A Conversation With Catherine

1 04 2009

This comment appeared in my “About Super Jesus” page and I thought it was earnest and polite enough to merit a proper response and thread of its own.  I do hope Catherine will continue the conversation here if she is genuinely interested in persuading me or anyone else of the powers of religion over the failings of science.

Her comment is below:

If you had questions for a scientist regarding creation/evolution what would they be?
Do you think that Science and Religion can coexist?
Do you think one can prove the other and vise versa?
How much faith does the bible say is needed to go to heaven?
In the same way you would expect a scientist to PROVE creation to you, can you PROVE evolution to him.

Here is what I am thinking – You tell me if you are interested in meeting first of all and why. I thought that this would be good because you are scientifically minded.

If you are interested, lets meet some Saturday afternoon.
Bring your questions, not arguments.
Bring your curiosity, not anger
Bring your open-mindedness, and look objectively – not letting the experiences you have had with others ruin the experince you could have with God.
Consider also, that science is not the ONLY domain that TRUTH can be derrived from.
And let’s have some dialog on this topic.
This would not be for the public entertainment of your Super Jesus crowd. I do this because I actually care about you and not for the sake of winning an argument.

There are a lot of people who believe a lot of things blindly. I’m not one of those people.

As a side note: I rather enjoyed Hitchens vs Dinesh D’Souza. I did not see that one published on your site.

Regards,
Catherine

My response, in order:

Q: If you had questions for a scientist regarding creation/evolution what would they be?
A: First, help me understand the current hypotheses regarding the big bang singularity (“creation” if you insist) and how might we test them?  Second, why do you think so many otherwise intelligent people still deny the 150 years of cumulative and corroborative evidence supporting evolution?

Q: Do you think that Science and Religion can coexist?
A: They have so far but I think the more science expands our understanding of our world, and the universe in general, the more threatened religions become thereby making that coexistence a far more tenuous proposition.

Q: Do you think one can prove the other and vise versa?
A: Science could theoretically prove religion, but because religion is based on tenets of faith it, by its very nature, cannot attempt to prove anything.  I should point out that science has, thus far, found no evidence supporting any religious supernatural claims.

Q: How much faith does the bible say is needed to go to heaven?
A: Since the bible has no credibility or authority I don’t believe in heaven, hence this is an irrelevant question.

Q: In the same way you would expect a scientist to PROVE creation to you, can you PROVE evolution to him.
A: I would not expect a scientist to prove “creation” but I would expect him or her to do his or her best to explore the world, catalog facts and evidence, and then provide a best theory that best explains the data and (hopefully) predicts the results of future experiments.

So no I am not interested in meeting at this time, however I am open to an online conversation.  Please do not take offense as I would do this before I would opt to meet with you or anyone asking me the same question out of the blue online. I hope you would do the same.  I think you’re being sincere and I appreciate that you’re being cordial, so while we may disagree I will do my best to address you in kind.  I also strongly encourage anyone else commenting to do the same.

So while you seem to suggest that some uniquely divine truth can be found in (one or more) religions I personally think that the scientific method of inquiry is the only way of accurately determining the true nature of the world around us.  Religion consistently fails in this regard.  As for ethical issues, religion frequently falls far short of secular philosophy as well.

So I know you didn’t want to be entertainment for my readers, but I think this is less entertainment than educational for the few weary internet travelers that stumble across my humble page.  So let the dialog begin.  I await your response.

Super J.

PS: I didn’t watch the Hitchens v. Dinesh D’Souza video because Hitchens is typically an annoyingly pompous ass and D’Souza just makes my brain hurt.  Glad you liked it though.

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61 responses

2 04 2009
apacherose97

I liked your video and I agree completely.

However, I am not interested in persuading you or anyone else of the powers of religion over the failings of science. I am a big fan of science and see no contradiction with truth.

Here are several good resources to get started –
1. Institute for Creation Research –
http://www.icr.org/Evidence/
http://www.icr.org/science/
2. A Case for A Creator –
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I was told once by a coworker several years ago that I was too smart to believe in creation. My response was that I am too smart not to. The reasons are different for everyone.

Here is one man’s account that I happened to run into online (http://www.evillusion.net/ – check out this whole site at your leisure)
Evolution certainly looks like it could be true aesthetically. But once under the hood, there really is no hard conclusive body of supporting evidence.

There is more supporting evidence that points to evolution not being true. As far as corroborative, not so much – cumulative research, there is a lot because there is a lot of funding. Pair that with ongoing education where evolution is taught like a fact from grade school and beyond. Combine this with censorship (of any opposition or differing viewpoint, – and it will go on forever.

In the end, it still won’t make it true. Evolution raises more questions than it can answer.

Let’s start with what I think is one of the biggest problems with evolution – Sexual Reproduction

This is clearly observable in today’s world. Please explain to me how you think this actually scientifically works with evolution. Explain perfectly complementing systems for Male and Female Humans.
http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/reproduction.html

Q: Do you think that Science and Religion can coexist?
A: They have so far but I think the more science expands our understanding of our world, and the universe in general, the more threatened religions become thereby making that coexistence a far more tenuous proposition.

R:The more the understanding of science expands the more the complexity, and interdependence of life is further revealed. This may threaten false religion or cults. Truth always stands the test of time and scrutiny.

Q: Do you think one can prove the other and vise versa?
A: Science could theoretically prove religion, but because religion is based on tenets of faith it, by its very nature, cannot attempt to prove anything. I should point out that science has, thus far, found no evidence supporting any religious supernatural claims.

R:Agreed… science could theoretically prove TRUE religion. I do not believe that true science and true religion contradict. Let’s take out the faith part and see what can be examined on a factual basis.

