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Genesis: Literal Or Metaphorical?


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#161 wombatty

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:35 PM

briefly (I'll respond in full a bit later)...

Um, Copernicus didn't come up with elliptical orbits, that was Kepler.

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Sorry - my bad.

Copernicus' model actually had more epicycles than Ptolemy's.

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Nope. From Wikipedia:

Copernicus' four years at Kraków played an important role in the development of his critical faculties and initiated his analysis of the logical contradictions in the two "official" systems of astronomy--Aristotle's theory of homocentric spheres, and Ptolemy's mechanism of eccentrics and epicycles--the surmounting and discarding of which constituted the first step toward the creation of Copernicus' own doctrine of the structure of the universe.


Not to mention the Catholic Church, as well as Luther (from the protestant reformation), at the time frowned upon Copernicus' writings as heretical, and against scripture.

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Half right - while Luthre didn't take to Copernicus' theory, both Copernican than Galileo were held in high regard within the Vatican. From Thomas Schirrmacher's paper The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography?:

An open defence of the Copernican system was, in principle, without danger. The Ptolemaic system had been denied by many high officials and Jesuit astronomers even before Galileo was born. As the example of the Imperial Court astronomer, Johannes Kepler (1571–1630),16 proves, many of them followed the Copernican system.

‘The Jesuits themselves were more Copernican than Galileo was; it is now well recognized that the reason why Chinese astronomy advanced more rapidly than European astronomy was simply because Jesuit missionaries communicated to them their Copernican views.’

‘While Martin Luther called the author of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium [i.e. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543)] a “fool”, which will turn “the whole art of Astronomiae upside down”, the book had not been fought by the Vatican. It was seen as a “mathematical hypothesis”, but had already been used as an aid in astronomical calculations for a long time. Only some time after leading Jesuit scientists like Pater Clavius had agreed to the trustworthiness of Galileo’s observations, did Copernicus and his followers become “suspicious”.’

The book by Copernicus was not placed on the Vatican Index19 until 1616 to 1620 and was readmitted to the public after some minor changes.20 Only Galileo’s Dialogo remained on the Index from 1633 till 1837.21


And again, from Wikipedia:

Arthur Koestler, in his popular book The Sleepwalkers, asserted that Copernicus' book had not been widely read on its first publication. This claim was trenchantly criticised by Edward Rosen, and has been decisively disproved by Owen Gingerich, who examined every surviving copy of the first two editions and found copious marginal notes by their owners throughout many of them. Gingerich published his conclusions in 2004 in The Book Nobody Read.

It has been much debated why it was not until six decades after Spina and Tolosani's attacks on Copernicus's work that the Catholic Church took any official action against it. Proposed reasons have included the personality of Galileo Galilei and the availability of evidence such as telescope observations.


Again, it's important to remember that what Galileo and Copernicus were up against was not the church per se, but the Aristotelian academic establishment. The problem was that the church was in some quarters wedded to this establishment and its Ptolemaic astronomy. This is much like today, where much of the church has modified it's reading of scripture to suit modern 'scientific' tastes. Dr. Noel Weeks writes:

Somewhere in this sort of discussion poor Galileo is always dragged in. Yet if we want to learn from history we should at least begin with good history. There is nothing particularly Christian about Aristotelian cosmology. In fact there are points at which it cannot be reconciled with the Bible. How did the church find itself in the position of defending Aristotelian cosmology against the new Copernican cosmology? It found itself in that position because it accepted the argument of Aquinas that the biblical texts which contradicted Aristotle should not be pressed as the Bible was not written in technical philosophical language. Moses spoke the language of his day. This is not to say that the church should have accepted readily the new astronomy. In its neo-Pythagorean mysticism it was no more biblical than Aristotle was. Those who want to say that the Bible is written in the popular language of its day and should not be pressed where it differs from modern philosophical-scientific structures cannot claim to have learnt from the Galileo affair. They are merely repeating the arguments that helped to put the church in that situation.

~The Hermeneutical Problem of Genesis 1–11, Themelios 4(1):12–19, September 1978.




I could ask you why didn't it happen soon after Christianity became the dominant cultural influence in Europe? Why spend nearly a thousand years in the dark and middle ages?

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The 'Dark Ages' are a myth - there was much progress in this period. I'll cite sources later.

The Church had real authority starting around the 5th and 6th century. Why was it that Islam, and not Christianity, became the forefront in science and technology?

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In the case of Islam, nearly all of their advancement - both culturally and scientifically - was driven by the cultures they overran, defeated, and subjugated. It was far and away the Christians and Jews of these conquered lands that caused 'Islamic Civilization' to flower. This also explains why, after a rather brief period of such ascendency, that Islamic cultures the world over went into a decline from which they have yet to emerge. Over time, as a result of persecution, religiously enforced 'Dhimmi' status and other indignities visited upon 'infidels', these cultures slowly withered, died and gave way to Islamic hegemony.

Islam's preservation and passing along into Europe the works of Aristotle and other Greeks is a prime example; Islam simply preserved and passed it along, never making much use of it themselves. Similarly, while Algebra owes some of its early development to Islam, it was never really put to any practical use until European civilization got ahold of it.

#162 larrywj2

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:08 AM

Whe writer of the Genesis account had no concept of the size and scope of the world, only of the world they knew...horizon to horizon. (Beyond this point...there be dragons- old map saying)

The Hebrew 'eretz' should be translated 'land' not 'earth'(as in our modern day concept of a spherical world)

It was a massive local flood that wiped out the world as they knew it.

There is no physical evidence for a global flood in recent geological history, especially history that would have included mankind.

Peace

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The Bible is inspired by God. Was God confused about the size and scope of the Earth He created and the flood He caused?

#163 wombatty

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:12 AM


Copernicus' model actually had more epicycles than Ptolemy's.

