order-increasing machine."


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Author: lavesa Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 407 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/10/1999 5:01 PM
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"So Jesus' crucifixion didn't have a good outcome? The sin was crucifying Him. But it certainly seems to have turned out for the best..."

The sin is not why God sent his son to die for us. He sent him in fulfillment of the scriptures starting back in Genesis. If this is the case, we need to praise satan because one of his disciples sinned against our Lord by murdering him which ultimately allows us to be saved. This is nonsense!

If sin could actually turn out good, then God would have put this into his plan from the beginning. The fact is, he created us in his image and Adam and Eve were able to walk, talk, and hang out with God. It was only when Adam sinned against him that this fellowship was broken and we were separated from God. Sin ALWAYS separates us from God which can never be good. Each sin causes us (Christians) to fall out of fellowship with the Lord and this is why we have to continually confess our sins and follow Gods commandments in order to remain in fellowship with him.

It says throughout the bible that sin brings death. True, God is glorified by Christians because his grace is sufficient to forgive us our sins. It says in Romans that the more sin abounds, God's grace all the more abounds. So this begs the question, should we sin more in order that God's grace can be shown and he can be even more glorified? The bible says "May it never be!".



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 408 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/10/1999 5:32 PM
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The sin is not why God sent his son to die for us. He sent him in fulfillment of the scriptures starting back in Genesis. If this is the case, we need to praise satan because one of his disciples sinned against our Lord by murdering him which ultimately allows us to be saved. This is nonsense!

Of course it's nonsense. It doesn't follow from what I said. Partially because sin is not Satan's creation. Sin is Man's creation. And the whole of Jesus' life was orchestrated by God, including the sins that led to his crucifixion, because it was necessary. Satan's own weapon against God was used against Satan.

If we are not truly free from sin in the way I describe then Jesus' death on the cross was meaningless and his resurrection gained us (and God) nothing. Man had the ability to turn away from sin and towards God by worshipping God and confessing sins long before Jesus was around. If our sins cannot then be turned for good by Jesus' victory where was the victory?



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Author: lavesa Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 409 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/10/1999 7:08 PM
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Maybe we have a semantics issue here....

The sin that the individuals committed against God by murdering Jesus caused these individuals to be eternally separated from God in hell. This is not a good outcome! Now, if your trying to tell me that the sins they committed ended up being a blessing and good for the rest of the world, I still have to disagree. The sins that were committed by these individuals did, however, fullfill the prophecy that God revealed starting back in Genesis. The sins themselves are not the reason the human race benefited, we benefited because we have a loving, caring God.

This would imply that someone would/could actually benefit from someone elses sins. If this is the case, we could pay money for someones services to get cars really cheap. Say $1000. We don't have to care that the person stole the car because he pays for that sin, I just pay for the car. Someone would buy it, why not me if I don't care that the individual is going to pay for his/her sins? How could our God allow us to benefit from someone elses misfortune? This isn't the God I know. There is no way that anyone can convince me that sin could EVER be good.

IMHO


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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 410 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/10/1999 7:40 PM
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The sin that the individuals committed against God by murdering Jesus caused these individuals to be eternally separated from God in hell. This is not a good outcome! Now, if your trying to tell me that the sins they committed ended up being a blessing and good for the rest of the world, I still have to disagree.

No, it's not a semantic issue -- we're definitely disagreeing. If sin cannot result in good in any way, shape, or form, then the implication is that it would have been better for Jesus not to have been crucified. However, if Jesus had NOT been crucified, then not only would the prophecy not been fulfilled, but the drapes in the Holy of Holies would not have torn, and Jesus would not be able to intercede on our behalf for our sins -- which is a far greater GOOD than preserving his life!

If a sin cannot have a good outcome no matter what, as you claim, then it robs Jesus' death of its meaning, and Jesus is not Messiah or Christ, but just another martyr, another dead teacher, another dead prophet.

A sinful act CAN have a good outcome. And before you answer...gee, isn't Jesus the one that healed on the Sabbath? That is CLEARLY a sin. By your arguments, it cannot have a good outcome.

Are you Jewish? Because your point of view is more Jewish than Christian...I mean, if all sin is purely sin, where is Grace? Where is the victory of the cross? What does Jesus' sacrifice gain anyone if sin cannot be conquered by God in this sense?

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Author: lavesa Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 413 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/11/1999 10:57 AM
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"A sinful act CAN have a good outcome. And before you answer...gee, isn't Jesus the one that healed on the Sabbath? That is CLEARLY a sin."

