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Author Topic:   Kenneth R. Miller - Finding Darwin's God
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16025
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 76 of 94 (564556)
06-10-2010 11:37 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by nwr
06-10-2010 11:22 PM


Ron Numbers
The Wikipedia article suggests that the modern version originated with George McCready Price and was modified by Henry Morris and John C. Whitcomb Jr. That's pretty much consistent with other reports about modern young earth creationism (such as the book by Ron Numbers).

He must have trouble phoning people up.

"Hello, who's there?"

"Ron Numbers."

* click *


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 Message 75 by nwr, posted 06-10-2010 11:22 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 308 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 77 of 94 (564601)
06-11-2010 6:10 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by nwr
06-10-2010 11:22 PM


nwr writes:

There has long been some sort of creationism. But the modern strident YEC version is quite a bit different from the more traditional versions.

I agree that it's strident, but I was just disputing your phrase about modern YECs having "bent Christianity beyond recognition." I thought it far too strong.

I think that they have their equivalents in all centuries of its history, and that includes plenty of stridency.

The main difference, and perhaps the excessive stridency, is that what we're witnessing is a rather desperate last ditch stand.

Morris felt (and apparently marc9000 feels) that Christianity is threatened by the high level of acceptance of science that Miller represents. Miller probably thinks that Christianity is threatened by the rejection of science.

I agree with both of them. It's doomed either way.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by nwr, posted 06-10-2010 11:22 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5579
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 78 of 94 (564614)
06-11-2010 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by bluegenes
06-11-2010 6:10 AM


bluegenes writes:
Morris felt (and apparently marc9000 feels) that Christianity is threatened by the high level of acceptance of science that Miller represents. Miller probably thinks that Christianity is threatened by the rejection of science.

I agree with both of them. It's doomed either way.


Yes, that's probably a pretty good assessment of the current situation.

I am reminded on my former neighbor. I'm sure he was deeply religious. I saw him heading off for church every Sunday (at least in the warmer weather). He was carrying a bible. The bible was disguised as a bag of golf clubs.

And that, I think, is the real situation in USA today. Many people call themselves Christian. Yet they are more likely to go to the football game, the rock concert or the golf course than to a religious institution. Many of the Churches are turning themselves into social clubs.

We are said to be a religious nation, but I think much of that religion is superficial.


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 79 of 94 (564673)
06-11-2010 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by marc9000
06-08-2010 7:45 PM


He appears to be saying that evolutionists know more about the nature of the Christian God than do Bible scholars. I’d like for a Christian theistic evolutionist on these forums to address this. To clarify for me if that is in fact exactly what he is saying, and their knowledge/beliefs of Christianity to back it up in a detailed way, detail that I didn’t see in his book.

I consider myself a theistic evolutionist.

I don't know if that is, in fact, what he is saying, but it seems fairly accurate to me. In the 5.4 years that I've been here, I've seen again and again:

Biblical Literalists have to put so much spin and mental gymnastics on the Bible to get it to jive with reality and maintain its literal inerrantness that they totally loose sight of what the Bible is actually saying. Time and time again, when we get down to the gnat's ass, the atheists turn out to have a better knowledge of what the words in the Bible actually are than the Biblical Literalists, themselves.

Part of the problem is that the atheists are actually reading the book and quoting it in context and trying to understand what the author was most likely saying. On the other hand, the BL's tend to use quote mines from other sources than the Bible itself and parrot often repeated arguments that have already been refuted.


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straightree
Member (Idle past 2582 days)
Posts: 57
From: Near Olot, Spain
Joined: 09-26-2008


Message 80 of 94 (564881)
06-13-2010 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by marc9000
06-09-2010 8:49 PM


And in defending it, all he’s focused on is the evolution, he doesn’t seem to listen to the views from the religious standpoint. That’s understandable if he thinks that science is the only, or main, source of knowledge – that it’s in first place, and religion has to fall in line behind it. I’ll c/p part of what was c/p’d from the book in message #16 of this thread.

I happen to be a theistic evolutionist, that is, I think God created the universe through evolution. I mean every thing in universe, not only life.

I also happen to be convinced that the scientific method, as it has been developed by the concurrence of many scientists, and philosophers since ancient times till present, is the method to be used to gain scientific knowledge. I recommend you to read the Wiki article on scientific method history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_scientific_method).

