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#1 PhilC

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:33 AM

Firstly, I do not call myself an atheist, but had to choose that in the options when I logged on. I am a sceptic and do not define myself on my belief / lack of belief in any one area.

Secondly, I do not debate on these forums becasue I am trying to justify my position. My own position is strong but is held based on definitive caveats, so that anyone may question what would change my ideas and is then able, objectively, to see whether they are held for the correct reasons or not. My reasons for debating is to overthrow misconceptions about the theory of evolution that are found in many places. The theory of evolution may be incorrect and should be questioned, but this can only happen when the theory is completely understood. Valid criticism is extremely important, but deliberate misrepresentations are not (I am not saying this happens here, I am just presenting my case).

As an example (I don't want to argue the science of this here; I just want to point out the problems with these debates). Creationists often say that radiometric dating is invalid because we do not know how much of the daughter material was present to start with. Evolutionists have answers to this point. They have considered it, but it is a rare creationist that actually examines what the evolutionist answers are.

This is the problem. Creationists do not answer the evolutionists points. Maybe the evolutionist assumptions about the daughter materials are wrong; that is entirely possible. If creationists just say "no-one knows how much there was" this completely fails to address the point. There is no possible debate in this case.

Question the theory of evolution in the same way that everything else should be questioned. Do not single it out for harsher criticism than other things.

#2 Cassiterides

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:04 AM

Firstly, I do not call myself an atheist, but had to choose that in the options when I logged on.  I am a sceptic and do not define myself on my belief / lack of belief in any one area.

Secondly, I do not debate on these forums becasue I am trying to justify my position.  My own position is strong but is held based on definitive caveats, so that anyone may question what would change my ideas and is then able, objectively, to see whether they are held for the correct reasons or not.  My reasons for debating is to overthrow misconceptions about the theory of evolution that are found in many places.  The theory of evolution may be incorrect and should be questioned, but this can only happen when the theory is completely understood.  Valid criticism is extremely important, but deliberate misrepresentations are not (I am not saying this happens here, I am just presenting my case).

As an example (I don't want to argue the science of this here; I just want to point out the problems with these debates).  Creationists often say that radiometric dating is invalid because we do not know how much of the daughter material was present to start with.  Evolutionists have answers to this point.  They have considered it, but it is a rare creationist that actually examines what the evolutionist answers are.

This is the problem.  Creationists do not answer the evolutionists points.  Maybe the evolutionist assumptions about the daughter materials are wrong; that is entirely possible.  If creationists just say "no-one knows how much there was" this completely fails to address the point.  There is no possible debate in this case.

Question the theory of evolution in the same way that everything else should be questioned.  Do not single it out for harsher criticism than other things.

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Hello, i'm only a few days old to the forum myself. B)

By skeptic do you mean science-skeptic? I myself consider myself a form of this, but i'm a Young Earth Creationist. Scientific skepticism is based on doubting anything that doesn't qualify under the scientific method, and that would include the theory of evolution since it's not observable. testable or measurable (it's outside of scientific method and a faith-point).

#3 PhilC

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:29 AM

No, I mean I rely on evidence, so I support the theory of evolution which is based on observed evidence, falsifiable premises, and is testable and measurable.

This is the very problem I'm talking about, by saying that evolution is not "observable. testable or measurable" you are not considerinmg the argument from the evolutionists point of view, and so miss the point.

Evolutionists say it is "observable. testable and measurable" so if you just deny that, you never get to hear why the evolutionists say that it is. Until creationists start listening to the actual claims about how evolution is "observable. testable and measurable" (isn't cut-and-paste' a great thing?) no debate can start.

#4 Cassiterides

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:41 AM

No, I mean I rely on evidence, so I support the theory of evolution which is based on observed evidence, falsifiable premises, and is testable and measurable.

This is the very problem I'm talking about, by saying that evolution is not "observable. testable or measurable" you are not considerinmg the argument from the evolutionists point of view, and so miss the point.

Evolutionists say it is "observable. testable and measurable" so if you just deny that, you never get to hear why the evolutionists say that it is.  Until creationists start listening to the actual claims about how evolution is "observable. testable and measurable" (isn't cut-and-paste' a great thing?) no debate can start.