Please don't tell me that you are saying that Jesus sinned! Jesus was blameless and sinless. He became the perfect sacrifice for the rest of the world because he was sinless. He was God incarnant and it was IMPOSSIBLE for him to sin because God cannot be in the same place as sin.

As far as a sin turning out good, it depends on how you look at it. It is never good for the individual commiting the sin because you will pay for that sin. It could be construed as good if this individual was motivated NOT to commit that same sin in the future because of the punishment he/she received. You WILL receive judgement for every sin you commit in your life because you will come before the Lord to be judged as it says in Revelation.

As far as this message goes, I think we need to agree to disagree.

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 421 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/11/1999 2:38 PM
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As far as this message goes, I think we need to agree to disagree.

Yup. It was good to hear a different point of view!

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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 439 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/14/1999 12:20 AM
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To my statement: The term "life-styles", like the term "values" in their current usage were imported to this country in the 60's (IIRC) from German philosophy (I think Weber coined "life-style)

Darkwing replied:
Seeing as how Max Weber died in 1920, he didn't do much writing in the 1960s. Let's recheck the attribution of lifestyle, eh?

While Weber died in 1920, his ideas live on. After WWII, Nietsche's work suffered in respectibility from its discomfiting relation to fascism. Although Weber and Freud were profoundly influenced by Nietsche, they escaped the same fate because no one called attention to the source of their language and categories. Their work was simply accepted as pre-Hitlerian German classical tradition in American academic circles, imported from Germany by many of the refugees who took up residence in America's universities in the 1940s. These ideas fomented in academic circles and swept over American society during the 1960s radical movement. This marked a change in our society from terminology reflecting religious absolutes to that reflecting value relativism.

"Good" and "Evil" became "values"
"Faith" became "commitment"
"repentence" became "value adjustment"
"Quest or Discovery of the good life" becomes "creating a life-style"
"charisma" and "identity" are also sociological terms from Weber.

Relativism became a common way of thinking and influenced thoughts of many, from individual citizens to Supreme Court justices, as evident in decisions from 1960 on.

Here's an excerpt from the link below highlighting Weber's concept of life-style:
...Weber's theory of stratification differs from that of Marx in that he introduced an additional structural category, that of "status group." Classification of men into such groups is based on their consumption patterns rather than on their place in the market or in the process of production. Weber thought Marx had overlooked the relevance of such categorization ... In contrast to classes, which may or may not be communal groupings, status groups are normally communities, which are held together by notions of proper life-styles and by the social esteem and honor accorded to them by others. ... In this typology we again find Weber's sociological notion of a social category as dependent on the definition that others give to social relationships. A status group can exist only to the extent that others accord its members prestige or degrading, which removes them from the rest of social actors and establishes the necessary social distance between "them" and "us."

http://www.runet.edu/~lridener/DSS/Weber/WEBERW7.HTML

I hope this helps.

Joe


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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 440 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/14/1999 12:48 AM
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Lavesa,

On entropy you are missing my point. You are using the words "order" and "complexity" interchangibly. They are not interchangible. Entropy is concerned with order or disorder, not complexity or information. Life is NOT extremely ordered. It is extremely complex and contains an extremely high level of information. Thus the law of entropy is incorrectly applied in this argument. As I already pointed out, order does increase on the earth's open system because of sunlight evaporating puddles to form highly-ordered crystals.

Says Eddington, "If your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics...

True. BUT--life is NOT orderly, it is complex, so entropy is the wrong law to invoke in its description. Hank seems to realize this, but doesn't do a good job delineating these concepts. A crystal has very high order. Because of this, very little information is necessary to describe a crystal. The exact opposite is true of DNA. Entropy does not describe complexity.

Just a small quibble: you said: Today's physical sciences are built on the three laws of thermodynamics as established by William kelvin in the 1800's.

Thermodynamics is a small fraction of what the physical sciences are built on. Newton's laws, relativity (not to be confused with relativism!), quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, quantum chromo dynamics, string theory, micro-biology etc., etc., are all part of the foundation of the physical sciences.

Cheers,

Joe

PS. I was hoping you would answer my question about the literal day. (Maybe you were answering that in your first paragraph!?) :-)


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Author: DoctorJoe Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 441 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/14/1999 1:14 AM
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Well, I just hate using the name "Darwinism." I'm aware of a few differences but the truth is I'm not up on the latest theories, and thus don't have a favorite.


