Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Atheism, Religion and Genocide - Part 1 - Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill

As some of you already know, I went to Uganda last summer. Uganda has a really bad reputation for what happened in the past, but has been a mostly safe and stable country to visit for years now. Many people who remember watching its worst troubles on the news do not realise that it has since recovered quite well, except for a violent insurgency in the remote north.

I spent 2 weeks there, and really liked it. I had some great wildlife encounters, and the people were very friendly. The public displays of religious faith were much more numerous and stronger than I had experienced anywhere else. There are heaps of businesses, completely unrelated to religion, that have religious names. It is very common to find a hair salon called, "Saved By God", or a grocery store called, "God's Grace" or something like that. Even the banks get into it. An ad for a bank in neighbouring Kenya has a smiling face saying, "(bank's name) is my kind of company because it is God-fearing". The buses have banners on the front that say, "Protected by God/Allah", whichever is appropriate for the driver. There is a channel on TV which is just people dancing for Jesus, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Considering they only have about 7 channels, that seemed like an excessive waste. Even if you are religious, why would you want to watch little boys and midgets dance for Jesus to the same music over and over again?

In my friendly exchanges and experiences with the Ugandan people, it never occurred to me that they might be.... well..... genocidal maniacs.

When I first saw this article on CNN, I thought it was a joke. I don't know why I thought it was a joke, CNN not being known for its sense of humour, but it just seemed so ridiculous.

Here is a brief summary of the bill before the Ugandan parliament (I have read the original text):

1. Anybody committing a homosexual act can be imprisoned for life.
2. Those who 'attempt' a homosexual act can be imprisoned for up to 7 years.
3. Those who know of homosexuality taking place, but do not report it, can be imprisoned for up to 3 years. This includes hotel owners whose rooms are being used by a gay couple.
4. Anybody committing a homosexual act more than once faces the death penalty.
5. Anybody who commits a homosexual act and is HIV-positive faces the death penalty.
6. Anybody who enters a same-sex union can be imprisoned for life.
7. The law applies to any Ugandan citizen or resident who commits a homosexuality crime, even if the act is committed in a country where it is legal. Extradition will be sought (not like any civilised country would grant such an extradition).
8. Organisations, blogs, etc. which promote gay rights are illegal, effectively banning opposition to the bill once passed.
9. Any international treaties which contain provisions counter to this bill (ie. human rights treaties) are declared void.
10. The bill also declares same-sex attraction to be purely a choice, with no natural influence. Being religious people, they do not feel bound to provide any evidence for such a statement.

So people who commit homosexual acts more than once (ie. most homosexuals) face death. Sounds like genocide to me. Here's what some leaders of (morally-superior) religions in Uganda had to say, according to the CNN article:

"The Rev. Esau Omara, a senior church leader, said over the weekend that any lawmaker opposing the bill will pay for it during the next election, according to local newspaper reports." (link)

"And a leading Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has called for gays to be rounded up and banished to an island until they die."

To their credit, it seems that some religious organisations outside of Uganda have spoken out against this bill, as have the leaders of several Western nations. However, at least one religious organisation is accused of being officially opposed to the bill, while some of its individual members allegedly lobbied in favour of it.

But deep down, this is what most Christians, Muslims and Jews want, at least those who actually believe their book is true and want it followed. The ones who think the books are a buffet of choice to be cherry-picked might not agree, but for those fundamentalists, which a large percentage of the religious are, they are commanded to do so!

Leviticus 20-13:

13If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

So where are you now, you divinely-moral religious believers? Most of you probably don't even know about this, because your pastors don't like to bring up the negatives of religion and who the hell cares about Africa anyway, but if you are aware of it, what are you going to do? Are you going to stand up for your book, or stand up for human rights and against genocide? Are you going to find a way to blame it on atheists? It's time for those of you with any real morality in you at all to stand up to the murderous power of your religion!

If you choose to stand for decency and human rights, there are Facebook groups and online petitions. Search around.

112 comments:

Pinkydead said...

I think that this will have a detrimental effect on Uganda's attempts to appear as a modern progressive nation that had left behind the vestiges of its inglorious past (which I think it was succeeding at).

Cypher said...

If this passes I will be scared. I'm not even gay, but if people can find a reason to kill one group for nothing, they can find more. This is just Hitlerism from a different angle.

Admin said...

Cypher, are you familiar with this poem from the Holocaust?


First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.


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

Eillix said...

"But deep down, this is what most Christians, Muslims and Jews want, at least those who actually believe their book is true and want it followed."

I'm a Christian. I believe in the bible. I don't believe in the systematic slaughter/banishment homosexuals.

There are plenty of people that believe that you've gotta "be good and clean up your act" before you're accepted by God. But based on what I've learned (& tested) for myself it's the opposite. You come to God as you are. Spending time with Him everyday means that getting "cleaned up" is the by-product.

If that's true then that would mean that the legislation in Uganda has got it backwards.

Does this piece of legislation encourage obedience out of fear or out of love? I think fear.


I wouldn't want to watch people dance around all day either. It sounds like a huge waste of time.

Eillix said...

By the way, what effect will protesting have on any of this? Will this stop Uganda from passing this?

Admin said...

For example, to stop our countries giving them foreign aid, which makes up more than half of Uganda's income.

Eillix said...

There's an idea. I'll look around for ways to spread the word against this.

Its ridiculous that the government in Uganda can spend their time worrying about this when they're still accepting handouts from the rest of the world.

If you need help, you need help; still I think there are more important things to worry about than passing bills like this (especially when you're living on someone else's dime).

ANTZILLA said...

I guessing the "law" doesn't include the elite of the country watching lesbo action. Or priests fondling little boys

Cypher said...

Damn I missed all the fun.
Yeah I know that poem I did it in English last year at the holocaust memorial.
Eillix I think you're one of those 'nice' Christians. You know, one who would be a nice person anyway, but attributes themselves to religion, as you are making good unbiased points.
'I guessing the "law" doesn't include the elite of the country watching lesbo action. Or priests fondling little boys'
No, that'll be called 'evidence.'

Eillix said...

Cypher

Heh. I actually wasn't one of those "nice Christians" until 2008. I grew up as a Christian, became an atheist, then an an Agnostic Theist, and after lots of testing and questions, I became friends with God.

Seriously though I'm action packed with problems just like everyone else. I'm just noticing that my character flaws are getting fixed by quality time instead of "trying to be good".

It seems like some people with power fall into the trap of believing that the rules don't apply to them (or they don't care). Unfortunately, I think you're right about the "evidence".

Feki said...

Hello Eillix,

Let's pretend there is a book containing true written messages from an actual, existing god.

You happen to believe in this one god and vow to obey his word under the premise that it will grant you access to VIP afterlife (call it love for yourself or fear of uncertainty, as you please).

It just so happens that this particular deity greatly dislikes homosexuals, among other things, and deems them an "abomination".

I know you get my drift, so:

How can you choose which command to obey? what is considered acceptable to fulfill god's will? what if the bible ordered you to wipe out panda bears? if chosing is allowed, why obey anything from this book anyway?

I just don't get how you can selectively reject the naughty chapters of a book and think the rest a brilliant, commendable text that should be taken seriously.

["I don't believe in the systematic slaughter/banishment homosexuals."]

Evidently, your comment is both intriguing and disturbing.

Eillix said...

Feki,

I'm loving the dialog. Keep it coming.

You said:
You happen to believe in this one god and vow to obey his word under the premise that it will grant you access to VIP afterlife (call it love for yourself or fear of uncertainty, as you please).

Here's what I've studied.
I refuse to obey God out of fear. I mentioned to Him that if that's what He's waiting He shouldn't hold His breath. I'm not friends with Him because I want to go to heaven (if you're friends with someone so you can use them that makes you a bad friend). Don't get me wrong, I want to go but when I'm dead I won't really care either way will I? I've gotten to see what He's like for myself and I've tested what I've heard about Him.

You said:
It just so happens that this particular deity greatly dislikes homosexuals, among other things, and deems them an "abomination".

Here's what I've studied.
• If you're talking about Leviticus 20:13 it says that they committed an abomination. So far I haven't run into anything that says that God "greatly dislikes homosexuals". I know that the things we do tend to piss Him off but I don't believe that He hates us for it. What would be the point of dying for us if He did? I wouldn't respect Him for it if that was the case.

Eillix said...

You said:
How can you choose which command to obey? what is considered acceptable to fulfill god's will? what if the bible ordered you to wipe out panda bears? if chosing is allowed, why obey anything from this book anyway?

Here's what I've studied.
1. Someone's choice is between them and God. Unless He makes it abundantly clear that I'm to intervene for some reason I avoid offering unasked for advice or sticking my nose where it doesnt' belong. I'd ask for proof or confirmation if there was something I was iffy about.
2. Your question "what is considered acceptable to fulfill god's will" is dependent on God Himself. Think about adultery in the context of your question: the rule was that adultery had the death penalty. But Bathsheba, David, Mary committed adultery and weren't executed. God told Hosea to marry a prostitute (Gomer) who cheated on him over and over and over. She wasn't killed. Then God tells him to go back and PAY to get his wife back. I'm seeing that God is interested in our relationship with Him - He's not waiting for us to screw up so He can wipe us out.

You said:
I just don't get how you can selectively reject the naughty chapters of a book and think the rest a brilliant, commendable text that should be taken seriously.

Here's my thoughts.
The bible isn't light reading. If you're interested I can share my understanding of things. Let me know.

• There are things in the bible that I'm *still* trying to understand. There are still things that make me angry and things that I don't really appreciate seeing. I've tried my best to reconcile my experience with God and the things in my life that I cannot explain away.
• Books of the bible are Historical, Poetical and Prophetic. Some books are all of these some are not.
• I'm not sure what you mean by "naughty". can you explain that a little more?
• There are little things that are lost or added in translation that complicate reading can can be used by others to manipulate texts.

Based on my personal experience I've noticed that God seems to be more interested in your motives and your heart. Am we truly interested in getting to know Him better or are we just trying to butter Him up to get what we want?

I can see why my comment would be both intriguing and disturbing. For me though, I've learned that the more quality time I spend with God - more room He has to "fix" me.

That said, I understand that you and most readers of this blog don't share the same beliefs and that's okay. My goal isn't to convert or win anybody I'm just sharing my experience and my perspective.

Feki said...

Well, I respect the fact that you rationalize your faith, but it does not help in the case of god's alleged existence. And it makes me wonder what on earth makes you want to be a christian.

So, you went atheist for a while, and then decided that a single god existed, and that it had to be the christian one, right? Apparently it didn’t bother you it suffered from multiple personality disorder.

Then you chose to believe in the bible, although selectively as not all the chapters are equally motivational and positive. Yes, some are naughty (as in vicious, amoral, wicked and evil) like the book of Job, the story of Jefte, Lot and his daughters etc.

I fail to see why these stories should be praised but you argue that these things happen only the first act and the nasty bits need to be studied further to be correctly understood.

But hurray, the second act tells the story of a suicide mission of god's alter-ego that makes it all fine and dandy again.
(I know this makes sense to you but for many of us it goes to show how pitiful would be this deity, if it actually existed. An omniscience, omnipotent god would need not to enact petty fables that can be interpreted the wrong way)

Next, you confirmed to us that you believe homosexuality is incorrect, but your conscience tells you "systematic slaughter" is bad.

I repeat my question: if choosing is allowed, why obey anything from this book anyway? why would you want to be a christian while believing just half of this stuff?

The fact is:
The christian faith (as laid out in this same bible you read) supports, encourages and/or demands killing, raping or enslaving of others. You wisely avoid delving too deeply on this, but what about the rest of you? Your faith directly hurts other people.

Do you know how? Ugandans aren't bad; they just replaced their conscience with intolerant straight-from-the-bible “moral guidelines”.

Final question: if any particular faith dismisses human rights and promotes violence, how long do you think it will be until people start banning it? I see it happening in Switzerland…

Eillix said...

Feki,

I was an Agnostic and an Atheist for a while. Back then I wasn't worried about the Evolution vs. Creationism issue.

When I was an Atheist I wanted answers to these questions.

1. if Atheism & Evolution are true why are things like murder or genocide wrong? Who got to decide, how did they get that right, and why is it a law? Couldn't things like murder,genocide, or corruption be considered a broad application of "survival of the fittest"? Why do things like justice and peace matter? Why do Atheists get angry when a pedophile molests and kills a child? If we're here today gone tomorrow, why does it matter that Uganda is going to execute Homosexuals?

2. Do Atheists believe that evil exists? How do experiments like the Standford prison experiment impact those beliefs?

3. How does life have any meaning or value if this is all there is? If we're all an accident, we live then die, and that's it - why have hope for *any* future?

4. As far as morality goes what should an Atheist believe in? Is it:

Amoralism
Moral Absolutism
Moral Relativism
• something else? if so what?

Why I Believe in God
I believe in God because of what I've experienced and seen about His true character in my life Personally. It's definitely based on Love for me and It's been a deeply intimate and personal thing.

There are examples of death, violence, killing, raping, enslaving in our world regardless of whether you're a Christian or not. If you're alive it's touched you in some way.

I choose to believe because of the relationship I have with Him. Almost everyday I learn something new about God's true character. Sometimes it's really uncomfortable and other times its really pleasant.


Truthfully there are things that I do not understand and haven't found answers to. For example:

• Did Jesus die for all of those people that were "utterly destroyed" by the Israelites in the bible? Did they even have a chance? Those questions are still there however I'm not interested in writing God off just because I don't understand that. I'll keep studying until I understand.
God killed Ananias and Sapphira for lying. But Sarah (Abraham's wife) lied to God's face. She lived. What made the difference?


I trust God because He has:
• Shown me that He Loves me and I'm important to Him.
• Shown me His character and continues to do so.
• Consistently takes the time to deal with my little problems.
• Has shown Himself to be trustworthy (that doesn't mean that things are always peaches and cream).

Feki said...

Dude, thanks for a comprehensive tour of your sentiments towards the alleged "almighty".

Now let's cut back on corny anecdotes, I studied with jesuits: 6 years of singing, praying, jesus is my friend, etc etc, ok?

Morality is a product of reasoning, not a product of divine inspiration. Ethics has been a field of study way before christianity appeared.

We evolved to develop conscience, but for the last 2000 years religion has been there to thwart it with opresion and fear.

There are multiple examples of animals adhering to complex social structures, with behavioural traits like caring for the old and injured. Does that mean that animals are divinely inspired to be good? No, it means animals developed instincts to protect themselves and cooperate (irrationally, of course) for the survival of the especies.

Again, god has nothing to do with us intuitively knowing "genocide and murder = bad", "peace and justice = good".

So Ugandans killing homosexuals is outrageous to me because I regard human life valuable regardless of an afterlife. It matters here TODAY, it matters precisely because there is no afterlife. And ultimately, I happen to have gay friends, and it is outrageous that religious fanatics want them killed, banned or "fixed" by an unseen entity.

I do not spend time planning out my retirement in cloudyland. I am morally obliged to take charge now and defend universal human rights out of respect for life. No "voices" tell me whether I should or should not go on a killing spree, and I clearly see the inherent benefits of law abiding. Funny you mentioned pedophiles, it seems to be problem for priests rather than atheists. We do see the wrong in it, and condemn it.

Finally, I do not need religion to justify being good. Or to tell me what's good.

And I hope you didn't either.

Jim said...

I always enjoy a debate until someone throws in religion as a basis for a moral code of a certain society/civilization.

You want to know why, without a god, we have laws banning murder and genocide? Seriously? You don't see the social benefits of not killing everyone around you all the time?

Now, let's deconstruct what you misunderstand.

Evolution/Survival of the Fittest.

This is the most misinterpreted scientific theory by religious types. They tend to hear 'survival of the fittest' and assume that all animals are hell-bent on killing everything to get to the top of the food chain. And it's arguments and misunderstandings like these that rile up the scientific community.

Let me break it down to you. A slug is a perfectly evolved creature. A worm is a perfectly evolved creature. So is a shark, a giraffe, a hippo. Everything that is alive right now (With the exception of animals bred by man. Dogs, for example.), and everything that was alive was perfectly evolved. This includes plant life and microscopic organisms. Everything that has been alive, is alive, and will be alive, is perfectly evolved.

I know religious types tend to get lost here because they tend not to listen when anyone tries to explain this, but evolution is NOT about being the biggest, baddest thing out there. Evolution is simply about survival. Nothing more. When a species evolves, it evolves to adapt to its environment. A slug is perfectly adapted to its environment. If it wasn't, it would have gone extinct.

Here is where we get the concept of 'Survival of the Fittest'. It is not about the biggest, smartest, strongest animal surviving. It is simply, what mutation along the evolutionary line was able to survive it habitat and continue living. That is all it is.

Religious folks tend to hear the term 'survival of the fittest' and assume that other animals are trying to declare war on other animals or something.

