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Study! (To Show Thyself Approved?)


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#1 Xanifred

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

Yes, I know the "study" in that verse applies to studying the Bible, but it was too good a reference to pass up. :)/>

OK, down to business. Hypothetical time!

Suppose that you happen across a website called biblefairytale.com, and decide to check it out. There you discover a whole lot of people bashing the Bible, most of whom do not appear to understand the Bible very well at all. So you begin to ask questions - simple questions, such as "have you ever actually read or studied the Bible?"

The most common answers you get are along these lines:

- I've read parts of the Bible, but it didn't make a lot of sense so I stopped.
- I've never actually read the Bible, but I've seen quotes in books I've read that prove the Bible is hogwash.
- I've studied the Bible a lot! I spend quite a bit of time reading books and watching videos about how fake the Bible is. I've even taken some courses on 'The Lies of the Bible.'

Now, be honest here. Would you consider that these people have any basis whatsoever for evaluating or criticizing the Bible?

----

This is the position I find myself in with regard to some of the people on this website. They are dedicated to critiquing and bashing the Theory of Evolution, but it is obvious from their posts that they have little or no understanding of the ToE, or even of basic science. They have primarily read and studied creationist sources which are anti-evolution, and their understanding of the subject comes almost entirely from debunkers.

----

Now, back to the Bible. I've read it, studied it, even learned some Hebrew in order to better understand the original Tanakh. I feel fairly confident that i can accurately discuss the Bible, even though we likely disagree on our conclusions.

Similarly, I have read the Book of Mormon (dry as dust!) and concluded that it is nothing more than a steaming pile of bovine excrement. I will gladly challenge any Mormon on the subject, because i feel confident that I speak from a position of knowledge.

I have not, however, read the Bhagavad-Gita, or studied Hinduism. I've seen enough to be extremely skeptical, but I would not presume to tell a Hindu that his religion is total garbage, or in fact to discuss the subject at all. If I were interested, I would sit and listen respectfully, in an attempt to learn. If I primarily wished to disprove Hinduism to myself (and others), I would study it intensively, reading the sacred texts and learning how Hindus understand those texts.

----

This is what I fervently wish everyone on this forum would do. If you're going to spend your time and energy bashing and debunking the Theory of Evolution (and the attendant science), at least take the time to understand what the ToE actually says, rather than getting all your information from anti-ToE sources! You would have no respect whatsoever for someone who bashed the Bible without ever bothering to study or even read it, or whose understanding of the Bible came exclusively from anti-Bible sources. So why in the world do you think you can dismiss, disprove, or debunk the Theory of Evolution without ever bothering to read what actual evolutionary science has to say on the subject?

I am aware that some people here have actually done the requisite study, and I applaud them for it. But those of you who have never actually studied evolutionary biology (you know who you are) and whose information comes exclusively from creationist sources - seriously? Do you honestly think you have earned the right to expect that others will respect your opinions on the subject?

If I told you that the Bible was a bunch of disconnected stories written by semi-literate herdsmen with no connection to actual history, you would dismiss me as an ignorant, pompous ass - and rightly so. If, however, I were to attempt an in-depth discussion of the role of women in the Book of Ruth, and the meaning of Ruth's laying herself at the feet of Boaz, you might disagree with my conclusions, but at least you would acknowledge that I knew the subject matter well enough to criticize it.

Is it too much to ask that you study the Theory of Evolution - the real thing, not what Creationists have to say about it - and basic evolutionary biology before you try to disprove it? You are doing both yourselves and your cause a disservice when you argue from ignorance.

#2 gilbo12345

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:02 AM

I am a student of tertiary level Biology, very soon I will be a fully fledged scientist.

I had to endure 2 semesters of evolutionary Biology, one being the general stuff the other being genetics... However what I found funny was that the Biology of the lectures actually stood alone from the stories of evolution we were given. For example we learnt about the extraordinary heat transfer system in penguin legs, however there was no actual mechanism given to describe how evolution could come up with such a system, essentially every question of mechanism is answered with a just-so-story which equates to "evolution did it". (Pro-tip: Merely stating natural selection has no explanatory value, hence its useless as an explanation).

Now I'm no expert, however if someone claims something occured you would hope that the person would know how it occured so that way it can be related to an actual process and thus be verified.... This isn't what happens no-one really cares about how it occurs the main focus is just the conclusion and claiming evolution was the cause. However the devil is in the details (so to speak), more specifically the biochemical details of cellular systems which are entirely void of an evolutionary process of occurance as well as creation of new systems.