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Debate can start when evolution and creation are presented as theories (as i treat them, as do all creationists). Yet as you have proven you come here following the assumption evolution is already a proven fact. That is why you will find it hard to debate here.

Regarding the scientific method:

The scientific method (1810):

''the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses''

"Facts" declared about a distant past outside the realm of human experience are not really facts, but strongly advocated faith-points.

1. That life appeared on earth two or three billion years ago, or that the earth is billions of years is not a truly scientific statement. It was never directly observed to have happened by anyone or anything that can leave a conclusive historical record.

2. The idea that things 'evolve' i.e an ape to a man is not observable. The theory of evolution simply has never been observed.

The theory of evolution falls outside of the scientific method which is why evolution should be treated as a theory.

If we present both creation and evolution as theories, then a debate can happen. Both sides then present their so called evidence for their theory.

The problem though as i said, is that evolutionists come here thinking evolution is 100% fact and so won't be willing to debate on the grounds of treating these different views on origins as theories. Creationists however believe it is all theory and so are willing to debate, creationists offer to debate evolutionists but it is usually evolutionists who decline (Dawkins for example refuses to debate YEC's).

#5 PhilC

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:02 AM

I will gladly call the theory of evolution a theory.

Will you start listening to what evolutionists say rather than telling them what to say?

I have no problem with this:

'the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses'

The rest of your post is telling me your version of how things look from your viewpoint rather than asking questions to ascertain the actual position that evolutionists hold and why they hold it.

Dawkins for example refuses to debate YEC's


Of course. science is not determined by debates such as that. The details involved do not fit a debate structure. I'm currently researching the phylogeny of meckels cartilage,but would not wish to be put on a spot light to defend it via debate because dthe details are subtle and require detailed investigation.

Also, when a leading scientist was asked why he wouldn't debate a YEC'er he replied "That would look good on your CV but would not look good on mine".

#6 Cassiterides

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:39 AM

The scientific method only deals with ''the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses'', that means things we do now i.e observation and experiments. We can not go back in time since we have no time-machine. Nothing i told you was my 'version', if you think i'm wrong then you must think you have a time machine? All i said was that the scientific method can not produce an age for the earth (since we can't go back in time to observe) and that evolution i.e the idea of a single cell or an ape 'evolving' into a man can not be observed.

When accepted these simple facts (some have when i have debated them) the debate can be very interesting and both sides get something out of it.

#7 PhilC

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 12:08 PM

Once again, you are telling me how you think science should work, rather than asking somebody how they think it works.

Obviously I disagree with you, and if you think rationally about this, 99% of scientists must too. This does not mean that the scientists are right and you are wrong, but it does mean that the discussion will not progress any further.

#8 Geode

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 05:05 PM

The scientific method only deals with ''the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses'', that means things we do now i.e observation and experiments. We can not go back in time since we have no time-machine. Nothing i told you was my 'version', if you think i'm wrong then you must think you have a time machine? All i said was that the scientific method can not produce an age for the earth (since we can't go back in time to observe) and that evolution i.e the idea of a single cell or an ape 'evolving' into a man can not be observed.

When accepted these simple facts (some have when i have debated them) the debate can be very interesting and both sides get something out of it.

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We have the next best thing to a time machine to study the earth, the record left in the rocks.

#9 PhilC

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:11 AM

Cassiterides, can we continue the discussion of the scientific method?

the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses'


Let us start with this the other way round, and look at the formulation of hypotheses first.

Let us now formulate the theory of evolution as a hypothesis.

ie let us make the hypothesis of evolution.

This hypothesis, in simple form, states that:

1. More children are born than can survive into adulthood.
2. Not all children are the same, ie there is variation in the offspring.
2. The ones that survive are generally the ones most fitted to their environment.
3. These survivors will have children more likely to survive.

Now this is all testable, and has been, as you are aware because Creationists, since Darwin, accept his theory up to a point.

We can, I think, safely call this a theory of evolution. Let us call it the theory of micro-evolution.