Now, humans are special in this theory. While there are current mutations occurring at the cellular level (Yes, we are still evolving), these changes take thousands of years to come to fruition. But what makes us special is simply that we seem to have taken ourselves out of the 'survival' evolutionary path. We still evolve, but 'survival of the fittest' doesn't apply to us anymore.

Why? It's quite simple. With advances in medical technology, we are able to cure and prevent disease that would naturally thin the population to levels that can safely co-exist with our natural surroundings. We also tend to wage war, procreate for no reason, allow babies that would normally die because they are unable to survive in the wild to live.

I know it sounds a little messed up, but that is the truth. Humans, before we became 'intelligent' lifeforms, were following the path of nature. There was no overpopulation, vaccines, war, or medical care for premature or sickly babies. People lived and died naturally and there was absolutely nothing artificial to extend our life. Once we started to artificially extend our lives, natural selection no longer applied to us.

Jim said...

As for us atheists believing in evil. While I cannot speak for all atheists, I would argue that there is a common misconception among religious types that the world has to be split into good and evil.

Do I believe in evil? As an entity acting on everything? No. Do people act in ways that can be considered evil? Yes. But to assume that evil exists as a separate entity is nonsense.

Evil is a human term used to describe something bad. That is all. It's an adjective, nothing more. Would you call a volcano that kills 10,000 people evil? No. But you would call a man that kills 10 people evil. Why is this? Is it because there is an outside force acting on this person causing him to do 'evil' things? Or is it because it makes it easier for us to acknowledge the wrongness of his actions and separate that person from the rest of us?

Hitler. Here was a man, by many first hand accounts, to be a faithful Catholic. He used to pray, attend church, and believe in God. And he was also a mass-murderer.

As an atheist, I simply see a man, doing only what he thought was right. Obviously, he was wrong in everything he did. But he did not think he was doing anything wrong. He thought he was going to heaven when he died because of his faith. But to a Christian, this had to have been shocking. To learn that one of your own was a great murderer must have been devastating. So he was labeled as 'evil' by the masses. This separated him from the other Christians who kept the same faith as him. Because he was 'evil', you could then comfort yourself by making claims that he was being manipulated by Satan, or that he was going to hell, or anything you wanted. But at the end of the day, because you labeled him 'evil', he was now separated from the other Christians. Surely no true Christian would be so evil?

Do you see where I'm going? The label of 'evil' seems to be just a way to separate good religious folk from anyone who does something bad. Just a way to show the rest of the world that they are indeed different from you.

But as I see it, everyone is the same. Equal, through and through. The only thing that separates anyone from anyone is the choices they make.

Religious folk tend to think that it is not the choices they make that separates them, but the choices their god or devil makes for them.

Feki said...

Hi Eillix

Have you found any other justification for asserting that the bible (and religion overall) is a good source of universal moral values?

You will probably argue:
The bible contains some good, enriching stories.

Again, why does it also promote violence, hatred, slavery, genocide, incest and intolerance?

would you think a parent is smart if he/she followed Homer Simpson's example just because he gets it right every now and then?

I am hopeful that you will agree to my final comment on this post:

societies cannot buy into teological arguments and base their governing law upon them. Religious beliefs belong to people's heads, not in our legal systems.

Jim said...

I would also like to add on to Feki's post, and note that our laws are not based on religious doctrine. They are based, simply, on what is best for society as a whole.

Eillix said...

Feki,

You said.
Now let's cut back on corny anecdotes, I studied with jesuits: 6 years of singing, praying, jesus is my friend, etc etc, ok?

I say:
You asked why I choose to obey believe the stuff that I did so I responded to that. If you prefer that I not mention any of the "corny anecdotes" it might be a good idea to not ask me to share my opinions.

You said.
Morality is a product of reasoning, not a product of divine inspiration. Ethics has been a field of study way before christianity appeared.

I say:
Who's reasoning? What about their reasoning gives "them" that right to decide for the rest of us? Why does morality differ in ireligious parts of the world or at different points in history (What you've described is Moral Relativism by the way)? What is inherently valuable about life if we're all an accident and we all face total annihilation at death?

You said.
There are multiple examples of animals adhering to complex social structures, with behavioural traits like caring for the old and injured.

I say:
Alright let's lets go with the "morality is a product of reasoning" point of view.

Following your reasoning, our laws are defined by consensus (the votes of whoever is currently in power), so they're able to constantly change. This means that there are no moral absolutes. For a purely humanistic society, where laws are defined by what is good for the whole of society, morality is flexible. Morality becomes a moving target, ambiguous at best.

Based on this definition it's okay:
• for our government to put Americans in harms way while testing nukes because it's for the greater good.
• If society like nazi germany decides that it's okay to slaughter millions in pursuit of the greater good.
• If we as Americans decide it's okay to unfairly inprision Japanese Americans in World War 2.

This doesn't make sense to me. Am I missing something?

Eillix said...

You said.
Again, god has nothing to do with us intuitively knowing "genocide and murder = bad", "peace and justice = good".

I say:
I didn't say that God has something to do with knowing that genocide and murder = bad; You still haven't answered my question. Why is it bad? On whose rationale is that based? When did morality start? Telling me that it's all based on "reasoning" means little because cannot be quantified on a wide scale (since your definition of Morality based on societal good and therefore flexible read:"moral relativism") because people use reasoning in different ways.

You said.
"I regard human life valuable regardless of an afterlife. It matters here TODAY, it matters precisely because there is no afterlife."

I say:
It matters today for what? To what end? *If* our ultimate end as people is total and final obliteration why does it matter? How did life start and for what purpose? If there is no greater purpose for life how can there be an individual purpose?

I agree that killing homosexuals is outrageous. Just because I don't agree with someone's lifestyle doesn't mean I want to kill them for it. Insinuating that all Christians want this points to a misunderstanding of a number of biblical issues (I can explain this in much greater detail if you are interested).

You said.
I do not spend time planning out my retirement in cloudyland. I am morally obliged to take charge now and defend universal human rights out of respect for life. No "voices" tell me whether I should or should not go on a killing spree, and I clearly see the inherent benefits of law abiding.

I say:
Well that's good to hear. I'm not planning my retirement in cloudyland either. I guess we agree on that point.:) I don't have "voices" telling me whether or not I should go on a killing spree and I also see the inherent benefits of obeying the law.

However that's not what I asked you. I asked you about how life can have value, meaning, or purpose. I haven't gotten a direct answer yet.


You said.
Finally, I do not need religion to justify being good. Or to tell me what's good.

I wonder about that.
That's one thing that truly stumped me when I was an atheist. How do I know what is "good"? My definition of good was never the same as a fellow atheist so there was always confusion. How did Good come into existance for that matter?

Hmm... You've given me a lot to think about.

ANTZILLA said...

The way the legal system works it seems if you can have some form of "evil" to blame for your actions you get away with it.This is where societies religous conditioning is causeing problems. It seems no one is reposible for their actions,Claiming forces of evil made them.These could be alcohol,drugs,church etc.

ANTZILLA said...

The way the legal system works it seems if you can have some form of "evil" to blame for your actions you get away with it.This is where societies religous conditioning is causeing problems. It seems no one is reposible for their actions,Claiming forces of evil made them.These could be alcohol,drugs,church etc.

Jim said...

Why does life matter to an atheist?

Simple. If we were to regard life as pointless, then we wouldn't be here. We respect life because of a biological urge to continue living. And to protect others as well as ourselves is the best way to ensure life continues.

I would be quite sad if all I had to live for was to worship a deity who created me simply to worship it.

Eillix said...

Jim,

I apologize if I gave you the impression that religion should be taken as the moral code/standard for a given society/civilization. That's not what I'm suggesting.

You said
You want to know why, without a god, we have laws banning murder and genocide? Seriously? You don't see the social benefits of not killing everyone around you all the time?

I say:
I see the benefits, but many, many people including "the religious" have disagreed.

My problem is that morality - if defined by societal wants and the greater good becomes a moving target. All of a sudden everyone has their own "Morality". There ceases to be any absolute (e.g. murder is okay under the "right conditions".)

You said:
Let me break it down to you. A slug is a perfectly evolved creature. A worm is a perfectly evolved creature. So is a shark, a giraffe, a hippo. Everything that is alive right now (With the exception of animals bred by man. Dogs, for example.), and everything that was alive was perfectly evolved. This includes plant life and microscopic organisms. Everything that has been alive, is alive, and will be alive, is perfectly evolved. -and- Now, humans are special in this theory. While there are current mutations occurring at the cellular level (Yes, we are still evolving), these changes take thousands of years to come to fruition.

I say:
Perfection is defined by Random House as "excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement." So how can something be perfectly evolved, but still evolving? That doesn't make much sense to me.

You said
This is the most misinterpreted scientific theory by religious types. They tend to hear 'survival of the fittest' and assume that all animals are hell-bent on killing everything to get to the top of the food chain. And it's arguments and misunderstandings like these that rile up the scientific community.

I say:
Jim, you're absolutely right on this point. That was definitely not the point that Darwin was making. I can't believe I missed that. I used that out of context. I apologize.

Thanks for the clarification. :)

You said
Now, humans are special in this theory. While there are current mutations occurring at the cellular level (Yes, we are still evolving), these changes take thousands of years to come to fruition. But what makes us special is simply that we seem to have taken ourselves out of the 'survival' evolutionary path. We still evolve, but 'survival of the fittest' doesn't apply to us anymore.

I say:
Feki seemed to believe that moral reasoning (e.g. moral relativism) was important as it ensured our survival. If we're all headed towards complete destruction, What are we surviving for? what is the purpose?

Regarding mutations. They:
• remove genetic information
• damage the organism resulting in death or weakness for either the organism, it's offspring, or both.
• are rare and random.
• have a widespread negative effect on the organism as a whole.
• are not always passed to the offspring.
• have not produced vitality in the offspring that is greater than the parent.

Mutation Hurdles
1. Mutations need to occur frequently
2. Mutations must be beneficial - at least sometimes.
3. Mutations must create a dramatic enough change (millions of specific, purposefuly changes) so that one species will be transformed into another as small changes damage, weaken, or destroy the organism.

Do you have credible evidence to support mutation as a vehicle that produces new species? If so I'd be interested in taking a look at it.

Eillix said...

You said
As for us atheists believing in evil. While I cannot speak for all atheists, I would argue that there is a common misconception among religious types that the world has to be split into good and evil.

Do I believe in evil? As an entity acting on everything? No. Do people act in ways that can be considered evil? Yes. But to assume that evil exists as a separate entity is nonsense.

I say:
I believe that evil is the absence of good. simplistic - sure but I don't think that evil itself exists as an entity. I do believe that satan is the personification of evil and there lies the difference.

I think it's strange to make that comment about Hitler and his "association" to God. This is the same man that presented Nietzsche's works to Mussolini. He was not at all interested in a relationship with God regardless of his beliefs. Do you have references for these "first hand accounts"?

I'm sure that Feki and other Atheists feel its cliche to talk about a relationship with God. Regardless, Hitler did not have it - the fruits didn't show it.

Now Benito Mussolini did attrocious things as well. He was baptized in 1927 by a Roman Catholic priest in an attempt to assuage certain Catholic opposition - does this mean that he had a relationship with God too? No. The fruits later on revealed what he was really about.


You said
Do you see where I'm going? The label of 'evil' seems to be just a way to separate good religious folk from anyone who does something bad. Just a way to show the rest of the world that they are indeed different from you.

But as I see it, everyone is the same. Equal, through and through. The only thing that separates anyone from anyone is the choices they make.

I say:
I agree with you here. We're all equal through and through. There is no superiority. The only thing that finally separates us is our choice.

The difference is that a lot of people in the world seem to believe that if they find.


You said
Religious folk tend to think that it is not the choices they make that separates them, but the choices their god or devil makes for them.

I say:
Respectfully, you couldn't be more wrong. I am responsible for the choices I make including the one to accept or reject God.

Neither God nor satan make my choices for me. They work to influence those choices but the choice is mine alone. If it wasn't I would be able to say that God does not love us. Predestination is not the name of the game.

Again, it seems as if you and many other Atheists have a misunderstanding of the bible. I'm not even sure where you got the idea that some how people are absolved of responsibility for their actions. All through the bible people did things they were warned not to do and they suffered for it. Often times their choices hurt others as well. Perhaps you could help me understand where you got that idea from?

Eillix said...

Feki

You said
Have you found any other justification for asserting that the bible (and religion overall) is a good source of universal moral values?

I say:
Yes. I've found examples of the consequences behind some of the things God suggested in the bible. Looking at things closer I see the natural consequences that come from disobedience.

Examples of Consequences:
• You reap what you sow. (doesn't need to be mystical or anything - if you hurt people they'll probably want to hurt you in return - obviously).
• Our promiscuious culture sees a routine increase in stds, teen pregnancies, abortions, adoptions, broken relationships, and divorce because they choose multiple partners. In the bible when people did this it brought a lot of suffering and pain as well. Want an example of this promiscuity? Go to Google and start typing "14 year olds" - let Google auto suggest the rest of your query and see what it brings up.
• A diet that consists of a lot of meat comes with additional health consequences (this can be exacerbated by blood in meats since it's a carrier of waste products like urea, lactic acid, carbon dioxide, pathogens, and hormones like adrenaline).

You said
Again, why does it also promote violence, hatred, slavery, genocide, incest and intolerance?

I say:
I disagree that it's "promoting" any of that. There's evidence all over the bible that suggests otherwise. It's another area we'll have to agree to disagree.

We're still allowed to make our own choices whether we want to take God's advice or not. Doesn't mean that the consequences don't affect us or others in negative ways.

You said
would you think a parent is smart if he/she followed Homer Simpson's example just because he gets it right every now and then?

I say:
I seriously hope you're not expecting an answer.

You said
societies cannot buy into teological arguments and base their governing law upon them. Religious beliefs belong to people's heads, not in our legal systems.

I say:
That's great, except people's heads haven't agreed throughout history. Even in Atheism there is disagreement on many beliefs (you, Jim, and other Atheists feel there's purpose, meaning, and inherent value in life while Nietzsche and other Atheists disagrees.)

If Morality is a moving target based on "People's Heads" Who are you to tell a society that they're wrong and should conform to your beliefs? Wouldn't that mean that you're doing the same thing you accuse Christians of doing?


Jim

You said
Why does life matter to an atheist?

Simple. If we were to regard life as pointless, then we wouldn't be here. We respect life because of a biological urge to continue living. And to protect others as well as ourselves is the best way to ensure life continues.

I would be quite sad if all I had to live for was to worship a deity who created me simply to worship it.

I say:
I'll have to accept that - though it still doesn't make sense to me.

As far as "Worship" goes, I think there's a misunderstanding again.
• I "worship" God because I'm incredibly grateful to Him for the things He's done. I don't think my purpose is to worship - on the contrary I think it's the end result or "consequence" of who God is and what He's done in my life.

• From my experience, I don't believe that self serving ideals result in happiness.
• I believe that serving & helping others brings happiness and satisfaction as a consequence.

Jim said...

In the end, it doesn't matter what you believe. You can believe that the color red is the best color in the world. But that is still only your opinion. What matters are the facts. And so far, there is not one scientifically viable piece of evidence that proves that any god exists. We can debate religious/atheist philosophy all day, but the facts and the science still point heavily to the side of no gods existing.

Eillix said...

Jim,

I'm not sure how you can establish the theory of evolution as fact without answering how life started in the first place.

If the burden of proof is on us "religious types" to prove that God exists, then the burden of proof is also on you to prove life started the way that you say it did (I'm definitely interested in seeing the proof when you find it).

With evolution, Time is your god; given enough time anything can happen.

SO what happens if you're wrong?



P.S. Thanks for the discussion. I've appreciated the dialog and sharing. I've definitely learned a lot from all of you.

ANTZILLA said...

Jim and Eillix
I've enjoyed your debate. If i may can i throw 2 cents in. Science is about asking questions than giving anwsers. When 1 thing is discoverd/ relised/proved science is aways asking more and more. Also to "REAL facts" are not open to opinion eg. the earth orbits the sun, this is not the belief of only astromers it is a fact. 1+1=2not because your a mathsmation and so on. The problem is, as you all seem to agree on is when anyone belief gets in the way of asking more questions aka (science).

Jim said...

Here is yet another example of religious people misunderstanding scientific theories.

Evolution is not a theory on how life began. Evolution is a proven theory on how like evolves. Nothing more. I don't have to prove how evolution explains life forming, because it is not part of the theory. Like gravitational theory does not explain why water is wet. Nothing to do with one another.

Time, as you like to believe, is NOT my god. I do not worship time or bow down to it. Time is simply a dimension and a fact of life. Nothing more. It amazes me how religious people always try to prove that atheist have a god. We, the learned ones at least, simply have science and mathematics.

Now. On to our 'Burden of proof'. I am not afraid to admit that we do not know exactly how life began. That is not something we hide. But, we are trying to solve this riddle. Which is much more than I can say for any religion. I have yet to see any religion seriously question their own belief system for scientific and irrefutable proof that they are right. And when science proves, without a doubt, that their beliefs or evidence is false (Shroud of Turin, for example), they instead question the science behind it. Even though that science has been proven to be reliable and accurate.

