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The Bible: the word of God?

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Postby Rhuiden » Sat Oct 23, 2004 1:32 pm

A very good website for those interested is: www.answersingenesis.org

It is done by Christian scientists and the discuss science and the Bible. They have many online audio lectures that you can listen to as well as much more.

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Postby Rhuiden » Sat Oct 23, 2004 2:46 pm

chiggles wrote:Understanding that there is one true god, still, how can one say there can be only one religion? The different sects of Christianity, because they believe in the same God and same texts, but with their own dogma set, do they qualify still under the grouping of the same religion?

What about the sects of Christianity that existed until the convening of the Nicene Council? They believed in the same God, but as to the exact nature of Jesus they differed on. And any other sect that believed in texts now apocryphal? And of those with interest in the texts found at Nag Hammadi, and gnosticism? Even the author of John supposes that there are so many things that Jesus did, that if the content of all these adventures he partook of were put to book, the world could not contain them.


There is only one religion when it comes to Jesus. Different denominations, sects, or whatever you wish to call them, have developed over time because of differing interpretations and beliefs. This does not change the fact that their is only one true religion/church. All who believe the principle teaching of the faith are members no matter what the name on the building that the worship in each sunday says. I do not beleive that only Southern Baptists are going to Heaven. In John 14:6 Jesus says "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me". Acts 2:21 says "And it shall be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved"

chiggles wrote:What were the reasons for man intentionally creating false doctrines and gods?


Power, greed, stupidity, malice.....take your pick

chiggles wrote:If there is a religion whose teachings put merit on the same values as that of the bible, how would this compare? Would it need to have a Son of God to qualify? If yes, where does Judaism lie on this false doctrine meter?

If, in another religion, there exists the prime God, and a number of other gods, but these gods are thought of as nothing more than representations of different aspects of prime God (not worshipped but prayed to in the manner of Saints in Catholicism, for their own specialty). This religion also speaks of God throwing a portion of himself into an avatar and mingling with humans to teach lessons, how would this rest with you?


The same merits are not good enough, it much teach salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Nothing else will do.

chiggles wrote:"These false religions and denominations are easy to spot by comparing their teachings to the Bible"? You admit they are easy to spot, could you pls provide me some comparisons between your Christianity, and another religion? (God and time willing, this is).


Mormanism - teaches a works based salvation. If you do enough good works, you can become a god over your own planet. Joseph Smith said that the Book of Morman was given to him by an "angel of light" on golden tablets and was written in reformed Egyptian hyrogliphics (don't know how to spell that, hope I got close). "Angel of light" is one description of Satan, the golden tablets cannot be found and I don't think they were ever seen by anyone else, and to my understanding, there was never any such language as reformed Egyptian hyrogliphics. Also, the Bible teaches a faith based salvation.

Jehovah's Witness' - they believe that we are already living in the millenial kingdom. That Jesus actually returned sometime in the early 20th centrury (1912 or 1914 I think) and is now living on earth but He is invisible. They have also written their own translation of the Bible. The Bible say that when Jesus returns that everyone in the world will see.

I will say that I wish all Christians were as bold and active with their faith as Mormans and Jehovah's Witness' are.

chiggles wrote:What standard? I too do not know, but I'd expect Him to be consistent. Can you provide any passages which speak of Satan rebelling, or specifically those of his being cast from heaven?


2Peter 2:4 says "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgements"

Jude 6 says "And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgement of the great day"


chiggles wrote:Satan was in heaven no? Was he created unrighteous, if no how did he become so, and how did this unrighteousness enter into heaven? And afterwards, how did Satan and all the other fallen angels exit, if, as you say "Unrighteousness cannot exit, or even enter, in Heaven."


Satan was created and existed in Heaven (as all angels were) until he chose to sin and rebel. As a result they were immediately expelled from Heaven.


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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:19 pm

I believe it is more daring to believe in evolution. There is no scientific evidence to prove any of it. What purpose would God have in hiding His existence? He created us to have a relationship with us. Also, why would a perfect God use an imperfect means of creation? Yes, if He chose that He could do it, but He would not, it would be contrary to His character.


http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000D4FEC-7D5B-1D07-8E49809EC588EEDF
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Postby Rhuiden » Sat Oct 23, 2004 4:07 pm

Emma_85 wrote:
I believe it is more daring to believe in evolution. There is no scientific evidence to prove any of it. What purpose would God have in hiding His existence? He created us to have a relationship with us. Also, why would a perfect God use an imperfect means of creation? Yes, if He chose that He could do it, but He would not, it would be contrary to His character.


http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000D4FEC-7D5B-1D07-8E49809EC588EEDF


Looks like an interesting article. I will read it in its entirety as my time permits but skimming the first section, I already see a mistake.

The article starts by saying: "When Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution through natural selection 143 years ago". Darwin's theory had nothing to do with natural selection, he said evolution worked through mutation. The natural selection argument is a fairly recent attempt to redefine the term evolution into something (natural selection) that is not disputed by anyone because it can be readily observed.

I may have more comments as I work through the article.

