Science Opposes Evolution

Science is the study of physical things that can be repeatedly observed, and by doing experiments, it has been observed that order is a fundamental element of physical systems.  In living systems, this order takes the form of programming, which we recognize as a very complicated form of linguistic information.  This doesn’t fit well with the ideas of evolution because evolution usually tries to explain change as a random process that happens when energy is applied to matter.  I believe, that at least one reason we don’t consider this to be a problem, is because we were only exposed to part of the truth about the fundamental elements of universe in school.

In an effort to stay within the bounds of naturalism, public schools teach two things that don’t work together.  We see this in the difference between what was taught in health class and what was taught in science class.

In health class, we are warned about germs and ways to protect ourselves from doing things like eating canned goods that have had the seal broken.  We are told that as long as the seal of a canned item is unbroken, an unwanted organism cannot get through and contaminate it.

Now when we go to science class, we are told something else, but it isn’t obvious at first.  Evolutionary science teaches something that could be simplified into a formula like this:

Matter + Energy = Life!

One thing that was shown to me is that we are capable of doing this experiment ourselves, but I suggest that we go back to health class to do it!  Let’s take a sealed can of beans and put it in a shaking machine.  Let’s also heat it up to just above room temperature.  Let’s leave it there all day.  Then let’s open it up at the end of the day and see what kinds of new life has formed.

Note that we had this formula:

Beans + (Shaking and Heat) = ?

To our dismay, when we open the can we find no new life.  There is no mold or anything.  We added a significant amount of heat and shaking.  The amount of pounds of pressure that was sent through the can could probably have built a house.  What we are experiencing is a way in which the formula we are taught in science class doesn’t appear to work.  We still eat cans of beans that haven’t been opened yet, even though the temperature has changed, it has been shaken and light has been showing on it.  We could have even been exposed to an magnet.  Did you realize that this experiment is performed over and over every day all over the world?  There are literally millions of cans being stored every year. The government is so concerned with the reality of this that they make laws to ensure that business abide by health class rules and not science class rules.

Here’s the formula being carefully controlled by health organizations:

Matter + Energy + Information = Life!

I would argue that there are actually three fundamentals of nature and one of them isn’t physical.  Information is from outside nature.  It’s “super” natural, and we don’t observe nature without it.  Once the right kind of information is introduced into a can of beans, we quickly discover new life forms.  If information is kept from being introduced into the experiment, only the existing life forms are left, but only until they break down (but that’s another topic).

The Bible has been telling us the truth the whole time.  Even when we didn’t understand the nature of germs or DNA yet.  Unlike a science book, it didn’t have to change to protect its philosophy.

 

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18 thoughts on “Science Opposes Evolution

  1. Evolution theory attempts to explain how life changes once it exists, not how life began, just as the big bang theory describes not how the universe began, but rather how it expanded and cooled once it had begun. We do not know how life began, though we have made some progress in recent years.

    Your experiment is not valid though, because you don’t know what you’re trying to produce (you don’t know what the first life was even like, no one does) and you don’t know what conditions are required to produce it. The number of possible combinations of electricity, mechanical forces, pressures and temperatures is almost infinite. The idea that they all exist in a can of beans is ridiculous. I might as well say shaking the can didn’t produce clear water therefore nature can’t produce clear water – when the conditions that produce it, (like straining through different grades of sediment or evaporation) do not exist in a can of beans.

    For example, scientists have tried for decades to understand how RNA could form on it’s own in nature, and they have much more information about RNA than they do about the first life on earth – they know exactly what it’s made out of, and what elements those chemicals are made out of. That being said it took more than a decade of trying different combinations to figure out how to make just two of the four chemicals RNA is made out of. It turned out to be as simple as splitting one of the chemicals in half (both halves form in nature) then exposing it to mechanical forces like waves and evaporating it. That produced the first chemical. Then dissolve that back into water and shine sunlight (UV radiation) on it, and it makes the second chemical.

    That took over a decade to stumble on. The reason is that complex chemistry is like a combination lock or a password – while there are a relatively small number of elements/numbers/letters, they can be combined in an almost infinite number of ways.

    Either way, you are basing your views on ignorance, your argument is “I don’t know how life began, therefore this is how life began”. You should stop at “I don’t know how life began”.

    • That’s not my argument. This is an article about science and how it differs from evolutionary beliefs of some people. I am aware that there are many different kinds of evolutionary beliefs out there. Perhaps I should have titled the article “Science Opposes Spontaneous Generation.” If evolution isn’t about how life began, why are you trying to find out how RNA could form on its own? Are you arguing that life exists without RNA or that evolution theory starts after RNA formation? Isn’t evolution the process of “forming on it’s own in nature?” If RNA formation isn’t a part of evolution, then what non-evolutionary process are you suggesting? My point is that science clearly shows us that things don’t come into existence without intelligence. I can also say, scientifically, that things don’t change form without intelligence guiding the process, whether that intelligence is a program or a mechanical process that has been set in motion, such as a wave. Look at how long it took to figure out RNA. Just saying that causes me consider that someone far more intelligent than us put it there. Make no mistake, I do know how life began and I know what it is. I didn’t intend to sound ignorant about that. I cover that in my commentary on Genesis.

      • “That’s not my argument. This is an article about science and how it differs from evolutionary beliefs of some people. I am aware that there are many different kinds of evolutionary beliefs out there. Perhaps I should have titled the article “Science Opposes Spontaneous Generation.”

        Science hasn’t even considered the idea of spontaneous generation for over a hundred years. The only reason professional creationists bring it up is it is as a strawman argument against evolution.

        “If evolution isn’t about how life began, why are you trying to find out how RNA could form on its own?”

        The field that tries to understand how life could have begun on it’s own is abiogenesis. And btw abiogenesis is not atheistic or theistic, if you believe that life began spontaneously you can either interpret that as being ordained by god through the creation of physical laws or as being an inevitable byproduct of complex chemistry in whatever system exists. The same way darwin assumed there was a god that created life. He talks in Origin Of Species about how we are arrogant to make assumptions about how god does anything and he describes his view thusly:

        “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”

        “Are you arguing that life exists without RNA or that evolution theory starts after RNA formation?”

        If life occurred by abiogenesis things like DNA would necessarily come later. Some people speculate that there may have been RNA based life before DNA based life, and others suggest even simpler ways information could have been passed on chemically before that. The first life would no more have had the fortified cell structures and complex bio-machines of modern life than the first army would have had nuclear weapons and cruise missiles and stealth bombers.

        “Isn’t evolution the process of “forming on it’s own in nature?”

        Evolution is just how life changes. If there were some god-driven mechanism discovered it would be added to, or replace the theory. But you’d have to be able to test it, and gods, if they exist, are not phenomenon we can observe and test. Which doesn’t mean they don’t exist of course, but it does make it kind of dishonest to make claims about them and call it science.

        “If RNA formation isn’t a part of evolution, then what non-evolutionary process are you suggesting?”