And finally, I also happen to be a Christian, primarily because I was born in a culture with Christian tradition, and I feel that it has a meaning for present and future of mankind, not because I take Bible to be the sole book written or inspired by God. By the way, religion is a cultural phenomenon, and one also subject to evolution, like every thing else in human culture.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by marc9000, posted 06-09-2010 8:49 PM marc9000 has responded

Replies to this message:
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 911
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 81 of 94 (564901)
06-13-2010 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by nwr
06-09-2010 10:37 PM


That's a strange thing to say. Are you rejecting the idea that God is omnipotent and omniscient?

No – if he’s omnipotent and omniscient, he’s ALWAYS hands on! If his hands are off at any time, then he’s not omnipotent and omniscient.

I'm sure he listens. He obviously doesn't agree with the views of some Christians.

In his evaluation of his conversation with Henry Morris, it's apparent that he doesn't listen too carefully. In the book, he didn’t show a basic knowledge of Christianity. One basic is that God is living, but that’s all that he acknowledges. He doesn’t show knowledge of, or interest in, two more very important things about God, that he is intelligent, and that he is purposive.

I'm sure that Miller understands that science is fallible. All scientists understand that.

And most of them think that scripture is fallible as well. In many political decisions, one has to be number one, and one has to be number two. A ruling realm, and a secondary realm. Miller obviously considers science the ruler, as do the atheists like Dawkins.

It's not science that is in first place. But the way the world is, has to be given high place. For that is the direct creation of God. The biblical text is secondary, for that involves the hand of fallible man.

It is a basic of Christianity to believe that biblical text is written by God, that God inspired its writers directly in a way above and beyond anything else he’s ever inspired humans to do. He’s active in the world, and Christians believe he inspires a lot of important things, including the U.S. founding documents IMO. (they promote free will, he promotes free will) but the authorship of scriptures were on a level of directness unlike anything else. The only input from man in scripture was the personalities of the writers. There is a reason the final book (Revelation) makes clear that it is the end. And also a reason why Jesus himself didn’t write any scripture. It would obviously be considered more important than the rest.

The text you quoted does not show that. It only shows that Miller puts reason and evidence above the claims of Henry Morris.

But Morris’s claims are clearly backed up by scripture.

I guess it is all the "original sin" issue. Yet the doctrine of original sin is mostly made up theology with very little real biblical support. It is not universally accepted as a required part of Christian belief.

It’s actually loaded with Biblical support. I believe that all current Christian rejections of original sin came as a result of Christianity being bent to fit evolution.

Why would they be furious. The question of origins has not been settled by science, so there is room for a diversity of views. Moreover, most atheists are not anti-theist, they just don't adopt a theistic view for themselves.

Of course not, they need funding from theists. They’re satisfied as long as theism doesn’t get in their way. Displays of the Ten Commandments, theistic beliefs on embryonic stem cell research, on homosexuality, abortion, on many other things, tend to get in their way.


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 Message 70 by nwr, posted 06-09-2010 10:37 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 911
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 82 of 94 (564903)
06-13-2010 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by PaulK
06-10-2010 1:36 AM


I think that you will find that belief in a literal Adam is not something shared by all Christians. Certainly the view that Adam was physically created is unnecessary (the official Catholic view is happy with idea that the physical form of human beings is the product of evolution, for instance).

Is that officially noted somewhere on the internet? I’d like to see it. Also, I can’t find a single official Catholic review of this book anywhere. There are several reviews on the back cover of my paperback from scientific sources, but none from Catholic sources. I can’t find any Amazon reviews of it from a Catholic source. I’m not saying that none exist, but if no one on this thread can point me to one, then it’s safe to say they don’t exist. Why are they hard to find/non existent?

The AiG "Creatiion Museum" is there to support Young Earth Creationism. Do you REALLY believe that all Christian denominations support YEC doctrine ?

The word “young” isn’t necessary. It’s not called the “Young Earth Creationist Museum”. The one single dimension of time that humans are limited to isn’t accepted as a measure of all of reality by Christians the same way it is by atheists.

You still haven't explicitly said where - in your view - the conflict between evolution and Christianity is. The only point you explicitly mention is belief in the existence of an Adam (but the Catholic idea that God supplied a soul to Adam rather than physically creating him goes a good way to getting around that). However, you also hint that you believe that Christians must accept YEC doctrine, which goes a good deal further.

I hope I’ve explained the insignificance of the word “young”. If not, let me know and I’ll elaborate more on that. Concerning Adam’s soul vs a literal person, That’s a big leap, one that reduces Genesis (and all of Christianity) to an allegory.