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Nope. From Wikipedia:

Copernicus' four years at Kraków played an important role in the development of his critical faculties and initiated his analysis of the logical contradictions in the two "official" systems of astronomy--Aristotle's theory of homocentric spheres, and Ptolemy's mechanism of eccentrics and epicycles--the surmounting and discarding of which constituted the first step toward the creation of Copernicus' own doctrine of the structure of the universe.

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My bad again; you're right on this one. From the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's webpage on Copernicus

Most scholars believe that the reason Copernicus rejected Ptolemaic cosmology was because of Ptolemy's equant. They assume this because of what Copernicus wrote in the Commentariolus:

Yet the widespread [planetary theories], advanced by Ptolemy and most other [astronomers], although consistent with the numerical [data], seemed likewise to present no small difficulty. For these theories were not adequate unless they also conceived certain equalizing circles, which made the planet appear to move at all times with uniform velocity neither on its deferent sphere nor about its own [epicycle's] center…Therefore, having become aware of these [defects], I often considered whether there could perhaps be found a more reasonable arrangement of circles, from which every apparent irregularity would be derived while everything in itself would move uniformly, as is required by the rule of perfect motion” (MW 81).

As the rejection of the equant suggests a return to the Aristotelian demand for true uniform circular motion of the heavenly bodies, it is unlikely that Copernicus adopted the heliocentric model because philosophies popular among Renaissance humanists like Neoplatonism and Hermetism compelled him in that direction Nor should we attribute Copernicus's desire for uniform circular motions to an aesthetic need, for this idea was philosophical not aesthetic, and Copernicus's replacing the equant with epicyclets made his system more complex than Ptolemy's. Most importantly, we should bear in mind what Swerdlow and Neugebauer asserted:

Copernicus arrived at the heliocentric theory by a careful analysis of planetary models — and as far as is known, he was the only person of his age to do so — and if he chose to adopt it, he did so on the basis of an equally careful analysis.


And from Wikipedia's page on Deferent & Epicycle page:

When Copernicus transformed Earth-based observations to heliocentric coordinates, he was confronted with an entirely new problem. The Sun-centered positions displayed a cyclical motion with respect to time but without retrograde loops in the case of the outer planets. In principle, the heliocentric motion was simpler but with new subtleties due to the yet-to-be-discovered elliptical shape of the orbits. Another complication was caused by a problem that Copernicus never solved: correctly accounting for the motion of the Earth in the coordinate transformation. In keeping with past practice, Copernicus used the deferent/epicycle model in his theory but his epicycles were small and were called “epicyclets”.

In the Ptolemaic system the models for each of the planets were different and so it was with Copernicus’ initial models. As he worked through the mathematics, however, Copernicus discovered that his models could be combined in a unified system. Furthermore, if they were scaled so that Earth’s orbit was the same in all of them, the ordering of the planets we recognize today literally fell out of the math. Mercury orbited closest to the Sun and the rest of the planets fell into place in order outward, arranged in distance by their periods of revolution.

Whether or not Copernicus’ models were simpler than Ptolemy’s is moot. Copernicus eliminated Ptolemy’s somewhat-maligned equant but at a cost of additional epicycles. Various 16th-century books based on Ptolemy and Copernicus use about equal numbers of epicycles. The idea that Copernicus used only 34 circles in his system comes from his own statement in a preliminary unpublished sketch called the Commentariolus. By the time he published De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, he had added more circles. Counting the total number is difficult, but estimates are that he created a system just as complicated, or even more so. The popular total of about 80 circles for the Ptolemaic system seems to have appeared in 1898. It may have been inspired by the non-Ptolemaic system of Girolamo Fracastoro, who used either 77 or 79 orbs in his system inspired by Eudoxus of Cnidus.

Copernicus’ theory was at least as accurate as Ptolemy’s but never achieved the stature and recognition of Ptolemy’s theory. In scarcely more than a hundred years, Copernicus would be overcome by events set in motion by Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei. Copernicus’ work provided explanations for phenomena like retrograde motion, but really didn’t prove that the planets actually orbited the Sun.

Ptolemy’s and Copernicus’ theories proved the durability and adaptability of the deferent/epicycle device for representing planetary motion. The deferent/epicycle models worked as well as they did because of the extraordinary orbital stability of the solar system. Either theory could be used today and might still be in use had Isaac Newton not invented Physics and the Calculus.


So, while Copernicus got us on the path of heliocentricity, as you pointed out, we had to wait until Kepler realized that planetary orbits were elliptical, not circular to get rid of the epicycles.

More later...

#164 wombatty

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:13 AM

The Bible is inspired by God.  Was God confused about the size and scope of the Earth He created and the flood He caused?

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Excellent point Larry. :lol:

#165 larrywj2

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:31 AM

What about fish, penguins, seals, dolphins and whales?


Only land dwelling organisms were in danger.

And what about other people that had boats?  Noah can't have been the only one.

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Actually, regarding the Bible, there is likely to have been no reason for anybody to have a boat. Possibly a small craft for shore fishing. But anything larger is unllikely. At the time (Biblically) it appears the land masses of Earth were probably only one continent. There was plenty of furtile land and a habitable climate throughout the entire land mass. Venturing far onto the ocean would have been uneeded and fruitless.

Side note. If Noah warned his neighbors of a flood, there would have been little reference point for them, if any. Biblically, it is possible there was never a rain prior to the flood.

#166 wombatty

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 06:45 PM

I'm just going to leisurely 'nibble' on your posts over the next few days (as opposed to 'swallowing them whole') - primarily because I'm feeling a bit lazy :D

Onward then....

I agree that the universe is ordered, and obeys that order, but I don't see it as necessary to conduct science. Science is a method to understand the universe. If the universe was not ordered we could still do science, it might be completely useless or worse, but we could still do it - assuming that we could still do experiments under a non-ordered universe.