        In evolution things evolve for one reason then get modified for or used for something else. This is evident by the fact that so many complex mechanisms are literally cobbled together like a patchwork quilt from simpler mechanisms, many of which function in the same organism or in other organisms. Everything in evolution is jury-rigged from one purpose to another. This is also why so many things in nature have dual purposes, dogs use claws for digging, fighting, marking their terretory, etc. The only reason legs for walking on land could evolve is that fins for limping on land are useful, as in the case of many fish that leave the water, and other acquatic animals like tortoises, seals, etc. Everything starts out with one purpose and is modified and tweaked for something else. I see no reason that RNA and DNA could not have evolved as a byproduct of some other chemical process in early life, then been modified for something more like their current functions.

        “My point is that science clearly shows us that things don’t come into existence without intelligence.”

        What is intelligence? We don’t know how our own minds make decisions and generate ideas, for all we know there is a little darwinian process going on in our heads and evolution is fundamentally similar to our own thought process. We don’t know. I’ve wondered about this before – when we try to solve a problem or invent something we don’t magically get the right answer on the first try, we always have to try different things until we find the best method or the thing that works. So why should the mind of god be any different? We’re supposedly made in his image, right? Whatever that means. Maybe god has to use trial and error just like we do. And that’s all evolution is, a mechanism of cumulative trial and error. Only instead of trying one thing at a time it tries millions or billions of things at a time. And instead of trying to solve one problem it is working on all of them each time, allowing any variation that helps in any way to freely accumulate, while weeding out the harmful ones.

        “I can also say, scientifically, that things don’t change form without intelligence guiding the process, whether that intelligence is a program or a mechanical process that has been set in motion, such as a wave.”

        Actually scientifically that happens all the time. Where do you think new diseases come from? How do you think they acquire resistance to antibiotics? Cancer cells evolve microscopic pumps to literally bail chemotherapy toxins out of the cells, they adapt to both chemo and radiation. Evolution is, apart from the fundamentalist crowd, widely considered a fact of biology because we see it happening all the time.

        “Look at how long it took to figure out RNA. Just saying that causes me consider that someone far more intelligent than us put it there.”

        It took us that long, but meanwhile blind natural forces were making it every day. It took us that long because we lack the resources of a universe. And when we finally did figure it out it wasn’t by being smart, it was by randomly stumbling on the solution by trial and error.

        “Make no mistake, I do know how life began and I know what it is. I didn’t intend to sound ignorant about that. I cover that in my commentary on Genesis.”

        No, you don’t. Believing a being you do not understand made life by a mechanism you also do not understand is no more an explanation than saying “I think life happened somehow” is an explanation. I could, by the same logic, pretend to have all of the answers with a vague statement like that.

      • What you call “evolution” doesn’t change my argument. It just proves you are using different language. It isn’t a straw man because my argument isn’t about the wording of the process. It’s about matter and energy creating more complicated forms of matter without information being added, a subject which you continued by discussing RNA formation.

        I am aware of people who believe that a god used evolution, I think you would probably agree with me as to why they would need to invoke a god when everything just creates itself. The God we actually have wrote a book and told us how He did it so we don’t have to wonder as much, and it doesn’t include what is written into high-school science textbooks as “evolution.”

        So since you want to not use the word “evolution” that’s ok but it is more of a distraction than I think is necessary to discuss the facts. The thing that you are looking for to produce the first RNA without any information is the thing I’m talking about.

        I am not claiming God can be tested scientifically in this article. God must be accepted in order to be understood, I’m aware of that.

        Are your not going against your own statement that evolution is just about life changes and not new life, by saying “I see no reason that RNA and DNA could not have evolved.” If life needs DNA and RNA, then you are trying to find a way that life starts using evolution, a thing which I am saying isn’t scientific.

        I wanted to address you question about if “why should the mind of god be any different” than ours. The Bible makes it clear we live in a fallen world. As a result we make mistakes and God never does. The Bible also informs us that we are not God and don’t know everything like He does. Evolutionary processes that we use are fitting because we are clumsy and erroneous. Even so, our evolution would probably be more accurately called “development” because we use mental processes to eliminate unwanted parts.

        Concerning your question: “Where do you think new diseases come from?” Disease from a biblical point of view was introduced by God as a curse. Regarding antibiotics, information loss accounts for this behavior. In the other cases, there is a loss of information which allows an organism to live in the presence of a previously destructive element. This is not an example of an increase of information but a loss of the same. Examples like fish that can’t see and birds that can’t fly make sense in a creationism model. It is also evident that God’s software is capable of degrading gracefully. This software is more difficult to write but information science has proven this to exist. This kind of software is in a web browser. It allows us to view pages that were intended for an older one. This is consistent with the existence of a biblical God.

        Yes, I do know how life began. I know because God said He did it and told us something about how He did it. I am not asserting that I understand all of God’s ways. I only understand the ones He told us about, and I admit I am still learning about those. So, I am not pretending. Anyone can read it for themselves. I am also not being vague since there is far more descriptive text in the Bible to back up what I am saying here, some of which I have commented on elsewhere. I am not saying that “life happened somehow.” I am trying to communicate that science shows us that life doesn’t just happen.

      • “What you call “evolution” doesn’t change my argument. It just proves you are using different language. It isn’t a straw man because my argument isn’t about the wording of the process. It’s about matter and energy creating more complicated forms of matter without information being added, a subject which you continued by discussing RNA formation.”

        I don’t know what you mean by “without information being added”. Information is a human concept, usually used when something is meant to be read by a person, like a book. We call DNA a genetic “code” and refer to it as software and call the chemicals in it “letters” but these are metaphors. We do not know that our DNA was directly “written” by a conscious being like a book or a computer program, and we know for a fact that it is constantly being rewritten by genetic mutations and selective pressures. Now if you believe that there is a god and that that god created the underlying forces of nature that cause all of these things, then all of this is an extension of god.

        “I am aware of people who believe that a god used evolution, I think you would probably agree with me as to why they would need to invoke a god when everything just creates itself.”

        I see no reason to invoke a god at all. Believing in thor doesn’t give any new information about lightning – saying that thor just made it “somehow” isn’t a real explanation, any more than saying it just happened “somehow” is an explanation. Invoking gods, in my opinion, simply gives the illusion of having solved a mystery.

        “The God we actually have wrote a book and told us how He did it so we don’t have to wonder as much, and it doesn’t include what is written into high-school science textbooks as “evolution.”

        First of all god did not write the bible, men who claimed to be inspired by a supernatural source wrote tens of thousands of texts in countless cultures, a few dozen of which some political leaders in ancient rome decided to codify and call the bible. Men wrote these texts, and more were excluded than were included. There are even texts referred to in the bible that were not included. So even if I granted that your god exists and that he has communicated to some number of people, whether this or that text comes from god is highly debatable. Then you have the question of how to translate it, which is often impossible since these texts come from a period 1500 years or more before the first dictionaries were invented, when there was no standardized language or mass-media so a word could mean one thing in one town and something else in another. Sometimes there is adequate context for a translation but often times it’s “well this word meant this a hundred years later in the closest text to that time and period we could find”. Then once you get a good translation (which to me seems fairly impossible, but I’m not a linguist so I could be wrong) there’s the issue of interpretation. Is genesis a science text? There are no equations, no great truths which had yet to be discovered, and the descriptions of the cosmos seem provincial at best – the author of the text seems to not know that the sun is a star, or that the moon does not produce it’s own light, or how the day/night cycle works, among other things. But maybe it’s not a science textbook (some would say this is painfully obvious). So what then? Maybe it’s an allegory or a fable. There are non-literal ways to teach things you know. Some ideas can’t be taught literally, that is what esoteric means – that which is so abstract it can be learned but cannot be directly taught. If I were christian I would not interpret a story with a talking animal and two magic trees as a science textbook, nor a historical account.

