Buz, criticising messages is not a personal attack. If you choose to cheer a message or even nominate it for PotM (and you've nominated some real stinkers) it's still open to criticism. If you feel that it reflects on you, then maybe you should be more discriminating in the posts you choose to cheer.
This is the kind of treatment Biblical creationists receive from you and yours all too often.
What treatment? I still don't understand the complaint. You were mildly disagreed with. Nobody called you a "childish idiot", that phrase only appears in your posts, and again Percy's post wasn't a list of what you believe, it was a list that applied the same errors in Chuck's OP to your own beliefs.
Time and again, evolutionists make mistakes or fail to tell it as it is. You all correct one another in a kindly manner quite often.
Sure. On the other hand, we're frequently attacked by creationists for those errors (if they even catch them, which is fairly rare.) You creationists don't seem to make much of an effort to correct each other, kindly or not, at all.
Likely Chuck knows that as well.
Does Chuck know that atheists don't "blame God for the evils of the world" because, in fact, they don't actually believe in God? If he does, why did he post an OP that suggests otherwise?
The pile of wood does not, in any amount of time assemble itself into stately orderly barns, etc.
About personal attacks, there was none. Chuck didn't write the opening post, he cut-n-pasted it. My comment was about his cut-n-paste. Specifically, I said:
Percy in Message 54 writes:
Chuck, your top 10 list was childish, idiotic, and said almost nothing that was actually true.
All this is saying is that Chuck posted a cut-n-paste whose content was childish and idiotic.
No, I don't subscribe to everything in the message.
So you presumably understand that it was blockheaded to claim that atheists blame God for anything. Let's go on to the next item:
9. You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when creationists say that people were created in the image and likeness of God, but you have no problem with the evolutionist claim that we all evolved from slime by a cosmic accident.
Is this what you were referring to when you mentioned the primordial soup? If so, then you realize this is a false, too. On to the next:
8. You criticize fundamental Christians who believe the Bible, and say that it can't possibly be true because it's just a book written by mere men, yet you never question any of Darwin's writings or Richard Dawkins' books.
7. You can't seem to understand the primary differences between fundamental Muslims and fundamental Christians (hint: strap-on TNT. Plus - Muhammad says, “kill innocent people and yourself if you love me.” Jesus Christ said, “I’ll die for you because I love you”).
Does this make sense even to you?
6. You say the Bible is full of fairytales and fables, yet you believe all life forms including plants, trees, insects, birds, fish, reptiles and mammals evolved from one species into another - As if evolution isn’t the biggest fairytale of them all.
Except for the gratuitous opinion offered at the end, this one is true.
5. You laugh at the Supernatural, even though scientists have calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes to be estimated less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,ooo power – But you find nothing wrong with believing that billions of years full of random mutations would result in the impossible.
Presumably you know, after all your time here, that no such calculation has ever been made by scientists.
4. You accuse fundamental Christians of being intolerant, judgmental and hateful, while you foam at the mouth calling them freaking lunatics, ignorant, weak-minded, stupid fundies, and hateful bigots.
I think we can both agree that there's a lot of hateful talk on both sides, so let's call this one true.
3. You ignore scientific concepts like cause and effect, and you don't realize that a closed system can be defined however the observer wants, so you throw out technological phrases to try to ignore the implications of thermodynamics by saying the laws of physics are not set in stone.
This one is so confused that it defies analysis. I won't fault you if it sounds correct to you.
2. While all evidence, logic and reasoning point to a Creator and absolute truth, you prefer to hide behind relativism and a theory of evolution which does not, in fact, describe the creation of the universe at all, or why concepts of good and evil or morality exist.
After all your time here I assume you understand that evolution of not a theory of the creation of the universe.
1. *Atheism fails to adequately explain the existence of eternal, unchanging truths, for it rejects the existence of an eternal unchanging mind. Atheism cannot offer man any eternal significance whatsoever. Temporary meaning in life is insufficient, for our accomplishments die with the death of the universe -- there is no ultimate purpose in a universe void of God.
This one is accurate in an ironic kind of way.
Adding this all up we have only 3 statements out of 10 that are correct. The numerous incorrect statements make the list a target for criticism.
quote:The "gold" wheel may be a small brass valve wheel off of a steamship - I've seen a picture of a pile of them and one looked very similar. It would also be the right colour - and I've never seen a picture of it with a scale or anything else that would give us the size (something that seems to be pretty basic to real archaeology).
