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Question For Creationists

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#81 wombatty



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Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:04 AM

Do you mean Pascal's Wager? If so, I'm not sure why this would lead you believe he was a YEC as Pascal's Wager has to do with God's existence not evolution vs. creation. I'm not familiar with any 'Pascalian' arguments in favor of YEC or against long ages or evolution (correct me if I'm wrong here).
From the sound of it, he might well have been confused at your drawing such a conclusion from his explication of Pascal's Wager - a classic non-sequiter (yet another logical fallacy) if ever there was one. I don't know if he was a YEC or not, but the YECs I know are not at all bashful about it.

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A slight correction: Pascal's Wager isn't to do with th existence of God per se, but with whether it is a 'good bet' to believe that He does indeed exist and to then conduct one's life accordingly.

Perhaps the speaker was simply referring to the fact that, as best we can tell, Pascal was a YEC? From Ann Lamont's profile of Pascal:

Christian beliefs

In 1646, Pascal joined the Jansenists—a group of Catholics in France who believed as Calvin did on some doctrines, including salvation through God’s love and grace, rather than through good works. Pascal believed that ‘There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.’ Pascal wholeheartedly believed that the events described in the book of Genesis were actual historical events. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that Pascal believed ‘man’s wretchedness is explicable only as an effect of the Fall’ and that ‘For Pascal as for St Paul, Jesus Christ is the second Adam, inconceivable without the first.’

Now a committed Christian, Pascal continued his work in science and mathematics. Pascal’s experiments with the barometer proved the now familiar facts that atmospheric pressure (as shown by the height of the mercury in the barometer) decreases as altitude increases, and also changes as the weather changes. Pascal made a valuable contribution to developing both hydrostatics and hydrodynamics.6 He showed that the ‘pressure applied to a confined liquid is transmitted undiminished through the liquid in all directions, regardless of the area to which the pressure is applied.’ This is known as Pascal’s Law and is the principle behind the hydraulic press, which Pascal designed. During these experiments with fluids, Pascal invented the syringe.

Pascal also investigated the cycloid—the curve formed by a point on the circumference of a circle as the circle rolls along a straight line. Pascal’s discovery of many physical and mathematical properties of the cycloid was an important step towards the later development of calculus by others.

Now, if the speaker was seeking to 'prove' YEC by invoking Pascal, then he was committing the fallacy of appealing to authority. If, however, he was ciring Pascal to demonstrate that Christian/Biblical beliefs and/or philosophical presuppositions do not render one incapable of 'doing science' and thus a 'non-scientist' (as many evolutionists/atheists would have it), he was making a perfectly legitimate argument. Pascal was a birlliant man and a pioneer in mathematics and his Christian commitments hindered him in these pursuits not a bit.

If you wouldn't mind, could you provide more details of this encounter? I'm curious as to exactly what argument he was making.

#82 Ron


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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:42 PM

Can someone mention "your" and "you're" please?

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Hey!!!! It happens sometimes man :lol: That's what happens when you alternate between a regular keyboard and a laptop keyboard coupled with attempting to type beyond my skill-set speed :)

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