        “So since you want to not use the word “evolution” that’s ok but it is more of a distraction than I think is necessary to discuss the facts. The thing that you are looking for to produce the first RNA without any information is the thing I’m talking about.”

        Professional creationists like to use the term “information” because it is very vague and they can therefore make lots of claims about it and demand to see it without ever letting anyone know what it is they want. They have in the past had a position on “information” much like the supreme court’s position on pornography – “I can’t tell you what it is but I know it when I see it”. This is not scientific however since you’re supposed to make clear predictions and then test them.

        “I am not claiming God can be tested scientifically in this article. God must be accepted in order to be understood, I’m aware of that.”

        Maybe to feel like you understand him. The idea that you or I could even comprehend a god if it existed is beyond arrogant. We cannot even comprehend ourselves.

        “Are your not going against your own statement that evolution is just about life changes and not new life, by saying “I see no reason that RNA and DNA could not have evolved.” If life needs DNA and RNA, then you are trying to find a way that life starts using evolution, a thing which I am saying isn’t scientific.”

        No I was saying that if life began by abiogenesis then complex things like DNA machinery would necessarily not be present in the earliest life forms. I’m not saying evolution can start life, I’m saying life would’ve had to start earlier. But that is only if you assume abiogenesis. A god (or aliens or whatever) could have created DNA or RNA based life which then evolved. Evolution is kind of like world war 2 – even if we didn’t know what started it there is ample evidence that it happened, how long it took, what major events transpired during it etc. How it started is a valid question but does not have the power to discredit everything else.

        “I wanted to address you question about if “why should the mind of god be any different” than ours. The Bible makes it clear we live in a fallen world. As a result we make mistakes and God never does.”

        If a god is all-powerful and omniscient, every mistake of ours is a mistake of his/her/it’s. This idea of a god that creates a world knowing it would become “fallen”, watches it fall apart then washes his hands of the whole mess and is perfect and flawless while watching his children rape and murder each other and die of diseases he invented is just absurd. You might as well tell me god is a square circle.

        “The Bible also informs us that we are not God and don’t know everything like He does.”

        Then why am I the only one saying “I don’t know” here? You’re saying that you do know.

        “Evolutionary processes that we use are fitting because we are clumsy and erroneous. Even so, our evolution would probably be more accurately called “development” because we use mental processes to eliminate unwanted parts.”

        We are merely copying nature.

        “Concerning your question: “Where do you think new diseases come from?” Disease from a biblical point of view was introduced by God as a curse.”

        I didn’t ask where disease originally came from, I asked where *new* diseases come from. If you read the news at all you must be aware that new strains pop up all the time and that diseases are constantly changing.

        “Regarding antibiotics, information loss accounts for this behavior. In the other cases, there is a loss of information which allows an organism to live in the presence of a previously destructive element. This is not an example of an increase of information but a loss of the same. Examples like fish that can’t see and birds that can’t fly make sense in a creationism model.”

        The claim that all mutations do is remove “information” is an old one and not only has it never been based on any actual science, but it has also been debunked many, many times. While yes life will often adapt by removing something or simplifying a part of it’s body (especially if in it’s environment the part is not needed) the reverse is also true and very well documented that mechanisms like gene duplication mutations add DNA which can then be freely modified, which is also why almost every part of an organism is a modified version of some other part.

        “It is also evident that God’s software is capable of degrading gracefully. This software is more difficult to write but information science has proven this to exist. This kind of software is in a web browser. It allows us to view pages that were intended for an older one. This is consistent with the existence of a biblical God.”

        Backwards compatibility is not comparable to what you are talking about. And if creatures suffering degrading mutations which are deleterious but not harmful or fatal is evidence for god, are the abundant deleterious mutations that are harmful or fatal evidence against god?

        “Yes, I do know how life began. I know because God said He did it and told us something about how He did it.”

        You mean where he said he “let the earth bring forth” the plants and animals?

        “I am not asserting that I understand all of God’s ways. I only understand the ones He told us about, and I admit I am still learning about those. So, I am not pretending.”

        So you could be wrong?

        “Anyone can read it for themselves.”

        Yeah but the validity and accuracy of what they can read is highly suspect. The bible was not written in modern english, and treating it as though it were assumes not just the infallibility of god, but the infallibility of the people who wrote the texts, the people who decided which ones were authentic and the people who then translated and re-translated them. And then the people who, often through political means, established the various orthodox interpretations.

        I am also not being vague since there is far more descriptive text in the Bible to back up what I am saying here, some of which I have commented on elsewhere. I am not saying that “life happened somehow.” I am trying to communicate that science shows us that life doesn’t just happen.”

        I don’t know how science can show us anything for sure about hypothetical unknown organisms we don’t have access to today. And by the way I am not being one-sided in this, if we experimentally produced life in the lab tomorrow it would not prove that that is how it happened originally, only that it could’ve happened that way.

      • I don’t know what you mean by “without information being added”.

        I’m speaking conceptually. I’m comparing two models of the physical world. One that is made up of two entities and the other three. By “information,” I’m talking about structures intended to convey meaning from one system to another that would otherwise be arbitrary. Things like blueprints and DNA are good examples. One system passes structures to another system which interprets them and does something as a result. Energy is then directed to form a product. That’s the kind of thing we see in the real world and the programs and information used are ultimately created by mental sources.

        Is genesis a science text? There are no equations, no great truths which had yet to be discovered, and the descriptions of the cosmos seem provincial at best – the author of the text seems to not know that the sun is a star, or that the moon does not produce it’s own light, or how the day/night cycle works, among other things. But maybe it’s not a science textbook (some would say this is painfully obvious). So what then?

        Actually, all the creationists I know don’t believe that the Genesis is a science book. A few of them, like me, believe it is an historic narrative. There isn’t anything provincial in saying that the moon gives light. I hear people who understand the science say “the moon was bright last night.” I also hear people say “sunset” even though they know that the earth turned. Just because God didn’t reveal all of the science to Moses yet, doesn’t mean that the Bible is inaccurate. By the way, Moses was highly trained in Egypt as a prince, so he may have actually understood that the sun was a star. I am told that there are things that the Egyptians knew that we no longer understand.

        If I were christian I would not interpret a story with a talking animal and two magic trees as a science textbook, nor a historical account.

        As a Christian you don’t get to choose. We are required to understand that it wasn’t a science text book, that it was a historical account and that animals can be made by God to talk and that trees can have special significance attributed to them by God. It is not intellectually challenging because a God who can make the universe is capable of doing these things in history.

        Maybe to feel like you understand him. The idea that you or I could even comprehend a god if it existed is beyond arrogant. We cannot even comprehend ourselves.