I like your little statement about how "given enough time anything can happen."

I don't know what you mean by this. It is not true at all, but it is one of those statements meant to give something a quality that would seem to make it greater than it really is. Time is not the end all factor of science. There are an infinite number of events that will never take place no matter how long the time-line given. A square will never have five sides. 1+1 will never equal 3. A group of people believing in something long enough will never change the fact that what they believe in is not true.

I think a better phrase would be:

"Given enough time, all facts will be revealed, and all doubt erased."

Now. You wanted to challenge me with 'burden of proof', so I must do the same. Especially seeing as how I answered yours.

We accept the burden of proving how life started (even though it has zero to do with evolution), so I want proof that God (It's amazing that only YOUR God managed to do it. Good for you.) created all life in the world. I want proof that your god created the Earth, the stars, the sun, light. You want to play the 'proof' game, it's time religion played back. And I don't want to hear scripture and that sort of nonsense. I want irrefutable proof that these events occurred they way you claim. Millions of people have died and have been murdered for these beliefs, so I would assume you have scientifically verifiable proof.

Now, if we are wrong, I have no worries. If your god is who you claim him to be, I would argue that since he knows all, he obviously knew before he created me the path I would choose in life. He must have known I would devote my life to science. He must have instilled in me the desire for proof and facts. How can he condemn me for the thoughts he gave me? Seems a bit hypocritical from a "perfect" god.

Anonymous said...

Eillix said, I'm not sure how you can establish the theory of evolution as fact without answering how life started in the first place

answer. Abiogenesis aka chemical evolution

ok enough from me I'll keep listening to your debate.

Jim said...

Thanks. Excellent point.

But, it is a non-issue because, as the religious tend to forget, the Theory of Evolution describes EVOLUTION not how life started.

ANTZILLA said...

Eillix, FYI
Atheism- The understanding that at the point in spacetime that the singularity occurred, quantum potential collapsed into sets of virtual particle / anti-particle pairs due to vacuum fluctutions occasionally producing a non-zero value after which solar and planetary accretion condensed the remaining gases into stars and planets the compostion of which often includes organic chemicals which naturally form molecular bonds and in our case autocatalytic feedback loops i.e. simple replicators which proceeded to fill the oceans of early Earth eventually increasing in sophistiction, forming lipid membranes around bubbles which protect the RNA and eventually DNA core of early single celled organisms, which evolved the capacity to live in colonies, becoming simple multicellular organisms like sponges, which became intermediaries like polyps which becam early invertebrates which brnched into vertebrates, some of which which became fish, thenamphibians, one of which (Tiktaalik) is famously among the first to crawl onto dry land, where amphibians branched off into reptiles, which branched into both birds and mammals, some of which survied the extinction event that killed the Dinosaurs, became arboreal primates, later descended and learned to walk upright in order to carry food/toos/young and of course these prot humans eventully became us.

Eillix said...

@ Everyone

I didn't misunderstand. I know that evolution doesn't explain how life started. I knew that before our discussion started. Connecting the two wasn't my point; I'll work on being more clear.

I wasn't suggesting that evolution should explain how life started. Rather I was asking how you can suggest that evolution is a fact when you don't know/understand how life started.

It seems to me that understanding the beginning of how life started would help to establish (or invalidate) evolution as a theory.

If we separate the two (how life started and evolution) the question of our beginning is still a valid question. I'm still aksing for proof on this (I'm skeptical that theists or atheists can "prove" this). If anyone can point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it.

Jim
There will always be those that use dishonesty and manipulation to prove their point regardless of whether religion is involved. Take the Horse Series found by Othniel C. Marsh in the 1870s. This series was touted as proof of evolutionary development. Yet there were quite a few red flags:
1. There are different animals in each series. The sequence varies from museum to museum.
2. The number of rib bones don't agree with the sequence. The four toed Hyra-cothedum has 18 pairs of ribs the next animal has 19 then there's a jump to 15, and finally back to 18 for the Equus (the horse we're familiar with today)
3. There are no transitional teeth. The horse animals have either grazing or browsing teeth. There are no transitional types between these two basic types.
4. Animals in the series are not from in-order strata Fossils of Eohippus have been found in the top-most strata, next to fossils of two modern horses. Conversly in South America the one-toed creature the "more recent discovery" was found below the three-toed "ancient - older" creature.
5. The Horse series only exists in museums. A complete series of the horse fossils in the correct evolutionary order (including strata) haven't been found anywhere in the world. When the creatures are found on the same continent e.g. the John-Day formation in Oregon, the three-toed and one-toed animals are found in the same geological horizon (stratum).
6. The "Eohippus" (dawn horse) is referred to as the hyracotherium since it's identical to the rabbit like hyrax (daman) that's living in Africa now (some museums exclude "Eohippus" from their series because of this.
I can provide 9 additional "red flags" to this series if you're interested. My point is this - people on both sides are dishonest.

Eillix said...

Jim you said:
Now. On to our 'Burden of proof'. I am not afraid to admit that we do not know exactly how life began. That is not something we hide. But, we are trying to solve this riddle. Which is much more than I can say for any religion. I have yet to see any religion seriously question their own belief system for scientific and irrefutable proof that they are right. And when science proves, without a doubt, that their beliefs or evidence is false (Shroud of Turin, for example), they instead question the science behind it. Even though that science has been proven to be reliable and accurate.
I say:
First, I have no irrefutable proof that God exists. I also have nothing that irrefutably proves how life began. It looks like we're in a similar position. :)
Second, there are archeological & historical discoveries that corroborate what the bible is saying. As always these discoveries should be tested and verified. If it's a fraud it needs to be pointed out so if you guys spot one - give me a heads up!
Third, I remember quite a few Christians calling shenanigans on the Shroud of Turin. It's like when somebody finds a piece of toast that looks like Jesus. It does absolutely nothing to improve someones relationship with God or corroborate the bible. Its so stupid because that piece of cloth could have been on anybody. weak.

Archeological discoveries that corroborate the bible:
• Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s confirming biblical writings from the patriarchs, the name Canaan (thought to be a non-existant name by bible critics), words used (e.g. tehom ("the deep" used in Genesis 1:2).

• A lot of people thought the Hittites were a just a myth - their capital and their records were recently found at Bogazkoy, Turkey.

• Bible critics thought that the bible was lying when it mentioned an Assyrian king named Sargon in Isaiah 20 because he wasn't found in any other record anywhere. Sargon's palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. His capture of Ashdod was recorded on the palace walls. Fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod.

• The world wide flood described in Genesis 6-9 is described in the The Sumerian King List and the 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic.

• Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language outlined in the Tower of Babel. There was a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language. Speech was then confused by the god Enki, lord of wisdom. The Babylonians had a similar account where the gods destroyed a temple tower and “scattered them abroad and made strange their speech.”

last but not least - A dvd called The star of Bethlehem that outlines some interesting discoveries based on mathematical and scientific discoveries from Johannes Kepler (built on further by Sir Isaac Newton). If you're truly looking for evidence I recommend watching it. (I plan on getting the app mentioned in the dvd and running the numbers for myself)

I can provide 40+ examples (with references) where the bible is corroborated, referenced, or pointed to in archeology & history (let me know if anyone is interested). All in all, there's information out there that was pretty hard for me to ignore.

Of course the opportunity to argue against this is still there. People can believe or disbelieve anything...

Eillix said...

Anonymous you said:
answer. Abiogenesis aka chemical evolution
I say:
I haven't seen any evidence for Abiogenesis, extraterrestrials (including extraterrestrial amino acids), Panspermia, or exogenesis. If anyone has data for me that suggests otherwise please let me know, I'm definitely interested.

ANTZILLA,
I might be missing something can you clarify a few questions for me?

1. Where did the vacuum/gravity, gases, and particle pairs (virtual & anti) come from?
2. Why did the formation of matter after the Big Bang create a universe/solar system made up of almost entirely of matter, instead of being a half-and-half mixture of matter & anti-matter?
3. Where did the information for RNA & DNA come from?
4. Unless I'm missing something again, based on Darwin's theory, there should be a whole lot of transitional forms. Where are they and why don't we see examples of mutations in the fossil record?
5. Do we have examples of new species (both male and female) "evolving" at the same time? How would a new species reproduce if only one sex was present? Does this mean that early species were asexual? If so, please provide examples of this.
6.Where did "species" come from? Why haven't plants and animals crossed the species barrier (e.g. plants turning into animals and animals turning into plants)? Where is the evidence for Macro Evolution?
7. Why did Darwin say "And chiefly from this view connecting under an intelligible point of view a host of facts. When we descend to details, we can prove that no one species has changed [i.e. we cannot prove that a single species has changed]; nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory. Nor can we explain why some species have changed and others have not." Am I missing something here?

Jim said...

I have to attempt to hide my anger at your quote mining there. If I wanted to, I am sure I can mine a quote from every pope, preacher, rabbi, etc stating that "God doesn't exist." You know as well as I do that Darwin did in fact believe wholeheartedly in his theory of evolution. Besides, science and evolution are not about people personal opinions. I have tried to explain this. It is about facts. Nothing more. If Darwin chose to believe in God, then good for him. It's the science and data that matter. Nothing more.

As for evidence of evolution, transitional forms exist everywhere. Everyone alive is a transitional form. EveryTHING alive is one as well. I love how religious types assume that evolution happens overnight. "How can man reproduce with a monkey?" We didn't. No one ever said that. There are hundreds of fossil records for hundreds of species proving that somewhere in their genetic history they evolved. These changes occur very slowly over millions of years. Not two weeks. Our ape-like ancestors didn't just pop out a human baby. There were thousands of tiny mutations occuring over millions of years before the human came to be. And it would be impossible to determine, with the naked eye, what these mutations were if you were there. The mutations occur, and are passed through reproduction. After thousands of years and hundreds of generations, another mutation will occur. And so on and so forth.

This happens to every species evolving. And I think you know that. You seem to be wanting an example of an ape-like ancestor giving birth to a human. I suggest reading up on evolution in real science books.

As for the Bible proof, you are not pointing out the proof I asked for. I don't care if it has historically accurate passages. And you had to have known that is not what I meant by 'burden of proof'. I meant, I want proof of the miracles, immaculate conception, Jesus walking on water, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, etc. I do not care about Kings and what cities did or did not exist. I want proof that the Bible is the ONLY relevant religious record. And for that, you need to prove the religious part. How do you know God created the universe? How do you know God created light? Man? The heavens?

You haven't answered any of these. Whereas I can point to hundreds of books explaining in detail perfectly viable scientific theories on how the universe formed. We know how planets are created. And stars and galaxies. We witness it through research and observation. You ask why the planet isn't made of matter and anti-matter? I don't know if you are aware that these two completely annihilate each other when they come in contact with each other, but that is exactly why nothing is made of both.

Jim said...

I get the feeling you subscribe to Kirk Cameron's nonsense if you think there is a difference between "Macro" and "Micro" evolution. I would simply point out that several iterations of "micro" evolution is what makes up "macro" evolution. Remember that we have BILLIONS of years. Life doesn't just jump overnight as I already explained. Besides that, there is no such thing in the science community as "macro" or "micro" evolution. Evolution is just that. Evolution. No matter how it occurs.

Now, why are no trees becoming animals? Because there is no need. Again, I have explained that not everything is trying to become something else. This is the major religious misconception about evolution. Seals are not fish trying to be dogs, donkeys are not trying to be horses, monkeys are not trying to be human, etc. Everything is simply trying to fit in to it's own habitat better. Nothing more. Quit thinking that everything wants to be something else. Evolution is a natural process, not driven by a consciousness.

Now onto your little horse. I hope that you were just trying to prove that either A) people lie, or B) sometime ago people didn't have the technology to genetically link animals. If you were trying to disprove evolution through ignorance or deception, I'm afraid that is not enough.

Jim said...

And I would love to hear the take on how the Chinese, Japanese, Mayas, Incas and Aztecs in existence at the time spoke the same language. I would love to see proof that these groups of people ever spoke the same language as people living in the Middle East, and then one day stopped. I am sure you are aware that these groups of people were living there for thousands of years before the events in the Bible.

Eillix said...

Jim,

I think I need to step back & reassess things. I've been trying to think very carefully in our discussion about the words that I use and how they can be taken (written communication over the internet can leave readers with a different intention than intended). My intention was not to "quote mine" or to throw anything your face. I'm sorry my commments came of that way. I'm also not trying to "prove anyone wrong". I'm looking for answers to some of the tough (but helpful) questions you and Feki raised in an effort to understand where I stand, and understand where others are coming from. You have your beliefs; I'm not trying to change them.I'm just asking questions.

On to your comments.
--

You're right, I agree with you that Darwin believed in Evolution. I wasn't trying to suggest that He didn't. I'm asking for an explanation because I don't understand why he said that (If you recall, I asked if I was missing something). I read and re-read his writings to gain a better understanding of things. I didn't make any assumptions - I just have questions I want answers to. I feel that this forum is the best place to get an answer. Why shouldn't I ask?

You said
As for evidence of evolution, transitional forms exist everywhere. Everyone alive is a transitional form. EveryTHING alive is one as well. I love how religious types assume that evolution happens overnight. "How can man reproduce with a monkey?" We didn't. No one ever said that. There are hundreds of fossil records for hundreds of species proving that somewhere in their genetic history they evolved. These changes occur very slowly over millions of years. Not two weeks. Our ape-like ancestors didn't just pop out a human baby. There were thousands of tiny mutations occuring over millions of years before the human came to be. And it would be impossible to determine, with the naked eye, what these mutations were if you were there. The mutations occur, and are passed through reproduction. After thousands of years and hundreds of generations, another mutation will occur. And so on and so forth..

I ask...
What quantifiable characteristics prove that life forms are indeed transitional? How do you know that these are transitional forms and that they don't actually serve a purpose necessary in an organism's life. Please explain how something is perfectly evolved and transitional at the same time.

I didn't say anything about an overnight transformation. However there has to come a point where "evolved" species are no longer the same as the "original". I want to find out whether species evolve in the same genetic direction or not (e.g. evolution of monkey goes in different-multiple directions) and why.

Evolution should have lots of missing links. We should be surrounded by a zoo of transitional forms that cannot be categorized as one particular life form (if a dog is still a dog I don't see how that proves any kind of "transition"). But we don't see this—there are different kinds of dogs, but all are clearly dogs. The fossils show different sizes of horses, but all are clearly horses. None is on the verge of being some other life form. The fossil record shows complex fossilized life suddenly appearing, and there are major gaps between the fossilized "kinds." Darwin acknowledged that if his theory were true, it would require millions of transitional forms. He believed they would be found in fossil records. Where are they?

Eillix said...

You said
This happens to every species evolving. And I think you know that. You seem to be wanting an example of an ape-like ancestor giving birth to a human. I suggest reading up on evolution in real science books.

I say
I'm just asking questions to understand. I want information Jim, thats it. I'm not trying to convert you, goad you into giving me a specific example, beat you, or get you to admit anything.

Telling me "This happens to every species evolving. And I think you know that.". doesn't make much sense to me considering our difference in beliefs.

You said
As for the Bible proof, you are not pointing out the proof I asked for. I don't care if it has historically accurate passages. And you had to have known that is not what I meant by 'burden of proof'. I meant, I want proof of the miracles, immaculate conception, Jesus walking on water, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, etc. I do not care about Kings and what cities did or did not exist. I want proof that the Bible is the ONLY relevant religious record. And for that, you need to prove the religious part. How do you know God created the universe? How do you know God created light? Man? The heavens?

I say
Again...
I have no irrefutable proof that God exists. I have nothing that proves how life began. I have nothing that proves Jesus miracles. That doesn't mean that there isn't evidence - it just means I don't have it.

You said
As for the Bible proof, you are not pointing out the proof I asked for. I don't care if it has historically accurate passages. And you had to have known that is not what I meant by 'burden of proof'. I meant, I want proof of the miracles, immaculate conception, Jesus walking on water, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, etc. I do not care about Kings and what cities did or did not exist. I want proof that the Bible is the ONLY relevant religious record. And for that, you need to prove the religious part. How do you know God created the universe? How do you know God created light? Man? The heavens?

I say
Your stance on history and archaeology is interesting. However, I don't have the proof you're looking for yet - if/when I find it I'd be happy to send you what I find so I can gain some feedback/constructive criticism. Let me know if you're interested.

You said
Whereas I can point to hundreds of books explaining in detail perfectly viable scientific theories on how the universe formed. We know how planets are created. And stars and galaxies. We witness it through research and observation. You ask why the planet isn't made of matter and anti-matter? I don't know if you are aware that these two completely annihilate each other when they come in contact with each other, but that is exactly why nothing is made of both.

I say
Perfectly viable to who? You remind me that beliefs don't matter only facts, yet these "viable theories" remain unproven.