But what about your faith? I should point out that evolution, thus far, is only a theory that has not been proven and to believe it requires faith.
Is God a Mathematician by Mario Livio – Astrophysicist Dr. Livio weaves together science, history, and philosophy from some of the most famous thinkers and ideas about mathematics’ extraordinary utility in describing the physical world. Would mathematical laws in the universe show some kind of divine design? Would you view that as factual?

Q: How much faith does the bible say is needed to go to heaven?
A: Since the bible has no credibility or authority I don’t believe in heaven, hence this is an irrelevant question.

R:So the question here was not…do you believe the bible or do you think the bible has authority.
I was only going to make a point that the bible itself says that only a small amount of faith is required and that the bible itself says to PROVE all things; hold fast that which is good”
I respect your position so question discarded.

Q: In the same way you would expect a scientist to PROVE creation to you, can you PROVE evolution to him.
A: I would not expect a scientist to prove “creation” but I would expect him or her to do his or her best to explore the world, catalog facts and evidence, and then provide a best theory that best explains the data and (hopefully) predicts the results of future experiments.
R: I’m not sure what you mean by future experiments. If evolution is not true, then studying evolution to make predictions about the future is invalid.
One could view Revelation prophecy from a scientific point of view – like parts that say “the sun will scourge the earth”, one could do statistical analysis on the possibility of all such listed events happening, etc. I’ve written a paper on the topic about 5 years ago if you are interested.

So no I am not interested in meeting at this time, however I am open to an online conversation. Please do not take offense as I would do this before I would opt to meet with you or anyone asking me the same question out of the blue online. I hope you would do the same. I think you’re being sincere and I appreciate that you’re being cordial, so while we may disagree I will do my best to address you in kind. I also strongly encourage anyone else commenting to do the same.
R: No offense taken.

So while you seem to suggest that some uniquely divine truth can be found in (one or more) religions. I personally think that the scientific method of inquiry is the only way of accurately determining the true nature of the world around us. (I very highly esteem the scientific method) Religion consistently fails in this regard (Religion yes – Truth no) As for ethical issues, religion frequently falls far short of secular philosophy as well. (Please elaborate as this is a very general statement)

Have a good night
Catherine

2 04 2009
Lottie

I should point out that evolution, thus far, is only a theory that has not been proven and to believe it requires faith.

And there it is (again)!

This is where your ignorance of science is made strikingly obvious.

I truly wanted to take you seriously and engage in a mutually respectful discussion, as Super Jesus requested. However, I cannot possibly take you seriously when your own ‘arguments’ show that you don’t fully grasp the subject matter or even what you’re arguing against.

As Chris pointed out, these are all done-to-death talking points that have been refuted time and again.

Damn. She really had my hopes up there for a minute. 😉

2 04 2009
apacherose97

You have contributed nothing to this conversation with your remark here.

2 04 2009
SuperJesus

Interesting thoughts and much ground to cover. I won’t repeat any more of than necessary from above lest these posts become epic in their proportions.

First we are obviously both dedicated and interested in persuading people to our ways of thinking, otherwise we wouldn’t be engaging in these sorts of systematic debates. It is, however, likely neither of us will make any headway but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing.

As of this writing the icr site is down so I cannot follow those links. I suspect they say many of the same things you’re expressing here. I’ll look again later.

I did look at the evillusion site. The author appears to go through the usual creationist thought experiments about self assembling 747s and “things are too complex to have just evolved” without making the effort to understand the real science going on or by offering any better argument than “I can’t see how else it could have happened, so there MUST be a designer”. Perhaps if the author was in a field that requires a genuine understanding of the evolutionary principles (like biology, geology, paleontology, genetics or any of a score of others) I would consider his views more credible. No, he’s a dentist. So since he can’t figure out how it all works he concludes that some designer must have done it. He doesn’t bring much credibility to the debate. The director of the Texas Board of education pushing creationist dogma into the science curriculum is also a dentist. Go figure.

If there is more supporting evidence that points to evolution not being true I encourage you or anyone to put it all into a rigorous scientific paper and submit it to any of a number of recognized scientific journals for scrutiny. Every other respectable scientist does this. 150 years of cumulative and corroborative evidence from the varied sciences of paleontology, comparative anatomy, biogeography, embryology, genetics and molecular biology have undergone such scrutiny and been found provable and repeatable. None of these disciplines were around when Darwin posited natural selection and all of them have confirmed his original theory and are consistent with it. If you disprove evolution and/or prove the existence of a creator I guarantee you a Nobel Prize.

Here’s the thing. You say “Evolution raises more questions than it can answer”. You’re right, kinda. It’s not Evolution but science itself that raises more questions. Whenever a scientist suggests an answer every other scientist tests it to see if they can disprove it or if it in fact really works. The theory of Evolution also provides a working framework to predict what should exist to fill any evidentiary void in our data, and allows us to then test for that. It has worked and been confirmed every single time. Are there still questions and gaps? Of course. Every time science comes to discover one thing it raises two more questions. That’s why there will always be more to do and more to learn.

As for sexual reproduction, this comment is already far too long. The mechanism and evolutionary benefit of that is discussed at length here. (http://www.evolutionary-philosophy.net/sex.html)

One does not need to “believe in” Evolution, it has been proven to be a fact. You can learn more and understand it or you can cling to your faith in an invisible creator and ignore the readily available evidence around you. You can find plenty of respectably academically credentialed scientists that give credence to creation-science. A Newsweek survey in 1987 found that number to be around 700. Consider though that there were a total of 480,000 scientists in the U.S., meaning that the percentage of creationist accepting scientists is 0.15% (that’s 0.0015, not .15).

I do not suggest that religion offers any insight that cannot beyond what can easily be discerned as ethical without it. I have yet to hear of any divine truth in any religion.

2 04 2009
apacherose97

Comment – C:
Response – R:
C:Interesting thoughts and much ground to cover. I won’t repeat any more of than necessary from above lest these posts become epic in their proportions.
First we are obviously both dedicated and interested in persuading people to our ways of thinking, otherwise we wouldn’t be engaging in these sorts of systematic debates. It is, however, likely neither of us will make any headway but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing.