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I think the notion that we could do experiments in such a universe is problematic in that we couldn't be sure whether our perceptions of reality - or reality itself for that matter - were reliable. That aside, about the only thing we could learn from such experiments is that the universe is unordered; e.g. water would boil at a different temperature from one hour to the next.

The last paper strikes me as the most unnerving. I just skimmed it, but I did read/skim both what little was left on the other articles before and after it. The article before states that we determined the age of the Sun through meteorites. I know this is simply not true, it is done by the amount of hydrogen and helium in the Sun; as the Sun is powered by fusion of H to He.

[...]

I don't mean to dilute the original paper you wanted me to read, but just skimming on what little bit I do know about the previous and subsequent papers are not reassuring.

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Indeed? Allow me to restore your faith in Dr. Danny Faulkner (author of the article) :P . From the Nobel Prize website's page on the Sun:

Today we know that Lord Kelvin was wrong and the geologists and evolutionary biologists were right. Radioactive dating of meteorites shows that the sun is 4.6 billion years old.


From Universe Today's How Old is the Sun webpage:

So how do astronomers know the age of the Sun (and the rest of the Solar System) with such accuracy? In short… meteorites. Astronomers have collected fallen meteorites around the planet, and calculated that they all formed within a few million years of one another.

They use a technique called radiometric dating. Since the decay rate of elements is very well known, they just calculated the ratio of uranium to lead, for example, in a meteorite sample. By comparing these ratios to the known decay rate of uranium, scientists are able to calculate when the meteorite formed.

And this is how we know how old the Sun is.


This is not to say the Sun cannot or is not dated as you claim. For instance, this is from Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, University of Illinois James B. Kaler's page on the subject:

Astronomers have been able to date the Sun by applying the theory of stellar structure and evolution to data that describe the interior of the Sun found through the study of solar oscillations. The Sun is dated at 4.5 billion years old, satisfyingly close to the 4.56 billion year age of the Solar System as found from the study of meteorites.

In any case, the Sun is indeed often dated using meteorites (as they are assumed to be primordial remnants from the presumed accretion disk that formed the Sun and solar system).

The paper after it concludes that dinosaurs were circular reasoned into extinction 65 million years ago. And to show this provided an example where they dated some tracts to the cretaceous period, but then reanalyzed the tracts and came up with early tertiary. This type of embellishment is similar to the 1.5% range of nuclear decay rates discussed in the third paper. Early tertiary is right after the K-T boundary, it is the difference between 66 million years and 64 million years. Such ranges are not detrimental to main-stream science; and finding remote, isolated, dinosaur tracts (I know the paper also said those tracts turned out to be mammalian) after the K-T boundary (which they have found, fyi) do not destroy the millions/billions years framework, nor does it destroy the theory of evolution via common decent.

[...]

I don't mean to dilute the original paper you wanted me to read, but just skimming on what little bit I do know about the previous and subsequent papers are not reassuring.

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Oard's purpose in that article was not to debunk any particular age or even evolution per se. His point is to highlight the arbitrary nature of the dating process. If they think the tracks belong to a reptile, they date it X. Later on, when the tracks are interpreted as belonging to mammals, it is dated Y. If the differences in these dates are within the margins of error, why the debate and controversy among evolutionists themselves when changes to these dates are proposed?

I didn't realize that RATE found systematic differences. Although I wonder if those differences are that of 1.5%, or on the factor of millions of folds higher than standard decay rates.

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I'll dig up some material on this subject from my RATE volumes for a later post. As I recall, the differences were rather significant.

#167 wombatty

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 07:06 PM

I have no doubt the structure in question is ruffly 1/40 the size of the Grand Canyon, I just don't think that it shows that the Grand Canyon was carved out of a massive flood. If only that Mt. Saint Helens was not a flood but a volcanic eruption.

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We'll just have to disagree here. Nevertheless, I have some other examples that will be more to your taste.

First up, Burlingame Canyon near Walla Walla, Washington:

Posted Image Posted Image

A small drainage ditch, like the one pictured (at top of page), was turned into the impressive canyon, well over 30 m (100 ft) deep, shown in the three other images. Layering evident in these photos was revealed as floodwaters cut through the ground.

Posted Image

...a small-scale analogy to Grand Canyon, which was observed to form in less than six days.  It measures 450 m (1,500 ft) long, up to 35 m (120 ft) deep, and again as wide, winding through a hillside.

In 1904, the Gardena Farming District constructed a series of irrigation canals to provide water to this normally rather arid high desert area.  In March 1926, winds collected tumbleweeds at a concrete constriction along one of the canals situated on an elevated mesa, choking the flow of water, which at 2 m3 (80 cubic ft) per second was unusually high due to spring rains.  To clean out the obstruction, engineers diverted the flow into a diversion ditch leading to nearby Pine Creek.  Before this, the ditch was rather small, at no location greater than 3 m (10 ft) deep and 1.8 m (6 ft) wide, and often with no water in it at all.

The abnormally high flow crowded into the ditch and careened along until it cascaded down the mesa in an impressive waterfall.  Suddenly, under this extreme pressure and velocity, the underlying stratum gave way and headward erosion began in earnest.  What once was an insignificant ditch became a gully.  The gully became a gulch.  The gulch became a miniature Grand Canyon.

The eroded strata consisted of rather soft sand and clay which was saturated by the recent rains.  The dewatering of the saturated sediments into the now-open ditch enhanced the erosion.  The rapidly moving water could dislodge the particles and carry them downstream, leaving underlying sediments vulnerable to further erosion.  In total, these six days of runaway ditch erosion removed around 150,000 m3 (five million cubic ft) of silt, sand and rock.