        That’s not what I meant by “understand him.” I meant “understand what He revealed about Himself to humans.” Some things have to be believed before they can be understood and some things like God can only be understood in a simple way by humans. It can be argued that we don’t fully understand much of anything, but if we understand what our Creator expects us to understand, that is good enough.

        It is curious, however, that you would worry about human arrogance in when you don’t believe in God. Why would arrogance concern you? I agree that it is bad because God says so, but why would that concern you?

        Backwards compatibility is not comparable to what you are talking about. And if creatures suffering degrading mutations which are deleterious but not harmful or fatal is evidence for god, are the abundant deleterious mutations that are harmful or fatal evidence against god?

        You are probably right that my example wasn’t accurate here. I was trying to express the fact that sometimes a plugin is not available, like for Flash, and the browser is smart enough to recognize that the plugin isn’t installed. Instead of blowing up, it says that flash isn’t installed. Another example would be browsers that don’t support graphics. These are signs of a very smart designer, who predicted missing things. In the case of mutations, our Designer probably knew that when a mutation happens, it would be better to skip certain code and allow the organism to live if possible. God likes life and wants it to keep going. Often, however, the mutant isn’t allowed to reproduce. That sounds like a graceful degradation to me.

        You mean where he said he “let the earth bring forth” the plants and animals?

        Yes.

        So you could be wrong?

        Definitely, but God isn’t ever wrong. I’m just trying to understand what He said.

        The bible was not written in modern english

        I know. I’m not going along with people who believe that. It was obviously written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, but the scholarship we have is stellar by my estimation. Many of the mistakes in English translations have been exposed and dealt with in a reasonable way.

        I don’t know how science can show us anything for sure about hypothetical unknown organisms we don’t have access to today.

        I agree.

      • I’m speaking conceptually. I’m comparing two models of the physical world. One that is made up of two entities and the other three.”

        What are the three entities?

        “By “information,” I’m talking about structures intended to convey meaning from one system to another that would otherwise be arbitrary. Things like blueprints and DNA are good examples. One system passes structures to another system which interprets them and does something as a result. Energy is then directed to form a product. That’s the kind of thing we see in the real world and the programs and information used are ultimately created by mental sources.”

        The difference is that we know by experience that a book or a computer is designed by an intelligent mind and intended for this or that purpose, and we know that a technician is analyzing and solving problems via technology – but in an organism the mechanisms involved are of unknown origins (regardless of what we suspect their origins may be) and the mechanisms inside of them are not thinking or interpreting anything, they are just reacting according to the same principles of thermodynamics, physics and chemistry that make a fire burn down a house or a toxin kill you. They’re not deciding to do this or that, they just do it spontaneously. And many aspects of nature are puzzling at best if we assume an intelligent designer, like parasites, toxins, and so on. You say that it is a sign of design that species can degrade gracefully but often we have something we don’t need which is harmful, like an appendix or wisdom teeth.

        “Actually, all the creationists I know don’t believe that the Genesis is a science book. A few of them, like me, believe it is an historic narrative.”

        It’s worth noting that no one even knows who wrote the book of genesis. Why believe it is a historical narrative at all?

        “There isn’t anything provincial in saying that the moon gives light. I hear people who understand the science say “the moon was bright last night.” I also hear people say “sunset” even though they know that the earth turned.”

        If they said that god created two lights to light the earth, the sun and the moon, that would be a description of the solar system from the perspective of someone on earth, not the objective perspective of someone in outer space or who is omniscient. It would be like describing the earth as flat instead of round. The fact that people do these things doesn’t explain why a god would in an infallible text.

        “Just because God didn’t reveal all of the science to Moses yet, doesn’t mean that the Bible is inaccurate.”

        By that standard, what would make the bible inaccurate?

        “By the way, Moses was highly trained in Egypt as a prince, so he may have actually understood that the sun was a star.”

        I suppose he could have, though I doubt he is the author of genesis. And even if he was, how would he be in any more of a position to describe events that took place thousands of years prior to his birth than you or I would to describe the events of jesus’ life?

        “I am told that there are things that the Egyptians knew that we no longer understand.”

        I suppose this could be true, but if it were true it by definition would not be knowable, so the claim is kind of bogus. Also advanced knowledge yields advanced technology, and while we are occasionally surprised by what ancient civilizations knew it’s never, to my knowledge, in advance of modern science.

        [If I were christian I would not interpret a story with a talking animal and two magic trees as a science textbook, nor a historical account.]

        “As a Christian you don’t get to choose.”

        I do not choose to believe this or that, I simply try to understand. I was christian once and I tried to understand the bible, which eventually lead me to the conclusion that it was no more inspired than the koran or the book of mormon or any other religious text. If that conclusion is wrong I want to know. I haven’t found anything in years that has steered me any closer to that conclusion though. If you don’t have the option to consider that you might be wrong about the bible (whether from within or without a christian framework) then christianity is a snare you are caught in.

        “We are required to understand that it wasn’t a science text book, that it was a historical account and that animals can be made by God to talk and that trees can have special significance attributed to them by God. It is not intellectually challenging because a God who can make the universe is capable of doing these things in history.”

        If I came to you and said that when I was growing up I had a pet dragon, would you believe me? By your logic if god can do anything he could create a pet dragon for me, so doesn’t that make the claim reasonable? Doesn’t it make every claim reasonable? If god can do anything couldn’t he send a prophet named joseph smith to tell you how to get to heaven? If you believe far-out ideas about the bible because “god can do anything” then where do you draw the line when it comes to every other claim? Why not say “of course I accept evolution, god can do anything so he could create life with evolution”? With this sort of magical thinking beliefs become arbitrary.

        “That’s not what I meant by “understand him.” I meant “understand what He revealed about Himself to humans.”

        So you fully understand the bible?

        “Some things have to be believed before they can be understood”

        That sounds very brainwashy to me. If you believe that there is no god but allah and mohammad is his prophet, I’m sure you will say you “understand” why it’s true too. And similarly that you would have a hard time relating your reasons to someone who is not already a believer. What you are describing sounds more like a rationalization, which is when you believe something for an irrational reason (like fear, indoctrination, bias, etc) and then come up with a list of reasons why it’s true to defend the belief.

        “and some things like God can only be understood in a simple way by humans. It can be argued that we don’t fully understand much of anything, but if we understand what our Creator expects us to understand, that is good enough.”

        Even if you were right and there was a giant intelligence in the sky somewhere that made us, I should think that it would be more impressed if we tried to grow up and gain god-like wisdom and understanding than if we chose to be perpetually child-like and subservient.

        “It is curious, however, that you would worry about human arrogance in when you don’t believe in God. Why would arrogance concern you? I agree that it is bad because God says so, but why would that concern you?”

        I don’t see what one thing has to do with the other. Your question is like saying “I don’t understand why you believe in freedom when you’re not an american”. It operates under the assumption that your values are specific to (and limited to) your own culture, when in reality things that are bad tend to be more or less recognized as bad across many cultural and ideological spectrums, and things that are good are similarly recognized as good. Arrogance is bad because it makes one prone to error and bad judgement. This isn’t true because god says so, and if god said it wasn’t the case it would still be true. Is the earth round only if god says it is? If god said it was flat would it not be round?