R: I am not. I want you to express clearly why you believe in evolution.

C: As of this writing the icr site is down so I cannot follow those links. I suspect they say many of the same things you’re expressing here. I’ll look again later.

R: No it doesn’t

C. I did look at the evillusion site. The author appears to go through the usual creationist thought experiments about self assembling 747s and “things are too complex to have just evolved” without making the effort to understand the real science going on or by offering any better argument than “I can’t see how else it could have happened, so there MUST be a designer”. Perhaps if the author was in a field that requires a genuine understanding of the evolutionary principles (like biology, geology, paleontology, genetics or any of a score of others) I would consider his views more credible. No, he’s a dentist. So since he can’t figure out how it all works he concludes that some designer must have done it. He doesn’t bring much credibility to the debate. The director of the Texas Board of education pushing creationist dogma into the science curriculum is also a dentist. Go figure.

R: You had asked why some people choose not to believe in evolution – this was just an example I found – nothing more, nothing less. I don’t do the default God thing. At the same time, I do think that there can possibly be information that we have not discovered yet or have no way to test yet, but as time progresses this changes. Can you imagine what the people in the bible times thought of the prophecy (in Revelation) that the antichrist’s death and (subsequent resurrection) will be seen around the world. They would have thought it IMPOSSIBLE! This is just an example, I hope you can see the point I am trying to establish. I also see what you are saying about “non-qualified” scientists talking about science like they know something.

Famous scientists that believed in God – http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html
Where did the mathematics come from that science is based on?

C: If there is more supporting evidence that points to evolution not being true I encourage you or anyone to put it all into a rigorous scientific paper and submit it to any of a number of recognized scientific journals for scrutiny Every other respectable scientist does this. 150 years of cumulative and corroborative evidence from the varied sciences of paleontology, comparative anatomy, biogeography, embryology, genetics and molecular biology have undergone such scrutiny and been found provable and repeatable. None of these disciplines were around when Darwin posited natural selection and all of them have confirmed his original theory and are consistent with it. If you disprove evolution and/or prove the existence of a creator I guarantee you a Nobel Prize.

R: Are these provable and repeatable because they are tested using the same knowledge and premise? Is this same method being used by all other scientists to get the same results or are there multiple methods for testing coming to the same conclusion?
In A scientific analysis of Genesis – http://www.amazon.com/Scientific-Analysis-Genesis-Edward-Blick/dp/1879366126?&camp=212361&linkCode=wey&tag=httpwwwxevolu-20&creative=380737
Dr. Blick’s treatment of the various radiometric dating methods is clear and understandable. I believe that the dating methods are one of the biggest issues with evolution not having a cohesive accurate timeline and why two scientists can come up with 2 different dates for the same sample. Has Carbon 12 dating been proven inaccurate ever by anyone? I can find many stories that say yes. Can this be proven or are we putting faith in a dating system that will support a theory? How much does it support the theory? If the dating is wrong, could the current understanding of the theory be wrong since the conclusions were based on false premise?

Michael Polanyi, a scientist and a profound thinker on the philosophy of science, found belief to be an essential requirement of science: “no one can become a scientist unless he presumes that the scientific doctrine and method are fundamentally sound and that their ultimate premises can be unquestioningly accepted.” “Any account of science which does not explicitly describe it as something we believe in is essentially incomplete and a false pretense.”

So, I think a question that begs to be asked is: What happens if evolution is disproven? What then? What is its implication? (Does this blind (with personal bias – per the vid Lottie listed) the clear examination of evidence which is contrary of evolution?)

C: Here’s the thing. You say “Evolution raises more questions than it can answer”. You’re right, kinda. It’s not Evolution but science itself that raises more questions. Whenever a scientist suggests an answer every other scientist tests it to see if they can disprove it or if it in fact really works. The theory of Evolution also provides a working framework to predict what should exist to fill any evidentiary void in our data, and allows us to then test for that. It has worked and been confirmed every single time. Are there still questions and gaps? Of course. Every time science comes to discover one thing it raises two more questions. That’s why there will always be more to do and more to learn.

R: Why Mammoth-Sized Findings Should Prompt A ‘Face Lift’ For Evolutionary Theory – 12/19/08 – http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/2/2008/12/19/why_mammoth_sized_findings_should_prompt

I was taught in science that if ONE (credible) EXCEPTION is found (not an anomaly), it disproves a theory. It seems to me, if one exception is found, it is either ignored – disregarded as some kind of propaganda”, or otherwise discarded. That’s the way it seems…. and there is a lot more than one treated that way.

C: As for sexual reproduction, this comment is already far too long. The mechanism and evolutionary benefit of that is discussed at length here. (http://www.evolutionary-philosophy.net/sex.html)
R: I read most of that link you provided and it was missing key things. How can asexual reproduction evolve to sexual reproduction and why – either something reproduces or it does not and it must be compatible immediately with the method or there is no result. How can male and female having no knowledge of each other (independently) evolve a perfectly compatible complex sexual reproduction method. Please provide more evidence.

C: One does not need to “believe in” Evolution, it has been proven to be a fact. You can learn more and understand it or you can cling to your faith in an invisible creator and ignore the readily available evidence around you. You can find plenty of respectably academically credentialed scientists that give credence to creation-science. A Newsweek survey in 1987 found that number to be around 700. Consider though that there were a total of 480,000 scientists in the U.S., meaning that the percentage of creationist accepting scientists is 0.15% (that’s 0.0015, not .15).
I do not suggest that religion offers any insight that cannot beyond what can easily be discerned as ethical without it. I have yet to hear of any divine truth in any religion.