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Postby Turpissimus » Sat Oct 23, 2004 4:15 pm

Darwin's theory had nothing to do with natural selection, he said evolution worked through mutation. The natural selection argument is a fairly recent attempt to redefine the term evolution into something (natural selection) that is not disputed by anyone because it can be readily observed.


Are you sure? The full title of his book:

The Origin of Species (full title On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Origin_of_Species

I'm sure I must be misunderstanding what you're saying. I always thought both natural selection and mutation worked together in evolution.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Oct 23, 2004 4:32 pm

Mutations too can be readily observed. Mutations occur all the time, often they have no affect what so ever, some kill and very very few offer an advantage, like this mutation for example, which allowed people to sort of survive in the Malaria stricken rain forests:
http://sickle.bwh.harvard.edu/malaria_sickle.html

If God did create humans and then there was this flood and only Noha and his kin survived and mutation did not happen, they how come these people have sickel-cell mutations and we do not, even though we all had the same ancestors? Did God see them and feel sorry for them all dying from maleria and give them sickel-cell mutation? If he really felt that sorry for them, then why didn't he make them immune at the same time (cause half your kids end up dying from sickle cell mutations - if you have it in both chromosomes it's deadly) and give them the Bible instead of giving it to the jews?
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Postby copain » Sat Oct 23, 2004 5:13 pm

Rhuiden wrote: What purpose would God have in hiding His existence?


    Sorry but I can not understand where you get your certainty that God do not hide his existence !
    But please do not refer to the bible - as usefull this book is for the christian community or for
    a single person itself - but the bible is in its complexity and through the many translation a veiling of God itself!
    And I never have felt - and I think many other people as well - the presence of a God like you can felt the presence of the sun for example !
    We only can - because of that world around us and the faith in so many peoples heart´s get an idea of the existence of a God.
    And that´s why Jesus itself said "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20.29)
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Postby Phylax » Sat Oct 23, 2004 5:13 pm

May I ask my question again? How many books are there in the Bible? I think this is worth exploring, because if we are to accept Rhuiden's or Klewliss' view that the Bible is the word of God, it would be useful to know what constitutes the Bible.
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Postby klewlis » Sat Oct 23, 2004 5:31 pm

Phylax wrote:May I ask my question again? How many books are there in the Bible? I think this is worth exploring, because if we are to accept Rhuiden's or Klewliss' view that the Bible is the word of God, it would be useful to know what constitutes the Bible.


There are 66 total, 27 of which are in the New Testament. This does not include the "apocryphal" books of the Roman Catholics.

Here is the structure:

OT:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy: The Hebrew "Torah", which we call the "Pentateuch". Written by Moses (except for the last bit which happened after he died), these books consist of the history of the early Hebrews, including their laws and geneologies.

Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1&2 Chronicles, 1&2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job: Written by various authors. More histories of the Hebrews and Israel.

Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon: Poetry. Many of the Psalms were written by King David, but some were written by others. The other three are attributed to King Solomon.

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel: The "Major Prophets", each of these books was written by its namesake (except Lamentations, which is attributed to Jeremiah). They contain prophecies about the captivity of the Jews (by Babylon in 586BC) and Israel's eventual restoration.

Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zepheniah, Haggai, Zecheriah, Malachi: The "Minor Prophets", again more prophecies about the fate of Israel.

NT:
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John: The Gospels, each telling stories about Jesus--what he did and said, his death and resurrection, etc.

Acts: Attributed to Luke, this book tells of the early church after Christ's ascension.

Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon: The "Pauline Epistles", these are all letters written by Paul. The first 9 were written to various congregations of the early church, in the locations named in the titles. The rest were written to specific people.

Hebrews: Another epistle, which some believe was written by Paul but authorship is uncertain (and I personally do not think Paul wrote it).

James, 1&2 Peter, 1,2&3 John, Jude: More epistles. In these cases authorship is attributed to the person named in the titles. There is much debate over whether 1&2 Peter were both written by the same person, since the greek in each is quite different.

Revelation: The prophetic vision of the Apostle John.
Last edited by klewlis on Sat Oct 23, 2004 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby klewlis » Sat Oct 23, 2004 5:35 pm

Turpissimus wrote:
Darwin's theory had nothing to do with natural selection, he said evolution worked through mutation. The natural selection argument is a fairly recent attempt to redefine the term evolution into something (natural selection) that is not disputed by anyone because it can be readily observed.


Are you sure? The full title of his book:

The Origin of Species (full title On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life)


Strange, my copy of the book does not have that longer title. But it is a cheap copy. And I haven't read the book so I guess I shouldn't talk about it. :)
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Postby klewlis » Sat Oct 23, 2004 5:39 pm

copain wrote:But please do not refer to the bible - as usefull this book is for the christian community or for
a single person itself - but the bible is in its complexity and through the many translation a veiling of God itself!


I think his reference to the Bible is quite appropriate in a thread devoted to discussing the Bible as the Word of God. ;)

It seems to me that having a variety of translations actually increases understanding of the Bible, rather than making it tougher to understand. It's always helpful to see how different people translate the same passages, in order to get a fuller understanding of what the greek/hebrew was trying to convey.

The Bible is indeed quite complex--so that scholars spend their whole lives digging through it. But it is also simple enough for a child to read and understand its basic messages.

edit:

And I never have felt - and I think many other people as well - the presence of a God like you can felt the presence of the sun for example !