Suppose you watch a violent movie, “Scarface” for example, one where there’s a lot of killing going on. Then watch some of the actual film footage of 9-11-2001. In some of that footage as I recall, there’s telephone/radio communications going on in a small group of officials on a ground floor in the area, and you can hear falling bodies hitting the ground, and adjoining roofs. To me there is no comparison in the reality of that vs the allegory of an actor pretending like he’s shooting someone on a move set. Most anyone can quickly forget Hollywood movies much quicker than they forget the reality of 9-11. People making public policy, deciding whether or not to believe what atheists are telling them about our purposeless existence, are going to assign the atheists completely different positions of authority, depending on how how they view the historical account of Genesis, if it was reality, or if it was an allegory to make some point, a point that is subject to countless different interpretations.

Dawkins believes in BOTH the "glory and majesty" and the "blind pitiless indifference" of nature. There's no contradiction between the two. And don't forget that Dawkins has no interest in finding ways to reconcile evolution and Christian belief at all. Why should he want to help Miller in that endeavour ?

Dawkins is one of the few prominent atheists who doesn’t care – he’s actually honest about who he is. William Provine is another, he puts it like this;

quote:
I suspect there is a lot of intellectual dishonesty on this issue. Consider the following fantasy: the National Academy of Sciences publishes a position paper on science and religion stating that modern science leads directly to atheism. What would happen to its funding? To any federal funding of science? Every member of the Congress of the United States of America, even the two current members who are unaffiliated with any organized religion, profess to be deeply religious. I suspect that scientific leaders tread very warily on the issue of the religious implications of science for fear of jeopardizing the funding for scientific research. And I think that many scientist feel some sympathy with the need for moral education and recognize the role that religion plays in this endeavor. These rationalizations are politic but intellectually dishonest. ~ William Provine

Most atheists want to help Miller. It’s always about the money.


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 Message 71 by PaulK, posted 06-10-2010 1:36 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 911
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 83 of 94 (564906)
06-13-2010 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Dr Adequate
06-10-2010 7:09 AM


You seem a little confused as to what his message is. I suggest that you read both paragraphs again until you understand them.

I’ll admit that I made what his first paragraph contained more complicated than it actually was, leading you to do the same.

In one, he points out, rightly, that there is no particularly theistic way to be a biologist, a chemist, or any other type of scientist.

Lets look again at his words and compare them with your wording, and see what we have;

quote:
"I always reject the term 'theistic evolutionist.' I am a theist and an evolutionist, to be sure, but the combined term makes no sense to me. Never heard anyone described as a 'theistic chemist,' have you?"

All he was really talking about, was a term used to describe a person. He was referring to terms that describe people, not "ways to be". Notice that he used the word “term” twice. Since he also referred to “anyone” being “described”, he wasn’t getting near “ways to be”. His paragraph was addressing one thing, how a person’s belief (or worldview) is referred to by a term. He knows that there are religious people that reject common descent evolution, (a creationist like Henry Morris) and he knows there are evolutionists who reject all religion. (an atheist like Richard Dawkins) His book written 9 years earlier indicates that he accepts those terms for people like Morris or Dawkins, he used them many times throughout the book, but doesn’t want any equally descriptive term for himself. His book claimed to seek common ground between religion, and atheism. He knows that there is a term for someone like Morris (creationist) and he knows that there is a term for someone like Dawkins (atheist) He only claimed that he rejected a term for himself, while showing no indication that he had any alternative term for himself in mind. Admittedly, his book showed his lack of interest in applying a term to himself. Atheists, as well as theistic evolutionists, always seem to imply neutrality. That there’s a neutral study of science that a person’s worldview doesn’t affect. It’s not true.

Now a look again at the second paragraph;

quote:
It would be nice to pretend, as many of my scientific friends do, that the study of evolution can be carried out without having any effect on religion. In their own way, they might envy other scientific fields – say, organic CHEMISTRY or oceanography – that seem to barrel ahead at full speed without ever being cast into the arena to grapple with the Almighty. However one might hope that to be the case, and much of the scientific establishment surely wishes it were, the clash between evolution and religion is not about to go away anytime soon.

In the other, he points out, rightly, that evolution has impacted religion.

And that many scientists pretend that it has not. In that paragraph, he didn’t say one way or the other that it was all religions fault.

By pretending that the first paragraph says that "there is NO relationship between evolution and religion", you have managed to create a contradiction that exists in your head but not in his writings, since the first paragraph actually says what it says and not some nonsense that you've made up.

So you created another contradiction by claiming the first paragraph was about “ways to be” a scientist, which it was not. Then you over-simplifed the second paragraph, ignoring the fact that it was about pretending on the part of scientists, or where the blame for the clash actually lies.

I hope this clarifies matters for you.