..."that is exactly why nothing is made of both"... Yeah I'm aware that they annihilate each other when they come in contact. I'm also aware of the fact that matter and antimatter are always created together in a 1:1 correspondence. That still doesn't explain why both are present in our universe or why there's more matter than antimatter in the present Universe.
(see Kolb and Turner (1988), chapter 6)

Eillix said...

You said
I get the feeling you subscribe to Kirk Cameron's nonsense if you think there is a difference between "Macro" and "Micro" evolution. I would simply point out that several iterations of "micro" evolution is what makes up "macro" evolution. Remember that we have BILLIONS of years. Life doesn't just jump overnight as I already explained. Besides that, there is no such thing in the science community as "macro" or "micro" evolution. Evolution is just that. Evolution. No matter how it occurs.

I say
I'm not familiar with Kirk Cameron.

The problem is that I have yet to see proven examples of new species being created ("evolving")

Mutations that increase genetic information would be the essential "raw material" necessary for evolution. Getting from "amoeba" to "man" would require a massive net increase in information (even over millions or billions of years). Correct me if I'm wrong but no mutation that increases genetic information has ever been discovered. Variation within a species (e.g. finch beak), bacteria that acquire antibiotic resistance, people born with an extra chromosome, etc. are examples I usually hear. However, none of those examples demonstrate the development of new information. Instead, they demonstrate either preprogrammed variation, multiple copies of existing information, or even loss of information (natural selection and adaptation involve loss of information)

You said
Now, why are no trees becoming animals? Because there is no need. Again, I have explained that not everything is trying to become something else. This is the major religious misconception about evolution. Seals are not fish trying to be dogs, donkeys are not trying to be horses, monkeys are not trying to be human, etc. Everything is simply trying to fit in to it's own habitat better. Nothing more. Quit thinking that everything wants to be something else. Evolution is a natural process, not driven by a consciousness.

I say
That's not a general consensus among Atheists. I've seen and heard a wide variety of comments about plant & animal evolution so your opinion isn't the rule. I'm curious why you feel there's no need though; how do you come to that conclusion?

Also I didn't use any of the examples that you did so I'm not sure why you'd imply that I was suggesting that monkeys are trying to be human.

You said
Now onto your little horse. I hope that you were just trying to prove that either A) people lie, or B) sometime ago people didn't have the technology to genetically link animals. If you were trying to disprove evolution through ignorance or deception, I'm afraid that is not enough.

I say
Do you remember how I started my comment about the Horse Series? Here's what I said.

Jim,
There will always be those that use dishonesty and manipulation to prove their point regardless of whether religion is involved.


Again, I'm not trying to disprove anything. I'm just asking questions & sharing my comments.

Eillix said...

You said

I say

You said
And I would love to hear the take on how the Chinese, Japanese, Mayas, Incas and Aztecs in existence at the time spoke the same language. I would love to see proof that these groups of people ever spoke the same language as people living in the Middle East, and then one day stopped. I am sure you are aware that these groups of people were living there for thousands of years before the events in the Bible.

I say
Are you suggesting that these cultures came about before creation, an event in the bible?

Your suggestion that all of these cultures were living for thousands of years before the events in the bible is incorrect.

Not all of these cultures existed at the same time (part of the reason I offer archaeological & historical data is to avoid this misconception). Let's look at the cultures that you've mentioned.

The Xia Dynasty (China) was established by Xia' You in 2070 BC.

• It's believed that the the Jomon were the precursor to Japanese culture. There is still active dispute on details regarding their culture, details, & timelines. Dates listed for early to final Jomon range from (4000 – 400 BC).

The Maya Civilization was established in 2000 BC

The Inca Empire originated in the early 13th century from 1438 to 1533 AD in Cusco modern day Peru. To put things in perspective, the King James Bible was started in 1604 & completed in 1611 AD.

The Aztecs originated in the Valley of Mexico from 1325 - 1521 AD. Again for perspective, the King James Bible was started in 1604 & completed in 1611 AD.

Additionally...
The First Dynasty of Egypt appeared suddenly (without transition from a primitive state with a ready-made society, similar to the cultures that appeared during this time).

Eillix said...


1. Estimated dates for The flood (Deluge) range from 3,400 - 2,300 BC.
2. An analysis of roughly 600 individual flood traditions throughout history & around the world reveals a widespread concurrence on a few essential points:

a. the prior corruption of mankind
b. a Flood warnning unheeded by the masses
c. a survival vessel
d. the preservation of up to eight people with representative animal life
e. the sending forth of a bird to determine the suitability of re-emerging land
f. significance in the rainbow
g. decent from a mountain
h. and the re-poplation of the whole earth from a single group of survivors


What's also remarkable is the persistence of the biblical name Noah. This is interesting especially when you consider the ultimate language differences between peoples and the extreme local distortions which developed in flood legends.

The name surved vurtually unchanged in such isolated places as:
• Hawaii (where he was called Nu-u)
• the Sudan (Nuh)
• China (Nu-Wah)
• the Amazon Region (Noa)
• Phyrygia (Noe)
• the Hottentots (Noh & Hiagnoh)

Did each of these nations independently concoct the same name for it's flood-surviving ancestor? Or did these widely separated peoples refer back to the same family of survivors? Hmm...

It seems that a lot of people consider Archaeology as a discipline to be scientific. There is frequent disagreement by experts regarding historical timelines and dating methods though...

Eillix said...

EVIDENCE FOR THE TOWER OF BABEL & ONE LANGUAGE
1. Archaeological:
• The Epic of Gilgamesh metions an incident that matches with the Babel incident:
"The building of this temple offended the gods. In a night they threw down what had been built. They scattered them abroad, and made strange their speech. The progress they impeded" [emphasis is mine]
2. Historical
• Flavius Josephus metions it in his Antiquities, recording these words: When all men were of one language, some of them built a tower, as if they would thereby ascend up to heaven, but the gods sent storms of wind and overthrew the tower, and gave every one his peculiar language; and for this reason it was that the city was called Babylon (Antiquities of the Jews, 1.4.3). [emphasis is mine]
• Greek philosopher Plato talks about "a golden age when men spoke the same language, but an act of the gods caused them to be confounded in their speech (see M’Clintock and Strong 1968, 590). [emphasis is mine]
• Greek Historian Abydenus (mid-fourth century B.C.) as quoted by Eusebius, spoke of “a great tower at Babylon which was destroyed... “Until this time all men had used the same speech, but now there was sent upon them a confusion of many and divers tongues” (quoted in Rawlinson 1873, 28). [emphasis is mine]

Philology. Sumerian culture has a retelling of the Babel sory in the epic of "Enmerker and the Lord of Aratta", making a clear reference to a time when everyone spoke one language until the King of Sumerian gods confused the language of men. Kramer's translation is as follows:

"Once upon a time there was no snake, there was no scorpion,
There was no hyena, there was no lion,
There was no wild dog, no wolf,
There was no fear, no terror,
Man had no rival.
In those days, the lands of Subur (and) Hamazi,
Harmony-tongued Sumer, the great land of the decrees of princeship,
Uri, the land having all that is appropriate,
The land Martu, resting in security,
The whole universe, the people in unison
To Enlil in one tongue [spoke].

(Then) Enki, the lord of abundance (whose) commands are trustworthy,
The lord of wisdom, who understands the land,
The leader of the gods,
Endowed with wisdom, the lord of Eridu
Changed the speech in their mouths, [brought] contention into it,
Into the speech of man that (until then) had been one."

[Emphasis is mine]

Jim said...

Evolution.

You ask for examples of new species evolving. Again, I point to the fact the evolution in complex organisms happens over millions of year, but I will humor you.

Dogs. Plain and simple. All dogs as we know them stem from wolves. When man began to domesticate wolves 15,000 years ago, be also began to bread them. Certain traits were bread out, while others were bred in. Traits like aggressiveness were unwanted, but stamina and strength were needed. Over those 15,000 years, and with more and more refined and specialized cross-breeding, hundreds of types of dogs were created. Now, you can argue that this is just an example of selective breeding. But I would argue that it is forced evolution. It might not be natural, but the results are still all around us. Wolves 15,000 years ago had no way of reproducing and forming a Beagle, but we have them. So how is it possible for the Beagle to exist? While there might not be fossil records for every iteration of dog that led to the Beagle, it is well documented how the Beagle was selectively breed into existence. In fact, the breeding of most dogs are well known. But you would argue that the dog might never have come to be unless we bred them, and you might be right. The dog really doesn't serve a purpose in nature. We keep them to provide a service, or, as is more often than not nowadays, for companionship.

The great thing about dogs are that they help serve two purposes for this discussion. While it may be forced and unnatural selection that gave us dogs, it is a form of evolution. We started with wolves, and ended up with dog. No one can deny that it is starting with one species, and ending up with hundreds of different breeds of dogs. Regardless of whether the change was forced or not, it occurred. And what is more, evolutionary theory supports the changes.

The second point dogs help is that there are not as many transitional fossils as one would think. Surely with hundreds of breeds being created over such a short span there would be millions of dog bones everywhere? But why aren't there? This is a huge question. If Darwin was right in his assumption, then there should be millions of fossil records laying around proving that dogs transformed from wolves into dogs. But where are they?

When asking for the fossil records, it is important to remember how easily they can be destroyed. This is not specific to dogs, but bones, in general, are pretty weak stuff once the body starts to decay. Unless preserved through natural or artificial means, bones will decompose. This is by no means a long process, given the life of the Earth. Bones can take a few years to a couple decades. A bone left in the ground, or exposed to a humid environment will decompose and disappear without any trace. Now, back to how the dog helps us. Why are there not millions of fossil records for dogs? Simple, they decomposed. The majority. No doubt some were eaten, but this is moot, because the bones would have been discarded for the most part.

Darwin may have said that there should be millions of fossil records. And he was right. There should be. But not in existence. Most were destroyed through decomposition or through other unknown means. Some animals eat bones. Most fossils were destroyed by the ocean. Others were re-absorbed by the Earth. But a very tiny fraction were preserved. Tar is a great preservative. The dinosaur bones found not in tar are surrounded by solid rock. Usually in very dry places. And most likely preserved by volcanic ash.

The point is, Darwin was right. But he did not know as much as we do today.

Jim said...

Evolution II.

First off, let me point out that I do not care what the general consensus among atheists is. This is not because I think I am better than them, or because I think I am more right. I do not care, because I base my views in scientific fact. My opinion does not matter at all in my debates or arguments. Everything I write here has basis in scientific fact, backed up by research and experiment.

With that said, I would like to explain what I meant by "perfectly evolved".

Everything that exists now is indeed just that, perfectly evolved. How can I claim this and still claim that evolution is a continuing process? It is quite simple.

As I have stated before, everything in existence (with the notable exception of man, for the most part), is trying to survive in it's own environment. And in order to survive, they need certain traits. Camels have eyelids that they can see through during sand storms, chameleons can change color to avoid predators, polar bears are white, etc. The list is very long. Every life form in existence has some feature (or multiple features, to be more accurate) that helps it survive in its environment. Every single one. Even plants. Even bacteria, and even viruses. Everything.

But why evolve?

The answer should be obvious. No environment is perfectly stable. Temperatures change, continents shift, volcanoes heat destroy forests, rivers disappear, lakes dry up, etc. There could be any number of factors that alter the environment over periods of time. Some are far more radical than others and cause species to go extinct. Others happen over millions of years. When a habitat changes slowly over time, whatever life remains has to adapt to keep living there.

An animal or plant living in a nutrient-rich forest with plenty of water and sunlight. Suppose that the Earth tilts very slightly. This is not a very unusual occurrence, it has happened before. But now that lush forest is becoming a little hotter. The rainy season becomes shorter every year. Food becomes more scarce as plants and animals die off. But some remain. They begin to adapt to the hotter and dryer environment. The animal starts to decrease in size over the generations to decrease the need for food and water. The skin becomes harder and more durable to prevent fluid loss and to protect against the heat. The plant (A tree, for the sake of argument) over generations becomes smaller than before, again, to reduce the water and nutrient intake to survive. Now, let's say this takes place over one million years. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that this tree and this animal exist in two places. The one place, as we saw, was drastically changed by the climate shift. The other, managed to change very little due to its location.

Jim said...

This might seems made up, but this sort of scenario is very likely one that occurred many times in our Earth's history. Not every time was due to the Earth's tilt, or from wet to dry, but it is a fair example of how an environment could change.

Let's take a look at our two trees one million years later. Let's assume both started out as very large trees. 100 feet tall, lot's of green leaves, thick trunks to carry nutrients. After our scenario, they it would be impossible to tell by the naked eye that they are the same species. One is still very much the same. Nice and tall, sturdy, and very healthy. The other is much smaller. Less leaves, and a thinner trunk.

Same with our animal. One is big and healthy. Very active, with plenty of nourishment. The other is smaller, less active, consumes much less nutrients to survive.

This is very much how evolution works. This is an example of not only how a "perfectly evolved" life-form can still evolve, but it also shows how the evolutionary "Tree" can diverge and have multiple branches. Much like a family tree. Some species are forced to adapt to different environments in different locations at the same time. The one single species branches into several as each group is forced to evolve.

Jim said...

The Flood.

I won't spend much time on this as there is no scientific evidence to support that there ever was a flood of this magnitude.

While there is evidence of multiple ancient cultures believing there was a flood, most of these accounts are not first-hand, but rather from misinterpreted facts. Some cultures believed the flood occurred due to fossil records of shell fish and sea life in mountains. While these have been discovered, archeological and astronomical evidence suggests that these fossils are the result of a large tsunami which deposited these fossils after a large extraterrestrial object struck the Earth.

There is no evidence that the Earth was entirely covered with water at any point in its history.

Also, there is no evidence that suggests that current humans are descendant from one small group of survivors. If Noah and his family were the only ones to survive the flood, then each and every human would share this genetic marker. Especially since the flood occurred less than 6000 years ago (Since Bible historians place the creation of the Earth at roughly 6000 years ago, everything in the Bible must have occurred in this time). As it stands, genetic evidence clearly shows that mankind has genetic traits differentiating them from each other dating back hundreds of thousands of years.

It should also be noted that there are countless religions that once worshiped the sun. Just because every had a myth on it, didn't make it true.

Jim said...

Language.

While I may have misrepresented myself when I was taking about the Incas, the Mayas, and the Aztecs existing for thousands of years in the Americas before the Bible, what was meant was the people who formed these empires were in the Americas thousands of years before the events in the Bible.

Nomadic tribes were scattered across the globe hundreds of thousands of years ago. People were living in the Americas during the last ice age (From 110,000 years ago, to roughly 9700-9600 BC.) These people had a civilization, although nothing as complex as Egyptians, for example. But they did have their own languages and beliefs. To assume that these people, who were nowhere near the Middle East, spoke the exact same language, is absurd.

Just because Greek philosophers (Who were wrong on many subjects, but this was due mostly to their ignorance of the rest of the world, and their crude scientific abilities.), or some ancient cultures, told myths of everyone speaking the same language, does not mean that is what happened. You can quote all the documents and philosophers you wish, but the fact remains that there is zero concrete evidence that some divine intervention caused everyone to start speaking their own language.

As for the Tower of Babel, it's role in this debate is pointless. If man were not meant to build towers of such height, surely modern skyscrapers would not be allowed to stand?

Regardless of this, there is no scientific or concrete proof that the tower's destruction led to the scattering of people throughout the land, as well as the diversifying of language.

Note also, that people in China have also been there for possibly millions of years.

"Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest hominids in China date from 250,000 to 2.24 million years ago."

Japan has been inhabited for roughly 30,000 years as well. Both of these numbers are well before any time defined in the Bible.

Why are these time lines important? For two reasons. One, they go to prove that Chinese and Japanese cultures are far older than any found in the Bible. It would be logical to assume that they did not speak anything close to the same language as those spoke anywhere in the Bible. Two, the fact that these ancient cultures are not referenced in the Bible (As well as dinosaurs, early man, etc.), prove the ignorance of those writing the Bible. China was not explored or even mentioned in Western History until Marco Polo. The "New World" wasn't discovered until 1492, so there would obviously be no mention of Native Americans or Aztecs, Mayas, or Incas. Dinosaur bones were discovered in the 1800's, so no one in Biblical times was even aware of their existence.

Point is, the Bible is a book written with only the knowledge of the area they lived in. To assume that the Bible includes everyone and everything is absurd. I am sure that Buddhist monks, Hindu priests, or any number of religious figures who are not Christian would argue that the Christian Bible does not mention them simply because the Bible is just a book written by people in the Middle East to explain their own religious views. To think otherwise is arrogant and selfish.

Jim said...

History.

While I appreciate historical facts and archeological discoveries, they do not matter for this discussion. Whether or not a tower was built and destroyed has little relevance to the discussion unless you can prove that it was in fact destroyed by God. But you can not do that. Therefore, whether it existed is a non issue.

When I disregard historical facts, it is not because I think they do not matter, it is because they do not matter to the debate.

