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Ask a Young Earth Creationist 2

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by classical_hero, Jan 9, 2009.

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  1. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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  2. Haseri

    Haseri Emperor

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    It is frakking easily provable, because of the fossil evidence which we know isn't faked, unless you want me to believe someone buried the imprint of a dinosaur underneath tons of rock, then put all that rock back in such away that nobody thought, 'hm, those rocks look disturbed', simply to pull a prank?

    And, once again, micro and macroevolution are one and the same, both have been proved and stood up to whatever scrutiny creationist 'scientists' have thrown at it.

    And once again, your second link, care to explain it in your own words?
     
  3. civ2

    civ2 Emperor

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    My last post before leaving:
    IT'S YOUR PROBLEM. :D
     
  4. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Besides stability, feathers are useful for thermoregulation and display.
     
  5. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    You earlier talked about misconceptions atheist had towards religion. What you should do sometime is look at your misconceptions towards evolution.

    Furthermore, this Jonathan Wells guy is a known hack. He already was set in his Creationist ways before he got his PhD. Only reason he got that was so he could flash it. But since he tells you exactly what you want to hear, you are going to take his word for fact right? No need to check him. No sir :)
     
  6. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    Well, yes, lots of what you say here is true, of course. Atheism is without god, not without religion. I must admit that I use it as shorthand for without religion, even though I am well aware that you can have religions without gods.

    However, I have to agree with you on some key points:
    - I'll postulate that theism do require a form of religion to exist in, even if that religion is only the belief in the "theo" itself.
    - I'll also postulate that atheism is not, in itself, a belief.
    - I'll also state that I believe that most religions are theistic, even if those gods are not called more than spirits.

    But your critique of me equating atheism with baldness still stands. I think it would be more correct to label myself non-religious, non-spiritual or maybe even non-believing - in the religious/spiritual sense. What would be the Greek form of that?

    Thus, I claim that I am an atheist, just as much as I am an a-teapot-ist. I do not hold an active belief in or against either, except for the short time where I have to entertain the idea about such concepts. To my daily life such thoughts of gods or teapots are simply non-existent, neither being in the supportive nor dismissive nature. Just not there.

    PS: I'm a somewhat intrigued about that Christian atheism, as it seems to me to be an oxymoron if I've ever seen one. Could you expand a bit on it?

    YOU'RE OMITTING THE SECOND CRITERIA! It must be possible to disprove a scientific theory! A belief is not possible to disprove!

    If you bring the idea up, I will dismiss actively just as I dismiss the teapot around Jupiter, unicorns, ghosts and toothfairies. However, other than that, I hold no beliefs concerning such things.

    I have Christian parents. I grew up in a Christian home. As far back as I can remember, I have thus believed in God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. This literary belief (as it was in the beginning - my parents should be overjoyed I never really read the Bible at that stage, I would have been scared out of my skin!) was gradually worn away by growing up, learning how people work and learning about the world and finding the scientific answers to be the most correct ones. But I still considered myself a Christian, and a believer. 'Of course I believed!'

    Thus it came to pass that I was 19, and walking home from the store. Some train of thought took me to the existence of God and I suddenly realised that there was no belief there! Nothing what so ever!

    It was not that I disregarded it, or changed my belief. I simply had no belief about God or anything religious! There is no reason whatsoever to even entertain such an idea that I just don't do it.

    This is not an idea that there is no God, or a belief that there is no God. This isn't an 'active atheism'. It is the non-existence of any concern about anything religious.

    So, to avoid being corrected by Plotinus, I am not an atheist as such. I am non-religious.

    It is on a whole other level than any kind of religion or religious/spiritual belief.
     
  7. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    The existence of a few frauds and errors hardly invalidates the whole of evolutionary theory, any more than the existence of a few heretics, psychopathic nutcases, or indeed paedophile priests invalidates the whole of religion.

    It's perfectly possible for people to believe something on the basis of mistaken or even fraudulent evidence, and yet for that thing to be true anyway. The "climategate" scandal is an obvious example (unless you're going to argue that climate change isn't real either, of course). Now in the case of evolution, the cases that your links discuss are just a few peripheral cases. There is a vast amount of evidence for evolution; the fact that Piltdown Man wasn't real doesn't change that. That, indeed, is why Darwin's Origin of the species was such an important book - he didn't just describe a theory, but he presented such a barrage of evidence in its favour that most people accepted that he was probably right. Since then, the evidence has only mounted up higher and higher. If you're going to argue against evolution you need to engage with this vast amount of evidence, not just snipe at a few marginal bits and add laughing smilies.

    The information in your links isn't even correct anyway. The first one claims that the "Brontosaurus" never existed, but was a mistake caused by putting the wrong head on the wrong skeleton. This is false. Brontosaurus was the same genus as the Apatosaurus. The name "Apatosaurus" was given to it first, which means by taxonomic naming conventions it is the correct name. The name "Brontosaurus", however, was given to it by a rival palaeontologist and was quickly popularised. The confusion between the two names is thus a matter solely of different individuals of the same genus being named by different people, something which happens from time to time. Another famous example is Eohippus, which turned out to be identical to an already described genus, Hyracotherium. But the name "Eohippus" is so nice that it is still used - just as the name "Brontosaurus" has a better ring to it than the unwieldy "Apatosaurus", which is no doubt one reason why it remained popular for so long.

    Now they did mix up the head of Apatosaurus, which is why older pictures of this animal often portray it with a blunt nose rather than the longer, more elegant head that it actually had. But that's got nothing to do with the naming issue. None of this even remotely discredits palaeontology, let alone the theory of evolution. If young earth creationists really think that this sort of thing helps their case, then that is itself an illustration of what a poor case it must be.
     