Yeah, I can see that. They do seem a little too clean though. The lack of scale and reference is always an alarm signal, especially for such an important find.
I think that you're giving the list a bit too much credit, Percy.
Item 7 is obviously an attempt to cover up the similarities between the two groups by painting a ridiculously biased picture. Much like putting forward the Spanish Inquisition as the exemplar of Christianity while quoting the most benign surahs of the Quran.
Item 6 may be literally true but it's far from obviously foolish to prefer science over the literal interpretation of myths.
Item 4 seems to be the common defence of bigots - that pointing out bigotry is just as bad as being a bigot.
Item 3 seems to be just a confused version of the old false claim that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics.
The first sentence of Item 1 also seems to be false (or at least to rely on a very questionable philosophical view). The rest seems to be the usual egotistic refusal to accept that they could be insignificant on the cosmic scale.
Item 3 seems to be just a confused version of the old false claim that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics.
Well, to be precise, it's an attempt to cover up for the fact that he's been busted.
This is one of the problems with trying to talk to creationists --- their arguments involve elliptical references to the fantasy world in their heads. It is only with thorough knowledge of creationist failures that one can even guess what error they are trying to refer to.
This is why I asked Chuck77 if he even knows what this particular piece of nonsense was about. I do, but I don't think he does.
10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.~~Guilty. Personally, it makes logical sense to me that there is but one God. Of course I could be wrong, and admittedly cannot comprehend or understand the magnitude and implications of such a Deity...except to believe that this Deity knows me and cares about me. Thus, I will admit that a belief in God gives me comfort.
9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.~~I am personally not literalistic...though I have no problem with the idea of a God using whatever means It chooses to create.
8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.~~I don't laugh at anyone (except onifre) and I suppose I could say that belief is a solution for me rather than a problem.
7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees! I always have believed that humans wrote the Bible and took poetic license in attributing either their own behavior or forces of nature to God. This brings up the question of whether humans can fail or not. I believe that they can and do fail...but woe to him who is used as the instrument of "Gods wrath"....for he too shall be judged.As a final note, I personally don't believe that God slaughters anyone in this life. We do it to ourselves.
6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.Thats the standard belief among Christians I associate with, but I can say only that I don't know how such a thing could happen. I do, however, believe that If God exists anything is possible.
5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.I go with science on this one. The evidence is overwhelming, and the only alternative is that all humans were tricked.
4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving." I believe that Hell, if it exists, was never meant for humans. Personally, were I God, I would give the defendant the option of ceasing to exist rather than infinite suffering. But that's just me.
3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity. Nahhh, im not that gullible!
2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God. Prayer is meditation and communion. Prayer is not some wish list of a genie. God would already know the needs of everyone anyway...why would He leave our fate up to only ourselves.....(wait a minnnute....)
1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.I call myself as human as anyone else. Im no more special than anyone...(well, except as an American! )
Yeah, I know - I was trying to avoid claiming that any of the images were doctored. Others are suspicious too. I was happy to dismember the 'evidence' as presented.
I don't know if "doctored" is the right word to use here either. i think it's perfectly reasonable to use this kind of imagery to prove a point, however, I would say that you just can't project an image onto something, and then claim this proves it is exactly what you claim it is.
Why call them cheaters when you can demonstrate that they're just wrong, I say.
Of course, there needs to be said only one thing however: "any evidence these coral forms actually are chariot wheels?" Nothing more would be required. I would however be interested in the "coral does not grow on gold" claim. I am suspicious of it, but knowing hardly anything about coral, can't dismiss it outright. Any light you could shine on that? Thanks in advance.
There's even a rating system here that shows the bias of the site. Yeah, learning thru discussion. Keep telling yourselves that. I'm not here to debate anymore. This site doesn't allow for the Creationist to debate their postion from their perspective.
You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.
I was on one Yahoo forum which had both creationist and non-creationist moderators (sound at all familiar?) and we were able to learn things through discussion. It wasn't easy, since creationists are notoriously reluctant to discuss their own claims, let alone even begin to support them. But then the other moderators left and there was only the creationist moderator. That forum turned into a tyranny in which he arbitrarily suspended non-creationists for the cardinal sin of asking creationist members for information about their claims. You want to see bias? That was bias.