I ask for proof of divinity. Not for whether a tower was built, or people believed a certain way, or if certain myths existed. I want proof that there was a god pulling the strings. Nothing more.

I know you have addressed this, but I thought it would be nice to explain my disregard for your 'facts'.

Jim said...

The Universe.

When I say 'scientifically viable', I mean we have tested and verified proof of concept.

We can assume that the Big Bang occurred, not because it sounds good, but because all the evidence we have points to no other explanation. If the Big Bang did happen when and how we think it did, then there would be evidence all over the cosmos proving it.

When we look into space, the evidence is staring us right in the face. The microwave background radiation is precisely what it should be. The universe is expanding just as it should be. The ambient temperature of space is perfect. Every time we create a hypothesis to prove the big bang, we test. And every time that we conduct experiments, and do the math to see what we should expect, we look up into the sky, and there it is. Our research is verified. The universe has to ba a certain way if the Big Bang did occur. The evidence should point to it occurring. And, so far, it all fits. Temperatures, radiation, expansion, the amount of matter, gravity, everything fits the model.

You would argue that these are just things we make up and fit into whatever we want it to. But the facts speak for themselves. In fact, the Big Bang is very well known for being one of the few scientific discoveries that is being studied backwards.

Normally you see some evidence of an event. Then you piece together the puzzle to get the final outcome. The pieces are unknown, and the whole picture only becomes clear in the end. With the Big Bang Theory, however, it is the opposite. Astronomers and physicists thought up the Big Bang Theory before discovering the evidence. Ever since then, we have been looking at the puzzle and noticing pieces missing. We know the shape of the piece, and where it should go, but we have to now look for them.

The Big Bang Theory is hardly unproven. In fact, it is considered the best proven scientific theory in existence. But because the theory covers pretty much everything, it has much more to go.

As for matter/anti-matter. You assume that the universe started with a perfect 1:1 ratio. All the evidence (i.e. everything that is made of matter) points to a slight imbalance of matter/anti-matter at the moment of creation. In fact, many physicists believe that this imbalance is the driving force behind the Big Bang. the matter that was left over from the Big Bang matter/anti-matter annihilation is what formed the universe.

You speak of "the fact that matter and antimatter are always created together in a 1:1 correspondence". Sure. In a laboratory. The universe is not a laboratory. We are speaking of the moment of existence. Nothing you talk about us being able to create has any impact on the fact the all the evidence points to the fact that at the moment of the Big Bang, there was a slight imbalance of the two.

Why did one win out though? Simple. One had to. If the universe was made of anti-matter, we would call it matter and anti-matter matter. It's just the way it is.

ANTZILLA said...

Ellix
Answers
A)1. From the collapse of the quantum potential of the singularity. Vacuum is the absence of atmosphere.(for more info study the science "Quantum machanics")

A)2. Your statement is incorrect the universe is 99.999999999...% anti matter aka dark matter aka matrix aka Hicks field. The matter (mass) is only a minute fraction of space (universe)(for more info study the science "Quantum machanics")

A)3 what infomation? I don't understand the question.

A)4 You don't understand evolution.
A)5 same as anwser 4
A)6 Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia are the 5 KINGDOMS of life. All off these shared a common ansester at sometime (single replicating cells)
AGAIN you don't understand Evolution.

A)7 Basicly darwin is saying we don't understand everything yet.

For example we don't deniy the earth revoles around the sun, because Galileo didn't know about the other outer planets.




I think also that we humans put names on everything (nouns) and also group everything (dichotomous key) So this is why creationist have trouble getting ther head around that ALL life in what ever form is the same thing (organic material trying to replocate) HUMANS ARE NOT SPECIAL!

Anonymous said...

Even if there were a Earth flood at some point in history there metological answer would be a cause. Not the work of a GOD! ILMFAO

Jim said...

Um. The universe is not 99.99999...% anti-matter. Anti-matter is not dark matter. Dark matter does account for a lot of the matter in the universe, but not that much.

ANTZILLA said...

My applogies, thanks, there is so many names for the same thing LOL. I point was to correct Eillix that the universe has only tiny % amount of matter (MASS). compared to the % "space"(space doesn't mean nothing) actually is there really such thing as nothing??? Remembering "space" also in the very small e.g. "space" between an Atoms Nucleus and surrounding Electrons.

Jim said...

I see where you were going.

This is true. Matter accounts for an incredibly small portion of the universe. When taking in the size of the known universe (approx. 13 billion light-years wide), and the amount of nothingness between all objects (to include atoms), there is not much there.

Two examples.

One, if you were to hollow out Madison Square Garden, leaving only the walls, ceiling and floor in place, and inside, anywhere you chose, placed three grains of sand (they could be floating if you chose), then that building would be more densely packed with sand than our galaxy is with stars. And that is just our galaxy.

Two. The distance between electrons and the nucleus of an atom is comparable to the distance of Neptune from our sun. The distances are astronomical when blown up to comparable sizes.

Feki said...

Eillix, happy new year, I am back.

After reading your last posts on this thread I confirmed that you are a fundamentalist and that debating with you is subject to quote mining, side stepping and reading horrifyingly wrong concepts on world history.

So Aztecs are a lost israeli tribe? the chinese too? If we all shared a common language why is the word "christ" pronounced differently across nations? Devil is at work again? I think not and I suggest you take time to review history lessons and study a bit too on evolution.

I will not go into debunking each of your arguments since it only requires an elementary school textbook. However for your amusement I will give you this:
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/sumerians_look_on_in_confusion_as

Jim, Antzilla: kudos on your thorough explanations, I would just like to remark that this vast universe is void of any scientifically-demonstrable god. No god between the celestial bodies, no god hiding in between our atoms.

Check out this comic strip:
http://www.fecundity.com/pmagnus/godman.html

Eillix said...

Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays.


Jim
I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I've learned a whole lot from you. Thanks again.

EVOLUTION
Which definition of evolution are you talking about?

evolution a.) minor changes in features of individual species e.g. Adaptation.
evolution b.) The universal theory of common descent - all organisms came from a single common ancestor.
evolution c.) the catalyst and mechanism for change e.g. natural selection via mutation has the power to produce new forms of life.

I only agree with definition "A".
Now I understand that the general consensus is that there is only one definition and that it incorporates a, b, and c. The problem is we've only seen evidence for A. B and C haven't been observed.

fyi, I understand that there's only one textbook definition. The problem is that it means different things to both Theists and Atheists and is used as such. Its an irritation to identify what context the word "evolution"is being used in. Jim I understand that you don't care about opinions, however they don't exist in a bubble and must be dealt with. Also the micro/macro evolution is used by Atheists (e.g. John Rennie) as well. With that in mind remember - I'm trying to pin things down for my own understanding. Not trying to prove anything.

You said
Dogs. Plain and simple. All dogs as we know them stem from wolves. When man began to domesticate wolves 15,000 years ago, be also began to bread them. Certain traits were bread out, while others were bred in. Traits like aggressiveness were unwanted, but stamina and strength were needed. Over those 15,000 years, and with more and more refined and specialized cross-breeding, hundreds of types of dogs were created. Now, you can argue that this is just an example of selective breeding. But I would argue that it is forced evolution. It might not be natural, but the results are still all around us. Wolves 15,000 years ago had no way of reproducing and forming a Beagle, but we have them. So how is it possible for the Beagle to exist? While there might not be fossil records for every iteration of dog that led to the Beagle, it is well documented how the Beagle was selectively breed into existence. In fact, the breeding of most dogs are well known. But you would argue that the dog might never have come to be unless we bred them, and you might be right. The dog really doesn't serve a purpose in nature. We keep them to provide a service, or, as is more often than not nowadays, for companionship.

I say
If you're talking about changes in individual species I agree with that.

What doesn't have concrete proof: species evolving, creating an entirely new species in the process.

Eillix said...

The problem I have with the dog example you've given is:
• traits and genetic information needs to be available in order to be bred selectively. How can you selectively breed animals using information that's supposed to be added via mutation and then call it evolution (it's not random and undirected if its intentional)?
• new genetic information would need to be available in a relatively short period of time. Either the traits are there to begin with or they're not.
• if they're not, how are we (people) able to select the genetic traits we want in animals in a few generations if the evolutionary process takes millions of years? 15,000 years versus millions of years is a big difference.
• Selective breeding isn't an example of random and undirected evolution.

When you breed a domestic feline and an Asian Leopard Cat you get a Bengal cat. The bengal cat was created using existing genetic information.

Hybrid Animals
Conversely, intentional, hybrid breeding does exist and has been done successfully.

Examples
Mule
Liger and the Tigon
Yattle and the Yakalo

The hybrid examples above are still in the same type of animal family since they're genetically related. These hybrids usedexisiting genetic information, and can be bred in an incredibly short span of time. What's interesting though is that often there are genetic, health, and quality of life issues. I have a list of examples where selectively bred animals actually create problems instead of improving quality of life.

One might suggest that these genetic changes had already "evolved" however, this now creates the problem of identifying or proving which genetic characteristics are indeed "new" rather than simply recessive or dormant. If you know of a method of genetic classification that accomplishes this please let me know.

Eillix said...

On the Beagle
The Beagle as a breed is an example of selective breeding, not evolution. The breed came from mixing the Talbot Hound, North Country Beagle, Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier in the 1830's using existing genetic information. While beagle-type dogs have existed, the beagle as an official breed was "selectively bred" into existance.


You said
The great thing about dogs are that they help serve two purposes for this discussion. While it may be forced and unnatural selection that gave us dogs, it is a form of evolution. We started with wolves, and ended up with dog. No one can deny that it is starting with one species, and ending up with hundreds of different breeds of dogs. Regardless of whether the change was forced or not, it occurred. And what is more, evolutionary theory supports the changes.

I say
According to recent data, dogs and wolves are the same species. Researchers suggest that a "Dog" is just a domesticated form of the wolf.
• Selective breeding is not evolution.
• I have yet to see an example where mutation adds genetic information. Not saying it doesn't exist I just haven't seen it yet. If you have data showing otherwise please send it my way.


You said
Darwin may have said that there should be millions of fossil records. And he was right. There should be. But not in existence. Most were destroyed through decomposition or through other unknown means. Some animals eat bones. Most fossils were destroyed by the ocean. Others were re-absorbed by the Earth. But a very tiny fraction were preserved. Tar is a great preservative. The dinosaur bones found not in tar are surrounded by solid rock. Usually in very dry places. And most likely preserved by volcanic ash.

I say
• How do you know there should be millions of fossil records if as you say they're all gone? Do you have concrete proof of this?
• Why aren't there any proven examples that have been preserved? Older fossils have survived so why not a few thousand out of the apparently "millions" of transitional forms?
• Where is the concrete proof that as you say, we're all transitional forms?

Eillix said...

EVOLUTION II

You said
No environment is perfectly stable. Temperatures change, continents shift, volcanoes heat destroy forests, rivers disappear, lakes dry up, etc. There could be any number of factors that alter the environment over periods of time. Some are far more radical than others and cause species to go extinct. Others happen over millions of years. When a habitat changes slowly over time, whatever life remains has to adapt to keep living there.

I say
I can understand the reasoning behind this (I agree that environments change and that adaptation occurs however, I don't agree that this is the vehicle for new species creation). Thanks for clarifying this for me. Appreciate it.

You said
This might seems made up, but this sort of scenario is very likely one that occurred many times in our Earth's history. Not every time was due to the Earth's tilt, or from wet to dry, but it is a fair example of how an environment could change.

I say
"very likely"? Why is it very likely? What concrete evidence do you have to support this? If you've got it please send it my way.

Eillix said...

THE FLOOD

You said
While there is evidence of multiple ancient cultures believing there was a flood, most of these accounts are not first-hand, but rather from misinterpreted facts. Some cultures believed the flood occurred due to fossil records of shell fish and sea life in mountains. While these have been discovered, archeological and astronomical evidence suggests that these fossils are the result of a large tsunami which deposited these fossils after a large extraterrestrial object struck the Earth.

I say
So Mt. Everest, the Himalayan range, the Alps, the Rockies, the Appalachians, the Andes, and most of the world's other mountains are made up of ocean-bottom sediments, full of marine fossils that were from Tsunamis? Great! I'm willing to accept that if:

• You have concrete proof that large extraterrestrial objects of that magnitude struck the planet, creating tsunamis consistently large enough to account for the sediment and marine fossils laid down across these mountains.
-OR-
• You have concrete proof that this happened as a result of one large extraterrestrial object that struck the planet, creating a single tsunami large enough to account for the sediment and marine fossils laid down across these mountains.

So far there is no evidence that Earth was struck by an extraterrestrial object of that magnitude which in turn laid down the sediment and marine fossils across the planet. . If you have the data I'd love to see it. Please send it my way.

Eillix said...

You said
Also, there is no evidence that suggests that current humans are descendant from one small group of survivors. If Noah and his family were the only ones to survive the flood, then each and every human would share this genetic marker. Especially since the flood occurred less than 6000 years ago (Since Bible historians place the creation of the Earth at roughly 6000 years ago, everything in the Bible must have occurred in this time). As it stands, genetic evidence clearly shows that mankind has genetic traits differentiating them from each other dating back hundreds of thousands of years.

I say
So are you're suggesting that we come from a small group of survivors or people? Is that because you think it's not possible?
• The Human Genome Project indicate that all men a share "a common female and male ancestor" (note: the singular nature "ancestor", and "all". Now I have a problem with the dating methods used in their study though as I'm not sure how all life could have come from 2 people if the female is dated at 140,000 years and the male is dated at 60,000 years. Either they're wrong about all life coming from these two, humans lived for a really long time back then, or the dating is off.

I'm not sure how you can discount archaeology and history because you feel it's not relevant when it speaks directly to the questions you've asked - regardless I'll go with it.

Eillix said...

Evidence suggest that there was a flood.
• fossils of sea creatures in rock layers that cover all the continents.
• rock layers in the walls of Grand Canyon contain marine fossils (more than a mile above sea level). Fossilized shellfish found in the Himalayas.
• billions of nautiloid fossils found in a layer in the Redwall Limestone of Grand Canyon. This layer was deposited catastrophically by a massive flow of sediment (made up mostly of lime sand). The chalk and coal beds of Europe and USA, and the fish, ichthyosaurs, insects, and other fossils all around the world were buried together. So what would bury them together? A catastrophic event like the flood.
• rock layers that can be traced all the way across continents— even between continents. Physical features in the strata that indicates they were deposited quickly. Catastrophism?
• Mt. Everest, the Himalayan range, the Alps, the Rockies, the Appalachians, the Andes, and most of the world's other mountains are made up of ocean-bottom sediments, full of marine fossils laid down by the Flood. Mt. Everest itself has clam fossils at its summit. These rock layers cover an extensive area, including much of Asia. How did it all get there?
• In the April 22, 1995 issue of Science News, there is an interesting article by R. Monastersky, Earth's Magnetic Field Follies Revealed. In the article, Robert S. Coe of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Michel Prevot and Pierre Camps of the University of Montpellier in France, have discovered ancient lava flows in Oregon that show a change in the Magnetic field while it is flowing. Over an 8-day period, the Earth's magnetic field moved 6 degrees a day. This is 1000 times faster that what is thought to occur in today's world. So it looks like magnetic changes can occur much faster than was thought by most.
• in Science News March 8, 1997, in the Research Notes under Earth Science is the note, Earth's pole is a pushover for quakes again by R. Monastersky on page 148. The article suggests that "earthquakes are changing Earth's physical balance by gently nudging the North Pole. . .

What would happen if the ocean basins opened up rapidly in a short period of time to dry off the land, as in the drying of the flood? Would we expect the Earth's magnetic field to be unstable? Sure seems that way...

As far as science is concerned, it should be remembered that events of the past are not reproducible, and are, therefore, inaccessible to the scientific method. Neither uniformitarianism nor catastrophism can actually be proved scientifically. If you've got concrete proof that suggest otherwise please share it. If I'm incorrect share your proof and show me where I'm wrong.

Eillix said...

LANGUAGE

You said
Nomadic tribes were scattered across the globe hundreds of thousands of years ago. People were living in the Americas during the last ice age (From 110,000 years ago, to roughly 9700-9600 BC.) These people had a civilization, although nothing as complex as Egyptians, for example. But they did have their own languages and beliefs. To assume that these people, who were nowhere near the Middle East, spoke the exact same language, is absurd.

I say
• Its not absurd if the genetic data points to it (which it does). The location listed in the Human Genome Project lists the starting point as Africa. Does Africa make up part of the middle east? Yep.
• Wouldn't they have spoken the same language if they're in the same place (I'm assuming communication would be helpful to mating)?

You said
Just because Greek philosophers (Who were wrong on many subjects, but this was due mostly to their ignorance of the rest of the world, and their crude scientific abilities.), or some ancient cultures, told myths of everyone speaking the same language, does not mean that is what happened. You can quote all the documents and philosophers you wish, but the fact remains that there is zero concrete evidence that some divine intervention caused everyone to start speaking their own language.