CS Lewis said something along these lines (not a direct quote!): "I believe in God as I believe in the sun--not because I can see it, but because by it I see everything else."
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Postby Democritus » Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:29 pm

Emma_85 wrote:
I believe it is more daring to believe in evolution. There is no scientific evidence to prove any of it.


http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000D4FEC-7D5B-1D07-8E49809EC588EEDF


Belief in the literal truth of the Bible does not bother me -- everyone has their own faith. What bugs me is that creation scientists take their religious faith and disguise it as a science, and pretend that their beliefs are based on evidence or proof.

Rhuiden was up front with us. He told us right from the top that he believes in the literal truth of the Bible. Fair enough.

But anyone who believes this has no need of proof or evidence. Fundamentalists have no reason to avoid acknowledging that the evidence does not match their religious beliefs, because indeed, it simply does not matter. If you start out with the presumption that the Bible is literally, factually true in every detail, then you have no need of proof or evidence from the real world.

"Creation scientists," as they style themselves, are pretending that their beliefs stem from science, when in fact they do not stem from any science.

As Emma's article mentions:

Scientific American wrote:[Myth #4] Increasingly, scientists doubt the truth of evolution.

No evidence suggests that evolution is losing adherents. Pick up any issue of a peer-reviewed biological journal, and you will find articles that support and extend evolutionary studies or that embrace evolution as a fundamental concept.

Conversely, serious scientific publications disputing evolution are all but nonexistent. In the mid-1990s George W. Gilchrist of the University of Washington surveyed thousands of journals in the primary literature, seeking articles on intelligent design or creation science. Among those hundreds of thousands of scientific reports, he found none. ...

Creationists retort that a closed-minded scientific community rejects their evidence. Yet according to the editors of Nature, Science and other leading journals, few antievolution manuscripts are even submitted. Some antievolution authors have published papers in serious journals. Those papers, however, rarely attack evolution directly ....


Asserting a belief in the literal truth of the Bible is honest, inasmuch as it represents one's true beliefs. But pretending that scientific doubts exists, where in fact no scientific doubt exists, is not honest. It's fair to claim that "scientists are wrong." But it is unfair and dishonest to claim that "scientists are changing their minds," when in fact they have not changed their minds at all.

IMHO that lack of honesty among creation scientists is more than a little disturbing. Why do these folks have to pretend? What part of Christian doctrine says that Christians should masquerade as scientists and misrepresent the facts?

There are huge volumes of physical evidence that supports the theory of evolution. There is little physical evidence supporting the creation story in Genesis.
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Postby copain » Sat Oct 23, 2004 7:05 pm

klewlis wrote:I think his reference to the Bible is quite appropriate in a thread devoted to discussing the Bible as the Word of God. ;)

    Sorry again, but we are discussing about this book and it´s direct link to God for over five pages with very different opinions so this cannot be a prove of the - clear - existence of God.
    Would we discuss about the existence of the sun, I dare to say we would not get a page together (of different arguments). :)

"I believe in God as I believe in the sun--not because I can see it, but because by it I see everything else."

    Hey, that´s sounds nice!
    Every time I look up in the star spangled sky I get a notion of the creator, but sadly I can not see nor feel him. I only feel this deep respect about his creation!
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Oct 23, 2004 9:29 pm

klewlis wrote:Strange, my copy of the book does not have that longer title. But it is a cheap copy. And I haven't read the book so I guess I shouldn't talk about it. :)


My grandmother's copy has the longer title too, but it's an old copy, maybe they shortened it in the newer prints?
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Postby chiggles » Sat Oct 23, 2004 11:17 pm

I went over to one of my bookshelves and pulled off from my 1954 Great Books of the Western World set, number 49 - Darwin.
There are two books in this volume:
The Origin of Species - By Means of Natural Selection
The Descent of Man - And Selection in Relation to Sex
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Postby Bert » Sun Oct 24, 2004 12:32 am

Rhuiden, you are doing an admirable job defending your position.
Your position is very close to mine but you are doing a better job putting it into words. I try not to get into religious dabates on the internet anymore because I have unintentionally ruffled feathers (Not my feathers [Pun intended, my name means -the Rooster-). Maybe I have come across as a bigot.
I did not want you to be alone in this so the least I can do is to say: "I agree".
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Postby Phylax » Sun Oct 24, 2004 12:35 am

There are 66 total, 27 of which are in the New Testament.

Very many thanks for that, Klewlis, and for detailing the books for us. You mention that the Roman Catholics have a larger set that they think are 'canonical'. They presumably feel that the additional books are as "God-breathed" as the rest. I have had a quick look through around, and it seems that the various Christian divisions actually have different lists of books which they regard as the word of God.

So I have a problem which you may be able to help me with: why did God 'God-breath' different groups of Christians at different times with different solutions as to what constitutes His word?

Rhuiden has an even more difficult answer to find here, since it seems as if he (in contrast with you, who propose a modicum of human-conscience-based interpretation of what God wishes to communicate) actually proposes it was God who made the Bible writers write exactly what He wanted to communicate. Rhuiden has to explain why a perfect God left it over 1500 years before He told us which books constitute His word, and why quite a substantial number of Christians did not recognize His inspiration on this point at the time of the establishment of the Protestant Canon.