Let us now take this one step further:

Let us hypothesise that this theory actually explains the way all organisms developed over time, so that the theory of micro-evolution gives an explanation for life on Earth.

Let us call this the hypothesis of macro-evolution.

Do you agree so far? It is not worth going any further if the initial steps are problematical.

#10 Cassiterides

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:45 AM

Cassiterides, can we continue the discussion of the scientific method?
Let us start with this the other way round, and look at the formulation of hypotheses first.

Let us now formulate the theory of evolution as a hypothesis.

ie let us make the hypothesis of evolution.

This hypothesis, in simple form, states that:

1. More children are born than can survive into adulthood.
2. Not all children are the same, ie there is variation in the offspring.
2. The ones that survive are generally the ones most fitted to their environment.
3. These survivors will have children more likely to survive.

Now this is all testable, and has been, as you are aware because Creationists, since Darwin, accept his theory up to a point.

We can, I think, safely call this a theory of evolution.  Let us call it the theory of micro-evolution.

Let us now take this one step further:

Let us hypothesise that this theory actually explains the way all organisms developed over time, so that the theory of micro-evolution gives an explanation for life on Earth.

Let us call this the hypothesis of macro-evolution.

Do you agree so far?  It is not worth going any further if the initial steps are problematical.

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Firstly as i have encountered with several evolutionists you are diliberately altering the definition of the theory of evolution. You try to diliberatley simplify/alter it to make it seem as if it has been observed, basically a form of dishonesty. Why not quote a dictionary?

Some dictionary definitions of evolution:

''The process by which species of organisms arise from earlier life forms and undergo change over time through natural selection''

- The American Heritage Science Dictionary, 2005

''1.A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. See Synonyms at development.
2.
a. The process of developing.
b. Gradual development.
3. Biology
a. Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species
.''

- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2000

If you want to continue i suggest you start honest enough with the definition of evolution, then you can make a hypothesis.

#11 Geode

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 10:30 AM

Firstly as i have encountered with several evolutionists you are diliberately altering the definition of the theory of evolution. You try to diliberatley simplify/alter it to make it seem as if it has been observed, basically a form of dishonesty. Why not quote a dictionary?

Some dictionary definitions of evolution:

''The process by which species of organisms arise from earlier life forms and undergo change over time through natural selection''

- The American Heritage Science Dictionary, 2005

''1.A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. See Synonyms at development.
2.
a. The process of developing.
b. Gradual development.
3. Biology
a. Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species
.''

- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2000

If you want to continue i suggest you start honest enough with the definition of evolution, then you can make a hypothesis.

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The definition that underlies the hypothesis offered was one that It is covered in the definitions you offer here. Just because you apparently lack the necessary knowledge of science to be able to perceive this, and it does not exactly match your understanding of the definitions you offer from a dictionary does not make it false, or the person offering it dishonest. On the other hand direct evidence of evolution has been observed in several ways. This is not dishonest of me to say this. I actually hold that as truth and am not lying about this. Even if you wish to dismiss this as only my own opinion it is not dishonesty.

However, what you claimed about Oscar Kiss Maerth's book on human cannibalism may be dishonest. You said, "The book went on to sell over 1 million copies, and at some time actually had support amongst evolutionary biologists."

Then you said that the Aquatic Ape Theory: was "considerably supported by mainstream evolutionists."

When asked to substantiate these claims with any backing citations as evidence, you did not do so. It appears to me that you just made these comments up in an effort to malign supporters of evolution. You later said "Darwin was a school dropout because of alcohol, who had no science degree." I don't think you can substantiate this either, and that you quite possibly know that you misstated this simply to malign Darwin.

Worst of all you claimed,"William Smith was not a qualified geologist, he was a surveyor. Charles Lyell also had no degree in geology or science, but was a lawyer, James Hutton was a doctor etc. All of the first geologists who rejected the YEC view for uniformatarianism, evolution or old earth were all so called charlatans or tricksters (men who had no degree or qualification but professed wisdom in their field)." This is not an honest appraisal of these men. It is just an Ad hom attack.

I have to wonder if you know the old saying about how people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones? I also have to wonder if you feel that dishonesty used against something you oppose is justifiable?