#3 usafjay1976

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:29 PM

Suppose that you happen across a website called biblefairytale.com, and decide to check it out. There you discover a whole lot of people bashing the Bible, most of whom do not appear to understand the Bible very well at all. So you begin to ask questions - simple questions, such as "have you ever actually read or studied the Bible?" Now, be honest here. Would you consider that these people have any basis whatsoever for evaluating or criticizing the Bible?


No, because they are already biased, as are evolutionists when it comes to evolution and creationists when it comes to creation.

This is the position I find myself in with regard to some of the people on this website. They are dedicated to critiquing and bashing the Theory of Evolution, but it is obvious from their posts that they have little or no understanding of the ToE, or even of basic science. They have primarily read and studied creationist sources which are anti-evolution, and their understanding of the subject comes almost entirely from debunkers.


If you are regarding the scientific method, several of us are waiting for you to show how the scientific method is used in evolution, to prove evolution. But evolution can’t be proved. In another thread, you wrote, “First of all, "proof" belongs in mathematics”. But if evolution is a fact, how do you prove it, if you can’t prove it?

And what do evolutionists use to prove their claims or back up their findings? They certainly don’t consider God or creation. The theory of evolution is altered to fit evolution.
You have stated that you have read and studied the Bible. I’m sure you know that literal creationists believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God. It is infallible. Evolution websites, just like creation websites, can be flawed. We believe the the Bible is genuinely the true Word of God.

The theory of evolution doesn’t add up. Right from the start, abiogenesis supposedly occurred yet there is no explanation how. What conditions were present at the beginning so life could evolve? No one knows. How did the first cell evolve? No one knows. Again, per one of your earlier statements, evolution can’t be proved. So everything that is seen is assumed to have evolved. Evolution has not been directly observed. Evolution has not been tested so it can’t be proven. Fossils with feathers have been found. I think it was you that gave the example of Microraptor. But again, where is the science that backs up that this is a dinosaur with feathers? Why is not a bird? Anytime fossils are discovered, how are they linked to another fossil to show evolution occurred?
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#4 gilbo12345

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:55 PM

But evolution can’t be proved. In another thread, you wrote, “First of all, "proof" belongs in mathematics”. But if evolution is a fact, how do you prove it, if you can’t prove it? And what do evolutionists use to prove their claims or back up their findings?


We've been asking this for a while now, (in another thread), its hypocritical to claim that there is no proof / absolutes in science but then claim that evolution is a fact.... (My lecturer did that despite the semester before being told that in science there are no facts since new evidence can come to light which debunks the old claim)...

#5 Xanifred

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:23 PM

No, because they are already biased, as are evolutionists when it comes to evolution and creationists when it comes to creation.

So you're saying that nobody on this site should be given any credence whatsoever?

If you are regarding the scientific method, several of us are waiting for you to show how the scientific method is used in evolution, to prove evolution. But evolution can’t be proved. In another thread, you wrote, “First of all, "proof" belongs in mathematics”. But if evolution is a fact, how do you prove it, if you can’t prove it?

Thank you for demonstrating so very clearly precisely what I am talking about. Science is not interested in "proving" things. That is basic to any field of science, something you should have learned in high school. If you don't understand that the very idea of "proving" or "disproving" facts has no place in science, then you don't know enough about the subject to discuss it logically. Go audit a biology 101 class - or geology, or any other branch that catches your fancy - and ask the prof. these same questions. Then get back to me.

And what do evolutionists use to prove their claims or back up their findings?

The Scientific Method. Which I have explained more than once, but your misconceptions as to what constitutes an "experiment" are making it impossible for you to hear me.

They certainly don’t consider God or creation.

How could any scientist possibly include God in an experiment? The claim that there is a God is a bald assertion, and is not falsifiable as far as I can see. We have no way of saying "if there is a God, we should expect to see X" and then searching for X.

The theory of evolution is altered to fit evolution.

The theory of infectious disease is altered to fit the facts about infectious disease, as they are revealed.
Language theory is altered to fit the facts about new languages, as they are revealed.

This is how learning works.

You have stated that you have read and studied the Bible. I’m sure you know that literal creationists believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God. It is infallible. Evolution websites, just like creation websites, can be flawed. We believe the the Bible is genuinely the true Word of God.

I understand that. I'm not sure that all of the implications are really dealt with by Biblical literalists, but I do understand their position. However, since there are a number of competing "literal words of god" out there, it would be nice if someone would give us a way of determining the correct "word of god," other than by simply saying "ours is real because it says so."