In another forum, a leading member, the founder or a moderator I think, in an email to me made a number of claims, including that radioactive decay rates have been affected by industrial pollution. That was the only time I had ever heard that claim and I was interested in learned what his source was, so I asked him. He became extremely hostile and belligerent. Did I neglect to mention that he's a fundamentalist Christian and a young-earth creationist? I tried to pursue the question, calmly and professionally, and he just became increasingly hostile. Years later, I tried a follow-up email and the moment I mentioned that claim of his he flew off the handle again. A bit more extreme of a case, but still an example of what we encounter when trying to discuss a creationist's claims with him. Would you like to explain to me how we're supposed to learn anything if that is the kind of response we keep getting?
And the Christian forums are the worst offenders and the most biased. Their moderators are tin-plated tyrants ... no, they seem to think that they are gods. They not only arbitrarily suspend members with whom they don't agree, but they also arbitrarily expel them with no notice, no reason, no recourse ... they even redirect all future attempts to connect with their site to a 404, page not found. Furthermore, they turn those expelled members into desaparecidos, "disappeared ones", people whose very existence on that site gets completely erased.
Now, compare those forums with this one. On this forum, creationists and non-creationists alike are welcome to post and participate ... unless they have consistently demonstrated an unwillingness to abide by a few simple rules, rules where are necessary to keep this forum from turning into complete anarchy -- that is the case of Buz in science forums. Yes, members get suspended, but they and everybody receive notification of the fact and the reason is given or at least linked to. Yes, at times a member must be expelled, but again we have the same transparency of notification and the reason being given; there is no attempt whatsoever to hide anything that we find in Christian forums. And at times a posted message is so off-topic and inflamatory that the content must be hidden, but again the fact that it had existed and that it had been hidden is presented for all to see, plus a way is offered to view the hidden content if you really want to view it.
And you complain about the "bias" of this forum while, I'm sure, you would love the egregious bias on those Christian forums?
We're missing something here. Chuck77 copy-and-pasted a ludicrous joke. What does he have to say about it? What does he have to say about why he had posted it? Especially why he had not posted it in the Humor topic, which would indicate that he was thinking that he had a serious point that he was wanting to make.
Let's see. The OP was posted at 3:01 AM PST. What was he doing up at that hour? Late night drunk? With unresolved anger over feeling persecuted (most of which is just a fundamentalist self-fulfilling prophecy that seems to go with the territory -- IOW, they create it themselves), he decided to strike out at others instead of realizing the problem is within himself? Though if he lives on the east coast it would have been 0600 for him, but anyone up that early would be busy getting ready for work or for school, not surfing for and copying such clap-trap with its obvious malicious intent.
So, we still need Chuck77's input on this. What point was he trying to make with that post? Does he actually agree with all those points? Does he actually believe all those false things said there about atheists are true? If yes, why does he believe that? If not, then why did he copy-and-paste it?
There is so much material for discussion here. Atheists have long known that Christians have many really bizarre about atheists, but have never been able to get any real explanation of where those ideas come from, only increasing hostility and belligerence from those "loving" Christians. Here we have an opportunity to learn why you believe those things about atheists that you do and you have an opportunity to learn form atheists what they really think and believe.
Chuck77, all you need to do is to engage in discussion, instead of always running away from it.
This site needs more Creationists. Anyone know why no Creationists stick around here?
I've been studying "creation science" since around 1981 and started discussing it on-line in the late 1980's on CompuServe. One thing that quickly became apparent was that the "evolutionist" side had great longevity, since the evidence was all on their side, while creationists would never last long at all. Without any evidence to support them, creationists would very quickly drop out only to be replace by new creationists (truly, suckers are born every minute) who had yet to learn that they didn't have any evidence to support them. In fact, towards the end of my time on CompuServe, there was one memorable creationist on CompuServe, Merle Hertzler, who stood out from all the other creationists: he actually took his position seriously and answered all questions as directly and honestly as he could. When asked for evidence to support his creationist position, he would do his best to produce and provide that evidence. I had never seen anything like it before and haven't seen anything like it since. He was the only truly honest creationist I have seen, outside of Dr. Kurt Wise in his earlier years, but that is another story.