You weren’t much help.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-10-2010 7:09 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 911
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 84 of 94 (564909)
06-13-2010 5:10 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by bluegenes
06-11-2010 6:10 AM


Morris felt (and apparently marc9000 feels) that Christianity is threatened by the high level of acceptance of science that Miller represents. Miller probably thinks that Christianity is threatened by the rejection of science.
I agree with both of them. It's doomed either way.

Doomed either way haha – that’s a good way to put it!

Psychology, and other fields dealing with human behavior, are saturated with evolutionary thinking. Science (mostly atheists in science) propose that humans are simply evolved animals, and this leads to the evaluation of human behavioral problems on an animalistic basis. Many Christians don’t believe that experimentation with monkeys is good guidance in dealing with human problems. When evolution proponents proclaim that studying evolution is no different than studying…plumbing, the dishonesty is obvious to many. But other people, particularly young people who are not yet firm in an atheistic worldview, are often fooled.


This message is a reply to:
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marc9000
Member
Posts: 911
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 85 of 94 (564911)
06-13-2010 5:12 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by nwr
06-11-2010 9:39 AM


We are said to be a religious nation, but I think much of that religion is superficial.

And Miller’s brand of Christianity is largely to blame for it. The Bible has warnings about false teachings.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by nwr, posted 06-11-2010 9:39 AM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
marc9000
Member
Posts: 911
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 86 of 94 (564913)
06-13-2010 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by New Cat's Eye
06-11-2010 5:07 PM


I consider myself a theistic evolutionist.

I don't know if that is, in fact, what he is saying, but it seems fairly accurate to me. In the 5.4 years that I've been here, I've seen again and again:

Biblical Literalists have to put so much spin and mental gymnastics on the Bible to get it to jive with reality and maintain its literal inerrantness that they totally loose sight of what the Bible is actually saying. Time and time again, when we get down to the gnat's ass, the atheists turn out to have a better knowledge of what the words in the Bible actually are than the Biblical Literalists, themselves.

If you consider science the first word in reality, it’s not surprising that you’re eventually going to get all the way to the point that you describe. The point where you consider atheists to be Biblical authorities. Does the Catholic church consider atheists to be Biblical authorities? Or is that just the opinions of some Catholics like yourself? Any idea of the percentages of Catholics who consider atheists to be Biblical authorities?

Part of the problem is that the atheists are actually reading the book and quoting it in context and trying to understand what the author was most likely saying. On the other hand, the BL's tend to use quote mines from other sources than the Bible itself and parrot often repeated arguments that have already been refuted.

Have you read Miller’s book?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-11-2010 5:07 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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marc9000
Member
Posts: 911
From: Ky U.S.
Joined: 12-25-2009


Message 87 of 94 (564915)
06-13-2010 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by straightree
06-13-2010 1:03 PM


I happen to be a theistic evolutionist, that is, I think God created the universe through evolution. I mean every thing in universe, not only life.

I also happen to be convinced that the scientific method, as it has been developed by the concurrence of many scientists, and philosophers since ancient times till present, is the method to be used to gain scientific knowledge. I recommend you to read the Wiki article on scientific method history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_scientific_method).

I looked at it. But I don’t believe that all those scientists and philosophers from ancient times till present, all combined, have developed an authority that surpasses the authority in the 66 book Bible. And we never have an assurance that today's scientists follow those methods 100% perfectly all the time.

And finally, I also happen to be a Christian, primarily because I was born in a culture with Christian tradition, and I feel that it has a meaning for present and future of mankind, not because I take Bible to be the sole book written or inspired by God.

So you don’t believe the Bible was written by or inspired by God? It would then HAVE to be in a secondary position of authority to the ruling realm of science then, wouldn’t it?

If you do that’s fine, it’s a worldview clash that we have to agree to disagree on. But my point is that once the Bible is declared an allegory, it then has no more power over naturalist philosophy than it would if it were simply fiction, as atheists insist it is.

By the way, religion is a cultural phenomenon, and one also subject to evolution, like every thing else in human culture.

A better way to put it would be that evolution is a cultural phenomenon, one that is subject to the truth of scripture, just like everything else in human culture.


This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16025
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 88 of 94 (564925)
06-13-2010 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by marc9000
06-13-2010 5:06 PM


All he was really talking about, was a term used to describe a person. He was referring to terms that describe people, not "ways to be". Notice that he used the word “term” twice. Since he also referred to “anyone” being “described”, he wasn’t getting near “ways to be”.

I believe that I have understood his meaning better than you have. This hypothesis would explain why you were talking complete rubbish about his meaning and I wasn't, and why you thought you detected a contradiction that didn't exist and I was able to see that it didn't exist.

