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Thread: Which religions are represented here?

  1. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Capslock @ Mar. 09 2004,08:10)]The question of the origin of life, biogenesis, is different from that of evolution. But I believe the building blocks of life, proteins, water, energy sources, etc., were present on earth and that there was/is opportunity for life to arise, not spontaneously, but as the natural result of mixing ingredients in an ideal environment. Of course, a single, replicating protein from hundreds of millions of years ago would leave essentially no trace, so we'll have to specualte about that. Even if we were able to duplicate it in a lab, which I think we eventually will, there is no way to prove that's how it happened in this case.

    Evolution, however, is different. I believe that there is evolution is an established fact, being directly observed in both nature and in the labs (including many instances of speciation.) However, the exact driving forces and mechanisms that comprise evolution, as well as the available evolutionary record, are not completely known, and will probably never be 100% settled. Nevertheless, it is clear from the fossil record, and from direct observation in labs and nature, that animals evolve.

    I also believe there is no real separation between "micro" and "macro" evolution, and in fact those terms aren't often used in the scientific community. Speciation, the intruduction of one species from another, is just an arbitrary artifact of evolution, producable by prolonged geographic isolation or through a particular genetic mutation. There are equally significant evolutionary changes within species. Of course, any change, multplied over millions of years, will appear much more drastic than a simple case of one species of chipmunk spawning another similar species of chipmunk.

    Finally, I believe there is ample evidence from an abundance of sources that the earth is billions of years old, and not several thousand as some say is stated by the Bible. There are many dating methods and evidences that overlap and line up with eachother indicating an ancient earth and universe. From a multitude of radiometric dating, to the light arriving from distant stars, to stratographic dating, there are many examples of compelling physical evidence of an ancient earth, and no corresponding physical evidence of a young earth.