Before we turn our attention to Merle Hertzler, let me tell you another story. As I have said, I started studying "creation science" around 1981, shortly thereafter learned of the existence of the state-level "Committees of Correspondence" and of their national clearing-house, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). I immediately ordered their newsletter and the Creation/Evolution Newsletter (many of which are still available at the NCSE's website). By the late 1980's I had found the Religion and Science section of the Religion Forum on CompuServe and had become a regular participant; most of the pages I posted when I put my webpage up (second edition at cre-ce.dwise1.net/) were my uploads to that section's library.
Then circa 1990, a Fundamentalist Christian and creationist entrepreneur opened a creationist fossil shop in a local mall; he sold actual fossils labelled with their scientifically accepted dates, but he also had posters in his shop copied from creationist sources, including the classic misquoting Darwin on the eye, which had sparked our first conversation -- when I gave him a xerox copy of the original, he immediately placed it behind the counter and, I'm sure, to the trash can immediately thereafter.
A few months afterwards, this same creationist entrepreneur used the mall's community meeting room to stage a series of amateur-night creation/evolution debate nights in which I participated. Of course, I first got a mailing list from the NCSE to inform other locals about this, so that instead of being stacked overwhelmingly with creationists, the audience ended up being more or less even. Of course, my own big learning experience from that was that many who identified themselves as "creationist" were not familiar with actual creation science teachings.
But here is what really stands out and is the reason why I brought this all up. It was an amateur night and a free-for-all, wherein anybody who thought they had something to say could get up and say it; in a orderly manner, of course. So one night this young creationist, perhaps not yet even 20 years old, got up and announced loudly and proudly that he had new scientific evidence that was going to "just blow you evolutionists completely away!" "The speed of light has been slowing down." Immediately, half the audience burst into uncontrollable laughter while at the same time trying, despite the difficulty of catching their breathe, to explain to this poor guy that Setterfield had advanced that sorry claim at least a decade before and it was dead wrong and these are the reasons why it is dead wrong. I remember the completely devastated look on that poor guy's face. He never knew what had just hit him. I sincerely wish that I could have followed up with him to see what that experience had done to his faith. As Answers in Genesis had expressed in their article, What About Carl Baugh (having to be posted off-site because of a dispute with their site co-habitants; I personally verified this with AiG's webmaster), creationists who use totally bogus creationist claims end up "be[ing] less apt to witness, even perhaps tempted to doubt their own faith (wondering what other misinformation they have gullibly believed from Christian teachers)"
You see, that's the problem. All the creationist claims were soundly refuted decades ago, but then new generations of creationists come up, the veritable "suckers born every minute", and they are only taught those old, bogus, soundly refuted claims, but never the refutations. That is where this forum's term, PRATT (Points Refuted A Thousand Times) comes from. Each new generation of creationist comes up and is given the same old shitty claims that were refuted back around 1980 (You're "Chuck77", which I assume means that you were born in 1977, so these claims were refuted by the time you were three years old!). They go out there convinced that they have the absolute latest scientific findings and instead they are devastatingly informed that their claim is completely and utterly bogus and here are the exact reasons why that is. How long are those creationists going to last? No time at all!
That's why creationists don't last! Creation science has given them complete and utter bullshit and told them that it was the Gospel Truth. And then they learn, in the hardest way possible, that what they had been given was complete and utter bullshit. Just exactly how long would you expect them to last? Here's a quote from a veteran of that battle, one Scott Rauch:
quote:I still hold some anger because I believe the evangelical Christian community did not properly prepare me for the creation/evolution debate. They gave me a gun loaded with blanks, and sent me out. I was creamed.
So what happened to Merle Hertzler, you may ask? He remained honest. Within a year, he had switched over to the evolution side. He had been asked a question about transitional fossils, so he went to the university library to research his answer and he found the evidence so everwhelmingly in support of transitional fossils that his original position had become untenable. From his Questioning: An Examination of Christian Belief (obviously pared way down to avoid clogging this message; follow the link yourself for the full story):
quote:I remember my decision to question. I had been defending creation in an online debate. I could see the futility in trying to convince scientists that the world was 6000 years old, or that the fossil record was formed during Noah's flood. Could I even convince myself anymore? My position was beginning to fade. Should I switch to old-earth creation? The idea of an old earth would be difficult to accept, but I was finding it even more difficult to believe in a recent creation. What was I to do? Along came a newbie, and he announced that he had all the answers. He informed us that the noted Christian apologist, William Dembski, was going to destroy the theory of evolution. Where had this fellow been all of this time? Many of us had struggled for months to destroy evolution, and had left little impression. Was Dembski going to be different? Naturally, I hit the reply button.