Yes, canyons can form rapidly.  A good maxim to remember is, ‘It either takes a little water and a long time, or a lot of water and a short time.’  But then, we’ve never seen a canyon form slowly with just a little water.  Whenever scientific observations are made, it’s a lot of water and a short time.


Next, there is Providence Canyon near the town of Lumpkin in southwest Georgia:

Posted Image


Posted Image

1) View looking into a part of the canyon shows it disappearing deeply below the cover of trees. An old photograph

(2) shows the canyon before foliage had taken root. The small stream running through the base represents only a tiny portion of the water which during storms has ravaged the sediment, stripping it away to leave this colossal hole in the ground. What began as tiny furrows in the ground due to poor farming and land practices has resulted in a landscape that is mute testimony to the power of water over a short time period.

Downstream (3), the river reveals large amounts of sediment which has run off as drainage from the canyon area. Had the history of this site not been known it seems very likely that a much older age would have been assigned to it.


Many people believe canyons take a long time to form. In North America, though, there is a canyon that simply wasn’t there 150 years ago.

Providence Canyon is near the town of Lumpkin in southwest Georgia. Where there were once rolling hills covered with untouched pine forest, there is now a deep chasm with nine finger-like canyons. They range in size up to 50 metres (160 feet ) deep, 180 metres (600 feet) wide and 400 metres (1,300 feet) long.


[...]

Growing canyon forced church to move
Historical records show that the local Providence United Methodist church opened in 1832.1 The church had to be moved in 1859 because of the danger of being undermined by the growing canyon.

Heavy rainfall during storms removed vast amounts of sand and silt from the canyon walls to the floor. These were then washed down the braided Turner’s Creek into the Chattahoochee River. On the way, the sediment blocked off the end of neighbouring valleys, forming two lakes known as North and South Glory Holes.

In the 1940s, farmers had to watch every little ditch in case it turned into another gully. They said the soil melted like sugar and ran like water.

Each year, most farmers lost some animals and farm equipment over the canyon rim. Once anything went over it was abandoned because recovery was extremely difficult.

Locals spoke of lying in bed on cold winter nights during heavy rain and hearing bangs that sounded like cannon fire, as big chunks of earth fell from the steep-sided walls into the canyons.

Scientists have studied cores to find out how quickly sediments were deposited in the lakes from debris washed down the creek. After they had correlated the core sediment layers with the heavy rainfall records taken at Lumpkin, they tentatively estimated that canyon development started in 1846. It was only years later that the church had to be shifted to the other side of the road because the canyon had come too close!

Formation of a state park

By 1971, 448 hectares (1,108 acres)18 in the immediate area were set aside to become the Providence Canyon State Park to preserve and protect this unique area.2 The park is now known as one of the seven natural wonders of Georgia and is often called Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon.

Visitors are able to walk through nine of the canyons that are part of the day access area, or around the trail that skirts the rim where views into the canyon are spectacular.

While this canyon didn't form nearly as fast as either Burlingame Canyon or the one at Mt. St. Helen's, the timescale is well within a creationist framework.

cont. in next post...

#168 Javabean

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 07:12 PM

Only land dwelling organisms were in danger.

Penguins need land to survive.

And unfortunately the turbulent waters that have been described to me would kill the fish, dolphins and whales...as well as sharks, pretty much everything in the ocean would be dead.

Actually, regarding the Bible, there is likely to have been no reason for anybody to have a boat.  Possibly a small craft for shore fishing.  But anything larger is unllikely.


But this is just an assumption of what life was like. Do you have any evidence to support this?

At the time (Biblically) it appears the land masses of Earth were probably only one continent.  There was plenty of furtile land and a habitable climate throughout the entire land mass.  Venturing far onto the ocean would have been uneeded and fruitless. 


Kind of curious, where do you get that all of the land masses of the Earth were 1, from the Bible? I've never asked before so I though I'd ask now.

Thanks!

Side note.  If Noah warned his neighbors of a flood, there would have been little reference point for them, if any.  Biblically, it is possible there was never a rain prior to the flood.

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Well I think he did warn his neighbors, but they laughed at him. Here is another question. How can you have fertile fields without rain? Water saturated air is not going to supply the roots with the water they need.

#169 wombatty

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 07:23 PM

cont. from last post...

Finally, we have Canyon Lake Gorge:

Posted Image Posted Image

Canyon Lake Gorge was formed when Canyon Lake in Texas overflowed five years ago, and a torrent of water cut a gash in the ground of what was a nondescript valley covered in mesquite and oak trees. The overflow was caused when the upper part of the Guadalupe River catchment received nearly 900 mm (35 in) of rain in a week. The runoff poured into an already above-normal Canyon Lake, which caused the spillway to overflow. The discharge at the peak of the flood was about 1,900 m3/s (67,000 ft3/s). The spillway’s normal flow is 9.9 m3/s (350 ft3/s). Over the space of three days the rushing water gouged out a canyon 2.4 km (1.5 mi) long and up to 24 m (80 ft) deep. This canyon now sits behind the emergency spillway of Canyon Lake.


Here's a humorous little bit from the article:

[Geologists] have acknowledged that only short periods of time were needed to carve canyons such as Canyon Lake Gorge (i.e. canyons which they can’t deny have been formed quickly, because they have observed it themselves). However, they still believe that other canyons, which were not observed while being formed, needed long periods of time to form. Certainly they’ve substantially lessened their estimated ages for some geological features, e.g. the ‘long-age’ timeframe for the formation of the Grand Canyon has been reduced dramatically from 50–70 Ma to 6 Ma. Nevertheless, millions of years of erosion are still invoked to explain the Grand Canyon despite a lack of evidence to suggest it (other than the existence of the Canyon, of course).5 Why do they persist in invoking millions of years when they acknowledge most of the erosion happened through catastrophic flooding? Simply this: millions of years are the foundation of uniformitarian geology.

