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Atheists; Do We Have A Right To Believe In God?

Benefits of belief in God?

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#41 Mike Summers

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 06:40 PM

People use how their actions affect each other to determine what is "right" and what is "wrong."  If something is detrimental to the well-being of the human species, it is considered wrong or "bad". If it is beneficial to the well-being of the human species, it is considered right or "good". This can apply for other species, as many people take into account animal rights. So far as people are concerned about right and wrong, it seems to be the source of general moral belief(especially in secular countries). Now, this does not agree with Christianity on some things and I do not think it ever will. Many things are not considered good or bad in this world view. Some gray areas include h*m*s*xuality, polygamy, and P*rn*gr*phy. For example, if someone makes a donation to a charity, this is "good" because it is helpful to the well-being of the species and individuals. If someone rapes women, it is "bad" because go "it is detrimental to the well-being of the species and individuals. This has a lot to do with the fact that altruism helps people and many other species of animals to survive as a whole. I expect that you will not agree with this at all, but I was just stating where "good" and "bad" can originate aside from what was written in the bible. he ideas propogated

Evolution like all human developed theories is in constant flux and revision right down to the unique individual that believes it. 

Years  ago there was a spin off  from evolution called social Darwinism.  As  of late most scientists have decried Social Darwinism sub-species. According to  modern scientists there is but one human race. What masquerades today as race, are  philosophic concepts people adopt and wrongly call it  (genetic) race. It  would more accurately be called culture (a learned phenomenon).

 

Since there are laws called cause an effect, evo (cause) does have a goa (effect)-survival of life. A sub goal  would be all the species it has caused over the years.

 

You seem to be pushing the ides that people are free moral agents  not particularly subject to the

evolutionary forceevolutionaryoral agent. Did evolution make you say all ths stuf or did you create it yourself?

 

And if evo is the cause, how come I believe in God and you don't? Since we have specific goals wouldn't follow that evo has  specific goals? You come across as being above evolution. Isn't resistance to evo futile?



#42 Megan

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:38 AM

Evolution does not have goals. Evolution is change. There is no goal about it. Changes happen and some animals live and some animals die. That's all there is to it. Theistic evolution may make the claim that people were goals of evolution. Non-theistic evolution makes the claim that people are a transitional species like all other animals. 



#43 Salsa

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 07:24 AM

Evolution does not have goals. Evolution is change. There is no goal about it. Changes happen and some animals live and some animals die. That's all there is to it. Theistic evolution may make the claim that people were goals of evolution. Non-theistic evolution makes the claim that people are a transitional species like all other animals. 

 

But don't you see the problem here Megan? You say that evolution is "change". But so is oscillation, vibration, activation, deactivate, a train rolling into a station, the roaring tides, beaks growing longer or shorter, me changing socks... you name it! Sure, you can say that organisms undergoing such changes never revert to being an exact replica of what it originated from, but hey, you cannot simply extrapolate from that that a fish turned into an amphibian, crawled up on land, turned into a mammal that roamed the praries and then changed direction and jumped back into the sea, and that it all happened without a "goal"! That is madness!

 

Think about it. Something must have dictated that at one time land was the "correct" direction towards which it needed to develop. The evolutionists answer to this is "selection pressure". But what selection pressure continue for millions of years in one direction, only to completely change direction after a further period of millions and millions of years? What fluctuates back and forth for millions of years in such a way that is determines a specific direction???

 

Every environmental force that we know of fluctuates relatively quickly. So what caused our ancestors to climb up and dwell in trees for millions of years only to climb down again and walk upright for millions of years? Sure, organisms change and adapt to environmental conditions. But in order for evolution to have caused the changes it claims that every form of life has undergone, then there should be evidence that shows that each change radiates in all possible directions but favors only one general survival path.

 

What favored that direction in our case? Or in the case of reptiles changing into birds? Food shortages? Predators changing diets? What??? None of these changes take millions of years. Surely a reptile can change diet more rapidly than it can develop an entirely different respiratory system, develop feathers and wings and fly away! And likewise, surely there were other defense mechanisms close to hand than this.

 

I think the only selection pressure that has ever favored evolution is the pressure that society has placed on human beings to believe in the theory itself.


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#44 Mike Summers

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 05:29 PM

I  think Megan like most evolutionists sees herself as separate from the process that has given her life, and intelligence. I guess evolution  is like  we are as parents always want our children to do better  than we do.