I say
Discounting Historial and Archaeological evidence doesn't explain it away however. While it's an expected tactic to attack the surces I've listed, it still doesn't explain why it's there and why 600 cultures have agreed on so very many of these points. As far as the examples of ancient civilizations worshiping the sun there are a few things that I want to know.

1. Why haven't sun worshipers agreed on as many points (e.g. names, datees, events, consequences, etc.) as well as the stories of the flood do?
2. Is it possible that sun worship could have a reasonable explanation besides (they were stupid)? See, if you can just write people off as stupid, ignorant, what have you, then thinking about the issues at hand stops. I feel that this is something that happens on both sides of the Theist / Atheist discussion and it's not going to help anyone understand the other. Harsh words only piss people off.

Eillix said...

You said
As for the Tower of Babel, it's role in this debate is pointless. If man were not meant to build towers of such height, surely modern skyscrapers would not be allowed to stand?

I say
That argument is a fallacy because:
• You're assuming that God destroyed the tower because it was tall (which is utterly ridiculous) instead of a demonstrated defiance and lack of trust in Him keeping His word. If that's the case why didn't God destroy the Pyramid of Shensi, China which is almost as tall as the empire state building and many times more voluminous?
• You're assuming that modern skyscrapers are comparable in either direction (How do you know it's not much taller or much shorter?).

You said
Note also, that people in China have also been there for possibly millions of years.

I say
• How does that work if our first ancestors were placed at 140,000 B.C. (according to the Human Genome Project)? how can that be "fact" when you use the word "possibly"? Do you have concrete evidence to support this? If so, let me know I'd like to learn more about this.
• I'm assuming that you have proof of people being there for millions of years (if so I'd like to see it). What's interesting about it is that this can be suggested but then when it comes to finding concrete proof of transitional forms you say that the bones are all gone.
You said
Japan has been inhabited for roughly 30,000 years as well. Both of these numbers are well before any time defined in the Bible.

I say
• What dating method was used to come to that timeline?
• Is that dating method proven to be error free?
• Is it possible that the dates can be wrong?
• What is the concrete evidence for this? (if you've got sources and or references please send them my way).

Eillix said...

You said
The "New World" wasn't discovered until 1492, so there would obviously be no mention of Native Americans or Aztecs, Mayas, or Incas. Dinosaur bones were discovered in the 1800's, so no one in Biblical times was even aware of their existence.

I say
How do you know that people in biblical times weren't aware of their existence? Can you have evidence for that? Once again there is evidence that suggests otherwise. (I have references and sources for all of this as well as a lot more info. Let me know if you're interested)

1. A Tibetan records of at least 300 B.C. contains a map of "a green land lying far across the eastern sea" (e.g. the Pacific)
2. Egyptian priests told the Greek Solon that the Atlantic "is a real sea and the surrounding land may be most truly called a continent" (e.g. America)
3. According to Plato and Diodorus, Phoenicians traded with America around 1,000 B.C.
4. Massachusetts: An underwater rock carving in Lake Assawompset, Massachusetts, was temporarily exposed when the waterline receded during a drought in 1957. In clearly portrayed a ship of ancient Phoenician or Minoan style (suggesting it was incised when the sea level was lower, and the level of in-shore waters corresponded).
5. a stone found in 1885 near Morganton, Tennesse, bore an inscription speculated to be recent Indian. However, when the stone is turned upside down the letters spell a message in ancient Canaanite: "For Jehu" - an example of an inscription having been looked at upside down for almost a century!
6. Canada: The Micmac clan of the Algonquian nation wrote in 2,000 characters of pure Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Eillix said...

7. An American "Rosetta Stone" called the Davenport Stele (found in 1874, in the lower levels of an indian burial mound) contains inscriptions in three languages: hieratic Egyptian, Iberian Pounic, and Libyan. Harvard professor Barry Fell, in America B.C., remarks that this stele is genuine because neither the Iberian nor the Libyan scripts had been deciphered at the time it was discovered.
8. Ecuador: during a 1967 expedition to remote jungle villages in Amazon headwaters,explorers found Egyptian Hieroglyphics on metal plates.
9. Ecuador: Artifacts found in caves deep in the jungle near Tayos include:
• Bronze images of Egyptian princesses and Assyrian gods
• Phoenician bronze calendars
10. Amazon Jungle (Ecuador): A plaque found in the Amazon jungle was carved in pure Libyan-which was also spoken by the Zuni indians of southwestern U.S.A
11. Brazil: Near Manaus, over 600 miles inland, was found a pot buried with an Arab inscription "sakad-bahar" ("riversea"), dated at 4,000 years old.
12. Brazil: In the province of Amazonas, the French engineer Apollinaire Frot came upon an ancient carved rock hidden by dense jungle close to a river, which recorded the jouney of a proto-Egyptian priest to what is now Bolivia. The inscription gave directions to silver and gold mines. Stage by stage, such markers ran agross central Brazil.
13. China: Peanuts (native to South America) have been dug up from sites in China dated 2,335 B.C.
14. India: Artifacts and records show that the Sumerians sailed to both Britain and India.
15. In 338 B.C., Shi Tzu recorded the presence of pouched animals, which were introduced to China about the time that Emperor Chao despatched ships to a southern land called Chui Hiao to collect these same creatures.
16. The egyptian explorer Knemhotep returned with a wild report of a "vast continent" where animals carried their young in pouches and the natives threw a weapon that came back to the hand.
17. Eucalyptus resin (obtainable only from Austrailia)was found in the embalming of a woman of 1,000 B.C. in the Jordan Valley.
18. Chemical analysis of some Egyptian mummies has revealed the presence of eucalyptus oil - indicating contact with Austrailia in the days of the Pharaohs.
19. Confucious, the chinese philosopher, wrote in his "Spring Summer Annals" (481 B.C.) of the observation of two solar eclipses, one on April 17, 592 B.C. and the second on August 11, 553 B.C., on what appears to have been the coast of Darwin, Austrailia.
20. Tennessee: In 1970, the Batcreek Stone from Tennessee was positively identified as being of Hebrew Origin; so was an amulet recovered from a very old tomb. Caches of coins dating from the Hebrew Bar Kokhbar rebellion against Rome in A.D. 132-135 have unearthed in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Believe what you want but archaeological data all over the world shows that people were exploring our planet including the "new world" far before 1492. I have verified sources with many, many, more examples. There is evidence of exploration and travel between different cultures and races all over the planet.

Eillix said...

Let me ask you this. How did some early civilizations accomplish things that they did? Some examples we're still unable to do...
Examples
1. Construction, India: The Shaking Towers: in Ahmedabad, Gujerat, two minarets, 70 feet tall and 25 feet apart, have a peculiarity that is unique in the world. If a small group of people sets one tower in motion by a rhythmical to-and-fro movement, the other tower begins to swing too. The science behind this is unknown and we don't have the ability to reproduce this.
2. Columbia: Fireproof Cement
3. Egypt: Boring into granite rock with drills that turned 500 times faster than modern power drills.
4. Saflieni, Malta. Knossos, Crete. Derinkuyu, Turkey: Ancient air-conditioning through filtered air shafts and double isothermic walls. (In Derinkuyu, there was a city thirteen stories deep in the earth, all served with even temperature!)
5. Knossos, Crete: Apartments (beautifully decorated with frescoes of dolphines and nude girls) containing flush toilets with a central system of ceramic pipes and stone drains!
6. Tigris Valley, Iraq. Crete, 2,000 B.C. Etruscans, Italy: Sanitary facilities with twentieth century style coupling pipes; each house connected to the major city sewage system.
7. Sacsayhuaman, Peru: The ruined mountaintop fortress of Sacsayhuaman (pronounced "sexy woman") over looks the ancient capital of Cuzco. It's terrace walls are 1,500 feet long and 54 feet wide.
• Enormous blocks (up to 25 feet wide and of 50 to 200 tons) are so intricately flush one to the other, it is impossible to pass a knife blade between them.
• One block in an outer wall has faces cut to fit perfectly with twelve other blocks. There are other blocks cut with as many as ten, twelve, and even thirty-six sides- and with no mortar between them. Each fits exactly to the next touching stones, from every side, including the inner surfaces! It defies belief yet it exists. The whole system interlocks and dovetails, making the chance fitting of each block, or the grinding back and forth in situ for a perfect fit impossible. Even if it had been possible, the power required to do this would be sufficient to supply the needs ofa modern city. Do you see the problem with this? Yet they got it done.
• Within a few hundred yards of the complex, an abandoned single block the size of a 5-story house weighs an estimated 20,000 tons! Yes 20,000 tons. We have no combination of machinery today that could dislodge such a weight, let alone move it any distance. This indicates a mastery of technology which we have yet to attain.

Eillix said...

.Ollantaytambo, Peru: Fortress walls of tightly fitted blocks weight 150 - 20 tons each are of very hard andesite. Special tools are required to penetrate such hard rock.
• The quarry is on a mountaintop 7 miles away. At a 10,000-feet altitude, the builders carved and dressed the hard stone, lowered the 200-ton blocks down the mountainside, corssed a river canyon with 1,000-foot sheer rock walls, and then raised the blocks up another mountainside to fit them into place.
• Wall mirrors composed of six gigantic masses of reseate porphyry each weigh at least 20 tons - and one is 40 tons.
8. Easter Island: We're now discussing an isolated island.
• Here hundreds of mysterious stone faces, each weighing 35 to 50 tons, jut from the soil and stare out at sea. They once wore red hats. The hats alone weighed 10 tons apiece, had a circumference of 25 feet, a height of 7 feet 2 inches - and were put on after the statues were erected.
• The statues were carved near the crater top, and then lowered 300 feet over the heads of other statues. This was accomplished without leaving as much as a mark. Then they were moved up and down cliff walls and on for 5 miles to their present resting place.
• On a dangerously windy sheer rock face plunging 1,000 feet straight into the sea, is a ledge-400 feet down. On this precarious ledge, 250ton statues were lowered to sand.
The question is, how did the builders cut, move and erect the gigantic heads, including those which approach the size of a seven story building?
9. Baaobek, Lebanon: Baalbek has a mystery that we haven't been able to solve. Two magnificent Roman temples were built on already existing, immense, prehistoric dressed platform. These temples, the greatest in the Roman world, were dwarfed by the platform. The platform is a feat of engineering that has to date never been equalled in history:
• Individual stones as big as a bus. Up to 82 feet long and 15 feet high and thick, the're estimated to weigh 1,200 - 1,500 tons each. One block weighs 2,000 tons - 4 million pounds of solid rock! In contains enough material to build a house 60 feet square and 40 feet high with walls a foot thick.
• The blocks are raised in the the building as much as 20 feet above the ground.
• There are tunnels in the wall large enough for a train to go through.

The more these structures are examined the more I wonder. Were earlier cultures the pre-historic, underdeveloped, bumbling idiots we made them out to be or scientific genius? Hmm...

Eillix said...

HISTORY
You say
While I appreciate historical facts and archeological discoveries, they do not matter for this discussion. Whether or not a tower was built and destroyed has little relevance to the discussion unless you can prove that it was in fact destroyed by God. But you can not do that. Therefore, whether it existed is a non issue.

I say
you know that's interesting because you used Archaeology in the "Language" section of your response, citing that as fact.
You said:"Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest hominids in China date from 250,000 to 2.24 million years ago."

Do you remember that you asked for evidence for the Tower of Babel, the Flood, one Langage? I provided Archaeological and historical evidence and you rejected it. Now you're using Archaeology in your points? Call it "quote mining" if you want but it's certainly not equitable in the realm of our discussion for you to be able to use Archaeology as evidence, yet I can't. Can you explain that?

It seems like you've changed your stance on Archaeology in the same post(s) more than once. Either it's in or it's out, which is it?

THE UNIVERSE

You said
When I say 'scientifically viable', I mean we have tested and verified proof of concept.

I say
Proof of Concept doesn't = Concrete Proof. I'm not really sure how you can "prove the concept" if:
• The monopoles haven't been found.
• You haven't provided concrete proof on how to deal with the flatness problem.
• you don't provide the concrete evidence for "cosmic inflation"?
• You haven't found the Population III stars?
• big bang by itself can only explain the existence of the three lightest elements (hydrogen, helium and trace amounts of lithium). Where did the other 90 or so naturally occurring elements come from? How did they come to be?

Unless I'm missing something I don't know how you can "test" the big bang as a theory when you don't account for these issues.

Eillix said...

On Beliefs
No amount of bantering on either side is going to change anyone's mind (this was never my goal). Let's get to the heart of the matter. You mention repeatedly that beliefs don't matter yet this discussion indicates otherwise.

• You and every other Atheist take the position that there is no God. Yet you're unable to prove that God doesn't exist.
• I and every other Theist take the position that God (or for some theists gods) exists. We cannot prove that God exists.

You've asked me for concrete evidence for God's existence which I've mentioned I can't provide. I've asked for concrete evidence on your end however, I have yet to see any as well.

Once again I'd like to point out that I didn't come here to change anyone's beliefs, change anyone's mind or try to convince them of anything.

I am asking tough questions to both Theists (they get angry with me too) and Atheists. So far I am thoroughly unsatisfied with the calibur of the answers I've received. This isn't to say that I can do better as far as answering my own questions. On the contrary, that's why I'm here looking for answers. I want to understand and understandably I'm met with hostility. I get it.

Still I believe there's a point where things can be concretely understood and I'm searching for that. I'd like to ask again that all of you not take this discussion as someone trying to prove you wrong but as someone looking for answers to tough questions - sort of like that irritating phase little kids go through when the ask why repeatedly.

Eillix said...

Feki,

Happy new year to you too. Hope your holiday was a pleasant one.

You said
After reading your last posts on this thread I confirmed that you are a fundamentalist and that debating with you is subject to quote mining, side stepping and reading horrifyingly wrong concepts on world history.

I say
Glad you were able to confirm that for yourself.

As far as quote mining goes I used a quote and asked what it meant. I re-read the chapter and asked for clariffication. I posted the quote in a solid block and didn't choose parts selectively.

If that makes you angry I guess that's something you'll have to work through. Sorry.

You said
So Aztecs are a lost israeli tribe? the chinese too? If we all shared a common language why is the word "christ" pronounced differently across nations? Devil is at work again? I think not and I suggest you take time to review history lessons and study a bit too on evolution.

I say
It seems like you either have a misunderstanding of some kind or you're intentionally twisting my words. If I'm wrong about this please accept my apologies. In either case let me again clarify.

I originally said:
• The Aztecs originated in the Valley of Mexico from 1325 - 1521 AD. Again for perspective, the King James Bible was started in 1604 & completed in 1611 AD.
• The Xia Dynasty (China) was established by Xia' You in 2070 BC.


Do you see anything about israel there? Did I mention anything about Israel? Nope! Israel as a nation didn't exist in the same time period as the Flood and the Tower of Babel so I'm not even sure why I'd mention them. My mentioning the Chinese, Japanese (Jomon), Inca, and Aztecs was in response to Jim's post.

You said
I will not go into debunking each of your arguments since it only requires an elementary school textbook.

I say
Really? You're going to pass on debunking early Aztec history?


Jim, Antzilla, I agree with the kudos. I've really enjoyed my discussion with both of you. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. You guys have been great.

ANTZILLA said...

Eillix.

All your definitions are shit. It's not your fault many Dictionarires are wrong. (church infulence to discredit logic)

Evolution Definition: Individuals traits passed from one generation to the next.

It's no the whole species that change just the indivduals that are subjected to different cercumstances.

So from this you work backwards to find common ansetors.

Dog question. To breed certain traits in a dog. Humans used selective breeding of natual . Easy e.g. to get bigger dogs, kill/ don't allow small ones to breed. keep the largest dog and breed them with other larger dogs, Repeat.The "infomation" as you call
it, allready exsited in the animals however the sective breeding is as it says selective.
Eventully the desendants from these dog won't be able to breed with it smaller conterparts eg mini poodle can't be mated with great dane.

In the case of horses and donkeys, They both have a common ansector however have taken different evolutionary paths and now when they mate they produce a mule. All mules are infertile (cann't produce offspring) so female mules can't not be inpregnated by ether horses or donkey nor other mules same for male mules they can't inpregnate horses or donkeys nor mules.Eventully horses and donkeys won't be able to produce mules.

Fossils can only be found between layers of rock. so for a fossil to be formed the carcase of the animal has to be in the same position long enought for it to be covered in sediment. then over time the sediment builds up and more pressure is formed turning soil to rock. with the animal between layers. then the animal decays and we are left with the inprint on the rock ie Fossil.


The Hilalayers were once at the bottom of the ocean and have been pushed up there current altiude.
NERRRDERRR!

How would know if a fossil was a transional or not without knowing what the previous ansestors and future offspring looked like. thats why all things are in the process of transition to some extent.

There's is no way anyone can give an step by step account of every incedent and circumstances that caused any given lifeform to evolve over millions of years. We have to use DNA to know what animals have commons ancestors.