The news article spells out the significance rather well: ‘Geologic time has a different meaning when it comes to Canyon Lake Gorge. You could say it dates to around the end of the Enron era.’ If this is the case with geological formations we have observed forming, why is the orthodox meaning of ‘geologic time’ (i.e. millions of years) necessary to explain geological formations we haven’t observed forming?



#170 Javabean

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 08:10 PM

cont. from last post...

Finally, we have Canyon Lake Gorge:

Posted Image Posted Image
Here's a humorous little bit from the article:

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Wouldn't the type of soil the water was cutting make the most difference in how quickly a canyon is dug out? With all of those trees growing around that canyon tells me that the soil was just that soil, and not sedimentary rock.

#171 wombatty

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:25 AM

I'm only aware of two frauds in the history of evolution, Piltdown man and that crazy story about some farmer decapitating animals and re-attaching them and calling it a transitional species. The latter was exposed as a hoax almost immediately by evolutionists, and Piltdown man only ever got accepted as evidence due to a lack of real evidence so scientists were unsure what a transitional species of modern humans would look like and because of the rivalry between countries to find the transitional species that fit their hypothesis. And after a while Piltdown man was exposed as a fraud by evolutionists when our technology was better and we were able to get a more modern analysis of the skull, which turned out to be a human skull with some chimp bones thrown in there chemically treated to give the impression of age. I'm not aware of any other fraud, and please don't bring up Nebraska man, it is a straw-man.

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I wouldn’t say that Nebraska Man is a strawman, it’s just not a case of fraud. Rather, it was a case of the gross credulity of a Darwinian establishment that was too eager to find ‘proof’ of Darwin’s theory. Thus, we were treated to the specter of scientists squeezing a ton of ‘fact’ out of an ounce of misinterpreted evidence. Darwinius masillae (aka IDA) & Ardipithicus (aka Ardi aka 'The Link') fall into this same general category as well.

That aside, here’s a sampling of the fraud I was talking about:

1) Haeckel's embryos - enough said.

2) Peppered Moths - of which University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne lamented 'that the peppered moth story, which was ‘the prize horse in our stable,’ has to be thrown out. He says the realization gave him the same feeling as when he found out that Santa Claus was not real.' More here, there & everywhere.

3) Archaeoraptor, prominently featured in a 1999 issue of National Geographic , was later exposed as a fraud.

4) Professor Reiner Potsch von Zieten dating scandal. From a Guardian news article , on the scandal:

However, the professor's 30-year-old academic career has now ended in disgrace after the revelation that he systematically falsified the dates on this and numerous other "stone age" relics.
Yesterday his university in Frankfurt announced the professor had been forced to retire because of numerous "falsehoods and manipulations". According to experts, his deceptions may mean an entire tranche of the history of man's development will have to be rewritten.

"Anthropology is going to have to completely revise its picture of modern man between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago," said Thomas Terberger, the archaeologist who discovered the hoax. "Prof Protsch's work appeared to prove that anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals had co-existed, and perhaps even had children together. This now appears to be rubbish."

The scandal only came to light when Prof Protsch was caught trying to sell his department's entire chimpanzee skull collection to the United States.
An inquiry later established that he had also passed off fake fossils as real ones and had plagiarised other scientists' work.


5) The Midwife Toad fraud :

During the 1920s an Austrian scientist named Paul Kammerer designed an experiment to prove that Lamarckian inheritance was possible. His experiment involved a species called the Midwife Toad.

Most toads mate in water. As a result they have black, scaly bumps on their hindlimbs that help them hang onto each other while they mate. The Midwife Toad, by contrast, mates on land and lacks these bumps. Kammerer wanted to demonstrate that if the Midwife Toad was forced to mate in water, it would eventually acquire the same bumps that naturally water-mating toads possessed — and that the toad’s offspring would inherit these bumps via Lamarckian inheritance.

Kammerer filled a fishtank full of water, placed some Midwife Toads in it, and then waited as generations of toads were born and died. Finally he announced success. A generation of Midwife Toads had been born that possessed black scaly marks on their hindlimbs. This appeared to prove that Lamarckian inheritance was possible.

The scientific community was stunned. If true, Kammerer’s results would have turned the entire edifice of evolutionary theory on its head. Scientists would have had to reevaluate everything they knew about the process of inheritance.

However, when Dr. G.K. Noble, Curator of Reptiles at the American Museum of Natural History, examined Kammerer’s famous toads, he found something very unusual. The toads did not possess black, scaly marks on their hindlimbs. Instead, they displayed subcutaneous inkspots where someone had injected black ink beneath the surface of their skin.

When the fraud was unveiled in 1926, Kammerer was humiliated. He insisted that he had not injected ink into the toads and suggested that one of his lab assistants might have done it.


Dr. Jerry Bergman has a couple of good papers that survey the general subject.

#172 digitalartist

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:45 AM

The Bible is inspired by God.  Was God confused about the size and scope of the Earth He created and the flood He caused?

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When the world was supposedly created by God, man did not yet exist so there is no direct observation of the event and in Genesis there is no indication that God gave anyone from Adam to Moses any kind of vision nor God describing the creation itself. Therefore, the only indication of the creation is what Moses wrote and even he does not indicate it to be divinely inspired.

So to answer your question, If there was a God, no he wasn't confused, but there is no indication that information about the size of the world was passed down to anyone.

#173 digitalartist

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 11:00 AM

Only land dwelling organisms were in danger.

Actually, regarding the Bible, there is likely to have been no reason for anybody to have a boat.  Possibly a small craft for shore fishing.  But anything larger is unllikely.  At the time (Biblically) it appears the land masses of Earth were probably only one continent.  There was plenty of furtile land and a habitable climate throughout the entire land mass.  Venturing far onto the ocean would have been uneeded and fruitless. 