Here's one: Gould is one of the evolutionists that has decided that natural selection combined with genetic mutation (The two mechanisms making up Darwinism) is not sufficient to account for the origin and subsequent development of life.) He is leaning toward computer simulations of Kauffman to explain events such as the Cambrian explosion. These, however, are basically a bunch of fancy 3-D graphics that have little tangible intersection with actual data.

An actual mechanism must be held up for possible falsification for an idea to be a real scientific theory. If, instead, one says it could happen this way or this way and wave one's hands and say the way it happened is unimportant, what one has presented is unfalsifiable. It is not a scientific theory at all in that case, but a philosophy. Such is the case of discussions of evolution that do not concern themselves with the actual mechanism by which it occurs.

Currently, there is no mechanism from empirical science that satisfactorily fits the evidence. There is no even remotely promising mechanism waiting in the wings. Darwinism is inadequate, but it is the best that empirical science has come up with.

The other possibility, of course, is that an intelligent agent has been at work in the creation of the universe and that life is designed. In that case, the methodology of empirical science is the incorrect methodology to use in investigating the origins of life. Instead guidlines of the forensic sciences should be used. Concern for design and intent become important in forensic science. Behe's work in microbiology is focusing on design of irreducibly complex structures in cells. Methodology for determine what could only have been designed is currently being developed. This is a promising step forward in what has become a stagnant and frustrated search for a blind, purposeless mechanism that can adequately explain life's origins.

Cheers,

Joe

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 442 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/14/1999 4:04 AM
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Well Joe, you don't need to convince me of all of this. (Partially because I'm less concerned about how we got here as much as why and what we do from here.) But you do touch on a point which is exactly what I'm saying -- there really aren't any alternative explanations in Science other than various versions of "well, they all evolved through natural selection and mutation." And part of the reason for this is the need to defend it irrationally against the irrational explanation brought up by so-called "serious" groups such as the Institute for Creation Research. It's easier to give up a point of view if you're not being attacked for it, if you're not on the defensive.

It is the nature of science to change its theories every generation or so. If we simply stop criticizing the Darwinists, and don't ask them to accept anything we say, within one generation Darwinism will fall harder than the flat-earth theory. IF it takes that long. What we as Christians can do is suggest rational explanations, such as a few that you've mentioned, Doctor Joe, and we can try to discourage antagonism within our own ranks. But don't ask the scientists to believe in God if they don't want to. Don't force them to conform to one standard or ideal, don't criticize itself, and rely on science's own ability to self-criticize (which is the result of the young upstarts trying to make names for themselves by exploding the theories of the old guard) to eliminate Darwinism for its well-known faults.

It's like a honeybee. If you bash its hive with a broomstick repeatedly, it's going to attack you. If you leave it alone, it will pollenate YOUR garden. And the whole bit about getting other Christians not to antagonize the scientists is similar to a friend of yours attacking the hive -- are you just going to let him charge the hive and get stung to death, or are you going to keep him from harming himself?

That's why I say it's not an "us vs. them" sort of thing, and yet it is. Now that the hive's been roused we need to jump into the lake and cool off!!!!!!

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Author: FuzzyLogicFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 445 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/14/1999 1:19 PM
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Rimbo Writes to DoctorJoe:
<<But you do touch on a point which is exactly what I'm saying -- there really aren't any alternative explanations in Science other than various versions of "well, they all evolved through natural selection and mutation." And part of the reason for this is the need to defend it irrationally against the irrational explanation brought up by so-called "serious" groups such as the Institute for Creation Research. It's easier to give up a point of view if you're not being attacked for it, if you're not on the defensive.>>

I say:
Well Put. "Irrationally against irrational explanation" is an excellent description of this discussion. Not, mind you, that I haven't enjoyed it, but we all tend to ignore the facts that are against our case and exaggerate the importance of that which supports our point of view.

What, exactly, is the "scientific theory of creationism"? Your arguments sound like I have two choices: (1) science as it currently is with a mandated recognition of God or the possibility of God as the origin of life, or (2) ICR's pseudo-scientific babble.

BTW Hank Hanegraaff is PRESIDENT of the ICR, in case you missed that. His "scientific" qualifications are laughable and so are his theories.