 

Megan if you have goals  aren't you a part of evolution?



#45 Megan

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:29 PM

"I  think Megan like most evolutionists sees herself as separate from the process that has given her life, and intelligence. I guess evolution  is like  we are as parents always want our children to do better  than we do.

 

Megan if you have goals  aren't you a part of evolution?"

 

I do not at all see myself separate from evolution. I am one transitional species among the thousands. I am equally as important or amazing as any other species of living thing on this planet. I have goals. But evolution is not a person and has not been shown to have specific goals, though things do appear to get more complex as the accumulate changes. But not all species evolve to be more complex. Some evolve to be simpler. 



#46 Salsa

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:29 PM

But not all species evolve to be more complex. Some evolve to be simpler. 

 

And there you have it again. It gets more complex. It gets simpler. It shows gradual change. It shows sudden change. It shows morphological change. It shows stasis.

 

That makes it really easy to falsify doesn't it?



#47 Mike Summers

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:04 AM

"I  think Megan like most evolutionists sees herself as separate from the process that has given her life, and intelligence. I guess evolution  is like  we are as parents always want our children to do better  than we do.

 

Megan if you have goals  aren't you a part of evolution?"

 

I do not at all see myself separate from evolution. I am one transitional species among the thousands. I am equally as important or amazing as any other species of living thing on this planet. I have goals. But evolution is not a person and has not been shown to have specific goals, though things do appear to get more complex as the accumulate changes. But not all species evolve to be more complex. Some evolve to be simpler. 

 

No one is arguing that changes  don't happen. However, your definition of evolution is very simplistic.

No Goal really?  And what pray tell  are   you transitioning into? 

 

Of course things change.  Forbes points this out very well.

 

You must admit  going from a single celled ancestor to a 100 trillion celled human   took a lot of random  "perfect" steps.



#48 Megan

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:11 PM

"It shows sudden change."

What sudden change?

 

"And what pray tell  are   you transitioning into?"

No way to tell. The only real differences or changes of people that have been observed are that people are a bit taller than they used to be and maybe some things to do with their diets. Vestigial organs show that there have been changes over years. There is not anything that we or any other animal are "transitioning" into. It is random. Populations must be separated for many generations in order to be speciated. We can only look at the past to see how the random changes have survived through generations and the variety that they have produced. For example, giraffes have very long necks but they have close relatives that do not have extremely long necks called okapi.  --https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okapi

If speciation and wide changes can happen which make animals look quite different, what is the limit for change? There is no specific limit that I have ever heard of which keeps animals looking the exact same or breeding the exact same. There is much variety. Like with birds. Some are huge ostriches that cannot fly and some are tiny humming birds. There is an extinct species of bird without wings called a Moa. It's easy to say that if it has feathers, it is a bird. But what about other types of animals? There are many animals that appear to be something they are not. http://www.cracked.c...ly-related.html  

Some species of dandelions have vestigial reproductive organs that they no longer use. They now reproduce a different way, which is asexual, though they still produce sterile pollen. That is a big change. Why are there some ocean creatures that breathe oxygen and have other vestigial land animal parts? --http://en.wikipedia....on_of_cetaceans

I would even go so far as to say that it is not impossible to have an animal that is also a plant. Here's one---- http://www.mnn.com/e...t-half-animal-0

So, as far as limits to gradual change go, I do not know of any.

 

"You must admit  going from a single celled ancestor to a 100 trillion celled human   took a lot of random  "perfect" steps."

Why do they have to be perfect? It has nothing to do with perfection. People are not perfect. We are not immune to disease. We are just able to survive, like all other surviving species. We are no more perfect than a tree, as it is doing what it is hardwired to do. Reproduce. And it is doing that successfully. 



#49 Salsa

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:22 PM

What sudden change?

 

http://evolution.ber...unctuated.shtml

 

Whenever a theory lacks evidence you just tack on another theory, and presto, you have all the wiggle-room you need.



#50 Megan

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:12 PM

All that is saying is a gene allowing a longer spiral shell on a gastropod becomes more dominant relatively quickly, as in, over just a few generations. The same thing can be produced with dog breeding. Longer fur in a breed can be acquired in a relatively small amount of breeding. Then, if two breeds of dog mate, some of the offspring share characteristics with the father and some with the mother.