Well, Rhuiden doesn't have to explain, but I would be grateful if the good man could do so for my sake!

With thanks to you, Klewlis, and to Rhuiden, in your endeavour to inform me, and help me be more knowlegeable,

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Postby Rhuiden » Sun Oct 24, 2004 3:39 am

Phylax wrote:Very many thanks for that, Klewlis, and for detailing the books for us. You mention that the Roman Catholics have a larger set that they think are 'canonical'. They presumably feel that the additional books are as "God-breathed" as the rest. I have had a quick look through around, and it seems that the various Christian divisions actually have different lists of books which they regard as the word of God.

So I have a problem which you may be able to help me with: why did God 'God-breath' different groups of Christians at different times with different solutions as to what constitutes His word?

Rhuiden has an even more difficult answer to find here, since it seems as if he (in contrast with you, who propose a modicum of human-conscience-based interpretation of what God wishes to communicate) actually proposes it was God who made the Bible writers write exactly what He wanted to communicate. Rhuiden has to explain why a perfect God left it over 1500 years before He told us which books constitute His word, and why quite a substantial number of Christians did not recognize His inspiration on this point at the time of the establishment of the Protestant Canon.

Well, Rhuiden doesn't have to explain, but I would be grateful if the good man could do so for my sake!

With thanks to you, Klewlis, and to Rhuiden, in your endeavour to inform me, and help me be more knowlegeable,

Phylax


It is true that there was much debate in the early church about which books were "God-breathed". I believe that God guided the early church fathers, in the same way he does today, into a consensus about which books were to be included and which were not. Are you only referring the the extra books the Catholics use or are there other groups also? Unless you are also referring to the Mormans who use The Book of Morman, I am not sure who else disputes the books of the Bible. The Bible contians 66 books which were written over a vast period of time but there has been agreement on the books contained in the Bible since around 397A.D.

The Roman Catholic Church added tha Apocrypha in 1546 at the Council of Trent. My theology book (Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem) mentions they did this in response to the teachings of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. It says they did this because the Apocrypha contained support for the Catholic Church's teachings of prayers for the dead and justification by faith plus works, not faith alone.

Grudem also lists the reasons why Protestants believe the apocrypha shoul not be included in the Bible: 1) they do not claim for themselves the same kind of authority as the Old Testiment writings, 2) they were not regarded as God's words by the Jewish people from whom they originated, 3) there were not considered to be Scripture by Jesus or the NT authors, and 4)they contain teachings inconsistent with the rest of the Bible.

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Postby Rhuiden » Sun Oct 24, 2004 3:42 am

klewlis wrote:It seems to me that having a variety of translations actually increases understanding of the Bible, rather than making it tougher to understand. It's always helpful to see how different people translate the same passages, in order to get a fuller understanding of what the greek/hebrew was trying to convey.

The Bible is indeed quite complex--so that scholars spend their whole lives digging through it. But it is also simple enough for a child to read and understand its basic messages.


I completely agree.

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Postby Rhuiden » Sun Oct 24, 2004 3:51 am

Bert wrote:Rhuiden, you are doing an admirable job defending your position.
Your position is very close to mine but you are doing a better job putting it into words. I try not to get into religious dabates on the internet anymore because I have unintentionally ruffled feathers (Not my feathers [Pun intended, my name means -the Rooster-). Maybe I have come across as a bigot.
I did not want you to be alone in this so the least I can do is to say: "I agree".


Thanks for your support. I appreciate the kind words but I am not sure if I am doing an "admirable" job. I am not articulate enough and I too have ruffled feathers unintentionally. My words seem to come accross too harsh sometimes.

Klewlis (my only ally until now) deserves much credit also for her willingness to speak out and defend her faith.

Please feel free to post anytime, you may be able to make a point I am not able to.

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Postby Rhuiden » Sun Oct 24, 2004 4:09 am

Democritus wrote:But anyone who believes this has no need of proof or evidence. Fundamentalists have no reason to avoid acknowledging that the evidence does not match their religious beliefs, because indeed, it simply does not matter. If you start out with the presumption that the Bible is literally, factually true in every detail, then you have no need of proof or evidence from the real world.

"Creation scientists," as they style themselves, are pretending that their beliefs stem from science, when in fact they do not stem from any science.

Asserting a belief in the literal truth of the Bible is honest, inasmuch as it represents one's true beliefs. But pretending that scientific doubts exists, where in fact no scientific doubt exists, is not honest. It's fair to claim that "scientists are wrong." But it is unfair and dishonest to claim that "scientists are changing their minds," when in fact they have not changed their minds at all.

IMHO that lack of honesty among creation scientists is more than a little disturbing. Why do these folks have to pretend? What part of Christian doctrine says that Christians should masquerade as scientists and misrepresent the facts?

There are huge volumes of physical evidence that supports the theory of evolution. There is little physical evidence supporting the creation story in Genesis.


You make it sound as if a person cannot be a Christian and a scientist. All scientists have the same evidence but each filters the evidence through their own belief system. I do not believe that there are Creation scientist pretending anything (I suppose they could but as soon as they were exposed it would be all over every news outlet). I think they believe as deeply as I do and are doing the best they can. They want to disprove evolution as much as evolutionist want to prove it.