The questions came easily. Exactly how was Dembski planning to perform this feat? Was he going to prove the earth was young, or present a believable old-earth viewpoint without using evolution? How and when did new creatures come into existence? I typed rapidly. I reached the end of my post, and sat back to look at what I had written. My mouth fell open. There were the same questions that atheists had been asking me, the questions that had been leaving me speechless. I had written them myself. I paused. Should I send this message? But these questions bothered me. Why not ask? I remember the fear. What would God think when he saw these questions? Would he be angry? The answer was all too obvious. How could God be upset that I wanted answers? So I hit the send button. As far as I could tell, God did not object. So I asked more questions, questions which would lead me on an amazing spiritual journey and change my entire view of religion.
quote:Years ago I was fighting the good fight of creation on the Internet. I argued that evolution was impossible, for it required that the genetic code had to be changed to make new kinds of animals. It did not seem feasible to me that evolution could do this. I argued in the CompuServe debate forum, basing my arguments on Michael Denton's Evolution: A Theory in Crises. My favorite illustration was the difference between mammals and reptiles. The differences between living mammals and reptiles are substantial. Mammals all have hair, mammary glands, a four-chambered heart, and the distinct mammalian ear, with three little bones inside. These features are found in no living reptiles. I argued that this is because there is no viable intermediate between the two, that an animal could have either the reptile genetic code or the mammal code but could not be in the middle.
An evolutionist disagreed with me. He told me that in the past there had been many intermediates. He said that there were animals that, for instance, had jaw and ear bones that were intermediate between reptiles and mammals. How did he know this? He gave a reference to an essay in Stephen Gould's Ten Little Piggies . I wrote back that since the local library had a large collection of children's book, I should be able to find that book. (I thought I was so funny). I borrowed the book, and found an interesting account of how bones in the reptile jaw evolved and changed through millions of years to become the mammals' ear. That sounded like such a clever tale. How could Gould believe it? Perhaps he made it up. But there was one little footnote, a footnote that would change my life. It said simply, "Allin, E. F. 1975. Evolution of the Mammalian Middle Ear. Journal of Morphology 147:403-38." That's it. That's all it said. But it was soon to have a huge impact on me. You see, I had developed this habit of looking things up, and had been making regular trips to the University of Pennsylvania library. I was getting involved in some serious discussions on the Internet, and was finding the scientific journals to be a reliable source of information. Well, I couldn't believe that a real scientific journal would take such a tale seriously, but, before I would declare victory, I needed to check it out.
On my next trip to the university, I found my way to the biomedical library and located the journal archives. I retrieved the specified journal, and started to read. I could not believe my eyes. There were detailed descriptions of many intermediate fossils. The article described in detail how the bones evolved from reptiles to mammals through a long series of mammal-like reptiles. I paged through the volume in my hand. There were hundreds of pages, all loaded with information. I looked at other journals. I found page after page describing transitional fossils. More significantly, there were all of those troublesome dates. If one arranged the fossils according to date, he could see how the bones changed with time. Each fossil species was dated at a specific time range. It all fit together. I didn't know what to think. Could all of these fossil drawings be fakes? Could all of these dates be pulled out of a hat? Did these articles consist of thousands of lies? All seemed to indicate that life evolved over many millions of years. Were all of these thousands of "facts" actually guesses? I looked around me. The room was filled with many bookshelves; each was filled with hundreds of bound journals. Were all of these journals drenched with lies? Several medical students were doing research there. Perhaps some day they would need to operate on my heart or fight some disease. Was I to believe that these medical students were in this room filled with misinformation, and that they were diligently sorting out the evolutionist lies while learning medical knowledge? How could so much error have entered this room? It made no sense.
. . .