  8. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Is it as good as Anne Elk (Ms.) and her new theory about the brontosaurus?


    Link to video.
     
  9. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    If you think that the belief that God exists itself counts as a religion, then yes, that would be (trivially) true. But I don't see any reason to think that, because a religion is normally more than just a system of beliefs, let alone a single belief. One could believe that, as it happens, there is a God, but not be remotely interested in him or do anything about it (I suppose this would be much like deism). But I think it would be artificial to call that "religion". As I said, a religion is a sociological phenomenon, involving beliefs but many other elements as well. If I believe that ghosts exist, does that count as a religion? Surely not - so why does it change if we make the object of my belief God instead?

    That depends on how you define "atheism", of course. I think there are at least two main definitions:

    (1) An absence of belief in God.
    (2) A belief that there is no God.

    Personally I think that (1) is hard to distinguish from agnosticism, so I would take "atheism" to mean (2). That's certainly how it's usually used in philosophy (although Antony Flew used it with the meaning of (1) in his Presumption of atheism, causing all kinds of confusion). When people present arguments for atheism, that normally means that they are arguing that there is no God, not arguing that they don't believe in him.

    So if you're going to use "atheism" in sense (1), then yes, you're right that it's not a belief. But in sense (2) it is certainly a belief.

    One wouldn't normally call that theism, though, because "theism" normally means belief not simply in supernatural beings but in a single particular supernatural being who is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect, or at least tolerably close to that definition. It would be very unusual to call Shinto "theistic", for example, on the basis that kami count as "gods".

    Erm - adoxist, perhaps?

    It's normally called "Christian humanism" (not to be confused with Christians who are humanists in the Renaissance sense, which is what you'll find if you look this term up on Wikipedia) and is associated with the Cambridge theologian Don Cupitt and the Sea of Faith movement within the Church of England, which you can look up for much more detailed information. There was a well-publicised case some years ago concerning Anthony Freeman, an Anglican priest who was associated with the movement and who was sacked for not believing in God. Briefly, Cupitt and those who subscribe to his views believe that "God" refers not to an externally existing object but to one's own attitudes. To say that you "believe in" God means not that you think an entity answering to a certain description is floating around somewhere, but that you take certain values to be central to yourself. So on this view, theistic language and indeed religious doctrine as a whole boils down to ethics and nothing more. Christian humanists thus use traditional Christian language, rituals, and other elements, but interpret them in a non-metaphysical, non-supernaturalist way. They would say that they certainly believe in God, so they are not atheists in the sense of not believing in God; but they do not believe that there is a thing called God, so they are atheists in that sense (and that's certainly how Anthony Freeman was viewed by the press, which was unsurprisingly uninterested in subtle theological nuance!).
     
  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Well, that depends. When I say that I'm an atheist I mean (1), unless we are talking about a specific/defined God in which case I probably mean (2).

    And doesn't agnosticism differ from (1) in that it is a statement about knowledge, rather than belief?
     
  11. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Yes, that's true too, at least sometimes. But then being an agnostic would be compatible with being a committed theist, indeed a committed religious believer, since such a person might believe wholeheartedly that God exists, while still holding that one nevertheless cannot know that God exists. Indeed I'm sure there are many people who take precisely that position - but it would be odd to call them agnostics, wouldn't it? I think we normally use the word to refer to people who neither believe that God exists nor believe that he doesn't exist.

    BTW, Warpus (and since we're talking about religion this can count as being on-topic), is your sig meant to be quoting something? Because I always feel somewhat baffled when I see it.
     
  12. Haseri

    Haseri Emperor

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    I believe it is a pune, or play on words, of fourth/forth.
     
  13. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    I understand that, obviously. I meant the first part - it isn't a text from the Bible or anywhere else that I recognise, although it looks like it should be, which is what bothers me at a subconscious level.
     
  14. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I don't think it would be odd to call those people that - I mean, if we're being exact and specific and stuff, we should use the correct terminology, right?

    As such I am both an atheist and an agnostic, since I satisfy the conditions of atheism (I do not believe that God exists) as well as agnosticism.

    And I guess we could just call me an agnostic and leave it at that, but if you ask me: "Do you believe that God exists?" I am going to answer "No", which by definition makes me an atheist as well.. So..

    It's a quote I found some place or other, I can't remember where. I'm not sure what exactly it is referencing, if anything, could be all made up for all I know.. I found it amusing, haven't seen it aywhere else, so I stuck it in y sig.
     
  15. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Well, fair enough then. On all counts.
     
  16. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    I'm not sure why that very odd site listed Neanderthals as frauds. I also note that our latest creationist ignored my comments about homo habilis etc. I assume that that is standard practice, even in creationism - ignore what you can't answer easily and rant loudly about the rest.
     
  17. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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  18. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Civ you have it backward. Evolution is not like rolling dice to get a specific combination. It is not a D&D game. "Some" change/mutation happens first and if it is beneficial it might be carried forward through offspring. Over millions of years and in combination with other mutations, new characteristics appear.

    A change in skill cell structure may lay the foundation for what will become feathers. Feathers lead to insulation, display actions and for some, flight. None of this is quick. The path from winged dinosaurs to modern birds is over 60 million years long. That is many generations and refinements.
     
  19. Haseri

    Haseri Emperor

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    What's more, his example is not totally zero, it is just very improbable. But, as I said, it is no use arguing the improbability of an event after it has happened.
     
  20. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    And let's face it, even if it only has a 1 in 1000 chance of succeeding and only occurs once a millennium, that means it will statistically have occurred over 65 times in the period between the Cretaceous extinction and now.
     
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