#51 Salsa

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 07:37 PM

All that is saying is a gene allowing a longer spiral shell on a gastropod becomes more dominant relatively quickly, as in, over just a few generations. The same thing can be produced with dog breeding. Longer fur in a breed can be acquired in a relatively small amount of breeding. Then, if two breeds of dog mate, some of the offspring share characteristics with the father and some with the mother.

 

That doesn't address the underlying problem. All you are doing is giving examples of variation and assuming that variation is evidence of evolution. Gastropods remain gastropods and dogs remain dogs. My point is that there is no way for anyone to validate whether or not varying speeds of speciation observed today can account for either stasis or rapid transition as long as the transition part of the equation is completely assumed.



#52 Megan

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:16 PM

How is it completely assumed if fossils of modern animals are not found in older, deeper rock formations? My point is more to prove that there is not a definitive limit for change within the gene pool, than it is to prove evolution actually happened. 



#53 Salsa

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:56 PM

Well, the problem with that is that "older, deeper rock formations" is also an assumption. Older - because evolutionists are using fossils to date layers, as well as radiometric dating that assumes uniformitarianism, and deeper, because it is assumes that only the effects of time can explain the depth that fossils are found. And if you are going to go down that trail and assert that fossils provide an accurate record of time then I think you need to explain why the Coelecanth totally dissapeared from the fossil record under several layers of strata and yet can be found alive and well in the oceans today. If fossils in strata provide a record of time then what happened during the eighty million years that not one single fossil has been found?

 

Now I know that you can find some kind of explanation for that. All you have to do is google. But it just brings us back to my original point - evolution is simply a patchwork of explanations where everything can be explained and yet nothing verified that extends beyond variation.

 

Finally, what do you mean by "not a definite limit for change withing the gene pool"? How do you know there is no limit? Limits have been observed, but there is no way to know whether or not they are "definite". And similarly, there is no way of knowing that change where limits haven't been observed do not have a limit that has not yet been reached. Again, there is no way to verify this, and so it is simply assumed and incorporated into the theory.



#54 Megan

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:01 PM

If the rock layers are not sometimes older, why are there only certain fossils found in certain rock layers? I have asked this question and other related questions in a couple of other threads dealing with the geologic column and plate tectonics and they haven't been answered, so I suppose it does not matter to bring it all up in this thread. The lack of one fossil in certain layers(the coelecanth) is not the same problem as the lack of nearly every(if not all) modern animal fossil in deeper layers. I have asked how the fossils could be only found in the layers they are found, but have not received a satisfactory answer. There is a layer of sea creature fossils, then a layer of non-marine fossils directly above it, then another layer of marine fossils directly above that. I do not see how it is possible to get sandwiched layers of fossils from different environments stacked on top of each other and distinctly separated in one mass event. There is very specific information about this that I posted in the geologic column thread. Also, my argument(here and in the other thread) has nothing to do with radiometric dating. I do not use radiometric dating to try and back my questions/claims because of the vast distrust of the method. And because my point/argument with Earth age is not that Earth is billions of years old, but that it is not possible for Earth to not be at the very least 100,000+ years old. 

 

"not a definite limit for change in the gene pool". What I mean is, if there is speciation and vast variation, how can a limit be claimed? You say "Limits have been observed". What do you mean by this? 

One problem I have had with creation science is the claim that animals only produce after their "kind". I do not know what a "kind" is, and no one has ever explained to me what a "kind" is. Is it species? Genus? Family? 

 

I know what you mean by assumptions in the theory. But, with the evidence we have, the only explanation would be successive creation events or evolution. I can not see the data fitting another way. 



#55 Salsa

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:29 PM

If the rock layers are not sometimes older, why are there only certain fossils found in certain rock layers? I have asked this question and other related questions in a couple of other threads dealing with the geologic column and plate tectonics and they haven't been answered, so I suppose it does not matter to bring it all up in this thread. The lack of one fossil in certain layers(the coelecanth) is not the same problem as the lack of nearly every(if not all) modern animal fossil in deeper layers. I have asked how the fossils could be only found in the layers they are found, but have not received a satisfactory answer. There is a layer of sea creature fossils, then a layer of non-marine fossils directly above it, then another layer of marine fossils directly above that. I do not see how it is possible to get sandwiched layers of fossils from different environments stacked on top of each other and distinctly separated in one mass event. There is very specific information about this that I posted in the geologic column thread. Also, my argument(here and in the other thread) has nothing to do with radiometric dating. I do not use radiometric dating to try and back my questions/claims because of the vast distrust of the method. And because my point/argument with Earth age is not that Earth is billions of years old, but that it is not possible for Earth to not be at the very least 100,000+ years old. 