#12 PhilC

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 10:35 AM

If you want to continue i suggest you start honest enough with the definition of evolution, then you can make a hypothesis.

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This is just insulting to me. I am honest and have been all along.

Your definition comes from scientific dictionary. Mine comes from The Origin of Species.

You now decide which is the more accurate definition of Darwinism.

#13 Cassiterides

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 11:41 AM

What definitions are you following? The dictionaries or your own? If the latter i have no interest in debating in this section.

I gave you two definitions from two dictionaries.

#14 PhilC

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 12:39 PM

What definitions are you following? The dictionaries or your own? If the latter i have no interest in debating in this section.

I gave you two definitions from two dictionaries.

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Do you ever read what I put?

#15 Cassiterides

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 01:31 PM

Do you ever read what I put?

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Your definition of what you call evolution can not be found in Darwin's Origin of Species. Typing in on the net what you claim produces no results, you also failed to provide the page number or edition of Darwin's work you pulled your definition from.

#16 ikester7579

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 03:47 PM

This is just insulting to me.  I am honest and have been all along. 

Your definition comes from  scientific dictionary.  Mine comes from The Origin of Species.

You now decide which is the more accurate definition of Darwinism.

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If evolution is a scientific theory, then it is not scientific to take the theory personal.
If evolution is a religion, then it is religious to take it personally.

Non belief = not personal.
A belief = personal.

Example: Are there such things as personal theories? Is the theory of electricity a personal theory?

#17 ikester7579

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 03:51 PM

Let's face it. No 2 books or websites will have the same definition of evolution unless they copied it from one another. So the point is mute because even evolutionists cannot agree. Being that truth is relative and there are no absolutes actually explains why. Evolution is what the individual wants it to be. So it can be defined anyway anybody wants to define it.

Ironic though that creation stays the same yet gives a constantly changing idea a fit.

#18 PhilC

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:07 AM

If evolution is a scientific theory, then it is not scientific to take the theory personal.
If evolution is a religion, then it is religious to take it personally.

Non belief = not personal.
A belief = personal.

Example: Are there such things as personal theories? Is the theory of electricity a personal theory?


Have I ever expected creationists to defend what other creationists have said? Have I ever asked a creationist to comment on what something Kent H*vind has said?

No, because it is unfair to expect someone to defend someone else's words.

I am not here to comment on what every evolutionist has said, or comment on what dicyionary editors have included in their dictionaries To attempt that would be futile.

I am trying to present the theory of evolution as I understand it and find out at what point creationists and evolutionists part company.

It is repeated in many places that creationists accept micro-evolution. What is the mechanism that creationists say causes micro-evolution? For the sake of the debate I started here, I will go along with that. If you read the OP you will see that this is only one point in the argument I am buiding.

#19 ikester7579

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:32 AM

Have I ever expected creationists to defend what other creationists have said?  Have I ever asked a creationist to comment on what something Kent H*vind has said?


I don't know you and we get all kinds here claiming all kinds of things.

No, because it is unfair to expect someone to defend someone else's words.


It's done all the time to both sides.

I am not here to comment on what every evolutionist has said, or comment on what dictionary editors have included in their dictionaries  To attempt that would be futile.


Ignoring a problem does not make it go away.

I am trying to present the theory of evolution as I understand it and find out at what point creationists and evolutionists part company.


http://www.evolution...indpost&p=56440

It is repeated in many places that creationists accept micro-evolution.  What is the mechanism that creationists say causes micro-evolution?  For the sake of the debate I started here, I will go along with that.  If you read the OP you will see that this is only one point in the argument I am buiding.

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The mechanism is how the template for all life was created to work.

#20 PhilC

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:58 AM

The mechanism is how the template for all life was created to work.


Could you expand on this, please?

I am in danger of being accused of equivocation here, because I am talking about micro-evlution which is not allowed for evolutionists under the board rules, but as you are a moderator, I hope you will allow me because like in the other thread you linked to where I am trying to find common ground.

For the sake of this argument, I will accept creation, the global flood etc.

After the flood, the animals micro-evolved. What was that process?




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