Remember also in the larger view of things the different physical between living things is only minor as we all life forms with in its certain "kingdom" (our case animals) share 99.9%(approx i don't know exact amount) off the same stuff. (replicating cells living in colonies) so that (approx)0.1% diffence is the difference physiology animals.

ANTZILLA said...

Humans accomplish so much cause we are clever. We evoled to be clever after we found ways to make life easier for our selfselves eg farming etc. and had more free time to philoserpy, experiment etc. Its a shame some have used this time to dream up crap (GOD) to explain things they didn'y understand.

As for the proof thing. Fuck this argument gets old! For me all God has to do to prove it's existance is to tell EVERYONE similaiously, indivdually what its is and what it wants ITSELF without and human translation etc. If that happens Humans will KNOW and not have to beleive. However untill then Creationism is just another theory ( A shit one LOL ) wait to be proved. Unlike evoluiton which is a proven theory.

Q)how can 1 prove that the universe wasn't created by a purple, farting butterfly

A) because I made it up myself

But i can't prove i made it up so i guess purple farting butterfly theory is as good as your GOD theory. LOL

ANTZILLA said...

Eillix,
Do you suggest that the mentioned human accomplishments were an act of GOD? or are you stateing your amazement at human inginuity? Remember "back in the day" cililitaions either spent generation after generation completing such projects or used a large amount of man power (slaverly) eg Egyption Pyrimids

Maybe we would know what processes that where used to build such things if FuckTards in the name of God diddn't destroy everything they came across that controdicted there agender/beliefs

ANTZILLA said...

Oh, The other elements come from Stars Fusion and then dispersts via supernova. That elementry school textbook might come in handy LOL

Feki said...

Eillix,

Thanks for your kind responses.

On large, seemingly impossible-to-build ruins: You propose (and please tell me which one I got right):

a) A god (any) physically helped ancient people build those things
b) Something with superhuman strenght and might physically helped them
c) In those days people used to have superhuman strenght and might
d) All of the above

I think you'd go for (d). Too bad we don't get superhuman strenght anymore, and too bad gods doesn't seem to like modern architecture and do not favour us with super fast drills to built bridges and dams. True, your god doesn't seem to like skyscrappers, so no questions there hehehe.

Eillix, I'll put it in plain words: there are no supernatural explanations. As Antzilla pointed out it was just hordes of people over several generations that accomplished those things. No freakin' god, angel, demon or UFO was involved.

On ancient seafaring: Read about Thor Heyerdahl's adventures. It was possible for men to travel across oceans using straw/wooden barges. Thus, chinese were able to make marsupial dumplings without god's intervention.

On floods: All major civilizations started near rivers, right? It is expected they would all naturally suffer several flood episodes including some huge ones were lots of people died. A Mexican legend has it that gods flooded the earth so the first people died (except those who climbed to trees and then became monkeys), so the gods could create a new race of men. In Summerian folklore, their "Noah" is guided by a talking fish. I mean, come on, all these stories have the central point of the flood, but the plot is different. Dude, I used to live near the Gulf of Mexico. I had my living room under 15 cm of water every year during hurricane season. I too could be making up stories about stupid floods caused by the wrath of the Purple Farting Butterfly (which btw is quite appealing).

Hope you realize the ridiculous arguments that religions utilize to "legitimize" themselves. It is all baloney dude, live free and stop buying it.

Eillix said...

Feki,

You're welcome. :)

You say
a) A god (any) physically helped ancient people build those things
b) Something with superhuman strenght and might physically helped them
c) In those days people used to have superhuman strenght and might
d) All of the above

I think you'd go for (d). Too bad we don't get superhuman strenght anymore, and too bad gods doesn't seem to like modern architecture and do not favour us with super fast drills to built bridges and dams. True, your god doesn't seem to like skyscrappers, so no questions there hehehe.

I say
E) None of the Above.
I'm not suggesting that God helped anyone physically build anything, or that anyone or anything with superhuman strength. What I am suggesting is that those before us weren't as dumb as our textbooks suggest. How is it that they were able to accomplish some things that we can't do now?
I must be doing a crappy job of explaining myself. I'll work on sucking less.

You say
On floods: All major civilizations started near rivers, right? It is expected they would all naturally suffer several flood episodes including some huge ones were lots of people died. A Mexican legend has it that gods flooded the earth so the first people died (except those who climbed to trees and then became monkeys), so the gods could create a new race of men. In Summerian folklore, their "Noah" is guided by a talking fish. I mean, come on, all these stories have the central point of the flood, but the plot is different. Dude, I used to live near the Gulf of Mexico. I had my living room under 15 cm of water every year during hurricane season. I too could be making up stories about stupid floods caused by the wrath of the Purple Farting Butterfly (which btw is quite appealing).

I say
There are some cultures that have different aspects of the same story. I've been looking for answers as to why that's the case.

With many legends and stories, I'm seening that there are Archaeological discoveries that parallel these stories indicating that people just didn't understand something whether that's the technology being used, the process behind something, the real events, or a lack of education and information on the story tellers parts. There's also making crap up, and embelishing stories to try and look better.

Come on, give the people before you a little credit. Purple Farting Butterflies? Really? :)


You say
Hope you realize the ridiculous arguments that religions utilize to "legitimize" themselves. It is all baloney dude, live free and stop buying it.

I say
After going through the things in life I've gone through with no options I askd God for help and He's come through. I asked for specific things, wrote it down and I got answers for most of it. I've gotta say that it isnt crap for me because my life has depended on it (e.g. going through homelessness, almost dying a few times).

Feki said...

Eillix

Bad news for you: Farting Butterflies exist, so says this video which was intellectually authored by the Great Farting Butterfly itself but captured and edited by two faithful and humble comedians (but otherwise it is a totally serious piece of evidence)

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?title=preview-the-farting-butterfly&videoId=225224

Take that you atheist!

Eillix said...

Feki,

I wasn't arguing whether farting butterflies exist. That's a pretty odd thing to introduce here. :)

You mentioned that you could make up a story about "floods caused by the wrath of the Purple Farting Butterfly (which btw is quite appealing)."

All I'm saying is give our ancestors more credit than that. I seemed to me like you were implying that something happened and then our ancestors looked around frantically for something to blame it on.

That video was exactly what I'd expect those two. Stella was pretty good too.

Jim said...

First off, it is amazing that God would help you through homelessness and almost dying when he doesn't mind at all the geonocides committed by the Nazis, AIDS, poverty in Africa (and other places), Islamic fundamentalists, etc. I always love how people claim that God helped them personally. It is amazing. But who helps the atheist out of these exact situations? I never asked for God's help when I was being shot at in Iraq, or when I was broke. But I got through it.

Anyways. Back to the debate.

Evolution.

Here is a major problem with religious people who can't/don't accept evolution. You have said yourself that you believe in adaptation, but not the "other definitions". I'm sorry to tell you that you can't pick and choose here. Adapting is evolving. That is how evolution works. Nothing more. You can't redefine a term like evolution to mean what you want it to mean. Evolution has a set meaning.

-Change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.

Guess what? That is all there is. Adaptation falls into this definition. Again, as I have pointed out before, evolution takes place over hundreds of thousands to millions of years. Not in a hundred years. There can be small changes over a thousand years (Like humans being generally taller, penis and breast size increasing, brain capacity is larger, etc.), but there is not the large-scale changes you want to see. You want to see a half-monkey-human hybrid walking around it seems. Sorry, but there is none. We have fossils linking the two. And we share genes and traits, but I have the feeling you want a monkey giving birth to a human to be convinced.

As for the dog, guess what? Mutations in a species, creating different classes is evolution. There are hundreds of primates, all originating from common ancestors. Humans are primates like gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, etc. We all belong to the primate species, but we are all somewhat different. Just like dogs and wolves. And we have fossil evidence. And genetic evidence as well.

As for the "very likely" scenario you wanted evidence for, check out the ice ages, continental drift, asteroid impacts, etc. Any one of these, plus many other events, have and will again, create dramatic climate changes. These things have happened. And they will happen again.

Jim said...

Evolution, again.

Transitional forms and fossils.

Why do I say there should be millions of fossil records, but they are all destroyed? Because it is true. Millions upon millions of animals died in the past, so their fossils should be around. But, like I said, many were destroyed. There is a vast amount of proof that they once existed. It is called 'Fossil Fuels". You know why we call them that? Because they are composed of the decomposed fossils of dead dinosaurs, plants and animals. The proof is in your car, your gas stove, your heater. Oil is dead dinosaurs, plants and animals.

As for the proof that we are transitional forms, well, we are still evolving. So we must, by definition, be transitional forms. You would never know it though, just by looking at us now. You have to consider the entire history of the human evolution. It's like a picture. You cannot tell the entire life story of a baseball in mid-flight based on a picture of it in the air. You cannot make an accurate projection of its trajectory, how it was hit, how it was thrown, how it got to the stadium, how it was made, based on one picture.

And that is essentially what we are looking at now with the human race. You have to look back for more "pictures". We look through DNA evidence, find common genes with other primates, dig up fossils of our ancestors, etc. We connect the dots. And by connecting these dots, we can see where we came from, and know that there is somewhere else to go.

Just like the baseball. If we have enough pictures of the ball's flight path, we can accurately tell where it is going.

Jim said...

The Big Bang.

Well, if you read up on "Population III" stars, you will discover something interesting as to why they don't exist today.

"Because of their high mass, current stellar models show that Population III stars would have soon exhausted their fuel and perished in spectacular supernovae. Those explosions should have thoroughly dispersed their material, ejecting those elements throughout the universe, and forming later generations of stars, with heavy elements that we see present in stars today. The high mass of the first stars is used to explain why, as of 2009, no Population III stars have been observed. Because they were all destroyed in supernovae in the early universe, Population III stars should only be seen in far away galaxies whose light originated much earlier in the history of the universe, and searching for these stars or establishing their nonexistence (thereby invalidating the current model) is an active area of research in astronomy."

Hm. Seems like a logical solution. Easy enough.

What else?

The elements. Stars create them

Flatness. The universe is not exactly flat. It is near flat, but not enough to change our theories. The fact that inflation exists (and is still occurring) disproves the flatness of the universe. We know inflation is happening because of the redshift of stars and galaxies.

Monopoles. Well, they are only a hypothesis at the moment. Some believe that they only existed in the very early universe, others believe that they are so rare as to remain hypothetical. You must understand that the Earth is hardly a perfect testing environment for cosmic theories.

Jim said...

On to something new.

There has been a lot of defense over the scientific views of the Atheist. But none on the views of the Theist. Which is interesting. I find it odd how religious types tend to defend their views by attacking other people's views.

We all know the arguments for and against evolution, the Big Bang, morality etc. But I want to know the evidence that suggests that any one religion is correct. How can one prove a God? We have proven evolution, presented facts and evidence. It should be your turn.

I ask that you Theists present what we have presented to defend our views. Scientifically validated proof. Direct observation. Clear evidence. Sound logic.

We have provided this, so now it is your turn.

Feki said...

<< It seemed to me like you were implying that something happened and then our ancestors looked around frantically for something to blame it on >>

Well Eillix, that sounds exactly like how it happened:

"oh crap, my village is flooded, most likely rain was brought upon us by something we cannot see but surely posseses awesome powers!"

So no, I do not give ancient people any credit because the same SOP is still followed by theists everywhere:

"oh crap, I can't explain the origin of life, most likely life was created by something we cannot see but surely posseses awesome powers"

Yup, just as frantically...

Jim said...

Agreed.

Intelligent though they may have been, people of ancient times had no advanced science or astronomy. They thought stars were dead people's spirits, the sun was a god, the planets were gods, storms were caused by angry gods, etc. Children learn this in school when they study the Greek and Roman and Egyptian gods. They though natural disasters and astronomical events were the gods doing. There is no secret about that. They couldn't explain it because they didn't have the technology to do so. As a result, they made up reasons.

Also, I forgot to mention earlier, the evidence for large extraterrestrial object depositing sea-fossils around the world, you need look no further than the impact crater in the Indian ocean, as well as the one in the Yucatan Peninsula. Both were of great enough magnitude to deposit sea-fossils across the Earth's surface.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/science/14WAVE.html

This does not include other asteroids that may have hit the Earth that are still unidentified. Remember that approx. 3/4 of the surface is ocean, so most impacts would cause massive tsunamis.

ANTZILLA said...

Hi all, I have a Theory to run passed you all. I call it "Evolution by least resitantance."
We know of Natual selection. I propose that a evolution can also take place not only by Live or die consiquences but by organisms avoiding stress. eg. Plants, a plant could quite live under the shade of another tree however it would be easier/ less stressful to grow towards full light. This also gives an idea into how simbiosus occurs. With simbiosus the life forms found it less stressful to live together rather than "compete"(term used loosly) once this is astablished selective breeding within the different life forms takes over again and the least stressed, most simbiotic traits continue. Other eg would be fish that live of parisites of other fish. The fish that eat the parisites didn't initially do so untill one discoverd such benifits. It would not have nessesarly died if it didn't however it was easier. This could also explain "evil"(used loosely) as it would be easier (not nessesary) to kill a weaker animal and take it food than to hunt it down yourself.

What do you recon?

ANTZILLA said...

Eillix you find the purple farting butterfly theory as joke. Well thats what i think of your Creation theory, and that was the point i was trying to make. Anything can be made up and not proven to not exsist.

Feki said...

Antzilla,

I remember reading about a similar concept (“relaxed selection”) in the New Yorker magazine a few months ago.


Here is a link to the abstract:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/11/090511fa_fact_gopnik

ANTZILLA said...

Cheers Feki,
So... life under stress from the threat of death is subjected to "natural selection", life under stress of not living as easy as could is subjected to "path of least resitance" and life under none to minior stress go into "relaxed selection" where we find the devlonment of a large aray of seemingly useless abonormalities except for attarction of the oppisite sex eg colours,crests on birds etc. This would explain why female bird are generally have less ornate features compared with males. because the female is always going to find a mate cause the species depends on it however an idividual male not finding a mate would not nessararly mean the dicontinuation of a species because another male (better looking) will mate the female.

So humans are so advanced becuse of the countless generations of "path of least resistance" and "relaxed selection"

Eillix said...

Jim

EVOLUTION

You said
Guess what? That is all there is. Adaptation falls into this definition. Again, as I have pointed out before, evolution takes place over hundreds of thousands to millions of years. Not in a hundred years. There can be small changes over a thousand years (Like humans being generally taller, penis and breast size increasing, brain capacity is larger, etc.), but there is not the large-scale changes you want to see. You want to see a half-monkey-human hybrid walking around it seems. Sorry, but there is none. We have fossils linking the two. And we share genes and traits, but I have the feeling you want a monkey giving birth to a human to be convinced.

I say
This is why I say the belief's are all across the board. You mentioned to me that there is no Micro/Macro evolution and that this terminology is incorrent yet other Atheist that also claim their usage is scientific make the Micro/Macro distinction (e.g. John Rennie over at Scientific American).

I asked for you to show me examples where mutation added genetic information and that the changes were both sustainable (e.g. not being bred out) and beneficial (without adverse side effects). You haven't given me concrete proof yet.

I never said that so I'm not sure why you keep mentioning that I'm looking for anything.

You said
As for the dog, guess what? Mutations in a species, creating different classes is evolution. There are hundreds of primates, all originating from common ancestors. Humans are primates like gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, etc. We all belong to the primate species, but we are all somewhat different. Just like dogs and wolves. And we have fossil evidence. And genetic evidence as well.

I say
Again I ask forconcrete proof where mutation has added genetic information and that the changes were both sustainable (e.g. not being bred out) and beneficial (without adverse side effects). I also need you to prove that genetic variation came as a result of "mutation" and that the information wasn't inherently there.

I mentioned this in my last set of responses but dogs and wolves are the same species. Please verify it to make sure that I'm not missing something.

ANTZILLA said...

Intellect,

Ancient people where just as intellengent as we are now.(Intelligence is an umbrella term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn.)

Our technogly is now further evolved. As with todays societies the people with power dicate what is "true" Atheism has been around just along as Theism.

see this cartoon it great!

nowscape.com/.../images/History_of_Religion.jpg

Eillix said...

You said
Why do I say there should be millions of fossil records, but they are all destroyed? Because it is true. Millions upon millions of animals died in the past, so their fossils should be around. But, like I said, many were destroyed. There is a vast amount of proof that they once existed. It is called 'Fossil Fuels". You know why we call them that? Because they are composed of the decomposed fossils of dead dinosaurs, plants and animals. The proof is in your car, your gas stove, your heater. Oil is dead dinosaurs, plants and animals.

I say
Yeah I'm familiar with fossil fuels and where they came from. What I don't understand is why there aren't proven examples of these transitional forms but yet a few dinosaurs can be preserved. Wouldn't there be a preserved in some sort of localized natural disaster like the tsunamis you've mentioned? Not even a few hundred?