Noone has given me one fact about evolution that has been proven true even though many have said that there is a large amount out there.

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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 12:12 pm

Rhuiden wrote:Noone has given me one fact about evolution that has been proven true even though many have said that there is a large amount out there.


What sort of evidence do you need? If you tell me which fact you think needs to be proven exactly maybe we can help dispell your doubts about evolution more effectivly.
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Postby EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 1:21 pm

Emma_85 wrote:
Rhuiden wrote:Noone has given me one fact about evolution that has been proven true even though many have said that there is a large amount out there.


What sort of evidence do you need? If you tell me which fact you think needs to be proven exactly maybe we can help dispell your doubts about evolution more effectivly.


I am curious about the mechinism of evolution. Now you don't need to prove to me evolution occured, I beleive that. But I would like to know why and how mindless, random, acts of physics and chemistry spontaneously generate into complex life forms.

How does a brown lizard randomly by mindless acts become green?
How does a fish randomly become similar looking to its environment?
How did the stick bug randomly look like a stick bug.

By the way natural selection and genetic mutation are not really suffecient answers. I want the "basic level of analysis" in which you explain me these things on the most basic level. What laws of physics and chemistry governed these things and how and why?
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 1:27 pm

I'll be glad to look this up for you! :D I've got to go and revise for some exams now, but tonight I'll write something up for you (note, I'm not an evolutionary biologist :P , but I am interested in this sort of stuff :wink: ).
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Postby EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 1:30 pm

Emma_85 wrote:I'll be glad to look this up for you! :D I've got to go and revise for some exams now, but tonight I'll write something up for you (note, I'm not an evolutionary biologist :P , but I am interested in this sort of stuff :wink: ).


I was basically asking an unanswerable question. :D Many naturalists openly admit that it is very difficult to explain. Science always progresses through reductionism. But I have not seen then reduct the mind or language, or the evolutionary mechanism.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 1:38 pm

By the way natural selection and genetic mutation are not really suffecient answers. I want the "basic level of analysis" in which you explain me these things on the most basic level. What laws of physics and chemistry governed these things and how and why?



My philosophy teacher used the very same argument you just used:
am curious about the mechinism of evolution. Now you don't need to prove to me evolution occured, I beleive that. But I would like to know why and how mindless, random, acts of physics and chemistry spontaneously generate into complex life forms.

to say that he did not think it can be explained. I of course told him that I didn't agree... Biologist may not be too interested in looking to the basic 'how', but I'm at heart a physicist so there you go. I'll do my best to research it, only that way I can find out if it really is too difficult for me to explain, or if it is something we can't explain.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 4:45 pm

Oh, well, I hate revising anyway, so here goes:

Well, the thing is that these organic molecules did not ‘spontaneously generate into complex life forms’, rather the conditions were right so that a reaction could take place allowing more complex organic molecules to form. Organic molecules such as amino-acids could have formed under the right conditions, your question seems to be how could these molecules that are basically non-thinking or living things, but well, just ‘thing’ form something living.
So, on early earth we have some organic molecules floating around in the ocean still being ‘nothing’. Under favourable conditions these can react to form more complex structures. One of the important things we need for life are cells, which are membranes separating the inside of the cell from the outside. Membranes are made up of phospholipids and proteins. That is chains of molecules containing long bits of fatty acids (long chains of CH2 for example, which are uncharged ) and polar heads (e.g. something containing O-H, which means there are weak charges in the molecule. As the mass of the O and C are greater than that of the H, the electrons will spend more time near the O and C nucleus than near the H and so the H will be just slightly positively charged where as the O and C slightly more negative over all as the negative electron spends more time near them). The polar heads attract each other as polar bonds (eh, I really need a biology or chemistry book I know. shout when my terminology starts sounding too stupid) form between them (the weak positive H will be attracted to negative charges, not only the C and O of its own molecule but also C and Os of other nearly molecules). The same goes for the fatty acids tails, which are attracted to each other (Van-der-Waals force, this force exists because the electrons positions in the atoms’ orbitals change and can create weak electric charges which in turn influence the neighbouring atoms. It’s like an induced charge that happens because they move and imbalances happen in the position of the electrons in the orbitals as electrons move around there).
Why am I saying all this? :-S
Basically molecules that look like these have just the right properties to from primitive membranes. The proteins get stuck between the membranes in places. I am not sure if they would have been part of early membranes or not though :-S.
Here a googled pic of a not primitive membrane:
http://ntri.tamuk.edu/cell/cell-membrane.gif
So I think it is imaginable that membranes could manage to form on their own, that is without the help of a creator.
I wish all I had to do was google the answer, but there is nearly nothing on the internet about all this. I don’t have a biology book either as I dropped biology and my sister’s chemistry book is not very helpful either, so basically most of this is from memory, so excuse the fact that I’m bad at explaining it. For me it makes sense, now that I googled this pic of a membrane and knowing what they are made of that they could have formed by themselves, since we used to do experiments and such with soap membranes at school. The principle is the same, you have your polar heads and the un-polar rest, and knowing what forces are at work (polar and Van-der-Waals forces) this is a natural form for them to assume.
As for RNA and DNA genetic molecules, I think I’ll look at those tomorrow. :-P
The problem I have right now is that I’m not sure where to get my information from, I suspect that RNA and DNA may be more complicated than some membranes. I don’t even really know what RNA is, at least I know what DNA is made of :-P. RNA seems to be very important though, sometimes I regret dropping biology, but you can’t continue to take 16 subjects, you’ve got to drop some :-P.
At the moment I’m guessing I’m not telling you anything new ;-), but I’ll just continue to avoid revising all that stuff about polarisation, Huygens and Plank’sches Wirkungsquantum.
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Postby EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:02 pm