Side note.  If Noah warned his neighbors of a flood, there would have been little reference point for them, if any.  Biblically, it is possible there was never a rain prior to the flood.

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About those land dwell organisms. Since, If I remember right, God decided to eliminate all but Noah and his family because they had become corrupt, how was that possible? Animals supposedly act, react and live their lives according to how God made them. Now since they do not have the reasoning power of humans, they can not choose good or evil, they can do nothing that was not instilled in them by God. So they could not actually have become corrupt. So I guess God was just tired of having them around.

Seafaring: http://www.dataxinfo.../essays/1.2.htm

In part it says:

There is sufficient evidence to indicate that boats of one form or another were in use by 2500 bc, some 4500 years ago, if not earlier and that future archaeological work will not only bear this out but give us more evidence of the form of construction and their usage from which our knowledge of seafaring and trade routes, particularly those by sea, can be increased from the present fragmented sketches that we have today.


That's about the time the story of the ark is supposed to happen. Since we are talking about seafaring, we are not talking about just off shore fishing but longer distances at sea so a need for larger than small fishing boats. However if there were just fishing boats, those on them would be experienced sailors and could easily have survived at sea for a year or longer just on the fish they could catch.

Plate tectonics show that the earth did not have just one land mass 4500 years ago. Using the known movement rates a single land mass would have been much farther in the past.

#174 wombatty

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 03:00 PM

Wouldn't the type of soil the water was cutting make the most difference in how quickly a canyon is dug out?  With all of those trees growing around that canyon tells me that the soil was just that soil, and not sedimentary rock.

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The type of material that the water cut through is definitely relevant. As to your contention that all that was cut was soil, it depends how deep the soil is in the area as compared to the depth of the canyon (80 ft). Further, trees don't need 80 ft of soil to grow. In any case, here is a bit from the Canyon Lake Gorge home page:

The Canyon Lake Gorge is a beautiful and natural insight into the geology and hydrologic dynamics of Glen Rose limestone in Comal County near Canyon Lake. The Gorge was created, or "cut" when floodwaters escaped over the Spillway at Canyon Lake during the Flood Event of 2002.


Moreover, depending on how soon after the Flood the Grand Canyon formed, the sediment through which it was cut might have been only partially lithified.

#175 larrywj2

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:37 PM

Penguins need land to survive.

You are correct, penguins must have had an ancestor on the Ark. My bad, I read right passed them, poor little guys.

And unfortunately the turbulent waters that have been described to me would kill the fish, dolphins and whales...as well as sharks, pretty much everything in the ocean would be dead.
But this is just an assumption of what life was like.  Do you have any evidence to support this?


The flood story does not indicate that the ocean was nearly turbulent enough to end all life in the ocean. I have no doubt there was loss. But God was clear in His intent and does not miss His target (He uses the Ominscope :lol: ). As for what life was like: When? pre-during-post-flood?

Kind of curious, where do you get  that all of the land masses of the Earth were 1, from the Bible?  I've never asked before so I though I'd ask now.Thanks!

"God said, "Let the waters below the sky be gathered together in one place and let dry land appear." And so it was."
- Genesis 1,9

This does not give any ratio of size, so speculation is permissable. Clearly the water was all together in one place. There is also zero discussion of water travel pre-flood. Word searching I found 70 boats, 138 vessels, 394 ships, in the Bible. All post flood, except the Ark.

Some have tried to claim that the "waters" were not a reference to the ocean but to the atmosphpere, bacause the atmosphere is referenced elswhere in similar manner. But when you place the next verse for context:

"God called the dry land 'Earth', and the waters gathered together he called 'Seas'. God saw that it was good."
- Genesis 1,10

It seems the waters must be the oceans.

Well I think he did warn his neighbors, but they laughed at him.  Here is another question.  How can you have fertile fields without rain?  Water saturated air is not going to supply the roots with the water they need.

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5-there was not yet on the earth any shrub of the fields, nor had any plant yet sprung up, for Yahweh God had not made it rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the earth,
6-"but a mist went up from the earth and watered the surface of the earth."
- Genesis 2,5-6

I must admit there is no proof of no rain prior to the flood. But it does seem likely with the lack of mention.

7 Then Yahweh God formed Man, dust drawn from the clay, and breathed into his nostrils a breath of life and Man became alive with breath.
8 God planted a garden in Eden in the east and there he placed Man whom he had created.
9 Yahweh God caused to grow from the ground every kind of tree that is pleasing to see and good to eat, also the tree of Life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
10 A river flowed from Eden to water the garden and from there it divided to form four main streams.

Gen 7-10 seems to open the possibility of artesian springs. In the previous two verses it is clear there has been no rain yet. Now we have rivers. Artesian water supply is an appropriate assumption.

#176 wombatty

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 06:38 PM

I've thought about this a lot, and although I do think that some negative connotations towards research opportunities shouldn't be dismissed, I'll agree that a more neutral tone yielding a conversation about the flaws and merits of creation science should be explored. The whole debate is largely unscientific from what I've seen. Bringing back creation science into science during the EvC debate with a mind set of mutual discovery might provide promising results, and would probably do good to tear down the mental barriers society has placed before the two models.

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I agree completely. In my 'ideal world', the first thing that would have to happen is for government to gets its nose out of both science and education as it has a very corrupting influence (e.g. ClimateGate). This would resolve much of the animosity inherent in the current debate. This would also likely foster an environment (or least least make more possible) where scientific organizations, journals and research programs of all points of view could flourish and have collegial interchange. This would also have the beneficial side-effect of the various schools of thought 'keeping one another honest'. In this, I'm not thinking of integrity or honesty so much as the balance provided by various points of view - a free marketplace of ideas, so to speak. Each school of thought would be useful to the debate at least in the sense that one would be prone to asking questions that wouldn't even occur to the other and thus 'force' discussion on the issue. I think this could possibly 'speed up' progress in that ideas that would not otherwise be exposed to rigorous scrutiny of these 'unasked questions' would then have to endure it. Pass or fail, progress would be more likely. Science is just as much about asking the right questions as it is finding the right answers.