 
I'm not saying that the lack of fossils is the "same" problem as the one you are pointing out here, so I don't know what your objection is about. Both explanations have problems, and both sides suggest answers to these questions. You say you lack a "satisfactory answer". But so what? So do I. About many, many things that evolutionists put forward as explanations.
 
The fact that fossils appear to be dispersed in different sections of the earth's crust would hardly be surprising since generally speaking biological environments on the earth are also vertically arranged. Bottom sea dwellers are found lower down in the fossil record than mid sea dwellers, and mid sea dwellers lower down that top sea dwellers, and top sea dwellers are found lower down than anphibians, just as amphibians are found lower down than land animals. That is the general pattern. But naturally, during a catastrophe such as a global flood with varying degrees of violent upheavals and differing speeds at which water would advance over the land, there would probably be a certain number of anomolies which might be difficult to explain after the fact. And that is exactly what you find. You seem to think that finding intermittent layers of marine and non-marine fossils poses a bigger problem for the creationist than for the evolutionist, and you are entitled to your opinion, but I certainly don't share it.
 

One problem I have had with creation science is the claim that animals only produce after their "kind". I do not know what a "kind" is, and no one has ever explained to me what a "kind" is. Is it species? Genus? Family?

 
Well if the lack of a definition for "kind" bothers you so much when it comes to creation science then why don't you have the same "problem" with evolutionary science, because there is no exact definition of species that all evolutionists agree on. The point of contention in this debate is obvious and cannot be blurred out simply by appealing to the lack of a definition. Most people recognize the fact that all animals are organized into groups and that despite wide variations within each group the lines between the groups are not crossed. That seems to be the general rule and has few exceptions.
 

I know what you mean by assumptions in the theory. But, with the evidence we have, the only explanation would be successive creation events or evolution. I can not see the data fitting another way.

 
Well I have ample reason to be convinced that you have been conditioned to think so. We all have. And although, despite being accused of it, I don't believe that there is a huge conspiracy among scientists, the way things work in science today a conspiracy would be totally redundant. In secular science data neither does nor can fit "another way". Think about it.



#56 MarkForbes

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 07:37 AM

How is it completely assumed if fossils of modern animals are not found in older, deeper rock formations? My point is more to prove that there is not a definitive limit for change within the gene pool, than it is to prove evolution actually happened. 

Actually they are. 



#57 Megan

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 01:17 PM

"Actually they are."

Cool. Do you have any examples to back this assertion?

 

"Most people recognize the fact that all animals are organized into groups and that despite wide variations within each group the lines between the groups are not crossed. That seems to be the general rule and has few exceptions."

Sure, but that seems very vague. Like what grouping makes them a certain kind? Ungulates? Are they all the same kind? Are all marsupials the same kind? Or are all horses the same kind? Are all donkeys the same? Are donkeys and horses the same kind since they can produce a mule?  " Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes."(wiki, mule) And yet they can mate and produce offspring. Tax

(edit-my sentence was cut off here)-- onomy is explained perfectly in light of evolutionary theory. Relationships between closely and distantly related animals make great sense in light of evolution. Does creation theory offer a better theory of taxonomy or animal classification?

 

"You seem to think that finding intermittent layers of marine and non-marine fossils poses a bigger problem for the creationist than for the evolutionist, and you are entitled to your opinion, but I certainly don't share it."

Are you saying it poses a problem for evolution theory? I know of no problem for evolution theory at all. If it does pose a problem, what is the problem? In evolution theory, the reason rocks are layered that way is because the ocean transgressed and regressed multiple times. That perfectly explains the layering of rocks the way we find them today. If it does not, how is that so? Sure, there are gaps in the rock record, but that is expected. If there were no gaps in the fossil record(which are caused by periods of non-deposition or erosion), that would actually pose a problem for evolution theory because the sediment would appear to have been laid all at once. The gaps show that the sediment could not have been laid at the same time. 



#58 Salsa

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 02:35 AM

Sure, but that seems very vague. Like what grouping makes them a certain kind? Ungulates? Are they all the same kind? Are all marsupials the same kind? Or are all horses the same kind? Are all donkeys the same? Are donkeys and horses the same kind since they can produce a mule?  " Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes."(wiki, mule) And yet they can mate and produce offspring. Taxonomy is explained perfectly in light of evolutionary theory. Relationships between closely and distantly related animals make great sense in light of evolution.