        “You are probably right that my example wasn’t accurate here. I was trying to express the fact that sometimes a plugin is not available, like for Flash, and the browser is smart enough to recognize that the plugin isn’t installed. Instead of blowing up, it says that flash isn’t installed. Another example would be browsers that don’t support graphics. These are signs of a very smart designer, who predicted missing things. In the case of mutations, our Designer probably knew that when a mutation happens, it would be better to skip certain code and allow the organism to live if possible.”

        If god designed life and the universe why not just make a universe with no mutations to begin with? Your example is kind of like saying the car must’ve been designed by god because when the tire goes flat you can still ride on the rims to get home.

        “God likes life and wants it to keep going.”

        Then why does everything he creates die and every species eventually go extinct?

        “Often, however, the mutant isn’t allowed to reproduce. That sounds like a graceful degradation to me.”

        This is just personifying a natural process. And it’s worth mentioning that every single human being is a mutant. Also you didn’t reply to this:

        [And if creatures suffering degrading mutations which are deleterious but not harmful or fatal is evidence for god, are the abundant deleterious mutations that are harmful or fatal evidence against god?]

        [You mean where he said he “let the earth bring forth” the plants and animals?]

        “Yes.”

        Doesn’t that sound like god created a planet with the potential for life and allowed it to produce life?

        “Definitely, but God isn’t ever wrong. I’m just trying to understand what He said.”

        God did not write the bible, people did. That, to me, is a vital part of understanding the text which people often skip over.

        “I know. I’m not going along with people who believe that. It was obviously written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, but the scholarship we have is stellar by my estimation.”

        I would need to be a scholar myself to feel comfortable making such a claim. It’s worth mentioning that the leading scholars of each generation have differed with each other wildly on many points, as well as contradicting the scholars of each other generation. A scholar from the middle ages would not share many views in common with you, for instance. Every generation thinks it has a monopoly on truth and has everything figured out.

        “Many of the mistakes in English translations have been exposed and dealt with in a reasonable way.”

        Many of the things people don’t like in the bible are not mistakes. And in some cases the translation errors actually tame the bible, such as the KJV censoring the word “slave” from the text.

      • What are the three entities?

        Energy, matter and information.

        The difference is that we know by experience that a book or a computer is designed by an intelligent mind and intended for this or that purpose

        That actually leads back to the point that evolution isn’t really scientific. Science is the practice of gaining experience about something. That experience wouldn’t automatically lead to an assumption that life evolved.

        …they are just reacting according to the same principles of thermodynamics, physics and chemistry that make a fire burn down a house or a toxin kill you. They’re not deciding to do this or that, they just do it spontaneously.

        True, but I was intending to convey the idea the principles are information. I assume that the original information came from somewhere else.

        And many aspects of nature are puzzling at best if we assume an intelligent designer, like parasites, toxins, and so on.

        Not really. Remember that God clearly says in the Bible that things such as toxins and parasites are the result of man’s sin.

        but often we have something we don’t need which is harmful, like an appendix or wisdom teeth.

        I can’t assume the intent of a thing which has now been corrupted. These examples have been explained elsewhere as having purpose, but I get your point. It still doesn’t automatically follow. Assuming we know that an organ is purposeless simply because it can become harmful, would be another example of arrogance.

        It’s worth noting that no one even knows who wrote the book of genesis.

        Actually, some people do think they know, and I’m one of them.

        If they said that god created two lights to light the earth, the sun and the moon, that would be a description of the solar system from the perspective of someone on earth

        But that’s ok because God is speaking to men using their frame of reference. That’s just good communication.

        I suppose this could be true, but if it were true it by definition would not be knowable, so the claim is kind of bogus.

        What I meant to say was that some of the results that we observe, such as their preservation capabilities, are now a mystery. We witness the results, but are not sure how to duplicate them. This is another example of a loss of information.

        how would he be in any more of a position to describe events that took place thousands of years prior to his birth than you or I would to describe the events of jesus’ life?

        The Bible teaches that God can reveal things that people would not naturally know.

        I do not choose to believe this or that, I simply try to understand. I was christian once and I tried to understand the bible, which eventually lead me to the conclusion that it was no more inspired than the koran or the book of mormon or any other religious text.

        It sure sounds to me like you chose to be a Christian once and then chose not to. That’s choosing.

        If you don’t have the option to consider that you might be wrong about the bible (whether from within or without a christian framework) then christianity is a snare you are caught in.

        I didn’t say that you can’t choose whether or not to be a Christian, I was saying that once you choose to be a Christian, you should believe the Bible as the ultimate authority, not your own ideas. The Bible says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” You start with accepting God and then you view the world. Then, it starts to make sense. God must help us see it His way though.

        If you believe far-out ideas about the bible because “god can do anything” then where do you draw the line when it comes to every other claim?

        That’s a great question. I measure every claim against what the Bible says.

        So you fully understand the bible?

        No, but I am understanding more all the time.

        What you are describing sounds more like a rationalization, which is when you believe something for an irrational reason (like fear, indoctrination, bias, etc) and then come up with a list of reasons why it’s true to defend the belief.

        I don’t think I’m understanding you here. It sounds like you are trying to say that it is irrational to become rational. To have a good reason for a belief, makes it no longer irrational, even if it once was without reason.

        …when in reality things that are bad tend to be more or less recognized as bad across many cultural and ideological spectrums, and things that are good are similarly recognized as good. Arrogance is bad because it makes one prone to error and bad judgement.

        The Bible actually explains this because all cultures come from one God. Evolution doesn’t explain the existence of universal absolutes like laws of morality.

        This isn’t true because god says so, and if god said it wasn’t the case it would still be true. Is the earth round only if god says it is? If god said it was flat would it not be round?

        I am saying that God is perfectly rational and doesn’t say things that contradict. I am saying that He created logic. He also never said that the earth was flat.

        If god designed life and the universe why not just make a universe with no mutations to begin with?

        He did. We just messed it up. Sin was the thing that corrupted the good universe. God made us and knew we would sin, but He also made a way out and has promised to remove sin and its effects entirely someday.

        Doesn’t that sound like god created a planet with the potential for life and allowed it to produce life?

        Yes, in fact He said “be fruitful and multiply,” but He also said “according to their kinds.” So there is life, maturity, and growth. There’s even speciation, but God made it clear that kinds were only to reproduce their own kinds, which means that a monkey can’t become a man. He can become a very different kind of monkey, though.

        God did not write the bible, people did. That, to me, is a vital part of understanding the text which people often skip over.

        You may be right that people sometimes skip over this. Myself, and many others, are fully aware that it was written by fallible humans, that were permitted to make an infallible document. The document says that it is infallible and that the humans used to make it, were fallible.

        Many of the things people don’t like in the bible are not mistakes. And in some cases the translation errors actually tame the bible, such as the KJV censoring the word “slave” from the text.

        I agree. “Slave” really is there according to what I have studied too. As Christians we shouldn’t try to cover up what is really there.

      • “Energy, matter and information.”

        Information is a nebulous concept. Claiming invisible, un-defined things like information exist in nature and then invoking other invisible un-defined things (gods) to justify them seems like white noise to me.

        “That actually leads back to the point that evolution isn’t really scientific. Science is the practice of gaining experience about something. That experience wouldn’t automatically lead to an assumption that life evolved.”