Respectfully,

-V- AKA mevdfe (a play on my full name. my freinds call me V or Vinny)

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 447 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/14/1999 3:04 PM
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What, exactly, is the "scientific theory of creationism"? Your arguments sound like I have two choices: (1) science as it currently is with a mandated recognition of God or the possibility of God as the origin of life, or (2) ICR's pseudo-scientific babble.

No. You have these two choices:

1) Get involved with the two irrational sides that are arguing with each other. (And the supporters of Evolution are just as irrational as anyone.)
2) Don't get involved.

I'm saying to get involved by not getting involved. Let's find a way to keep the wackos on our side in check (e.g., Kansas Board of Education and ICR) and leave the scientists to their own devices because, if we do, they'll destroy their own theories.




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Author: rbednarski Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 449 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/15/1999 2:24 AM
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"BTW Hank Hanegraaff is PRESIDENT of the ICR, in case you missed that. "

No, Hank is President of CRI, the Christian Research Institute. His scientific qualifications are not relevant, as he is essentially a biblical scholar, theologian, and apologist.

The President of ICR is John D. Morris, Ph.D.

His qualifications in geology are:

B.S., Virginia Tech., Blacksburg, VA, 1969
M.S., University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 1977
Ph.D.. University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 1980

What, about these scientific qualifications, do you find laughable?

rb

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 450 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/15/1999 2:34 AM
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The President of ICR is John D. Morris, Ph.D.

His qualifications in geology are:

B.S., Virginia Tech., Blacksburg, VA, 1969
M.S., University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 1977
Ph.D.. University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 1980

What, about these scientific qualifications, do you find laughable?


I am almost literally rotfl!!!!!!!!

Hehehe...how about the fact that he did his studies at OU? :) And Virginia Tech????

If there weren't a unique handmade centuries-old cello on the ground behind me I would have a lot more trouble resisting the urge to laugh so hard I fall out of my chair.

--Rimbo, who went to the University of Texas at Austin and thus has no illusions about the "academic standards" in Norman


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Author: rbednarski Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 451 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/15/1999 4:00 AM
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"Hehehe...how about the fact that he did his studies at OU? :) And Virginia Tech???? "

OU and Virginia Tech may not be Harvard, but US News and World Report has both of them in the second tier of national universities, which puts them both in the range of 50-100 among universities, so neither of them are exactly Podunk U. A bit of snobbishness showing here? Anyone who has a Ph.D. that didn't go to one of the top 50 schools has laughable qualifications? Seems to me there are very fine schools in that tier, including both our alma maters.

So, how were the academic standards at UT Austin? They were pretty high at SUNY Binghamton, where I got my degree.

rb

ps: And what does it matter anyway? Why attack his qualifications? Last time I checked, Christ's academic qualifications were not particularly high either. Doesn't mean a thing about the truth of the teaching.

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 452 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/15/1999 4:22 AM
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Relax. It's a football thing. :)

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 453 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/15/1999 4:29 AM
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On top of that U.S. News & World Report's college rankings is one of the worst excuses of tabloid journalism in mainstream media -- they are based on criteria that are largely unrelated to the quality of education provided by the institutions or the qualifications of degree holders from these institutions.

The best example I know of is UC Berkeley, which has more #1-ranked departments than any University in the nation, and all of its departments are ranked in the Top 10 (according to the Gourman report and other surveys). Yet USN&WR doesn't even put them in the Top 10. Recently a coalition of respectable public universities stopped submitting information voluntarily to USN&WR because it would rank public universities necessarily lower than private ones, which makes no sense in places like California and Texas where with the exception of Stanford and Rice the public institutions are the best.

But I'm just poking fun at OU because of the Red River Rivalry.

Also, as someone who is a Master's degree holder and whose friends are mostly Ph.D. students and holders of Ph.D.'s, a high-level degree is a result of effort, not intelligence. There are lots of morons holding Ph.D.'s out there. :)

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Author: dderricckk Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 454 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/15/1999 4:15 PM
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The President of ICR is John D. Morris, Ph.D.

His qualifications in geology are:

B.S., Virginia Tech., Blacksburg, VA, 1969
M.S., University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 1977
Ph.D.. University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 1980

What, about these scientific qualifications, do you find laughable?