An environment like this would also provide a powerful tool to teach and exercise critical thinking skills (especially among students). Speaking for myself, I would students exposed to the work of the best minds of evolution, creation and ID theory. If I were a teacher, at the end of such a class, I would require my students to right a term paper making the case for their own preferred point of view. I would not grade them on their agreement with either my own perspective or that of the reigning paradigm. I would, however, require them to make a reasoned and rigorous case. They would have to demonstrate an understanding of and interaction with the other points of view and grapple with the best and up-to-date case for each. As a YEC, I would give an A+ to an evolutionist student who fulfilled these requirements and an F to a YEC student who didn't (and vice-versa, of course). It would also be a useful exercise to have some classroom debates where each student would be required to rigorously represent his own point of view, then also that of the opposition. This would further demonstrate his understanding of points of view other than his own.

These aren't just mere speculations, think of them as research opportunities  :lol:

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Well played, sir; well played :P

#177 wombatty

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 05:31 PM

I really don't see that line being crossed by science. Science depends on methodological naturalism, not philosophical naturalism. As to why methodological naturalism is preferred over others, it quite simply just works the best in explaining how the natural world works. You don't have to be an atheist to do well in science today, there are many scientists (about 40-50%) that self identify themselves as religious, most of them are Christian.

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I see this common claim as problematic. First, many of the pioneers of modern science were not only theists, but freely appealed to God and His presumed role as Creator/Designer (e.g. Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, etc.). The fact that men of such persuasion were so instrumental in launching the modern scientific enterprise should by itself dispel the notion that methodological naturalism is ‘the best way to do science’. (This is quite apart from whether or not Christianity was philosophically necessary for science).

Consider one concrete example from contemporary science: the Anthropic Principle. The fact that the Universe is ‘fine tuned’ for life is acknowledged by scientists of all stripes.

Sir Fred Hoyle:

Would you not say to yourself, "Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule." Of course you would . . . A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.

~Fred Hoyle, "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections." Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12


Sir James Jeans:

To my mind, the laws which nature obeys are less suggestive of those which a machine obeys in its motion than those which a musician obeys in writing a fugue, or a poet in composing a sonnet. The motions of electrons and atoms do not resemble those of the parts of a locomotive so much as those of the dancers in a cotillion. And if the “true essence of substances” is for ever unknowable, it does not matter whether the cotillion is danced at a ball in real life, or on a cinematograph scree, or in a story of Boccaccio. If all this is so, then the universe is best pictured, although still very imperfectly and inadequately, as consisting of pure thought, the though of what, for want of a wider word, we must describe as a mathematical thinker.

In the stately and sonorous diction of a bygone age, Bishop Berkeley summed up his philosophy in the words:

All the choir of heaven and the furniture of earth, in a word all those bodies which compose the might frame of the world, have not any substance without the mind...So long as they are not actually perceived by me, or do not exist in my mind, or that of any other created spirit, they must have no existence at all, or else subsist in the mind of some Eternal Spirit.

Modern science seems to me to lead, by a very different toad, to a not altogether dissimilar conclusion. Because of our different line of approach we have reached the last of the three above alternatives first, and the others appear unimportant by comparison. It does not matter whether objects “exist in my mind, or that of any other created spirit” or not; their objectivity arises from their subsisting “in the mind of some Eternal Spirit”.

~ The Mysterious Universe, 1930, pp. 147-148


Now the entropy of the universe has not yet reached its final maximum: we should not be thinking about it if it had,. It is still increasing rapidly, and so must have had a beginning; there must have been what we may describe as a “creation” at a time not infinitely remote.
If the universe is a universe of thought, then its creation must have been an act of thought. Indeed, the finiteness of time and space almost compel us, of themselves, to picture the creation as an act of thought; the determination of constants such as the radius of the universe and the number of electrons it contained imply thought, whose richness is measured by the immensity of these quantities. Time and space, which for the setting for the thought, must have come into being as part of this act. Primitive cosmologies pictured a creator working in space and time, forging the sun, moon and stars out of already existent raw material. Modern scientific theory compels us to think of the creator as working outside time and space, which are part of his creation, just as the artist is outside his canvas. “Nom in tempore, sed cum tempore, finixit Deus mundum.” Indeed, the doctrine dates back as far as Plato:

Time and heavens came into being at the same instant, in order that, if they were ever to dissolve, they might be dissolved together. Such was the mind and thought of God in the creation of time.

And yet, so little do we understand time that perhaps we ought to compare the whole of time to the act of creation, the materialization of the thought.

It may be objected that our whole argument is based on the assumption that the present mathematical interpretation of the physical world is in some way unique, and will prove to be final. To resume our metaphor, it may be said that to describe reality as a game of chess is only a convenient fiction: other fictions might describe the motions of the shadows equally well. The answer is that, so far as our present knowledge goes, other fictions would not describe them so fully, so simply, or so adequately.

~ The Mysterious Universe, 1930, pp. 154-155


To-day, there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like the a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter - not of course of our individual minds, but the mind in which the atoms out of which our individual minds have grown exist as thoughts.

~The Mysterious Universe, 1930, p. 158

Newton would have heartily agreed with Jeans here that we live in a non-mechanical reality. As Patricia Fara noted in her 2003 Science review of the book Isaac Newton by James Glieck:

Like most people, Newton was a complex person.  His Principia reads like impeccable logic; why, then, the “apparently arcane obsessions” with “alchemy, Solomon’s temple, early Christian heresies” and other diversions?  Gleick feels they fed directly into his cosmological theories.  He probably does not have the last word on Newton.  From Newton’s own pen, however, it is clear he saw the universe as the grand masterwork of the Biblical God.