        I don’t know what you’re trying to say here. Evolution isn’t scientific why? And science is the process of testing ideas about nature using predictions and experiments. That life has changed over time is supported by a vast wealth of information, tests and observations, claiming that life hasn’t evolved is like claiming humans haven’t developed technologically.

        “True, but I was intending to convey the idea the principles are information. I assume that the original information came from somewhere else.”

        I try not to make assumptions. You can assume your way to any conclusion.

        “Not really. Remember that God clearly says in the Bible that things such as toxins and parasites are the result of man’s sin.”

        I don’t recall the bible ever “clearly” saying anything about toxins or parasites. Or black holes or pentium processors for that matter. I’ve heard countless evangelists read these things between the lines, but modern scientific concepts are not actually ever found in the bible. And the idea that it didn’t come from god is like the idea of a human standing over an ant farm with a giant magnifying glass and saying “now don’t go over to this area” then some ants going over there and getting burnt, and the kid saying “uh, no I didn’t do that, the ants did”. It’s absurd.

        “I can’t assume the intent of a thing which has now been corrupted. These examples have been explained elsewhere as having purpose, but I get your point.”

        People have speculated that the appendix has a residual function but something like 1 in 11 people get appendicitis, before modern medicine that was a lot of dead people. I doubt having an appendix is useful enough to outweigh killing you. And wisdom teeth? I’ve never even heard people try to argue it’s better to have so many teeth they break and cause intense pain and life threatening infections.

        “It still doesn’t automatically follow.”

        If bad design doesn’t logically follow that we were not designed as-is by a perfect intelligence then why does good design logically follow that the opposite is true? Bearing in mind it’s actually far easier to disprove something like this than to prove it.

        “Assuming we know that an organ is purposeless simply because it can become harmful, would be another example of arrogance.”

        Actually because cutting it out does no perceptible harm and leaving it in does obvious harm. By that standard it’s arrogant to assume crystal meth is harmful because for all we know it could have some awesome beneficial property we haven’t discovered that’s worth all of the negative health effects. I am using the information we have to draw a conclusion – you are using hypothetical imagined information we could one day have (that isn’t even specified) to ignore the data that we do have..

        [It’s worth noting that no one even knows who wrote the book of genesis. ]

        “Actually, some people do think they know, and I’m one of them.”

        Some people don’t use the word “know” properly and confuse knowledge with certainty. You know something if you can demonstrate it to be true. You believe something if you can’t. You can’t demonstrate who wrote the book of genesis. Or rather not in a way that would be convincing to people who do not already make certain theological assumptions.

        [If they said that god created two lights to light the earth, the sun and the moon, that would be a description of the solar system from the perspective of someone on earth ]

        “But that’s ok because God is speaking to men using their frame of reference. That’s just good communication.”

        So the fact that the bible is written from a human perspective proves that it is not of human origin? This is kind of like saying “see, this evidence for the moon landing is perfect, absolutely flawlessly consistent with the environment of the moon – which just goes to prove the CIA faked it because who else could’ve pulled off such a brilliant forgery!”

        “What I meant to say was that some of the results that we observe, such as their preservation capabilities, are now a mystery.”

        Like what?

        “We witness the results, but are not sure how to duplicate them. This is another example of a loss of information.”

        This is abductive reasoning, the logic that if A were true it would explain B therefore A is true, which is the fallacy behind many conspiracy theories and superstitions. If the CIA broke into your house and stole your car keys that would have the power to explain why you can’t find them the next morning, but that doesn’t mean that it’s true. Abductive reasoning is only useful for generating hypotheses which then must be tested and have supporting evidence. The power of a hypothesis to explain something assuming it’s correct is meaningless. It’s easy to come up with a potential explanation for almost anything.

        “The Bible teaches that God can reveal things that people would not naturally know.”

        So the fact that the supposed knowledge of the supposed author of a text is impossible doesn’t even phase you? If I wrote a book about how everything in the bible about jesus is wrong and claimed god was inspiring me would that be reasonable to believe too? Why believe one author (that you never even met) and not another?

        “It sure sounds to me like you chose to be a Christian once and then chose not to. That’s choosing.”

        I certainly didn’t choose to be christian. I was made christian by my parents before I knew how to choose anything, or that there were even other options. And the point I was trying to make is that I don’t believe things because I want to, I believe them because as far as I can tell they are true. If the world were ugly and terrible I would believe that, if it were beautiful and wonderful I would believe that too. I don’t pick my beliefs like picking food from a buffet line, like “oh, atheism would taste nice today”. Many people do that. I’m not saying you do, but many people do.

        “I didn’t say that you can’t choose whether or not to be a Christian, I was saying that once you choose to be a Christian, you should believe the Bible as the ultimate authority, not your own ideas.”

        So you weren’t stuck before you became christian, but now that you became christian you have no choice any more? And I don’t think I’ve ever met someone yet who uses the bible as the ultimate authority on anything. Every christian I’ve ever known ignores as much scripture as any atheist. They just rationalize it rather than admitting they’re ignoring it.

        “The Bible says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

        I prefer socrates’ statement, the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms. Christianity is not what makes the world make sense, it is simply the lens through which you view reality. You see the world with christianity-colored glasses. If you took those glasses off and discarded them you would (after an adjustment period) feel as though you were seeing the world for the first time. This is the nature of all belief systems and all lenses, not just yours. You may feel like christianity is what allows you to make sense of the world, and maybe it is – but it’s not the only framework. It’s like the fallacy of assuming that because pizza keeps you from starving you need pizza, when of course other foods will do just as good (or better) of a job.

        “You start with accepting God and then you view the world. Then, it starts to make sense. God must help us see it His way though.”

        I try to start with viewing the world and not make assumptions. In fact, I challenge assumptions when I find them wherever possible.

        [If you believe far-out ideas about the bible because “god can do anything” then where do you draw the line when it comes to every other claim?]

        “That’s a great question. I measure every claim against what the Bible says.”

        So god can do anything… unless it’s not mentioned in the bible? Or what if someone makes a claim eerily similar to something claimed in the bible, like that they saw a burning bush that gave them instructions? Does the dissimilarity make it false or the similarity make it true?

        [What you are describing sounds more like a rationalization, which is when you believe something for an irrational reason (like fear, indoctrination, bias, etc) and then come up with a list of reasons why it’s true to defend the belief. ]

        “I don’t think I’m understanding you here. It sounds like you are trying to say that it is irrational to become rational. To have a good reason for a belief, makes it no longer irrational, even if it once was without reason.”

        What I am describing is psychological more than logical, when the conviction comes first, especially if it stems from a social or emotional need, the human mind is capable of coming up with “good” reasons for virtually anything. Think of all the evil and foolishness people rationalize in the world. It is best if the conclusion comes at the end of the process of investigation and not the beginning, lest we fit the facts to the belief instead of fitting our beliefs to the facts. Imagine a police officer who believed they needed to be sure of the guilt of a suspect before the investigation, would they serve justice or do harm?

        […when in reality things that are bad tend to be more or less recognized as bad across many cultural and ideological spectrums, and things that are good are similarly recognized as good. Arrogance is bad because it makes one prone to error and bad judgement.]