Not quite true. You seem to be listing his degree at Va Tech as a qualification in geology. But his degree was in civil engineering. And the degrees at Oklahoma are also engineering degrees. Here it is straight from the ICR web pages:

John D. Morris is Field Scientist for ICR, as well as Associate Professor in Earth Science and Apologetics for Christian Heritage College. He has the B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the M.S. and Ph.D. in Geological Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He worked several years as an engineer for the City of Los Angeles, and has taught at Oklahoma University. He was in charge of ICR's research expeditions to Mount Ararat in search of Noah's Ark, and has made extensive field studies of the Paluxy River footprints in Texas.

Not that engineering qualifications are laughable! But an engineering degree doesn't make you a scientist, and a degree in geological engineering doesn't make you a geologist.

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Author: rbednarski Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 455 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/16/1999 1:13 AM
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"Also, as someone who is a Master's degree holder and whose friends are mostly Ph.D. students and holders of Ph.D.'s, a high-level degree is a result of effort, not intelligence. There are lots of morons holding Ph.D.'s out there. :) "

None of which has anything to do with this particular person's scientific qualifications, which is what was slammed. Unless you can bring more to bear that these prejudices and surmises I think a retraction of the slam on his scientific qualifications should be made. It is the fair and right thing to do, IMO. The arguments should be kept to the issues, not to these kinds of personal attacks.

rb

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Author: rbednarski Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 456 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/16/1999 1:19 AM
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Rimbo:

If I understand your position correctly, you say that Christians should not contend against evolution because evolution is an irrational theory that will eventually fall of its own weight. And that contention from Christians will just make evolutionists dig in their heels. And this is bad because it would be easier for evolutionists to abandon their position "voluntarily", as it were, than to abandon it "under fire" from Christians. Is that a fair statement of your position?

If this is your position I think there is a serious flaw in the argument that I'd like to discuss with you here, but first I want to make sure I am stating your position fairly. Let me know.

rich

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Author: rbednarski Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 457 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/16/1999 1:32 AM
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"Not quite true. You seem to be listing his degree at Va Tech as a qualification in geology. But his degree was in civil engineering. And the degrees at Oklahoma are also engineering degrees. Here it is straight from the ICR web pages:"

Sorry, I didn't go deep enough into their site. I had no intention of misleading. It was my first trip to their site.

I don't know much about this org, and I don't know if Morris's positions are laughable, but even with your corrections I don't think that it is fair to say his scientific qualifictions are laughable. And in any case it is better to discuss the issues rather than "qualifications. Often those with qualifications don't have wisdom and those without qualifications *do* have wisdom. Remember, one gets "qualifications" by submitting oneself to the existing establishement in the field and by signing onto the conventional "wisdom".

I've seen this first hand, as I am in the process of getting "trained" to be a teacher. In order to become credentialed you have to take a bunch of courses that train future teachers in the accepted wisdom that has given us failed schools for the last 25 years. It takes a person of strong mind or experience (which I have, this being a career change -- experience, I mean -- you'll have to judge for yourself the strength of my mind) to resist falling into this brainwashing.

rich



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Author: dderricckk Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 459 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/16/1999 11:09 AM
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I don't know much about this org, and I don't know if Morris's positions are laughable, but even with your corrections I don't think that it is fair to say his scientific qualifictions are laughable.

I think it's fair to say that he has no scientific qualifications, or at least none listed on the web pages I checked. He just has some engineering degrees. And the OU web pages for the department are out there, if you want to see what sorts of things he could have been studying there. Contrast it to what the Geology department require of Ph.D. candidates, and I think the distinction between becoming an engineer and becoming a scientist will be quite clear.

All I'm pointing out is that he has no credentials or qualifications as a geologist or as a scientist, that I was able to find on the ICR web pages. No degrees in any scientific field. No peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals.

I agree that educational qualifications aren't everything. He could be a great geologist and do wonderful scientific research in that field, without having a degree in it. It happens. And it could be that his theories are sound but so unorthodox that he can't get them published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. That's possible. But so far, I've not seen any evidence to support that view, and the fact that he may have written some books doesn't mean anything, by itself.

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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 460 of 196047
Subject: Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian Date: 8/16/1999 2:48 PM
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None of which has anything to do with this particular person's scientific qualifications, which is what was slammed. Unless you can bring more to bear that these prejudices and surmises I think a retraction of the slam on his scientific qualifications should be made. It is the fair and right thing to do, IMO. The arguments should be kept to the issues, not to these kinds of personal attacks.

I think slams that are based on football rivalries should be kept within the realm of things equally as goofy. Don't you think the word "prejudice" is a bit strong? :)



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Author: Rimbo Big gold star, 5000 posts