Salvador Cordova has a recent post on a similar theme over at Uncommon Descent. Quoting Richard Henry:

“The ultimate cause of atheism, Newton asserted, is ‘this notion of bodies having, as it were, a complete, absolute and independent reality in themselves.’”
…
The 1925 discovery of quantum mechanics solved the problem of the Universe’s nature. Bright physicists were again led to believe the unbelievable — this time, that the Universe is mental.
…
The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual.

~ Richard Conn Henry
The Mental Universe: Nature Volume 436

[…]

Now we are beginning to see that quantum mechanics might actually exclude any possibility of mind-independent reality….

Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism.

~ Richard Conn Henry and Stephen R. Palmquist
Journal of Scientific Exploration Issue 21-3

There is much more at Salvador’s superb post; I highly recommend clicking over, reading it and following the links (fantastic job Salvador!).

Now, what have those in the scientific establishment - aside from a few, like the brave souls above - done with all of this? Well, by and large, they have latched onto the currently popular multi-verse hypothesis. Instead of conceding this powerful evidence of a conscious, intelligent Designer, they imagine a multiverse in which we live in the universe that drew the lucking number. This is the sum of Leonard Susskind’s book The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design. Sean Carrol’s new book From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time invokes the multiverse theory to explain the ‘arrow of time’.

And here is one more bit from Salvador's post:

I discovered this the hard way when I published my book The Physics of Immortality. The entire book is devoted to describing what the known laws of physics predict the far future of the universe will be like. Not once in the entire book do I use anything but the known physical laws, the laws of physics that are in all the textbooks, and which agree with all experiments conducted to date. Unfortunately, in the book I gave reasons for believing that the final state of the universe, a state outside of space and time, and not material should be identified with the Judeo-Christian God. (It would take a book to explain why!) My scientific colleagues, atheists to a man, were outraged. Even though the theory of the final state of the universe involved only known physics, my fellow physicists refused even to discuss the theory. If the known laws of physics imply that God exists, then in their opinion, this can only mean that the laws of physics have to be wrong. This past September, at a conference held at Windsor Castle, I asked the well known cosmologist Paul Davies what he thought of my theory. He replied that he could find nothing wrong with it mathematically, but he asked what justified my assumption that the known laws of physics were correct.

~ Frank Tipler
 in Uncommon Dissent

Apparently, Davies would rather appeal to potential ignorance than concede Tipler's rigorously mathematic & scientific conclusion.:mellow:

This is all very reminiscent of the denial that Francis Crick & Richard Dawkins engaged in within the field of biology:

Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.

~ Francis Crick (Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology and Medicine), “What Mad Pursuit,” 1990, p.138


Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.

~ The Blind Watchmaker, p. 1

What, pray tell, are these scientists doing appealing to unobservable, phantom entities like other universes in their 'scientific theories'? This is not the behavior of men employing methodological naturalism because it is the 'best way to do science'. If that were the case, they would recognize when ethodological naturalism has hit a brick wall have and would no qualms invoking intelligent agency. And they certainly wouldn't get overtly hostile to those whose minds are free enough to exercise such discernment. No, what we have here are men running scared from the evidence of their Creator staring them in the face. The Apostle Paul nailed it millennia ago:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to S@xual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Modern science is willfully blind, as Cornelius Hunter demonstrates in his book Science's Blind Spot

Science doesn't doesn't depend on methodological naturalism; materialists depend on the pretense of methodological naturalism to give them cover for their philosophical naturalism.

extra credit: Here are two good papers on methodological naturalism by Alvin Plantinga

#178 larrywj2

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 11:54 AM

When the world was supposedly created by God, man did not yet exist so there is no direct observation of the event and in Genesis there is no indication that God gave anyone from Adam to Moses any kind of vision nor God describing the creation itself.  Therefore, the only indication of the creation is what Moses wrote and even he does not indicate it to be divinely inspired.

So to answer your question, If there was a God, no he wasn't confused, but there is no indication that information about the size of the world was passed down to anyone.

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Moses wrote what God told (inspired) him to. The basic idea is that the various authors were taking dictation. So the question is still; was God confused about what He created? God did not need to indicate the size of Earth. He said He covered it with water. Size is irrelavent. God said He covered, we accept it.

#179 larrywj2

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:36 PM

About those land dwell organisms.  Since, If I remember right, God decided to eliminate all but Noah and his family because they had become corrupt, how was that possible?  Animals supposedly act, react and live their lives according to how God made them.  Now since they do not have the reasoning power of humans, they can not choose good or evil, they can do nothing that was not instilled in them by God.  So they could not actually have become corrupt.  So I guess God was just tired of having them around.


The animals were given to man, we have dominion. The loss of them was our fault.

In part it says: 
That's about the time the story of the ark is supposed to happen.  Since we are talking about seafaring, we are not talking about just off shore fishing but longer distances at sea so a need for larger than small fishing boats.  However if there were just fishing boats, those on them would be experienced sailors and could easily have survived at sea for a year or longer just on the fish they could catch.


There were many grammar and spelling errors, leading me to wonder of the efforts and accuracy in the research. Regardless, there are many that speculate on when seafaring began. The speculation is necessarily related to the history of the region in question. Basically we rely on local populations to define their history. This can lead to flexible timelines.

Plate tectonics show that the earth did not have just one land mass 4500 years ago.  Using the known movement rates a single land mass would have been much farther in the past.

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Those indications rely on the rates continuing at current in the past. Flood theory claims those plates are moving as a result of the geological activity caused during the flood. Both theories indicate the same pattern of movement we see today.




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