The Bible: the word of God?

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Rhuiden
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Post by 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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Emma_85
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Post by 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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Post by 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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Post by 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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Post by 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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Post by 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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Post by 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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Post by 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.
Last edited by EmptyMan on Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by EmptyMan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 5:03 pm

Lol. We replied at the same time.

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Post by 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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