    There, that's a huge start! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    Capslock
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I believe there is ample evidence from an abundance of sources that the earth is billions of years old, and not several thousand as some say is stated by the Bible
    Other than the 6 "days" of creation the Bible is silent regarding the age of the earth. There is a popular misconception that until recently (theories of the Big Bang and evolution) everyone believed in a young Earth - this is not so. The antiquity of the Earth was established long before any of these theories were an issue.
    I have read translations of ancient Jewish Rabbi commentary on the Pentateuch and Talmud By such authors as Onkelos (2nd century), Rashi (1040-1105), Maimonides (1135-1204), and Nahmanides (1194-1270) and they clearly believed in an old earth.
    The early church fathers and Biblical scholars appeared to hold a wide variety of opinion as to the nature of the creation "days". Some have claimed (even in print) that the early church fathers and all other Christians during that time were in complete agreement on 6 24-hr "days" for creation. Irenaeus acknowledged widespread belief in creation "days" lasting 1,000 years (as in 2 Pet 3:8 KJV - But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.) Here is the reference -- Iranaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, chapter XXIII, section 2. If you care to read the reference yourself, I have located an on-line version:
    http://www.catholicfirst.com/thefait....s10.cfm
    Some have further argued (in a fall back position) "Well even if that's true it's still a young earth model". Well, they TOTALLY miss the point. Once you make these days divine (non solar) - it's just a difference of time for the days. Billions vs. thousands. Once an age is interpreted for these days - the YEC model has no foundation on which to rest - hence why it is so vehemently defended! What's important to remember about the basis for this belief is not the specific length of the time, but the vast difference of our time as compared to God's. He is not bound by our constraints of time... what seems significant periods of time to us - is but nothing to the Creator! The young earth creationists like to point out that God would not need billions of years to create... Well, that being the case, even they (YEC) believe in a "progressive creation" else they would argue for instant creation or creation in 6 seconds... By their own method of criticism - they limit God's power by proclaiming a creation within 6 solar days.
    Ironically, One of the early church fathers - Augustine, argued just that. He believed in instantaneous creation - despite the "day" references... although he went on to say "What kind of days these were is extremely difficult or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!" You can look at what many of the early church fathers said along with the Catholic perspective that the days were probably long periods of time here:
    http://www.catholic.com/library/Crea...nd_Genesis.asp
    The main fact to remember concerning these early writers is that they cannot be accused of compromising or altering their beliefs to fit current theory - as the theories that call for an old universe did not come about until the latter half of the nineteenth century.
    Are there more recent "greats" that believed in an old earth? You bet! The following believed in an old earth: evangelical greats Benjamin B. Warfield and Charles Hodge as well as these current old earth believers: Gleason L. Archer (Hebrew scholar and Professor of Old Testament and Semitics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), William Lane Craig (popular Christian apologist), R.C. Sproul (prominent theologian), J. I. Packer (author, contributing editor to Christianity Today, Professor of Theology at Regent College) and Norman Geisler (a prominent apologist and Dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary). These men represent some of the finest in the faith and their scholarship is first-rank.
    Only after Darwin proposed the theory of evolution did the real paranoia set in and create a need for theologians to come up with a scenario that did not allow a case for evolution. I see this everywhere in Christian writings - this strong urge to fight evolution - AT ALL COSTS!
    Unfortunately the main theme has been to make the Earth as "young" as possible so there is not enough time for it. Many modern churches are now proposing that the Earth is quite young (a mere 6,000 years old, with some camps allowing up to 10,000), and they place the flood at about 4,000 years ago. People who believe this position are called "young Earthers".
    How do they come up with their age? The young Earthers basically go along with Archbishop James Ussher's chronology - Which is what places the Earth at a mere 6,000 years old, and the flood at about 4,000 years ago. Ussher in 1658 took the amount of time since Christ's death - then used the age of each patriarch at the birth of his son (from the genealogies) to derive a date for Adam - then simply added another 6 days for the literal Creation account itself - to arrive at the exact date of Sunday October 23rd 4004 BC for the start of the universe. The Archbishop also boldly asserted that Adam and Eve were driven from Paradise on Monday November 10th 4004 BC, and that the ark touched down on Mt Ararat on May 5th, 1491 BC on a Wednesday!
    Note:
    Biblical genealogies may be a tool to observe the history/age of man - but not the entire Creation (angels, universe, earth, etc). Further, they can only be a crude tool. The problem is in the meaning of the Hebrew words for father and son, "ab" and "ben". "Ab" can refer to father, grandfather, great-grandfather, or even ancestor. "Ben" likewise can be son, grandson, great-grandson, etc. For an example we can look in the book of Daniel, where Belshazzar's mother refers to Nebuchadnezzar as her son's father when, in actuality, four generations are between them, further, they are not even related! Such flexibility in Hebrew word usage and meaning explains why parallel genealogies in: I Chronicles 3, Matthew I, and Luke 3 often differ with one another. I think with this in mind, it's quite possible that they represent only the highlights - as one might do today if you were to list all the great scientists... you might list Aristotle (384-322 BC), Copernicus (1473-1543), Newton (1642-1727), Einstein (1879-1955). That does not mean you have a complete history for the earth, nor a listing of all people, or even all scientists, just the "great" scientists - well, maybe we were similarly given a list of the "great" patriarchs.
    I always suspect everything is a trap....thats why I'm still alive

    Times fun when you're having flys

  2. #106
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    Caps, bingo.

    To which I have heard creats reply (on another forum, not this one) that God created it all just to look like that. (just to play the Devil's advocate, please pardon the expression).



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  3. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]But I believe the building blocks of life, proteins, water, energy sources, etc., were present on earth and that there was/is opportunity for life to arise, not spontaneously, but as the natural result of mixing ingredients in an ideal environment.
    If I may take this back a little farther then. Where did the building blocks of life come from? They're not eternal.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Nevertheless, it is clear from the fossil record and from direct observation in labs and nature, that animals evolve.
    What are you talking about here? Are you talking about the geological column, which changes as you go to different spots around the earth? Or is it those links people have found? How about Ramapithicus (I'm sure I botched the spelling), whose entire body was artistically rendered from a two inch piece of jawbone. Lucy, whose skeleton exactly resembles that of a modern day chimpanzee, yet is touted as the link between apes and humans? Nebraska man? A whole body derived from a single tooth (which ended up coming from a pig)? Where does the fossil record prove this?