R: No – it has not. I do not ignore evidence, if I believe it is actual hard evidence. These credentialed scientists must all be ignoring the evidence too. As far as those statistics – Can we compare the number of evolution studying scientists with creation studying scientists? This would be a more accurate comparative statistic don’t you think? Or are you saying that every single scientist in the USA who does not claim to be a “creation” scientist automagically believes evolution (that is what the statistic above would seem to indicate.) I have a degree in science but I am not a creation scientist. Where do I fit in your statistic above?

I do know a divine truth – God is Love.

I enjoy talking with you/
Have a nice evening.

3 04 2009
SuperJesus

Brief answers in short form.

I do not “believe” in evolution. I do, however, find the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution to be compelling and I have yet to see any convincing evidence to disprove it. If you have such evidence it would definitely help your case here far more than repetitions of “how do you explain this (insert complicated or yet unsolved problem here)?”

For something to be testable in science requires that the tests are not stacked to simply confirm a predetermined bias but are designed to disprove as well. Seriously, I’m not trying to be rude, but if you don’t have a grasp of the fundamental aspects of science this is going to be a frustratingly fruitless debate. Since we’re now discussing what testable means and I’ve already had to correct your erroneous definition of “scientific theory” I’m growing suspicious of your PhD credentials.

Re: Famous scientists that believed in God: should carry no weight in this debate. Besides, it’s cherry picking and parts are provably false. https://thesuperjesus.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/einstein-considered-religion-childish-superstition/

Radiometric dating: This is an old creationist saw. I’m too tired to even Google this one for you.

If evolution is disproven we will attempt to understand how we’ve been so incredibly wrong for 150 year and how so much evidence was convincingly faked given there were so many people convinced and so motivated to poke holes in it. Sometimes theories are falsified, meaning that an explicit set of observations contradicts some fundamental assumption of the theory, but more often theories are revised to conform to new observations, by restricting the class of phenomena the theory applies to or changing the assertions made. That and I will also tattoo your name on my butt if it is disproven. (And if that doesn’t motivate you to disprove evolution nothing will.)

And no, stasis is an attribute of, and not a credible exception to, evolution. It doesn’t disprove anything. Google “Punctuated equilibrium”.

How can asexual reproduction evolve to sexual reproduction and why: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexual_reproduction

I would contend that Scientists studying evolution are studying creation by definition, unless you are using creation in some other way that I fundamentally don’t understand. The 1987 Newsweek statistic cites inclusion of “earth and life scientists”. If you’re not one of those kinds of accredited scientists, you’re not in the list I guess.

If you believe so much in actual hard evidence then what actual hard evidence do you have against evolution? What is your hard evidence for a creator other than “that’s so complicated it must have been designed”? And if there is a designer/creator please offer your hypothesis (or scientific theory in the event you have one) as to where this creator came from and who (or what process) created him? Please provide evidence supporting your scientific position.

10 01 2011
Personman

You say that evolution raises more questions than answers… Sorry to break it to you, but thats how all science works…
I notice a lot of people w/ you argument tend to say that your argument has more proof/logic, but then dont explain it. Personally, i think both religion and science have their place. It is difficult to disprove a god, but easy to disprove a a global flood. You stay out of the material world, religion, and well stay out of the spiritual. There can be evolution and a god. Jus. Personally i don’t believe god is the truh, but hey! I dont care about your philosophies as long as you accept our sciences.

2 04 2009
apacherose97

I tried to post a reply and got an error However, I don’t see my replies.

Error Message:
Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!

Please advise.

2 04 2009
SuperJesus

The multiple url links in your comment triggered the spam filter. I restored the last (and presumably most carefully edited) version of the comment you made but if you prefer I can restore your original version instead.

2 04 2009
apacherose97

no, it was just late at night and I got tired of trying to fix it in the little window.

2 04 2009
Chris

re: There is more supporting evidence that points to evolution not being true.

What is untrue about the following?
a) DNA is the building blocks for all life
b) Parents pass on their DNA to their offspring
c) Genes randomly mutate on occasion
d) Mutated genes that benefit a parent get passed on to offspring

2 04 2009
apacherose97

Hi Chris
First of all, we have not gotten to the option of mutating genes being passed to offspring… we just started talking about sexual reproduction.
Can Super J and I start there?

There is a difference between micro evolution and macro evolution and I think anyone would be a fool to say that micro evolution is not true since it is clearly observable and can be tested. We are talking here about MACRO evolution.

3 04 2009
Chris

Wow. Okay, I guess we’re dealing with the same tired, debunked mythology.
First, clarify. Do you or do you not know DNA is passed from parnet to offspring?
If you don’t, this argument is fruitless.
If you do, then you must be able to expand your mind to realize that millions of years of passing genes to offspring might develop a species so different than the one millions of years earlier, that it must be classified as a different species all together.
The whole micro- vs. macro- debate is just another attempt to move the goalposts. Creationists were FORCED to concede the “micro” portion of evolution due to overwhelming evidence, so they created from air a difference between the two in order to reconcile their myths. Evolution is evolution. The only difference between your two versions is time.

2 04 2009
Chris

re: Combine this with censorship (of any opposition or differing viewpoint, – and it will go on forever.

There is no censorship of science in the science classroom. Science by its very nature is speculative and demands overwhelming evidence before it anything is determined to be “true.” ID or Creationism cannot be falsified, nor re-created in a lab, therefore cannot be considered science.

Really, your comments are old, tired, disproven talking points. Is there anything new you can add?

2 04 2009
apacherose97

Lottie – the last time I checked evolution is still a theory – and that was 2 minutes ago. So it is not fact. So it is your ignorance that is striking to me.

For the comment:
“I can’t see how else it could have happened, so there MUST be a designer”.
I don’t subscribe to this but a lot of evolutionists have similar reasoning:
Where there is gaps in evidence, TIME becomes GOD. With TIME everything is possible.