The theory of evolution doesn’t add up. Right from the start, abiogenesis

Abiogenesis is a discrete field of study. The Theory of evolution has to do with the branching-out of life forms (speciation), not the origin of life. That's why Darwin's book was called "on the origin of species," not "on the origin of life."

And this again demonstrates my point. I've run across this confusion from countless creationists, and it says the same thing to me every time: the person who is confusing evolution with abiogenesis has no idea what the Theory of Evolution actually is.

Again, per one of your earlier statements, evolution can’t be proved.

Neither can gravity, or radiation, or any number of other things. Nothing can be proved, outside of mathematics. Prove to me that you are a human being, typing on a keyboard, rather than simply a bot, or a hallucination. Prove that you are not a brain in a jar. The famous Christian philosopher Descartes concluded that the only thing any individual can be certain of is their own existence. Everything else is speculation.

So everything that is seen is assumed to have evolved.

Unless and until a better explanation comes along, yes.

Evolution has not been directly observed.

Yes, it has.

Evolution has not been tested

Yes, it has. It is tested every day. If not for the theory of evolution, most of the medical breakthroughs of the past half-century could not have been made. Researchers depend on evolution in every branch of science. Without the theory of evolution, most of science would fall apart.

Fossils with feathers have been found. I think it was you that gave the example of Microraptor. But again, where is the science that backs up that this is a dinosaur with feathers? Why is not a bird?

Because it does not have the skeletal structure of a bird. It has the skeletal structure of a raptor.

#6 Xanifred

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:24 PM

We've been asking this for a while now, (in another thread), its hypocritical to claim that there is no proof / absolutes in science but then claim that evolution is a fact.... (My lecturer did that despite the semester before being told that in science there are no facts since new evidence can come to light which debunks the old claim)...

Did you ask your lecturer how something could be an established fact, yet at the same time not be "proved"?

#7 gilbo12345

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:17 PM

Did you ask your lecturer how something could be an established fact, yet at the same time not be "proved"?


I was very much tempted however considering that he began the lecture by stating evolution is a fact like ten times, (almost screaming it), I figured I shouldn't interupt him in his "devotional prayer"...

We were told (by a different lecturer) 6 months before that EVERYTHING should be considered with a grain of salt, even laws are liable to change. Yet this is never the case with evolution.

So you're saying that nobody on this site should be given any credence whatsoever? Thank you for demonstrating so very clearly precisely what I am talking about. Science is not interested in "proving" things. That is basic to any field of science, something you should have learned in high school. If you don't understand that the very idea of "proving" or "disproving" facts has no place in science, then you don't know enough about the subject to discuss it logically. Go audit a biology 101 class - or geology, or any other branch that catches your fancy - and ask the prof. these same questions. Then get back to me. The Scientific Method. Which I have explained more than once, but your misconceptions as to what constitutes an "experiment" are making it impossible for you to hear me. How could any scientist possibly include God in an experiment? The claim that there is a God is a bald assertion, and is not falsifiable as far as I can see. We have no way of saying "if there is a God, we should expect to see X" and then searching for X. The theory of infectious disease is altered to fit the facts about infectious disease, as they are revealed. Language theory is altered to fit the facts about new languages, as they are revealed. This is how learning works. I understand that. I'm not sure that all of the implications are really dealt with by Biblical literalists, but I do understand their position. However, since there are a number of competing "literal words of god" out there, it would be nice if someone would give us a way of determining the correct "word of god," other than by simply saying "ours is real because it says so." Abiogenesis is a discrete field of study. The Theory of evolution has to do with the branching-out of life forms (speciation), not the origin of life. That's why Darwin's book was called "on the origin of species," not "on the origin of life." And this again demonstrates my point. I've run across this confusion from countless creationists, and it says the same thing to me every time: the person who is confusing evolution with abiogenesis has no idea what the Theory of Evolution actually is. Neither can gravity, or radiation, or any number of other things. Nothing can be proved, outside of mathematics. Prove to me that you are a human being, typing on a keyboard, rather than simply a bot, or a hallucination. Prove that you are not a brain in a jar. The famous Christian philosopher Descartes concluded that the only thing any individual can be certain of is their own existence. Everything else is speculation. Unless and until a better explanation comes along, yes. Yes, it has. Yes, it has. It is tested every day. If not for the theory of evolution, most of the medical breakthroughs of the past half-century could not have been made. Researchers depend on evolution in every branch of science. Without the theory of evolution, most of science would fall apart. Because it does not have the skeletal structure of a bird. It has the skeletal structure of a raptor.


Care to demonstrate how evolution is being observed? Dawkins admits that it isn't observed while its occuring so this will be interesting, also can you demonstrate how it is tested.




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