EmptyMan
By the way natural selection and genetic mutation are not really suffecient answers. I want the "basic level of analysis" in which you explain me these things on the most basic level. What laws of physics and chemistry governed these things and how and why?


Emma
My philosophy teacher used the very same argument you just used:


Is he a theist or was it just a planned argument where one side took the affirmative and the other the negative?


EmptyMan
am curious about the mechinism of evolution. Now you don't need to prove to me evolution occured, I beleive that. But I would like to know why and how mindless, random, acts of physics and chemistry spontaneously generate into complex life forms.


to say that he did not think it can be explained. I of course told him that I didn't agree... Biologist may not be too interested in looking to the basic 'how', but I'm at heart a physicist so there you go. I'll do my best to research it, only that way I can find out if it really is too difficult for me to explain, or if it is something we can't explain.


Trust me you will find the evolutionary mechanism is something we can not explain. It will be a great day for naturalism if they discover how to describe rationalism and evolution in terms on nonrationalism.
Here are some quotes from a few naturalist philosophers excerpted from a book I read a few days ago:

Jerry Fodor says in his book, The Big Idea:Can We Have a Philosophy of the Mind:
"Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be concious."

Ned Block remarks in "Conciousness" in A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind that:

"We have no conception of our physical or functional nature that allows us to undertsand how it could explain subjunctive experience. ......In the cas of consciousness we have nothing-zilch- worthy of being called a research program, nor are there any substantive proposals about how to go starting one. Researchers are stumped."

And about the mechanism of evolution you will find only the same type of awe and dumbfoundedness that these two individuals had.
The evolutionary definition of life is "a randomly varying, self-replicating entities that: temporarily reverse the laws of thermodynamics."

This, in my veiw, fits the definition of a miracle. I take this definition from C.S. Lewis which states, "A miracle is an interference in nature by a supernatural power."

What interfered so that the law of thermodynamics could be temporarily reversed? How can the laws of physics be temporarily reversed in the first place? I contend that only a supernatural force could have allowed this interference with the laws of nature.
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Postby EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:03 pm

Lol. We replied at the same time.
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Postby EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:17 pm

Oh, well, I hate revising anyway, so here goes:
Well, the thing is that these organic molecules did not ‘spontaneously generate into complex life forms’, rather the conditions were right so that a reaction could take place allowing more complex organic molecules to form.


No doubt certain molecules from certain substances under the right conditions, but what mechanism caused this new randomly replicating thing of chemicals to adapt and think? I think this question goes far beyond the reaches of biological chemistry. We know that the stick bug looks like a sitck, right? It looks like a stick because it adapted to its environment. It's purpose is to blend in. How can we explain this in terms of fair conditions? Or even better how can the stickbugs purpose, which is to be hid, in a nonpurposive substratum? Quite difficult methinks. As for the rest of this post I realize that certian amino acids and membranes could be formed in the physical world under the "right conditions" but what you did not explain was how this newly formed membrane mechanisticly evolves into, say, a butterfly, which is thousands of times more complex than any of the mechanics of the universe. That's what naturalists can not explain.

As for RNA and DNA genetic molecules, I think I’ll look at those tomorrow. :-P
The problem I have right now is that I’m not sure where to get my information from, I suspect that RNA and DNA may be more complicated than some membranes. I don’t even really know what RNA is, at least I know what DNA is made of :-P. RNA seems to be very important though, sometimes I regret dropping biology, but you can’t continue to take 16 subjects, you’ve got to drop some :-P.
At the moment I’m guessing I’m not telling you anything new ;-), but I’ll just continue to avoid revising all that stuff about polarisation, Huygens and Plank’sches Wirkungsquantum.


RNA and DNA are even better. 8) How does a random process devolop into a highly ordered set of instructions without an insturctor?
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:24 pm

Trust me you will find the evolutionary mechanism is something we can not explain. It will be a great day for naturalism if they discover how to describe rationalism and evolution in terms on nonrationalism.