The impact of that day in the library was truly stunning. I didn't know what to say. I could not argue against the overwhelming evidence for mammal evolution. But neither could I imagine believing it. Something had happened to me. My mind had begun to think. And it was not about to be stopped. Oh no. There is no stopping the mind set free. I went to the library and borrowed a few books on evolution and creation--diligently studying both sides of the argument. I started to read the evolutionist books with amazement. I had thought that evolutionists taught that floating cows had somehow turned into whales; that hopeful monsters had suddenly evolved without transitions; that one must have blind faith since transitional fossils did not exist; that one must simply guess at the dates for the fossils; and that one must ignore all of the evidence for young-earth creation. I was surprised to learn what these scientist actually knew about the Creationist teachings of flood geology, of the proposed young-earth proofs, and of the reported problems of evolution. And I was surprised at the answers that they had for these Creationist arguments. And I was surprised to see all the clear, logical arguments for evolution. I read with enthusiasm. I learned about isochrons, intermediate fossils, the geologic column, and much more.
I would never see the world in the same light. Several weeks later I found myself staring at the fossil of a large dinosaur in a museum. I stared with amazement. I looked at the details of every bone in the back. And I wondered if a design so marvelous could really have evolved. But I knew that someone could show me another animal that had lived earlier and was a likely predecessor of this dinosaur that I was observing. And I knew that one could trace bones back through the fossil record to illustrate the path through which this creature had evolved. I stared and I pondered. And then I pondered some more.
Within days, I had lost interest in fighting evolution. I began to read more and speak less. When I did debate, I confined my arguments to the origin of life issue. But I could no longer ignore what I had learned. Several months later I first sent out an email with probing questions to a Creationist who had arrived on the scene. He never responded. I have not stopped questioning.
I had found another page by a young man, one D. Jon Scott, and his page, Genesis Panthesis. Yet another inspired young creationist ready and charged up with all of creation science's bogus claims and ready to defeat that "evil evolution". But what happened? Well, here are his own words:
quote:Talk.Science was my own creation, and was graciously hosted by MyTownNet.Com (the company has since been bought out and no longer exists) at the URL [http://www.talkscience.mytownnet.com]. It received a healthy portion of both creationist and evolutionist readers, who avidly submitted feedback which I was happy to respond to on the web.
For a very long time I was content to explain away the mounds of evidence supporting evolutionary biology as well as mainstream geology and cosmology. Particularly the fossil record - which I feel I can safely say that I was much more well-versed in than the majority of prominent creationists (Gish et. al.), was rather easy for me to dispute in my deluded creationist mind.
After a while, I became very aware of the dishonest tactics used by creationists such as Gish and Morris, and developed a growing contempt for the majority of my fellow creationists/Christians. Though I was determined to help give creationism scientific respectability and aid in restoring the good name of the Christian religion.
I kept updating the archive and working on it straight through 1998, the year in which Caudipteryx zouii and Protarchaeopteryx robusta - two creatures which scientists described as obviously non-avian dinosaurs (which means they weren't birds), but which had feathers! I simply emphasized their avian qualities and either explained away or dismissed as unimportant their reptilian characteristics, and went on happily spreading the myth of creationism.
Yes - I had the evidence, the information, and the knowledge of how evolutionary biology works - yet I did not have the intellectual integrity to admit to the truthfulness of evolutionary theory and kept denying that this incredibly intricate law and set of 'trends' in nature could possibly have any validity.
Then, in september of 1999, the bomb dropped. I picked up my issue of the National Geographic and saw what else on a page advertising an upcoming issue; but Sinornithosaurus millenii! It had long steak-knife-shaped teeth like a T. rex, a long, muscular tail, hyper-extendable "switchblade" claws on the hind legs like Velociraptor mongoliensis, a narrow snout that looked almost like a bill, a bird-like pubic structure, and worst of all - feathers!
I simply stared at the page for a few moments, muttered "oh shit!" to myself a few times, and got up to check the N.G.News web site. This wasn't just some artistic depiction of what a reptile/bird might look like - and it was no hoax. It was a small dromaeosaurid ("raptor") with killing claws, razor-sharp teeth, and a pair of wing-like arms complete with plumage. My heart sank, and my gut churned. This was it - the one proof of evolution I had always asked for but never thought would come to light. In my mind, I was betting that even if evolution were true, the chances of finding such a beautiful example of transition would be slim enough to be dismissed as impossible. And yet here it was - proof.