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Speciation, the intruduction of one species from another, is just an arbitrary artifact of evolution, producable by prolonged geographic isolation or through a particular genetic mutation.
    So basically, if I stick a few humans in an isolated part of a continent, they will become something different eventually?

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Finally, I believe there is ample evidence from an abundance of sources that the earth is billions of years old, and not several thousand as some say is stated by the Bible.
    Could you name a few specifics?

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]There are many dating methods and evidences that overlap and line up with eachother indicating an ancient earth and universe. From a multitude of radiometric dating, to the light arriving from distant stars, to stratographic dating, there are many examples of compelling physical evidence of an ancient earth, and no corresponding physical evidence of a young earth.
    Well, I happen to have some evidence. Radiometric dating is not nearly as accurate as you might think. One example off the top of my head is seal skins. Scientists took fresh seal sins and dated them. The tests came back saying they were 1400 years old! That's an OLD seal!

    There are several theories about the light from a star. The one I hold to is this. If an all powerful God can create the Sun, can He not create the light already streaming from it?

    I can do some research on this, but here's one other interesting factoid.

    Scientists have been studying and measuring the sun for over 100 years. It is and has been shrinking at a rate of 5 ft an hour. Take this backwards in time and you have the sun growing at a rate of 5 ft an hour. Now this doesn't seem like a lot when the Sun is millions of miles across, but when you multiply by 4 billion years or so, you have a HOT problem (hehehe!)!

    In fact, if the earth were even 20 MILLION years old, the sun would be touching the earth!!! This is during the Cenozoic period (sp?) when humans should have existed! How can this be possible? Can you touch the sun and live?

    I love this stuff!

    SF

  4. #108
    Capslock's Avatar
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    Great stuff, SF. I have to go to a meeting (I am at work, posting during breaks), so I have to get to this tonight. Good to find someone to debate with!

    See ya later,
    Capslock
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    My photos are copyright-free and public domain

  5. #109
    Jeremiah Harris's Avatar
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    here is some more info about dating methods that I thought you might find interesting.

    I know were all good enough friends by now that we wont let this get out of hand. Just a friendly debate right?

    "Carbon dating: Whenever the worldview of evolution is questioned, this topic always comes up. Let me first explain how carbon dating works and then show you the assumptions it is based on. Radiation from the sun strikes the atmosphere of the earth all day long. This energy converts about 21 pounds of nitrogen into radioactive carbon 14. This radioactive carbon 14 slowly decays back into normal, stable nitrogen. Extensive laboratory testing has shown that about half of the C-14 molecules will decay in 5730 years. This is called the half-life. After another 5730 years half of the remaining C-14 will decay leaving only ¼ of the original C-14. It goes from ½ to ¼ to 1/8, etc. In theory it would never totally disappear, but after about 5 half lives the difference is not measurable with any degree of accuracy. This is why most people say carbon dating is only good for objects less than 40,000 years old. Nothing on earth carbon dates in the millions of years, because the scope of carbon dating only extends a few thousand years. Willard Libby invented the carbon dating technique in the early 1950's. The amount of carbon 14 in the atmosphere today (about .0000765%), is assumed there would be the same amount found in living plants or animals since the plants breath CO2 and animals eat plants. Carbon 14 is the radio-active version of carbon.