 
Appealing to vagueness doesn't help you here Megan. If it does then please tell me why, because everyone recognizes that there is a higher order of grouping than species. Whether you call it a group, family, or genus doesn't hide the fact that they exist and that there is something in nature that is confining animals within these groups. If I don't know exactly what animals map to the original kinds does not refute my point, it simply means that not everything in nature can be reverse engineered back to its definitive kind. Horses, donkeys, mules, zebras and so on may have originated from one "kind". But maybe not.
 

Does creation theory offer a better theory of taxonomy or animal classification?

 
It depends on the "scope" of the theory. I could isolate certain concepts and claim that a theory based on those concepts is better than other theories based on those same isolated concepts, even though in a broader context that theory falls apart completely.
 
And this is exactly what evolutionists do. They exclude the idea of a creator, argue that abiogenesis is not evolution, and then point to genetic similarities and claim that they have a better theory.
 
Now all I can see is that there are biological processes and visual attributes that reveal similarities that exist in life. How can I assert, just given those facts, that creation is a "better" explanation?
 

Taxonomy is explained perfectly in light of evolutionary theory. Relationships between closely and distantly related animals make great sense in light of evolution. Does creation theory offer a better theory of taxonomy or animal classification?

 
Well it is pretty easy to make the claim that evolutionary theory explains taxonomy "perfectly" or makes "great sense" when you always have the option of falling back on the claim that animals that do not have fossil evidence of the relationships that you would like them to have are due to the rarity of fossils. I could easily claim that an archair and a kitchen sink fit nicely into my theory simply because there are pots and kettles that seem to have "relationships". In the Cambrian explosion as well as in the entire fossil record you have many examples of armchairs and kitchen sinks that have no evidence of evolutionary ancestors. But don't worry about that, the museums are full of pots, kettles, whales and other creatures where similar structures are put on display to prove to everyone that evolution is a fact.
 

Are you saying it poses a problem for evolution theory? I know of no problem for evolution theory at all. If it does pose a problem, what is the problem? In evolution theory, the reason rocks are layered that way is because the ocean transgressed and regressed multiple times. That perfectly explains the layering of rocks the way we find them today. If it does not, how is that so? Sure, there are gaps in the rock record, but that is expected. If there were no gaps in the fossil record(which are caused by periods of non-deposition or erosion), that would actually pose a problem for evolution theory because the sediment would appear to have been laid all at once. The gaps show that the sediment could not have been laid at the same time.

 
Fair enough. One can always make the claim that land has been bobbing up and down for millions of years and that whatever layers that appear, or disappear, is expected. Which leaves us with my original point - just about anything can be claimed when what you find is interpreted as evidence of what you "expect".



#59 MarkForbes

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 06:57 AM

"Actually they are."

Cool. Do you have any examples to back this assertion?

 

"Mo...

 

You didn't see any need to back up yours.... Anyway, here are some:

Mammals

“At the dinosaur dig sites, scientists have found many unusual extinct mammal forms such as the multituberculates2 but they have also found fossilized mammals that look like squirrels, possums, Tasmanian devils, hedgehogs, shrews, beavers, primates, and duck-billed platypus. I don’t know how close these mammals are to the modern forms because I was not able to see most of these, even after going to so many museums.”

Paleontologists have found 432 mammal species in the dinosaur layers; almost as many as the number of dinosaur species. … But where are these fossils? We visited 60 museums but did not see a single complete mammal skeleton from the dinosaur layers displayed at any of these museums. This is amazing.

“Few are aware of the great number of mammal species found with dinosaurs. Paleontologists have found 432 mammal species in the dinosaur layers;3 almost as many as the number of dinosaur species. These include nearly 100 complete mammal skeletons. But where are these fossils? We visited 60 museums but did not see a single complete mammal skeleton from the dinosaur layers displayed at any of these museums. This is amazing. Also, we saw only a few dozen incomplete skeletons/single bones of the 432 mammal species found so far. Why don’t the museums display these mammal fossils and also the bird fossils?”

http://creation.com/...-living-fossils


#60 Megan

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 03:02 PM

It is well known that there are many ancestral mammal fossils from the time of dinosaurs. I have not been able to find a specific source with photographs and information from where the claimed "modern" mammals have been found. I can find claims that mammal fossils that appear to be modern have been found, but nothing that I can specifically research. Do you have any other links which include this information?






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