I stepped outside to compose myself, and stood there looking at the world around me.
Weeks later, I began making plans to dismantle to the Talk.Science Archive, all the while researching the Christian religion. I soon came to the conclusion that since much of the first ten or twelve chapters of genesis had been plagiarized from Chaldean fairy tales and mythos, the truthfulness of the Bible must be strictly spiritual rather than spiritual and historical.
It wasn't very long before I began to realize that since the 'historical' sections of the Bible, particularly those stolen from Chaldean mythos, were intended to influence spiritual truth - that the early Israelites must have simply been making up their own "spiritual truths", trying to make the fairy tales of their Hebrew (Chaldean) ancestors match up. I was faced with the realization that the Bible could not even be taken as spiritually true...it was/is nothing more than a book of myths and fables from a time and place in which people had no scientific knowledge, and made up these stories to explain what was going on around them (though the people making up these fables probably thought that they were coming to revelations given by their God[s]).
Then that day in 1999 came back to me. I remembered standing outside on my porch, looking at the natural world of which I had always known myself to be an integral part - albeit created as such. On that day, however, I began to look at the world in a new light.
I looked at the trees, thinking about how they worked. Photosynthesis, receiving energy from the sun, these creatures had limbs which branched out in every direction, tipped with leaves made green with chlorophyl, drawing energy from the sunlight which they captured. As they fed on the radiant light, blocking the light from the ground below, I began to think of how they might exist without God. A tiny bacterium absorbs energy from both heat and chemicals. Plants are exposed to heat, feed on chemicals, and have chemicals that allow them to feed on heat more efficiently - on a much larger scale than primitive bacterial cell strands. I thought, perhaps, that since some algae is bacterial and other is plant-life, that some bacteria might have used chlorophyl to extract nutrients from the sun. Also, perhaps from this algae, primitive coats of slime would evolve and dwell on rocks near river beds. In a few million years, you'd have moss growing on moist soil. Millions of years could come and go, and plants which harness the power of the sun and extract more nutrients from the matter around them (whether it be water or dirt) would spread more abundantly and prosper over their contemporaries.
I looked at the trees again. They were large, tightly-packed groups of cells, which over millions of years grew larger and larger, growing green leaves which act as solar panels. They were cell-colonies trying to survive in an environment where new oportunities are as ample as the number of possible combinations of DNA. So here they were, beautiful, and majestic, and sitting there because of the opportunistic nature of living cells - not because God put them there. They were green because they had Chlorophyl to absorb sunlight - not because God thought that humans would think it an attractive color.
I looked down at my own hands, studying my finger prints. I pondered the reason God might have given them to me. I recalled to myself that only primates have finger prints, and that they used the blunt part of their fingers - rather than claws, to grip limbs and branches. They have traction-treds on their fingers and toes. This is probably why all primates also have flat nails.
But then why do humans have finger prints? For indentification? We've only had finger print identification for the past hundred years or so. Even if the world were only six thousand years old, that's less than a thirtieth of a percent of the time since humans were first created. Why give us this feature, why design such intricate patterns, if God knew it would be an absurdly short amount of time between the first use of finger print identification and the creation of DNA fingerprinting, which is much more accurate? And what how would this be any different from believing that the bridge of the nose were created for sunglasses, or the opposable thumb designed so that our hand could fit into gloves?
The only way these hands of mine made sense, with the gripping fingers, the traction-tredded finger tips, the flat nails, was if my distant ancestors - and the ancestors of all humans - were creatures who used their front limbs for climbing.
And why such low body hair? Wouldn't it be more effecient to not have body hair at all? We use resources to grow this hair which appearently serves no purpose. If we evolved from hairy creatures, it would make sense that we evolved to use our resources more effeciently and wasted less of our reserves on this useless feature. That way, the hair wouldn't have to be completely absent, since the industrial age - when we could produce many of our own resources from previousely unavailable sources - occured at a time which vary well might have been before we had the chance to evolve a completely bald body. Of course it must have been a bit more complex than that, but I had a feeling I was pretty much on-track with this line of reasoning.
I looked down at my hands again, and studied them for a few moments longer...
"This is it..." I spoke to myself softly, "Welcome to the real world."
Creationism constantly denies the real world. It has to, since the real world offers it absolutely no support. Doesn't that tell you something?