Maybe you are right and I can't explain it, I was certainly hoping to find more information on the internet, but most of the stuff i want is in journals where you've got to pay 25$ a day to have access to just one article in them :? . Or maybe I was looking at the wrong pages. Anyway, I'm the sort of person who likes to find out what is possible myself, that's why I've got to try see. Like I don't understand why it would not be possible to explain it. Thermodynamics as interesting as it is cannot be applied to many things. Normal molecules don't seem to fit that either. The entropy of a system is lower when the number of particles increases for example, but when atoms for molecules the number is reduced.
But the entropy also increases when differences in temperature, concentration or pressure are levelled. So if you have high temperatures or pressures the entropy could increase if certain bonds form, that includes the bonds of the molecules of life. Humans build pyramids, and a pyramid is well ordered, has much less entropy than rocks scattered around the landscape for example. That does not mean that the rule of thermodynamics is wrong, just that it is not applicable to pyramids, i.e. not applicable to humans who have a life. After the first molecules of life formed they were life and so maybe that law of thermodynamics cannot be applied to them after that just like it cannot be applied to humans building pyramids. Eh... maybe.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:29 pm

EmptyMan wrote:No doubt certain molecules from certain substances under the right conditions, but what mechanism caused this new randomly replicating thing of chemicals to adapt and think? I think this question goes far beyond the reaches of biological chemistry. We know that the stick bug looks like a sitck, right? It looks like a stick because it adapted to its environment. It's purpose is to blend in. How can we explain this in terms of fair conditions? Or even better how can the stickbugs purpose, which is to be hid, in a nonpurposive substratum? Quite difficult methinks. As for the rest of this post I realize that certian amino acids and membranes could be formed in the physical world under the "right conditions" but what you did not explain was how this newly formed membrane mechanisticly evolves into, say, a butterfly, which is thousands of times more complex than any of the mechanics of the universe. That's what naturalists can not explain.


What caused them to adapt is that while replicating some errors occur and while most of those ones with errors would have no longer been functional a few were functional. After a billion copies on copy had an error in it, one that allowed it to replicate better, by allowing it to use more nutrients, have a stronger membrane and so on.
Thinking comes in way way later, when you already have the complex organisms.
I can talk about this process of the evolution of a bird from gue much better than of the gue itself. Be sure to check back later, I'll certainly make sure to reply more in length on this, but right now I'm hungry.
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Postby Turpissimus » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:31 pm

Or even better how can the stickbugs purpose, which is to be hid, in a nonpurposive substratum?


"Stickbugs" do not have a purpose as you call it. If you believe in evolution you hold that there is no divinely ordained plan, each part of which is assigned a goal. Bugs that were able to blend in generally survived, those that didn't generally didn't.
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Postby EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:35 pm

Emma_85 wrote:
Trust me you will find the evolutionary mechanism is something we can not explain. It will be a great day for naturalism if they discover how to describe rationalism and evolution in terms on nonrationalism.


Maybe you are right and I can't explain it, I was certainly hoping to find more information on the internet, but most of the stuff i want is in journals where you've got to pay 25$ a day to have access to just one article in them :? . Or maybe I was looking at the wrong pages. Anyway, I'm the sort of person who likes to find out what is possible myself, that's why I've got to try see. Like I don't understand why it would not be possible to explain it. Thermodynamics as interesting as it is cannot be applied to many things. Normal molecules don't seem to fit that either. The entropy of a system is lower when the number of particles increases for example, but when atoms for molecules the number is reduced.
But the entropy also increases when differences in temperature, concentration or pressure are levelled. So if you have high temperatures or pressures the entropy could increase if certain bonds form, that includes the bonds of the molecules of life. Humans build pyramids, and a pyramid is well ordered, has much less entropy than rocks scattered around the landscape for example. That does not mean that the rule of thermodynamics is wrong, just that it is not applicable to pyramids, i.e. not applicable to humans who have a life. After the first molecules of life formed they were life and so maybe that law of thermodynamics cannot be applied to them after that just like it cannot be applied to humans building pyramids. Eh... maybe.


That is interesting, you know much more about the Law of thermodynamics than I do. But evolution does not contend that the Laws of Thermodynamics do not apply to biological material, they beleive it has been temporarily reversed for the advantage of biological matrial. But from what I understand the Law of thermodynamics applies to everything and it basically means the universe is dying, I think.
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Postby EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:38 pm

Emma_85 wrote:
EmptyMan wrote:No doubt certain molecules from certain substances under the right conditions, but what mechanism caused this new randomly replicating thing of chemicals to adapt and think? I think this question goes far beyond the reaches of biological chemistry. We know that the stick bug looks like a sitck, right? It looks like a stick because it adapted to its environment. It's purpose is to blend in. How can we explain this in terms of fair conditions? Or even better how can the stickbugs purpose, which is to be hid, in a nonpurposive substratum? Quite difficult methinks. As for the rest of this post I realize that certian amino acids and membranes could be formed in the physical world under the "right conditions" but what you did not explain was how this newly formed membrane mechanisticly evolves into, say, a butterfly, which is thousands of times more complex than any of the mechanics of the universe. That's what naturalists can not explain.


What caused them to adapt is that while replicating some errors occur and while most of those ones with errors would have no longer been functional a few were functional. After a billion copies on copy had an error in it, one that allowed it to replicate better, by allowing it to use more nutrients, have a stronger membrane and so on.
Thinking comes in way way later, when you already have the complex organisms.
I can talk about this process of the evolution of a bird from gue much better than of the gue itself. Be sure to check back later, I'll certainly make sure to reply more in length on this, but right now I'm hungry.