Now, is there anything else you'd like to be wrong about, or are we done here?


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14187
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 89 of 94 (564926)
06-13-2010 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by marc9000
06-13-2010 4:57 PM


quote:

Is that officially noted somewhere on the internet? I’d like to see it. Also, I can’t find a single official Catholic review of this book anywhere. There are several reviews on the back cover of my paperback from scientific sources, but none from Catholic sources. I can’t find any Amazon reviews of it from a Catholic source. I’m not saying that none exist, but if no one on this thread can point me to one, then it’s safe to say they don’t exist. Why are they hard to find/non existent?

The singling out of the human soul, rather than the body doesn't come from a review of Miller's book. It comes from the 1996 statement by Pope John Paul II. And in fact, such a view was considered much earlier. John Paul II quotes Pius XII:


If the human body take its origin from pre-existent living matter, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God

quote:

The word “young” isn’t necessary. It’s not called the “Young Earth Creationist Museum”. The one single dimension of time that humans are limited to isn’t accepted as a measure of all of reality by Christians the same way it is by atheists.

That is just silly. AiG is a Young Earth Creationist organisation. The museum presents a Young Earth Creationist viewpoint. The presence of the word "Young" IS necessary to accurately characterise the museum.

quote:

I hope I’ve explained the insignificance of the word “young”. If not, let me know and I’ll elaborate more on that.

No, you haven't. And since there is a real and valid distinction between Young Earth and Old Earth Creationist views - and those are the generally accepted terms - I don't think you need offer any more explanation because your assertion is obviously wrong.

Anyway I will ask again. Do you really claim that the YEC doctrine of AiG with it's dinosaurs living alongside humans and the like is endorsed by all denominations ?

quote:

I hope I’ve explained the insignificance of the word “young”. If not, let me know and I’ll elaborate more on that. Concerning Adam’s soul vs a literal person, That’s a big leap, one that reduces Genesis (and all of Christianity) to an allegory.

I think that you are confusing two different points. First I suggested that it was possible for a Christian to reject the idea of a literal Adam, then I pointed out that Catholics allowed for humans to have physically evolved, but insisted on the human soul being God's creation. Two distinct ideas.

Even more, "reducing" the Garden of Eden story to an allegory is hardly reducing all of Christianity to an allegory. I think it's fair to say that the story as it stands is an obvious myth - so shouldn't Christians prefer an allegorical view of it ? Because if it isn't literally true it's significance can't come from the literal meaning, can it ?

quote:

Dawkins is one of the few prominent atheists who doesn’t care

So you agree that you were wrong to suggest that he should help Miller ?

quote:

Most atheists want to help Miller. It’s always about the money.

There doesn't seem to be much money in supporting Miller. And I've not seen anyone suggest that they want to help Miller work out his theology. Your quote from Provine only suggests that scientists are keeping quiet about the fact (as Provine sees it) that science provides very strong evidential support for atheism. Unless you agree with Provine on this point - and I don't think that you do - then it doesn't help you at all.

Anyway, perhaps you can tell me what your objection to theistic evolution actually is. It seems very odd that you haven't done so yet - shouldn't that be the main thing you talk about on this thread ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by marc9000, posted 06-13-2010 4:57 PM marc9000 has not yet responded

    
nwr
Member
Posts: 5579
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 90 of 94 (564928)
06-13-2010 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by marc9000
06-13-2010 4:46 PM


marc9000 writes:
No – if he’s omnipotent and omniscient, he’s ALWAYS hands on! If his hands are off at any time, then he’s not omnipotent and omniscient.

Ah, okay. So you seem to be saying that God is a bungling incompetent fool. He is incapable of planning anything. Therefore he must keep his hands on at all time so that he can patch up and cover for his mistakes, thereby giving the illusion that he is omnipotent and omniscient.

And since you say that he has hands on at all time, then we must also accept that the usual statement that God exists outside of time is also wrong.

marc9000 writes:
He doesn’t show knowledge of, or interest in, two more very important things about God, that he is intelligent, and that he is purposive.

Perhaps you should explain that. It seems to me that you are denying that God is intelligent enough to do any planning, and because he lacks that intelligence he must keep hands on at all times.

marc9000 writes:
And most of them think that scripture is fallible as well.

The physics of Genesis 1 is quite plainly false.

marc9000 writes:
It is a basic of Christianity to believe that biblical text is written by God

That may be a basic to fundamentalists. But it is not a basic to all of Christianity.

You are taking your own extremist view of Christianity, and asserting that all of Christianity agrees. You are quite wrong about that.


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