    Since sunlight causes the formation of C-14 in the atmosphere, and normal radioactive decay takes it out, there must be a point where the formation rate and the decay rate equalizes. This is called the point of equilibrium. Let me illustrate: If you were trying to fill a barrel with water but there were holes drilled up the side of the barrel, as you filled the barrel it would begin leaking out the holes. At some point you would be putting it in and it would be leaking out at the same rate. You will not be able to fill the barrel past this point of equilibrium. In the same way the C-14 is being formed and decaying simultaneously. A freshly created earth would require about 30,000 years for the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere to reach this point of equilibrium because it would leak out as it is being filled. Tests indicate that the earth has still not reached equilibrium. There is more C-14 in the atmosphere now than there was 40 years ago. This would prove the earth is not yet 30,000 years old! This also means that plants and animals that lived in the past had less C-14 in them than do plants and animals today. Just this one fact totally upsets data obtained by C-14 dating.

    The carbon in the atmosphere normally combines with oxygen to make carbon dioxide (CO2). Plants breathe CO2 and make it part of their tissue. Animals eat the plants and make it part of their tissues. A very small percentage of the carbon plants take in is radioactive C-14. When a plant or animal dies it stops taking in air and food so it should not be able to get any new C-14. The C-14 in the plant or animal will begin to decay back to normal nitrogen. The older an object is, the less carbon-14 it contains. One gram of carbon from living plant material causes a Geiger counter to click 16 times per minute as the C-14 decays. A sample that causes 8 clicks per minute would be 5,730 years old (the sample has gone through one half life), and so on. (See chart on page 46 about C-14).
    Although this technique looks good at first, carbon-14 dating rests on two simple assumptions. They are, obviously, assuming the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere has always been constant, and its rate of decay has always been constant. Neither of these assumptions is provable or reasonable. An illustration may help: Imagine you found a candle burning in a room, and you wanted to determine how long it was burning before you found it. You could measure the present height of the candle (say, seven inches) and the rate of burn (say, an inch per hour). In order to find the length of time since the candle was lit we would be forced to make some assumptions. We would, obviously, have to assume that the candle has always burned at the same rate, and assumes an initial height of the candle. The answer changes based on the assumptions. Similarly, scientists do not know that the carbon-14 decay rate has been constant. They do not know that the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere is constant. Present testing shows the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere has been increasing since it was first measured in the 1950's. This may be tied in to the declining strength of the magnetic field.

    Potassium Argon dating: "Potassium Argon dating is based on many of the same assumptions and gives wild dates shown below. Since so many wrong dates are found, how would we know which dates are "correct?"

    For years the KBS tuff, named for Kay Behrensmeyer, was dated using Potassium Argon (K-Ar) at 212-230 Million years. See Nature, April 18, 197, p. 226. Then skull #KNM-ER 1470 was found (in 1972) under the KBS tuff by Richard Leakey. It looks like modern humans but was dated at 2.9 million years old. Since a 2.9 million year old skull cannot logically be under a lava flow 212 million years old many immediately saw the dilemma. If the skull had not been found no one would have suspected the 212 million year dates as being wrong. Later, 10 different samples were taken from the KBS tuff and were dated as being .52- 2.64 Million years old. (way down from 212 million. Even the new "dates" show a 500% error!) Bones of Contention by Marvin Lubenow, pp. 247-266

    Basalt from Mt. Etna, Sicily (122 BC) gave K-AR age of 250,000 years old.

    Dalyrmple, G.B., 1969 40Ar/36Ar analysis of historic lava flows. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 6-47 55. See also: Impact #307 Jan. 1999

    Lava from the 1801 Hawaiian volcano eruption gave a K-Ar date of 1.6 Million years old.

    Dalyrmple, G.B., 1969 40Ar/36Ar analysis of historic lava flows. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 6-47 55. See also: Impact #307 Jan. 1999

    Basalt from Mt. Kilauea Iki, Hawaii (AD 1959) gave K-AR age of 8,500,000 years old. Impact #307 Jan. 1999

    Basalt from Mt. Etna, Sicily (AD 1972) gave K-AR age of 350,000 years old. Impact #307 Jan. 1999, See: www.icr.org for lots more on dating methods.