So by errors they look like a stick? Probablisticly how many errors does it take for somthing to look like a stick?
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Postby EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:45 pm

Turpissimus wrote:
Or even better how can the stickbugs purpose, which is to be hid, in a nonpurposive substratum?


"Stickbugs" do not have a purpose as you call it. If you believe in evolution you hold that there is no divinely ordained plan, each part of which is assigned a goal. Bugs that were able to blend in generally survived, those that didn't generally didn't.


But I beleive stickbugs do have a purpose. Just like you had a purpose in making that post. Again how can your purpose for writing that post be explained in a nonpurposive substratum. You say it was assigned a goal. How do goals exist in a materialistic worldview in the first place?

I think what you and Emma are saying is that bugs began to randomly form, and the ones who randomly formed in a way that proviedes means for survival will survive. So I ask another question, "how many bugs randomly formed untill one looked like a sitck? and "What are the probablilites of a random process forming self-replicating enteties that look like sticks and also happen to be surrounded by similar looking sticks?" I don't know statistics or probability very well but my logic is telling me that it's extremely low.
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Postby Pete » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:57 pm

What are the probablilites of a random process forming self-replicating enteties that look like sticks and also happen to be surrounded by similar looking sticks


Actually, pretty good when millions of bugs are born every day around the world, and they had billions of years to evolve.
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Postby EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:02 pm

Pete wrote:
What are the probablilites of a random process forming self-replicating enteties that look like sticks and also happen to be surrounded by similar looking sticks


Actually, pretty good when millions of bugs are born every day around the world, and they had billions of years to evolve.


Maybe so with just bugs. But on earth we have millions perhaps billions of species of animals that are adapted to this world. I find it difficult to imagine that millions or billions of animals just randomly fit their environment perfectly.
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Postby Pete » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:07 pm

If animals didn't fit the environment perfectly, then they died out. If they did fit, then they lived. The perfect fit is a logical result, not a random coincidence.

Nobody ever claims that evolution is random. I think you are trying very hard to misinterpret Evolution so that it is easier to deny.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:54 pm

Once in philosophy we read a text by an american philosopher, I cannot remember his name, but he said something along the lines of 'evolution is crap because look at wings, how could they evolve? What would a bird with half a wing do?'

So by errors they look like a stick? Probablisticly how many errors does it take for somthing to look like a stick?

Many, but each mutation that brought them closer to stick brought them further away from the birds' plate.
These insects started to look stick like. At first they might have been bright green (only in my example not really), but then the climate changed and so they slowly moved south, as the winters further north were too cold. In their new wood though all the birds would easily see the bright green insects and ate them. One day an insect with a mutation was born. He was not quite as green as the rest, a bit dirty green, and the brids didn't eat him and he had many kids. Another had a mutation that made him very bright green - he eaten straight way. The chances that the brownish ones would be eaten by birds were reduced. Some day on of these now dirty green insects had another mutation with made him even more brown and a bit longer too. And hundred generations later these now brown, long insects had more mutations. Some of them started to grow fat and thin, the others long. The ones that were flat started mating only flat ones that looked like leaves and the other ones only ones that looked like sticks.
:wink:
As for birds' feathers, each stage in the evolution of the feather, from no more than a bit of fluff to keep some cold dinos warm to something to keep out the rain, to something that helped them glide from tree to tree, to something that allowed them to fly a bit to at last a proper bird, each step had an advantage (or at the very very least not be harmful. It is imaginable that something with out an advantage was passed on, because a trait genetically linked to it did offer an advantage. E.g. the little stick insect that had a colour mutation actually had a mutation that affected his skin and made it wrinkly. Being wrinkly might not have helped him at first, but the browner colour the skin mutation brought with it, did. And later on as another mutation happened and his skin was even wrinklier so that it now really looked like bark, that was an advantage.)


But evolution does not contend that the Laws of Thermodynamics do not apply to biological material, they believe it has been temporarily reversed for the advantage of biological martial. But from what I understand the Law of thermodynamics applies to everything and it basically means the universe is dying, I think.


I don't think they say it has reversed, maybe they don't understand the laws of thermodynamics, but only know that 'everything wants to be more chaotic', which is only sort of correct (a children's lie), but really the law is that when a spontaneous physical process or chemical reaction happens then at the same time the entropy of the whole system increases.
That is why I am saying the law is not reverse, it is likely just not applicable. Pyramid building is not a spontaneous chemical reaction, nor is evolution. What is spontaneous about evolution is probably the copying and the errors that occur when copying the DNA, which allow such mutations as browner and longer insects to occur. And that as I said, does not have to mean that the system has had to counteract thermodynamics, as the chemical process which caused an extra oxygen atom to be added to that molecule instead of a sulphur atom followed the laws of thermodynamics. So when a life form starts to replicate, we are not talking about a spontaneous reaction anymore. Those who say that thermodynamics is just that everything wants to by untidy, know as much about thermodynamics as that philosopher who moaned about wings knows about evolution.

I've not done much on thermodynamics I'm afraid :( , we only learned a bit on it during a few chemistry lessons at the beginning of my Abitur to understand why some atoms bind together to form molecules, because with out thermodynamics they wouldn't. And also to understand why some _don't_ form molecules, or only form them if the temperature is high, or pressure there and so on.
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