I can give you all the reasons why I am convinced in what I believe but that is not what this conversation is about. I don’t need to prove to you why you should believe what I believe. I don’t need to prove to you that creation is true. YOU believe that evolution is true? Let us focus our discussion why it is you believe this. This discussion is for you SuperJ.

2 04 2009
SuperJesus

A clarification should be made. Evolution is a scientific theory. A “theory” in the colloquial use (and how you are using it in your arguments) is little more than a guess. A “scientific theory” has been so well tested and proven that it is, in more common language, a fact.

There is a good discussion in the differences between the theory of intelligent design and the scientific theory of evolution here: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2007/05/11/no-scientific-theory-intelligent-design

2 04 2009
SuperJesus

Link fixed now… My bad.

2 04 2009
apacherose97

Ok Chris –
Is there anything about the creation story or the bible that can be proven with science. If you say no – you would be wrong.

If you are so tired of this conversation please feel free to not read or respond.
These are not talking points. This is not a sport or something I do for a hobby. These are just a few things that I feel are scientifically compelling.
I used to be very skeptical myself.

2 04 2009
Chris

The problem is your compelling questions stem from ignorance. Would you like to address my first post?

2 04 2009
Chris

I CAN prove with science that the moon is not a light and the night sky does not consist of a dome with sprinkles. Is that enough?
And you have repeated talking points.
The idea that evolution is “just a theory” is disingenuous. The amount of scrutiny a scientific hypothesis undergoes before it becomes a Scientific Theory leaves very little doubt. Evolution can be proven in a lab. We see it everyday. To say we must have faith to believe evolution is just as ridiculous as saying, “we can’t see gravity, we can’t touch gravity, therefore we must have faith to believe in it.”

2 04 2009
apacherose97

I was taught evolution starting in 5th grade – 12th grade. There was no differing viewpoint or scrutiny of it. I had one teacher in 10th grade physics that believed in some sort of theistic evolution and it was only his opinion (at lunchtime) that was any different than anything I read in the book- and this was only because I asked him directly based on a comment he had made in class. We read evolution, learned it, and were tested on it.

This is my experience in school Chris.

2 04 2009
Chris

Really? Weren’t you also concerned there weren’t any differing viewpoints on photosynthesis? How about metabolism? Did you discuss differing viewpoints on photons and atomic structure in 10th grade physics class?
Why do you suppose that was?

2 04 2009
apacherose97

That link is broke Super J.
Scientific Fact – Something that has been proven through direct observation and experiment.
Scientific Law – Something that has been proven scientifically and is codified as being a consistent results or fact.

Scientific Hypothesis: an educated guess on what the results of an experiment will be.

Scientific Theory: Believedto be a law or fact, it is usually the results of observation of many experiments and is an hypothosis that is yet to be proven as a law.

2 04 2009
Chris

Do you believe in gravity? This is another theory that has yet to be proven as a law.

2 04 2009
SuperJesus

I fixed the link above. Sorry about that.

Your definitions of Fact/Hypothesis/Theory (law) are incorrect.

Now I didn’t want to have to break this video out but you have left me no choice. I know the titles and production value feels like a high school A/V club, but the content is the important part. They make the point about Facts vs. Hypothesis vs. Theory better than I can. I know you can handle it though.

2 04 2009
2 04 2009
apacherose97

Yes I suppose I believe in gravity. It does not have a collection of evidence against it.

2 04 2009
Chris

By all means, point me to a collection of evidence against evolution that isn’t from a Creationist website.

2 04 2009
Chris

And the point was, the Theory of Gravity isn’t a Scientific Law, yet you have no qualms about “believing” it exists. How does one Scientific Theory hold more weight for you than another?

2 04 2009
Lottie

You have contributed nothing to this conversation with your remark here.

Now, if that ain’t some mouth-watering irony, right there… 😉

Lottie – the last time I checked evolution is still a theory – and that was 2 minutes ago. So it is not fact. So it is your ignorance that is striking to me.

Since Super Jesus and Chris have sufficiently dealt with this point, to avoid being redundant, I’ll just leave it at that. However, in addition to the excellent video S.J. has linked to, I would also recommend Skewed Views of Science.

I hope my contribution meets your standards this time. 😉

2 04 2009
apacherose97

That video was pretty good. At one point it talked about personal bias and how this gets in the way of examination. Might I challenge that this can also be the personal bias of an evolutionist?

Another part states that the same science that came up with evolution also was responsible for other amazing advances in science (space exploration). This is apples and oranges to me. Space exploration requires precise mathematics. Does not the mathematical sequences of the universe say that there perhaps could be some kind of order or designer?

2 04 2009
SuperJesus

You might try to claim personal bias on the part of an evolutionist, but that would be a mistake because there are no “evolutionists”, just scientists looking at the facts. You are falsely implying a kind of dogmatic adherence to a theme or idea that doesn’t exist. I and many others remain open to any real evidence that would disprove evolution or even evidence that legitimately proves there is a creator. Understandably given that 150 years of rigorous research has failed to produce any conflicting evidence our anticipation of such evidence arising is very very low indeed.

Science is not some categorical “thing” but rather a method of thinking and systematically understanding the world around us. As such, it is a mistake to regard the scientific method used to understand fundamental materials and chemistry for space exploration as any different from the science used to understand the multitude of scientific disciplines related to evolution.

Math…I know some equations look elegant but others are absurdly complicated (see the Standard Model of particle physics). So no, just because we have developed some equations that can accurately predict some aspects of the universe does not imply a designer. That’s simply poetically wishful thinking.

2 04 2009
Barbara

Interesting thread…I hope everyone continues.

BTW, apacherose, what state did you attend school? I find it interesting that you received such an in depth educational experience of evolution for so many years when I and most of my acquaintances on the other hand only received the most perfunctory of education in school concerning evolution. The majority of those whom seem to have the most knowledge of evolution have either learned in college or after.

2 04 2009
apacherose97

Michigan.