    In addition to the above assumptions, dating methods are all subject to the geologic column date to verify their accuracy. If a date obtained by radiometric dating does not match the assumed age from the geologic column the radiometric date will be rejected. The so-called geologic column was developed in the early 1800's over a century before there were any radiometric dating methods. "Apart from very 'modern' examples, which are really archaeology, I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils."Ager, Derek V., "Fossil Frustrations," New Scientist, vol. 100 (November 10, 1983), p. 425. Laboratories will not carbon date dinosaur bones (even frozen ones which could easily be carbon dated) because dinosaurs are supposed to have lived 70 million years ago according to the fictitious geologic column. An object's supposed place on the geologic column determines the method used to date it. There are about 7 or 8 radioactive elements that are used today to try to date objects. Each one has a different half-life and a different range of ages it is supposed to be used for. No dating method cited by evolutionists is unbiased. For more information, see video tape #7 of the CSE video series on Creation, Evolution, and Dinosaurs; Bones of Contention by Marvin Lubenow, or Scientific Creationism by Henry Morris (all available from CSE).

    A few examples of wild dates by radiometric dating:

    Shells from living snails were carbon dated as being 27,000 years old. Science vol. 224, 1984, pp. 58-61

    Living mollusk shells were dated up to 2300 years old. Science vol. 141, 1963, pp.634-637

    A freshly killed seal was carbon dated as having died 1300 years ago! Antarctic Journal vol. 6, Sept-Oct. 1971, p.211

    "One part of the Vollosovitch mammoth carbon dated at 29,500 years and another part at 44,000.
    --Troy L. Pewe, Quaternary Stratigraphic Nomenclature in Unglaciated Central Alaska, Geological Survey Professional Paper 862 (U.S. Gov. printing office, 1975) p. 30.

    "One part of Dima [a baby frozen mammoth] was 40,000, another part was 26,000 and the "wood immediately around the carcass" was 9-10,000.
    --Troy L. Pewe, Quaternary Stratigraphic Nomenclature in Unglaciated Central Alaska, Geological Survey Professional Paper 862 (U.S. Gov. printing office, 1975) p. 30

    "The lower leg of the Fairbanks Creek mammoth had a radiocarbon age of 15,380 RCY, while its skin and flesh were 21,300 RCY.
    --In the Beginning Walt Brown p. 124

    The two Colorado Creek mammoths had radiocarbon ages of 22,850 670 and 16,150 230 years respectively."
    --In the Beginning Walt Brown p. 124

    "A geologist at the Berkeley Geochronology Center, [Carl] Swisher uses the most advanced techniques to date human fossils. Last spring he was re-evaluating #### erectus skulls found in Java in the 1930s by testing the sediment found with them. A hominid species assumed to be an ancestor of #### sapiens, erectus was thought to have vanished some 250,000 years ago. But even though he used two different dating methods, Swisher kept making the same startling find: the bones were 53,000 years old at most and possibly no more than 27,000 years— a stretch of time contemporaneous with modern humans."
    --Kaufman, Leslie, "Did a Third Human Species Live Among Us?" Newsweek (December 23, 1996), p. 52.

    "Structure, metamorphism, sedimentary reworking, and other complications have to be considered. Radiometric dating would not have been feasible if the geologic column had not been erected first."
    --O’Rourke, J. E., "Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, vol. 276 (January 1976), p. 54"


    thanks
    -Jeremiah-

  6. #110
    fatboy's Avatar
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    To Jeremiah, Snowy Falcon et al

    Every faction has it’s dissenters and quoting the opinions/ results of any single person’s work is not always indicative of what is generally accepted. This applies to religion too i.e. have a look at this guy and tell me if I should be quoting his works in arguments about religion:

    Ted Jesus Christ GOD

    There is no dispute that getting exact results for aging, etc is difficult and is not yet precise (but not bad given the span of years we are looking at) however it can be shown that the earth is far older than the bible would have you believe. The problem with all the arguments presented by theists is that they pick and choose which parts of the bible are to be taken literally, which are metaphoric and which are to be totally disregarded. This is the reason why there are so many divisions in religion, because of the many interpretations of the bible. The bible itself is a bit like Nostradamus’s work, it is so vague that almost anything can be read into it, it contradicts itself and parts can be taken, completely out of context, and used to illustrate a particular point.
    If the bible is indeed the word of god the surely it should be taken literally?
    It has been proven that it cannot be true if taken literally (God’s garden has already argued that in a roundabout way) so why should any of it be believed?

    How I see creation and evolution is like this:
    • There are two children who we’ll call Tom and Bill
    • They find an unmarked box on a shelf that’s full of jigsaw pieces
    • Tom asks his father what the jigsaw is a picture of and he tells them it’s some fruit
    • Tom says “Now I already know what it is so I’m not going to bother doing the puzzle”
    • Bill decides to try to put it together anyway, and he notices that the picture is beginning to look like a dog
    • He says to Tom “look, it’s covered in fur” to which Tom replies “he said it’s fruit, it’s obviously peaches”
    • The more of the picture Bill completes the more it looks like a dog
    • Bill completes the lower part of the picture and sees the dog is curled up in a basket. Tom say “he said it’s fruit so it must be in a bowl”.
    • Now, we have 90% of the picture complete and it’s looking 90% like a picture of a dog curled up in a basket but Bill can’t get the last few pieces to fit, yet.
    • At this point Tom says “see, you were wrong. You may as well discard all the pieces you have already put together because you couldn’t get the entire picture complete and just believe what my father originally told you”

    Somewhere down the line we may very well find that evolution is wrong and I won't care a fig as long as what replaces it makes more sense. I cannot see whatever replaces it as being anything involving a divine power as there is no physical evidence that one exists.

    Cheers, Troy

  7. #111
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Hi Troy - While it Is true that people can and have used, misused, misunderstood, and abused the Bible, there are some things being overlooked. One is that it is a collection of books and letters. Some of it historical; some is poetry; some is predictive prophecy. Some is quite literal and some is metaphorical. If one is looking at the big picture, trying to look at whole Bible and not at individual verses or passages, you will find that it isn't contradictory. You will find that the individual writers had different audiences with different motivations for writing. One has to do what is known as good hermeneutics in order to determine just what is being expresed and why. For instance, one writer may be addressing people under persecution and are given encouraging words, whereas another writer is addressing a church that is too comfortable. That writer is using a lot of critical language that will, at first, glance appear to be contradictory to the one using comforting words. If a Christian is worth his or her salt, he or she will let the Bible teach the individual instead of manipulating the Bible to conform to one's pre-conceived theology. I challenge you and whomever to read the Bible in its entirety and ask God to show you what the truth is. Try to understand who the audience is and the writer's motivation and you'll be able to grasp the bigger picture.

  8. #112
    Jeremiah Harris's Avatar
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    hello

    thanks for your reply

    "To Jeremiah, Snowy Falcon et al

    Every faction has it’s dissenters and quoting the opinions/ results of any single person’s work is not always indicative of what is generally accepted. This applies to religion too i.e. have a look at this guy and tell me if I should be quoting his works in arguments about religion: "

    It may not be what is generally accepted but for decades people believed that the world was flat did that make it true? of cores not. What is generally accepted is not always true.

    I have a questions for you. What that I was quoting do you not think is true?

    Anyone could quote the "National Enquire" but that is a entirely different mater all together then quoting some thing the there is evidence to back it up.

    "involving a divine power as there is no physical evidence that one exists."

    I completely agree for you. I do not believe there is soled evidence to back up the theory of evolution. So it is just a question of which would you rather put you faith in? As for me I think it is much easier to believe in an all powerful God then to believe we evolved through billions of years, random chance and natural section.

    thanks
    -Jeremiah-

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