        “The Bible actually explains this because all cultures come from one God.”

        As I said before the power to explain something is irrelevant if the facts do not support the idea. An all powerful god has the power to explain anything the same way an all-powerful genie does – by the user’s definition. We haven’t verified that such things exist however. Also that all peoples come from god no more means they will be identical than that five products come from one company means they will all have the same function. And if it did wouldn’t differences between people on different continents be contrary to your conclusion? Not to mention people and slugs supposedly come from the same god but have very different moral behavior. So this logic has some holes.

        “Evolution doesn’t explain the existence of universal absolutes like laws of morality.”

        I don’t think morality is made up of a list of absolutes, I think it’s relative and made up of many things, from philosophy to laws to biological instincts and is ultimately based on the human condition, which is easily explained by evolution. If saying hello caused someone excruciating pain, we would have rules against greeting people. I don’t see how morality is not ultimately based in the human condition.

        “I am saying that God is perfectly rational and doesn’t say things that contradict.”

        The bible contradicts itself many, many times. And the question was is something true because it’s true or is it true because god or the bible say it. If the bible said the earth was flat would it be flat or round?

        “I am saying that He created logic.”

        Actually logic is a man-made system like mathematics. People often conflate the system we invented with the things it is used to describe.

        “He also never said that the earth was flat.”

        I didn’t say he did, though you could make the argument (which I am not trying to do).

        [If god designed life and the universe why not just make a universe with no mutations to begin with? ]

        “He did. We just messed it up. Sin was the thing that corrupted the good universe. God made us and knew we would sin, but He also made a way out and has promised to remove sin and its effects entirely someday.”

        Genetic mutations are caused by radiation and chemicals, both of which are intrinsic parts of the universe which life as we know it could not survive without. Life actually couldn’t even survive without mutations for that matter, unless the environment never, ever changed in the slightest way. None of which was true a few thousand years ago. Before the “fall” were stars not huge thermonuclear radiation-emitting balls of light? Did atoms like carbon necessary for all life on earth which in some combinations are carcinogenic not exist? This is an impossibility. One of many that you run into if you start with a conclusion (like there being a literal fall) and then try to justify it.

        “Yes, in fact He said “be fruitful and multiply,” but He also said “according to their kinds.” So there is life, maturity, and growth. There’s even speciation, but God made it clear that kinds were only to reproduce their own kinds, which means that a monkey can’t become a man. He can become a very different kind of monkey, though.”

        We share 98% of our coding DNA with chimpanzees, a man is a slightly different monkey and visa versa. Granted those differences are important to us, but they are by definition fairly slight. It’s also worth mentioning that defining “kind” as species is completely arbitrary, you could just as easily say that it means mammals can only produce mammals or eukaryotes (the branch of life that includes plants, animals, insects and some microbes) can only produce eukaryotes. Or you could say that it’s a throw away word and we’re both reading into it what we want it to say. Either way genesis is not a biology text.

        [God did not write the bible, people did. That, to me, is a vital part of understanding the text which people often skip over. ]

        “You may be right that people sometimes skip over this. Myself, and many others, are fully aware that it was written by fallible humans, that were permitted to make an infallible document. The document says that it is infallible and that the humans used to make it, were fallible.”

        This is layers upon layers of circular logic. To quote one satyrical song “we know the good book’s good because the good book says it’s good, we know the good book knows it’s good because a really good book would, you wouldn’t cook without a cookbook and I think it’s understood you can’t be good without a good book and it’s good and it’s a book”.

        Saying that the contents of the bible is true because the bible says they’re true is like saying that the voices in my head come from aliens because the voices in my head tell me so. To use a claim (assumed to be true) as it’s own proof is widely accepted as being a logical fallacy regardless of the claim being made.

        “I agree. “Slave” really is there according to what I have studied too. As Christians we shouldn’t try to cover up what is really there.”

        I very much appreciate you saying so. But I have to ask, are you pro-slavery then? The bible’s the ultimate authority, right?

      • I would like to separate your comments into smaller parts. So, I am starting with the last question:

        But I have to ask, are you pro-slavery then?

        The Bible isn’t pro-slavery in an American cultural sense. It was permitted in a very restricted way for a time. The biblical form is temporary and beneficial in many ways to the slave. Christians use the word to express their relationship to God, however. This is a moral issue. I am glad that you agree that slavery is wrong, but I don’t understand your basis for right and wrong so it is concerning especially when it comes to slavery. I would think that a more constant evolutionist would say slavery is ok because in increases his survival value in some cases. Darwin himself had problems with racism and I understand that Hitler held an evolutionary philosophy that promoted his racism too.

      • “The Bible isn’t pro-slavery in an American cultural sense.”

        American slavery was modeled directly on biblical slavery.

        “It was permitted in a very restricted way for a time. The biblical form is temporary and beneficial in many ways to the slave.”

        You just said slavery is beneficial in many ways. You are by definition pro-slavery. Or you would be if you believed the things coming out of your mouth.

        “Christians use the word to express their relationship to God, however.”

        And the bible uses it to describe people bought and sold, forced into servitude, whose children are to be owned by your descendants until the end of time. People who you are free to abuse as much as you like unless they’re jewish/hebrew, then you have to be nice to them and let them go after a certain period of time. This is what indentured servitude of whites was modeled after in the US and europe. Real “slaves” were procured from foreign lands, as the bible commands.

        “This is a moral issue. I am glad that you agree that slavery is wrong, but I don’t understand your basis for right and wrong so it is concerning especially when it comes to slavery.”

        You don’t understand empathy? You don’t understand compassion? Concern for others that isn’t based on an ideology? Even children understand these things.

        “I would think that a more constant evolutionist would say slavery is ok because in increases his survival value in some cases.”

        Accepting that something exists in no way makes it good or universally applicable. Your statement is akin to me saying that if you really believed in newton’s theory of gravity you’d go jump off a cliff. It is a moronic idea and I never ceased to be amazed and aggravated when evangelists put it into the mouths of skeptics.

        “Darwin himself had problems with racism”

        I take it from the context you mean that he embraced racism, not that he took issue with it. In reality he was a pro-abolution egalitarian who waxed poetic about his admiration and compassion for the slaves he had met in his travels. I’ve also read Origin Of Species, and in it the only reference to different groups of people is an excerpt from him quoting a racist contemporary of his whom he disagreed with. The claim that darwin believed some groups are “more evolved” than others etc is ignorant nonsense. Yes some of these ideas were believed in by biologists and promoted (in dictatorships where science, history and other academic subjects were dictated by the propaganda ministry, not scientific consensus) as “science”, but the actual science of what darwin proposed (and what he believed personally) has never lined up with racist ideas. I have nevertheless seen many false quotes attributed to darwin and others taken out of context to claim he was racist, sexist etc – but I have never found an example that was authentic (and can cite many counter-examples). If you think you have one, feel free to put it on the chopping block.

        “and I understand that Hitler held an evolutionary philosophy that promoted his racism too.”

        Hitler believed that life could change, but only within created “kinds”. He took what suited him from evolutionary thought and disregarded the rest. His eugenics program, in darwinian terms, was forced, systematic in-breeding. In fact darwin’s ideas went against his to such a degree that they were banned in nazi germany. Look it up, we still have the lists of banned books to this day.