3 04 2009
Chris

Unfortunately, Barbara, it is not interesting. I was hoping it would be, but we’re seeing the same old evolution myths that compel people to think the science surrounding it are somehow held to a different standard that the science behind physics, astronomy, geology or biology.
Scientists ARE NOT out to manufacture evidence for the simple pleasure of nullifying god. As soon as Creationists realize this, they might be taken more seriously.

Oh, and for the record Catherine, since it hasn’t been discussed yet. Evolution does not deal with the creation of the universe in any way. Stop putting them in the same category in order to try to disprove it. Evolution deals solely with how life changes AFTER it was created.

3 04 2009
Barbara

@Chris…I would have said “amusing”, but I was trying to refrain from being rude or sarcastic in any way.

@ appacherose…I was skeptical about your claims of an evolutionary education from 5th grade through 12th because of your lack of credible argument. As I look at the Michigan approved curriculum I can only find Evolution at a high school level. And since I have a couple of friends that live there and have children attending school I asked the question. Though they were excited about the possibility of their children receiving such a wonderful education, they couldn’t verify something that doesn’t exist. This would lead me to question the validity of the claim you made, though I suppose if you attended a private school that supported the sciences you could have had an extensive education in that area. However, you would most likely NOT be a creationist if that were the case.
I bring up this point simply for the reason that you should at least be honest in your attempts to criticize and critique the theory of evolution.

5 04 2009
apacherose97

Barb, you may be skeptical all you like about my personal experience and this was a good attempt to try to make me look dishonest.

Since I can’t possibly prove my personal experience to you I went to look to see if I can find something online.

http://www.explorelearning.com/index.cfm?method=cResource.dspStandardCorrelation&id=660

These classes are infused with evolutionary theory throughout, like it is fact.
Sentences that start with phrases like – (Insert number) Million years ago the earth (insert event) followed by subsequent theorized events….

I could probably also have my son bring his science book home from school and check that out. Since I don’t live in Michigan, my son’s experience may be different – I’ve asked him to bring his 5th grade science book home so I can take a look at it.

Have a good night Barbara.

5 04 2009
Barbara

I wasn’t trying to make you look dishonest. I was asking you to be completely honest. Obviously I didn’t attend school in your district, so I would be dishonest in a claim of knowing the extent of the education you received. I didn’t question your overall science education, just the education you received regarding evolution. Same question I asked my friends. I suppose I should have been more specific.

It’s unfortunate that someone with such extensive knowledge on the subject matter would dismiss so out of hand.

As far as the young man who caught the mistake in the museum, good for him AND his science teacher. Too bad all children didn’t receive such a wonderful education and all parents didn’t encourage that education.

One last question for you: How old is the earth according to your creationist education?

5 04 2009
apacherose97

How is this for non-existent evolution education in Michigan

Michigan Fifth-Grader Finds 27-Year-Old Mistake at Smithsonian Science Museum
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,345488,00.html

Small excerpt:
On a winter break trip with his family to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the 11-year-old southwestern Michigan boy noticed that a notation, in bold lettering, mistakenly identified the Precambrian as an era.

Since it opened in 1981, millions of people have paraded past the museum’s Tower of Time, a display involving prehistoric time. Kenton was the first to point out the error.

Kenton, who lives in Allegan but attends Alamo Elementary School near Kalamazoo, said his fifth-grade teacher, John Chapman, had nearly made the same mistake about the Precambrian in a classroom earth-science lesson before catching himself.
…..
“The Precambrian is a dimensionless unit of time, which embraces all the time between the origin of Earth and the beginning of the Cambrian Period of geologic time,” the letter says.

Is that enough evidence for you that a wonderful education regarding evolution can be had in Michigan starting at 5th grade? I don’t know where your friend lives. I lived on the south west Michigan as a child.

3 04 2009
apacherose97

As I have stated there are multiple domains from which truth can be derrived.
Can science disprove the bible?
Are there clear events that happened in the bible that can be seen as evident in the world today?
Does History contradict it?
What about prophesy?

And then completely separately is the experience of God which cannot really be know until he is found.

It is clear to me that your hate for religion makes evolution your best option. That you your descision and your freewill. I hope that I have sparked your scientific questioning mind with the things that I have found to be the most compelling for me.

I am not a PhD nor did I say I was. I asked if you would like to have lunch with one. My good friend is, and he has offered at anytime – providing I feel that it would be beneficial for the recipient, so I go looking for recipients. I’m not sure why feel strongly drawn to you.

4 04 2009
Barbara

@apacherose
Just a last thought. Did you simply consider the fact that those who accept the scientific theory of evolution don’t base it on any prejudice regarding religion? Evolution stands on it’s own and is separate from religious ideology. One doesn’t necessarily interfere with the other and many “believers” accept evolution based on the many EVIDENCES and FACTS that have been presented.

It’s unfortunate that in the “multiple domains of truth” you have sought that you seem to be completely biased about a scientific theory that you clearly don’t or haven’t taken the time to understand. That to me sounds as though you could possibly hate something that invalidates or threatens your “truth”.

4 04 2009
apacherose97

@ Barbara
I have already done the research for myself in multiple domains. I am only responsible for me and everyone has the freewill to believe whatever they want. I have listed the topics that I found the most compelling. It appears that nobody here is really willing to EXAMINE these closely for any valid points, because they already have everything figured out.

As for people believing in evolution with no prejudice to religion – I agree there are. This probably varies some based on which religion you are talking about. Some content on this site does not seem to indicate that.

For the multiple domains of from which truth can be derived, this is how I (me, personally) decided after close examination there was something more to the bible and the story of Jesus. So you can say this is personal bias (now) if you want, because I believe now – I am convinced but not convinced blindly. This was after close examination with the multiple domains and also comparative to other major religions.

God bless you all. Have a good weekend.

4 04 2009
Chris

If only I could be convinced those “multiple domains” did not consist of creationist websites.