Also if the proof "once existed" you're back to square one. You saying that the proof existed is subjective at best because we'll never know which gallons of motor oil were transitional forms and which ones weren't.

You said
First off, it is amazing that God would help you through homelessness and almost dying when he doesn't mind at all the geonocides committed by the Nazis, AIDS, poverty in Africa (and other places), Islamic fundamentalists, etc. I always love how people claim that God helped them personally. It is amazing. But who helps the atheist out of these exact situations? I never asked for God's help when I was being shot at in Iraq, or when I was broke. But I got through it.

I say
it IS amazing considering the fact that I've had to watch a lot of people die. There's a reason for that - I'll share it if you're interested.

I say what I said because I look for evidence daily. I write down the things I discuss and the things I ask for. I write down dates, times, and methods. I'm at the point where statistically it's hard for me to argue with the results I've gotten. You on the other hand, you don't believe so you'll argue against that and that's fine.

Eillix said...

THE BIG BANG

You said
"Because of their high mass, current stellar models show that Population III stars would have soon exhausted their fuel and perished in spectacular supernovae. Those explosions should have thoroughly dispersed their material, ejecting those elements throughout the universe, and forming later generations of stars, with heavy elements that we see present in stars today. The high mass of the first stars is used to explain why, as of 2009, no Population III stars have been observed. Because they were all destroyed in supernovae in the early universe, Population III stars should only be seen in far away galaxies whose light originated much earlier in the history of the universe, and searching for these stars or establishing their nonexistence (thereby invalidating the current model) is an active area of research in astronomy."

I say
I have read about Population III stars.
That explanation is awfully convenient but as you've told me belief's don't matter. Do you have concrete evidence for this?

You said
Here is a major problem with religious people who can't/don't accept evolution. You have said yourself that you believe in adaptation, but not the "other definitions". I'm sorry to tell you that you can't pick and choose here. Adapting is evolving. That is how evolution works. Nothing more. You can't redefine a term like evolution to mean what you want it to mean. Evolution has a set meaning.

I say
I can choose because the other aspects haven't been proven. I'm not gonna accept that on someone else's say so unless I see it and verify it for myself just like you're not gonna accept what I believe.
ON BELIEFS & PROOF
You said
There has been a lot of defense over the scientific views of the Atheist. But none on the views of the Theist. Which is interesting. I find it odd how religious types tend to defend their views by attacking other people's views.

I say
I'm not attacking your beliefs. I'm asking you for answers to questions I have. I've said that. I want to know if I'm misguided and why. I want to be sure. you're sure about your beliefs so I want to know why. Other "religious types" get this from me too.

Eillix said...

You said
We all know the arguments for and against evolution, the Big Bang, morality etc. But I want to know the evidence that suggests that any one religion is correct. How can one prove a God? We have proven evolution, presented facts and evidence. It should be your turn.

I ask that you Theists present what we have presented to defend our views. Scientifically validated proof. Direct observation. Clear evidence. Sound logic.

We have provided this, so now it is your turn.

I say
We've been through this:
• The historical, archaeological, philological evidence I've provided, you've rejected (but you used Archaeology and I'm not sure how that makes sense when you just told me that it didn't matter in this discussion).
• when I answered your question about say the tower of babel or the flood you told me that I actually didn't ask about that I want proof that God did the miracles he did.
• Regarding evidence of God and His divinity I've already said that I don't have evidence. Not saying it doesn't exist just that I don't have it (even if I did people would argue about it).

The problem that I have is:
1. these theories we've discussed are suggested as fact but when pressed for proof I'm told that they're gone. (so how do you know it existed in the first place?). Sure, there have been changes in individual species but they haven't transitioned into a anything different - so understand why it seems like a stretch to me. If you can prove it then show me.
why I don't accept this:
2. the transitional fossils are gone (but we're still supposed to accept this as the proof was once here - it's legitimate that fossiles decay but when a major part of this theory hangs on that and it can't be proven well... that put's me off).
3. It's being taught as fact.
4. Other options aren't being taught.

Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not suggesting that intelligent design be taught in schools either. Frankly I agree that it is watered down religion (calling it a minimal commitment still means that it's a commitment). This doesn't mean that I disagree with their ideals - but I have some problems with the way they present things.

Those that believe in intelligent design they should teach it others privately in a one-on-one, permission based setting. I disagree with it being forced on those who don't share the same beliefs.

However people shouldn't have to listen to Evolution if they don't want to. The problem is choice. I don't get that choice in school. Yet I'm forced to agree with something I disagree with.

I disagree with people trying to get Intelligent design into schools but I also disagree with forcing people to study it - suggesting that it is established fact when there are so many things that need to be proven means.

Eillix said...

You said
Intelligent though they may have been, people of ancient times had no advanced science or astronomy. They thought stars were dead people's spirits, the sun was a god, the planets were gods, storms were caused by angry gods, etc. Children learn this in school when they study the Greek and Roman and Egyptian gods. They though natural disasters and astronomical events were the gods doing. There is no secret about that. They couldn't explain it because they didn't have the technology to do so. As a result, they made up reasons.

I say
No advanced science? Calendars that are more accurate than ours, accurately projecting eclipses, lifting 20,000 ton rocks up a mountain (which we can't do today), and you say they had no advanced science? How exactly do you explain lifting tons of materials from quaries hundreds of miles away up a sheer mountain face, at an elevation of 10,000 feet. Even IF they had enough slaves - how would they breathe?

I'm not saying anything supernatural did it so don't get the wrong idea. Clearly though there were many, many cultures whose "advanced sciences" exceeded our own.

Now has it happened where someone makes up something because they don't understand how something works? Sure. But instead of writing them off as idiots - how about asking why? Is it possible there's actually a reason behind all of this?

If you believe someone's an idiot then the desire to investigate and understand usually (not always) goes out the window.

You said
This does not include other asteroids that may have hit the Earth that are still unidentified. Remember that approx. 3/4 of the surface is ocean, so most impacts would cause massive tsunamis.

I say
okay, so where's the evidence that the impacts caused massive tsunamis that account for so many mountains having marine life?

You shared this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/science/14WAVE.html

I say
Thanks for sharing that with me.

Quote Mining Alert!
Scientists in the working group say the evidence for such impacts during the last 10,000 years, known as the Holocene epoch, is strong enough to overturn current estimates of how often the Earth suffers a violent impact on the order of a 10-megaton explosion. Instead of once in 500,000 to one million years, as astronomers now calculate, catastrophic impacts could happen every 1,000 years.

So if they're calculating that these catastrophic images could happen every 1,000 years why hasn't it happened yet? Also they mentioned that while chevrons are great they don't prove that megatsunamis are real. I'm also wondering how you prove that impact A created tsunami E. Can someone explain that I'm not aware of any methods for that. Not trying to offend here, I'm not arguing with the findings - just have more questions.

Interesting find though. Thanks.

ANTZILLA said...

Eillix, Genitics is code

So when cells replicate they do not do it perfectly there are slight difference. So all the genetic infomation is all ready there. however "mutation" is the rearrangement of this infomation cause by inperfections of replicating cells. So that is how life can be made of the same material however arranged differently to have different physical adoptaptaions (apperence). The non benifical (undisirable) coniquences are removed via normal natual selection or still remain eg cancer cells.

ANTZILLA said...

Eillix,
Please give your definion of EVIDENCE:


Evidence in its broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. Giving or procuring evidence is the process of using those things that are either a) presumed to be true, or b) were themselves proven via evidence, to demonstrate an assertion's truth. Evidence is the currency by which one fulfills the burden of proof.

One must always remember that the burden of proof is on the person making the positive claim. Within science, this translates to the burden resting on presenters of a paper, in which the presenters argue for their specific findings. This paper is placed before a panel of judges where the presenter must defend the thesis against all challenges.

When evidence is contradictory to predicted expectations, the evidence and the ways of making it are often closely scrutinized (see experimenter's regress) and only at the end of this process the hypothesis is rejected: this can be referred to as 'refutation of the hypothesis'. The rules for evidence used by science are collected systematically in an attempt to avoid the bias inherent to anecdotal evidence: nonetheless even anecdotal evidence is enough to reject a theory incompatible with that evidence, if there are sufficient repeated examples.

ANTZILLA said...

Creationism:
All Animals, Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae ( 5 Kingdom ) where Created as they are and they don't change nor need to adapted because there habbit was designed for them. Humans are special because we are the favourites of the Creator.

So to prove this you need evidence
- that Life is no changing and thing remain as they aways were.
- That the life form is perfectly suited to it designed environment (no STRESS)
- That humans are fundimetally differnet from other life with in it kingdom.
- Creationist must also remove themselfs from any evidence that was produced from human interfence (eg Bibles, written text spoken work anything man-made etc.) and only use what the ONLY a Creator could produce.


EVOLUTION: Adoptation

We proved this by
- Animals, Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae ( 5 Kingdom ) share common ancestor .The last universal ancestor (LUA, also called the last universal common ancestor, LUCA, or the cenancestor is the most recent organism from which all organisms now living on Earth descend. Thus it is the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all current life on Earth. The LUA is estimated to have lived some 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago

- All life within it Kingdom share a common makeup minor allterations caused by "mutation" give animals there diffent apperences

- Habbitats are changing and we can see life adapting accorranly.

- Human are not special and are made of the same stuff as the other lifeform in our kingdom.We have behavours as animals.

ANTZILLA said...

I've been trying to find evedence of a creator, I havn't yet. When looking at Creationist "evidence" for god why do they always just point out things we don't understand YET! eg Creationist said earth was flat. Well we proved that wrong. Then they changed there belief. Also they said the sun revolves around earth. Well that got proved wrong to. Then they changed their beliefs again. They said all variasions of life was created at the same time. Guess what that got proved wrong. so you guessed it they changed the beliefs again.

So basiclly Creationist theory is adapting to it habbitate. EVOLVEING LOL eventully all crap infomation (faulse assumtions,lies,simpletonism) will be removed via the build up of human knowledge and Creation theory will become exstint once stress is too much ( Stress caused from No evidence to support it and overwelming evidence to it contrary )

Check out this site if you want to be pissed off at creationist ingorence and retardation.

http://www.gotquestions.org/does-god-exist.html

Jim said...

Transitional Forms.

I have said this again and again. Bones can be destroyed. Millions of years will completely erase any evidence that they existed. We are talking massive time lines. I don't know what evidence you want for transitional forms. I have already told you that every being that is or ever was alive is a transitional form. I don't know if you want a velociraptor with wings or a t-rex with feathers.

Evolution is a proven fact. It has been witnessed in dogs, viruses, bacteria. There is evidence for evolution for humans, monkeys, fish, and hundreds of other life forms. We have the fossils to prove it. Visit a museum.

As for your statement about finding dinosaur bones, they have been preserved. An incredibly small number relative to how many were actually alive. We find them all over the world. And we do find a lot at a given site. I don't what you are looking for here, but any child into dinosaurs can tell you that when they find a dinosaur, they usually find others in the same area. They were killed by an asteroid hitting the Yucatan Peninsula. There is geological proof. Read up on it.

Here is proof of evolution and transitional forms.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8435320.stm

http://www.physorg.com/news181467990.html

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

Jim said...

Population III stars.

It is amazing how when I point out a perfectly sound scientific explanation for something, it all of a sudden becomes too convenient. I don't know if you want me to get a spaceship and fly you around or what. These stars are hypothesized to begin with. We have barely scratched the surface of cosmic exploration, and we uncover vast amounts of data everyday. You want concrete proof of everything, which I find quite ironic, seeing as how you have yet to provide concrete proof of God or the Bible being true.

Archeology.

Here is why your archeological facts do not matter. Because whether a tower existed (for example) is pointless. I am sure that Bible has a few historically accurate points. Fair play. But that doesn't make it true. It is irrelevant. If you can find the bones of Jesus or the Tablets the Ten Commandments were written on, and prove, beyond a doubt that they are supernatural in nature, then that would be relevant archeological data.

I have said before, I have all the respect in the world for historical and archeological fact. It is amazing what the human race has achieved. It is one of my favorite subjects, in fact. But it needs to be used properly. If I hand you a copy of "To Kill A Mockingbird", and tell you that it must be true because it was set in the South, and that the South did exist at the time, well, that doesn't mean anything. I would have to prove that Atticus, Scout and Jem Finch existed. I would have to prove that their town was real. Just linking a few historical facts to your book doesn't validate the book.

Jim said...

Beliefs.

I am sorry if I implied that we were being attacked. I did not mean that in that way. I meant, our views seem to be the only ones on the defensive here. I suggest, from personal experience, if you want to know if you are misguided as you claim, it is time to start questioning your beliefs, not others.

There is a simple way to do this. First, take what you know about God.

1. He is perfect.
2. He knows all.
3. He is infallible.

These are three truths that I was taught, as well as three questions I asked my pastor when I started to question. This is the way science works. If you have a hypothesis, you must test and try to disprove said hypothesis. So I did.

When he verified these three points, I had my hypothesis.

God is a perfect being who knows all, and cannot be logically disproved or found imperfect. If he were to falter in anyway, then his perfectness would cease, and he would fail as a hypothesis. Luckily, I had a great pastor who was willing to hear out my arguments.

So I asked him questions about God being perfect. The standard, "How come bad things happen to good people, or good things happen to bad people." Normal response, "God works in mysterious ways, etc.

But he faltered when I introduced logic.

God created us? (Yes)
God is omnipotent? (Yes)
God wants us to know He exists? (Yes)
God would let us know in some way, that He existed? (Yes)
Some people do not believe He exists? (Yes)
God could not make those people believe He existed? (No)
So He is not perfect, and can be proven so in a logical manner? (Well...)

I know it is not the most scientific line of questioning, but you can see the point. God should not be able to succumb to logical arguments if a god does exist. There are probably hundreds of logical loopholes to God's existence. These are the questions I recommend asking if you want to see if you are indeed misguided. But that is your choice.

Jim said...

Ancient people.

When I said no advanced science or astronomy, I was not implying they didn't know anything about either. I meant that they do not have ADVANCED science or astronomy.

They did not have electron microscopes to peer into atomic structure, telescopes that could examine distant stars or galaxies, telescopes that can detect red-shift, or any of the thousands of tools we use to explore our world and universe. Their tools were rudimentary at best. Many societies used to believe that eclipses were bad omens (Some still do, which just blows my mind). I never meant to imply they were stupid, but they were ignorant.

They didn't know things, and that is okay. We don't know things. We are still ignorant. I've said it before, we have just scratched the surface of our knowledge of the universe.

But I have yet to see a calendar more advanced than our own. We can predict the Earth's orbit with an accuracy so precise, it is considered 100%. No ancient culture could come close to that. We can predict the moon's orbit and cycles down to seconds. But it is not hard. Lunar cycles are a steady event, never changing (Well, they change, but the changes occur over thousands of years. A time line so long, that to a human, the change is negligible.) We can even chart our orbit around the galactic center. We can even predict the galaxies path through the universe, as well as other galaxies. No ancient culture can compare with the accuracy of our stellar models. I admit they knew what they were doing, but it doesn't compare to what we are doing now.

Jim said...

Impact.

The craters are on the ocean floor, obviously. But you must realize that with plate tectonics and natural erosion, some will be hard to find. But some have been found.

As for evidence of the 10-megaton impact occurring every 1000 years, well it did occur. In 1908.

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

Jim said...

Oh, and here's a little science on how impacts (And other events) can cause massive tsunamis.

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/asteroid_paine_september.html

Feki said...

Yup, ancient people could predict comets all right yet they thought comets were manifestations of a god, omens for catastrophe or travelling planets.

Similarly, these "wise" people who designed complex irrigation systems thought hurricanes were caused by gods or were actual sea monsters.

But we cannot blame them, they were just ignorant in that regard.

Eillix, formal astronomy and meteorology started several hundreds years after. Nowadays not only do we understand hurricanes and weather patterns but through satellite imagery we can predict them. You keep implying that not having an explanation for something is a fair proof of god's alleged existence. This is incorrect.

The fact I do not undestand the Hadron collider doesn't mean that god made it. The fact we didn't witness the formation of Himalayas doesn't mean god made them either.

Things are brought into existence by laws that we have managed to understand, much in spite of the religious efforts to deter science.

A rain drop is not "made by the cloud god", it forms through natural evaporation and condensation processes. (see, I told you an elementary school textbook was required)

What you don't undestand today will be explained by science sooner or later.

As knowledge progresses we have less and less things we need to awe about, thus you don't need to be sacrifing virgins to a volcano god or a rain god or the I-can't-believe-it's-not-butter god.

Unless, of course, you want to reject technology and go back to living in a cave.

ANTZILLA said...

ADMIN,
There is a blog on a theist website with this topic. "debunking atheists" blog title is allah = yahweh

I would really enjoy you going to town on these retards. Basiclly the blog admin "Dan" is advocating punishment of blasphmy as it is against Gods law. Your excellent and clear message would be great to see on that blog