      • My question to you is how do you justify the existence of things like compassion, empathy and concern? I know they exist because God made them. My question to you is why would you care. If we are just evolved scum, why should anyone care about morality? I have a good reason, but you haven’t provided a logical reason for why you care about being good.

      • Cynicism isn’t a valid form of argument. The fact that life began (and all life begins every generation) as a single-celled organism doesn’t mean we’re “just” scum. We are what we are, for better or worse, with all our strenths, weaknesses, beauty and ugliness regardless of how we originated. And one aspect of our nature is that we are a social species that is wired to experience each others’ pain and suffering and enjoy helping each other and making each other happy. I don’t see why I need to “justify” this, nor is the human desire to do good and not do nasty things to one another a result of the supernatural beliefs of one particular culture. While ancient jews were telling stories around the campfire about yahweh and the garden of eden thousands of years ago ideas like the golden rule were already ancient and common across every major culture. The idea that morality is something that comes from your religion is just ethnocentrism. Socrates stated the golden rule before jesus, so did confucius, lao tsu and many others. In the judeo-christian part of the world it was already codified in babylonian law (the code of hammurabi) over a thousand years before the oldest texts of the old testament were authored. So acting like morality is something christians somehow have a monopoly on and everyone else has to justify being nice to each other is a ridiculous position to take.

      • I was not being cynical by mentioning the common evolutionary concept that man evolved from a soup of chemicals (scum). I don’t believe in it because I believe God made us so I am very happy.

        Regarding the fact that other philosophers recognized the wisdom of “The golden rule” only helps my position that God made it, because God made them too. It makes sense that they would find it truthful.

        Christians don’t have a monopoly on morality, and I am very thankful for that! God says that he hard-wired it into all of us. I was expressing the fact that Christians have a reason for the existence of morality which means we can use it rationally. Christians can justify being nice to each other. To uphold a standard of morality and expect it of others is not supported by your evolutionary beliefs, they come from Christian ones.

      • Information is a nebulous concept. Claiming invisible, un-defined things like information exist in nature and then invoking other invisible un-defined things (gods) to justify them seems like white noise to me.

        Information in living systems is very obvious to me, so I am not sure why you think that. As a programmer, I am especially close to this subject, however. I make machines “live.” DNA is a visible coding system that was reverse engineered to show a commonality in humans. We used information systems to discover this. All of mathematics is invisible and we use it to justify things, but God doesn’t really need any justification. He just is and must first be believed, then what He says starts to make sense. That’s why I don’t think that our arguing is going to go anywhere until you first choose to believe in God. I think that’s why these things sound like “white noise.”

      • I believe in the saying of socrates that the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms. I know what information is in the everyday sense, but when I read a book or watch a youtube video I know that it’s produced by a human being for human consumption. The fact that I could describe mathematically the position of all of the grains of sand in a jar and that that pattern could be represented by a string of digits and that I could compare this string of digits to a sentence or a paragraph or a book does not mean that those grains of sand were put in that particular arrangement by someone or that they were intended to be “read” by me later. Everything in nature is a different version of everything else. Some crustacians need hearts, some don’t. Fish have a two-chambered heart, reptiles have three chambers and mammals have four. Any complex system or organ can be arrived at by gradual modification of simpler systems, most of which in some form still exist in nature. To me this is simply all that is possible playing itself out. If we were designed in a one-step process I can’t imagine we’d have wisdom teeth or a yolk sac in the womb or any of the other thousands of oddities that are perfectly explained by our evolutionary history.

        As for this sentence:

        “…but God doesn’t really need any justification. He just is and must first be believed, then what He says starts to make sense. That’s why I don’t think that our arguing is going to go anywhere until you first choose to believe in God.”

        I am reading the book “the believing brain” by micheal shermer, a former born-again evangelical christian and now head of skeptic magazine. The book is about how we form opinions and how often the belief comes first and the justifications for the belief comes afterward. In the book he gives examples like a study where psychologists in a mental hospital, when expecting an admitted person to be insane, came up with broad lists of symptoms of psychosis from ordinary normal behavior, and when they thought the person might be a sane imposter, very often thought the mentally ill patient was perfectly healthy. That in other words, as you are describing, once you believe something is true, you make it true.

        This is a form of self-deception I try to avoid.

      • Evolution isn’t scientific why? And science is the process of testing ideas about nature using predictions and experiments. That life has changed over time is supported by a vast wealth of information, tests and observations, claiming that life hasn’t evolved is like claiming humans haven’t developed technologically.

        Evolution can’t be proven by science because it cannot be observed. It is also not a valid scientific theory because it cannot be disproven. No one has been able to repeatedly observe billions of years. On your second point, the fact that life changes over time is not the concept of evolution that I am talking about. Of course it is scientific that things change, we can observe that. The concept of Darwinian Evolution is an extrapolation that because we see things change today, all things could have changed from a single cell to what they are today. This is an assumption that people find appealing but it isn’t science. It’s a belief about the past.

      • Setting aside that YOU were once, in your lifetime, a single celled organism and that now you are still to this very moment made up of single-celled organisms (just stuck together in a complex way), the idea you’re arguing is a common argument in creationist apologetics that has arisen in the past few years, but it’s not valid. It is like saying that fingerprint evidence isn’t valid because you didn’t see someone make the fingerprint, and DNA evidence in a murder trial is not valid evidence because you didn’t see the person leave their DNA at the scene. It is creating a false paradigm which ignores experimental tests and assumes eye witness testimony is the only valid form of evidence – which of course is disingenuous since the people making this argument invariably believe claims which were not recorded by any eye witness, such as the six day creation, garden of eden etc. But setting that aside the fact is you can test claims about the past if you have artifacts from those past events to make predictions about and then test. It’s like when in a homicide case a scientist claimed they could identify where a body had been by a specific seed found on the body from a particular tree. So the judge ordered them to perform a blind study, take a thousand seeds from different places within x area, give them to the scientists in question, label them all with numerical labels, don’t tell them which seeds came from Y location, and if they can accurately find out which ones did, it’s valid evidence. All forms of forensic evidence work this way, and all are rigorously and repeatedly tested. Do you think evolution science doesn’t jump through hurdles just as strict? Darwin used his model to predict the existence of a moth with an 11 inch long tongue over a century before it was discovered. He predicted the existence of prehistoric birds with separate digits in their wings two years before the first ones were found. He performed tests on seeds and plants to test ideas about how they could cross oceans. Geneticists predicted countless things must be in our DNA if evolution is true before those genes were sequenced. Modern paleontologists don’t wildly look for fossils, enough of the map has been filled in that they can predict where they will be, what characteristics they will have, what geological conditions they will be found in etc.

        Tests, tests and more tests.

        If something must be true if a model is correct or must not be true if it is correct, you can test it. As for it being impossible to disprove evolution, you can’t argue against it and claim that the evidence you cite is impossible at the same time. Not to mention that many things, if they were true, would disprove evolution, such as the famous example of a dog (or any modern species) existing in the cambrian strata, before the emergence of the parent groups (like mammals) that it logically must have descended from.

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