4 04 2009
apacherose97

And they don’t Chris.

Within the science domain there are not a lot of evolutionary scientist trying to prove that evolution is false. In fact, they are doing the opposite. As Super J explained above, they are trying to predict to fill in the gaps.

The reason why one may find contrary information on creationists websites is because they are actually the ones doing the work to examine where evolutionary theory falls short and where factual provable items in the bible are examined for validity. Do you know of any other entity that does this kind of scientific research? Where then would you expect to find information contrary to evolution? When there is a site by someone OTHER than a scientist – that person’s credentials are not good enough to even consider anything that may be listed there. So, please tell me Chris – what other location can I point you to – that YOU would find acceptable for refuting evolutionary theory with you.

4 04 2009
apacherose97

This part does not seem to make it into your collection of information about Einstein.

“In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views.” (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000)

“My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.” (The Human Side, Princeton University Press)

Although Einstein emphatically rejected conventional religion, he was affronted when his views were appropriated by atheists, whose lack of humility he found offensive, and once wrote. “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”

Einstein was an intensely spiritual man and wrote extensively on the subject, perceiving a universe suffused with spirituality, while rejecting organized religion. In his later years he referred to a “cosmic religious feeling” that permeated and sustained his scientific work. In 1954, a year before his death, he spoke of wishing to “experience the universe as a single cosmic whole”. He was also fond of using religious flourishes, in 1926 declaring that “He [God] does not throw dice” when referring to randomness thrown up by quantum theory.

5 04 2009
apacherose97

I put the last part because you use Einsteins words to try to prove a point about what he thought on religion. Then you turn around and take something else he says and you decide that it is ” flamboyantly hollow rhetorical devices used by the great thinker.”

Followed by at the end of the page Christian math 3×1=1

This is inaccurate, not objective and shows bias

5 04 2009
apacherose97

@ Barbara

I wasn’t trying to make you look dishonest. I was asking you to be completely honest. Obviously I didn’t attend school in your district, so I would be dishonest in a claim of knowing the extent of the education you received. I didn’t question your overall science education, just the education you received regarding evolution. Same question I asked my friends. I suppose I should have been more specific.</i?

R: First off – when you use the phrase “you should at least be honest…..” it implies that I was not being honest. Further you stated that such an education does not exist. As I have proven, such and education does exist – so here you also implied that I am being dishonest. Then you turn around after I prove it and say “I was not trying to say you are dishonest” – Which one is it Barbara? It can’t be both ways. I examine you reply and nowhere does it say YES Catherine, you were right or I am going to call up my friends and tell them that education is taught in 5th grade.

C: It’s unfortunate that someone with such extensive knowledge on the subject matter would dismiss so out of hand.
R: No, you simply then state that for having extensive knowledge (despite the fact that in this very blog others state I know basically nothing about any topic) I chose to ignore it.
C: Barbara, I am not ignoring it. I have seriously considered evolution. Consequently, and coincidentally this was during a period of my life when I rejected religion all together. Some time later I started putting the pieces together when examining evolution theory, examining creationist theory, and world religions.

I have listed what I felt to be the most compelling evidence against evolution, the questions that are unanswered by evolution, and the multiple domains from which the bible (no I am not talking religion – and I am not a fan of religion myself) can be shown to be credible – meaning within these domains it has not been disproved.

C: As far as the young man who caught the mistake in the museum, good for him AND his science teacher. Too bad all children didn’t receive such a wonderful education and all parents didn’t encourage that education.

R: Are you implying since I believe in a creator(now) that I would not support education about evolution? If so, that would be inaccurate. Evolution happens on a micro evolution scale – not on a macro evolution scale. I have no problem with the teaching of adaptation of species to environment, I do have a problem with this animal turned into that animal. Do I prevent my son from learning this – NO. You know why? Because I believe if he goes into the field of science, it will be vital for him to know this just to know what other theories are out there. I don’t regret learning evolution, I just don’t accept it as fact because creation is a much clearer and believable (in MANY important ways).

One last question for you: How old is the earth according to your creationist education?

I am not certain about the age of the earth.
I am convinced from reading many accounts, that the methods used by many evolutionary scientists for dating things on earth have been proven inaccurate – but this has been disregarded by evolutionist and I don’t know why. – oh maybe that’s just a creationist saw and is therefore somehow invalid…or MAYBE it is valid and evolutionists don’t want to talk about it.

You have already shown me that you will never accept being wrong – even when I clearly proved to you on a completely lesser point. What you wrote was inaccurate and you do not take accountability other than to say “I should have been more specific”.

I hope I have helped to spark the scientific minds in this blog to seek to find the holes in the theory, and/or consider other information as any good scientist should.

@ Super J
the tattoo comment does not motivate me – my ex-Darwinist aesthetic husband also didn’t like it. On a different note: Do you actually think those people in the temple were singing that way on the homepage of your blog or are you that easily deceived by words scrolling along the bottom of page?

As for my understanding of theory being wrong – which is how you try to make me look uneducated and not worthy of this conversation please consider the following complete rebuttal to the exact method you are using to try to make your case.

A Theory of Creation
A Response to the Pretense that No Creation Theory Exists
http://www.trueorigin.org/creatheory.asp

Are you looking at evolution to establish some kind of truth for you in the end or is truth not important? I am not asserting that science conflicts with truth – rather – just the opposite.

Have a nice day!

5 04 2009
SuperJesus

I can tattoo your husband’s name on my butt if that makes him feel better. Either way I’m not worried and think my derriere is quite safe.

To your other point, if someone who only spoke broken English wanted to point out the grammatical errors in your writing or debate the correctness of your sentence structures with you I doubt you would take them very seriously.

I regret that you were offended by my pointing out your incorrect understanding of scientific Theory and common testing procedures but please understand that while I believe you are capable of grasping, you have nonetheless shown that you currently do not understand certain key scientific principles. As such it makes it very difficult to take your opinions about the topic at hand seriously and I am less inclined to spend as much time debating these points with you.

I am only looking for the truth. I genuinely understand the creationist questions you have asked and I have found them to be the common creationist arguments that remain without merit and have been debunked many times before. I again regret you may be insulted by this, but I have tried to respond politely, directly, and completely to your questions and it does not appear that you are understanding the points I am making, otherwise you would be asking questions about the points made rather than digging up tangential or other unrelated topics.

You have proven my attempts to reason with you to be hopeless. I surrender. I will not try to persuade you anymore.

Regards,
Super J.

5 04 2009
apacherose97

I recommend this book – and watching the debate between Dinesh D’Souza and Christopher Hitchens.

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT CHRISTIANITY
“Responding to the current epidemic of atheist manifestos, Dinesh D’Souza applies just the right balm for the troubled soul. Assembling arguments from history, philosophy, theology, and science—yes, science!—he builds a modern and compelling case for faith in a loving God. If you’re seeking the truth about God, the universe, and the meaning of life, this is a great place to look.”

— Francis Collins, director of
The Human Genome Institute

5 04 2009
Barbara

@apacherose
I was actually trying my best to refrain from employing any sarcasm and I didn’t want to appear rude. Unfortunately my best has left a gap that you have filled with anger.

Your lack of differentiating the separate studies of science are what I pointed out. I read the entire curriculum for science K-12 in Michigan. There is a PDF file here http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Complete_Science_GLCE_12-12-07_218314_7.pdf. I understand now that you consider the perfunctory education that is included in the study of sciences as a wealth of education concerning evolution. You would be wrong and you are confusing the sciences.

Creationism is not a science. It doesn’t belong in classroom study. I will not debate this. You have a forum for creationism in the church. I accepted evolution as a Christian. I am no longer a believer, but evolution is not and has never been a deciding factor in my atheism though I would admit that your type of indoctrination leads me to further dismiss any possibility of evidence of a creator. Not the other way around.

I asked you to be honest because I don’t feel as though you’ve even been honest with yourself. From the very beginning when you opened the invitation to SJ you have not been credible. And as entertainment it’s lost it’s value.

6 04 2009
apacherose97

I hope you have a wonderful life.

God Bless

Over and out – Catherine

6 04 2009
Barbara

God Bless is the F’ You of Christianity. 😉

6 04 2009
Chris

re: So, please tell me Chris – what other location can I point you to – that YOU would find acceptable for refuting evolutionary theory with you.

Any scientific analysis of evolution outside of a creationist website will do fine.

6 04 2009
Chris

re: It is clear to me that your hate for religion makes evolution your best option.

The last refuge of a defeated argument. Please tell me, anywhere in this thread, where someone attacked religion in order to defend evolution. You speak of “multiple domains,” yet refuse to list even one. You have yet to address the post I made concerning the basic tenets of evolution. DNA passed from parent to offspring. If you cannot even admit that those 4 basic tenets are true, you cannot understand what evolution is. You act as though you understand the principles of science, yet you claim, as most ignorant creationists, that evolution is “just a theory.” Please understand when I say ignorant, I’m not attacking you personally, but rather you have the wrong or limited understanding of evolution.
The reason you don’t find many scientists debating the merits of evolution is because there have already been 150 years of debating the merits of evolution. The science has been peer-reviewed and judged to be the BEST description of what happens in the natural world. It is the same reason you don’t find many scientist debating the merits of photosynthesis. Or the interaction of electrons and protons.

6 04 2009
Lottie

The last refuge of a defeated argument.

Sorry, Chris, I have to disagree with you here. An actual argument must be presented before it can be defeated. 😆

21 04 2009
Bryan

Very late response to all this banter, but I’ve often wondered the following. When you enter into a physical battle with a under qualified opponent, it can erode your skills. A boxer that tries to schedule easy bouts to maintain his title often loses when he finally meets a qualified opponent. Does a debate like this with an obviously under qualified opponent have the same effect because it sure felt like my brain was being sucked out just reading along? O.K So I evolved and she didn’t. WOW – I do feel a bit less sharp.

22 04 2009
Chris

For me, it’s just frustrating. I don’t mind an earnest discussion about evolution, as long as facts are presented. When talking points like “evolution is just a theory” or “micro v. macro” are used or when they try to conflate evolution with creation, it just gets irritating.

Catherine might as well come into the discussion by exclaiming “my grandpa wasn’t a monkey” for all the logic she brought to the table.

10 07 2009
Barnabas

SJ:

Where in the “150 years of cumulative and corroborative evidence from the varied sciences” you are talking about with respect to evolution can you conclusively show that evolutionists have identified the point where non-living matter was supposed to have jumped into life?

Barnabas

10 07 2009
SuperJesus

It is a common (if not intentional) misunderstanding among creationists that evolution addresses the origins of life itself, aka bio-genesis, but evolution explicitly does not. Evolution only seeks to explain the incredible diversity of life we see today.

Bio-genesis remains a fascinating area of research. There are numerous promising hypotheses being tested but nobody has yet amassed enough compelling evidence to suggest an answer…yet.

11 07 2009
Barnabas

SJ:

That’s a good point. So the debate comes from misunderstanding each other’s perspectives? I for one am comfortable with both – creationism in terms of how life came to be (as a matter of faith of course) and evolution – in terms of explaining biodiversity.

Is it difficult to agree along this line instead of perpetuating arguments based on what appears to be category mistake – one party (creationists) holding that God created life and one party (evolutionists) refuting that belief by saying evolution is responsible for biodiversity – and vice versa?

Barnabas

2 02 2010
Barbara

That really was such a fun thread. I am seriously bored. You need to find another creationist to go back and forth with. I watch the videos, but there is nothing quite as ‘entertaining’ as this. 🙂

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